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Managing e mail in Workplace 365 – Considering Data

What is an email account in Office 365? It's a special type of document library that does not require version control, does not require additional metadata fields, and does not exist in SharePoint.

It now seems somewhat inappropriate for companies to urge their employees to move important e-mail from e-mail accounts to a "corporate logging system". If Office 365 is your corporate records system, e-mail accounts are already included!

Among other things, Microsoft had to ensure that the SharePoint team worked with the Exchange team. This was never known to be the case when both products were predominantly available locally. Microsoft customers deploying SharePoint on-premises alongside their on-premises Exchange e-mail system needed to deploy third-party plug-ins so employees could pull and drop an email into a SharePoint document library without losing their Outlook e-mail. To leave mail client.

There are two ways Microsoft could have gone with the relationship between Exchange and SharePoint in Office 365:

  • the integration route – features that make it easier to move e-mail from Exchange to SharePoint;
  • The Governance Route – Provide common governance capabilities to manage emails in an email account with the same policies as documents in a document library in SharePoint.

Microsoft's direction for Office 365 has an impact on the policy decisions that organizations must make by email:

  • If Microsoft took the integration route, it would be consistent with records management's belief that an e-mail system is not a "record system" but a "communication tool." Many companies have adopted SharePoint as a corporate record system over the past decade and have asked employees to move important emails to SharePoint.
  • If Microsoft followed the path of corporate governance, corporate governance would agree that the distinction between recording systems and non-recording systems is meaningless and unhelpful, as companies are required by law, government and ethics to manage all their businesses Information systems according to information governance principles.

From a marketing perspective, there are clear benefits to Microsoft in taking the governance path instead of the integration path:

  • When Microsoft embarks on the integration route, it means that a SharePoint document library is considered a better place to store business emails than an Exchange e-mail account. This despite the fact that Exchange was designed to store e-mail messages while SharePoint document libraries were not designed for e-mail purposes.
  • By taking the governance approach, Microsoft can neutralize the question of whether email is better stored in SharePoint or Exchange, and gradually eliminate the need to move emails from Exchange to SharePoint.

It is therefore not surprising that Microsoft places the emphasis more on the governance path than on the integration path.

Office 365 ships with a Security & Compliance Center that is separate from SharePoint or Exchange or other Office 365 components. The Security & Compliance Center offers two different ways to apply retention rules to content:

  • retention policies applied to the containers containing content (SharePoint sites, e-mail accounts, etc.);
  • Retention labels that are applied to individual content elements (emails / documents, etc.).

This gives you three alternative options for applying retention to emails:

  • apply retention policies to e-mail accounts without applying retention labels; OR
  • Encourage end users to apply retention labels to emails (or to automate the application of labels when developing automation functions) without applying retention policies. OR
  • Use a combined approach by applying a standard retention policy to e-mail accounts while allowing employees (or machines!) To keep a retention label on certain e-mails Applying for which a retention rule applies differs from the default.

Note that when applying the Security and Compliance Center to content in OneDrive, Office 365 groups, or SharePoint, variations of the three options listed above occur. The variation refers to the type of container to which you would apply retention policies and the content type to which you would apply retention labels.

The fact that Microsoft allows a retention e-mail account to be treated like a document library will not prevent businesses from assigning e-mail accounts retention periods other than document libraries, even if they come from a similar business Function. The cost and risk profile of an email account differs significantly from that of a document library.

Office 365, however, is a game changer in two ways:

  • The use of e-mail retention rules in e-mail accounts is no longer anchored in the IT domain but in information governance. The Retention Policies and Retention Labels menus in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center can store retention policies and / or retention labels on Exchange email accounts and SharePoint sites (as well as other parts of Office 365, including Office 365 groups and OneDrive accounts ) be applied );
  • creates the ability to apply different types of policies to emails. For example, if you want to apply a Capstone email policy, you can do it immediately in Office 365 by simply following these steps:
    • Setting two retention policies for emails; a Capstone retention policy for the application to the relatively small number of e-mail accounts that you want to keep permanently, and a non-capstone retention policy for the application to e-mail accounts that you do not want to persist;
    • Providing Retention Labels that allows employees with Capstone email accounts to identify trivial and personal emails so that they receive emails of permanent retention for the rest of the correspondence in their email Are exempted from the mail account.


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