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Betting Against Employee Monitoring

5:45 PM -- Employee gambling may be costing you millions. This from Chronicle Solutions, a U.K.-based firm specializing in "networking content monitoring" -- or using technology to track what workers are doing on the corporate intranet.

"Internet gambling is becoming increasingly popular and without a monitoring system in place, it is likely that a significant minority of a company's employees will go online to gamble during the working day," said Nick Kingsbury, Chronicle Solutions' CEO, in a prepared statement.

That claim seems a bit woolly. Call me naive, but I don't know anybody on our intranet who gambles online, let alone does it on company time. What's more, I assume other businesses, like publishing, have deadlines or other production goals that keep one from idling away the workday.

As one IT pro recently put it: "Controlling browsing, knowing whether an employee's productivity went down because they spent too much time on the Internet... that's what you have managers for." (See Websense to Buy PortAuthority.)

Chronicle Solutions, an early-stage company that competes against Websense and Surfcontrol, thinks a company needs electronic insurance against employee shiftlessness. Its netReplay appliance (which starts at about $98,000) tracks email, Web mail, IM, blogs, and VOIP on Fibre Channel or Ethernet networks in order to make sure everyone's busy in productive ways. All communications are indexed for easy searching -- in case you need to build a case for dismissal, for instance. Chronicle claims more than ten customers, including a major U.S. federal agency, a U.S. East Coast university, and a retail chain in Europe.

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