Open Text Launches Integrated Compliance Tools

With the introduction of its new ECM system for compliance management, the company says it has outmoded collections of disparate technologies with one integrated package.

Enterprise content management specialist Open Text introduced a new package of integrated applications aimed at helping companies tackle issues related to compliance with government regulations.

Labeled as Open Text Internal Controls 3.0, the software offers a centralized system for managing many different types of corporate information, including many forms of so-called unstructured data, or materials stored in e-mail or instant messaging applications, the company said.

The package is based on the firms Livelink ECM offering, its platform that is used as the basis for a range of different compliance technologies.

Aimed at large enterprises specifically, the product seeks to combine information governance tools, a central controls library for indexing information, systems testing capabilities, an automated audit trail generator and reporting features.

Among the regulations the package claims to cover are the United States Sarbanes-Oxley Act; Canadas Bill 198; the U.K.s Combined Code and Turnbull report and the Companies Bill; Frances Loi de Securite Financiere; Germanys KonTraG - Law for Control & Transparency and the German Code of Corporate Governance; and the European Unions Proposed Directive on Statutory Audit.

Executives at Open Text said that the system moves beyond other products on the market by offering such a comprehensive list of applications and addressing so many different regulations.

/zimages/2/28571.gifRead more here about enhancements to Open Texts Livelink ECM platform.

While many U.S.-based companies planned extensively for the arrival of Sarbanes-Oxley, or SarbOx, most firms are struggling with intelligent ways to access specific types of information and deal with the huge repositories of information theyre required to maintain, said Mark Portu, vice president of compliance solutions at the software maker.

"There are a staggering number of regulations to comply to right now; people attacked SOX in terms of retention, but theres no way to create a process around that for the entire IT infrastructure," Portu said.

"We look at it as giving the customer tools to manage all the unstructured data and applications on top of that to approach this process fully integrated with all your other retention plans."

Portu said that one of the biggest challenges facing companies dealing with so many regulations is trying to piece together data stored across multiple types of compliance automation systems, and he said thats why Open Text was set on creating a more comprehensive set of tools for collecting and managing information.

The software, for which pricing is dependent on the size of a companys IT operations, is already being tested by roughly a half-dozen large companies, he said.

"Customers have been asking us to help make this stuff play well together, all of the data, all of the internal controls and the ridiculous amount of spreadsheets, so we were looking at how we could actually create a management directive, a test plan, and then get reporting going on top of this as all this other work is going on," said Portu.

"Its hard to determine sometimes what is a business record that needs to be saved, and what isnt; so instead of having a lot of different solutions, were pitching an umbrella approach, and we feel this also allows us to differentiate."

Among the other features included in the package, which will become generally available some time later this month, are process workflow and e-mail integration tools, information collection capabilities meant to help prepare for potential lawsuits, and monitoring controls to ensure that the system is collecting and saving all the data a company demands.

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