Businesses need e-mail archive tools, says study

E-mail is too important to be left in the hands of employees and should be archived carefully, claims a study from analyst Butler Group.

This news comes as US storage company Veritas buys UK software group KVault (KVS) for US$225 million (£126.4 million). KVS makes software for archiving e-mails, and supplies Somerfield.

Butler Group claims that businesses should retain all e-mails electronically, with easy, safe access to them.

E-mails are considered legal documents and are covered by compliance legislation such as data protection regulations. Some companies have been fined when they have failed to produce an e-mail.

Butler Group claims many businesses underestimate the level of sensitive and useful data retained in e-mails. Restricting the size of staff in-boxes, without the facility to archive e-mails, is also seen as insufficient.

In a KVS case study, published last year, Somerfield said that its 3,500 stores generated about 90,000 e-mails a week. Its IT department was forced to impose mailbox quotas of 30MB per user, and older e-mails were archived.

Somerfield staff's e-mails are backed up. This came in handy when one employee deleted all his e-mails when he left the company. When the replacement buyer arrived, to find no records, all the e-mails were retrieved from the archive. They contained£120,000 worth of non-invoiced business.