IBM and Microsoft strike email archiving deal

Tiered archive offering will be sold alongside Windows Server, following a co-marketing agreement announced this week

Microsoft is teaming up with IBM to offer email archiving products to help its customers control their spiralling quantities of data.

As part of a co-marketing agreement, IBM will offer an archiving service bundled with Windows Server.

The offering revolves around IBM's CommonStore email archiving solution, its System Storage Archive Manager software and its System Storage disk storage system. It is intended to help organisations store email in the most appropriate format. IBM offers a tiered system of storage across both disk and tape.

The volume of corporate email has quadrupled in five years, according to analyst group IDC, with sales of email-archiving solutions projected to reach $1bn in 2010.

IBM says demand for archiving is led by organisations' drive for operational efficiency, business continuity and the need to be able to recover emails in the event of legal action.

"We're confident that this agreement will expand both companies' reach in the email archiving space," said IBM's storage vice president Kristie Bell.

"Unlike certain solutions offered by competitors, this solution enables customers to deploy their archiving solution on a Windows platform instead of introducing other operating system environments to manage," Bell added.

IBM has already integrated its email archiving solutions with Lotus Notes.

The company has no similar partnerships or agreements for open source operating systems.

The Microsoft-IBM bundle will be launched in the first quarter of 2007 with a list price starting at $53,000. IBM will supply additional professional services.

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