So Much Technology, but what does it really Do?
by Jeff Laubhan – Waterford Technologies
More or less apps; what’s better? I started this train of thought a few weeks ago, when a friend of mine showed me how the new iPhone OS implemented a new built-in flash-light, so I didn’t need my 3rd party flash-light app any more. Duh…so much technology that I wasn’t even aware of! Did I read the latest and greatest “what’s new” with the new OS? No. Do most people? I have no idea. Honestly, it made perfect sense to build it in, but I wasn’t searching for it.
Email Analysis At Your Fingertips
Carry this over to the technology business we are in, and I started to see similar patterns when it came to email analysis and archiving. I have an account that owns our FileArchiver solution, to offload data to lower tier storage, and upon looking at the top file types I noticed something interesting – “.PST” files were taking up 186 GB of his 1 TB drive. This was only taking up 18% of his server space, but that’s still a sizeable amount of data. I called John, our point of contact for the account and asked “Hey, why do you have so many PST files out there? That must suck to back them up every night.” He confirmed what I’ve heard for years: users forget to close them and they can’t be backed up, they get corrupted, all the normal stuff. I joked that we have an archiving solution that could help him eliminate those pesky PST files. John’s response floored me. “Oh! We already have an email archiving solution that we’ve owned for probably 10 years now.” He said his company had bought it for compliance long before he had begun working for them. I had to refrain myself from exclaiming incredulously, “THEN WHY AREN’T YOU USING IT??!”
I started to talk to a few more clients and found similar patterns:
One account has used our technology for 7 years to support eDiscovery requests and when I asked about PST files he said, “Yea, we have about 5 TB of PST files sitting on a cheap storage server where users know they can go, to find old stuff.” I attempted to reason with him, “You have a copy of every email in the MailMeter archive; you could eliminate PST files if you wanted.” According to this account contact, their end users “liked” it set up this way and their IT department would “deal with the backup problems and file corruption as they came up.”
So, let’s flip the coin around and spin it a few times. I was talking to a client that loves utilizing the stubbing of files in emails. He saved a ton of space just by shortcutting files to cheaper storage to free up the Exchange server. We were discussing what’s hot on his plate these days. Being in a law firm, they are always getting subpoenaed to find information and it usually entails email in some way. I mentioned to him that we have full on email discovery capability to do things, like keyword searching across emails, to quickly find what you need. Not surprisingly, he was unaware of this solution that we offer to companies.
Visibility Is The Key!
In our business, we realized from the very beginning, that archiving is all fine and dandy, but insight into what’s going on via email or file server activity is what takes the cake. As one client said, “You never know what’s going out the back door.” Honestly though, very few accounts are taking advantage of this visibility because they aren’t aware of what they can ask for. One client told me the other day that they suspect that an employee was leaking information to a competitor, but isn’t sure who or how. I suggested they glance at the users email activity and focus on things like large files (they are an architecture firm) or domain communication, to see if anything stood out as suspicious, like a competitor’s domain or even recruiters poaching information. I gave him a tour of our Insight email reporting component. After dropping a comical variation of animated four letter words, he exclaimed, “I had no idea that Tim was so successful with the football pool and sends around a LOT of emails relating to said subject. Sally’s vacation pictures are taking up a ton of space, and WHY do people keep forwarding them on over and OVER again?! Are you serious?! I never knew I could even ask for this, it’s like web internet monitoring 15 years ago!”
Our fastest growing client base is our FileArchiver solution. I had one account that started with a simple stubbing/short-cutting policy of all files older than 3 years, but wanted to reclaim more space. I suggested that they go granular, enabling them to whip that server into shape. By peeking at the top file types, he realized that if he just focused on the PDF’s in certain folders (that weren’t used that much anyway), he could get back tons of space on his server.
Regardless of the technology, our business is no different than yours. We all own a lot of technology that we probably aren’t even aware is there, or even exists. It’s amazing what a little education can do. I learn something new in my spreadsheet software every day.
See what you can learn on www.waterfordtechnologies.com/email-archiving/mailmeter-overview/