Autonomy makes yet another acquisition

  • 16-May-2011

Well, it has been almost a year since Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch announced that his firm was to make a major acquisition. Today it happened. Autonomy announced that it will acquire some assets from Iron Mountain, not quite the earth-shaking deal many were expecting, but much in line with previous acquisitions by Autonomy.

In short Autonomy is buying Iron Mountain's lackluster digital archiving assets, which include some cloud archiving and backup services, along with eDiscovery services. The bulk of Iron Mountain's traditional business -- which is focused on physical document archiving -- remains unchanged.  It remains to be seen if Autonomy can do better with these services than Iron Mountain did. This could present a challenge, since without the Iron Mountain branding, it could be a tough sell.  However, sales and marketing is for Autonomy to worry about, not you.

Where I do worry some on your behalf: Autonomy has just bought yet more overlapping products to add to its already large portfolio of acquired products and companies.  Only last week one of our research subscribers told me his organization had little interest in working with Autonomy, saying "they have some interesting stuff, but it seems like it's just a holding company." 

To be clear, the concern with Autonomy from a buyer's perspective is less the technology on offer, which is typically decent stuff, but rather the quality and depth of service and support that comes with Autonomy's technology. The level of research and development funds that get allocated to these individual products in an ever growing and overlapping portfolio also represents a concern.

Though I don't find anything much to get excited about within this particular acquisition, it is unlikely to be the last, and all criticism aside, Autonomy will remain an ever more important player in this sector.

So as a final caution, whether you employ our research services or someone else's, you need to be particularly careful to figure out the real status and future roadmap of any Autonomy product before signing on the dotted line.

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