Is Office 365 now a One-Stop-Shop for email compliance?

office 365 email compliance journal archive

Discover How (and why) Office 365 Replaces The 'Traditional' Journal Service.

TransVault, our partner and leader of archive migration solutions, has recently released a white paper that supports Microsoft’s claim that Office 365 delivers a one-stop-shop for regulatory email compliance.

Of big interest to us is why doesn't Office 365 provide a journal as we know it? And how is it now 'filling the journal gap' - to the extent that you don't need to supplement it with a 3rd-party service or keep an on-premises Exchange journal?

More importantly, if you want to switch to the cloud, what you need to do to transition an existing journal into the new way of doing things?

See pages 14/15/16 of this paper to read more on these subjects.

Obviously it's not just about having an email journal:  Savvy email administrators understand that compliance encompasses many different aspects of their project such as; mailbox storage, archive storage, legal hold, search/eDiscovery, reporting – the list goes on and on.

Click on the link and download a copy of the Making Office 365 One-Stop-Shop for Email Records Compliance whitepaper.

BEST PRACTICE TIP: Don't be tempted to migrate a journal into one big Office 365 mailbox!

One thing to watch out for is the fact that Office 365 expressly prohibits the use of a single mailbox to archive emails belonging to multiple users.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/exchange-online-limits.aspx

In-Place Archive can only be used for a single entity - not a shared journal

This means you can't simply take all (or selected chunks) of a journal archive and put it into one or more Office 365 mailboxes (e.g. organised by journal year).

Even if you do what is required to recover and preserve the all-important BCC and DL (distribution list) metadata that the old-style journal captures and make sure it is put into Office 365 in a format that is search-able, combining multiple custodians emails into a single mailbox for future compliance and eDiscovery is not a good way to go.

Apart from breaking Microsoft licensing rules, you are creating an eDiscovery nightmare for later down the track, as it will become unclear as to which mailboxes need to be included in any given search.  

You'll have a mix of individual mailboxes and shared mailboxes to contend with, and the concept of limiting your search according to custodian mailboxes becomes challenging.

Bear in mind also that Microsoft is rapidly enhancing Office 365 so that the job of eDiscovery can more easily be passed outside of the IT team, so it's wise to plan for a straightforward future!

Your best strategy is to 'break out' all the individual custodian's emails represented in your journal archive and map them onto the relevant individual mailboxes in Office 365.

Don't panic!  This process won't be as onerous or as costly as you think.  For example leaver's emails can be migrated into Office 365 and their respective mailboxes can be put on permanent In-Place hold and the related CAL released for re-use.  

Again - you can read more about these subjects in the white paper or contact us for more information.

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