Parlano upgrades MindAlign messaging tool; inks alliance with MindShift

Source: Parlano

Parlano, today announced enhanced compliance capabilities for MindAlign 2007, the most powerful persistent group chat solution for the enterprise.

MindAlign 2007 organizes cross-functional teams in topic-based, business-class chatrooms (channels) and is the leading group chat solution for the financial services market.

Immediately available are pre-packaged compliance adapters that integrate MindAlign 2007 with leading solutions for securing, logging and archiving electronic business communications. These adapters build on the April launch of MindAlign 2007, which introduced a new compliance framework that simplifies integration with compliance systems via XML-based transformations rather than programmatic interfaces. With this release, Parlano is providing configurable compliance adaptors for Akonix, Assentor, and Facetime built on the new framework. The XML-based approach also simplifies integration of any commercial or custom compliance system with MindAlign. Parlano plans to announce additional pre-packaged compliance adapters in the near future.

With the new MindAlign 2007 compliance framework, pre-packaged and custom compliance adapters also benefit from a sophisticated queuing infrastructure that ensures that messages posted to a channel are captured and logged even during temporary compliance system downtime. This insulates MindAlign 2007 from the compliance system and enables fully compliant business-critical chat to continue rather than being blocked during outages.

Parlano also announced the immediate availability of enhanced functionality in MindAlign 2007 to proactively enforce "ethical walls" that prevent group chat between parties with conflicts of interest, such as energy traders and energy producers, or equity traders and mergers-and-acquisition professionals. The enhanced capability utilizes pre-defined "channel categories" that determine channel membership from Microsoft Active Directory domains, organizational units, and/or groups.

Channel categories also reduce administrative costs because channel types that control membership, channel visibility, and other channel behavioriors are configured up front and used repeatedly when new channels are created. They also eliminate the potential breach of compliance that occurs in other chat systems when "super user" administrator privileges are required to manage channels which then allow those users to monitor all conversations within the organization.

"Flexible security and compliance capabilities transform group chat from a powerful interaction tool to a mission-critical enterprise application," said Jeff Schultz, senior vice president of marketing at Parlano. "This transformation can dramatically improve an organization's communication and collaboration effectiveness and, consequently, their business success, while satisfying mandatory compliance requirements."

Separately, MindSHIFT Technologies and Parlano today announced a strategic partnership that will enable the two companies to provide financial services organizations and their trading partners with secure, federated group chat as a hosted solution.

The new partnership was announced in New York at the SIFMA (Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association) Technology Conference.

The planned mindSHIFT and Parlano technology will include Parlano MindAlign 2007, which is built for Microsoft Live Communications Server (LCS) and provides federated persistent group chat capability that lets customers, partners and suppliers build secure internetworks of business-class chat rooms (channels).

mindSHIFT, a provider of managed IT and compliance services, will perform the hosting for MindAlign and LCS, with the option of fully managed SEC, NASD and other compliance services.

This solution is the only hosted enterprise instant messaging (IM) technology with persistent group chat that includes not only logging of chat and IM communications, but also the option of integrated shipment, archival, surveillance, and discovery. The solution will fully meet the needs of any financial services company, regardless of size or which regulatory authority it falls under.

"As experts in SEC-compliant messaging, we consider it essential to embrace persistent group chat, one of the most exciting communications mediums since email and, increasingly, a must-have for financial institutions and beyond," said Heather Davisson, general manager of mindSHIFT's compliance group. "Parlano is the leader in this field, and together we will help customers deploy business-class chat channels quickly, easily, affordably and securely."

Parlano's MindAlign makes it easy for users to follow and participate in hundreds of ongoing conversations even when they are not always online. The result is more effective and productive group dialogue between cross-functional and cross-organizational teams.

"A hosted, or managed, offering is a natural evolution for persistent group chat, and mindSHIFT brings tremendous value to MindAlign and the industry with its managed compliance capabilities and its power to activate federations," said Nick Fera, Parlano chairman and CEO. "As organizations federate, they create a network of persistent group chat channels that exponentially increase the collective positive impact on business performance. But this partnership offers much more. mindSHIFT's compliance capabilities address the rapidly growing requirement for organizations to federate their persistent group chat sessions in a secure and compliant manner."

mindSHIFT offers one of the strongest available products for hosted messaging, archiving and discovery for electronic communications - services that relieve the burden on financial services' IT and compliance organizations. mindSHIFT's hosted messaging solutions include all the requirements of a comprehensive compliance solution, including management, surveillance, archival, discovery and protection of messages. mindSHIFT solutions, which scale from broker-dealers and financial firms to the largest enterprises, also allow organizations who desire to run their own messaging infrastructure to properly authenticate against their own directory systems and securely connect to this new managed service.

The partnership will give financial services organizations numerous capabilities, including:
  • Persistent group chat without IT infrastructure. The combined solution gives customers a comprehensive set of services and infrastructure provided by mindSHIFT, with the ability to support persistent group chat, including user management and provisioning, desktop client management and compliance management.
  • Trusted federation services. Organizations with MindAlign will be able to easily unite, or federate, their persistent group chat environments with other MindAlign deployments via hosted chat channels. This approach improves security, reduces IT effort, and ensures compliance management for both parties. In addition, organizations will be able to federate to partner organizations that don't yet have MindAlign by enabling the partners to gain MindAlign access as a hosted service regardless of whether the partner organization uses MindAlign internally.
  • Financial "industry chat" channels. mindSHIFT and Parlano are developing public channels where professionals from different financial institutions can gather in a secure and compliant way.
  • Integration services. mindSHIFT can create and deploy custom bots or agents that import research and other information to selected MindAlign channels. Application license management services further relieve the IT burden.

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