Case study Manufacturing

Protecting and preserving critical emails

Protecting the business by ensuring critical email communications are recorded, preserved, protected and accessible when needed

Like many organisations, HMY Radford rely heavily on email communications. With vital financial and safety-critical information being exchanged, it is imperative that HMY Radford have an accurate record of these communications. The cost of losing access to this critical data can have serious consequences for the business.

The ubiquitous use of email for corporate communications is a reality of business today. It’s also prevalent in our personal lives, and carries a wide range of information from mission-critical communications, to amusing pictures of cats.

If you’ve ever bought a house you’ll have had the pleasure of filling in reams of old-fashioned paper documents. There’s something about that action which feels important. Your signature preserved in ink, and filed away by a solicitor – you know that you’ve made a commitment, and that commitment has been permanently recorded. Just because email is an electronic medium rather than a physical one doesn’t make the information or the commitments any less real, however sitting alongside the latest picture of a cat wearing sunglasses it can somehow feel less important to the people using it every day.

The challenge

HMY Radford’s business is the design, manufacture, and installation of shelving units like the ones holding groceries at the supermarket. You’ll have noticed that every supermarket doesn’t follow a standard layout. Even stores belonging to the same chain vary hugely, with the layout largely decided by the space available in that location. This variety means that every installation carried out by Radford is effectively a bespoke creation, with unique requirements.

HMY Radford exchange some pretty important information using email. Those unique requirements for one, the bespoke costs associated with their bespoke creations for another. It’s pretty easy to see how that information is important to their business, however it’s by no means the most important to Radford. They’re proud of their shelves, but even Radford know that it’s impossible to build an indestructible shelf. Every material and every design has a limit, and if you exceed that limit then bad things can happen. If a shelf full of product collapses then there’s an immediate and obvious cost, however that’s nothing compared to the liability faced if a shelf full of product were to collapse on a person. That would be very, very bad.

Evidently it is vital that HMY Radford clearly communicate not just the costs but the safety-critical information to their customers, however it is just as important that Radford have an accurate record of these communications. With these concerns often being agreed and communicated using email, the information may not be as easy to locate as you would expect given its importance. The simple fact is that when people manage their own inboxes, then there is no guarantee what they may do with the data. It might get deleted to make room for something else, it might get exported to a local archive on their computer, it may get deleted as part of the user deprovisioning process when they leave, or it might just get lost. Those of course are just a few of the innocent scenarios, and don’t account for disgruntled employees! Even if the data does exist, how do you know which mailbox to look in, and who has access to do so?

Having carried out some analysis of their data, HMY Radford realised that a significant portion of these critical communications were distributed across mailboxes and devices in such a way that they could not guarantee the information could be retrieved if required to answer a query or dispute. In order to address this business risk, Radford asked Waterstons to design a solution that would allow them to protect, preserve, and locate these critical communications.

The solution

Waterstons recommended the implementation of an email journaling and archival system. This system would record every email passing through HMY Radford’s systems, and store a read-only copy in a separate archive with powerful yet secure search functionality. This ensures that no matter what happens to emails after they’ve been sent or received, Radford’s data compliance team will always have access to the original unmodified journal copy.

To implement this solution, Waterstons chose Exclaimer Mail Archiver. Exclaimer Mail Archiver integrates with Microsoft Exchange’s native journaling capabilities to capture an immutable copy of messages processed by the mail system. Messages captured by Exchange journaling are processed by Exclaimer Mail Archiver according to Radford’s compliance requirements and stored for long-term retention.

Compared to other products on the market, Exclaimer Mail Archiver focuses on doing one thing, and doing it well. Other journaling and archival solutions are available, however these tend to be part of a suite of services which are large, complex, and expensive. HMY Radford had neither complex requirements, nor a large budget available. The low-cost solution from Exclaimer met their needs perfectly.

Radford Exclaimer Mail Archiver

The benefits

Shortly after implementing Exclaimer Mail Archiver, HMY Radford encountered a situation where it wasn’t possible to recover information using traditional recovery methods. Data contained within the missing email was critical to protect HMY Radford against legal liability.

Thanks to the journaling solution which Waterstons had implemented, HMY Radford was not exposed in any way as a result of potential legal action. All of the information had been securely recorded by Exclaimer Mail Archiver, and was immediately accessible to assist senior management with important investigations.

In purely financial terms, the solution has more than paid for itself in just two months!

At HMY Radford we are all too aware of the saying that “prevention is better than cure”, and businesses need to be aware that email can be used as evidence in a court of law. By engaging our trusted IT partner, Waterstons, they helped to deliver and install a reliable business solution in Exclaimer Mail Archiver. The product has already proven its value in the short term, and we are confident it will continue to provide payback to the business in the long term.
Mark McDonald IT Manager, HMY Radford

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