Case Study

GFI Case Study: Elgin Community College Uses GFI MailArchiver To Comply With E-Discovery Laws

Source: Business Solutions Magazine

Elgin Community College is an educational institution in Elgin, Illinois offering first-class education from certificate to degree level. Changes to compliance and e-discovery regulations meant that the college required a system that allowed it to be in a position to provide electronic data should it be required as evidence in a civil or criminal legal case. To this end, the College installed GFI MailArchiver, an email management and archiving software. Challenges The number of regulations and laws aimed at improving corporate governance across the spectrum of organizations around the world has led to a considerable increase in the use of archiving solutions as organizations realize the importance a single email could have in a civil or criminal legal case. The benefits of email management and archiving, however, go beyond the legal ramifications and include improved control over all corporate email, easier access to backups and improved email server performance, as one US educational institute discovered last year.

Elgin Community College, a leading educational institution in Elgin, Illinois, employs around 1,300 people and a year or so ago started the process to purchase an archiving solution to manage the college's email.

Michael Chahino, Director of Network Operations and Security, said the college's primary concern was to ensure that they were compliant with changes introduced to e-discovery laws last year.

"These changes meant that we, as a college, had to have a system in place that allowed us to collect, manage and access all email correspondence generated by the college. Seeing the need for an email management archiving solution that was suitable for a medium sized institution such as Elgin Community College, we looked at Symantec Enterprise Vault and GFI MailArchiver. We found GFI MailArchiver to be better suited to our needs and the software was installed eight months ago."

What initially struck Mr. Chahino was the ease with which GFI MailArchiver could be installed and the simple but effective user interface.

"Implementation was very straightforward; we built it out on older hardware with a big disk and a generous amount of RAM. We then built out a SQL server with an instance of Microsoft Exchange (to house the journaling mailbox) prior to installing GFI MailArchiver," he explained.

The whole project took around 8 hours to implement and because Elgin uses a dedicated Exchange install, the impact on their infrastructure is relatively small.

"On-going maintenance requires some standard monitoring and quarterly rotation of the database files, but otherwise the system is fairly self-sustaining."

The installation of GFI MailArchiver also highlighted some procedural issues. As Mr. Chahino explained: "We've had to grapple with the procedures regarding how and when we grant access to the mail record. Once the solution was in place it became apparent that the technical limitations we were under before hid some of the procedural ambiguities."

Although Elgin Community College was primarily concerned with compliance, GFI MailArchiver offered a number of other benefits.

"Our main concern was e-discovery and with GFI MailArchiver we are now fully compliant and we satisfy the requirements for archival that we face as an institution. More than that, however, it has given us better control when we restore mailboxes and this benefit was evident within a few days of installing the software," Mr. Chahino said.

Shortly after implementation the IT Department was approached by a user who accidentally deleted large portions of her inbox.

"Using GFI MailArchiver we were able to easily restore the individual e-mails that she lost; this was an unexpected benefit and a real time saver as the restoration of an individual e-mail can be cumbersome using Microsoft's recovery procedures."

He added that GFI's MailArchiver is also easy to deploy and maintain, it is easy to implement and from a financial perspective is very affordable and very competitively priced.

Target reached
"Your product is very competitive, reliable, has an excellent user interface, is simple to use and above all is very affordable. We are very satisfied with the product and thanks to GFI MailArchiver we have achieved our goal and more," Mr. Chahino said.

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SOURCE: Business Solutions Magazine