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Issue Date: October 2007

Corporate e-mail archiving compliance – on demand

4 October 2007

Corporate South Africa continues to grapple with legislation governing the management of electronic information, including storage, backup, archiving, retention and retrieval, and balance the need for compliance alongside that of cost, service and productivity. Non-compliance carries with it substantial penalties whilst persistent, unchecked pressure on resources can cripple a business.
Rob Sussman, managing director of Integr8 IT says, “Preserv8 has been our managed service for e-mail archive retention and messaging management platform, for a number of years. The requirement to provide this service on demand with just a change in MX records was hugely sought by our clients to allow for immediate compliancy required by the various acts.”
“There was nothing on the market that would meet our specification for this upgrade in platform and so we took a decision to invest in issuing a mandate to a company to provide this enhancement. The service remains hosted in our multiple datacentres across Southern Africa and a node in the United Kingdom, for complete redundancy and immediate access to any client with the major ISP’s, without additional bandwidth costs,” he adds.
Deon Robertson, CEO at Integr8 IS, the specialised information solutions and development business entity, associated with the Integr8 Group, is excited to announce that his team of highly skilled and experienced developers delivered recognisable successes in completing this mandate – in the form of a hosted Web 2.0 electronic mail archiving and backup solution to replace the current Integr8 IT platform called Preserv8.
Robertson describes the timing of this release as 'ideal' because of what he suggests is a greater need for effective technology and practical advice from companies that are overwhelmed by the process of complying with laws that govern how they manage records. He further notes that a team of legal IT attorneys was employed to provide full compliance and regulation during development.
These laws include the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECT Act), the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communications-Related Information Act (Interception Act) as well as the King II Report.
“There are numerous facets to laws that regulate records management including a company’s ability to discover and retrieve stored information. Businesses are not always geared to handle the situation elegantly. Resources are unnecessarily burdened, and quite often, the results are underwhelming and in the worse case, devastating,” says Robertson.
“According to a statistic issued by Gartner and quoted in a press release by Metrofile, if external content was not brought under control, the time wasted on document-related non-value tasks would increase 30% to 40% by 2008,” quotes Robertson.
The need to ensure compliance with legislation and maintain levels of productivity, service and security is the main reason for the introduction of Preserv8 into the local market.
“At the same time our motivation is to assist in clearing up the misunderstanding around archiving and back-ups. Some operators mistakenly view these disciplines as one and the same.
Developers at Integr8 IS point to a range of benefits associated with Preserv8, including relief of the Exchange store, increased performance and security, e-mail continuity, blacklist rejections, spam filtering, instantaneous disaster recovery, liability management and SMS notifications.
Integr8 IT’s Preserv8 Managed Services, developed by Integr8 IS makes provision for local, national and international e-mail to be routed via the closest entry point, archived centrally and Smart Indexed for fast retrieval. Ultimately this results in freeing up space on the client e-mail servers, increasing bandwidth efficiency and reducing storage costs.
As far as compliance is concerned, the solution preserves and stores all e-mails for the client in a tamper-proof encrypted format in a secure data vault. Each item contains a full-trace dataset of forensic information including proof of delivery to facilitate non-repudiation.
“One of the main benefits to the Preserv8 solution is the fact that it is a full managed service and therefore requires no capital outlay on the part of the customer,” adds Robertson. “It is a complete time-lined archive of all e-mail communication. The user friendly web interface provides anywhere access for instant archive searching, mail retrieval and enterprise-wide communications management.”
“Clients maintain complete operational control of their e-mail archive and no longer require enormous investments in hardware, storage, software, maintenance and internal skills. The Software as a Services solution provides clients with a trusted service that abstracts the complexity linked to traditional e-mail archiving systems,” he adds.
Robertson suggests that due to the fact that most companies are exploring the Software as a Service (SaaS) route and take the hosted managed services option a lot more seriously, Integr8 IS can add immediate measurable benefit.
“If one compares the hosted environment to investing in services onsite, there is no doubting the obvious benefits rendered by the full managed service option, especially in light of control, expenditure, total cost of ownership and mean time to deploy,” he adds.

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