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Handling E-Mail Archiving Objections

Some companies might not want to do e-mail archiving, but they do it because they have regulations forced on them.

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Greg Knieriemen, vice president of marketing at Chi, Cleveland, on handling objections:

NO CHOICE: Some companies might not want to do e-mail archiving, but they do it because they have regulations forced on them.

FEWER OBJECTIONS, BUT LOTS OF QUESTIONS: There's no inherent objections to a need for e-mail archiving. But there are a lot of questions. Customers might ask, what version of Exchange or Lotus Notes is coming? Should they move to the new version or implement e-mail archiving first? We suggest they move to e-mail archiving before upgrading their e-mail application to facilitate the migration to the new application. This limits the risk of data loss. Customers also ask about how e-mail archiving fits with SAN architectures, as many of them have direct-attach storage with their Exchange Server.

WE HAVE NO PROBLEMS: A lot of times, customers say they don't have any problems with e-mail management. We then ask them the size of their Exchange stores. They usually don't know. They're trying to make e-mail decisions on a hunch. This is part of the discovery phase. If it's a small e-mail store, they probably have a solution in place. But if there's a lot of e-mails per employee, we talk to them about issues they haven't run into yet. If they depend on tape, we ask how long it takes them to recover e-mails. If they rebuild an Exchange server from scratch if a board goes down, we ask them, how long will it take? What does your backup location look like? How long does it take to restore? Now we're talking more about disaster recovery and business continuity. But a good e-mail-archiving program is an important component of business continuity.

TOO SMALL FOR E-MAIL ARCHIVING: Smaller medical companies may object that e-mail management is not a burden to them. A 20-person office feels it may be able to handle everything fine. It's more a reflection of the size of the organization than of the need for archiving. We can help many smaller companies leverage tools within their data-protection software, such as CommVault or Symantec's Veritas.

GETTING AROUND THE COMMITTEE PROCESS: As many companies consider implementing e-mail archiving, they go through a committee process to develop the policies. If they're not doing e-mail archiving for regulatory purposes, the committee needs to establish policies for archiving, for what to retain, and for how long to retain it. This impacts all their users. If it's for regulatory purposes, they can set these issues according to the rules. We walk customers through a demo. We also show how our products work with existing policies from reference accounts. If a large brokerage firm knows another large brokerage firm is using our e-mail archiving, it's easier than doing a demo.

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