Storage company EMC is to buy Document Sciences, a developer of software for personalising mailshots and other communications. The acquisition will allow EMC to extend its offering in the field of transactional content management, which it sees as the fastest-growing part of the enterprise content management market. It plans to incorporate Document Sciences into its content management and archiving division.

Using xPression, Document Sciences' flagship application, companies can automate the creation and delivery of personalised communications such as brochures and contracts. The data can be drawn from CRM, ECM and ERP systems, it said.

Automating the processes can save companies money or speed deals along, Document Sciences said. It has more than 500 customers using its software, it said.

Document Sciences and EMC have been partners since 2004, when Document Sciences signed an agreement to integrate its xPression software with EMC's Documentum platform.

Acquiring Document Sciences will allow EMC to further its goal of delivering systems for handling business problems end to end, it said.

The xPression software could be useful for companies building transaction-intensive consumer financial applications such as new account enrolment, wealth management, brokerage and claims processing.

The acquisition, for US$85 million in cash, already has the approval of the companies' boards of directors. Subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of regulators and Document Sciences' shareholders, the companies expect to close the deal by the end of March.

EMC went on a buying spree in 2003, buying Legato and Documentum and has added around 20 companies since then, including security and encryption company RSA Security, virtualisation specialist Rainfinity, and other companies such as Acartus, Captiva and Internosis.