The explosion in information channels, and increasing use of Web 2.0 and social media poses new challenges. Financial regulations are trying to keep pace – Social Media compliance, eDiscovery, content protection, acceptable use policies, logging and archiving of messages, Instant Messaging tracking, etc.  One way to meet this challenge is to deploy a Unified Communications (UC) server, but there are many related compliance aspects to address. I was recently privileged to participate in an industry webinar with FaceTime Communications Inc. - a specialist firm focused in electronic communication compliance. Facetime Vantage is used by the world's largest firms to ensure security, management and compliance for Unified Communications - from presence and instant messaging to conferencing and voice – to safely enhance business productivity and responsiveness without endangering network security.

I was hosted by FaceTime’s  Eric Young, Senior Director of Field services, with rich industry experience in secure, regulated and unified communications. He provide great background for key capabilities that help firms to maximize return on OCS investment. Also addressed were key requirements of a highly scalable architecture for supporting corporate and mobile workers in a UC environment. But my favourite was his list of “Must Have Compliance Requirements for Financial Services”.

From a compliance perspective, takeaways were around four main areas:

Ø  Current & emerging electronic communication regulations:

ü  E-discovery – Need to manage unstructured electronically stored information – ESI (e-mails, blogs, wikis, electronic and voice communication)

ü  Social Media monitoring and compliance – e.g. FINRA 10-06 guideline on social media

ü  Surveillance - New aspect of control rooms specially in Broker-Dealer environments. Concept of Voice compliance

ü  Cloud – Emerging aspects of secure and compliance interaction & cross border hosting of data, communications

Ø  Future of Communications:

ü  Across Devices - PC, Mobile, Web

ü  On-Premise or in the Cloud

Ø  Holistic, Unified approach to compliance

ü  Getting complete visibility and reporting over employee use of UC and implementing specific acceptable use policies across all modalities

ü  Microsoft approach around Amplify protection and control that comprises – Achieve and maintain compliance, Safeguard sensitive information, Reduce risk of malware and spam

ü  Achieve and Maintain compliance – Preserve ata via automated policy for moving, deleting, holding messages; Reduce burden of .PST files with integrated personal archive

ü  Achieve and Maintain compliance – Discover data – Search across multiple boxes

Ø  Integrated offerings from FaceTime and Microsoft to be secure and compliant

ü  Extending the current message retention architecture via FaceTime Vantage to accommodate regulatory and eDiscovery requirements for instant messaging

ü  FaceTime Vantage secure and compliance offerings for Microsoft OCS - IM, Group Chat, Voice, Video, Live Meeting

ü  FaceTime Vantage integration with Microsoft OCS, Active Directory and other existing network infrastructure technologies

ü  Enable and maintain compliance for other Web 2.0 technologies that might already exist in your enterprise, such as social networking via FaceTime Vantage 

For more details www.facetime.com  and http://www.microsoft.com/uc/en/us/default.aspx

Signing off for now!