EMC has integrated content and digital rights management software from two of its acquisitions in an effort to give companies better control over their data.

EMC announced a new version of its Records Manager software, which was originally developed by Documentum before it was acquired by the storage vendor in 2003.

EMC also added a package combining content management capabilities with digital rights management technology that it obtained through its acquisition of Authentica in February.

Records Manager 5.3 and the Information Rights Management (IRM) Services offering can be used together to apply security protections and permissions to unstructured data stored in a Documentum repository, said Lubor Ptacek, a marketing director at EMC.

Peter Weis, CIO at Matson Navigation, said he would be interested in the new functionality for managing financial documents, especially when his company starts offering shipping services from China.

Matson is a cargo shipper and broker that moves goods by boat, truck and rail and has an annual revenue of about US$1.5 billion.

Weis said the company is deploying Documentum products throughout its operations, embedding the software within its accounts-payable system, as well as a new order management system for its truck and rail business.

Ptacek said the unified offering of Records Manager and IRM Services is particularly aimed at companies that not only store data for regulatory compliance purposes but also continue to use the information and want to ensure that it is destroyed when the required retention period is over.

IRM Services enables content owners to control access to data and how it is used, while maintaining a full audit trail of document activity, EMC said.

Every major vendor involved in content management is at least thinking about how to incorporate digital rights management technology into their products, said Melissa Webster, an analyst at IDC in Framingham, Mass.

As an example of how the software could be used, Webster said that a product design company might send information about a planned new product to a half-dozen prospective manufacturers.

The integrated content and digital rights management tools could be used, she added, to ensure that the losing bidders can't make knock-offs based on the original design.