Intel Upfront About the
Issues"> Intel Upfront About the Issues To its credit, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel is being upfront and transparent about the problems it is experiencing in maintaining and accessing old e-mail records. Its an issue that affects every business that uses e-mail in its daily routine, and that entails just about all businesseseven IT giants."Its a real needle in a haystack. Theres always a mountain of backup data involving tape cassettes, especially for a company the size of Intel. First, you have to find the right tapes; then, to find specific e-mails on those tapes is a real chore." A typical Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes environment (Intel uses MS Exchange Server, an Intel spokesperson told eWEEK) usually has to rely on individual backup, said Alan Armstrong, vice president of product management at e-mail archiving system maker Fortiva. This indeed was the case with Intel. "Backup is expensive, to do it right," Armstrong said from his home office in Toronto. "If you dont have a system in place, you have to rely on your users to back up their own documents in good faith and good practice in an organized behavior. But whenever theres trust involved, youre taking a risk. "You dont trust all your users to sign checks, do you? Yet [many] companies trust their employees to backup their own documents." Fortiva CEO Eric Goodwin told eWEEK that Intels biggest mistakeas is the case with numerous companiesis that e-mail archiving is not considered a core competency. "Im not nasty toward Intel at all," Goodwin said. "I empathize with them. But lets face it: E-mail archiving is a third-class application; its not the CRM [customer relationship management] or ERP [enterprise resource planning] app that is more exciting for IT guys to work on, and which are considered core to a business that relies on SAAS [software as a service]. So companies put their second-tier IT guys on e-mail archiving. Its like, When we get some extra time, then well do the e-mail." LiveOffices Smith agreed that companies often make the mistake of not paying enough attention to archiving their data, so that it can be accessed in a reasonable amount of time. "With the new [FRCP] guidelines, they [Intel] had to tell the court, We just dont have access to these certain e-mails ... our system was not designed to retain it," Smith said. "You throw in human error into the mix, theres just no way for them to find those e-mails. If you dont have a proactive system in place, taking the e-mails as they come in so that theres no chance to have human error, and then placing them into a redundant archive ... then youll have the same issues Intel now has." Next Page: Financial services companies ahead of the curve.
"I can just imagine the look on the face of the [storage] guy at Intelor at any companywhen hes asked, We have to get this [particular] e-mail out of the [tape] archives, and we have to get it fast," Matt Smith, founder and president of e-mail archiving provider LiveOffice in Torrance, Calif., told eWEEK.