Person using a computer keyboard
David Lavenda, co-founder of harmon.ie, said the company wants to help "humanize" digital experience. PHOTO: Thomas Lefebvre

Boston-based harmon.ie is upgrading its information governance solution to make it simpler and easier for enterprise workers to upload email to SharePoint, as well as offering them a way to automate that process.

David Lavenda, company co-founder and Vice President of Marketing and Product Strategy, said the changes will better enable workers to manage email and attached documents as business records in SharePoint.

Today's upgrade, along with a pending announcement early next month about the harmon.ie Collage product, will help "humanize" digital experience (DX), Lavenda said.

Automatic Email Upload

Lavenda repeated what information governance professionals have long preached: email messages are business records and businesses need streamlined, effective ways to work with them.

“We are always trying to solve and define the last mile of compliance and governance with rules and policies. But if something — in this case email — is not easy to get into the system and classify correctly, the last mile breaks-down. That's what we have been doing and we pride ourselves on solving that problem,” he said.

While it is already possible to upload email into SharePoint, it involves a series of steps, including the necessity to download email onto the desktop.

Bruce Miller, an expert on electronic recordkeeping and principal at RIMtech Consulting, said in a statement released by harmon.ie, compliance initiatives fail when organizations try to force workers to add more steps, services or apps, to their daily routines.

‘Humanizing’ DX

Lavenda said harmon.ie is committed to humanizing DX. “We are taking a lot of the technologies Microsoft and other companies are bringing out and helping people make the best use of them ... A lot of times, what is left out is how people can take advantage of technologies to get their work done, which we are very interested in doing.”

In recent research, harmon.ie found email still poses a major problem for workers, who see them as the biggest compliance roadblock in the working day.

Rules-based Automation

The harmon.ie solution uses simple Outlook-based rules that workers can use to decide what emails needs to be captured, classified and uploaded. It then automates uploading those emails, working on the assumption that workers don’t have time to manually specify metadata or classify every email they need to store.

For example, a worker can create a standard Outlook rule that captures all email regarding a particular project or a specific set of metadata. Once the rule is applied, all email carrying that metadata or subject line will be uploaded as business records.

The creation and application of these rules can be done by workers, established by managers or created by C-Suite executives based on enterprise needs.

Users also retain the option to classify email manually.