Email Archiving: An Easy Way To Keep Things Straight
“That’s what I thought she said…”
“I think that what he meant to say was…”
“I could have sworn they changed the specs on that…”
These are the kinds of things you don’t need to be hearing from your team. When projects are on the line, an accurate record of communications must be maintained to be able to verify what was said and when. What did she say? What did he mean? Did they change the specs, and when?
From Memos to Meetings
When communication is being handled electronically, it becomes absolutely critical to keep a complete historical record of messages and attachments as they race along digital highways to their destinations. Emails and instant messages are becoming the go-to for business communications. A relatively short time ago, email and instant messengers were ways to get people to go meet someplace and discuss whatever topic was going to be discussed. It was sort of the equivalent of a carrier pigeon. These days they’re the medium for the discussion itself.
The preservation of data, however, goes beyond simply keeping emails to resolve what was said to whom and when, and it’s far more than simply a back-up. A back-up is like a warehouse where your data goes to be stored. It sits in a dark corner somewhere, gathering digital dust until that unthinkable day comes where you must rely on it to rebuild some aspect of your business, hopefully not your whole business itself. An archive is more like a museum where your data is kept pristine, curated to maintain accuracy and indexed for research and reuse. While a back-up can help you get back on your feet, an archive can help you move forward.
The record of activities generated by emails is constantly evolving. Email transfer agents and end user programs operate in such a way that every time a user send a message, the activity is documented through the accumulation of actions. This gets recorded as metadata in the header of the email and identifies exactly what was written, who wrote it, to whom it was written, and when. This metadata can be indexed and made completely searchable. This turns the questions you read at the beginning into:
“Here’s what she said…”
“Here’s what he meant…”
“Here are the new specs…”
Email archiving not only records history, it helps keep the future in focus.