Erie 1 BOCES

Overall, Erie 1 BOCES is happy with MailMeter and will continue to recommend the solution to schools. As Dave said, “ it was our best solution for the price, simple yet affordable.”

Erie 1 BOCES Education Service Center standardizes on MailMeter for Email Archiving.

Background:

Erie 1 BOCES serves 67,871 students in 19 districts surrounding the city of Buffalo, New York. Erie 1 BOCES has a strong commitment to its constituents – students, staff and communities so they have to always be progressive and make new technology available to address and resolve current problems along with putting into place proper preparations for any future needs.

In 2008, Erie 1 received increasing requests from the schools they supported for help in finding email to support internal HR and external legal requests. With email becoming critical pieces of evidence, they realized that the requests would only grow and increase over time, especially with the amount of public records requests/FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) increasing. Back-ups were only snapshots and captured point in time data, potentially leaving holes for important email to be lost. Plus, trying to search for key words across a back-up tape is very challenging.

Because they worked with Lotus Notes Domino and Microsoft Exchange, finding a suitable email archiving vendor seemed to be a challenge. They reviewed around 10 vendors in their search for a solution. Waterford Technologies MailMeter was very affordable. Due to Waterford Technologies aggressive Education pricing and commitment to the sector, MailMeter was an easy decision.

Solution:

Dave Kajdasz, responsible for messaging in the technology service group for Erie 1 BOCES, deployed MailMeter to work against their internal Lotus Notes Domino installation that was used by the BOCES employees. They wanted to deploy internally first in order to get comfortable with recommending it to the schools. The installation was done in less than a day and there was no need for any consulting on-site services. The entire process was done remotely, which was another reason why they selected Waterford Technologies MailMeter.

After running MailMeter for a while, they realized that the solution really was as simple and easy as it was represented to be – no hidden gotcha’s. There might not be some of the bells and whistles that other vendors touted but MailMeter has 99% of the features of other larger vendors as such an attractive price point for a quality solution.

They initially were concerned about supporting internal and external legal requests for email but soon realized that with the ISR (Individual Search) feature offered, they could leverage one archive for both purposes. Because MailMeter captures data real-time and can pull in historical data from Domino NSF files, they felt secure knowing that they had a copy of an email. They decided to implement a new rule to keep the servers small and only keep 18 months on the mail server. After that time they implemented a rule to automatically delete email. With the browser based ISR interface, users can easily find their old email and forward a copy back to them. In Dave’s words, it has a “Google search type functionality.” The same functionality also exists for Microsoft Exchange environments allowing real-time capture, import from the Exchange server, and the ability to import individual PST archive files into the central MailMeter Archive repository. A web individual search and Outlook plug-in allows users to easily search and locate older email.

Over the last few years, Erie 1 BOCES Western New York Regional Information Center has rolled out MailMeter to around 40 different schools, mostly on the Domino platform but a select number (8) are running Exchange. The largest school is over 6,000 mailboxes proving that MailMeter definitely scales to larger installations. Currently Erie 1 BOCES manages 18,584 mailboxes.

Results:

By using MailMeter, Erie 1 BOCES can be confident that the schools they support can quickly find data in the event of any legal request or reason. About half of the requests (50%) are for internal HR issues with a quarter (25%) of those requests coming from external FOIA or public records requests. Not all of the schools have had an incidence for them to even use MailMeter but they are glad that they have the technology in place so if they do encounter an issue or request, they can quickly find the relevant email and respond in a timely manner.

Using the ISR individual search feature has allowed BOCES and the schools to keep smaller email stores, improve performance, keep back-up windows small, and allow users to quickly locate email past the aging period or discover email that they accidently deleted. Because of MailMeter’s efficient architecture and built-in de-duplication process, BOCES experiences about a 50% reduction in the size of the Archive vs. the size of email servers. Data in the archive is static and mostly unchanged allowing for their back-up windows to shrink significantly against the overall data set.

Overall, Erie 1 BOCES is happy with MailMeter and will continue to recommend the solution to schools. As Dave said, “ it was our best solution for the price, simple yet affordable.”
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