Stretching the IT Dollar: Survey Shows In-house Email Archiving Solutions Cost 26 Per Cent More Than Outsourcing

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Research indicates businesses are underestimating the labor costs associated with managing an email archiving system internally.

According to a recent survey conducted by a leading analyst firm in the messaging space, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for email archiving is often significantly higher for in-house solutions than for an outsourced option. The survey, conducted by Osterman Research for email archiving provider Fortiva, reveals the TCO for maintaining an in-house archiving capability is $4.53 per user per month for a mid-sized organization over a three-year period. This works out to be 26 per cent higher than Fortiva’s managed email archiving solution, which provides similar capacity at a cost $3.58 per user per month.

The survey also found that those who are planning on implementing an email archiving solution are underestimating how much IT labor will cost. Organizations without an email archiving system in place expected the labor component to be half of their total costs, while those who have actually deployed an archiving solution said labor costs accounted for two-thirds of their total costs.

“This survey reinforces what we regularly hear from our customers and prospects: managing an email archive in-house puts a surprising amount of strain on the IT budget and staff,” said Paul Chen, CEO of Fortiva Inc. “Companies typically set aside budget for the email archiving software plus hardware infrastructure to store the data, but they underestimate the additional costs required to keep it running. As the archive grows, additional challenges related to performance, scalability and data integrity further contribute to driving up the cost of an in-house archive.”

According to Osterman Research, the top three most time-consuming activities for IT staff are providing technical support to end users, backing up the archive, and administering archive users. The survey, which was conducted between July 25 and August 18, 2006 among North American organizations, considered costs incurred both during and after installation, including storage, maintenance and ongoing labor costs.

“Traditionally, outsourcing email archiving has been seen as more cost-effective for small or midsized companies. What this research proves is that even for enterprises with 10,000 users or more, there may not be a strong TCO argument for in-house solutions,” said Michael Osterman, President, Osterman Research. “When you consider the additional benefits of outsourcing to a company like Fortiva, such as scalability, security, and SLA performance guarantees, not to mention reduced hassles, the pendulum is clearly swinging toward outsourcing.”

A full report by Osterman Research based on the survey results is available for download at

The Fortiva Archiving Suite is a fully-managed email archiving solution that allows businesses to automatically capture and index all internal and external communications with guaranteed data privacy. Users can easily access archived data within Outlook or a Web browser; no client software installed on the desktop, no software installation on Exchange and no schema changes on Active Directory for easy IT administration. Fortiva also integrates with Active Directory, eliminating the need for IT administrators to maintain two sets of users and access rights. By outsourcing to Fortiva, customers get on-demand access to a redundant storage infrastructure that scales with their growing needs, while eliminating the need to monitor and back up their email archive.

About Fortiva Inc.

Fortiva is a leading provider of managed email archiving solutions for legal discovery, regulatory compliance and mailbox management. With Fortiva, customers get a fully-managed email archiving solution that is backed by industry-leading Data Privacy and Search Performance Guarantees. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada with offices across the United States and a global data center presence, Fortiva delivers its customer-driven solutions through a strong network of strategic partnerships as well as a direct sales force. Fortiva is a privately-owned company, with investment from Cargill Ventures, McLean Watson Capital and Ventures West. For more information, visit

For more information:

Sarah Grant

514.908.0110 ext. 313

Jumana Chowdhury

416.366.6666 ext. 385

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