Image: Salesforce.com Inc.
Salesforce.com Inc. this week revealed its acquisition of Entropysoft, which makes software used by many e-discovery companies to extract data from external sources.
San Francisco-based Salesforce is known for its sales and marketing software which customers access through the internet. Entropysoft, which already partnered with Salesforce, makes "connector" software part of the general category known as middleware. Developers license the connectors to retrieve data from content repositories such as Microsoft Corp.'s SharePoint or even from the Twitter social networking service.
Officials declined to comment on why they bought Paris-based Entropysoft and declined to say when they would explain their plan. Entropysoft founder Nicolas Maquaire, who lives in San Francisco, did not respond to messages from Law Technology News.
Greg Buckles, analyst with eDiscoveryJournal, said it's possible that Salesforce has two plans. In one, Salesforce may want to enable its products to be more of a source for producing electronically stored information. In the other, Salesforce may want its products to better read data from other applications. Both examples would require technology such as Entropysoft's, he explained.
Buckles said that Entropysoft's customers in the electronic discovery field a list that includes heavyweights Digital Reef Inc., EMC Corp., Exterro Inc., Guidance Software Inc., Kroll Ontrack Inc., Symantec Corp.'s Clearwell Systems division, and Zylab Technologies probably need not worry about Salesforce ending their licenses.
"It is rare that competitive positions impact existing OEM business and contracts," Buckles said, in Round Rock, Texas. But if Salesforce doesn't let licensees renew their contracts, then it would not be difficult for companies to find alternatives, he said. Unlike several years ago, "A lot of companies write their own connectors because the APIs are getting so good," he said, referring to programming interfaces. Also, many modern applications are built with such connectivity in mind, he added.
Representatives of Kroll Ontrack and of Exterro, in Minneapolis, Minn. and Portland, Ore., respectively, both said their companies already have alternative technology. Entropysoft also has a competitor in Santa Clara, Calif.-based Persistence Systems Inc., which lists Salesforce as a partner.