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Email Archiving Blog

Compliance, eDiscovery and Email Management

Top Factors to Consider When Evaluating Email Archiving Software

Choosing the right software is essential for meeting your organization’s email archiving needs. In order to avoid frustration, delays and legal hassles, it’s important to remember that cost is not the prime criteria to use when evaluating email archiving software. Instead, the functionality of the software is key. Searchability, ease of use, security, scalability and more all play major roles in how suitable an option is in any given situation. Here are some important points to keep in mind about each of the major aspects of the software:

Security

Security is essential whenever sensitive information may be involved, and the best email archiving solutions take this into account. Even emails that should be mundane can turn out to be far more sensitive than expected. Leaks often reveal that users were discussing matters of a surprising or scandalous nature, and this brings unexpected negative publicity to the organizations the users were working for. These leaks often come from insiders, but sometimes they come about due to successful hacking. This won’t be a problem with the best email archiving solutions.

In many organizations, some emails are known to be sensitive for more upstanding reasons. They may contain information related to contract negotiations, data that would be useful to identity thieves, and more. Such emails must be kept secure at all times.

The best email archiving solutions don’t leave you to find out which emails were sensitive the hard way. They ensure that everything stays secret unless you intentionally release the records.

Searchability

One of the most frustrating things for an organization is to get a FOIA request, work to fulfill it in a timely manner, and not be able to do so because the records are a mess. Then, the newspaper or other requester lampoons the agency for being intentionally uncooperative and paints the agency’s statements as lies. Who, after all, really “can’t find the records” in this day and age? It sounds ridiculous – but it is likely to be the truth if the best email archiving solutions are not used.

The best email archiving solutions make it easy to pull up the records relevant to almost any FOIA request, court-ordered fact-finding mission, or other such demand. It should be searchable under a variety of parameters, such as keywords, dates, sender, recipient and more. Then when a demand for records arrives, fulfilling the email portion of the requirement will be a simple matter of doing a search. This will make your agency seem properly efficient and cooperative while saving the organization hundreds of man-hours or more in labor.

User Friendliness

There should be no need for extensive training or consulting services to implement the best email archiving solutions. While it’s unlikely that an entire staff will be able to understand a new software just by looking at it, the need for training should be relatively minimal when compared with the alternatives.

User-friendliness factors to look for when evaluating email archiving solutions include the design of the user interface, or UI. It should have an uncluttered appearance that doesn’t confuse the user with loads of mystery icons, rows of text that all must be read in order to find out which link does what, and be free of other common flaws. It should also put buttons or links to the most commonly used tasks right on the main page so they can be accessed with just one click. Finally, the best email archiving solutions look modern enough to inspire confidence.

Easy Redaction Options

Many emails must have sensitive information, such as physical addresses, removed from them before they are released for FOIA requests or other information demands. This removal, known as redaction, can be a time-consuming process if done by obsolete methods. However, best-in-class email archiving solutions make it easy to take care of this requirement in a timely way. It is especially important for municipalities to consider this aspect when evaluating email archiving solutions.

Automation Capabilities

Many organizations and businesses are required to save emails for a set period of time. The best email archiving solutions make it easy to set up the desired parameters and automatically save all emails that fit the criteria you have set.

Multiple Options for Saving Archived Emails

The cloud has become a popular destination for saved files, and it’s a possibility you should insist on when evaluating email archiving solutions. This, however, shouldn’t be the only option available. The best solutions also allow for saving to your own backup appliance, whether that appliance is a virtual environment like VMware or a hardware backup solution such as a server or hard drive.

Compatibility with Email Servers

There should be no need to invest in special email servers when implementing a new archiving system. First-rate email archiving solutions work with all of the most popular servers so they can be installed without the need for a major migration, new equipment, etc. This doesn’t just lower costs. It also helps your organization avoid data loss caused by migration problems.

Some of the most popular email server options that work with the best email archiving solutions include Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, Gmail, Lotus Domino/Notes (8.5 and newer), Novell GroupWise, Sendmail and more. Good archiving software will work with all of these to streamline the process of keeping – and keeping track of – emails.

Excellent Customer Support

In order to deliver to their fullest potential, the most effective email archiving solutions must be backed by great customer support. This makes it possible for customers to get quick solutions to problems that come up, obtain effective answers to questions, and get help in handling any other issues related to the software. For this reason, industry leaders in email archiving offer multiple ways to get fast, competent service. It should be possible to call the company, email it, and to open support tickets through a standardized help system. These methods are now standard in the software business, but surprisingly, some companies don’t have them available.

Customer support isn’t just about helping to fix problems and answer questions. Top companies also offer like add-ons that make their software even more useful. These add-ons will be available through the customer support portal, so finding them will be a breeze for those who have already signed up.

Total Cost of Ownership

Most organizations have limited budgets, so the best email archiving solutions must have a low total cost of ownership compared to the competition. These solutions may not seem to be the cheapest at first, but will have a lower cost over their lifespans than the alternatives.

These are the most important criteria to look at when evaluating email archiving solutions. To learn more, and to see where Intradyn’s products fit into the picture, just contact us. We’ll be happy to set up a demo and answer all of your questions.

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