IAM Alert: Iron Mountain Acquires Mimosa




Information Architected Market Alert (IAM Alert):
Iron Mountain announced yesterday that it had acquired Mimosa Systems, Inc., an enterprise-class content archiving solutions provider, for approximately $112 million in cash. (see press release via Iron Mountain or coverage on TechCrunch)

Colliding the Cloud and Premise

Iron Mountain is a curious company with a very large installed base from it’s traditional business of storing physical items for “safe, offsite, long-term storage.” Given the nature of most people in businesses as information hoarders, their traditional business has been remarkably robust, even giving the flailing economy.

What many people do not realize is the growing and significant impact of digital content that is “under management” by Iron Mountain. The split-personality of their physical and digital businesses not-withstanding (they reportedly have issues with the sales teams on either side of the virtual fences of the business not proactively selling across departmental or business unit lines), the digital business is booming as well, due in large part to concerns around rapid (and as low-cost as possible) response to eDiscovery issues.

Cloud 1st, Premise 2nd – Reverse of the Norm?

Back in 2007 (see Carl’s coverage of the acquistion of Stratify by Iron Mountain), Iron Mountain made one of it’s first explicit moves to directly address eDiscovery concerns with it’s acquisition of Stratify, a cloud-based offering used to outsource discovery activities with dedicated processes, semantic intelligence, etc..

Intrestingly, even though Iron Mountain’s longest line of business has been in the physical world, the Stratify acquisition jumped the straight past the traditional “legacy world” of on-premise solutions (to an extent) and straight to the cutting edge.

With the acquisition of Mimosa, Iron Mountain rounds out the portfolio for eDiscovery (integration and post-acquisition pains not withstanding) by specifically pulling in a solution that focuses on content where it lives in the largest typical buckets – those being email (as much as my fellow 2.0 pundits like to tout that email is dead, I can assure you it is not, and won’t be any time soon), SharePoint (that slow-moving content platform that is raising all boats), and for those still unmanaged files on desktops, file servers, etc., they can tap into the unmanaged areas as well.

The Theory Is…

If you’ll pardon the pun, Iron Mountain’s strategy appears to be (and which I largely agree with) if you can’t move the (content) mountain into active management, bring the mountain into passive management, so that in case of emergency, you stand a chance of actively managing your way out of costly, and expensive legal proceedings.

While you cannot anticipate every emergency, contingency, nor accurately forecast risk, by setting up both a proactive information architecture for your normal 80% of daily content concerns, being able to embrace solutions like what Iron Mountain is aiming for with this acquisition (we’ll see how long it takes to connect the vision to a seamles customer experience), allows you to break down both your normal legacy content walls, and burst up and out to cloud-based offerings to get the best bang for the buck. While I did not use this exact example in a recent webinar on Collaboration (see slides), I believe the graphic is still useful nonetheless.

The next time you’re looking at an overhaul, installation, or minor tweak to your own information architecture, enterprise content management or eDiscovery capabilities, take a look at this graphic and see if you have spent enough time, money and effort to cover your bases adequately.

Destroy and Converge

This general movement of destroying silos or at least virtualizing and providing access across multiple silos of information is a continuing theme (well past it’s time to come to broader light), that we also covered in a past IAM Alert on Present.ly and SharePoint, and which is being covered in a Cloud/SharePoint webinar today, by my colleague Carl Frappaolo (stay tuned for link to the archive).

Expect more on the cloud and virtualization front as enterprises finally take to heart what software startups (and the US Government) has known for many years now. High costs and barriers to the flow of information = bad business, and not just bad legal outcomes.

Are You Embracing Hybrid Strategies?

Weigh in with your success or failure stories, and let’s keep pushing the boundaries. We have a long way to go, but there has never been a more exciting time to be involved in these areas.

If we can be of help via our assessments, consulting or workshops, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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