29 Oct 2007

DMNews

Author:

By Zafar Khan

If your company does business transactions via email, you’ll need to be sure that business-critical messages are treated, well, critically. While most email users are not concerned about the
electronic record they have created, it can serve as a critically important defense for business transitions, if properly managed.

Businesses must consider anti-spam laws, e-discovery rulings, storage and retention of emails. Proof of emails for business transactions are a must have, and companies are investing billions
of dollars to protect themselves. Analysts at the Radicati Group estimate that the email archiving market will hit $6 billion in 2010.

The good news is email technology is catching up with the evolving regulatory and business landscape. A case in point is Great Lakes List Management, an Erie, PA-based provider of data
for direct marketers, and an RPost client. Because Great Lakes’ business model involves multiple companies — including direct customers and list brokers — it experiences a sizeable time lag
between delivering services and getting paid for them. By sending business files with a registered email service, Great Lakes receives a detailed electronic audit trail that proves precisely what email content and attachments were sent and received, by whom and when. Armed with this information, the company can ensure it gets paid for services rendered without hassle, and has the necessary backup to demonstrate compliance with regulated/required disclosures, such as privacy notices.

For companies that operate their business using email, legal protection is even more critical. Provisions of electronic law and recent court decisions underscore the fact that electronic business systems require proper transaction documentation, and a reliable recordkeeping management system.

Here are a few ways you can ensure your business is safe from legal challenges:

  • Send business-critical emails with legal proof of delivery and
    content.

  • Archive your emails in a solution that’s easy to retrieve.

  • Prevent email manipulation on the receiving end with encryption
    tools.

  • Don’t save every single email, just the business-critical ones. Many email service providers aim to ensure deliverability and legally protect their email users with value-added services, such as proof of delivery and content with registered email, e-contracting tools, encryption, meta data cleaning and email archiving capabilities.

  • Take advantage of the technology that is out there to cost
    effectively and proactively protect yourself