Interesting archives and microfiche madness

To be honest I don’t find archives interesting do you? I remember my work experience job at 16 years old when I was despatched to our local government admin offices to work on their microfiche unit and, umm, write down stuff I think.

To be honest I don’t find archives interesting do you? I remember my work experience job at 16 years old when I was despatched to our local government admin offices to work on their microfiche unit and, umm, write down stuff I think. That was the closest to an archive I’ve been for a while.

microfiche'

Anyway, Forbes.com is apparently interested in archiving these days – more specifically, the topic in hand is email archiving.

IDC estimates the volume has increased from 9.7 billion in 2000 to 97 billion in 2007 – per day! Added to that regulation means that companies are now required by law to archive email. Finally companies need to be prepared for litigation and need to be able to comply with e-discovery orders.

I might think it’s as dull as a wet weekend in Wolverhapton, but it’s hot with the vendors too by all accounts. Proofpoint, a company that specialises in unified email ‘stuff’ (or solutions if you prefer) just snapped up Fortiva, a company that offers on-demand email archiving.

Just to clarify, this is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) so there’s development work to be done here – plus, this type of thing features a hybrid deployment model that, allegedly, delivers SaaS with the security of an ‘on-premises’ appliance. OK I’m starting to get (slightly) interested. So what are the key challenges in this space? Well, I’m glad you asked: email storage management, legal discovery and, thirdly, regulatory compliance.

According to Proofpoint’s web site, industry analysts have acknowledged email archiving as a ‘must have’ component of today’s enterprise email infrastructures. Record retention, electronic discovery and mailbox management may soon be terms that we are all more used to hearing then. I also hear that nearly a quarter of large U.S. enterprises were ordered by a court or regulatory body to produce employee email in the past 12 months. Yikes!

As for me, cutting as pasting from Gmail into Mac TextEdit and then backing up to Lacie seems to have been enough for now.

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