VAR Lands Add-On E-Mail Install With The National Guard
This $4.5 million VAR expects 15% growth next year from increased EDM (electronic document management) software installs.
Often the existing e-mail infrastructure in an organization does not address increasingly important concerns, including retention policies, archival search capabilities, and audit trails. With a growing number of e-mail management software VARs entering the marketplace, many end users are turning to these trusted integrators for technical expertise and training. In fact, that's exactly what the U.S. Army's Mississippi National Guard did when it identified that it wanted to improve its e-mail system to align with a newly implemented retention and search policy.
To secure an EDM e-mail management installation with the Mississippi National Guard, Mississippi Filing Systems, Inc. (MFS), a $4.5 million VAR, capitalized on both its proximity (i.e. within a mile) to the customer and its long-standing relationship with the client. "Our relationship with this DoD agency began nearly 20 years ago with the sale of shelving products and has continued over the years with add-on projects such as an imaging solution," explains Mark Stevens, technical director at MFS. "In fact, in 2001, we installed Digitech's PaperVision Enterprise software, the core application of an EDM solution."
Add-On To The Core EDM Solution
To adhere to the National Guard's e-mail retention and search policy, MFS recommended Digitech's PaperVision Message Manager (an add-on module to PaperVision Enterprise). "One of the key selling points to this solution was the fact that we used Message Manager in-house at MFS," says Barry McNair, VP of sales at MFS.
After MFS demonstrated Message Manager in late 2006, the add-on module was installed and the end users were trained within 30 days. Previously, all of the incoming e-mail downloaded from the Microsoft Exchange Server was stored directly on individual PCs. With the add-on installation of Message Manager, inbound and outbound e-mail is captured and stored to a secure back end server, not individual PCs. This feature enabled full compliance with government regulations the client outlined in the revised e-mail retention policy. "Some 90% of companies download e-mail directly from their servers to their client PCs. Policies are difficult to enforce with this sort of setup," adds Stevens. For example, the e-mail policy developed by the National Guard's personnel file department required the ability to search archived and existing e-mail. Without the Message Manager module, this functionality was not possible.
MFS worked hand-in-hand with the client to establish the necessary user accounts in Microsoft Exchange for proper communication with Message Manager. "The larger and more compartmentalized an organization becomes, the more challenging implementing user security will be for the VAR. We worked closely with the National Guard to establish the necessary user accounts," explains Stevens. After resolving the security challenges, MFS trained the file department in half a day. "Many of the users had prior experience with the Digitech suite of products. Everybody caught on quickly — it was painless," adds Stevens.
As a result of the installation, the customer is now able to fully adhere to the revised e-mail retention policy. For example, the customer can now provide e-mail audit trails if necessary and search across archived messages — both cornerstones of the revised policy.