Exchange Administrators Need a Consistent Interface for Email Archiving; Interview with C2C Systems CTO Ken Hughes Part I

Archiving is emerging as one of the hot new trends of the next decade with organizations looking for better ways to manage their Big Data stores. Perhaps nowhere is data growth more rampant – and the need for better ways to manage it – more evident than with corporate email stores. In this blog entry, I begin an interview series with C2C System’s CTO Ken Hughes in which we initially discuss C2C’s focus on Microsoft Exchange and which size environments C2C’s products are best positioned to handle.

Charles: Ken, thanks for joining me today. To start this off, can you do a brief introduction of C2C Systems?

Ken: Thanks for having me, Charles. This is where C2C Systems believes it is. It delivers consistent information management including discovery, retention and archived email regardless of its location. This is probably C2C’s biggest differentiator.

C2C first introduced email archiving in 2002 primarily around Microsoft Exchange though C2C started working with email as far back as Microsoft Mail before Microsoft Exchange even existed in 1996. So our team started learning about Microsoft Exchange in the mid 90s. What C2C knows about Exchange is probably the same as the best guys in Microsoft as our team has been in place for a long time.

Charles: Why only Exchange? Why not other products like Domino and SharePoint?

Ken: Domino is just a smaller market. It is complex and though we have a solution, it is just easier for us to focus on Exchange. In regards to SharePoint, C2C has never really seen it as a big enough market to warrant the investment from our development team as the demand just is not there.

Charles: So is all of your development done from a Microsoft perspective and is your platform a Microsoft stack also?

Ken: C2C is a complete Microsoft stack. While we do work on the Domino product, that is done to just hook into the data. All of our core processing and functionality is developed on the Microsoft stack.

This comes back to our idea of consistent data management. C2C believe organizations should manage all data in the same way. You do not want to have different methods of managing different data regardless of its location.

Ease of installation and operation are also important as that is feedback that we consistently get back. This is why C2C made ArchiveOne is easy to install and manage.

Now people may say that you only install and archiving product once so it does not matter that it takes 10 or 15 days to complete this task. Our view is that you absolutely have to show that you can install it quickly, easily and intuitively so you can show that you can do the ongoing management.

Another item that comes through is we have a consistent interface for the Exchange administrator that is presents itself in the way that they tend to think today. Everything C2C does is very familiar to the Exchange administrator.

This is particularly important to the market that is our focus. Our key target market is 500 to 5,000 or maybe 10,000 users. We picked that market because the EMC’s, the Autonomy’s and the Symantec’s do not focus heavily on that market so it is an easier sale.

However we are happy to scale to meet the needs of very large companies. We have some of the largest oil companies and multi-national banks that have over 100,000 users implemented on some of our products. In fact, C2C’s largest archiving installation is some 70,000+ users in the chemical industry.

C2C’s difference is that it is one of the classic on premise archiving vendors. We do that for the security and integration with Exchange. If you’re going to that level of complexity, it’s very difficult in very small companies with less than 50 users as C2C is setting up a complex of systems so C2C is really targeting the enterprise class company.

In Part II of this interview series, Ken explains why eDiscovery and retention management are becoming the new driving forces behind archiving and why C2C’s ArchiveOne is so well positioned to respond to that trend.

In Part III of this interview series, Ken discusses C2C’s policy management features and the granular ways in which users may manage deletion in their data stores.

In Part IV of this interview series, Ken examines how C2C performs search across distributed email and file
systems and what techniques it employs to establish data ownership

In Part V of this interview series Ken explains how C2C manages archival data stores.

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