This morning Autonomy, a search company, announced it was buying Interwoven, a web content management company. Historically, the market has viewed these two sectors as separate and distinct; they certainly leverage different technologies. However, in my view this is more of a case of, "Why has it taken you so long?"
In the past, the market viewed systems that stored different content types as different silos; hence, we got document management systems, web content management systems, digital asset management systems, etc. However, over the past several years we've seen a movement from "silos to streams"--that is, the silos are toppling, giving way to passing all forms of content through process steps. Put another way, content is moving from being storage-centric to process-centric. In 2006, Burton Group noted this by creating the "ECM Process Framework," illustrated below.
With this acquisition, Autonomy now has product that applies to the first five process steps: creation, storage, distribution, discovery, and archiving, putting it in the same feature league as large vendors such as IBM and Microsoft.
This acquisition puts pressure on Vignette, Interwoven's competitor, and sets the stage for increased integration among the process steps.