Nick Kingsbury's Blog

I was CEO of Chronicle Solutions from 2006 to early 2007. The flagship product is netReplay, a Network Content Appliance that captures, indexes and replays all user communications in real-time. This blog reflects my interest in that area.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Uncontrolled Communication, and the need to "Chronicle"

I have landed in the position of CEO of a great company called Chronicle Solutions, and over the last few months have grown to believe that we are at the centre of an important shift.

First off, here is the core company pitch, it will help the reader understand where I am coming from !

Chronicle's netReplay product is the world’s first Enterprise-class Network Content Appliance, that in real-time monitors, captures and text indexes all user communications including email, web mail, IM, blogs and VoIP.

netReplay offers a unified approach where all types of digital communication are monitored and stored in a single system. netReplay
handles previously un- manageable volumes of data and allows user communication to be replayed as the user saw it, and allows suspect content to be visually tracked, and traced.

Customers are in medium and large highly regulated industries and government where netReplay helps mitigate risks and aids compliance with regulations on the recording of communication, and eDiscovery.


So that's what we do, why is this important?

We are seeing a storm of unrestricted, unmonitored, unrecorded digital communication expanding in every dimension. This is fantastic in many respects; ideas, feelings, knowledge shared across the world bringing people together for social, recreational and business purposes. In our personal lives, fantastic. In business too, great; the friction to doing business is reduced (a whole separate subject, more another time!).

However, for larger organisations this is becoming an issue and will be growing into a huge issue. Let's wind back twenty years. My office then had ranks of filing cabinets, with secretaries and filing clerks tending them, and if you wanted to know what was happening with a client, you pulled the file; it was all there. CC meant carbon copy - remember that?!? All inbound correspondence was logged in a register when the post was opened.

Wind forward again, and finding out what is going on with that client is pretty tricky. Yes, we have our CRM systems which try and address part of the problem, though normally those are more transactional. But is email integrated? What about IM? What about blogs?!?

This is important in the normal run of business, and becoming crucial when something goes wrong, such as finding some valuable design documents or customer information have leaked out, or finding that one of your staff has gone off the rails; what have they downloaded, what were they doing, what did they say to whom? There are good business reasons for capturing all communication, but also increasingly the regulators are demanding it. Technically it has been near impossible to do this; we now have a good solution in the form of netReplay and believe it to be the first enterprise class product in the industry.

Many organisations’ views are shifting. The needs to record all communication is clear and present. However, I am not sure we have thought through all the management issues here. People deserve and have a right to some privacy. This is countered by the organisation's responsibility to protect its staff from harmful material, and protect the assets of the business in the widest sense.

The leaders have policies around the use of systems, but firstly the issues are not well understood by staff at large, and secondly there is a clear need for Best Practice guidance here.
Balancing all of this – business needs, threats, litigation, regulations, privacy, policy – will be tricky, but it will need to be done.

Communication channels will continue to grow and become more complicated, and organizations will continue to be driven to the need to capture all of their digital communications…

Enough for now!

Nick Kingsbury


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