Hummingbird yokes e-mail archiving

There’s no doubt that corporate Canada faces new challenges to retain, control and retrieve digital records now that regulations like the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) are in effect. Toronto-based Hummingbird Ltd. says it has teamed up with Veritas Software Corp. to present a combined e-mail management and archiving application to help companies stay within the rules.

Come September businesses will be able to buy a joint Hummingbird-Veritas product that includes Hummingbird’s Enterprise 2005, a content management platform, and Veritas’s Enterprise Vault software. Vault is a document archiving application that moves e-mail messages from the front-line inbox to back-end disks for long-term storage.

Andrew Pery, a senior vice-president at Hummingbird, said companies can use this Enterprise-Vault combo to ensure that employees handle e-mails as regulations and business policies dictate. For instance, PIPEDA requires businesses to keep certain correspondence confidential. Only particular people within the corporation should have access to those messages, Pery explained. Via the Enterprise-Vault product, companies can control who gets to see specific archived e-mails. The two-pronged product also lets companies build an automated framework for bringing the messages into the storage system. It’s relatively easy for business records managers to tell the Enterprise-Vault system what to do with messages and when, Pery said. The system offers a visual workflow interface so managers can modify the process on screen.

Users get easy-to-follow instructions for message handling once the system’s in place. “The user is defined by a role within the workflow,” Pery said. “They get an e-mail message saying, ‘This document needs to be reviewed,’ or ‘This document has been archived because it has met a particular event.’” Users access Enterprise and Vault via Microsoft Corp.’s e-mail client Outlook. Pery said Hummingbird is working on a version that links with IBM Corp.’s Lotus Notes client as well, but to begin with his company aimed for the biggest piece of the pie; Outlook is the most popular e-mail app.

According to Kenneth Chin, vice-president of research at Gartner Inc., companies are beginning to see content management and storage as aspects of the same thing: smart enterprise operation. As a result the combined Hummingbird-Veritas software could make music for both companies.

Pery said Hummingbird and Veritas present something of a united front with this software to battle EMC Documentum.

Chin from Gartner said EMC Documentum is larger than Hummingbird and Veritas are alone. Even though the smaller companies are known for solid products, they would have a tough time battling EMC individually. Together the firms might be able to garner more of the content management and storage market than they would by themselves, he said.

EMC Documentum hasn’t been sitting still while Hummingbird and Veritas erected their joint venture. This past spring the firm unveiled a new version of its Content Intelligence Services (CIS) product, which automatically classifies business content across the enterprise. CIS 5.3, the latest iteration, provides multilingual categorization.

The Hummingbird-Veritas product costs $600 per user, but Hummingbird’s reps said the price moves according to the number of user-licences you purchase. Hummingbird is online at Veritas is at

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