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Sonian Archives Social Media

As employees increasingly send data over systems not controlled by the company, such as social media, organizations have had to struggle to keep track for audit, compliance and eDiscovery purposes. For this reason, Sonian recently enhanced its cloud archiving service to support archiving of social media and instant messaging communications, including that performed on smart phones.

Data can be captured in two ways, says Greg Arnette, Sonian's founder and chief technical officer. The first way puts a small software agent on each client computer that intercepts traffic, while the second processes and captures data through a gateway proxy. The service has also enhanced its software stack, designed from the ground up to live in the cloud environment. Currently, Sonian uses the Amazon Web Services cloud but can use other services if necessary.

The service works with all the major public instant messaging services, including Microsoft Networks, Yahoo, AOL, Google Talk and Jabber, as well as social media services such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, Arnette says. Organizations can choose to select or deselect data feeds from the different services, either capturing everything or only certain data streams. In addition, the service can be configured to perform auto-detection of instant messaging clients. Support for social media is important due to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Regulatory Notice 10-06, enacted in January, that requires organizations to retain records of communications related to the broker-dealer's business that are made through social media sites. The Federal Rules for Civil Procedures were also updated in late 2006 to address electronic communications.

"In order to capture certain segments of the enterprise market, including SMB financial services companies, it was absolutely necessary for Sonian to add the ability to archive and search instant messages, micro-blogs such as Twitter and social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn," says Gary MacFadden, principal research contributor for the information management portal at the Wikibon Project. "Other leading hosted and on-premises archiving solutions have had this capability for awhile. This added functionality allows Sonian to more easily compete with the top solutions in the archiving market." In particular, support for texting and smart phones strengthens the company's ability to compete with other major players in the SMB space, he adds.

The service is scheduled to be available in June, priced starting at $3 per device per month. In addition, Sonian continues to provide e-mail archiving for Microsoft Exchange, Novell Groupwise and IBM Lotus, along with Web-based e-mail applications.