Sherpa Software delivers innovative software solutions focused exclusively around email management, electronic content filtering, document retention policy enforcement, and electronic discovery (also known as e-Discovery). Electronically stored information (ESI) can come in many forms, and managing that data effectively may require more than one tool. Known collectively as the Attender Utilities for Exchange, Sherpa’s current suite of products includes:
- Mail Attender – a tool for Exchange Mailbox and PST management
- Discovery Attender – electronic search and discovery utility
- Archive Attender – Exchange archiving tool
- PST Backup Attender – desktop PST backup software
- Report Attender – Early Case Assessment and data analysis tool
Each of these tools performs a specific function to address specific needs within your organization. But these are more than stand-alone utilities. Their capabilities are carefully designed to augment and complement one another, while minimizing any overlapping functionality between them. In fact, each could be regarded as an individual module within a comprehensive document management and compliance solution, the whole of which is greater than the sum of its parts.
Our original Attender Utility, Mail Attender, helps IT Administrators manage Exchange mailboxes and Desktop PST files by applying flexible mail rules. Various criteria (message age, sender/receiver, message size, subject, etc.) can be used alone or in combination to copy, move or delete messages, create custom reports or gather information about Exchange data. It can also be used to reintegrate dispersed PST files, including those existing on local workstations, back into their respective Exchange mailboxes. This last feature alone is a great aid in the e-Discovery process as it allows far-flung material to be consolidated for easy search and review by Sherpa’s Discovery Attender. What’s more, if your organization is under court order to preserve documents, Mail Attender can be used to enforce a litigation hold by isolating a “snapshot” of a user’s Mailbox at a given point in time, thereby preventing the unauthorized destruction of data.
While Mail Attender offers a limited search capability, the true centerpiece of Sherpa’s e-Discovery offerings is Discovery Attender. Discovery Attender is designed to automate the search and collection of electronically stored information (ESI) across a wide spectrum of sources and types (Exchange mailboxes, PST files, file shares, Lotus Notes mail databases, SharePoint lists, etc.). Even if you’re not involved with litigation, you may still need search capabilities in order to comply with HIPA or Sarbanes-Oxley requirements. In addition to searching for keywords, Discovery Attender can also identify documents containing credit card or social security numbers, conduct non-legal related searches or root out confidential or business inappropriate content. And this capability applies not only within email, but in virtually any type of ESI.
Our latest release, Report Attender, gathers and summarizes important details to identify the items that are stored in your network shares and email servers. Summary reports, drill down views, vibrant charts, and custom options provided by Report Attender assist you in making informed decisions for early case assessment (a pre-cursor to e-Discovery), administration, litigation and compliance. While Report Attender functions well on its own as a useful administrative or planning tool, it is clearly intended for use in conjunction with Discovery Attender as a means of getting a handle on what type of information exists on your system prior to the onset of potentially costly litigation. Understanding what types of data exist and where it resides is crucial for knowing where potential liabilities may linger.
Archive Attender is a full-featured data archiving solution designed to selectively move or copy messages from Exchange mailboxes and PST files to any storage device on the network. Archive Attender policies support a flexible range of criteria to support a wide variety of retention requirements. And of course, once created, the archives are fully searchable by both Discovery Attender and Report Attender. Other archiving solutions may not offer that same compatibility.
Managing PST files can present a host of challenges. Securing data to avoid loss or corruption, performing e-Discovery or enforcing retention policies are just a few examples. PST Backup Attender is designed to help administrators meet these challenges. PST Backup Attender is distributed to workstations on the network via Group Policy where it will silently install and operate as a background service. The desktop agent will automatically scan local hard drives for PST files then enforce the backup or retention policies stored in the system registry during installation. Knowing what data resides where is crucial when faced with litigation, which may come with court-imposed deadlines.
The key is to think about how the pieces fit together within a greater context and understanding what your needs are, not only for the immediate term, but as they may evolve over time. Is litigation a concern or are you simply looking to limit storage requirements or secure user-access to data? Are PST’s a problem in your organization? Or perhaps you may want to consistently archive or delete data that has reached a certain age simply for compliance purposes.
All of which begs the question: if Sherpa’s Attender Utilities for Exchange one such a comprehensive solution, then why don’t we integrate them and sell the complete package? The answer is simple. We recognize that every customer’s needs are different and that a cookie cutter solution is not right for everyone. By choosing only the exact capabilities you need at a given time, not only are we making our products affordable, we’re also lessening the learning curve required to use them most effectively. Having worked with thousands of customers since we’ve been in business, we’ve helped customers with very narrow, specific needs, as well as those looking to implement a comprehensive, long-term ESI management system. By taking the synergistic approach, we’re able to help you tailor a reliable solution that’s right for you, right now as well as down the road.