Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Outsourcing Email Not an Easy Choice

Email is fast emerging as the Achilles heel of firms' compliance and legal strategies, prompting many organizations to outsource their email archiving to third parties. Despite vendors' claims, however, storage managers should not see outsourcing as an automatic ticket to cost savings.

A number of vendors, including Fortiva, Zantaz, and Iron Mountain, are offering email archiving services, which they tout as a cost-effective way to control spiraling volumes of email. (See Fortiva Guarantees Search, Zantaz Offers On Demand, Outsourcers Beef Up Email Archives, and Email Archives Arrive.) Fortiva, for example, claims that it can archive emails at a cost of $3.58 per user per month. A recent study by Osterman Research (sponsored by Fortiva) put the typical email archiving cost for a mid-sized firm at $4.53 per month over a three-year period. (See Email Archiving High In-house.)

But Sasan Hamidi, CSO of Miami, Fla., travel firm Interval International, tells Byte and Switch that cost savings are not necessarily part and parcel of outsourced archiving. The exec explains that he is currently looking to outsource email archiving for his 1,700 end-users to either IBM or Iron Mountain.

"It's not that much cheaper [than keeping it in-house]," he says, adding that the outsourcing project was driven by a lack of internal resources, as opposed to hard cost considerations. "For the size of our environment, I would have had to dedicate two full-time staff to this."

These sentiments were echoed by Dan Tanner, a member of the Storage Networking User Group of New England (SNUGNE) and founder of consulting firm ProgresSmart. "It's really hard to say whether outsourcing is cheaper or not," he explains. "It depends on the situation, and has a lot to do with the level of staffing in your IT department."

  • 1