By: Admin on November 13th, 2015

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Migrating Obsolete Email Archives: More than just copying messages

Migrating Obsolete Email ArchivesFor those of you less legally inclined, migrating obsolete email archives can be a tricky business, if not done right. To understand why this is the case, you have to first understand what data is actually contained in some email archives.

Many assume that an email archive contains only email messages and attachments. In some cases that is not correct. Yes, email messages and attachments were no doubt captured, but there are many other pieces of information that could actually benefit your case, if archived. Items such as calendar entries, meeting notices, contacts, tasks, journals, and (sticky) notes as well as the metadata surrounding them, could benefit you.

The IRS wants WHAT?

Take for example an IRS audit of a self-employed individual that tries to expense automobile mileage for meetings in their geographic region. Several years ago the IRS was asking unlucky tax payers to somehow prove that specific meeting were actually scheduled and took place in the locations claimed on the dates specified. In 2002, I started noticing cases where the IRS was asking to see the actual calendar entries at the time proving the meeting was actually scheduled. Once the IRS caught on to the fact that individuals could go back into Microsoft Exchange and add appointments to an earlier date, depending on the case, the IRS began to ask for the actual metadata for the appointment showing the appointment was actually created before the IRS audit was scheduled, i.e. proving they didn’t add the appointment much later than the date the appointment was scheduled for. I know it seems like a hassle to justify mileage expenses but the IRS was trying to make a point about documentation requirements at the time. Both the appointment and the metadata would support the claim that it constituted an original document according to the “rules of evidence” in U.S. Federal courtrooms.

Many people still use the “journal” and “notes” functions in Microsoft Exchange to log phone calls and take notes during conversations -I actually use the notes application to jot down original blog and article ideas. Again these additional data points could prove a conversation took place or that your original idea (IP) was discussed with another individual on a specific date.

The point is that some email archives like Mimosa’s NearPoint captured and archived more than just the email message and attachment. When planning to migrate an obsolete email archive, double-check to see what types of objects your old obsolete email archive actually captured. The message categories, calendar entries, meeting notices, meeting reminders, contacts, tasks, completed tasks, journals, notes and all associated metadata can be considered relevant in a lawsuit or prove your case. If you’ve decided to migrate and keep specific emails from an old email archive, take the same consideration with the other archived objects… it might save you in the long run.

Migrate Everything

If your obsolete email archive included calendar entries, tasks, contacts, journals, notes, or public folders you should immediately talk to Archive360 to see if our Archive 2-Anywhere migration solution suite, that enables rapid and secure movement of all archived objects between different archive services, is right for your project. It securely transports all of your legacy archived data into a new target environment, ensuring it remains seamlessly accessible - both for end-users and for compliance and eDiscovery purposes.