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Intralinks acquires docTrackr, stepping on Box’s toes

Yesterday, Intralinks, the enterprise content management and collaboration vendor, announced that it had acquired docTrackr, the innovative security and digital rights management (DRM) technology company. The DRM solution will be integrated into Intralinks products by May, I was told by company representatives.

The DRM approach is unique in that the management of the documents is built-in, and can’t be circumvented by moving documents from controlled or secure storage.

One wrinkle that some others reporting on the story haven’t talked about is the fact that the docTrackr buy is a blow for Box. Ben Kepes is onto that angle at Forbes, saying

This acquisition is obviously a bit of a broadside on Box who last year gave docTrackr a bit of love on their own blog.

Kepes went on to ask Box executives some questions:

I questioned Box’s CIO Ben Haines on just how reliant the company is on docTrackr for this functionality. When I asked for a simple confirmation that Box is entirely reliant on docTrackr for DRM, Haines replied simply:

I cannot confirm or deny that

Hmmm. Helpful. Box’s communications maven Ashley Mayer gave more color telling me that while docTrackr is a valued DRM partner for Box, the company has other partnerships and some native capabilities in the area as well. Did Intralinks just steal Box’s lunch? And what impact will this have on its upcoming IPO? Hmmmm, watch this space.

In my discussion with Intralinks regarding Box fumbling a deal that seems central to their business, they hinted that Box had been involved in discussions but docTrackr opted to take Intralinks’ offer. Seems like a misstep, at the very least, if not a black eye.