Plug-ins for Social Media Portals Abound in Enterprise Vault 10.0

The shift from the Internet being a medium that enterprises use for news and information to one that they actively participate in is in full swing. But as enterprises embrace Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, they are facing new requirements to plug into these social media portals to access the content stored there and even control what their employees do while participating in these forums. So to give organizations the flexibility they need, Enterprise Vault 10.0 this week introduced a multitude of options from which enterprises can choose to monitor, control and/or archive content that their employees place there.

The impact that social media is having on enterprises was brought more clearly into view about two weeks ago. At that time Symantec released a Social Media Flash Poll that found that 42% of companies with more than 1000 employees now regularly use social media for business. It is as enterprises move more aggressively toward adopting social media that they are also experiencing some of its downsides.

For example, the typical company experienced nine public social media incidents over the past year with 94% suffering some type of negative consequence to include damage to their reputation, loss of customer trust, data loss or lost revenue. The net cost of these social media incidents amounted to about $4 million per company in the past year. Further, Gartner forecasts that by 2013 50% of all companies will have been asked to produce material from social media websites for eDiscovery.

Some may have to produce it sooner than others. Recent FINRA amendments and new FINRA recommendations state that every firm that intends to communicate, or permit its associated persons to communicate, through social media sites must first ensure that it can retain records of those communications as required by SEC Rules 17-3 and 17a-4 and NASD Rule 3110.

How well enterprise organizations respond to requests for content stored in social media sites will depend heavily upon what type of infrastructure they have put in place to support it. Further complicating the situation, they may need varying degrees of integration with each social media portal that depends on whether they need to just archive the data that their employees post there or if they actually need to set policies that control what they can say and do while engaging with these sites.

It is these specific social media concerns that Enterprise Vault 10.0 now addresses. However rather than Symantec trying to build the specific social media connectors at this early stage of the social media game, it has opted to build an ecosystem with partners who can provide Symantec clients the appropriate levels of integration and support that they need.

The press release that Symantec put out this week lists some of its partners in this new ecosystem which includes Actiance, CommonDesk, Globanet, Hanzo Archives and Socialware. But the reason for Symantec creating this network of partners at this juncture has a great deal to do with the varying levels of integration that each of these products offers with the different social media portals.

For example, some of these products only monitor, collect and archive data from various social media portals. In the case of Hanzo Archives, it captures all of the information as a work file. It then sends Enterprise Vault an email that includes an attachment with the content and all of the metadata associated with it.

Enterprise Vault then ingests that email so the individual using its Discovery Accelerator feature can see all of the relevant data contained in the email. Hanzo even includes links in the email that it sends to Enterprise Vault. So if a reviewer sees something of interest in the social content captured by Hanzo, the reviewer can click on that link and browse all of the links as they were on the day of capture.

Other packages such as those from Actiance, Globanet and Socialware go beyond just monitoring, collecting, and capturing information and give organizations the ability to set policies and control what their employees do while participating in these social media portals. Their software has API integration with these social media portals so organizations can control the ability of their employees to use certain features such as the “Like” feature in Facebook and either grant or restrict permission to do so.

The days when enterprise organizations just used the Internet as a source for news and information are over. But as enterprise organizations transition to social media and use the Internert in this fashion they also need to update their infrastructure to control, manage, collect and archive the data that their employees store out there. By Enterprise Vault 10.0 introducing this new partner ecosystem with hooks into about every social media portal available, they should be able to do exactly that.

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