Managing Email Content—Challenges and Benefits

This article is part of the Best Practices White Paper Enterprise Content Management [May 2001]


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The absence of structured email management can increase costs in IT infrastructure, cause lost productivity and lead to decreased efficiency

  • When email-based knowledge is not captured, the organization abdicates its legitimate right to be the custodian of its knowledge.;

  • Relying on users to make decisions about which email message is a record will result in the loss of important emails that are corporate records.;

  • The complete random purging of email leads to knowledge drain.;

  • The blanket purging of email leads to the loss of email-based documents, records, and ultimately evidentiary records.;

  • Email-based documents and records are not organized in the corporate file plan classification, with one potential problem being that the process of legal discovery becomes very difficult and expensive.;

  • Email records are not subject to the corporate life-cycle retention rules.;

  • The storage requirements of the personal email workspaces swell.;

  • The content duplication problem (cc/bcc/forward) is not addressed.;

  • Retention of convenience copies extends the organization’s risks.;

Technologies that address the challenges associated with structured email management are just beginning to emerge. One of the most challenging technologies to develop, that is expected to continue to evolve and mature, deals with the automatic classification of email and electronic documents. To achieve accurate auto-classification there is a need to implement several technologies in concert; including the implementation of rules based on the organization’s business requirements and auto-categorization based on content analysis.

The eManage solution is a leader among the solutions presently available for structured email management. It organizes and manages email, along with its metadata and attachments. eManage allows organizations to implement a secure and structured knowledge map to link and understand the relationship between information and knowledge holdings. It provides a single point of access to corporate knowledge regardless of storage location or format. Knowledge objects (word documents, spreadsheets, images, email, web content, etc.) are organized in a logical hierarchy that features compound folders and subfolders. These folders contain documents (and virtual documents) that are located within multiple repositories. eManage can be configured to automatically monitor and capture knowledge objects from various sources and to automatically classify them within its knowledge map. Its built-in rules-based engine allows users to set “capture rules” defining how objects are automatically captured and classified.

By capturing messaging-based knowledge, organizing it into a dynamic corporate file classification, and making this knowledge accessible from other applications, eManage ensures compliance with legal and industry regulations and standards. As the percentage of email-based business documents increases, implementing a structured email management solution leverages the investment in ebusiness and ecommerce applications. Organizations without structured email management solutions will lag behind as their competitors surge ahead, armed with better control over their email records and profiting from true collaboration between their knowledge workers.


eManage Inc. is a leading provider of Structured Email Management, KM and RM solutions. Its award winning product, eManage, is DoD 5015.2 certified and SEC 17a-4 compliant.

Note: In the April of 2004, Mobius acquired eManage, Inc


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