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Protecting intellectual property and ensuring compliance with federal regulations are rising to the top of priority lists across the corporate world.

Liquid Machines Inc., of Waltham, Mass., provides technology that allows companies to fulfill these priorities.

In business for about four years, the company has reached the point at which it needs channel partners to get its technology out.

April 11 is the targeted launch of a channel program for VARs, systems integrators and ISVs to market Liquid Machines’ ERM (Enterprise Rights Management) solutions.

The company is looking to recruit a few dozen partners to get its share of a market it expects to surpass $1 billion in coming years.

“We’re certainly not looking to sign up 100 VARs at this point. What we’re looking for is quality and commitment from the partners that we will sign up,” said David Allen, Liquid Machines’ vice president of channel sales and alliances.

In the past month, even before the program became official, Liquid Machines signed up five partners who have wasted no time in beginning to deploy its Document Control and Email Control products, said company executives.

One of the early recruits is Tribridge Inc., of Tampa, Fla., partnered with Liquid Machines because its ERM technology integrates with Microsoft Windows Rights Management Service to offer customers the ability to enforce policies “on information no matter where it goes, across applications and over the Internet,” said Andy Swenson, Tribridge managing director of security and infrastructure.”

“We’ve had a ton of inbound interest from resellers, ISVs and systems integrators wanting to add this technology to their portfolios,” Allen said.

The reason for the interest, say Liquid Machines executives, is that rights management is becoming big business.

Click here to read more insight on how VARs can benefit from compliance regulations.

Liquid Machines’ technology helps secure digital corporate assets and ensure regulation compliance by controlling who can access information contained in various formats, such Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PDF files and e-mail.

Companies can employ the technology to set policies that protect intellectual data by keeping the information visible to those who have a need to know, Allen said. “This really is appealing to a vast array of customers.”

On the e-mail side, Liquid Machines technology allows companies to set time limits on how long the information in an e-mail message remains visible.

Users can send e-mails that expire after a predetermined period time, such as a week, and a company can set a policy under which all emails expire after a certain amount of time, such as a year.

The technology, said company executives, allows organizations to comply with the strict information-security requirements of federal regulations such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability and Sarbanes-Oxley acts.

Rights management is becoming such a pervasive requirement that major software providers such as IBM, Adobe and Microsoft have started to make moves to support the technology.

“We see there’s a tremendous amount of momentum from the large platform players,” said Ed Gaudette, Liquid Machines’ vice president of product management.