EMC Acquires Archer for IT Governance

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Data storage giant EMC (NYSE: EMC) started the new year in much the same style as it spent 2009 — on the acquisition trail.

EMC announced today that it will acquire Archer Technologies, a privately held developer of governance, risk and compliance (GRC) software. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

EMC officials said the acquisition will add another layer of security and management applications to its stack, allowing customers to “better visualize and manage risk throughout their IT infrastructure.”

“Traditional security management focuses primarily on addressing technology issues, but our customers are telling us that their real challenges are in the areas of policy management, audit and compliance,” Art Coviello, president of EMC’s RSA security division, said in a statement. “You can’t manage what you can’t see.”

“The Archer solution not only offers the visibility into risk and compliance that customers need, it brings stronger policy management capabilities to the RSA portfolio,” he added. “The end result is customers are able to better manage their security programs and prove compliance across both physical and virtual infrastructures, and effectively communicate to the business.”

While EMC is adding Archer to its RSA security division, the company noted that the technology fits with other parts of its business, such as Ionix configuration change and compliance automation technology.

Archer Technologies, based in Overland Park, Kan., provides out-of-the-box GRC applications for more than 6 million licensed users. Its Archer GRC Ecosystem application suite is available to enterprise customers through the cloud or from a traditional onsite implementation.

EMC shares moved up $0.50, or 3 percent, to $17.97 in Monday afternoon trading, in part on an analyst’s upgrade.

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Aaron Rakers upgraded EMC shares from a “hold” recommendation to a “buy” and set a new 52-week price target of $22 a share, a move he attributed to “positive end-of-quarter demand checks, increased enterprise storage industry growth assumptions, the company’s strong competitive position in enterprise storage and expectations of cash flow and earnings leverage in 2010.”

EMC has received mixed reviews from the analyst community in recent months, with antagonists bemoaning the stock’s lofty valuation and supporters arguing that the company stands to cash in as more enterprise customers commit to large-scale virtualization projects.

Twenty-three of the 34 analysts tracking EMC shares rate it either a “buy” or “strong buy,” with 12 maintaining a “hold” rating and one analyst advising clients to sell the stock.

Larry Barrett is a senior editor at InternetNews.com

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