This technical brief begins by describing the drivers behind instant message (IM) archiving and the links between IM and email archiving; it then illustrates how Instant IMtegrity Archives for IBM Lotus Sametime can be integrated with EMC EmailXtender (EMC Legato and EMC SourceOne).  

Archiving Electronic Communications

The requirements for email archiving are well-established:  Regulatory compliance, discovery requirements, and mailbox capacity management issues have prompted a growing majority of organizations of all sizes across all sectors to deploy an email archiving solution.

IM chats, on the other hand, have historically presented regulatory bodies, courts, and enterprises with a difficult question:  Are they conversation?  Or are they communication?

As IM becomes ubiquitous as a key communications medium, IM conversations join email as valuable digital assets—but only if they are preserved and (even more importantly) easily retrievable and searchable.

Many regulatory bodies (particularly the SEC and the NASD) now view IM as a form of communication that is subject to regulatory compliance requirements.  In March 2003, for example, the NYSE issued a memo stating that SEC Rule 17a-4 requires the archiving of both e-mail and IMs.

Further, enterprises must be prepared for the possibility that litigants will subject IM conversations to legal discovery.  On December 1, 2006, revisions to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) came into effect.  Rule 26 in particular governs the production of ‘electronic stored evidence’ (ESI) in federal court cases.  ESI covers any and all information that can be stored electronically—including instant messaging conversations.

Important business discussions take place over IM:  Decisions are made, contracts are negotiated, and transactions are completed.  No one would ever dream of deleting every email immediately after reading them or replying to them; rather, users carefully file emails so they can refer to them in the future.  IM conversations, just like email, contain important business intelligence that must also be treated as a valuable digital asset.  

Integrated Email and IM Archiving

Efficiency, transparency, and full oversight are just a few reasons prompting a growing number of organizations to integrate their IM and email archives into a single repository against which they can conduct unified search and discovery operations.

The diagram below illustrates the integration between Instant IMtegrity Archives from Instant Technologies and EmailXtender from EMC - this technique also integrates with EMC Legato and EMC SourceOne.

IMtegrity is a highly-scalable, enterprise-class solution for secure logging and archiving of both IBM Lotus Sametime chats.  IMtegrity is specifically designed and natively built for Lotus Sametime.  It leverages an open and extensible Lotus Notes/Domino database, thereby making it very easy to it with any Lotus Notes email archiving solution.

In this specific illustration, IMtegrity is integrated with EmailXtender via 2 different techniques.  In one scenario, an agent within the IMtegrity database automatically converts the Sametime chat logs into an email format at preset intervals.  A connector into EmailXtender’s journal database then writes those emails into the EmailXtender archive according to defined archiving policies for in-scope users. 

In another scenario, the IMtegrity Connector for EMC Legato is installed as part of the IMtegrity installation.  Once this connector is installed, the IMtegrity Connector will retrieve all IBM Sametime conversations from the IMegrity database (imtchatlog5.nsf) and automatically move the conversation to the EMC Legato (or EMC SourceOne) database - typically, this EMC database is named exjournal.nsf.

The result is a seamless integrated repository of all IM chats and emails.

Example Integration:  Lotus Sametime Chat Archiving and Lotus Notes Email Archiving