Companies to keep your work emails, predicts HP

25 Apr 2007

BERLIN: Central control over email record retention will become widespread, predicted HP today, with workers’ emails being kept in an ‘infinite mailbox’ even after they are deleted by the worker.

Although IT managers have policies regarding most aspects of data control and storage, email data is widely overlooked, according to Erik Moller, director of information lifecycle management (ILM) for HP Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

In his session on implementing email intelligence at HP’s Technology@Work event in Berlin, Moller talked about how a business can turn its vast email database into a strategic asset.

A recent study by UC Berkeley found that the typical office sends or receives the data equivalent of the entire works of Shakespeare on a daily basis. This isn’t surprising considering 80pc of all business communication is done via email.

With all of this data, users waste much of their time organising and managing their mailbox, said Moller, and they have resorted to using the mailbox as a default filing system. The traditional email application is not designed for long term storage, which leads to mail servers filling up with static data and poor performance on the user end.

More importantly, he said, businesses have no central control over email record retention. The individual user deletes and stores at their discretion. However, the data contained in email may be mission critical for many reasons.

Moller gave the example of a legal department needing to get hold of all their files and emails relating to a particular supplier in the last quarter, or maybe a human resources department is investigating a harassement suit and needs to review all emails between two employees.

The control issues surrounding email is no longer only a matter of more efficient data retrieval, it is a matter of complying with data regulations.

Speaking to, Moller said that in the future central control of employee email will not be a benefit but most certainly will become necessary and required by law.

He said that HP’s Email Data Management Solution gives the IT manager control over the harvesting of email messages coming into and going out of an organisation.

With this system, the user need not worry about losing control over their email: they may still delete or store whatever they choose.

However, all communications are automatically archived and instead of storing vast quantities of old emails in their inbox, the user will find a stub or a link to a copy in the archive, which they may access at any time. Moller called this system of active archiving the “infinite mailbox”.

Although there are other businesses providing email archiving services, Moller told that no one else is providing this RISS appliance. He said all records are date and time stamped and encrypted, and records cannot be overwritten, and users are automatically complying with many European regulations on areas like data retention.

By Marie Boran