So why did we decide to add archiving to our feature set?
Why Not Use Microsoft 365 Archive?
For the longest time we resisted adding archiving. When a customer would ask us about archiving, we used to direct them to the archiving capabilities built into Microsoft 365.
But then customers shared with us some of the reasons that Microsoft’s archiving cannot serve them and why they were looking for something else. The key reasons we heard repeatedly were:
- In Microsoft 365 archiving, when a mailbox is deleted, so is all the archived email that that user received. This is very contradictory for a customer that needs to archive email for future investigation. Especially when an employee leaves, you want to make sure some copy of that data is preserved
- For customers in certain industries or under specific regulations, the archiving solution has to be on a separate platform than the source. Using Microsoft 365 for both email and archiving does not satisfy this requirement
- With Microsoft archiving, the end-user can still permanently delete the message. Online guidance does indicate that there might be some way to configure it differently but the behavior is still not very clear. For example, though it’s hard to understand (and if you do, please explain it to the rest of us!), Microsoft actually recommends an external archive if you don’t want end-users to be able to delete emails
For customers that require archiving, they shared with us that they prefer that the solution be external—an entirely different platform, with the ability to save the full archive regardless of the employee’s status, and done in a way where employees don’t have access.
How Is Avanan’s Archiving Better?
We have seen customers of Secure Email Gateways (SEGs) that wanted to leave them because of their poor security performance, but couldn’t because they relied on their archiving. We even have customers that purchased Avanan but still kept their SEG just for archiving.
This, together with the shortfalls of the built-in Microsoft 365 Archiving, made it clear to us— Avanan needs to offer an archiving option in order to replace the Secure Email Gateway.
As we went to implement a new archiving solution, we had two key advantages:
- Everything we do is in Amazon AWS, and with some of the best technologies available for archiving, like S3 Glacier, which is particularly resilient due to its multiple locations and multiple copies, we were able to provide a solution that is cost effective, much faster and more reliable than anything a legacy solution was able to provide
- We implemented some customer-specific features that other archiving solutions don’t provide; for example, different archiving policies for different people in the organization; basically, who should be archived and for how long, based on their groups or departments in Microsoft 365.
Building an archiving solution designed in the cloud from the ground-up is really what makes our solution feature-rich and more reliable than anything the legacy providers developed on their own.
We didn’t start with archiving. But it's now an integral part of our journey of reinventing email security.