by Engin Yilmaz
Instant Messaging (IM) and Microsoft’s Lync in particular, are joining email as critical communications and file sharing tools in the modern organization. That means important conversations and data are being shared over Lync that need to be archived for future e-discovery.
Mimecast Archiving for Microsoft Lync IM: Secure, cloud-based interactive archive for all Lync Instant Messages including transferred files, shared presentations and whiteboards during group conversations or conferences
Lync in particular is growing in popularity. According to Microsoft, 90 of the Fortune 100 companies currently use Microsoft Lync IM as part of their employee communications. Analyst firm Ovum said, in a blog from March this year that 45 per cent of enterprises it had met were extending their deployment of Lync.
For regulated businesses failing to archive their IM traffic could be a breach of their legal and compliance regulations. IM counts as electronic information so organizations have a legal responsibility to archive it. Although it’s not just regulation that drives IM archiving; we’re seeing a dramatic growth of archiving as a best practice as more legal cases cite email and IM conversations as critical evidence, emphasizing the necessity of having the right tools in place for archiving and eDiscovery.
Most businesses that we talk to are aware that a lack of strategy on how best to archive IM traffic is preventing them from complying fully with their obligations, while many organizations believe integrating IM archiving with their existing email and file archive is just too complicated and expensive. There is also anecdotal evidence to suggest that quite a few organizations believe that by simply running Lync they are automatically archiving their messages, which is simply not the case. So for some putting off the pain of fixing this for as long as possible is fast becoming a problem, while for others their compliance requirements complicate their archiving strategy further.
Fortunately, your Lync archiving project doesn’t need to be a complex one.
I am happy to say that Mimecast has a solution. Today we released a cost effective, yet easy to implement and manage Lync archiving solution: Mimecast Archiving for Microsoft Lync IM.
It’s a secure, cloud-based interactive archive for all Lync Instant Messages including transferred files, shared presentations and whiteboards during group conversations or conferences. It’s fully integrated with Mimecast’s UEM Archive, so complements our other archiving products for email and files. Also the Mimecast Administration Console gives administrators a simple and unified interface for searches against all electronic content and conversations, now including Lync IM.
So now, Mimecast customers know they have an easy way to archive the growing volume of Lync IM conversations in their organizations. You can find out more about it here.
by Orlando Scott-Cowley
You may have heard last week that we had some good news; we’ve gained a second Gartner Magic Quadrant position this year – our enterprise archiving solution has just been positioned in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving. Together with our recent inclusion in the Magic Quadrant for Secure Email Gateways, this is further affirmation of our standing as a leading provider of enterprise email management solutions, and a great way to round off 2012.
Gartner’s analysts took a very close look at the tools we give our customers to manage their information stores and saw our determination to bring innovation and new products to the Information Archiving space. Earlier this year we beefed up our cloud based Information Archiving services, adding some very useful new capabilities for your business and your users: We introduced the Mimecast File Archive which allows you to archive file data from network shares, home drives, SharePoint, Box and Dropbox.
We also launched a new iPad app called Mimefiles, and a much talked about integration between Microsoft SharePoint and the Mimecast cloud archive. Importantly we have given your end users tools to access their personal archive from their chosen email client or mobile device (iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Android, empowering their productivity, like no other Cloud Archive.
Mimecast’s vision for the enterprise archive is that it can do so much more than just store data. Mimecast has a vision for an Interactive Archive, where your cloud archive becomes not only a highly available and secure repository of all enterprise data, but it also becomes an incredibly useful source of information, allowing the business and its users to drive value from the data therein. EDiscovery, security, business intelligence and productivity all become vital components of the day to day use of your enterprise archived data.
We are thrilled Gartner have recognized our industry leading technology, and specifically mention the delight we bring to our customers and their users.
by Orlando Scott-Cowley
Email is still the dominant form of communication in businesses today. It pervades almost every system and transaction and still remains a quick, casual form of communication. Email has become a mission critical application within businesses because of the importance of the data transacted through, and stored in, email environments.
A decade or so ago, as IT departments began to recognize the growing importance of the corporate email environment, they started to add supporting services and platforms around the core server environment, which is predominantly Microsoft Exchange. Appliances, applications and services to protect and store email were added, usually driven by business problems as well as changing corporate governance requirements.
Email archiving was one such platform, and remains of critical importance today. Email archiving systems were first added to our networks in the mid to late 1990s, initially designed to solve storage management problems, but more recently utilized to enable businesses to retain a complete record of their corporate knowledge and intellectual property. Long term retention of email nowadays is invariably driven by a need to respond to legal obligations under subpoena or eDiscovery request, or mitigate against the threat of data loss due to disaster or accident.
The advent of Cloud Computing in the same timeframe has disrupted these traditional on-premise email archiving markets. Cloud Computing has permeated almost every industry in ways even the most forward thinking IT departments could never have imagined. The result is a paradigm shift in modern computing. The rise of the Cloud could even be described as the dawn of a new computing age.
Those old on-premise archives are being eclipsed by the capabilities of a new type of Cloud-based email archive, an Interactive Archive.
The Interactive Archive, driven by the Cloud, is a more useful, valuable and interactive archiving platform for business users. The Interactive Archive allows users to leverage the archive and data therein for business intelligence, as well as end user productivity, ubiquitous access, and the corporate governance and compliance requirements that underpin the archive itself.
The concept of an Interactive Archive delivered from the Cloud requires a new way realizing value in a computing platform. The Interactive Archive is one that will be deployed from the Cloud, but not all Cloud archives are created in the same way. Simply archiving email in the Cloud only removes the local storage overhead and expenditure, while giving the users a degree of flexibility in terms of access – in fact, most Cloud archives are still about storage and eDiscovery.
The Interactive Archive is about much more – it’s about extending beyond this ‘simply-storage’ model by offering to leverage more of the value in the archived data. It’s a platform that puts the productivity benefits of using email back in the users’ hands by making their personal archives available in many ways – as well as including sources of information that would otherwise need a change in work flow for end users.
The Interactive Archive is one that acquires and consolidates the user’s desktop applications as a source of information – their web applications and services, their corporate information flows in platforms like email and mobile platforms – then provides a central and single copy under management. Importantly a single view of all these information streams also gives the business a concise, forensic and complete repository for eDiscovery, compliance and business intelligence use. The important concept of ‘interactiveness’ comes from the end users and the business can make use of the data; platforms such as Outlook, SharePoint, mobile devices and APIs all bring new ways to leverage the accumulated data. Delivering business intelligence back to the organization by leveraging the data-exhaust of the Interactive
Archive now becomes possible too; in short making the data within the archive worth more than simply an eDiscovery tool.
To find out more about Mimecast’s vision for the Interactive Archive, download our Whitepaper – “Is your Email Archive a Goldmine or a Black Hole?“
by Barry Gill
At Mimecast we’ve been developing cloud-based technology for many years. I’ve been with the company for close to 8 years and in that time we’ve always had a razor sharp focus.
That focus has always been on working where we deliver the most immediate value and where customers can see the most apparent benefits.
At Mimecast this focus has been part of our DNA through our email-centric ethos.
We’ve been delivering world class email security, integrated email continuity and lightning fast email archiving since we first opened our doors.
Today that’s all changed.
Back in the first days of Mimecast, we started thinking about problems that faced business management and one of the key things we identified was that file sizes continue to grow and grow…as so does the available space in an entry level hard drive.But while file sizes grew, it meant that business management had to start making decisions about what to do with those files and that was where we looked at what we were doing then and where we wanted to be in the future.
Going back as far as 2008 when we first started talking publicly about the “Information Bank” as a concept, we had already put plans in place to ensure our development path prepared our platform to accept more than email data.
During the last two years, our CTO, Neil Murray, changed the manner in which we deliver completed software to our production systems and we converted to a continuous delivery model and changed our support and engineering structures to conform to a DevOps structure, making sure that every person involved in the chain of delivery had a vested interest in ensuring that nothing would ever detrimentally effect the production service.
All of these changes had to be put into place to allow us to add new features and functions while making sure that existing customer’s experience remained sacrosanct. This is no trivial task for a company with thousands of customers spread across disparate time zones who have all been promised 100% uptime! Working within Mimecast during that time, I’ve been amazed at how challenging it is to deliver enterprise quality software as a service, making sure that no customers experience outages, that everything is checked, rechecked and then checked again.
Well, after years of blood sweat and tears, the first publicly facing change to our platform has begun to show the inexorable turn of our business to head towards the goal of Information Banking. This is the introduction of Mimecast File Archive, a service that allows customers to archive more than their email with us.
We have started this service out with a few of the major integration points that our existing customer base has been asking us to explore, namely home directories, network shares, SharePoint libraries, Dropbox and Box.
While there are a plethora of “online archives” out there today, what we know is that they are all being designed to be traditional archives, they are not being designed with a modern value based archive as the poster child for a successful service.
Because storing data is a costly exercise, almost everybody we speak to is looking for ways to derive real business value from their archives and at Mimecast we’ve got that right with email.
We allow retention policies to be set based on content, we enable notifications to be generated when users submit content that contravenes corporate policy, we even share data that meets specified criteria with nominated parties in the organization, all the while making sure the user is able to self-service as much as is possible.
Mimecast is carrying these same tenets of interactive archiving across to our file archiving product, making sure that business management can truly get a handle on what types of data are being stored in their environments, generating notifications to risk officers when commercially sensitive content is found traversing public cloud services like Dropbox and Box and making sure that users are able to work in the way that is most efficient for them.
A truly exciting day for me, having watched our product grow and develop into the technological marvel it is today, servicing almost 7,000 customers and more than one and a half million users around the world.
Go check our press release about the product here and the product page here.
by Justin Pirie
Following TechCrunch’s recent post ‘The Only Reason Companies Delete Emails Is To Destroy Evidence’, I joined many commentators discussing the various reasons why businesses might (or should) delete or archive their email in light of the News Corp revelations. Whereas it used to be time consuming and costly to retain emails, primarily due to the cost of storage, today no such constraints exist. In fact, there is no longer any technical reason whatsoever to delete email. Interestingly, corporate tendencies seem to differ across the pond: I have found that Americans delete, whereas Europeans hoard.
Email archiving, in particular, used to be expensive and hard to do well – specially for organisations the size of News Corp. Customers had to buy horrendously expensive systems and pay exorbitant maintenance to keep them going. So it’s not surprising that companies opted for the safest, cheapest and easiest way to manage this problem: deletion. However, this problematic solution is no longer necessary now there are low-cost, seamless archiving solutions for business email.
TechCrunch’s post does, however, point out how useful it can be to have certain communications saved, particularly when retrieval of a conversation is required in the pursuit of justice:
“The News Corp. phone-hacking scandal continues to spiral out of control […] A paper copy of a deleted email found in a crate ties deputy COO James Murdoch directly to the events under investigation.”
Clearly, archiving is crucial in order to maintain transparency within a business. So it’s really more a question of “Should emails be deleted at all?”
With an email archive where you are storing the only copy of the email, you can ensure an email is permanently deleted instead of residing in hundreds of places on the LAN. But how do you decide what to delete and when? On the one hand, companies are often fearful of compliance (like HIPAA, SOX or FSA) or they can be afraid of litigation.
Key to TechCrunch’s post, which commentators seem to forget, is the rules around retention. In the US, for example:
“[if] you can reasonably anticipate legal action on these emails then you are bound by FRCP to hold those documents in anticipation of a possible discovery. Destruction of emails once you know a legal hold is necessary could expose an organization (public or private) to court sanctions for spoliation.”
It’s a fine line to tread, but there is a way forward with well-designed retention policies.
In addition, we see completely different attitudes on the two sides of the Atlantic: in the US, there is a desire to delete everything as quickly as possible to reduce discovery costs and potential litigation. Whereas, in Europe we are much more likely to see a “keep everything” attitude.
As archiving improves, surely there is a legitimate reason to keep everything if you can reduce the discovery costs and avoid these issues, because — certainly, in News Corp.’s case — the deletion seems over-zealous.
Customers of Mimecast don’t have to pay exorbitant fees or suffer bad infrastructure to retain everything they want to, because they outsource it to the Cloud. Those who want to implement deletion policies can do the same; ensuring the right information is deleted at the right time and removing human error from the process.