How to choose an Email Archiving Solution

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MailArchiva – Many of the solutions work on day one but as your email archive store increases over time and as your business grows, the performance of the archiving solutions begins to suffer. This is particularly true in database driven solutions where the millions of emails stored and indexed leads to database performance issues and/or additional database administration costs.

Does the solution meet your compatibility requirements?

Some companies have multiple servers and in some cases they are different mail systems altogether. Also, your archiving system is likely to outlive your existing email system and software infrastructure. A solution that easily integrates with different mail systems and is based on open standards will ensure the longevity of your archiving solution.

How does the product handle user accounts and access rights?

The best solutions offer seamless integration with your user account management system. This means that new email users are automatically added into the archive without the hassle of human intervention.

Does it handle bulk email management?

Consider what your bulk email management requirements may be and ask the provider, can you import existing emails into your new solution? Can you view/print emails en-bulk? Some solutions require you to manually import each email into your new solution. This can be cumbersome and often requires mail server downtime.

Does the solution maintain the integrity of the email?

Are the emails stored securely? Are they encrypted? Does the system support envelope journaling whereby the full integrity of the email is preserved? For example, some solutions merely act as ‘blind’ recipient. These solutions don’t keep records of who was BCC’d on the emails and therefore don’t keep a full and original version of the communication. Furthermore, some solutions act as a gateway and only store emails exchanged between your organization and the outside world. Often this is not enough to be fully compliant. Look for a solution that keeps records of internal emails as well.

Does the solution have a simple user client search feature?

The solution should offer complete integration into your existing mail system so users don’t have to go through complicated training programs to get them up and running.

What is the search performance like?

As email communication in your organizations proliferates, how will the performance of the solution be affected? This is often a key criteria in deciding on a solution as a slow performing solution will affect your end-users’ willingness to embrace the new functionality.

How does the system support eDiscovery?

eDiscovery refers to discovery in civil litigation which deals with information in electronic format. The search capabilities of archiving applications vary from product to product. Consider how your legal department conducts searches today and how they may want to search in the future. Does the search include email attachements? Is there a history on who searched what and when? Is an independent auditor required to be present at the ediscovery? What controls are in place to ensure the email has not been altered? Some solutions offer digital signatures to ensure the integrity of the email and the archive.

What about De-duplication?

Email archiving solutions that support de-duplication will store only one copy of duplicate messages to conserve space and then link the messages in the archive. Some solutions even apply this to the message objects, de-duplicating attachments separately, which has considerable implications on storage requirements.

Is the system tried and tested?

There are many different types of mail systems available operating in various size organizations. Find out from your potential solution provider if they have a working model of their product in a similar environment to yours.

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