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What can you do about email storage?

11 December, 2020

Many businesses adopt Mail Manager, having had years of staff never filing their emails beyond keeping them in their inbox. Costs for storing emails are concerning because they’re ‘new’, although like storage of project documents or drawings they’ve rapidly become a cost of doing business.

Why are they ‘new’?

Typically, businesses have relied on emails being left in an inbox, and never really filed anywhere centrally. Over the last 10 years, the volume of email has continued to multiply, and often businesses haven’t questioned how email is filed, stored, or how easy it is to retrieve for wider project teams.

What should you do about storage costs?

There are a number of options open to SME and Enterprise firms when it comes to storage:

  • File server – if you are already using a file server for all your project documentation, there is an advantage in storing your emails together in the same place. Over time, this would mean your server would need additional space, as it would in any case at some point.

  • Microsoft 365 – if you’re using Microsoft 365, it comes with SharePoint storage included. This involves creating project sites in SharePoint, which can then appear as locations in Mail Manager to file to.

  • Cloud-based Document Management systems – Mail Manager integrates with a number of Document Management and Common Data Environment platforms, such as Viewpoint and Procore.

 

What is most common?

There are a mix of more firms adopting Microsoft 365 storage, however the majority seek to get the maximum amount of value and usage from the existing investment they’ve made in their infrastructure, meaning they store emails on to their File server. However, it is possible to get Mail Manager implemented, use it for a number of years, and then transition to SharePoint, or even to do this gradually.

What if we do need to invest more in storage?

The majority of your users will be used to using Windows Explorer to access documents, so using Azure for your own storage allows you to increase storage with minimal change to the end user.

See below for typical indicative costs of additional storage:

  • As part of the company’s Microsoft 365 subscription you get 1TB of SharePoint shared storage plus 10GB per license.
  • Emails stored in all user’s inboxes are actually stored on their email server, either on-premise or on-line.


Additionally:

  • Azure Data Storage = approx. £550 per TB / Year
  • Amazon S3 Standard = approx. £228 per TB / Year

Moving from an on-premise mail server to Exchange Online (included with Microsoft 365) will reduce costs.

Important notes

  • In comparison to other forms of information, email represents a smaller percentage of total storage, compared to drawings, model, and image files.
  • If your company see’s a value in staff filing their emails and recognises the importance of doing this from a firm-wide time saving and risk management perspective, then storage is a cost which won’t go away.

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