Emails – Automated Selection and Archiving into Document Management System

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Hello All,
I am engaged in discussions with a vendor regarding using their software to scan emails in staff mailboxes, select records which need to be retained for legal and business reasons and archive them into a DMS.
The company already has an automated process and DMS in place for structured insurance content.
The focus here is unstructured content relating to support departments such as legal, HR, Finance, Compliance, IT, Management.
A DMS will need to be designed and rules (with fine tuning) needed to educate the system as to what emails need to be archived.
The archive decision cannot rely solely on email subject, the email content will need to be considered.
Exceptions will need to be reviewed but the number of exceptions should be low. The objective is to have important historic and new emails selected from individual’s mailboxes and archived with minimal intervention on a day to day basis.
The remaining content can be then be deleted after an agreed period of time. I feel like I am chasing the holy grail here……
Has anyone managed to implement a solution of this nature?
Any positive or negative experience, advice and feedback welcome.


Email management is notoriously about the most difficult form of unstructured data (content) to manage. The tools are definitely getting better, however, the issue is that a single email might easily be categorized under 2, 3, or even more spots on the retention schedule. And an email chain just exacerbates the issue. A lot of organizations end up just asking the users to classify into 2 or 3 really big buckets based on published guidance in the organization.

That said, if Allianz is using EOL (Exchange Online in O365), I think the latest round of advances in the O365 “label” functionality might be worth looking at for this purpose as it logically follows that MS, as the OEM for Exchange, obviously has the deepest knowledge about how to best integrate any form of categorization capability with the platform. At the very least, I would suggest due diligence testing this against the other tools IF you’re using EOL. If you’re still Exchange on-prem, this won’t apply.


To properly process the unstructured portion of the email (the message body) you will need to use the advanced capture techonlogies such as ITYX or Ephesoft that specializes in processing inbound content and utilized lingquistic and natuarl language processing. These DO REQUIRE training to understand how to classify inbound information which then would be sent to ECM/EDM for storage, but with the appropriate index/metadata configured allowing for appropriate processing. I would STRONGLY urge you use that class of capture processsing utliities as without NLP or LP, your process will never meet your needs. PM me if you wnat more info.


There are some features in Microsoft Office 365 that can help you with this. You would need to look into the Security & Compliance Centre (which is an administration portal) and then look into some of the rules associated with Records Management. You may need to do some additional tweaking, but this could be one option.

You may may also want to investigate a tool called ControlPoint which does have functionality to address what you have outlined. It can be a challenge to configure though, given the level of complexity when connecting systems like this, so you will want to make sure that you have some open lines of communication with your IT support group.

Good luck!

CannonSpark Consulting

what i I have done on previous projects is anything email considered important / confidential we assigned a correspondence number such as letter / mom etc which is the beginning of the email subject this is then uploaded to the EDMS. Basically correspondence procedure defines what is / isn’t classified or as important / confidential of which all personnel adhered especially for sending external, we then have retention period built into the EDMS, all other day to day Mail was archived with email and periodically uploaded to the EDMS.

Best regards

Hi You may want to consider using an ontology solution which combines your enterprise vocabulary with sematic technology to autocategorise content according to your business rules. I have implemented a few of these solutions where documents (email will work too) are analysed by the ontology engine based on the language used in the content and mapped to a specific disposal authority. Accuracy rates are approximately 85%. The beauty of a good ontology solution is that it can run independently of Outlook, as long as the text is available for analysis.


TEAM Asparona

I assume you’re referring to something like AKA?


Hi Lorne
I’m not familiar with AKA but would be interested to learn more about it. The software I’ve used is Semaphore from SmartLogic, integrated with a DMS. I would be happy to share more details if necessary.

TEAM Asparona

That is very interesting (85% success rate in auto-classification). 85% success means 15% failure, which at first might sound like a significant proportion…until you realize that human classification by rank and file staff is usually worse than 85% success, if they even bother to make the effort to classify at all!

Was SmartLogic a tool you selected specifically for its auto-classification capabilities? Was it a huge amount of work to set up and configure auto-classification?


It sounds like you need something like this, which works in partnership with your EDRMS:
Inwards Mail Automated Processing (oMail)

I suggest you look at an AutoClassification tool, i.e., “middle-ware” that sits between your email server and your DMS to identify and classify the unstructured portion of the email message body, as well as any attachments. AutoClassification tools help extract the appropriate metadata and then through defined rules move the “important historic and new emails” to the DMS. They also help define incoming or outgoing ROT, as well as sensitive content, like PII

Your “use case” is not unusual and Valora Technologies can assist. I will contact you offline of this list thread, but other are welcome to reach out if I can be of any assistance. Our leadership regularly speaks on the topic of email AutoClassification, and I encourage everyone to look at the presentations and videos on 44Valora’s YouTube page.

Valora Technologies, Inc.

From your message, I understand you are looking not only for intelligent email management, but as well for a DMS that will serve many organization departments for unstructured content. May I suggest you consider ELO Digital Office, and their ELOprofessional platform. ELO, based in Stuttgart, offers a highly out-of-the-box solution that seems to match your requirement closely. They offer both the content management solution and email management. There are two main email modules, one for the Exchange server that may solve your selection, archive, and retention requirements, and an Outlook client integration that allows individuals to also manage emails, attachments, etc.

I am with Ovitas, Inc. in the Boston area, and we are a premier partner with ELO in the US. They have offices around the world, including the UK. Ovitas has an office in Budapest, where we have been an ELO Digital Office partner since 2007.

Here is a link to the Email management solution at ELO. Hope this helps.

Kind regards,
Ovitas, Inc.

Thanks for all the feedback. I have taken all your comments and suggestions on board.

Regards Catherine

Allianz Ireland PLC

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