Actiance Captures Enterprise Social Media Data in Alcatraz

Social business is the norm for most companies these days. But those enterprise social conversations can be hard to track and re-assemble if a company has compliance or other legal requirements.

This week, governance platform provider Actiance revealed a cloud-based archive designed to accommodate the context of social media, a new product that goes by the catchy name of Alcatraz. 

Scott Whitney, Actiance’s vice president of Product Management, told CMSWire that Alcatraz was originally the internal name for the project — selected in part because the San Francisco-based company sees the famous prison in the Bay every day. When the time came to launch the product, now in an invitational beta phase, the name stuck. Why?  Possibly, he said, because Alcatraz is “a place where things go into” and don’t come out for a long, long time. 

The Importance of Context

The central problem with capturing social media conversations, whether internally through an application like Yammer or externally on LinkedIn or Twitter, is that the meaning is thinly threaded through tons of data. By 2020, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide data is expected to increase 50 fold, propelled in part by all those social media conversations.

But conventional data storage, designed for data protection, compliance requirements or legal issues, is not designed to handle social media conversations, which can be modified or deleted and which are heavily dependent on context.


Capturing deleted posts, in Actiance's Alcatraz 

While traditional archives assume each interaction is an individual event, such as archiving a single Facebook post with 30 comments as 31 separate emails, Alcatraz retains “the construct of social content.” It maintains threaded, contextual conversations, as well as the ability to reconstruct, for instance, the look of a blog or a discussion board at a given point, or the content of a deleted post.

Vantage and Socialite

Whitney said that, with employees’ permission, Alcatraz can automatically track activity on a business-related external account, such as a company page on Facebook. By maintaining social media, unified communications and email as threaded conversations, legal costs for discovery or compliance at a later point can be reduced by more than a third, the company claims.

Alcatraz also offers integration with Actiance’s two other products, Vantage and Socialite. Whitney noted that Socialite is targeted at tracking activity on external social sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, while Vantage manages internal enterprise communications. Alcatraz, by contrast, shows the context and edits in a single view of all channels, by time or participant. It also includes a Snapshots feature that allows a searcher to trace an employee’s postings backward so that a company, Whitney said, “can find out why an employee did what she did.”

Actiance expects Alcatraz to be released by mid-April.

Title image by Robert Bohrer (Shutterstock).