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eDiscovery for Dummies - Issues & The Cloud-Powered Solution

  
  
eDiscovery request
(Click here for the Part I and here for Part II of our "eDiscovery for Dummies" series)

This is our last installment of the "eDiscovery for Dummies" series. Today, we dig in details at the key ideas around eDiscovery, the challenge they represent for organizations lacking an archiving solution, and how a cloud-powered archiving provider can help organizations, of any size, address this IT and legal headache.

Idea N°1: Large amount of requested data (by the opposite party) must be produced within Discovery timeframe.

Without archiving: Without an archiving solution, the data is not easily retrievable. Indeed, backup tapes are not compliant with eDiscovery. Local PST files are cluttered and the data is stored “offline” and have a limited accessibility.

Cloud-powered Archiving: provides several non-negligible advantages went it comes to retrieve emails, IM, social media or other types of employee-generated content. It gives you a 24/7/365 accessibility to the data, and data is accessible from anywhere in the world as long as you have a web browser. In addition, the data is never stored “offline” and available in seconds in a one-stop repository providing you with unlimited storage capacity.

Idea N°2: Penalties for failing to meet FRCP deadlines can lead businesses to go bankrupt. Penalties in some cases are more expensive than actually installing a (archiving) system to retain ESI.

Without archiving: Meeting FRCP deadlines will be a serious time-consuming activity, which will monopolize the IT staff. It will induct to search through many different – cluttered – backups  (PST files), and the IT staff won’t be able to rely on any indexing feature or advanced search feature to assist them in their searches.

Cloud-powered Archiving: An organization doesn’t need to purchase any software, hardware, or server given that all the archived data is stored in the "cloud" and accessed through a web UI. There is no capital expenses or upfront costs. A Cloud-powered Archiving solution provide streamline eDiscovery and support mail migration from all the most commonly used email platforms (Sonian supports MS Exchange, Lotus Notes/iNotes, Zimbra, Kerio, Google Apps, Zimbra, Novell GroupWise…).

Idea N°3: Anything in eDiscovery can be asked by the opposite counsel (upon judge’s agreement).

Without archiving: Businesses could have to search through terabytes of ESI: emails, attachments, database systems, and employees’ personal storage. Moreover, there will be no data inventory ready up-front.

Cloud-powered Archiving:  Offers sub-second response time (to retrieve stored data in the single repository) thanks to the cloud technology. End-users have access to easy-to-locate files thanks to advanced searching feature based on full text indexing, offering unmatched flexibility.

Idea N°4: Obligation to secure, hold, and produce all pertinent data for litigation when directed.

Without archiving: There is no single instance storage, emails are not move off the server, and the business will clearly lack full retention capabilities (e.g. attachments, social media, and also Instant Messaging). Furthermore, the organization won’t be able to apply legal holds on public folders, which is a legal requirement, and there will be no access to the data in case of an unplanned downtime.

Cloud-powered Archiving: Organizations will have access to data encryption ensuring there won’t be any data leakage and preventing any data co-mingling between customers’ data. A Cloud-powered Archiving solution is compatible with many content types (eml, xml, pst, html, nsf, rcf822…) and platforms. In addition, full text indexing is an available feature and – this is specific to Sonian – organizations can rely on Amazon Web Services’ unmatched security and reliability.

Idea N°5: the requesting party is allowed to specify the form or format of data production.

Without archiving: The desired format can’t be chosen due to cluttered archives such as backup tapes. Basically, the organization facing the eDiscovery request won’t be able to match the opposite party’s request.

Cloud-powered Archiving: The files can be retrieve in their native format and conversion to other formats is also available, making sure that you can fill any request in a compliant and timely manner.

Idea N°6: Organizations don’t have anymore maneuvering room around producing “less accessible” data like IM, SMS, social media or electronic voicemails.

Without archiving: Retrieving the needed pieces (less accessible data) will be a highly time-consuming activity preventing the IT staff to focus on business-related issues driving revenue. Organizations will clearly be unable to retrieve those “less accessible” elements and won’t be compliant with eDiscovery, exposing them to major fines.

Cloud-powered Archiving: IM, SMS, social media, and (electronic) voicemails can be archived in the same repository used for emails. All the archived data is 24/7/365 available to administrators, end-users, and legal teams.

Summing up, a Cloud-powered Archiving solution is one – if not the best – of the best solutions to ensure that an organization can answer an eDiscovery request and face litigation with peace of mind, offloading a major IT headache to messaging experts. 

(Click here for the Part I and here for Part II of our "eDiscovery for Dummies" series)


Get to Know Sonian Part 5

  
  

Hosted email archiving podcastGreg Arnette, Sonian founder and CTO, recently did a PodCast interview with Cloud Computing expert, David Linthicum. David Linthicum is the CTO of Blue Mountain Labs, and an internationally known distributed computing and application integration expert.  
This is the fifth installment of David's interview with Greg. Listen in to learn even more about Sonian! This week, the focus is on pricing and the technical knowledge required from Sonian's customers before installing the service.  

David Linthicum:

What is your pricing model? What kind of companies can benefit from your services? Cloud you walk me through the economics?

Greg Arnette:

The service is appropriate in the first time to medium-sized enterprises. But, the power of the cloud allow Sonian to take advantage of horizontal scalability. It can offer its services to small, medium or large companies. 

There is no constraint by capacity. Sonian can handle the need of a 10,000 employees company as well as a 10 persons company and bring the same efficiency and scalability. 

The pricing model is very simple and much cheaper than an on-premise solution; it's priced per-employee per-month. The archiving service ranges from $3 to $5 per-user per-month depending upon different discounts available based on the size of the organization. 
The service includes unlimited storage, so there is no kind of hidden storage fee at the end of the contract. Basically, an organization just need to sign up and go! It makes it very simple, it is part of the new theme seen in the market place around frictionless IT.

Sonian archiving service allows companies and IT managers to focus on business-related issues adding value to their business and let companies like Sonian focus on things that need to be done but don't need to be seen as a critical thing that the IT department manages itself.
This is the perfect outsourcing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) deployment of using cloud computing, SaaS, web-based technology to solve this e-governance and information-governance pain point. 

David Linthicum:

How much technical knowledge does Sonian need from their clients before installing Sonian's archiving system? 

Greg Arnette:

Installing Sonian's archiving solution is a real quick and easy task to do. It requires almost the same basic knowledge as as to administer an Exchange server or any kind of email server technology.  
Sonian can lock down connections between customer's on-premise network and the slice of the cloud Sonian operates from. You basically turn on journally on the Exchange server. The customers can decide to have their information being pushed with secure SMTP with TLS or Sonian can fetched the data over a secure email protocol like IMAP or POP.

It really matches into the security and access designs that modern enterprises are employing these days, as they realize that, a lot of their workers are going to be leveraging company IT assets by working on remote devices. 

In essence, we can think about the cloud as kind of being purposed into a very specific solution set and it is not this sort of idea of the big wide open public cloud; it is just a mass of computer horsepower and storage technology that can be harnessed to solve this pain point. 

Customers can take advantage of Amazon import service. It allows customers to ship physical media and the data that can be encrypted on this media to a secure processing facility. With the Sonian workflow added on to that Amazon import service, that information on physical media can be uploaded into the cloud in matter of days
It is a really quick way to get terabytes and terabytes of legacy data from on-premise systems to the cloud, without having to worry about the capacity of a T1 line or the data center connection from the customer to the hosted service, thanks to high-speed data transitioning from on-premise to the cloud. 

Sonian also has a remote web service giving the customer the authorized access to a certain part of the internal network from the coud. 

That's it for this week. Part 6 is coming next week. You will have the opportunity to learn even more about Sonian and its Hosted Email Archiving Solution. 

Here are the links to the previous blog posts:
Part 1 - Sonian's technology / Issue solved
Part 2 - Typical customer 
Part 3 - Security in the cloud 
Part 4 - What customers need to prep for to be successful?
Part 6 - Sales/adoption process & future for Sonian's technology 

 

David Linthicum Cloud Computing ExpertHosted by Cloud Computing expert David Linthicum, this podcast is a no-hype look at the world of Cloud Computing, focusing on how to prepare the traditional enterprise to leverage resources outside of their firewalls. This podcast talks about what's new, what's working, and has expert guests, including Sonian CTO Greg Arnette, who will provide you with the advice you need to be successful in the clouds.

Podcast | Cloud Computing Provider Spotlight: Sonian

Email Archiving Models (Part III) - On-premise vs. Hosted vs. Cloud-Powered

  
  

(This is the part III of our 3 articles serie on Email Archiving Models - Click here for Part I and here for Part II)

On-premise Archiving


With the traditional on-premise model, archiving systems are completely located within a businesses’ data center, and the business maintains responsibility for the installation, configuration, and operation of the archiving system and underlying infrastructure.  The archiving software is installed on one or more servers (either as dedicated hosts or virtual machines), and archived data is stored on high-volume SAN or direct-attached storage.  With on-premise systems, customers experience fairly rapid migration of legacy data—attributable in large part to the physical proximity of the archive system to the legacy data store.

on-premise archivingHistorically, on-premise archiving software has been offered as a stand-alone system, but email vendors (such as Microsoft) have recently integrated basic archiving into their email server products.  Capacity management for on-premise archiving systems functions similarly to other on-premise systems (such as email), where businesses project their own storage and computing needs and procure infrastructure to accommodate needs periodically. 

The on-premise archiving model was the most popular model for early adopters of archiving solutions (particularly large financial services customers in the early 2000s).  Due to the cost and complexity of the systems, which require investments in hardware, software, and storage as well as ongoing operations and support, adoption of this model has been waning as of late.  Instead, resource-constrained businesses are turning to archiving services that are operated by third-parties. 

Hosted Archiving

In the hosted model, archiving systems are housed within an archiving vendor’s data center.  Unlike the on-premise model, customers are not required to install, configure, or maintain the archiving system or its underlying infrastructure—the vendors manage these activities on behalf of the customer.

Hosted archivingGiven that the archived data is hosted in the vendor’s data center, the customer only needs to be concerned with capacity management to the extent that it impacts pricing (as vendors’ fees can vary based on the amount of data in the archive).  Otherwise, hosted vendors shoulder the burden of capacity management.  Vendors benefit from economies of scale in procurement and operations given that they are serving hundreds or thousands of customers using one infrastructure (often a single data center).  In this model, customers focus on activities related to the archiving process and functionality, such as defining retention policies, searching for specific content, and exporting data for discovery

Many customers are attracted to the hosted model due the fact that it reduces IT complexity and offers cost savings relative to on-premise systems.  It is also perceived as a fairly low-risk evolution of the legacy model in that (unlike cloud-powered archiving, discussed below), the archiving system leverages traditional infrastructure technologies.  Unfortunately, this also comes at a price, as vendors struggle with many of the same issues related to capacity management, service availability, and large capital expenses that customers faced with their on-premise systems.

Cloud-Powered Archiving

Rather than operating their own infrastructure, cloud-powered archiving vendors build their applications to operate on top of cloud infrastructure from third parties, such as Amazon or Rackspace.  In this model, neither the customer nor the archiving vendor operates physical infrastructure directly.  The archiving vendor builds and maintains an archiving system (software layer) that is operated on top of cloud infrastructure. As with the hosted model, the customer focuses exclusively on the archiving process and functionality.

cloud-powered archiving

Of the three archiving models, the cloud-powered approach best capitalizes on the value that can be created through specialization, scale, and elasticity.  With this model, the infrastructure vendor, archiving service provider, and businesses are able to focus on their core competencies (operating data centers, developing archiving software, and facilitating business processes, respectively). Likewise, the cloud vendor procures and operates infrastructure at tremendous scale, enabling it to invest in world-class architecture while managing capacity and operations more efficiently than archiving vendors and their customers could achieve on their own.  This enables cloud-powered archiving vendors to offer the lowest prices in the marketFinally, cloud-optimized technologies such as ElasticSearch and Chef enable archiving vendors to maximize availability performance based on their customers’ real-time processing, bandwidth, and storage requirements.  

Some things are certain in IT...

Moving forward, growth in the volume of user-generated data will only accelerateThe number of restrictions placed on the management of that data will only increaseRequests (and demands) for data to support litigation, compliance, and business intelligence will continue to rise. IT leaders need to be prepared for the convergence of these trends that, if left unaddressed, will drain the productivity of their teams, increase storage expenses, and put the reputations and financial viability of their organizations at risk.

For most organizations, the only way to effectively address the data explosion is with a robust and effective archiving system.  Fortunately, customers have their choice of numerous vendors and at least three archiving models in the market today, and each offer unique benefits.  IT leaders should choose the archiving option that best suits their needs and budgets, and they should take action quickly—before an audit, discovery request, or regulatory inquiry arises that makes them wish they had.

(This is the part III of our 3 articles serie on Email Archiving Models - Click here for Part I and here for Part II) 


White Paper: Why Use Hosted Email Archiving

Why Use Hosted Email Archiving - Osterman Research White Paper

Download the Free White Paper: Why Use Cloud-Powered Hosted Email Archiving, In it, you will learn: Why you should archive your content, why hosted archiving makes sense, and the key issues to consider in selecting an email archiving vendor.

2 Major Reasons Why you Need Hosted Email Archiving

  
  

headache
In a great article from CIO.com we learn how more and more corporate functions, and communication, including voice and video, are happening online. This article outlines how much trouble monitoring employee-generated content is to IT staff in organizations from a time, productivity, and morale standpoint. The issue being that organizations are so active online and communicating through so many different platforms that monitoring all the information and making sure that no intellectual property or trade secret is shared or stolen is a major pain for IT staff. Organizations of all sizes need to monitor and archive employee-generated for two major reasons:

  • The first, as regulations over organizations increase, corporate monitoring of emails, IM, SMS and social media created content should increase too. Organizations doing business in industries such as healthcare, financial services, education and government are especially exposed to regulations regarding corporate data retention. These companies could face compliance issues and eDiscovery requests it case of a litigation, which could lead to significant fines or, in the worst case, the company to go bankrupt!

  • Secondly, the amount of time it takes for IT managers to monitor so much information across different platforms, is decreasing the IT staff productivity and ultimately impacting the time they can dedicate to solve business-related issues. Indeed, Michael Workman, an associate professor at the Florida Institute of Technology, estimates that 20% of an IT manager’s time is spent on monitoring responsibilities. Imagine how much more productive the IT staff could be if it didn’t have to take care of all those monitoring responsibilities and could focus on business-related issues driving revenue!

One easy to way to solve the headache efficiently is to outsource the growing archiving pain to Hosted Archiving providers like Sonian. A Hosted Email Archiving solution is an affordable answer to the ever-increasing time and costs associated with keeping up with a compliant archiving policy. Here are 10 benefits that a Hosted Email Archiving solution brings:

  1. Ability to set up a realistic email retention policy.
  2. Ability to duplicate and retrieve archived data (Email, SMS, IM, Social Media, Voicemail) in its native format, quickly.
  3. Low TCO: no hardware or software costs.
  4. Fully compliant service for a growing number of regulations (GLBA, FRCP, FERPA, SOX, SEC, FINRA…)
  5. Ability to put legal holds on archived data
  6. Unlimited storage space at no extra cost
  7. Highest security and encryption standards
  8. Seamless integration into existing system
  9. 24/7 accessibility from any web browser
  10. Compatibility with many email platforms: Microsoft Exchange, Kerio, Zimbra, Novell GroupWise, Lotus Notes, iMail, Rackspace, BlueTie…

Webinar: The Measurable Advantages of Hosted Email Archiving

cloud powered email archivingDownload the webinar to see how cloud powered archiving is changing the email archiving market.

Why You Need Hosted Archiving for Social Media, IM, and Texts

  
  

Social Media ArchivingBusinesses are increasingly using social media, instant messaging (IM) and mobile texting (SMS) to connect, communicate and engage with their customers  and employees in new and powerful ways. With the widespread adoption of these real-time communications tools, enterprises are realizing an array of benefits that are boosting their bottom lines, but not without challenges.

This increased use of new media in the workplace creates significant technology challenges for CIOs and IT administrators who are tasked with managing this exploding stream of text-based real-time communications.

Network managers are confronted with increasingly disparate and complex IT environments and an ever-growing list of data management requirements to ensure the capture, archival, retrieval and access of these communication logs.

It is important to know that IM, SMS, and Social Media are subject to the same industry and governmental regulations as email, so how do you bring compliance obligations within your reach easily and cost effectively?

Sonian is hosting a complementary webinar to discuss how hosted archiving solutions are helping companies achieve compliance and reduce the cost of e-discovery research and regulatory oversight.

 Sonian IM Archive™ is hosted, easy to deploy, requires zero maintenance, and automatically adapts to the evolving IM, SMS, and Social Media technology landscape.

A hosted archiving solution (like Sonian's) provides you with:

· Unlimited storage at no extra cost

· Lowest cost of ownership in the industry

· Highest security and encryption standards

· Support for Microsoft OCS and all major public networks including Skype

· Support for social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin

· Seamless integration into existing systems

· Multiple deployment options to fit your company’s infrastructure

· Intuitive and secure web-based management console and reporting

· Zero-interrupt archiving

To learn more, check out the webinar:
Social Media Archiving Webinar resized 600

Title:   Why You Need Hosted Archiving for Social Media, IM, and SMS
Date:
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Time:
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM EDT

Storage Manager, A.I. or Hosted Data Archive: Who Do You Trust?

  
  

Recently I read an entry on Informationweek titled, "The Value of a Storage Administrator," by George Crump. He wrote this article to express his own opinion on storage management amidst the deafening buzz around virtualization. Software and hardware providers are rolling out new features to make the storage management process simpler, but his problem with all these new options is that there will still have to be a key individual focusing on managing it all. According to George, the only way a business wouldn't need a storage manager would be with the existence of intelligent and automated storage. Now the idea of storage intelligence and automation sounds appealing, HAL 9000 A.I. Hosted Email Archivingbut in the end, until we move into the era of artificial intelligence and flying cars, pure storage automation isn't happening. That being the case, all storage options will absolutely need some sort of storage manager to do maintenance and troubleshooting.

However, there is another option that will significantly reduce IT burdens while you wait for the future to come around; outsourcing data management using a hosted cloud based service. Instead of wasting your own resources on a storage manager, when you outsource email management to hosted provider all the data management is taken care of by a third party. You may feel that this is a violation of privacy, but all these companies (like Sonian) do is migrate your information into the archive and store it for you. After that you, and others authorized at your company, are the only ones who can access that data. No longer would you face the threat of data overloading your infrastructure or using valuable IT resources to continually address and manage your storage needs. All you would need is a liaison to become accustomed to an archive service and all of a sudden you stop wasting time with email storage pains.

My personal (biased) opinion: I think a hosted archiving solution is a lot more productive than driving yourself mad trying to manage the endless amounts of data, waiting and hoping someone rolls out an AI to take over your job. Besides, we've all seen the sci-fi movies, we don't need HAL 9000 putting us out of work. 

What are the Benefits of a Cloud-Hosted Email Archiving Solution?

  
  

This is Part 3 in our Gary Green Interview series.  Part 1 details Mr. Green's thought process in deciding between an on-premise and a hosted archiving solution.  In Part 2, Gary Green explains how switching to hosted email archiving saved his IT department time and money.  Part 3 is entitled:

"What are the benefits of a cloud-hosted email archiving solution?"

 What is Hosted Email Archiving?
We sat down with Gary Green, the Vice President of Technology for the National Kidney Foundation, to talk about his experience with using a hosted email archiving service.  Below is an excerpt from the interview, or you can view the full Gary Green Interview on SaaS-based Email Archiving.

Sonian: What is your role at the National Kidney Foundation?

Gary GreenGary Green: My title is Vice President of Technology and I have responsibility over most things involving technology in the organization, which in a broad sense includes: web services, our web site, our data base, and - for lack of a better term - user services, such as our network, desktop, and support for our users.

Sonian: Have there been any benefits from the cloud since implementing Sonian's hosted archiving solution?

GG: Well, one benefit is that I haven't had to go to our CFO and ask him for a ton of money to buy servers and stuff. In this economy we've had a hard time getting approval to really spend money on anything, so this has been great that the fee is on a monthly basis; it has really helped our cash flow.  It has been nice not having to think about investing in the hardware, and maintaining that hardware, so that's been a real positive thing for us. We've actually thought of new ways we can use the cloud: Google apps comes up a lot, a lot of our younger users are really knowledgeable in using these apps.  They've used them before.  You know the cloud is a very interesting area.  Perhaps a year ago it wasn't as secure as it could be, but it certainly has come into its own now. It seems to be the buzzword on everyone's lips and in all the literature, and certainly this particular solution from Sonian works that way and works well.

Interview: Gary Green on SaaS-based Archiving

Gary Green InterviewListen to the full Gary Green Interview

You have just read an excerpt from Sonian's interview with Gary Green of the National Kidney Foundation.  Download the full video to hear all of Gary's answers.

 

Top 7 Reasons for Email Archiving

  
  
Email Archive Service Trends

IT managers have enough to deal with besides email overload. They are constantly estimating the amount of storage needed in proportion with how certain departments are growing. Throw in a handful of large attachments and IT managers have a real headache on their hands. Take a minute to read the top 7 reasons to switch to email archiving, and you just may be rescuing your IT department.

1) Storage: Email is the centerpiece of business collaboration, be it communication or document sharing. On top of that, email clients are now using calendars, to-do lists, and integrated address books. All of these capabilities are helpful to the individual, but it is often overlooked how they can tax an email server. With archiving, IT experts can make room for the on site server while preserving all the emails.

2) Compliance: Compliance regulations can be another matter that takes time, effort and a lot of patience from the IT department. It is a necessity to meet federal regulations and be able to produce data when called upon. This indexing and managing can dominate an IT professionals time especially when the data is called for in an investigation. From the Sarbanes Oxley Act to FINRA or SEC, there are more regulations that need to be met than an IT department can meet efficiently. With the implementation of email archiving, this stress is lifted off the IT professionals and handled completely by your hosted email archiving provider.

3) eDiscovery: The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure state that any organization subject to litigation must be able to locate, retrieve and respond to data requests in a timely fashion. When an organization is sending thousands of emails a day, and the data requested lies somewhere between a period of 6 and 12 months, you can imagine there is a lot to sift through. Make this process easier for your IT experts, with hosted email archiving your email and data is saved and indexed so that you can search for exactly what you need with a google-esque capability.

4) Disaster Recovery: In the event of an unfortunate disaster, that wipes out all your data, you can still rest easy with a hosted email archiving solution.  All of your archived data can be quickly and easily replicated and restored on your servers. Possible crises are a thing of the past.

5) Email Management: The automatic storing and indexing function of hosted email archiving not only saves space, but optimizes organization. It saves time by eliminating the need for employees to do it themselves, and retrieving old documents from the archive is so simple and fast; there is no need for frustration while digging through old inbox messages. This is helpful on a daily basis, and especially important in litigious matters.

6) Increase Productivity: For those employees who spend their time managing and organizing their messages, email folders, and attachments: implementing an email archiving solution can eliminate these hassles. Once email archiving is in place, employees can spend their time can be better allocated to company projects.

7) Reporting and Monitoring Email: Not only do IT departments benefit from email archiving, HR departments do too. With better monitoring tools and a more organized index, suspicious activity can be found and flagged much easier than if HR had to dig through a cluttered back up system.

With increased productivity, efficiency, organization, storage space and retrieval capability, why wait to explore hosted email archiving? Request a free demo today

White Paper: Why Use Cloud-Powered Archiving

Osterman Research White Paper: Why Use Hosted Email Archiving

Download the Free White Paper: Why Use Cloud-Powered Hosted Email Archiving, In it, you will find the answers to: Why you should archive your content? Why hosted archiving makes sense? and What are the key issues to consider in selecting a vendor?

"How Switching to Hosted Email Archiving Saved My IT Department..."

  
  

This is Part 2 in our Gary Green Interview series.  Part 1 details Mr. Green's thought process in deciding between an on-premise and a hosted archiving solution.  Part 2 is entitled:

"How Switching to Hosted Email Archiving Saved My IT Department Time and Money"

Email Archiving saves time and money

We sat down with Gary Green, the Vice President of Technology for the National Kidney Foundation, to talk about his experience with using a hosted email archiving service.  Below is an excerpt from the interview, or you can view the full Gary Green Interview on SaaS-based Email Archiving.

Sonian: What is your role at the National Kidney Foundation?

Gary GreenGary Green: My title is Vice President of Technology and I have responsibility over most things involving technology in the organization, which in a broad sense includes: web services, our web site, our data base, and - for lack of a better term - user services, such as our network, desktop, and support for our users.

Sonian: What are some projects you were able to focus on with the time you saved by switching to the Sonian hosted email archiving service? 

GG: We have 3 main individuals who are basically the first responders to speak in terms of user support. These are the three who deal with email issues, email archive issues - and their workload hasn't really changed, but they are able to work more on projects that are more productive for the company. One issue we have neglected is the issue of training and making people more productive with the tools that we have. We have just lately been able to start devoting time towards making videos so we can provide some self taught information and lessons. We can make web movies and we're hoping increasing the average user knowledge base will result in fewer questions that aren't the most useful or the most needy, like "how do I use my account?"  We believe, with a little help from us, people can figure this stuff out for themselves - and we think now we are in a position to be able to focus some time on doing that. We are still working with people and going over how to use the archives.   There is a bit of a learning curve but it certainly is once you get over that hump; it's a much better scenario than the situation we had before this.

Sonian: Were you worried you would have less work for your IT professionals once you shifted to the cloud?

GG: You know it never even came up. It's funny, I can see where some people can be concerned about that but what we were looking to do, not to repeat myself, was to get away from the nuts and bolts things that tie people up, like you come to work at 8:30 and all of a sudden its 3:30 and you haven't been able to really focus on the things your boss is bothering you about. I think that being able to find a solution that takes a lot of that away from us has given a lot to our staff and it has improved their moral. It's not like they are constantly reacting anymore, they can now be more proactive, but we never for a moment thought we would not have anything to do. We are barely scratching the surface of user training and it has been an area of interest for years, but never had the time to devote to it because we were always dealing with the back-log of three or four service requests for each of our staff.

Case Study: National Kidney Foundation

National Kidney Foundation Case StudyDownload the NKF Case Study:

"In 2007, The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) reorganized from an affiliate-based structure to a centralized organization. The shift has required the National Headquarters to assume most of the administrative responsibilities."

Download the case-study to learn how hosted email archiving helped.

Benefiting from Hosted Email Archiving

  
  

Social Media is evolving the way we communicate, but Email still remains as the communication cornerstone in organizations today.  To state the obvious, but since email is so widely used, there is a significant amount of data generated. The dilemma of what should be kept and what should be deleted poses problems for organizations from an IT and legal standpoint. For this reason email archiving is becoming more and more prevalent in organizations. Archiving possesses benefits for everything from legal compliance to disaster recovery. "Regulatory Compliance" and "Business Benefits" are two umbrella terms commonly referred to as the main drivers behind email archiving. 

Regulatory Compliance is the need for email archiving driven by a need to meet federal, state, industry, or eDiscovery requirements. Since email is so critical to a business, legislators and regulators have higher requirements that must be met. Such requirements address the issues of what emails need to be kept, and for how long said email must be retained. The only problem is: with this legislation comes ambiguity and confusion. Most legislation states "electronic business communications" must be retained, and since the economic collapse of major financial firms, regulators have been even tougher on their policies (likely because the SEC found that in investigations some pertinent emails were "lost," or deleted). To avoid further tampering, regulators have made it clear that intentional tampering of email or records could leave the individual criminally liable. Needless to say, this is enough incentive to implement an email archiving solution. The other major issue with regulatory compliance is the retention period, which can rage from anywhere from 3-7 years. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002 mandates a retention period of 5 years, meaning for 5 years emails must have a place in which to be stored and accounted for. In the event of an investigation, timely presentation of these records are crucial. The court's expectation of the records has drastically shortened, expecting emails to be provided in days. For IT departments this requires time and effort toward indexing and storing email so that they can be recalled in minutes. All these expectations require a suitable archiving solution so that all these compliance requirements be met.

On the flip side, 'business benefits' are advantages that an organization can gain from using email archiving like disaster recovery or data optimization. Email Archiving isn't something that has to be implemented forcefully due to strict regulations, it provides a range of benefits to organizations. Due to the importance of email, a system failure that causes the loss of emails is considered a disaster. In the event of such a disaster emails that are archived are safe and secure. In addition the ability to search for emails through an index provides swift eDiscovery and location of important email. And what if an individual accidentally deletes an important email? Archiving solutions provide the ability to locate and selectively restore that lost email, avoiding a potentially unpleasant situation. Finally, archiving solutions provides a more efficient and permanent way to archive messages without taking up valuable space on the actual email server.

On site archiving can be efficient for larger organizations or highly regulated industries, but they can be costly. Hosted archiving is a more cost efficient solution, providing data storage, eDiscovery, and compliance without the massive costs of hardware and servers. 

Toolkit: Email Archiving for SMBs

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