Instant messages feel less formal than emails—and they are. When you IM co-workers or clients, you don’t feel the same pressure to use proper grammar or spelling. You might let your “I” become “i” or “you” become “u.”
That informality may lead some people to believe that it is not important to save IMs, but nothing could be further from the truth. To give just one example, the US National Archives considers them to be federal documents and subject to record keeping laws. It notes: “The ephemeral nature of IM heightens the need for users to be aware that they may be creating records using this application, and to properly manage and preserve record content.”
This rule holds true for private companies as well. Because internal communications often now occur over IM, they may be subject to discovery in the event of a lawsuit. They certainly are relevant for internal investigations for inappropriate behavior as well.
IM archiving can make life easier for HR personnel and your legal team alike. But potential solutions abound: how do you know what to pick? Here are a couple of features to look for in a message archiving solution.
Most of us have been misunderstood at one point or another. When explaining what we mean by a comment we make at work, it’s helpful — sometimes vital — to know what was said before or after to get the full range of possible meanings.
Was telling a client “sure” a promise of delivery or not? It depends on whether the next words were “that’s possible” or “absolutely.”
IMs can provide that context, but only if they are properly archived. Archiving captures chat history in chronological order, allowing you to see communications as they originally appeared.
When interviewing a potential archiving vendor, ask them: is your solution context aware?
First there was Google Hangouts. Then there was Slack. Then there were Facebook at Work, Voxer and others. And some people use all of those, depending on a client or co-worker’s preferences.
Who knows what chat service professionals will start using next?
All chats could be subject to archiving requirements. Lawyers and HR professionals may want to pull conversations from Google and Facebook to get to the bottom of a situation. An archiving solution should be able to save conversations across platforms easily.
When interviewing a potential archiving vendor, ask them: is your solution platform agnostic?
IM archiving makes life easier for users, HR professionals and even the lawyers. To learn more about email archiving, visit Micro Focus today.
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