Microsoft Buys FAST, EMC signs OEM agreement with Autonomy

Microsoft announced a 1.2 Billion dollar takeover bid for FAST Search and Transfer, the underlying search engine for Documentum since they abandoned Verity with D5 release. This change was one of the most complex and vexing administrative changes for long time Documentum users. EMC announced this morning a new OEM agreement with Autonomy which bought Verity in 2005. These moves have enormous impact on the EMC Content Management community and will be especially disturbing for those struggling with upgrades and support planning. – More on this later…

3 thoughts on “Microsoft Buys FAST, EMC signs OEM agreement with Autonomy

  1. This is indeed interesting. Given the plugable architecture used by Documentum to integrate FAST, it should be less of a challenge than the move from Verity. That said, Documentum has invested years integrating FAST to be scalable within their ecosystem — not to mention their customers have spent massive amounts of energy adopting FAST. EMC is not in the business of losing, so this will be a hiccup in a few years.

  2. Of course the entire goal of removing Verity was to go agnostic as Documentum has done with its file system and database. But of course they followed suit with signing another contract. The real question is why didn’t they grab the search engine and insert it into the system to begin with? If there is one thing that is tied into “content management” more than search, please name it. It is obvious that they got one up’ed by Microsoft yet again. So while EMC chases after the guys like Document Sciences, Microsoft is performing blocking moves to own larger and larger portions of the environment around them. And don’t forget IBM. That sleeping giant won’t let Microsoft go unchecked.

    You heard it here first. By mid-summer IBM will announce it is acquiring Autonomy.

  3. I don’t think that IBM is the target. I believe MS bought FAST to get them closer to Google in capability and better position them in corporate clients. Sure it affects IBM but its those pesky appliances that worry them more.

    I wouldn’t doubt that IBM would want Autonomy but they’ve bought and poorly managed a too many search related technologies over the last several years.

    Since we are staking our claim on unsubstantiated rumors – I think it would by wildly interesting if Oracle bought them – this fits better into their strategy and I don’t think IBM is ready to abandon Omnifind yet.

    The other player that would be interesting to throw in the mix would be SAP but I don’t think they are looking into an acquisition of that size. After looking at it more closely, an EMC acquisition of Autonomy is doubtful. Autonomy’s market cap is 4 times what they paid for Documentum right now.

    As for EMC, I predict they’ll end up shipping Lucene as their package search in the coming years. No nasty relationships to manage and they can upsell to Autonomy with the agreement.

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