Once primarily the concern of companies subject to SEC rules, email archiving is a serious matter for every U.S. company since amendment to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) require them to produce electronic information for civil suits in a timely manner.
The combination of these amendments and the staggering volume of legitimate email (once you dispose of most of your spam) has generated a lot of interest in archiving/e-discovery products and hosted services. Companies are looking for alternatives to labor-intensive, incomplete archiving and searches, or expensive consultants for e-discovery if they are involved in litigation.
Established players, lead by Symantec and EMC, are competing furiously to extend their capabilities to more platforms, more data sources (instant messaging, files shares, etc.) and more robust discovery. Email security companies like MessageLabs and Google/Postini have jumped in, aiming primarily at the SMB market."We average 100-200 MB of email a day," said Seth Bjorn, network engineer for Goodwill Industries of Orange County, Calif., a beta customer for Trend Micro's new Message Archiver software, announced today. As a nonprofit, Goodwill isn't required to archive email--at least, not yet.
"Our CFO identified an email archiving requirement as a possibility, and gave us a task to look into solutions," Bjorn said. Goodwill set up an archive for retaining messages for seven years to cover any future requirements.
Trend Micro is positioning Message Archiver as a medium-sized business product.
"It's aimed at businesses with 100-1,000 users that have to archive but don't have the IT staff—simple for IT staff and employees," said Chris Taylor, global product marketing manager. (Goodwill has about 300 users, Bjorn said.)
Message Archiver costs $33.70 per user for 501-1,000 seats. Google's Message Discovery adds a year of archiving, retention and e-discovery on top of its email security services for $25. Taylor said the difference comes when you add years of archiving services.
"When companies look at cost every year, we're cheaper compared to Google over a three-year period, even if count hardware costs," he said.
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