BlackBerry Ltd. is partnering with London-based VoxSmart to offer a combined endpoint security and compliance solution to financial industry businesses with European clients, the firms announced on Tuesday.
Ahead of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) that is coming into place Jan. 3, 2018 in the European Union and the U.K., BlackBerry says its Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solution can now be used to deploy and manage VoxSmart’s VSmart platform. VSmart is designed to help companies maintain records of interactions around financial transactions, including the recording of every telephone conversation and face-to-face interactions and storage of those records for at least five years.
MiFID II regulates firms that provide financial services such as shares, bonds, and other investment products to clients in Europe. Not only is it of concern to European banks, but to North American banks that do business with the 28 member states of the EU as well, says Oliver Blower, CEO of VoxSmart.
“Everyone transacting with a European firm also has to consider its own compliance,” he says. “I’m in New York talking about this to U.S. banks about this European directive because of its international reach.”
VoxSmart has been a mobile development shop since 2006, focusing on solutions for businesses. It started focusing on the financial sector in 2008, targeting compliance challenges. Its VSmart platform is backed by a VOIP network that can record and store phone calls across a wide range of mobile handsets on any network.
“We chose to develop and build something that is future proof,” Blower says. “We supply security and compliance needs through an organization’s own infrastructure, from text to voice.”
BlackBerry’s UEM was introduced at the end of 2016 as the next step in its BlackBerry Enterprise Server enterprise mobility management solution. The upgrade was designed to encompass Internet of Things (IoT) devices in addition to mobile devices. It allows security administration and management of any enterprise endpoint from one console. It brought together several acquisitions that BlackBerry made in Good and WachDox under one management view.
The software reflects how security is shifting from the network of computers to the network of endpoints, says Florian Bienvenu, senior vice-president of sales, EMEA region, BlackBerry. “We have changed the way we consume, the way we live, the way we communicate. That affects the enterprise.”
Now with the VSmart integration, BlackBerry is helping to address compliance needs in addition to security and productivity, he says. For example, MiFID II will require affected institutions to be able to report on 63 pieces of data within three days of a trade, instead of the current 25.
“This transactional reporting is probably the biggest challenge for transaction managers and investment bankers,” he says.
In deploying the VSmart platform via BlackBerry UEM, there’s no requirement for users to log into the app or even change their behaviour in anyway. The whole idea is that it’s always on and in the background. Within seconds of a conversation being concluded, the audio data is available to be reviewed through a web browser.
Beyond that, alerts can be set up so managers are flagged when certain phrases are used, or actions taken, that maybe shouldn’t have been.
Organizations using the service can opt either to host their data on-premises or with the VoxSmart cloud storage servers.