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Author: Elyse, PMP, CPHIMS
March 1, 2011

Congratulations, you have decided to take the plunge and investigate outsourcing your email system. Now is time to take a good frank look at what you currently have in-house for email, and the application dependencies upon the email system .

Let's put our detective hat on and start accessing where we are, in an ideal utopian world this is a quick check of our infrastructure and application configuration database. Viola! We have all the email systems and applications which rely upon those systems. Okay, now it is time for reality check, unless you have adopted ITIL and done all the inventories, you probably don't have the information hidden in a database.

If your organization has not implemented ITIL, check out the business continuity disaster recovery office. There may be a couple of email technical application recovery plans that have been developed. This will give you a great starting place to understand the current state.

If you still come up empty handed, the knowledge is tucked away in the system engineers, application implementers, and application developers minds. The most successful technique deployed is to develop a survey asking clear questions on the email dependencies. This survey should cover the type of email system, basic email policies implemented, and then review unified communications, smtp application processing, applications which query ldap for email address, faxing, and any other dependencies. Dig a little more into the details on the encryption platform, perimeter defense for asav, and email routing appliances.

Also clearly discover who provided the information, set up a follow up discussion to discuss the findings. This will help to clarify the captured information and perhaps prime the pump for a bit more information.
After a reasonable amount of time and a bit of detective work, you will begin to understand the current state of your messaging systems.

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