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IBM Boosts Social Software Compliance

IBM hopes to speed adoption of social software, particularly in regulated industries, through a partnership with Actiance, an archiving and compliance software specialist.

Enterprise 2.0

At UBM TechWeb's Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston Monday, IBM said it will resell the Actiance solution as an add-on to IBM Connections, its social software platform. The combination, Actiance Vantage for IBM Connections, provides the ability to monitor, track, and quickly pull out relevant data around conversations, posts and file uploads.

"We're the first company on the planet to do this for social software," boasted Jeff Schick, IBM vice president of social software. "We're providing a level of auditability in the technology, where every notification, every event, will be captured, archived, and then made available through a substantial discovery process."

Although other companies may support the archiving of messages and profiles, he said IBM will allow the data to be archived in real-time. If an employee posts insider trading information to a blog, and later removes that post--but not before someone viewed it--an audit trail will preserve the evidence, he said.

IBM particularly wants to address the compliance challenges of banks and financial services firms, pharmaceuticals, and other regulated industries. But all sorts of organizations need to address compliance in terms of enforcing basic legal and ethical standards, such as anti-discrimination policies, Schick said. In February, the Gartner predicted that by the end of 2013, half of all companies will have been asked to produce material from social media websites for e-discovery, just as they are routinely asked to produce archived email.

IBM is partnering with Actiance because of its dominant position in industries like financial services, where its technology is used by 9 out of 10 banks, and because of a longtime partnership related to other messaging technologies such as Sametime instant messaging. In addition to making compliance easier to manage for Connections, the partnership gives IBM a way of helping its customers enable their employees to use social media for business compliantly, Schick said. For example, Actiance introduced a LinkedIn profile compliance review feature earlier this month.

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