What to Look for in a Cloud Email Archiving Solution

September 24, 2018 by Jatheon

After 20 years, email archiving has become an established practice for both large and small organizations, but especially for those operating in strictly regulated sectors such as financial, education or healthcare. Organizations are often in doubt when choosing between on-premise and cloud email archiving solutions. If yours is more inclined towards cloud email archives, here’s a list of features you should prioritize when considering your future email archiving vendor.

1. Compatibility and Integration

Even small companies now understand that the simple archiving feature contained in their email client lacks the wide range and complexity of features offered by third-party email archiving solutions. That’s why every responsible organization that needs to prove compliance or wishes to ensure legal preparedness and business continuity must look further. While choosing the best cloud archive for your business, make sure the solution you opt for is compatible with your email platform and that the vendor can support various archiving scenarios, including Microsoft Exchange Server on-premise, Office 365, SMTP journaling, policy-based mailbox capture or processing of PST files.

2. User Interface

Remember that your admins, compliance officers and IT team won’t be the only people using the email archiving solution. End users will also have access to their personal mailbox archives and will be able to search and export email. An archiving software can be powerful and feature-rich, but what if it’s poorly designed and requires extensive training?

An email archiving software can be powerful and feature-rich, but what if it’s poorly designed and requires extensive training? #TheNewCloud #EmailArchiving2019 Click To Tweet

An average office worker handles 124 emails a day and, according to McKinsey Global Institute, spends 28% of the workweek reading and responding to email. An email archiving software that’s easy to master with a user interface that saves users’ time and reduces effort should be high on your list of priorities.

With third-generation software that has clear information architecture, your users will always know where things are located and won’t ever have to read or watch tutorials to find advanced or hidden options. Many email archiving providers haven’t redesigned their software in years and still have the outdated versions that were the norm in late 2000s. A modern user interface that’s optimized for users in 2019 needs to have an easily available search and well-executed data export. In summary, when choosing your provider, have in mind that everyday, non-IT users need to be able to understand and use the archive without having to bother IT.

3. Search

In email archiving, search is the option everyone uses most frequently. For this reason, it’s vital that your archive is both easy and quick to sift through. Large enterprises often have millions of emails housed in their archives, and to search such large numbers of emails, you need an archive that has a superfast search engine that can return precise results in a few seconds, even when the result set contains thousands of hits. Make sure your cloud archiver contains a functionality such as advanced search, which is designed for complex queries and pinpointing data in terabytes. Read more about advanced search here.

4. Ability to ingest legacy email

Only a small number of companies that are looking for an email archiver are doing if for the first time. A vast majority have already owned a solution and are now moving to a third-generation cloud archiving system that can guarantee cost-effectiveness and a better performance.

To maintain business continuity and stay in line with compliance regulations, your organization will need to migrate all the historical email data from the previous solution (on-premise or cloud) to the new archive. No matter if you’re moving from one archiving vendor to another, or simply changing solutions while remaining faithful to your old archiving company, data migration is a complex, delicate process and you’ll need all the support you can get. If you are an SMB that lacks an IT department, make sure your new archiving vendors can assist you with migration, and be extra careful with the costs as some companies charge extra for legacy data ingestion.

In email archiving, data migration is a complex, delicate process, especially for SMBs that lack a proper IT department. #TheNewCloud #EmailArchiving2019 Click To Tweet

5. An effective archiving process

There are several ways to archive emails and in order to select the solution that can meet all your needs, it’s vital to understand your company’s archiving needs. How robust do you need you infrastructure to be? Is it important to retain email attachments as well? Would you prefer their contents to be searchable? Is the archiving solution able to capture all incoming, outgoing and internal traffic? Before you make the decision to buy from a particular vendor, make sure you know what questions to ask.

6. Compliance and eDiscovery

While email archiving offers many benefits (knowledge management, information governance, server performance, disaster recovery), compliance and auditing needs remain the main drivers behind the adoption of email archiving solutions. Reasons range from keeping business data or personal client information secure, protected and recoverable to having evidence ready in case of an internal dispute or a lawsuit. Some solutions are more affordable, but others have a wider range of features. Can you sacrifice a feature for slightly lower costs? What features are important in order to prove compliance with regulations and have a safety net when faced with litigation?

Firstly, make sure that the solution is compliant with government and industry regulations relevant to your vertical (Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, FINRA, GLBA, GDPR etc.). To automate the email archiving process and ensure compliance, your solution should contain options such as permission levels, flexible retention policies and automatic email deletion after a policy expires. If you wish to retain some emails indefinitely, make sure your cloud email archive can keep data forever. For effortless electronic discovery and in order to minimize legal risk, an archiving solution needs full audit trail, legal hold and a speedy export that lets you deliver email records relevant to a legal process in time.

Jatheon is a global leader in email, social media and mobile communications archiving with 15 years of experience with regulated industries. This October, we’re launching a next-generation cloud archiving solution. To learn how Jatheon can help you choose and implement the right archiving solution for your business, contact us or schedule your personal demo.

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