What strengths and innovations does your archive have?
Late in 2018, Mimecast was named a Leader in the Gartner Enterprise Information Archiving Magic Quadrant (MQ) for the fourth straight year. In addition to being a snapshot on the marketplace and big picture trends, the MQ evaluates the vendor’s product capabilities. It is a very thorough process and the document’s outputs of a vendor’s unique strengths and challenges give readers a great snap evaluation of the products in the market.
Gartner cited the following about the Mimecast Cloud Archive as strengths:
Seamlessly integrated modules for archiving, continuity and security
Here at Mimecast, we continue to see that buyers are looking for vendor solutions that provide the best value for their investment. Organisations are seeking platforms that can help them manage, preserve and secure their digital data rather than narrow point solutions.
They’re also looking for a single solution that can do this in an integrated manner with a single point of administration and common end user interfaces. The tie-in between security buyers and governance applications such as archiving is very strong. Increasingly, CISOs and their security groups are finding themselves engaged in areas like audit, investigation and e-discovery. At the heart of these governance events is a need for capturing, filtering and reviewing communications such as email and instant messages. Archiving provides the foundation and contains applications such as case management and legal hold to be successful in those endeavors.
In addition, an integrated platform that brings security and archiving together will also use machine learning to tackle diverse use cases like spear phishing and early case assessment. According to the 2018 Litigation Trends Annual Survey (Norton, Rose Fullbright), “exposure to cybersecurity and data protection disputes is increasing across all industries — investment in this area is needed as it seems unlikely that the risk will reduce in the short-to-medium term.” There are other security companies today that offer archiving — but they don’t provide an integrated solution, a big reason the Mimecast Cloud Archive is in demand and why Gartner recognises the importance of this in their evaluation.
Mailbox continuity is another great example of an integrated platform approach. In the event of a sudden email outage or planned downtime, Mimecast provides uninterrupted access to live and historic email and attachments from the Mimecast Cloud using everyday tools such as Outlook for Windows, the web and mobile applications. Employees get guaranteed access to email—from anywhere, on any device. And administrators can monitor email flow, receive alerts and manage a continuity event all from Mimecast.
Like security, the intersection between data protection and archiving is also very strong. It’s important to recognise that a backup is typically not an archive for multiple reasons—because organisations have multiple copies of data for backup and the data is not indexed as granularly and in addition, backup platforms typically lack governance tools and capabilities that are at the forefront of archiving purchasing decisions.
However, in some cases the inverse can be true: archived data can be leveraged for data protection and recovery. In addition to our continuity and security integrations, Mimecast provides the only dual archive and integrated backup solution for Microsoft Office 365™: Sync & Recover. Increasingly, organisations are finding out that while Office 365 is putting an emphasis on data availability, it does not make the same claims about recoverability—and that data can be maliciously or accidentally deleted and subject to ransomware. This is a topic that we will be exploring more in depth in a future blog entry.
Stable product features and customer‐focused go‐to‐market strategies with expanded capabilities for end‐user archiving
Product stability and customer experience are other components that organizations value and elevate in their buying requirements. These may sound like fundamentals, but unfortunately, the archiving market suffers from a plethora of bad actors—vendors that have put their products into maintenance mode and ceased product enhancements, held their customers hostage and essentially treated them as nothing more than a revenue stream. As you can imagine, the customer experience with such offerings is very poor. In contrast, Mimecast puts a strong emphasis on customer experience.
Personally speaking, when I left Gartner to come to Mimecast, the LCS program and its team was a big reason why. After speaking with thousands of organisations over the years, it was apparent that customer experience is a problem in the archiving industry. LCS is a tremendous differentiator for Mimecast as our customers and prospects know that throughout their journey, they have an array of resources and guidance to bring them on board, be successful and receive continued guidance and support.
End user archiving is an interesting area. Increasingly, more enterprises want to automate their archiving and reduce end user decision making in terms of categorisation and retention. This makes sense given that users are typically not motivated to do this and the volume of content they face can be overwhelming.
At the same time, buyers are elevating these end user qualities, because as good as machine learning is, people can still offer the best judgements about “gray areas” and policy management. The result is that end user archiving is becoming a specialised task in today’s enterprise, but an important one.
Setup/implementation, administration and usability/accessibility of information have been highly rated by customers
Another one of those valued customer experience areas is setup and implementation. Organisations today expect quick time to value and onboarding to the cloud. As a SaaS first offering, Mimecast Cloud Archive is well positioned here—and again, LCS plays a critical role. Organisations typically have a legacy archive and that is a factor in setup and implementation as well: you must bring the legacy content into the new environment over time, while minimising any chance of data loss and downtime. Some of the legacy vendor environments that we often see are Veritas Enterprise Vault, Dell EMC SourceOne, ProofPoint Enterprise Archive, Capax Discovery and others.
Administration and usability/accessibility reflect the administrator and end user experiences. Both require intuitive interfaces, easy to access tools and minimal change management. From an administrative standpoint, we are very proud of our single pane of glass ability to manage and deliver several use cases — from security to backup, archive and e-discovery. For end users, access to archived information must be seamless integrated into the tools they use today including Microsoft Outlook desktop, mobile and browser-based access. The best user experience is when the user barely notices, if at all, they are using the archive.
With increasing consolidation in the archiving marketplace, prospective buyers are putting a premium on qualities that emphasise architectural simplicity, end user and administrative satisfaction and customer experience. We are proud to see that Gartner has recognised these qualities in Mimecast in the 2018 EIA MQ. As we look ahead to 2019 and beyond, we expect to see an emphasis on intuitive governance applications, industry expertise and the ability to address legacy migrations in a more seamless manner.
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