Email an important part of business operation
Over the past few years, Email has become an integral part of the business workflow. It has also become one of, if not the most important communication and business tool in use by organizations worldwide. The growth of Email use has not only created security and storage issues but more and more organizations are finding themselves obliged to maintain records of all Emails for a number of years. Email archiving has proved to be the way forward for businesses. But why is Email archiving so important for organizations?
Why Email Is An Important Tool
Email has become a primary channel of business communication. It provides organizations with a fast medium of conveying business correspondence such as purchase orders, quotations and sales transactions, in virtually any geographical area with the least physical effort possible. Research has found that 46% of Email users spend more than two hours each day doing something in their mailbox while as much as 75% of a company’s intellectual property is contained within Email and messaging systems.
Since Emails have become the electronic substitutes of legal business documentation, the information being passed on through this electronic correspondence constitutes a record. Consequently, such correspondence must be retained for a minimum period of time, often established by statutes. Due to Email predominance in the business industry, various pieces of legislations have been enacted to protect personal privacy, enforce corporate governance standards and maintain ethical conduct.
How Does Email Archiving work?
An Email archive is a repository generally kept in a non-productive environment to provide secure preservation of Email for compliance and operational purposes. A ‘true’ Email archiving system automatically extracts message contents and attachments from incoming/outgoing Emails and after indexing, it stores them in read-only format. This ensures that archived records are maintained in their original state.
Email archiving moderates the demand for storage space by reducing the amount of online Emails on the mail server. Moreover Email archives consume less physical storage space than other email storage methods.
The active approach adopted by email archiving solutions ensures that the company has a centralized and accessible copy of all its Email. This provides additional protection against accidental or intentional deletion of Emails by end-users. Email archiving also eliminates the need to search for personal archives on each and every local machine whenever litigation support is requested.
It must be noted that ‘backup’ and ‘archival’ storage serve two different purposes.
Backups are intended to save current data against the event of failure or disaster whilst archives protect data so that it can be accessed when needed. The cost of finding the electronic records for a discovery process can be astronomical, requiring months of IT manpower to wade through backup tapes.
Email archiving systems provide advanced search and retrieval functions. These allow users to track down Email messages in a timely and cost effective manner. Without an effective Email archiving system, finding an Email record is worse than trying to find a needle in a haystack. Email archiving solutions allow administrators to setup access restrictions. These restrictions secure and protect intellectual property rights as well as ensure data integrity and confidentiality in compliance to the statutes.
Why do Business uses Email Archiving?
The new regulatory environment is one of the major drivers behind the increase in demand for Email archiving solutions. It is estimated that over 10,000 compliance regulations have been enacted around the world. More stringent controls and severe penalties are forcing organizations to address regulatory compliance more seriously.
Nearly all companies in the course of regular business activities become implicated in lawsuits. Litigation discovery is the process in which parties involves in lawsuit are requested by the court of law to submit information which i relevant to case. The company which receives the discovery request is obliged to search its records and to submit all relevant/requested information in a timely manner. The cost of producing the information for litigation can be colossal and can often outweigh the damages sought in the suit
It is estimated that, one in every four organizations experiences a storage management growth in excess of 25% per year. This drastic escalation in storage requirements is mainly attributed to the increase in use of Email in general, added to the upsurge of attachments, which increased the size of the average email from 22 KB to 350 KB. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 50% of organizations are providing more than 150 MB of storage per user. Organizations often make use of Email storage quotas to prevent message stores from growing and degrading server performance. The downside of quotas is the effect they have on end-user productivity. Apart from stopping users from using their Email whenever their storage allowance is exceeded, quotas can have more serious implications. For instance, quotas and subsequent blockages might drive users to delete important messages from their mailbox in order to make room for new Email. The increase in Email usage as well as the relative growth in Email size has also affected the efficiency, reliability and speed of message servers.
An organization’s Email system is a corporate knowledge repository. It can contain vast quantities of useful Email information which is often vital to a business and allowing access to this corporate asset can make users more productive. An Email archiving system can provide appropriate knowledge management tools (for example, Email records sorting, advanced search and retrieval functions) that enable IT and end-users to better manage the knowledge base contained in the company’s Email archive.
Email Protocols are communication channels to transfer information.
Email protocol is about a standard method used at each end of a communication channel, in order to properly transmit information. In order to deal with your email you must use a mail client to access a mail server. The mail client and mail server can exchange information with each other using a variety of protocols.
- POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3)
- IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)
- MAPI (Messaging Application Programming Interface)
POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3)
Email is transferred down to the PC first before you can read it. POP3 is a slim protocol, so the speed is good. However if the network connection is bad, then it will have repeated Email because if a mail is big, the transfer may be interrupted. But Outlook already have some info in local PC. The information is not updated to the server. Next check mail, it transfer again the same mail. Hence it is duplicated.
IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)
Email is NOT transferred using this protocol. Only the Email listing/header is given to you. When you want to read an Email, you click on it, and then only the Email is transferred down. This mean the network speed has to be good. If you are not online, then you can’t see your mail content, only the header (from, to, subject, date). Some email software like Outlook will try to cache everything at first run. That’s why when you implement IMAP, the speed is slow at the beginning because when user first switched over, and they have to download the entire mailbox
MAPI (Messaging Application Programming Interface)
Originally develop by Microsoft it sync via HTTP/HTTPS. It is actually IMAP style. However it is fast because it has no additional protocol complication like IMAP. MAPI also sync down Calendar and Contacts.
Sending and receiving Emails using a web browser is referred to as using webmail. Using Web Mail is ideal when traveling or using another person’s computer or an outside computer.
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