E-discovery and Supervision Compliance Solutions for Office 365

Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365 (O365) gives users the freedom to bring Office with them no matter which device they’re using or where they’re located. Featuring email, telephony, instant messaging, online file sharing and storage, social media, and numerous other features through a variety of subscription price points, O365 has found great success appealing to organizations of all shapes and sizes. It does offer some native compliance capabilities, but first and foremost, O365 is a productivity suite. Electronic communications data is retained based on the model of converting all captured content to a consolidated email transcript inside the archive. For some organizations needing to simply retain and perform limited search functions for their electronic communications this may be enough, but a few key gaps exist for organizations with frequent, high volume e-discovery needs, with supervision programs for electronic communication — and for organizations that use non-O365 communication channels. A solution for these gaps is found in the Connected Suite from Smarsh, which offers capabilities to capture, review, and supervise electronic communications from non-O365 channels like Instant Messaging (IM), Mobile, and Social apps.

Organizations with frequent, high volume e-discovery needs, or that are required to have a systematic supervision program (with policies, flagging of violations, and the escalation of content to review, etc.) must have a third-party solution that integrates with O365.

Organizations in regulated industries and government entities need to capture, search, review, and produce their electronic communications for e-discovery, investigations, and litigation preparedness. Typically, they are under tremendous pressure to process large volumes of content from multiple channels in a short period of time. In some instances where very large volumes or a broad array of content are involved, using the native compliance features in O365 may not return search queries to meet these tight time constraints. In the event of an examination or litigation, that’s precious time you don’t have to spare. To solve this issue, implementing a third-party solution like the Smarsh Connected Suite will be important to organizations with these types of information enterprise archiving needs.

Organizations that use non-O365 channels for communication and collaboration, like mobile text messaging, and IM/collaboration platforms such as Slack or social media, need a third-party solution to conduct fast, efficient, and thorough searches of all channels at once.

Office 365’s compliance features enable data from channels included within the Office Suite to be captured. Yet most organizations these days allow employees to communicate using apps and channels outside of O365. This becomes a problem for those that need to preserve the context and metadata of communications for legal review or to respond to records requests in a timely, thorough, and defensible manner as is critical for public sector organizations. While O365 can capture and archive data from third-party applications with the help of external tools, the compliance options built into O365 flatten this data into an Exchange email format, stripping out valuable context and removing conversation structures, making the data that much harder to use.

The O365 archiving solution does not offer native support for important communications networks including Bloomberg, FactSet, Thomson Reuters, IceChat, or conversations conducted via Skype or Yammer. By itself, this is enough to push financial services firms out of compliance.

Important third-party solutions will be critical for robust and efficient search, as well as automated review and supervision workflows.

For organizations that are FINRA or SEC-regulated and require an appropriate supervision program for electronic communications, it’s imperative to partner with a third-party provider for a solution to implement, configure, automate and report on its supervisory procedures. While O365 offers rudimentary data filters to search and find messages and content by keywords, and simple mark and move actions, it lacks a true supervisory workflow with the ability to flag and escalate messages for further review. Sophisticated keyword and logic-based searches across content spanning multiple channels, policy review, and the flagging and escalation of potentially problematic content are capabilities that need to be sourced from third-parties and integrated with O365.

The Smarsh Connected Suite fills key O365 compliance gaps. Connected Capture supports more than 80 different communications channels with all media and context preserved for captured and archived messages. Inherent e-discovery features make reviewing content and producing reports for examiners simple and fast. Additionally, Smarsh offers the Supervision Connected App for compliance teams, which delivers industry-leading supervision capabilities, team-based workflows and levels of efficiency. Your organization will be able to capture, search and respond to all electronic data requests on demand for any single channel or every channel in use for individuals or groups of people – channels within the O365 productivity and those outside of it as well.

While every organization’s compliance and productivity needs are different, many will benefit from adding the advanced compliance capabilities of the Connected Suite from Smarsh to their O365 environment. When industry-leading productivity applications meet cutting edge, specialized compliance solutions, organizations will benefit greatly and reduce risk by being in a constant state of readiness to respond to any litigation event or records request that might come their way.

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Smarsh

Smarsh® helps organizations get ahead – and stay ahead – of the risk within their electronic communications. With innovative capture, archiving and monitoring solutions that extend across the industry’s widest breadth of channels, customers can leverage the productivity benefits of email, social media, mobile/text messaging, instant messaging/collaboration, websites and voice while efficiently strengthening their compliance and e-discovery initiatives.

A global client base, including the top 10 banks in the United States and the largest banks in Europe, Canada and Asia, manages billions of conversations each month with the Smarsh Connected Suite. Government agencies in 40 of the 50 U.S. states also rely on Smarsh to help meet their recordkeeping and e-discovery requirements.

The company is headquartered in Portland, Ore. with nine offices worldwide, including locations in Silicon Valley, New York, London and Bangalore, India. For more information, visit www.smarsh.com.

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