Print Tech Insights 16: 1/31/12 – How Technology Can Help with Social Media Surveillance, Part 2

How Technology Can Help with Social Media Surveillance Part II
by Larry Goldfarb

Regulators seem to have a real zeal for surveillance of social media – at a level not seen since the early days of email archiving.  And they may be on to something.  Rather than talk on their cell phones, people now text or email.  They also tweet or use Facebook.  In fact, social media is becoming more popular than TV;  and, everyone seems to have an iPad.

So if you want to speak to your customers, you have to use the communication method of choice.  Prior to my January 9th column on Social Media – Part I, I solicited some vendors I know have a good reputation for social media surveillance.  Let me share my findings, in the following brief analysis.  (And, please feel free to contact me for any information, or help with contacts at any of these firms.  As always, I can be reached at

Erado. Based in Renton, Washington, this is a “software as a service” vendor – hosted with a common database.  It captures social media and email at its source or through the proxy.  One nice feature of the product is that it can place the social media messages into your email database for analysis, whether you work with Erado or not.  The company has been around since 1994 and serves clients as diverse as Commonwealth Network, LPL and Major League Baseball.

Smarsh. Based in Portland, Oregon, this to is a “software as a service” firm, and one of the leaders in email surveillance.  They are very customer friendly and have thousands of customers for their email archiving and surveillance product.  In 2010, they teamed with Socialware, a leader in social media surveillance, to create an all encompassing solution that can handle social media from behind the firewall (proxy) and at the source.  The solution is well suited for those using Smarsh as their email vendor.  Since 2011, they have also had a similar pact with Actiance.

SocialWare. Based in Austin, Texas, this is another strong entry in the space.  As noted above, their product can be utilized through Smarsh or on its own – i.e., if you do not use Smarsh, you can purchase the product direct from the company.  They also can capture the full range of social network messages and are not tied to a specific email archiving product.

Global Relay. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, this is the 2,000-pound gorilla in the space.  It offers solutions both as an installed solution and as a hosted product.   Global Relay was selected by FINRA to be part of their approved vendor program.  The company had a significant outpost in London and has the ability, not only to capture social media and email, but to assist with eDiscovery.

Actiance. Based in Belmont, California, this is another company that has been around for a while, but is winning customers in the wave of social media scrutiny.  It, too, signed an agreement with Smarsh so that its platform can integrate with the Smarsh email archive.

Autonomy. This company has a very cool solution for handling data mining and searching for large companies.  It is in the process of implementing Autonomy Supervisor, an enterprise-based social media archiving solution with one of the largest international banks.  If your firm is in that space, I’d recommend that you look at Autonomy.  It was recently acquired by HP for a reported $10 billion.

Click any title to access a previous ‘Compliance Technology Insights’ posting.