IBM moves to help customers meet regulations

Continuing with its effort to help customers comply with looming U.S. privacy regulation deadlines, IBM Corp. recently introduced nine sets of software, service and hardware bundles designed to help companies more easily and more quickly meet the terms of regulations, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

The offerings include packages to assist with the detection of money laundering, e-mail archiving and records management, data retention, business controls and reporting, storage, archiving, and data disposal.

“There are many cases where Canadian companies are affected by these legislative initiatives and will have to implement solutions for compliance,” said Warren Shiau, analyst at IDC Canada Ltd. in Toronto. “This is a very large aggregation of areas that can address possible needs for compliance.”

Shiau added that IBM’s offerings differ from those of competitors such as Oracle Corp., SAP AG, and PeopleSoft Inc., in that these companies’ compliance offerings are generally limited to software and services, whereas IBM also offers hardware solutions to deal with the back-end needs.

For example, IBM will be releasing TotalStorage Tape Drive 3582 tape media and drives. This will employ Write Once Read Many (WORM) technology so disk cartridges can’t be overwritten. IBM said this would be useful for companies that need to store large quantities of electronic records to meet regulatory and external audit requirements.

The company will also be offering a Disk Wipe Service – IBM Asset Disposition Data Disposal – whereby IBM will ensure that disk drives on retired hardware are wiped clean before disposal.

Other offerings include the IBM Anti-Money Laundering Service, which is designed to help firms comply with the U.S. Patriot Act of 2001 obliging companies to have technology in place to prevent and detect money laundering. IBM hosts the solution in conjunction with Searchspace Corp. in New York, and said this solution could replace what is usually a manual process.

Big Blue is also offering the IBM Email Archive and Records Management Service designed especially for financial services, which would help them collect, store and retrieve large amounts of information in real-time. This service would help with compliance of NASD Conduct Rule 3010/3110 – the NASD monitors all trading on the Nasdaq – and with New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) rules 342 and 440, as well as with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) rules 17a-3 and 17a-4, IBM said.

“As a one stop shop, [IBM] is attractive to users with compliance needs,” Shiau said. “It may end up that IBM becomes the place to go just because they leveraged what they have exhibited going across…business areas to come up with this.”

The other bundles are: IBM DB2 Content Manager for Data Retention and Compliance; IBM Lotus Workplace for Business Controls and Reporting; IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Data Retention; IBM TotalStorage FastT EXP 100 Storage Expansion Unit; and IBM Data Retention Solutions.

They are available now, worldwide, with the exception of Tivoli Storage Manager for Data Retention, which will be available by end of 2003. The two TotalStorage products announced today will also be available in Q1 of 2004. No pricing information was available at press time.

IBM has been doing a lot of work with compliance in recent months. Back in September, IBM teamed up with the Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) to create a template for users to comply with Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

In addition, IBM teamed up with Watchfire Inc. for a service that would help customers better manage data collected on their Web sites and released a report indicating that few companies are complying with privacy laws pertaining to their Web sites.

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