There are essentially two types of mail access by end users and thus two basic ways to get at his mail after he leaves.
- Via POP in which the user will download mail from the server on to his client, and then he is free to work with his mail the way he likes. The mail will be typically be stored in a PST file (for MS Outlook) or an mbox structure for Thunderbird, or the local format of any other chosen email client. In this scenario, there is normally no mail left on the server.
After an employee leaves, the only option you have is to access the employee’s PC and save the local mail files (PST file, mbox or whatever format). These can then be imported into another user’s desktop client so that user can get access to these mail.
The limitation with this approach is that, it is quite likely that you may not get much/all mail from the user’s PC, since it depends on the actions taken by user to manage his mail. Also we have observed that when employees leave, they delete all their mail and go. Lets not forget the operational difficulties for the administrator in this approach.
- Via IMAP, in which the user will connect via MS Outlook, Thunderbird of any other client which supports IMAP. In this scenario, the mail resides on the server and the client only caches a copy to the local PC. This cached copy is also stored in a PST (MS Outlook), mbox (Thunderbird) or whatever local store format depending on the chosen client.
After an employee leaves, you can get complete access to the mailbox from the server itself. The mail can then be copied to another active user’s mailbox in another folder.
However, this approach suffers the same limitation as the one described above for POP. The content of the mailbox depends on how the employee left it.
SkyConnect’s Personal Archival is the only way to get a complete handle on an employee’s unaltered mailbox state. Using this approach, we configure personal archival for all employees so that a copy of every mail sent and received by the employees is deposited into the corresponding personal archive account of that employee and that account is read only. The mail in these archive accounts are retained for the specified duration (typically a year or more). If an employee leaves, no matter what is the state of his live mailbox at that point, you can get complete access to every mail sent/received via the employee’s archive account.
You now have the option to provide complete access to the employee’s archive account to another active user or else copy all the mail from the archive account to a personal folder of active user’s mailbox.