Avnet Selected As New Distributor For Actiance Governance Tools

Solution providers looking to carry Actiance's information governance tools have one more place to turn: Avnet Services.

The Tempe, Ariz.-based distributor agreed Thursday to offer products from Actiance, based in Redwood City, Calif., that are intended to help end users improve litigation readiness, and meet information security and regulatory requirements.

But where Avnet really adds value is on the services side, where solution providers can work with end users to diagnose vulnerabilities and make technology recommendations, said Jim Petty, vice president of Partnerships and Corporate Development at Actiance.

[Related: Avnet Launches New Converged Infrastructure Offering For Crunching Data]

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"The regulatory scrutiny and regulatory burden is growing on these companies every year," Petty said, citing the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Libor scandal, where banks were accused of falsely inflating or deflating their rates so as to profit from trades, or give the impression that they were more credit-worthy than they actually were.

The Actiance Governance Platform can be layered on top of existing social and collaboration products sold by Avnet, such as IBM Connections or Microsoft Lync. Actiance's tools are most needed in heavily regulated verticals, such as financial services, pharmaceuticals, energy and the public sector, Petty said.

And with Avnet's huge reach, Petty expects to be able to get the governance platform into the hands of a lot more people.

The platform also is made available through direct sales, channel partners and small distributors, though Petty said virtually all of Actiance's existing relationships are transactional rather than services-based.

The company said the offerings will help companies meet the supervisory, regulatory and electronic discovery requirements they have for the email, instant messaging, collaboration and social network platforms their employees use each day.

"Companies have to be careful about what employees have access to what technology," Petty said.

Petty declined to detail margins achievable on the Actiance platform, but said a subscription model would provide solution providers with recurring revenue.

Concerns about regulatory risks, litigation and internal governance can dissuade companies from deploying new communications tools and make it difficult to achieve a return on IT investments, according to Avnet. Shawn Deegan, the company's vice president of strategic development, said Actiance products can help end users mitigate risk and achieve compliance.

Actiance products now available through Avnet include Vantage and Socialite, which offer content monitoring, supervision, and capture capabilities to help firms enforce corporate or regulatory policies and protect sensitive or proprietary information from leakage or misuse. Vantage and Socialite have been on the market for eight and four years, respectively, Petty said.

The final product offered by Actiance through Avnet is Alcatraz, a cloud-based repository for email and all critical communications that lowers electronic discovery costs by displaying the social content in context. It has been generally available for the past three months, Petty said.

Tamper-proof capture and archiving to a write-once, read-many (WORM) repository helps businesses ensure a chain of custody by preventing employees from accidentally or intentionally altering or removing data, Actiance said.

Petty expects sales of Actiance's Governance Platform to continue growing as end users become more aware of their regulatory and compliance obligations.

"Four years ago, a lot of companies were making innocent mistakes," Petty said. "That's no longer the case."

Kyle Rosenthal, CEO of San Francisco-based solution provider Tach Tech, said it can be difficult to bolster both compliance and security at once because the former often adds unnecessary complexity.

"Avnet is doing a thorough job assembling its security and compliance arsenal," said Rosenthal, who is an Avnet partner. "We appreciate that Avnet is gearing up to support the challenge."