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I work in the financial trading industry and have a forthcoming regulatory requirement to begin archiving electronic communications. This includes social media, instant messaging (e.g. AIM and Yahoo Messenger) and SMS/text messages. We have a good email archiving solution using MailArchiva running with Microsoft Exchange.

It seems as though the social media side of things and instant messaging are achievable through proxy servers or firewall appliances like the Unified Security Gateway from Actiance.

But what solutions are available for SMS and text messaging. I have ~100 users on a variety of mobile platforms, including Blackberry, Droid and Apple iPhone. What are my options here? I've heard of some firms forbidding text message communications because fo the difficulty in capturing this data.

Does anyone here have any experience with this?

edit - I'm hoping to find something that's compatible with the iPhone.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

For SMS archiving I'm familiar with Dexrex's software - It seemed to work pretty well and may do what you want (it basically consolidates SMS/MMS messages and emails them to a specified address -- Double Win in that your users get an email-record of their SMS conversations and you get it archived by virtue of it becoming an email.

I've got nothin' for you on IM -- the usual solution I've seen is what you've described where you route everything through a logging proxy server (which is ugly, but works as long as people don't use the applications from outside of your network...)

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So close... The Dexrex site has a photo of an iPhone on the front page. Unfortunately, they do not support it yet. Were there any other contenders, or was Dexrex the best offering? –  ewwhite Jun 2 '11 at 15:43
    
We were a Blackberry shop (the 1st-gen iPhone wasn't even a gleam in TheSteve's eye…) - I'm not aware of anything available for iPhones yet but I also haven't gone looking as it's not an issue at my current company. Others have suggested that your mobile carrier may be able to give you SMS dumps from their end (off the mobile switches that routed the messages) but that may be cost-prohibitive... –  voretaq7 Jun 2 '11 at 15:46
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The answer is Forbid it. There are gaps in every solution I've seen. You don't even own your SMS data (because the answer is to have the MO archive it for you- but they won't...). dexrex "solves" the problem by using software to keep a copy for yourself but what happens when joe salesguy wipes his android and doesn't re-install it. You'll get notified but by that time he's already texted his buddy. By forbiding it you've covered yourself.

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And by forbid, does that mean "disable it on the device", or "expect users to honor the policy"? –  ewwhite Jun 2 '11 at 15:53
    
if you can disable it on the devices by all means do so. You still have to forbid it since there is no way to stop me from also bringing in my own device. –  Jim B Jun 2 '11 at 16:21
    
That seems difficult to enforce. Do you think that will satisfy regulators? –  ewwhite Jun 2 '11 at 17:00
    
I think having policy of forbidding it will. If getting fired isn't a deterent what else cna you legally do? –  Jim B Jun 2 '11 at 17:05
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I have tried Dexrex and TextGuard - TextGuard wins! - They have solutions for Third party IM like AIM, Google Talk, MSN and Yahoo Messenger. Also capture BBM on the Blackberry. They can also support IOS SMS archiving and monitoring but the phone needs to be jailbroken. Support isn't 100% for consumers since they are mostly a compliance solution for large enterprises, but they are worth a shot.

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Have you considered services from Global Relay that can bundle most if not all of what you need in one solution? https://archiver.globalrelay.com/archivewebmail/archivewebmail.fpl. They provide email, social media & sms services from one console. Does having one provider simplify your life?

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More information, please. –  ewwhite Jun 11 '11 at 6:22
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