According to IBM, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. Given that a quintillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000, it’s fair to say that’s a lot of data.
This includes everything from humble tweets, google searches and web browsing, through to challenging unstructured data sources, such as corporate emails and files – the type of data that can’t be easily searched or managed. While much of this data can be considered ephemera, much of it is also highly valuable – and fraught with risk.
Our online and cloud interactions with customers, clients, employees, and partners are producing data sets containing corporate and personal information. Emails and files contain vast amounts of corporate intelligence, not only in their contents, much of which is commercially sensitive, but in the meta of the email communication pattern itself.
But without proper indexing, those data sets are left siloed across a company’s network, and without secure storage and compliance, firms are vulnerable to a host of regulatory and privacy issues. With GDPR now firmly in place, stiff penalties await firms without a handle on how it is managed.
Waterford Technologies’ Irish Advantage
It has been this perfect storm that has driven Irish firm Waterford Technologies to develop its product suite, which tackles this mass of unstructured data and makes sense of it for clients.
Founded in 2000, the company has seen seismic shifts in corporate data use, not least in the move to cloud computing, but has kept its MailMeter and SISCIN (email and file) products at its core. Like many Irish tech firms, it looks beyond the island’s shores, operating in its key US and Eurozone markets.
Lorcan Kennedy, the firm’s Chief Commercial Officer, said that having the firm start its journey in Ireland gave it not only the key advantage of accessing highly skilled and educated employees but something equally as valuable thanks to Ireland’s business culture – close client relationships.
These relationships have proved valuable to the firm, not least because dialogue between clients and prospective customers actually helped the firm to pivot its product to suit what clients needed, said Kennedy.
He said: “Irish business in general is very supportive to start-ups. Some of our early customers really became not only customers but mentors to us. They helped us articulate the problems, they helped critique our solutions and they helped guide our solutions. Being based in such a small country meant we could hop in a car and go and meet them two or three times a week, if necessary, and this was invaluable to us.
This working relationship helped the evolution of the product roadmap.
“MailMeter is built on the premise that organisations have a huge amount of unstructured data in their email systems.
“When we went to a company and asked a simple set of questions, such as who is your biggest user, who’s communicating with your customers or your competitors, what kind of data is leaving your organisation, and by and large they were not able to answer,” said Kennedy.
“And it is important that those questions are answered and that is how our product was developed, bringing valuable unstructured data to light.”
Waterford Technologies’ ComplyKey is not only able to securely archive a company’s email and network files but also to index it and make it searchable including attachments of any type.
The benefits are many: not only are network infrastructure resources freed up across an organisation but in sorting the data companies can build robust audit trails on that data, opening up new areas of business intelligence and analytics to meeting compliance requirements for GDPR or Freedom of Information requests.
How Waterford Technologies helped BAM Ireland
Having an encrypted email data archive that is fully searchable has many boons for MailMeter users. Construction group, BAM Ireland, was an early adopter of Waterford Technologies’ MailMeter, and subsequently, ComplyKey.
While there are obvious and immediate benefits to archiving email for the IT network capacity, the indexing proved a key tool for the firm, said BAM’s Global Director of IT Services, Tim McCarthy.
Construction projects invariably will see variations to specifications once live and keeping a definitive unalterable record of who said what to whom and when is vital, said McCarthy.
“The reason we chose a tool like MailMeter is that a lot of our business is based around being able to prove the facts of a discussion or a conversation.”
“From a pure IT perspective, we have a clean data environment and an environment that cannot be tampered with by individual users and it gives us great comfort knowing it is there and cannot be tampered with.” Only those with administrative rights can manipulate the data for GDPR motives such as tag, delete, apply retention policies, legal hold, or access block capabilities to relevant data.
It may be hard to quantify the direct cost savings to a firm such as BAM, which handles six million emails a year and has archived 47 million with MailMeter, but it is clear that it gives McCarthy one thing – peace of mind.
“We’ve never lost an email – ever,” he said.