“Attachments account for 85 percent of all e-mail data (source:Radicatti Group). Storing all the attachment data bogs down e-mail servers, yet purchasing new servers is cost-prohibitive”
Our own experiences in working with email and collaboration systems both as a user and as a maker, agrees with this. More importantly, exchanging large attachments with a large number of people slows down the mail delivery resulting in performance degradation.
Large amounts of storage offered as standard part of the cloud based email solution tends to make worse the problem and hide this cost. But it is something that the customer is paying for. Sometimes even before they make actual use of it. Business customers can well do without this cost.
Also as part of working with hundreds of customers for their email and collaboration systems, we know that the attachments sent and received over a companies email system are some of the most important information assets of the company.
To help save storage costs, while ensuring efficient exchange of documents and their secure storage, we have been innovating around the handling and processing of the attachments that flow through the system. Earlier versions of Connect Xf saw the introduction of the highly popular SISA (Single Instance Storage for Attachments) feature. By configuring SISA, customers could modify mail delivered to user’s inbox, such that while the mail content remained intact, the original attachments were replaced by a link to a central store. This helped companies save on both storage and bandwidth.
Connect Xf 3.16 adds another exciting feature – Secure Attachment Vault. Using this feature, administrators can ensure that every single attachment sent and received by selected or all users of the system can be automatically uploaded to an FTP server for secure storage.
The feature has multiple benefits as seen by the brief case studies mentioned below.
Leveraging the Secure Attachment Vault to offer more value to customers
The feature which allows you to configure a central repository of all attachments sent using the email server was first developed as a custom service for one of our clients.
Our client develops a vertical app for selling retail financial products. The app is used by the sales agents of these companies to manage their customer engagements. Once logged in, the agent can also use the collaboration applications such as email, calendar, video calling etc (provided over the SkyConnect platform) in addition to the core application features.
The agents receive daily transaction reports from external agencies that are sent as attachments to mail or as links within the mails.
When such a mail arrives on the server, the system detects the attachment and queues the mail for offline processing. The original mail is delivered to the intended recipient.
The mail queued for offline processing extracts the attachments from it and uploads it to an FTP server. On a daily basis, the app goes through all the attachments uploaded to the FTP server, and extracts information about the transactions and updates the agent’s financial portfolio.
Increasing internal process efficiencies
While this is a very elaborate integration offering great value to our client’s customers, at Mithi we also use this feature of Connect XF to improve our internal efficiencies.
All the purchase orders received by our sales people e.g. are forwarded to a single id. The id is also used to send out invoices to customers.
Using a combination of filters and the new feature of uploading attachments to an FTP server, all the purchase orders received and invoices sent are automatically maintained on an FTP server, thus freeing the sales and administrative staff of the tedious task of physically maintaining a central repository for easy future reference.
Providing a Vault for the key assets
For another of our clients working in market research, the reports and research papers that flow through the email boxes of the people working at the firm are their most important assets. It is important for them to secure these documents in a central repository so that it is easy to search and ensure that there is no loss when an employee leaves or loses his mail due to a device breakdown. The new feature automatically extracts and uploads all the attachments to an inhouse FTP server to ensure that they do not have to worry about losing or locating their critical information assets.
We’re excited about the possibility these feature hold for our customers. Do write to us if you can you think of any more use cases. We would love to hear from you.