IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced that it has acquired PSS Systems, a privately held company based in Mountain View, Calif. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
PSS Systems' software helps organizations analyze, automate and implement information governance policies across massive amounts of electronic business information and dispose of that information in an automated way. These capabilities are critical elements to remaining responsive to legal obligations while reducing data storage costs.
As information continues to grow at exponential rates, companies across a wide range of industries are looking for ways to reduce the costs of collecting, processing, reviewing and storing information by setting information disposal policies that can meet legal requirements.
To improve the management of data and these increasing legal obligations, Chief Legal Officers and CIOs are investing in software to automate and implement routine enforcement of information governance and retention policies. Needlessly retaining information increases business risk, impedes the ability to respond to legal requests, and puts costs restraints on organizations in every industry.
A recent study by the Compliance, Governance and Oversight Council found that fewer than 25 percent of organizations were able to dispose of data properly because they lacked rigorous legal hold management practices and effective record retention programs. The report also estimates that that costs associated with legal electronic discovery average more than $3 million per case and about 70 percent of information is often needlessly retained.
"Companies need better systems to reduce legal risk as well as discovery and data management costs," said David Stryker, General Counsel of BASF Corporation. "By implementing PSS System's Atlas, we've been able to reduce risk and costs while driving a better process for legal holds across the company."
By combining PSS Systems' software with IBM's complementary Information Lifecycle Governance software, IBM is uniquely positioned to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of offerings that address clients needs to manage, automate, and apply policies to address the interlocking needs of the CLO, CIO and lines-of-business constituents. "Together, IBM and PSS Systems can help business mitigate legal risk and reduce costs with routine information disposal," said Deidre Paknad, CEO of PSS Systems. "Poor visibility and ad hoc controls cause companies to over-retain information and significantly overspend on information management, litigation and e-discovery."
Companies are looking for new ways to coordinate and enforce legal retention policy decisions for effective information disposal. Until now, there has been no way to align corporate policies with automated business processes that systematically execute policy decisions on high volumes of information that often reside in disparate systems.
"IBM has been providing customers with solutions that enable them to reduce risks and costs by collecting, archiving, managing and analyzing enterprise content, emails and records," said Ron Ercanbrack, vice president of enterprise content management at IBM. "With the acquisition of PSS Systems, we are able to expand our portfolio with a broader set of legal solutions that for the first time link corporate legal hold policies to the reality of how information is managed and disposed of."
PSS Systems has an established base of clients, including seven of the top 10 Fortune 500 companies, across a wide variety of industries worldwide including financial services, pharmaceutical, petro-chemical, healthcare and energy. Companies such as Abbott, BASF, BP, ConocoPhillips, Devon Energy, First Data, GE, Pfizer and Williams use PSS Systems software solutions.
PSS Systems founded the Compliance, Governance and Oversight Council (CGOC), a corporate practitioner's forum with more than 800 members. They also developed the industry leading Information Governance Process Maturity Model which includes process assessment and business case methodologies, best practice tools and delivery models for legal and IT professional.
With this acquisition, IBM expands its suite of Information Lifecycle Governance solutions, which include content assessment, collection, archiving, imaging, advanced classification, records management, e-discovery search and analytics as well as IBM's storage management and Smart Archive strategy.
IBM intends to integrate PSS Systems within the IBM 's Software Group.
For more information, visit IBM www.ibm.com/software/data/content-management.