It is Critical to Identify your Functional Requirements before looking for Technology Solutions for your Email Management Program

By Carl Weise posted 07-16-2010 14:34


What are your functional requirements?

First, consider your archiving requirements.  Archiving-specific requirements might include:

  •  Whether the system supports single-instance storage of messages,
  •  Whether the system is to auto-archive, such as by age,
  •  Whether and how the system will manage personal archive files.  For example, a requirement might state, “The system shall allow administrators to prohibit the creation of personal archive files”,
  •  How the system will address existing messages, whether they are located in the message store, personal archive files, or any other archives.  For example, “The system shall be able to import messages from personal archive files.”

Litigation support requirements are key to many organizations.  Some considerations for requirements include:

  •  Support for litigation hold across the entire system, or systems,
  •  Support for holds of varying granularity, such as for a single user, group of users, or department,
  •  Review and production of messages and attachments.  This includes being able to search across multiple users’ inboxes and multiple systems; it may include a scoped review, such that authorized users could only search on a particular user’s, group of users’, or departmental messages,
  •  Export of messages in native format, whether in messages (.msg or .eml) or in a personal archive file (.pst or .nsf), and
  •  Annotation and redaction of messages to indicate their status (reviewed, privileged, work product) or to exclude sensitive information such as Social Security numbers.  For example, “The system shall allow authorized users to annotate messages to indicate status”.

Requirements relating to records management and retention are common, though many of these requirements focus less on the email management solution and more on exporting messages to another system such as an ECMS or ERMS.  Retention-related requirements might include:

  •  Classification of messages as records vs. non-records,
  •  Classification of messages according to an organizational classification structure such as a taxonomy or retention schedule,
  •  Retention of messages throughout the lifecycle, however the lifecycle is defined,
  •  Disposition of messages at the end of the lifecycle,
  •  Tamper-proof storage of messages, attachments, and metadata, particularly for those declared as records, and
  •  Integration of the formal records retention schedule into the client or messaging application, such that users either can or must declare messages as records.

Email Management technology solutions are very powerful.  However, it is critical that you understand what your requirements are before you study the diverse functionality across the many solutions that exist.

Tell us about your success in satisfying the functional requirements of your organization.

What are some of the issues that you faced in addressing these requirements?

#ECM #ERM #EMM #ElectronicRecordsManagement