content management and e-discovery solutions for groupware

Microsoft Exchange server is a powerful enterprise messaging tool that has proven to be very successful over the years. Although Exchange adoption is high, many organizations have found that native support for robust Archiving and e-Discovery capabilities is lacking and they have turned to third-party Application Layer solutions to meet their compliance needs.

Microsoft hopes to change this equation with the release of Exchange 2010. For the first time, Microsoft is including native features to help administrators implement Archiving and conduct e-Discovery. In fact, these features are one of the primary reasons Microsoft cites for upgrading to Exchange 2010. But this additional functionality may come at a cost, both in terms of upgrading software and infrastructure. Because an upgrade of Exchange Server can be impactful and complex, caution should suggest that organizations seriously examine the limitations of Exchange 2010ís Archiving and e-Discovery options and - before immediately upgrading - reflect on the migration challenges they will face.

Don't Overlook Third-Party Application Layer Solutions
It is hard to argue against selecting the Exchange 2010 platform for a new messaging system deployment. On the other hand, existing Exchange 2003 or 2007 clients should conduct a thorough assessment of the true costs involved before embarking on the upgrade. Vendors specializing in Archiving and e-Discovery solutions, offer a variety of products to supplement older versions of exchange. Here are a few compelling business reasons to consider augmenting your current Exchange version with a third-party solution:

  • Third-party tools are very mature. The products have evolved over time to include a wide array of features based on real-world client feedback and satisfy even the most complex business requirements.
  • Third-party tools are expressly designed to work with existing Microsoft products (both Exchange and Office), so there is no disruption to the existing messaging environment.
  • The return on investment proposition is very attractive. In many cases, an incremental cost of less than $20 per user can deliver both Archiving and e-Discovery functionality.
Creatively supplementing your existing Exchange environment with third-party tools for Archiving and e-Discovery would be worth the while after all.