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Email archiving is a service in which a body of emails is stored for later use and retrieval. Many of these services provide tools such as indexing, and resources for querying on stored emails. Email archiving seeks to take a somewhat transient mode of communication, and make it more permanent.
Companies use email archiving for various purposes. Some use it to protect critical data that might otherwise be lost: data about products, protocols, processes, competition and other such topics. Some use it to meet regulatory requirements for transparency and recordkeeping. Others use it for processes like e-discovery.
Prominent email archiving vendors include KVS Inc. with Enterprise Vault, iLumin Software Services Inc. with Assentor, and IBM with CommonStore for Exchange. In addition to these and other established vendors, there are a number of new companies making inroads in offering email archiving solutions.