In any organization, of any type or operation area, email still remains the number one choice of communication. It is an authentic and reliable source to track one’s words and to a certain extent, even retract them. Without email, this would have been only surreal. With the ability to transact at a lightning speed and store critical information, it is important that every organization protects this medium of communication with utmost diligence.
Best Practices while selecting an Email Archiving Solution
Archiving and Storage
For any organization, a cluttered email box is a nightmare. Moreover, un-organized storage is as good as information lost, as it may take forever to re-discover the required information. Accidental data loss can be a big impediment to business growth and also may have negative cost implications.
- Therefore, the archiving solution must have the facility to store a large quantity of data in an organized manner.
- The solution should be hosted on the cloud, in order to ease the pain of managing PST files stored locally.
- There is a need to have an inbuilt functionality to archive the emails and store them separately.
- The solution should be configurable as per the organization’s email retention policy.
From a business point of view, technical services ensures that the end consumer is helped with all the operational issues of the product pre and post sales. It is part of the overall customer service, having the potential to impact the image and brand of the company. A technical and user friendly service, helps drive higher sales for a company.
- Ensure that the service provider is providing 24/7 technical support.
- The solution provider should have a dedicated team to maintain servers, back-ups, software upgrades and network maintenance.
- The email archiving service provider is able to provide On-call, On-site and email support as a part of their regular service.
If the quantity of the stored data increases, the Infrastructure cost of the company escalates when the storage is on premise. Not only the cost of the hardware, but also the physical space required to keep the hardware needs to be paid for on an incremental basis. There is an additional cost of Air Conditioners, Electricity, Security guard, etc required on the site.
Operational Excellence –
A solution is said to be operationally excellent when it serves the purposes of business continuity in case of a disaster. It should be easy to use by all the user types of the system and offer a high degree of compatibility in terms of integration with third party applications.
- The Email Archiving solution should integrate with popular software like Office 365, G Suite, Microsoft Exchange and others.
- Before you select a solution, find out the kind of downtimes and the response mechanism they are offering in case of service requests.
- Near zero downtime and top notch functional support are essential to keep the operational costs low and if the downtime is more, it leads to revenue losses to the tune of thousands of dollars. It also leads to a negative impact on the credibility.
With more and more data being transacted online, email is increasingly prone to cyber attacks. There have been many cases of data theft, corporate espionage resulting in million dollar losses to the victim companies.
- Business, small or big, look for data security features in a solution. This is why tools to prevent attacks like malware, worms and virus are essential in online processes.
- Take care that the solution is GDPR compliant. This means, that in case of a data breach, the vendor should be in a position to inform the customer within 72 hours of the breach.
Compliances & eDiscovery
eDiscovery requests made to a company can be expensive and time consuming in terms of extracting large volumes of emails and data from the backup tapes. Email Archiving on the other hand, offers an easy and cost effective method for both, government agencies and private companies to assure fast response to data queries.
- Along with the GDPR, the solution is required to be configurable to comply with the local laws like HIPAA, FISMA and provide eDiscovery services. eDiscovery lets businesses conduct deep searches to find old mails and restore mailboxes.
- The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), requires the businesses and the government agencies to preserve copies of email- both internal and external- for future requests.
- The solution should allow settings to fit the email retention policy of the company which helps the companies define the way it handles its old emails of current or ex-employees. A method to store them safely and a method to retrieve the emails when an eDiscovery request kicks in.
The Advantage of using a SaaS Archiving Solution
Cloud computing has led to a lot of advantages which the companies can leverage to their benefit. Typically, on-premise installations take months to deploy the required configurations and post-deployment testing. Selecting a SaaS based email archiving solution is a good idea for the following reasons:
- With SaaS solutions, the configurations are quick and the deployment is web-based which takes only a few weeks time.
- SaaS solutions are cost-effective, working on a Pay-as-you go revenue model. They require only operational expenses and no capital expenses like infrastructure cost, as required by an on-premise installation.
- SaaS generally costs 10 times less than an in prem set up, by eliminating capex costs. Users need to simply consume the services.
- SaaS solutions come with state–of-the-art database management, indexing expertise, large storage capacity thereby ensuring optimal search and retrieval speeds.
- With the periodic updates, the SaaS solution is automatically updated with security patches.
- It keeps a track of all the transactions on the platform, thereby assuring transparency in the operations.
- Most importantly, this makes the post-deployment SLAs (Service Level Agreements) enforceable instantaneously.
The Email Archiving Solution should help your business design better email policies, manage organizational data, store and recover the data. Most importantly, the software should evolve over time, keeping you compliant with laws and legalities.
Ameya Paratkar is an ICT professional and has worked in the cloud computing domain with multinationals. Currently, Ameya heads a SaaS product in the Agri-tech domain in India. He has a keen interest in Technology Governance Policies.