Email Handling

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Hello Everyone; After a great deal of talk at both the AIIM and MER conferences around email retention and archiving, I am now trying to get a feel for what is happening in the general (working) population:
What limitations does your organization put on an active email inbox?
Does placing the email into a folder extend or offset these limitations?
How long do you maintain an email in your archive (if you archive at all)?

Thanks in advance for the input.

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The PrivateBank
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Hi organisations I have worked for have applied a size limit and a 90 day deletion policy for the inbox and sent
Folders had a two year retention policy.
emails that were records were filed with the rest of the record
Hope this helps

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Lesley Holmes

I agree with the post on the management of the email putting the responsibility of the management of the “record” on the user – attaching it to the record to which it refers. We too had a 90 day deletion situation at one company that I worked for but in other organizations it is a tsunami of email not being managed and being backed up long after it is/was relevant.

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Gibson Energy

Hi,
What limitations does your organization put on an active email inbox? We apply a size limit and a deletion policy on inbox, folders, sent, deleted, calendar etc. The size limit will go away when we move to O365.
Does placing the email into a folder extend or offset these limitations? Users do have the ability to set a retention policy for select emails (inbox) or folders that need to be retained longer than the standard deletion policy.
How long do you maintain an email in your archive (if you archive at all)? We do not maintain and email archive –

In the last two large organisations I’ve worked for:

What limitations does your organization put on an active email inbox?

One places no limitations on email in any sense. The other archives all emails after 2 months. The first organisation had a policy that emails as records should be moved into the records management system.

Does placing the email into a folder extend or offset these limitations? No.

How long do you maintain an email in your archive (if you archive at all)? Indefinitely.

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Plymouth City Coucil

The worst thing you can do is view emails as a record type rather than a different container like any other electronic an analog record. Email applications are not records management tools, therefore your best bet is to put in a place a “save it or lose it” policy. The only question left then is how long is worth the risk of keeping all emails active in your email infrastructure? Then you need to provide easy and efficient ways for users to archive emails with business value in the content management repository. Also make a point to make the information easily retrievable by users afterward. Once the emails are properly archived, the retention schedule is followed by the content value, not based on the mere fact the record is an email.
To play it smart, I suggest you run a risk assessment with all stakeholders demonstrating the worst case scenarios for the business (FOI, Litigations, Holds, eDiscovery…)

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[CBC/Radio-Canada]

While I agree with Benoit around ideal state, the practicality of achieving ideal state is not very realistic for many organizations.
So I see it more as email applications SHOULD NOT, vs. “are not”, RM tools. The reality is that they are used that way all the way up the food chain in a very large percentage of organizations. Therefore, it seems a more attainable goal to try to manage them better within the confines of the email environment. Especially given that there are a number of good tools out there to help with this.
I absolutely agree with Benoit about the significant, and VERY quickly growing, importance of the users being able to find email content quickly and easily regardless of where it is being retained. Actually, I feel that true enterprise findability, as opposed to “search”, is becoming more critical every day. Across ALL repositories, on-prem and cloud and anywhere in between.

 

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