Hassle-Free Email Archiving in the Cloud

How automobile club AvD enjoys secure data storage and fast performance with EMA.

With over 1.4 million members, the Automobile Club of Germany (AvD) stands as the nation's second-largest service organization dedicated to drivers. Founded in 1899, this esteemed club offers a wide array of automotive services: from classic roadside assistance and towing, to extensive insurance options, and even special rewards programs in collaboration with selected partners. In response to shifting market conditions and member preferences, the AvD has embarked on a strategic realignment in recent years. A key focus of this initiative is offering tailored services and providing exceptionally attentive customer care, ensuring the club is steering towards a future aligned with the evolving needs of its members.

As digital communication spiked, managing the email traffic for about 140 employees became increasingly significant. Aiming to reduce on-site administrative tasks, the Club had chosen a cloud-based approach for email storage years ago. However, their initial setup, which included a mail relay server, proved to be less than satisfactory. Daniel Cronauer, System Administrator at AvD, shared his experience:

The main issue with the previous system was its instability. We faced disruptions almost weekly, with email sometimes not being received or outright rejected. Whenever we needed to search for older email in the archive, it became a hassle—search results could take up to fifteen minutes to appear. This significantly hindered our ability to work swiftly and productively. It just wasn't sustainable in the long run.

EMA Direct Cloud Stands Out for Its Security and Performance

Compelled by these challenges, the Automobile Club decided it was time for a change in their email archiving solution. After careful consideration based on three key criteria, they chose ARTEC IT Solutions' EMA as their Direct Cloud option: The system promised rapid deployment, a claim that was validated in an initial Proof of Concept under real-world conditions. Ease of use was also a critical factor—given the IT department's limited resources, the new solution had to minimize administrative and support efforts as much as possible. Since the AvD was committed to continuing with cloud archiving, the location factor became crucial. Amid current and future data protection requirements, the Automobile Club placed high importance on choosing a company based in Germany and ensuring data storage within a German data center.

Securing Data Transfer with Firegate VPN

Following a trial phase, EMA was swiftly integrated into the IT infrastructure. The only delays encountered stemmed from the late provision of existing legacy data, stored in a proprietary archive format that spanned several terabytes. Nevertheless, ARTEC IT Solutions seamlessly imported these existing contents without any issues.

In ongoing operations, roughly 100,000 incoming email messages are archived every month onto a connected, scalable VSTOR Vault storage system. The data is stored on a dedicated, highly secure appliance housed in ARTEC's own data center. Data transfer between AvD's local systems and the data center is securely managed through Firegate VPN—a specialized IT security solution from ARTEC that uses Trusted Computing technology to securely connect different locations. To ensure only legitimate, relevant messages make it to the archive, spam is filtered out in advance by a preliminary email security solution. This process successfully screens out approximately 180,000 unwanted promotional email messages that the AvD employees receive on a weekly basis.

“Switching to EMA was absolutely seamless and incredibly fast," explains Cronauer. "Data syncs up automatically every two minutes. If you didn’t know it was cloud-based, you wouldn’t be able to tell—the performance feels as if the archive is right there on-site.

Developing an Appetite for Speed: The Thrill of Quick Searches

The original intent behind email archiving was simply to meet legal requirements, planning to limit search access to older email to the IT department staff of the Automobile Club. However, after experiencing the comprehensive text-search functionality in EMA, which allows users to search through archived email and their attachments using any keyword, the AvD is now considering expanding access to the search function more broadly.

We recently integrated a direct EMA search link into one of our executive's email client. It was initially just for a specific inquiry, but the thrill of it was immense. The speed with which it delivers search results—in just a few seconds—is really impressive. It marks a significant improvement over our previous system. What also stands out to us in the IT department is ARTEC's support. Although the solution runs so smoothly that we rarely need assistance, whenever we have questions, we receive responses and expert solutions in no time.

Data Management and Security with EMA
  • Model: EMA Direct Cloud
  • Deployed modules: EMA Email

Key Benefits at a Glance

  • A rock-solid cloud-based archiving solution to cut down on admin work
  • Swift and seamless switch to EMA
  • Compliant archiving of over 100,000 email messages a month
  • Data is securely hosted in ARTEC's data center
  • Search results in seconds with full-text search capability

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