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Whether you call it Software as a Service (SaaS), Managed Service Provider (MSP) or On-Demand Services, your organization uses the service running “in the cloud”. This blog will discuss these services, their benefits, drawbacks and operations. Are we biased? Yes. We believe that some services make sense for most organizations. Email security is one of those. However as Mark Twain said, “All generalizations are false, even this one.” Each Tuesday we will post information and questions about Software as a Service. Occasionally, we will have a "Guest Post" from either a consultant or vendor posting her/his thoughts on Managed Services generally as well as some degree of specificity based on her/his unique perspective. We encourage your insights, comments and feedback. Welcome.

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10 Things to Ask Your Email Archive Solution Provider


So, you realize you need to archive your email. You may have even gotten some quotes on the service you are considering. How do you choose among the prospective vendors? Here are 10 questions you should ask your prospective (or current) Email Archive provider:

  1. How much archive storage will we get?
    Email storage is always a question on an email server. However when email is archived, the storage question becomes a factor in that every piece of mail is stored until the records retention schedule clears it to be deleted. Be sure you understand the per Gb charge for archived mail, else you may be in for an unpleasant surprise in future years. – Our archive solutions offer unlimited storage included in the flat per user per month fee.
  2. How long can the email be retained in the archive and at what charge?
    Even without regulatory demands, some email messages may be required to be retained for years. When an e-discovery request comes in, you may be required to mark specific categories of messages to be exempt from the ordinary records retention policy. Until that Legal Hold is in place, those messages must be available for retrieval. – Our archive solutions offers unlimited email retention as part of the flat per user per month fee.
  3. Where is the archive storage?
    On-premise solutions hold the archive either on the same drive as the email store itself or on an appliance in the data center. One more box to capitalize, power, cool, manage, update and backup for as long as the data must remain in the archive. – Our hosted archive solutions store your archive in a data center with multi-layered security and offers an SLA on backups and up-time availability.
  4. How often is email uploaded to archive?
    Archive upload frequency is usually a function of an archive collector’s ability. This may be determined by the email system it self. Microsoft Exchange 2003, 2007 and 2010 each have different requirements on how their journaling archive collector functions. – With our hosted archive solutions, you can select the type of collector to match your email system as well as the frequency of email upload.
  5. How can we import our existing email?
    The better archive vendors have a system of either uploading your existing PST/NSF files directly or copying them to a USB drive and sending it to the archive repository. – Our system allows for both these types of email ingestion.
  6. What is the cost per user for the archive?
    The effective cost per user accounts for any per user charge plus each user’s portion of the storage being used. If there is a start-up charge, that must be taken effect as well. – Our email archive solution charges a flat fee per user per month. Depending on the amount and type of ingestion you need, there may be a nominal charge per Gb.
  7. What is the cost per Gb of storage?
    Some systems charge for any storage or for amounts of storage above some minimum. Without knowledge of your potential future exposure, you may be in for the same kind of ever-expanding storage cost you face on your email server itself. – Our email archive solutions offer unlimited storage included in the flat per user per month fee.
  8. What formats are available for export?
    Having messages in an archive do you no good if you can’t export them in a useful format. Common export formats are: PDF, PST, EML or native email formats. – Our hosted archive solutions offer all of these at no extra charge.
  9. Can we grant full or selective access to portions of the archive to an e-discovery team?
    Granular access to the archive gives an e-discovery team, internal HR personnel or department heads just the relevant messages they need to perform their tasks. Personal archive access gives users access to only their own messages. – Our solutions offer both compliance as well as personal archive solutions.
  10. Can users get access to their own archive for searches and retrieval?
    One of the benefits of an archive system is that users can go find an email they previously deleted. One less call to the IT team. – As long as your users have a personal archive option either in their email client or on-line they can restore their own deleted messages, search, send and retrieve messages directly from the archive.

Consider the answers to these questions well. Your precious data will be in their hands. To find out how the services we offer stack up to these question, email or call us at: 770-603-0300.


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