EMC has introduced new intelligent information management software to organise unstructured information, called Infoscape.

Infoscape combines technologies from three of the company's recent acquisitions: Ducumentum and Legato in 2003; and Smarts in 2005.

The company has also launched its EMC Information Management Strategy Service, a consulting service to help enterprises design, build and run an information management system. Software marketing head Rob Emsley said: "This technology can provide a lot more information about the files in your infrastructure."

Infoscape is designed to organise thousands of unstructured computer files such as Word documents, PowerPoint presentations or spreadsheets by their content, their importance or whether there are regulations requiring they be saved. Building such an organisational structure makes it easier to retrieve documents when they are needed.

The three software acquisitions are part of EMC's strategy to diversify from being primarily a storage hardware vendor. Software sales accounted for 37 percent of EMC's revenue in 2005, up from just 17 percent four or five years ago, Emsley said.

With Infoscape, EMC is "taking a small but very important step," said Arun Taneja an analyst with Taneja Group. It's important because a major storage vendor is offering what he calls "information classification management software," but the decision is nonetheless limited as at the moment Infoscape can only run in an EMC Celerra network-attached storage (NAS) environment.

It will also work with EMC's Clariion and Symmetrix server families in the second half of 2007, the company said.

Other major hardware makers such as IBM and HP are evaluating similar solutions to the file management problem facing enterprises, said Taneja, and there are a handful of start-ups, also developing solutions.

The base Infoscape software module is a hefty $125,000 and capacity licensing starts at $9,000 per terabyte, EMC said.

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