Let’s start with the basics… What is an Email Archive?
An email archive, simply put, is a stored copy of an original message in a separate virtual reservoir called an archive.
This ensures that a permanent record of important documents and messages are retained and kept safe. In most cases, email archiving also includes retaining associated attachments, headers and routing information.
Watch Frankie’s Explanation
Hmmm… so, how do email archives get created?
An email archive can be created in three different ways:
- Journaling (the process of producing a copy of inbound and outbound email correspondence and putting the data into an archive server or location).
- Automated email processes (rules that move the message(s) out of the mailbox server and into an archive server or location).
- Manual submissions (a user saves important messages to the archive server or location for safe keeping).
Okay, but why are migrations of email archives sometimes necessary?
The simple answer is… Reliable accessibility!
In order to adequately protect your business, you must have a clear understanding of the risks and regulations linked to your industry, with regard to email communications. In today’s complex business environment, this means being certain that ALL of your electronic communications are protected, quickly accessible and abide by all necessary compliance laws and regulations.
Here are a few scenarios where an organization would have a critical need for a reliable and efficient email archiving solution:
- There is a problem with a current legacy email archive solution with out-dated functionality, performance issues, the product is EOL (End Of Life) or your company wants to end the current contract.
- During the inquiry of a human resources (or customer) complaint, it’s very common for an HR department to look back at the related email correspondence to get to the bottom of situations from long ago (What happened? When did it happen? Who said what, and to whom?).
- Periodically, management may want to review the terms of a past agreement, which was only agreed to electronically… or even prove that a specific agreement was reached.
- In the case of a potential infringement of intellectual property, copyright, or internal protocol/classified information, it will likely be necessary to locate emails quickly. This is essential in order to prove rightful ownership or a potential leak of confidential information.
- During the preliminary evaluation of a civil lawsuit, a search for relevant documents or messages is often required.
- Also within a lawsuit, certain information can be subpoenaed by the court and will need to be made available.
A high-quality email archiving solution can facilitate the research for and speed up the resolution of, all of these crucial managerial issues that occur in organizations of all sizes.
So, rather than get into the technical details about why an old email archive system can’t handle the job anymore, we decided to write this little parable…
Think of Your Email Archive as a Closet Full of Clothes
Imagine for a moment that all of your old emails are your clothes and your email archive server is a very small closet.
One day, you happily go out and buy a bunch of brand new outfits. Everyone likes to get new clothes from time to time, but when you get home from this particular shopping trip, you are mortified to see many years worth of your clothing crammed into your small closet… both on hangers and piled up to the ceiling.
You simply don’t have time to reorganize your closet right now, so you find a bit of space and squeeze your beautiful, new clothes in with the rest. You are well aware that all your clothes, old and new, will get wrinkled, but you shut the door and put it out of your mind… hoping the problem will go away on its own.
The next day you have an important early meeting. In a hurry, you open the closet doors and are horrified that you can’t find anything appropriate to wear. You’re going to end up late, wearing your old wrinkled jeans.
Archived emails are just like these clothes. They need to be kept organized and stored in a properly sized space and on appropriate hangers and shelves… uh, I mean on a modern platform that can support the demands of today’s legal and regulatory environment.
Sure, you can leave your email archive servers untouched while you keep cramming more and more emails into the fray… also to be damaged and gather dust. But, the day will come when legal or HR will pay you a panic-stricken visit in search of some obscure email from years ago… and they will need those emails NOW, or else!
Well, just like that cramped and messy closet, unless you’ve planned ahead and taken the time to repair and modernize your email archive infrastructure, you’ll find it almost impossible to locate anything they need.
Remember… The migration of an existing email archive to a larger, modern and searchable server, will always save the day. Don’t let your legal team end up wearing their old wrinkled jeans to court.