Warning: Your Emails & IM's Will Be Recorded

by Hinesh Jethwani    May 18, 2004

Sending resumes and daily grapevine scuttlebutts through your mailbox is all set to become a luxury of the distant past, with email and Instant Message (IM) archiving solutions storming into the Indian market.

CXOtoday took a sneak peek at the latest email archiving solution to be unveiled in the Indian market today - Legato EmailXtender (EX) - which threatens to destroy mailbox and IM privacy rights of employees.

Speaking to CXOtoday in an exclusive interview prior to the launch, PK Gupta, director - strategic development intercontinental operations, Legato Software, said, “Economic disasters like Enron and WorldCom have fueled the need for a comprehensive record management solution in each and every enterprise. Statistics have revealed that 77 % of all enterprises in the US are already snooping on their employees, a trend which will quickly catch on in India as well.”

Legato EmailXtender will be launched in a joint EMC-Legato-Microsoft roadshow on email archiving in Mumbai today. EX is a centralized data storage and retrieval system that automatically moves data off the email message server, and into an email archival system, capturing and indexing all incoming and outgoing emails. Additionally, Instant Messages (IM) can also be captured and stored within the EX system.

But isn’t snooping on an employee’s mailbox, or reading their private IM’s gross injustice and a violation of privacy rights? Gupta replied, “Email etiquette training is vital for employees to understand that professional and private use of corporate mailboxes has to be carefully segregated. The most important fact that has to be instituted in every employee’s mind is that a corporate mailbox is the sole property of the company, and not of the individual.”

Detailing the seriousness of the issue, Gupta added, “Big corporate houses like Telco and the ISP’s in the country are already following a mandate, under which they have to store all communication records for the past three months. In the US, similar regulations require organizations to archive records for three years.”

Ajaz Munsif, regional practice leader, EMC Corporation, said, “The email archiving wave is well on its way to India, with the Naresh Chandra Committee (the Indian equivalent of the Sarbanes Oxley Act) mandate scheduled to be finalized soon.”

Email has become the most critical form of correspondence for businesses today - with more than 40% of storage space in an enterprise dedicated to emails. The criticality of emails to business calls for a new approach to email management, in order to manage storage costs while ensuring corporate guidelines for electronic correspondence

According to Gupta, the pricing of the product will be on a per mailbox basis, and the software will also be a boon to enterprises looking to upgrade from MS Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003. The upgrade with assistance from EmailXtender will take only 57 minutes, in comparison to the regular upgrade process which takes at least 8 hours, claimed Gupta.

EX supports Microsoft Exchange/Outlook, Lotus Notes/Domino, UNIX Sendmail, Bloomberg Mail as well as Instant Messages. The Xtender, when used in conjunction with products from vendors such as Akonix and FaceTime, allows businesses to capture instant messages and archive them in the same archival database as their email. The result is a complete electronic communications archive that is fully indexed, searchable, and that maintains these communications as records of business. The solution also allows administrators to search for IM, email, and attachments using field, date range, full-text, Boolean, natural language, and other criteria.

EX implementations are already on in the Indian enterprise space, with a manufacturing company in east India reportedly purchasing a 10,000 mailbox license. Legato is eagerly looking forward to entering the Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) space - touted as the next hottest revolution in the enterprise storage space.

Tags: Email