Red Gate’s Very Easy-to-Use Archiving

Red Gate's Exchange Server Archiver is a new email archiving product. It's strikingly easy to use:

  • Works with Exchange Server.
  • Outlook plugin.
  • Search is very simple and straightforward.
  • Main next elements of product roadmap are offline support and improved search.
  • Pricing is $30/mailbox for perpetual license, plus optional 25%/year maintenance.
  • Focus is on sales to SMBs with up to about 500 mailboxes.
  • Focus is on storage management benefits rather than compliance.
  • Main competition: GFI, metaLogic, Quest, Sherpa, Sunbelt.
  • Red Gate is privately held. All growth has been organic, with no external financing. We estimate revenues at $25M/year.

Comments:

  • The philosophy of the product is to offer a simple solution that meets the needs of SMBs, and to sacrifice all the bells and whistles that larger organizations need.
  • The ease of use comes naturally from the streamlined feature set. For example:
    • Everything archived is kept forever, so there's no need for retention policies.
    • Archiving policy can only be defined by size of email, and how long it's been kept; e.g., "Automatically archive messages over 10MB that have been in the message store for over 3 months."
    • Limited compliance support; e.g., no tagging.
  • Based on a demo, we agree this product is exceptionally transparent for users. Product manager Elizabeth Ayer says that installation is very simple and we have no reason to disbelieve her.
  • Things won't be quite as simple for users as Red Gate thinks. There will be human factors to consider. For example, companies will need to apply homegrown tagging strings in subject lines to facilitate searches (e.g., "2007-TAX-ISSUE"), and ensuring they follow the procedure correctly will be lots of fun for management.
  • Red Gate is an established vendor of database tools. It is good at selling these directly to IT staff in SMBs, over the Internet. Even though IT staff in SMBs are small, it's unclear how much the goodwill Red Gate has among developers will influence the people who administer Exchange.

... David Ferris

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