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Zix Leaders: Coronavirus Increases Need For Archiving Beyond Email

‘There’s a lot of sensitive business information and conversations that are happening outside of your email environment,’ says Zix’s Geoff Bibby, pointing to instant messaging platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams.

The massive growth in activity on instant messaging platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack during the coronavirus pandemic has deepened the need for quality archiving, Zix executives said.

“There’s a lot of sensitive business information and conversations that are happening outside of your email environment,” said Geoff Bibby, Zix’s vice president of marketing. “And so the fact that we as an organization can archive Slack and archive Teams is something that the market’s only just waking up to.”

Organizations are now grappling with having lots of communication taking place in venues where they didn’t necessarily expect it to happen, Bibby said. This has acute implications in regulated industries, where Bibby said businesses are required to show they they’ve archived all pertinent information.

[Related: Zix CEO Dave Wagner On How Buying AppRiver Unlocks SMB, Microsoft Opportunities]

If you’re a small bank or credit union in the financial services industry, Bibby said you have an obligation to archive all communication with clients even if it’s taking place over Microsoft Teams. Zix’s unified archiving tool can automatically archive conversations from 48 different electronic communication tools, and Bibby said the company is one of just five vendors that can actually archive LinkedIn.

“As we add more capability and add more connectors, we just get stronger and therefore richer on behalf of our customers,” Bibby said.

Other archiving vendors attempt to hold users ransom by charging them a substantial fee if they wish to migrate their data, Bibby said. But Zix doesn’t believe that’s fair, so Bibby said the company is willing to migrate data off its systems without charging users a huge fee.

Zix’s archiving tool often gets used in response to legal challenges that arise during the electronic discovery process, where businesses need to be able to supply information to a third party, Bibby said. The company’s SimplyShare technology allows organizations to enable access to their archives for a third-party such as an outside law firm in a manner that’s simple yet limited, according to Bibby.

SimplyShare gives third parties access to only the information that’s needed for the specific litigation or investigation that’s taking place, according to Jason Macias, regional vice president of sales, North America. The feature adds value and saves businesses time that would otherwise have to be spent finding and scraping data, Macias said.

“It’s a huge potential oversharing of data that may happen if they’re basically granting access to the entire database, whereas the SimplyShare feature allows you to just share what is needed for that particular investigation,” Macias said.

Clients of InnoTek Computer Consulting primarily rely on archiving for business continuity and data recovery, and the Bloomsburg, Penn.-based solution provider can recover data in Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint, according to President Fred Reck. If someone deletes something, InnoTek can pull up file structures and email as far back as necessary, greatly exceeding the 30 days provided by Office 365.

InnoTek can use its archiving tool to search email folders at any point and time if a client is looking for something as part of a project, Reck said. In SharePoint, Reck said users sometimes accidentally move one folder into another, giving the appearance that the initial folder disappeared. And if someone overwrites a file, Reck said the archiving tool can go back as far as needed to find the original document.

InnoTek was working with a client last year that had an employee emailing files to a personal account and then deleting the sent files, Reck said. Once the client discovered their employee was doing that, Reck said InnoTek was able to use its archiving tool to see everything the employee had sent to himself over the past year and build a case against the employee.

“Everything has been very smooth for us, and we’ve been very happy,” Reck said.

Human resources departments can use Zix’s archiving tool to ensure their employees are following company polices, according to Joe Conti, Zix’s director of channel. The tool itself has become a differentiator for end users who are looking to mine their own data and information, Conti said.

“Realizing that they sell hundreds of products, we need to make sure that partners are comfortable and confident going out and having the conversation around Zix,” Conti said.

Existing opportunities around Zix’s archiving tool are still progressing despite the coronavirus pandemic, which Conti said indicates that archiving is still a focus for end users and the budget they have in hand. It’s too soon to tell is the coronavirus pandemic has caused a spike in demand for Zix’s archiving technology, according to Conti.

Solution providers boost their margins by implementing the Zix archiving tool as well as using it for litigation and investigation purposes, which can boost their billable hours, Macias said. Partners that bundle Zix’s encryption and archiving offering around the Microsoft Office 365 mailbox can expect margins of at least 25 percent to 30 percent, according to Macias.

“If all you’re doing as a partner is providing the mailbox, you’re not making a whole lot of money,” Macias said. “When you start to add our intellectual property into those bundles, that’s where we’re getting our partners a very good price.”

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