Financial terms of the buy were not made public. The purchase fits with EMC's broad strategy for managing information with hardware systems and software tailored to shuttle, secure and save data.
ProActivity, of Newton, Mass., writes software that automates and analyzes the steps in a company's business processes.
The tools create graphic process maps to help business managers keep on top of such tasks as invoice processing, claims processing and loan origination.
Automating and better understanding the business processes will help alleviate the burden of manual process design and requirements definition, which EMC said is so expensive, slow, error prone as to be a major cause of project failure.
Companies are looking to trigger shorter process cycles at a lower cost. Such an approach can also help meet the requirements of the compliance regulations instituted by the federal government to retain records in their original form.
EMC, along with IBM (Quote, Chart) and vendors like FileNet (Quote, Chart), Open Text (Quote, Chart) and Interwoven (Quote, Chart), have been vying to offer customers such products in the content management space.
Lubor Ptacek, director of product marketing for EMC's content management software, said the ProActivity tools complement the process modeling, execution and integration capabilities from the EMC Documentum BPM suite introduced in June 2004.
The BPM suite bundles EMC Documentum's eRoom collaboration software with the content management and process capabilities of the Documentum process engine to help customers automate their business processes.
"We were pretty strong in the process modeling and process execution," Ptacek said. "What we did not really address was what ProActivity is now bringing to us, which is business process analysis and business activity monitoring."