The Clerk of the Court in Duval County is a government office that is responsible to maintain all records of civil and criminal cases. Personnel in the office are responsible, among other things, for the processing of arrest warrants, voter registration, elections, small claims and traffic. The Clerk is also responsible for all budgets of the Clerk's office including voter registration and elections budgets.
E-government and online services are playing a greater role in public administration at both a local and at national level; a fact that has not been ignored by this government office. The use of email as a primary source of communication has increased phenomenally and more and more public institutions are encouraging citizens to use the technology to do business. This has not only speeded up communication but in many States email is now being considered official documentation.
"According to Florida Law, email addresses are public records, so all email sent and received by the office of the Clerk are, technically, public records and subject to various state and federal compliance, retention and storage regulations," James Haynes, System Administrator at Clerk of the Court, said.
Aware of the importance of archiving all email received and sent through the Office of the Clerk of the Court, two years ago the information systems department sourced the market for a solution that archived email in real time and allowed controlled access to old and even deleted messages.
"As we are a government office, we needed a product that was cost-effective, allowed for real-time email archiving, permitted us to keep the retention policies within our storage requirements and still provide access to older messages for both the users and the public," Mr Haynes explained.
Mr. Haynes and his team sought to address the Office's archiving requirements by using ArchiveSync by Microsoft.
"It was the first product that we trialed however the features were not robust enough to meet my organization's needs. My team also tried Barracuda but was still not satisfied. We then carried out some research into alternative products and came across GFI's software packages. GFI Archiver fit the bill and did just what I wanted," Mr. Haynes said.
The fact that the product was the best-priced and most efficient (based on the information he had) was an added bonus. The choice was made easier when the product was recommended by a fellow administrator.
"GFI Archiver's implementation was very easy. The product is easy to install and configure, it works well with SQL, it rarely gives us problems and when it does, it's usually me. It does take up some bandwidth / IO / Processor usage but certainly not enough to warrant stopping its usage," he added.
Apart from being easy to install, configure and run - every IT administrator's dream when implementing new products - what is more important is that the product does what it should do.
"The product worked well for us on a number of levels," Mr. Haynes said. "First, it did the same for less. Second, some other solutions were too technical for my users.
"From a management and legal perspective, GFI Archiver met all the requirements for email and electronic message retention in my scenario. From a technology perspective, it provides an easy-to-use interface and is easy to understand, which is important when the user is introduced to new software. From a financial perspective, GFI Archiver has been the most cost effective product for my organization. The cost is negligible when compared to other backup products for email. It also eliminates the need for .pst files," he explained.
Overall, the implementation of GFI Archiver has been a money-saver for the Clerk of the County when comparing to the products offered by other vendors.
"GFI Archiver has effectively addressed the issues we had with email management. I have enabled retention policies and this, in turn, has reduced the impact on the disks. I now have the ability to retain all email, provide the email to a user in read-only format and it is also fast. Finally, it is so much easier to find things by word searches than by manually scanning an inbox."
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