I’m amazed at how rarely accessibility and support are asked about when I talk to schools and districts interested in a K12 archiving solution. These two often-overlooked items should be an important part of any decision-making process when choosing a vendor to archive your email, documents and other files.
Access to an archive should be flexible based entirely on the needs of your organization and not a vendor’s limitations. While I’ve worked with a lot of schools and districts that like things to be handled centrally—whether that’s an IT department or a legal department—I’ve also seen plenty of organizations prefer that end-users have access to their personal data.
Make no mistake, only a select few people should handle your archive for litigation purposes. But your archiving solution should offer much more than just the place to go for eDiscovery or Open Records requests.
Wouldn’t it be great if your IT department could delegate certain tasks, like restoring a deleted email to faculty or having principals look for specific keywords to spot trends or support an employee investigation? Times change. Organizations grow. You need an archiving platform that can be as fluid as your school or district. If your email archive can grow with you, it will only benefit your organization in the long run.
Providing additional access to your email archive based on the needs of your organization cannot be done without support from your archiving vendor and a user-friendly interface that doesn’t scare the average user away.
Faculty, building administrators and other personnel within your school or district should be able to navigate through the archive and find what they need. Solid support should be in place when they run into any issues. The goal is always going to be to save an organization time and labor cost. No one has the time to wade through phone prompts, speak to someone thousands of miles away, or wait days for a response from a support email.
It’s important to find a vendor who understands the needs of K-12 and will be responsive via phone, email or live chat. An archiving vendor that is responsive to your needs will only help in the transition of some more typical IT tasks to other members of your organization.
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