Information Governance Director
In the ordinary course of business, the hospitality chain built up a backlog of old records; emails and documents: this included millions of old emails, many of which employees were hesitant to delete. With so much information across their systems, the company faced compliance risks caused by outdated information, as well as employees were running into collaboration issues, such as file versioning, and valuable information being lost.
The company partnered with harmon.ie to eliminate the risk caused by keeping old emails, and to preserve important documents of record. With harmon.ie, they were able to easily identify, categorize and catalog valuable records. Case in point, in a short, two-month period, the company was able to capture and catalog 40,000 valuable records, while dispose of over 35 million emails they didn’t need. The ability to capture and classify what was important while deleting what was not necessary is essential for corporate information governance.
Email is still one of the primary methods of sharing business information, as well as internal and external communications between stakeholders of all kinds – however it isn’t always used effectively. The hospitality chain used Outlook as their email client, and without an email retention policy, emails piled up. There wasn’t an easy way of categorizing them, so locating valuable information became a real struggle.
It was also difficult to mitigate legal risk, because millions of non-essential emails from previous years were still stored on their Exchange servers – for a company of this hospitality chain size and stature, reducing information liabilities for the future was, and still is, a priority. Those old emails not only left the company vulnerable to legal action, they took up valuable server space.
To create a secure environment for documents of record, including email, the hospitality chain partnered with harmon.ie. Overall, their goal was to identify and preserve valuable information among the backlog of emails and deleting unnecessary emails from their servers.
To achieve this, a clear email retention policy had to be established. The company's information governance department set a two-year retention limit; an appropriate amount of time to delete any non-vital emails. Not only did this eradicate the risk of storing old emails, it gave the company a fresh start for their document management.
A white labeled version of harmon.ie was created for the hospitality chain. Creating a company-branded offering gave the hospitality giant the opportunity to ‘own the solution,’ so that every worker would take ownership of and contribute to, increasing the chances of success.
harmon.ie’s drag-and-drop functionality enabled workers to manage their own emails, which reduced the amount of manual inbox maintenance required by IT workers. Easy-to-apply metadata transformed the way workers were able to capture and classify emails, enabling them to then surface important business emails using common sense ‘tags.’ Bulk application of metadata also simplified storing documents of record, preventing easily-avoided errors caused by repetitive tasks. These easy-to-use functions gave workers ownership of their inboxes and empowered them to uphold the company's information retention policies without extra work.
During the initial rollout period, the company's employees have been able to locate and preserve 40,000 valuable records while deleting over 35 million redundant emails. A single source of truth has eliminated document chaos, ensuring that information is up-to-date and accessible. Across the company's many departments, 15,000 users have been given access to Microsoft 365 and harmon.ie – this represents 100% of the compnay's email users.
Within harmon.ie, bulk metadata editing made it possible to drag up to 100 emails at one time, drastically reducing the time it took to move emails. This was crucial for success: not only did it save employees valuable time, it also meant the overall project was completed quickly. With their new retention policy, information governance has been streamlined. This created a significant decrease in risk, and greatly reduced the amount of data stored.
harmon.ie helps any user manage their emails intelligently, storing them directly into SharePoint and applying metadata for easy retrieval. This simple functionality helps organizations combat information overload, keeping only necessary documents and discarding those without value. As the hospitality chain expands, harmon.ie will remain a valued tool in their arsenal, as they transform their document management.