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E-mail archiving too time-consuming, survey says

Jo Maitland, Senior Executive Editor

The average user sends 34 e-mails and receives 99 e-mails every day, according to a new survey by The Radicati Group Inc., based in Palo Alto, Calif. This translates to 14.7 MB of e-mail a day, which represents a 53% growth over Radicati's survey last year.

The latest survey was conducted over the past three months across 78 corporations of all sizes on a worldwide basis, representing a total of 861,533 users.

With this explosion of data in mind, the research also discovered that users are struggling to find products to manage this growth that are easy to install and use. "Unfortunately, many users are not especially happy with their e-mail archiving products. Less than half indicated a loyalty to their solutions, and the biggest complaint has been that the solutions are too time-consuming to manage," said Sara Radicati, author of the report.

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In most cases, the study found that end-users are responsible for managing the sizes of their mailboxes. In fact only 6% of respondents in the Radicati study said that administrators manage each inbox, and just over half the users polled have a mailbox limit. And 40% of respondents didn't even know if they had a mailbox threshold. The average limit reported was 166 MB. And a modest 17% of e-mail archiving customers also archive instant messages.

Another report, from the Butler Group, said recently that employees cannot be relied upon to manage e-mail individually. "It cannot be assumed that employees realize the implications of deleting e-mails or even which e-mails need to be retained," the report said.

Interestingly, more companies are turning to e-mail archiving to try and solve the administrative burden, the Radicati report said. "Most companies, despite new regulations, are looking at archiving for storage rather than compliance," Radicati said. Only about a fourth of the companies surveyed currently have a formal e-mail archiving solution, and two-thirds of these are brand-new deployments, less than a year old.

When asked how much they would be willing to pay for e-mail archiving, the average response was $23.41 per user, which was actually higher than the $16.89 that e-mail archiving users reported they are paying now.

E-mail archiving providers include EMC Corp. (Legato), Veritas Software Inc. (KVS), Captaris Inc, Open Text (Ixos Software), Zantaz Inc., Iron Mountain, LiveVault Corp., CommVault Systems Inc. and Computer Associates Inc., among a host of other smaller specialist players. Companies that make instant message archiving products include: FaceTime Communications Inc., IMLogic Inc. and Akonix Systems Inc.


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