Initially the program will be geared toward e-mail, but will eventually encompass other types of content such as files and instant messaging.
The initiative is designed to enable newly built APIs to plug Symantecs Enterprise Vault e-mail and content archiving software into a number of its partners content classification, ECM (enterprise content management), and records management architectures to bolster legal discovery and archiving processes, said Nick Mehta, senior director of Product Management for the Enterprise Vault product line at Symantic, based in Cupertino, Calif.
Welcoming Symantecs new APIs into their infrastructure and taking part in the Intelligent Archiving Partner Program from the classification vendor side are Orchestria, MessageGate, Kazeon Systems and Recommind.
Records management and ECM partners extending their platform support as part of the new Symantec program include Hummingbird and Interwoven, as well as a few still-unnamed ECM players.
The methodology of incorporating automated classification of content as a key component of the Intelligent Archiving program falls into three categories: Intelligent Storage to decide which type of archived storage is best suited for a specific piece of content; Intelligent Retention for determining an items precise retention period; and Intelligent Discovery to tag items with categories for more detailed and quicker search processes.
By enabling Symantec Enterprise Vault to integrate with ECM records management software tools, Mehta said, organizations will be able to automatically identify and make split-second decisions about items stored in Enterprise Vault as records, through the ECM technology on the back end.
Mehta said a greater synergy must occur between companies IT departments and legal departments to get on the same technology page in the best interests of the business to satisfy increasingly complex compliance rules and litigation pressures driven by e-mail retention.
"The IT department may be living in an older world where they think an automation deletion policy is acceptable for e-mail, but the legal department unbeknownst to them is drafting an electronic records retention policy," Mehta said. "Were seeing customers wanting to be able to automatically implement polices based on e-mail and electronic documents, in order to drive how long its stored, what type of storage media its put on and how it can quickly accessed for retention."
The consequences of e-mail mishandling were highlighted earlier the week of Feb. 13 when Morgan Stanley said in a regulatory filing that the firm agreed to pay a $15 million fine to the U.S. SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) to settle an SEC probe over failure to retain e-mails.
This most recent incident is not the first time Morgan Stanley has run into trouble over e-mail. Last year Morgan Stanley couldnt guarantee it had turned over all e-mails related to a pending lawsuit involving billionaire financier Ron Perelman—and got hit with a $1.58 billion judgment awarded by a Florida jury. Back in 2002, the SEC faulted Morgan Stanley along with four other securities companies for destroying e-mails and backup tapes.
Bill Lyons, CEO of AXS-One, based in Rutherford, N.J., said Morgan Stanleys e-mail plight underscores the need for organizations to take regulations seriously or face stiff penalties which could be in the form of damages or tarnished branding.
"Yet again we see Morgan Stanley, like other banks, if they dont take these regulations seriously and dont put their e-mail in a central repository that can be easily accessed then theyre going to encounter trouble," Lyons said. "Backup and restore tapes were never meant as a central repository to be searched and looked through for peoples e-mails."