Symantec Enterprise Vault update focuses on social

Mountain View Calif.-based Symantec Corp. recently released version 10 of its Enterprise Vault software. Besides making it faster and more powerful, director of product management for Symantec, David Scott, said new functionality and features were added.

At a recent customer event in New York, Scott talked with a group of financial service industry customers who explained “how Twitter is starting to be used in their companies and how they’ve had to lock it down.” The problem is, even in the tightly regulated financial sector, “over the last couple of years Twitter and Facebook have become critical business tools,” Scott said.

Symantec was faced with a challenge. Scott said it became a question of, “how can we deliver a solution to the market quickly and (also) deliver a broad solution.” The answer, for this release, was turning to partners that already specialize in social media data capture.

Tim Hickernell, lead research analyst of enterprise applications for Toronto-based Info-Tech Research Group Inc., agrees that businesses who are regulated by governing bodies like FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) whose “requirements for eDiscovery applies, should probably (keep track of social media). It’s better to be safe than sorry to record that information.”

For financial institutions, Hickernell said “whenever you have conversations with your clients and you’re giving advice for trades or you’re talking about trades, for some time the law has been … that you have to record (that) information.” It’s a process that can be difficult when the discussion moves through multiple channels of communication but a necessary one, said Hickernell, in the event that you might be forced to defend your process in court.

That said, he’s still dubious about the financial industry’s actual use of social media as “most of them, if social is involved, it’s just at the front end to initiate the discussion and then they switch channels to something of a more traditional platform.”

But Hickernell is impressed with Symantec for partnering with Socialware, among others, in this release because “they’re really the best game in town if you’re in financial services.”

For the financial industry, the main buyers of Enterprise Vault (EV) and related products, Scott said they would likely own a lot of the partnered applications. For EV10 buyers who have already bought and installed products from Actiance, CommonDesk, Globanet, Hanzo or Socialware, they will be integrated automatically and start feeding EV social data.

Social media integration isn’t the only update in EV10, however, as Scott said the software has received a performance boost by transitioning to a 64 bit engine. He said it just plain “gives us even more performance,” than before. This implementation, he said, also improves the already impressive scalability of EV.

The third pillar of the three upgrades is DSC (data classification services). He said it’s “a solution that lets you classify content based on content analysis that we do (by) leveraging the engine that we got in our Vontu acquisition a few years ago.”

This means that archived content is sorted for relevance with even greater accuracy than was previously possible. Not only is the subject relevant, but proximity of terms as well. In this release, Scott said now “it’s being used to analyze data, analyze e-mail and apply different retentions, for example, based on what we find.” This means businesses will have to worry less that relevant correspondence was deleted, Scott said.

Hickenell thinks these changes only strengthen Symantec’s reputation as being “the number one product that we (at Info-Tech) see used in the industry for compliance across all different types of sources.”

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