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"MessageLabs hosted Email Archiving Service provides mail management,
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Microsoft Exchange server. "
Source : MessageLabs | Now part of Symantec
E-mail Archiving: A Business-critical Application
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Small and medium businesses are especially vulnerable to the disruption of business and productivity through
email loss, compliance demands, and the threat of e-discovery. Yet these same companies may have the fewest resources
for combating these risks on their own. This paper details how businesses can benefit from email archiving, and in
particular a hosted email archiving service, to combat potentially damaging data losses and to realize greater
productivity and competitiveness through this business-critical application.
When the first email messages were exchanged at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965, few could have
realized the importance of such a simple communications tool in the day-to-day operations of modern businesses. Recent
reports by industry analyst IDC, the VeriSign domain registry, and CNN peg daily email volume at nearly 50 to 62 billion
messages a day. Another report issued by Osterman Research estimates that between 2008 and 2012 email volume will increase
yet another 68 percent.1 Throughout the world, email has surpassed the telephone in business usage each day, and email
certainly carries more substantive data in the form of vital document attachments and written confirmation of critical
business information. If you believe your business is overwhelmed with email, you are not alone. Nonetheless, it is an
efficient platform for conducting business activities. Reliance on email for conducting everyday business is now an
unavoidable necessity. Along with this increasing reliance on email come significant risks and challenges such as securing,
retaining and enforcing proper use of electronic communication.
Email archiving helps to address these challenges and also offers additional benefits-greater productivity and a
Email as Business Asset
Businesses can no longer deny that email regularly contains information vital to the operation and success of their
companies. According to a 2008 report by the Enterprise Strategy Group, fully 75 percent of company intellectual property
is contained in email data. Therefore, loss of key messages and data can be significant. For example, the cost to businesses
for the loss of this data averages over $3,500 per incident. The retrieval cost alone for this data may be as high as
$550 per incident.
These data losses come from many sources: hardware and software failures, poor backup procedures, accidental deletions,
corrupted files, and even malicious destruction of email files and attachments by outsiders or disgruntled employees.
Since the way in which message files may go missing is not entirely predictable, companies must insure that their email
data is protected on a number of fronts.
Complicating matters is the increased mobility of email data. More and more employees are regularly using email over
handheld devices and laptop computers. These devices may be far less secure than network-based PCs, and are certainly more
vulnerable to accidental loss or catastrophic failures. For these reasons, fully protecting and administering email for
mobile workers is nearly 50 percent more costly than for other network-connected employees and executives.
Because vital company assets and intellectual property are increasingly contained in email, message and attachment
archiving is now an essential application for business survival. While these are reasons enough for implementing thorough
and extensive email archiving, legal and regulatory requirements may require by law that email be retrievable for a lengthy
period of time.
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) mandate the handling of e-discovery of
pertinent email messages and attachments in legal proceedings. Once a motion of discovery is filed, the clock begins
ticking. Companies must turn over all
electronic source information (ESI) by the filing deadline or face stiff fines and penalties.
No business is exempt from these requirements. Morgan Stanley was assessed millions in fines for improperly handling ESI
requests. The City of Dallas paid $1.5 million for failure to turn over pertinent email documents. As 67 percent of all
businesses, large and small, are involved in law suits at some time, the likelihood of facing e-discovery of email
correspondence is relatively high. Companies are not only required to turn over the email, but also supply full ESI by
deadline. In one recent case, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight was held in contempt for failure to
meet the deadline for turning over email named in an e-discovery filing, mainly because the agency did not have the
time to properly search archives stored offsite on backup tapes. 5 In addition, companies must retrieve all email and
attachments for e-discovery in their original format. All of these criteria may be difficult to meet for companies with
inadequate email archiving solutions.
Companies involved in healthcare, financial institutions, and in public disclosure of assets and liabilities
fall under federal and international regulation. The Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act (HIPAA),
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), and
Sarbanes- Oxley (SOX) are but a few of the laws that mandate the retention, security,
and archiving of email and email attachments.
Depending on the industry, businesses may be governed by multiple regulations, further complicating the archiving
and security of its email correspondence.
Email Archives: a Competitive Edge
Email is also an intangible asset or liability to business. A quick email reply with the right information to a
customer can make the difference between winning or losing a sale. Contracts or transactions lost in the system cost
money and damage a company's reputation. Employees who cannot find files or important correspondence aren't productive
or become needlessly frustrated. Yet easy access to the right email gets the job done more efficiently and effectively.
Lost email is a common occurrence, with companies struggling each day to restore key messages, attached files,
and entire correspondence threads. Hours are spent performing restores and searching for the right email messages.
Whether the email is accidently or intentionally deleted, without a true archive many messages and attachments may
never be recovered. Company time, money, and reputations are all on the line.
Only comprehensive email archiving preserves company assets and increases legal and regulatory protection. Having
the ability to quickly and easily retrieve email records in their original format is essential for any business. It
also gives companies a competitive edge in customer satisfaction and employee effectiveness.
Email Archiving: Protect Your Own?
The first hurdles in email protection that companies must face are exactly what should they protect and for how long.
The safest answer is to protect everything, and to protect it indefinitely, but unless storage and administration costs
are no object, companies cannot possibly afford to save all their email forever. Companies must therefore develop a strategy,
or retention policy, for protecting email and mandating how long that email must be saved. Additionally, the email should
be saved off-site to further guarantee its availability in case of disaster. Most companies that perform their own archiving
will backup the email files to tape or other backup media.
But archiving email to backup tapes may be the easiest part of the email protection dilemma. Retrieving that
essential but lost proposal, spreadsheet, or email exchange can be the most challenging task.
Tape Backup and Restore of Archives
The first reaction for many businesses is to immediately turn to the data backup systems to solve the problem of
missing messages and attachments. Restoring lost email from tape is neither foolproof nor easy, however. First, the
right backup email repository, the Personal Information Store (PST), must be located, restored to disk, and then loaded
onto, ideally, a non-production copy of the mail server. Only then can the searches for missing email begin, but message
exchanges may be too difficult to track down, or they may span multiple PST archives, necessitating additional restores
and searches across many PST files. The files may be corrupted. Or, as many companies discover, backups may not have taken
place regularly, leaving some crucial email archives missing entirely.
"Organizations should consider using [e-mail archiving] service providers to help them quickly
implement interim or permanent solutions without heavy upfront investments in technology or internal expertise.
Consider using a service provider for not just archiving, but also for email continuity, virus protection and spam
Outsourcing E-Mail Archiving: 2Q09 Update, Adam W. Couture, Gartner
Email Archiving Software
Companies not satisfied with the simple backup method of message retrieval often move to deploying their own commercial
software solutions for email retention and archiving. There are many software solutions for the archiving and retrieval of
messages, with a wide range of prices and capabilities; however, companies deploying email archiving software in-house
discover that this process is loaded with hidden costs. Smaller companies with fewer IT resources are especially affected.
To adequately install, run, and maintain a robust archiving solution, companies must either train or hire email
administrators or email archiving consultants. Such mid-level administrator salaries average $83,000 per year,
according to the 2008 Computerworld IT salary survey, while email consultant specialists may run as high as $300 per hour.
Therefore, companies that adopt this strategy must keep all costs in mind. A Forrester study released in June, 2009 estimates
fully-loaded email archiving costs as $8.89 per person, per month, with staffing of that email system adding an
additional $7.99 per user, per month. These estimates do not include off-site protection of the email either.
In-house archiving of email also requires additional disk storage, and depending on the software deployed, may require
an archiving server or servers. This, in turn, puts an additional strain on existing network administrators and system
backup operations. Also, archiving all the important email on-site assumes that the facility will never fall victim to
fire, flood, or other catastrophe, so off-site backup copies must also be made.
If companies-particularly small and medium sized businesses-perform a complete cost analysis of performing in-house
email archiving and retrieval, they will quickly discover that the price of the software is only a fraction of the
on-going cost. The following list summarizes some of these hidden costs:
- Archiving consulting (research and/or analysis of what to archive, and when)
- Administrator time (salary, benefits, training)
- Additional hardware (server, disk, network resources)
- Off-site protection (storage media, bandwidth, co-location costs)
- Maintenance fees
In addition, companies contemplating in-house archiving should ask themselves these questions:
- Do we have the expertise to formulate and execute retention policies that satisfy our users yet comply with
- Can we make sure email retrieval is easy for our employees, making them more productive?
- Are we certain we will be able to retrieve what we need, when we need it?
- What is the total, real cost of this archiving system?
For these reasons, many businesses calculate that outsourcing their email archiving is the most cost-effective and
comprehensive means to implement this essential business application.
MessageLabs Service Solution
MessageLabs, now part of Symantec, provides an email archiving service specifically tailored to small and medium sized
businesses. MessageLabs Email Archiving is quick to set up, requires no dedicated IT personnel at the company site,
and offers secure, highly available retrieval of any incoming or outgoing email and provides a money-back remedy if
service availability of 99.9% is not met. As a service, MessageLabs Email Archiving is a fixed-cost expenditure with
no hidden fees or surprises.
MessageLabs Email Archiving provides the following features to its customers:
- Safe, secure archiving of email and attachments
- Easy search and retrieval of email from within Outlook or with a Web-based utility
- Single-instance storage and stubbing for email and attachments which helps to reduce
Exchange data stores by as much as 80%
- Flexible and customizable supervision and review features that allow compliance staff to monitor, review, and comment on email communications
- Hosted infrastructure that allows new users and mailboxes to be added easily
- Avoids archiving viruses and spam when used with MessageLabs email Anti-Spam and Email Anti-Virus services
With efficient email archiving, employees with proper authorization can work more productively to respond to an
inquiry, easily retrieving messages and attachments without the time-consuming intervention of IT specialists or staff.
In addition, employees and regular IT staff do not need to perform archiving tasks or make decisions about retention
policies or the size of mailboxes. As old email is archived, stub files are left behind as markers, not only does this
make retrieval from MessageLabs servers seamless for end users but also frees up valuable storage space on company servers.
Employees can now respond to customers and clients more quickly and thoroughly. In short, employees have more corporate
data to draw on when working on projects as they have a virtually unlimited mailbox capacity.
With MessageLabs Email Archiving service, companies save IT staff and employee time, storage, hardware, and
software investments, while it also facilitates regulatory compliance measures. All of this cuts costs while
improving employee productivity and customer satisfaction.
With a service-based solution such as MessageLabs Email Archiving there is no guess-work involved in selecting
messages and files for protection. Employees and management are assured that their correspondence is safe and easily
retrieved. Because MessageLabs archiving servers are redundant, corporate email is available regardless of failure to
any one system. Expert technical support and assistance is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.
Email and email archives are corporate assets. If a company loses its email, it also loses its competitive edge and
intellectual capital. Not just data is at risk, but the entire manner in which a company and its employees do business
is in jeopardy as well.
Small and medium businesses are especially vulnerable to the disruption of business and productivity through email
loss, compliance demands, and the threat of e-discovery. Yet these same companies may have the fewest resources for
combating these risks on their own. As a response, companies may try to deal with the situation as best as they can
by deploying in-house archiving solutions. In the end, many of these companies find they are actually paying more
when using these solutions and still not truly protecting their email assets.
MessageLabs Email Archiving service is a cost-effective way for small and medium sized businesses to gain
enterprise-level protection and retrieval of their email data, and for companies to maintain their competitive edge.
Quick set up and implementation, secure storage, and 24X7X365 expert customer service are just a few of the benefits
associated with the service. To learn more please visit www.messagelabs.com/products/archiving.
- Osterman Research, "Messaging Archiving & Document Management Market Trends, 2008-2011," 2007.
- Enterprise Strategy Group, "E-mail Archiving in the SMB," 2008.
- Pepperdine University, "The Cost of Data Loss," 2003.
- Forrester, "Calculating the Fully Loaded Costs of Corporate Email," 2009.
- InsideCounsel, "Court Holds Agency in Contempt for Missing E-Discovery Deadlines," 2009.
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