Users need assurances from HP over Tower

Acquisition raises the question of whether HP will continue to develop Trim's content management capabilities

Analyst firm Gartner is warning users of Trim document management software that they should press Hewlett-Packard for assurances on the company’s commitment to content management.

HP and Tower Software, which sells Trim, announced on March 31 they had entered into a pre-bid agreement for HP to buy Canberra-based Tower for A$106 million (NZ$125 million). The deal was expected to close this quarter.

Gartner describes Tower as a niche vendor in the enterprise content management market (ECM), whose customers are primarily government organisations and highly regulated companies.

It says the acquisition will give HP an important technology element for developing its integrated archiving platform but raises the question of whether HP will continue to develop and broaden Trim’s content management capabilities or invest in establishing a stronger archiving platform.

“We believe HP is more likely to follow the latter strategy,” Gartner says. “Had HP wished to become a serious competitor against IBM, Oracle, EMC and Microsoft in the ECM market, it would have been better off acquiring a vendor like Interwoven or Vignette.”

Gartner questions HP’s longer-term commitment to ECM.

“Prospective customers seeking an ECM suite should consider other products,” it says.

Tower has a direct presence in New Zealand. Most of its sales are into local government.

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Tags document managementHPcontent managementTrim

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