How complex is PST Discovery?

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The complexities of PST DiscoveryPST files – we all know they're a pain and you seldom know where they are.  But is that really the biggest issue with PST Files?  If the answer to that is yes, then running a PST discovery and migration project should be a fairly straightforward process with the right tool.  

However although C2C supply what is arguably the best tool on the market for large scale PST management projects (well I would say that), they seldom turn out to be as simple as they should be.

The actual process of deploying the software is a simple one, and if designed correctly it should be. This, however is not the start of the story.  We have to go back to who actually owns the PST problem first?   Is it the messaging team, the desktop team, the storage team or indeed a combination of all?

I have been in meetings where this question was raised and has led to heated debates between departments, mainly down to who is responsible for resources and funding.  My general approach is to encourage everybody to take a step back and look at the issue from a corporate point of view.   This is generally successful although I certainly know of one company where no action has yet been taken as no one can agree!

How the users manage PST files also tends to throw a spanner in the works at discovery phase.  If users all conformed to our lab environment the process would be a lot simpler, naturally they don’t!

We typically see users each having an average of five PST files.   They move PSTs, delete PSTs, copy PSTs, connect and disconnect PSTs to Outlook at random intervals, all of which makes discovery and tracking changes a little more complex.  Add into the mix the highly mobile nature of most work forces with laptops, tablets etc. and the discovery phase of a project can take far longer than expected.

So, should we all throw our hands in the air and admit defeat?   Certainly not!  With the right level of knowledge and experience, the correct planning and setting of expectation levels, a PST Discovery and migration project can achieve great things.

Not only can it reduce corporate risk and reduce IT support loads associated with PST’s, it can improve user productivity and support IT strategies moving forward.

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