“Holy crap!”, stated a customer as I was demonstrating one of our products. I wasn’t sure if he thought a feature I was showing him was a horrible idea or a great one!
Mass Restore Solution
Customers from different industries, can have completely different requirements of a product. In this case, I was showing him an Outlook Add-in that can be used in a unique way to do a mass restore of Enterprise Vault archived items back to folders in an Exchange mailbox.
Quite a few law firms around the world use Enterprise Vault. Many of them also use a document management system to manage retention, such as NetDocuments ndMail or iManage Work. They typically have a way within Outlook, to push information from their mailbox into the document repository. One of the problems if they have mailbox management with Enterprise Vault, is that a lot of the messages they want to put into the document management system could be in the form of Enterprise Vault ‘stubs’, aka ‘short-cuts’. These stubs are not the full message and they never include the attachments. To resolve this issue, they will typically instruct their users to ‘restore’ the items from Enterprise Vault before putting them in the document management system. In Enterprise Vault, they can do that with a (non-magical) button in Outlook that looks like this:
There are two problems with this:
1) If there are a lot of messages in the folder/subfolders of a case, it can be very tedious to restore all the items.
2) Restoring the items leaves a copy in Enterprise Vault. Some law firms don’t want multiple copies of important messages. They want the document management system to be the system of record. If the document becomes expired there, they don’t want another copy to exist elsewhere (in Enterprise Vault, for example).
So, we came up with an Outlook Add-in which solves these two problems. It looks like this:
Press it, and you get the option to restore all short-cuts in the current folder and its subfolders, as shown in this animated GIF:
We have a customer that has been using this button for over 9 years. They coined it the ‘Magic Button’ because it saves their attorneys so much time. It is crucial for them. If anything goes wrong (issues with updates to Enterprise Vault, etc.) we hear about it fast.
So, when I told this potential new customer that pressing the button would restore all items in the folder and subfolder, potentially thousands of items, he said “holy crap!”. My first thought was that he was concerned it would fill up the user’s mailbox. That was not the case. He was excited because he had been looking all over for a tool that would do this. This made my day and I realized we need to do a better job of getting the word out about this seemingly simple product that makes people’s daily tasks much easier. Hence this blog post!