“Email archiving” wouldn’t normally ring a bell for a small business owner. The general impression is that the regulatory requirement of keeping all company email records for a certain number of years, falls only on enterprises, and hence the inapplicability of email archiving software to smaller businesses.
This is not totally accurate, since there are certain categories of small businesses, which are affected. There are thousands of small companies in the financial sector, for example, that are affected by regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, SEC and National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD).
But the general indifference of SB owners towards email archiving does not come as a surprise, given the price points, which more than outweighed any benefits. It typically involved purchasing and implementing specialized software like MS Exchange, and setting up dedicated servers – running up costs from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
However, thanks to the cloud revolution, email archiving is another area that has moved to the cloud. Companies can now access email archiving tools over the internet for a reasonable monthly fee, without the need to host solutions in-house. Given this substantially reduced price point, small business owners would do well to consider the benefits. Specifically, the benefits are as follows:-
1) Safeguard Mission Critical Data. It is not an overstatement to say that information that is critical to any businesses – client communications, documents, records, contracts, invoices – flow through its email system. Often, this information is lost or locked away in individual inboxes, frustratingly inaccessible when needed the most, and hostage to a fickle email system or a disgruntled employee on his way out. Email archiving ensures that all this information is stored, backed-up and safeguarded centrally on an ongoing basis.
2) eDiscovery. Email archiving solutions have search and discovery tools built into them to ensure that companies have access to the specific information they need, when they need it.
3) Legal Concerns. Although a large majority of small businesses are not required by law to store and conserve their business email communications, they may find themselves in a messy litigation, and required to produce historical email records under a subpoena. At other times, the presence of historical email records may help the small businesses owner in building a case in litigation against, say, a defaulting partner.
4) HR Benefits. The HR department may find email archiving to be an invaluable tool at their disposal, and a protection against staff email misuse. Numerous situations can be thought of to exemplify this – an in house investigation, monitoring for workplace harassment, or arbitration of employee tribunal cases before going to court.
Given the above benefits, small businesses may want to give email archiving a long and hard thought.
At HyperOffice, we constantly look to bring more and more features and functionality into our messaging and collaboration suite, to ensure that our customers don’t have to shop around as their needs expand. After expanding our email/messaging capabilities with push email support for almost every major mobile platform a few months ago, email archiving was the logical next step. Email archiving is currently in beta, and we hope to make it widely available very soon.