Imagine, for a moment, a common situation in any information governance (IG) program: It’s 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, and you’ve just received a request from your organization’s legal team with a page-and-a-half-full of search terms and parameters. They need this by Monday; so you jump right into it, ready to search through the marked email stores. Unfortunately, your organization is so large that your email stores are a few terabytes in size – and the request is impossible in the given time frame. The search alone will take days of sorting out junk and redundant files.
Regardless of the unattainable request, your legal team is breathing down your neck and you must achieve the impossible. So, you quickly search for help from a well-known, reputable organization. Alas, you find Sherpa Software.
As a technical support representative, I come across incidents every day that could easily be resolved, but often cause headaches as organizations find themselves in pressing circumstances. It’s stressful, and it can be nerve-wracking, and it’s why we’re here to help.
Often, this comes down to a lack of understanding about the requirements of the software and some of its features. Think of the following examples not only as some of the best practices when using Sherpa Software’s solutions, but also as a way to make sure that you have the most relevant information on hand when the time comes for you to reach out to us.
“Has anything changed?”
Oftentimes the root cause of an issue, especially for connectivity problems, is due to some change in the working environment. This can be a new Exchange machine on the network, updating the software and forgetting to save your settings, or even some unknown variable. This is most common in Discovery Attender for Windows, where permissions need to be explicitly given via the PowerShell and where there are separate options in the settings menu for connecting to Exchange 2010 machines (via Client Access Servers) and Exchange 2013 machines. Making sure that the DAE settings are correct will almost always resolve connectivity issues and the dreaded MAPI_E_NETWORK error that frequently accompanies them. If a connectivity issue persists, more information may be needed, and that is certainly a time to reach out to us for technical support.
When calling in for technical support, always be sure to think about any specific patterns in the issue you’re experiencing, any recent actions that you’ve taken, or anything special at all. Perhaps the issue may only be affecting a few mailboxes, or a few specific users. Taking a closer look at your setup may cause an answer to present itself.
“Are you going to be working with this software frequently in the future?”
As a rule, I tend to ask this question when speaking to new customers or to people filling in for the usual technical contacts. Sherpa offers training sessions on our software products in order to help familiarize customers with both basic and advanced features; tThis can be helpful for both customers who purchased the product as a response to immediate need, as well as for those who are integrating a Sherpa product as part of a broader IG strategy. Training has the dual purpose of immediately empowering customers as well as making it easier for them to plan out future strategy with the software. That way, when a command for a very precise kind of retention policy is sent down, or if someone is having trouble accessing their archives, customers have the confidence that lets them tackle issues that otherwise might have slowed productivity while technical support is reached. Nothing is more frustrating than being presented with an obscure list of bizarre terms, or needing to perform a complex archive action and not knowing where to begin. It goes without saying that having someone guide you through the software goes a long way toward approaching problems with a cool, level head, and help in coming to a solution all the more easily.
“Are you running the latest and greatest?”
Part of Sherpa’s commitment to customers is the steady release of product upgrades, implementing new features and resolving any stray bugs that happen to make it past initial testing. Working with the latest and greatest not only means that you are working with the most features, but you are also avoiding any trouble that might come with updates to the system around you. Issues might start small and it’s easy to put them off until absolutely necessary, but it pays to stay abreast of any changes made.
Think back to our first example: What if the program hadn’t been upgraded to the latest version and ended up being incompatible with one of the latest Windows update changes? That’s additional time being spent upgrading in a critical period when that time should have been spent resolving the real issue at hand.
Extra tips for Mail Attender for Exchange (MAE)
- Have you set your Master MAPI profile? You need your Master MAPI profile to access Microsoft 365 Mailboxes, so that should be the first thing to review on your checklist when experiencing an error.
- It’s always best to test your rule on a sample email store, especially if you are preparing to implement a deletion policy. The last thing anybody wants is to realize that a policy wasn’t doing what you thought it was doing until a few months down the line.
Extra Tips for Archive Attender for Exchange (AA)
- Try not to let your archives get too huge. Break them up; it’ll prevent size-related issues in the future, and you’ll thank yourself for the headaches you’ll avoid.
- Make sure to upgrade; this applies to Archive Attender more than perhaps any other piece of software. The number of additional features, stability, and the end of official support for AA 3.5 should be more than enough to convince you that the time to upgrade has finally come.
Extra Tips for Discovery Attender for Windows (DA)
- Make sure that explicit permissions are given and that you have the proper inputs in your settings.
- Use the test functionality in Discovery Attender. Especially when unsure if your settings and criteria will produce the expected results, the test functionality will quickly become your best friend.
As always, Sherpa Software strives to provide 100% customer satisfaction. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for any questions or comments you may have!