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E-mail management hits center stage—Part 2

This article appears in the issue April 2005 [Volume 14, Issue 4]


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The first part of this article, published in the March issue of KMWorld, focused on how regulatory compliance issues, loosened IT purse strings and the health of the broader enterprise content management market are combining to create the perfect environment for e-mail and messaging management(EMM) vendors.

Part 1 also included a review of the products and services of some leading players in the EMM market, including Captaris, ClearStory Systems, Critical Technologies, EMC, FileNet and Hummingbird. Part 2 continues that review, with a sampling of the offerings of seven more vendors.

IBM

IBM's key messaging products are Lotus Notes and Domino, and there are some overlapping capabilities with IBM's CommonStore. Its products act as self-contained message transport agents (MTAs), but also work with third-party MTA/gateway products.

According to Art Fontaine, a senior offerings manager at Lotus, the market is playing out as follows. "There will be a continuing focus on total cost of ownership features in messaging, as customers look to squeeze funds out of back-office infrastructure areas to free up dollars for customer-facing or business value solutions. Many of these applications will actually consume the messaging functions into portals, rich clients or other 'integrative' user interfaces that promote worker productivity based on identity, role and application context," he says.

IBM's CommonStore can utilize automatic or user interactive archiving for single documents, selected documents in a view or entire folders. Documents and attachments can then be retrieved to an e-mail client or Web browser. CommonStore for e-mail archiving can offload, store and retrieve file attachments, e-mail content and header information.

CommonStore For Lotus Domino can archive old e-mails or mail attachments in timeframes as required by the business. The attachments are still available to the users online via a central storage server. Documents can be searched and retrieved via the Lotus Notes, Content Manager client or a Web browser, and archived documents are stored securely in a central electronic archive, protected against unauthorized access and manipulation. Support for IBM optical jukeboxes and tape libraries in an HSM methodology allows storage of billions of documents on a single device at much less expense than hard disks. IBM archives supported include Content Manager, Content Manager OnDemand and Tivoli Storage Manager.

CommonStore For Exchange Server supports Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server and Microsoft Outlook 2000, and is part of the integrated IBM Content Manager portfolio. Again, IBM archives supported include Content Manager, Content Manager OnDemand and Tivoli Storage Manager. Documents and attachments can then be easily retrieved to a Microsoft Outlook or Exchange client, or Web browser.

Looking forward, Fontaine sees a continued move toward Linux and maturation of IBM Workplace and J2EE collaboration offerings (Workplace 2.5+), which will increasingly complement the Notes and Domino products, integrating and extending them for use with other IBM and ISV offerings.

iLumin

iLumin has more than 170 EMM customers and is heavily focused on the financial services market, claiming to have 35 of the nation's 50 largest financial institutions using its EMM product. According to Mike Gundling, senior VP of product management, "We've always been the de facto standard for NASD and SEC compliance. We've added mail storage management to this."

iLumin offers the broadest range of support for e-mail server platforms, and offers in-house as well as a hosted solution through BT Integra, a unit of British Telecom (although fewer than 10% of its customers take that route). Its EMM product, Assentor Archive, can process more than 2 million messages per day and supports MS Exchange, Lotus Notes, Novell GroupWise and other popular e-mail services, such as Bloomberg and Oracle Collaboration Suite, as well as all corporate and consumer IM products. Assentor Enterprise combines automation of outbound, inbound and internal message and content collection, and integrated support for leading content management (e.g. IBM Content Manager) and mass storage vendors (IBM, EMC, NetApp, Permabit) with the ability to intelligently index the content and manage the retention period of the message and all attachments. Supporting multithreaded processes and services in all components that can span over multiple servers, Assentor Archive is designed using enterprise level best practices regarding load balancing, high resiliency and business continuity. Assentor Archive has an open storage API that supports an array of mass storage options (to petabyte scalability), and integration with records management applications including IBM Records Manager.

Assentor Archive provides "smart" indexing of the message header, body and all attachments to identify important entities, including people, companies, countries, ticker symbols, dates, locations, account numbers and social security numbers, among many others.

Assentor Archive's flexibility allows for three alternatives for capturing e-mail flow:

  • Mail capture from Exchange, Notes and GroupWise for inbound, outbound and internal;
  • SMTP Intercept for inbound and outbound only; and
  • Assentor MailWall, which provides the capability to block internal messages.

Interwoven/iManage

Interwoven is strongest in the legal and accounting services vertical markets, and, in fact, the majority of the 200 largest law firms in the United States (ranked by AmLaw) have adopted Interwoven WorkSite software for document management, collaboration and e-mail management. The company also has a presence in financial services brokerage firms, mostly in deal management (M & A) areas. Interwoven acquired iManage and its e-mail archiving product capabilities in late 2003. Interwoven focuses on collaboration processes with its MailSite 8 e-mail management modules integrated into an ECM suite, including basic records management functionality from its 2004 acquisition of Software Intelligence.

Records retention policies are enforced across physical, electronic and e-mail records. Users can declare records at any level of a project hierarchy, including single document, folder, matter or client. In the coming year, Interwoven will go beyond the current Web-level integration with deeper integration to records management, moving to achieve DoD 5015.2 compliance with the in-house product. More functionality will be added to its Lotus Notes mail management offering to catch up with the drag-and-drop interface as well as with the MS Exchange EMM feature set. Interwoven also offers an EMM product set for Novell GroupWise. Users can create a new document, open an existing document, save a document as a new version, change profile information and perform many other document management functions--all without leaving the native application interface. Currently, any documents (in Exchange/Outlook) sent to the Worksite DM repository show up on the Outlook tree, which allows content creators to save content to a particular file, a more front-end approach than storage-oriented vendors. The drawback here is that automated filtering and filing capabilities are not as robust as with other vendor offerings. Items added to the document management system are retained in their native format.

The software features e-mail addressable folders and each "matter" or project folder can be assigned a unique e-mail address. Users can cc or forward messages directly to the relevant matter folder; they simply drag e-mail messages from the Notes or Outlook inbox into the appropriate Interwoven WorkSite f


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