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Company provides protection from e-mail abuse.

While e-mail has made work a lot easier for corporations large and small, companies are finding out that the convenient form of communication can have its down sides as well. Spam, corporate liability, information leaks, and employee privacy and propriety all can cost corporations more than they bargained for. We recently spoke with Tim Clark, CTO of Orange-based eDoxs about the problem of electronic communication in the workplace, and the company’s solution–eDoxs e-mail control.

What is eDoxs e-mail control?

eDoxs has identified a service that not only utilizes some proprietary software we’ve developed, but also includes some great software from several strategic partners that simplifies e-document control. The eDoxs XP4 e-mail control system is an outsourced service that manages your entire business-messaging infrastructure, while also reducing corporate liability, increasing productivity, minimizing security risks, and preserving valuable corporate assets.

You’ve described the application as using the “four Ps” of a properly designed messaging infrastructure. What are they and why are they important?

XP4 is an e-sourcing model that addresses all of the attendant issues of corporate e-mail, using what eDoxs calls the four Ps of a properly designed messaging infrastructure: purify (from spam and viruses), protect (secure e-mail transmission using encryption), police (adopt and enforce an e-mail policy), and preserve (index, store, retrieve, and retain valuable e-mail).

Why should companies control employee communication?

Over the past five years, e-mail has grown quickly, making up a very large percentage of corporate documents, that most companies have largely ignored the issues that go along with it. On one hand, e-mail is vital in assisting companies in developing their products, services, and disseminating all forms of information and know-how. On the other hand, it can be a huge liability called evidence.

The single biggest contributor to e-mail becoming a dangerous liability is that employees treat it too casually. They have not been made aware that e-mail is considered a legal corporate document, much the same way as a letter written on a corporate letterhead. One of my favorite examples is a true story of an e-mail sent from one nurse to another nurse in the same hospital using the hospital’s e-mail system. She wrote, “Did you see what Dr. So-and-So did today? If that patient survives, it will be a miracle.” Many other horror stories accompany corporate e-mail, but without the proper control, indexing, archiving, retention policies, and retrieval, the costs may outweigh its vast benefit.

Large companies already know the consequences of running a loose ship. Twenty-seven percent of Fortune 500 companies have defended themselves against claims of sexual harassment stemming from inappropriate e-mail and/or Internet use. E-mail also has become the No. 1 source for attorneys to get information about a company engaged in a lawsuit.

It’s interesting to note that up until now, with very few exceptions, the only companies really taking a proactive approach to e-mail policy are the larger Fortune 500 companies. In reality, all companies that allow employees to have e-mail and Web access need to address many key issues that for the most part are being ignored. Unfortunately, e-policy is like insurance–people don’t want to think about it until their house burns down.

Can any company use eDoxs?

Depending on the services needed, and what we have to provide, I would say yes. In the case of antispam/antivirus, a company should probably have a minimum of 25 e-mail boxes in order for our solution to be cost-effective. We have, however, had companies with as few as eight employees use our service with ample cost justification and complete satisfaction.

do you know a local company we should cover? Let us know about it. Send your local profile candidates to Christy Mulligan.

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