Microsoft Outlook is a powerful tool for most businesses, however there are some cases in which all needs cannot be met solely with the use of Microsoft tools. Large companies, especially those of the shipping sector, exchange thousands of emails daily and operate in a departmental mode. Messages are usually sent to departments instead of people in order to be accessible by anyone who might need them at some point. For example, in shipping companies, technical staff sometimes need access to crewing messages. But receiving all crewing emails just in case they need one of them will lead to information overload and will do more harm than good. Large volumes of emails cause storage problems and employees have to waste their time deleting messages. On the other hand, limiting the recipients of each message to reduce message volume will lead to employees not having all the information they need because Outlook allows users to find only the emails addressed to them.
Astris Search is the answer to many of those problems, fulfilling all needs. First of all, with Astris Search the users do not have to receive any messages that do not concern them directly, because they can find anything they might need, anytime, while ensuring that important and private messages are protected (e.g. accounting, payroll, management etc.). For example, if a newly hired technician has to work on a specific case that goes back for months, he/she can use Astris search to join to access all previous e-mails related to the subject from the first day at work.
Secondly, Astris offers unlimited space for email storage and uses single instance archiving to save space compared to Exchange/Outlook. Retention policies are activated so that departmental messages disappear after a few months from mailboxes, while also staying accessible for anyone who might need them. All messages are automatically stored in MessageSafe, and they are available through Astris Search. This way, the inbox operates primarily as an alerting mechanism for important messages, incidents and events, and the users can use Astris Search for additional information.
Finally, there is one extra benefit when using Astris Search which has been purpose-built. In order to address the problems of shipping companies’ employees, we conducted extended analysis of real data collected by Astris regarding email search habits and user interaction with the search feature. For example, it became evident that in large companies, there are thousands of emails with the exact same content with their only difference being the date, and these are hard to locate using the built-in search of Outlook. With this and other findings in mind we designed a special search engine that is extremely fast, accurate and which features a modern intuitive user interface.
Astris Search is currently the most popular feature of our suite enjoyed thousands of times per day by our user base.