Sherpa Software, which makes e-mail archiving software for Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes, today announced new offerings to help customers and partners move e-mail from the customer premises into SaaS or cloud-based archives. Enterprises of all sizes are adopting SaaS for e-mail, whether as an archive to supplement a premises e-mail system, or as a full e-mail service managed and delivered by a provider. According to IDC, the number of SaaS-based e-mail inboxes jumped from 10 million in 2007 to 20 million in 2009, and further growth is expected.
Companies are approaching SaaS for several reasons. One is price: providers offer mailboxes for as little as $3 per user per month with 1GB of storage. Another is that SaaS e-mail relieves IT from having to manage and maintain the hardware and software required for a premises deployment. Providers often include key features such as malware and spam filtering in the base price, and offer additional services such as encryption for a few dollars more. As for archiving, SaaS providers give end users an essentially unlimited inbox because all e-mail resides on disk. Administrators can tap the cloud-based repository through a Web UI to set retention policies and manage compliance and discovery issues.
But when an organization switches from premises to SaaS, it still has legacy mail on site that it needs to migrate to the provider's system. That's where Sherpa comes in. The company has tools for customers and service providers that search laptops, PCs and file servers for PST files. These files are captured and moved into the customer's cloud repository. The company also says it can convert PSTs to match the provider's preferred file format without losing any data. Sherpa is currently working on a one-on-one basis with SaaS providers and customers on e-mail migration projects.
In addition to the migration capabilities, Sherpa recently announced Mail Attender 4.6 for Exchange. The new version lets administrators automatically move PST files into the Personal Archive. The Personal Archive is a new feature in Exchange 2010 that lets administrators move messages out of a user's inbox but keep those messages available for end users.
For more on SaaS e-mail providers, check out a recent report "SaaS E-Mail: User Insight and Buyer's Guide." The report examines the pros and cons of SaaS-based e-mail, provides customer case studies and includes ten detailed RFIs from leading providers including Google, IBM, Microsoft, AppRiver and others.