From Email Management to Information Governance

For over 12 years, Mail Attender for Exchange has been the flagship Sherpa product for the Exchange platform. From its humble beginnings, offering a very granular method of identifying email to delete in Exchange 5.5 and 2000, it has evolved and grown, responding to changes in email management needs within the market. Mail Attender leverages, and at times even augments, the improvements that came with each new version of Exchange. Over the years, Mail Attender’s capabilities have grown beyond its policy enforcement roots to include reporting, statistics collection, enhanced searching and secure, fool-proof migration. And along the way, the features of two other Sherpa products – PST Attender managing network-based PST files, and PST Attender for Desktops managing PST files on user desktops – were incorporated into Mail Attender, making it the comprehensive email management product for Exchange environments. Following the introduction of Online Archives as an email archive repository in Exchange 2010, Mail Attender’s scope was expanded to process the content in these stores as well.

Tried and True Mail Attender

One of the critical and very appealing benefits of Mail Attender is its ability to apply consistent and unified processing across all of an organizations’ email stores – Exchange mailboxes (on premises and Office 365), online archives, public folders and PST files. As regulation and oversight have increased in the past decade, Mail Attender’s ability to automatically and effectively enforce a company’s email retention policy has been one of the key factors in its longevity and relevance through the myriad of evolutions in the business climate.

The one major drawback however, is Mail Attender’s capabilities begin and end with email. A significant trend in the past few years has been the explosion in the repositories of storing organizational data. Corporate content is not just stored in email – file servers are inundated. Sharepoint is Microsoft’s newest billion dollar product and its use is growing rapidly, serving as the next big storehouse for electronic data. The proliferation of mobile devices and the increasing use of them to create content, and not simply as consumption devices, is beginning to require more organizational oversight of the information they contained. And there are now other service-based silos of corporate data, such as CRM solutions (Salesforce, for example) and online backup and replication systems (Dropbox, Skydrive, etc.) and much more.

Enter Attender Online

Sherpa Software has been monitoring these trends and the enormous information governance challenges they bring. Sherpa’s newest and most progressive offering, Attender Online, has been designed to alleviate this burden. Beginning with the most sought after capabilities of Mail Attender and leveraging our experience and expertise in information management, the architecture of the product serves as a platform, providing organizations the ability to review, manage and enforce the guidelines necessary to meet all corporate electronic information governance requirements, regardless of the repository.  A core benefit of Attender Online is its ability to do this in-place, without requiring the data to be moved into a central repository or conversion to a proprietary system.

Attender Online currently offers management of Exchange mailboxes, PST files, files and content housed in Sharepoint is actively ongoing and will be available in a few weeks. Attender Online’s unique platform architecture allows for rapid development of agents to manage new and additional data silos. Keep a lookout for ongoing and frequent updates to the product, as Sherpa Software strives to bring information governance of all corporate data to a single, unified and attractive platform.

Mail Attender remains Sherpa Software’s premier email migration product and will continue to offer support for enhanced email management capabilities. Attender Online however, has now inherited the role of the Sherpa product of the future, expanding through significant growth and development in the areas of data that will be managed and also the extent to which the data will be managed.

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