Outsourcers Beef Up Email Archives

Providers see security and compliance as keys to winning new customers

July 13, 2005

4 Min Read
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When it comes to email archiving, outsourcing is getting to be a major business. And providers are beefing up security and compliance in an effort to win more customers away from "do it yourself."

According to The Radicati Group Inc., email archiving services make up about 29 percent of the current archiving market -- $134 million compared to $331 million for archiving products this year. Services and products are growing at about the same rate, and with Radicati forecasting the email archiving market to increase to $4.4 billion by 2009, theres plenty of room for both to grow.

Both methods have their advantages. Outsourced archiving allows companies to get up and running faster without the need to buy new hardware and software. Outsourcing also makes it easier to add new users, even when they’re remote.

On the other hand, doing it themselves gives organizations more control over their email archives. It’s easier to customize, change policies, and integrate with other document archiving applications. And companies that already have extra capacity on hand can often save money by using products instead of outsourcing.

Organizations looking to go the product route have more alternatives when it comes to suppliers. The list of email archiving vendors includes:

Quite a list -- and that’s after a significant amount of consolidation over the past few years (see Iron Mountain Gets Connected, No Brainer: Veritas Buys KVS, and Zantaz Makes Compliance Buy).

When it comes to outsourced email archiving, the list is shorter: FrontBridge Technologies Inc., Iron Mountain Inc. (NYSE: IRM), IronSentry Inc., LiveOffice Corp., and Zantaz provide services built on their own archiving technology. The following suppliers offer services based on partnerships with product vendors:

As to why customers choose either outsourced or onsite archiving, Radicati Group president Sara Radicati says it is hard to find concrete reasons for picking one or the other.

“We tend to find some companies are very open to outsourcing, and others are reluctant to the whole idea,” she says. “Regardless of how many economic arguments you make, they just won’t do it. It’s almost a cultural type of thing.”

It’s a security thing as well. Some people might not feel so secure having sensitive data stored offsite. Max Shoka, director of product strategy for Zantaz, says vendors need to prove they meet security requirements through third-party audits of their hosting sites to convince customers their data will be safe.“Security is an extremely important part of their decision, and they have to be assured that all of their security requirements are met,” he says. “Once you’ve cleared that hurdle, customers are fine with outsourcing.”

Like email archiving product vendors, services providers also need to offer compliance help (see Compliance Services: Get What You Pay For). Compliance and expanding storage requirements are the major reasons organizations archive email, according to the Radicati survey.

Recent services announcements reflect the importance of security and compliance:

  • AmeriVault Corp. announced a partnership with AXS-One to offer AXS-One’s Records Compliance Management platform to its outsourced archiving and records compliance service (see AmeriVault Allies With AXS-One).

  • VeriSign launched enhancements to its antivirus Email Security Service. VeriSign’s Message Archive Service stores email and other messages in an offsite repository that customers can access and search through a Web portal. Its Message Continuity Service holds inbound and outbound email in a 30-day message store, and makes them available if its customer’s email server crashes (see VeriSign Offers Message Archiving & Continuity).

  • Zantaz improved security and compliance features for its Digital Safe archiving service, improving log-in security and refining search capabilities (see Zantaz Adds Security, Compliance Features).

  • LiveOffice incorporated full text searches and the ability for customers to download specific search results in non-rewritable media such as DVD and CDs as into its AdvisorMail archiving service (see LiveOffice Beefs Up AdvisorMail).

  • EVault announced EVault Protect, an online backup and recovery services that encrypts and stores data at one of its offsite centers. EVault Protect combines EVault’s ProMail archive service with new services for disaster recovery and business continuity (see EVault Intros Backup Service).

— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch0

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