Legal requirements demand the client to retain and be able to retrieve, electronic communications for seven years. This led to severe storage capacity issues and reduced the effectiveness of email. As an organization dealing in investments, one of the most tightly regulated markets in terms of compliance and data retention, management of information is a high priority. A key area of concern was the safe, efficient storage of electronic communications, especially email. A legal obligation to keep all email (even return receipts) for seven years meant email management was a serious challenge for the IT department.
"We have some people with over 20,000 emails in their mailboxes," stated IT Services Manager of the client. This highlights the scale of the organizations' email storage problem. "Whilst internal policies on email management and retention had been put in place, they had met with little success and we frequently had to buy more disks just to cope with increasing mail volumes." The cost of storage for email alone was becoming unacceptably high. But as all emails have to be kept for compliance purposes, deletion was not an option and - due to regulations relating to retrieval of email - archival was rapidly becoming a business critical issue. IT staff were also spending considerable amounts of time retrieving 'lost' emails, because the high number of emails in each mailbox meant staff couldn't always find the information they needed. The standard email archiving and search functions were simply not advanced enough to deal with such large mailboxes and ran incredibly slowly as a result.
EmailXtender centralizes and automates the storage and retrieval of email, reducing management time and making it easier and faster to administer. Using EmailXtender IT management can set 'rules' that determine how, when and which email are archived automatically by the system.
As a result less email is kept in mailboxes on the mail server so storage costs and backup times are reduced. All incoming and outgoing email is captured and indexed enabling very fast retrieval and search functions.
After installation of EmailXtender server in one location as a pilot and tests were conducted on three mail boxes. They defined the policies on email archival and their retention strategies with a particular emphasis on corporate governance. This confirmed the amount of the email that could be archived off and showed that around 60 % of the client storage could be saved through this process alone.
One reason for such a huge savings was the way EmailXtender manages attachments and enables access to archived files. Attachments are a major drain on storage resource because Domino stores messages with attachments sent to multiple users, more than once. Therefore if an email with an attachment was sent to three people within the organization, three copies of the message and attachment were stored. EmailXtender stores the message and attachment once and provides a link to the single mail to each of the three people.
From the user's perspective, however, there is no difference in how quickly they can find and open either the email or the attachment. Additionally, the solution enables users to search across both emails and attachments, something that is not possible with Lotus Notes on its own, enabling faster retrieval of information.
The pilot proved a useful tool for the technical teams to recommend backup and archival Schedules. Every day all files that fall into that category are archived automatically reducing pressure on the servers without any input from IT.
Backup times which were around 12 hours have been significantly reduced as a result and the savings on storage have also been impressive. The amount of 'internal junk' email has also significantly reduced now staff are aware their email is monitored. However, crucially the client has now got an email system in place that ensures it can comply with any legal requests or queries in the future, protecting its reputation, its value and its staff.
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