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How 3rd Party Email Archiving helps Avoid Vendor Lock in

Software vendor lock in is considered by some to be a big violation on your rights as a consumer. But what is it? Why it so bad and how can you avoid it when it comes to your email archiving and management?

What is Vendor Lock-in?

Vendor lock-in is when a client is dependent on certain software and cannot switch or would find it very difficult to switch. Vendor lock-in is not always obvious, sometimes as an organization, you are too focused on solving the current problems and before you know it you are in too deep. Email Archiving can help avoid full vendor lock-in.

Examples of Vendor Lock-in When Managing your Data

Covid 19 has pushed many organisations to the Cloud quicker than planned. Now it is time to review how it is working and what you are paying? Are you paying for unnecessary licenses and storage?

Microsoft is so prevalent in businesses that in many cases organisations often must “buy” the product or software. Microsoft has long used vendor lock in to grow and maintain its customer base.  For example, with email, the company encourages people to use exchange or Office 365 by enticing them with bundles and making it hard to switch. Utilising bundles can often discourage people from checking out third party products because they may feel like there is no other option.

Now Microsoft is not the only one. Apple develops plenty of software specifically for Mac users, in the hope that you will continue to buy Apple computers to keep using these software programs.

Once you have grown dependent on using a certain application for managing your data or for your data communications, you are unlikely to switch to another program if it is going to be difficult to take your data with you.  Companies can then increase prices over time or add additional necessary software, confident that most customers will have no other choice but to continue paying.

How to avoid vendor lock in and learning to unlock

Lock in does not have to be an all or nothing approach, it can be broken down and various tools and strategies are out the to help mitigate it. The best way to start is to avoid having all your “eggs in one basket”. For example, with Microsoft, identify areas where a third part solution could provide a higher quality yet less expensive alternative to certain bundle solutions.

For example, a third-party email archiving solution can be a key component when it comes to protecting and retaining business-critical emails in the long term. But a decision as to which solution is best suited to the needs of a company is often not an easy one to take.

Researching third party add-ons; As you are shopping for third party vendors, take the time to do a side-by-side comparison. Look out for things like, flexibility, cost of ownership, managed service, ease of use and data accessibility.

Get Independence from Microsoft

Office 365 provides invaluable tools for productivity and collaboration in the cloud however managing Office 365 Email compliance and discovery can be a challenge. To provide eDiscovery, retention, compliance, and visibility, Office 365 requires E3 with add-ons or E5 licenses for every user including Shared, Inactive, Ex-Users, and Legacy users. Involving a third-party email archiving solution can help with vendor lock-in, particularly when it comes to keeping all your email data within Microsoft.

One of the biggest risks of keeping all your data in one location is data loss, risk of deletion, and surrendering control of your data. Government, federal, state and industry regulations require organizations to retain digital communication data for potential review and retrieval. Utilizing a third-party email archiving provider like MailMeter can give your organization the ability to retain specific Emails from specific users and apply a litigation hold to relevant Emails. This allows you to avoid accidental or wilful deletion. For example, applying a litigation hold to an Email will ensure that it will be retained past its normal retention period. After the mail is no longer required, removing the litigation hold will mean the mail is automatically purged on the next scheduled run.

Without a third-party email archiving solution, users would be unable to access their own emails if the Microsoft 365 service were to go down. A third-party solution can help to avoid vendor lock-in while preserving the portability of your archived emails. At the end of 2020, Microsoft suffered two Office 365 outages within the space of three days. The outage impacted Teams, Office 365, and Outlook. After the issue emerged, users who tried to log into the systems were unable to connect. During the pandemic, many users have been relying on online services to continue working. In these situations, having an email archive like MailMeter makes good business sense, end users have access to their email archive 24/7.

As mentioned in a recent sponsored White Paper with Osterman Research. It is important to keep in mind that not all archiving solutions are equally capable. With the move to Microsoft 365, for example, many organisations are relying on its native archiving technology, Exchange Online Archiving, to meet their archiving requirements. While that will work for some organisations, it is important for decision makers to perform robust due diligence to determine if Microsoft 365 – or whatever other platforms are used across the organisation – will satisfy their current and future archiving requirements.

As Microsoft’s Exchange Online Archiving is available only in plans E3 and E5, a third-party solution can be a much more affordable proposition.

MailMeter can help your organization avoid single vendor dependency by providing a separate repository for your eDiscovery outside of your email tenant. With much of the workforce working in a remote environment, this is particularly important.

Top benefits of using third party email archiving and eDiscovery capabilities to avoid Office 365 or Exchange vendor Lock-in

Waterford Technologies MailMeter, an Email Archiving Solution for Office 365 offers a cloud-based archive for storing all emails. It is designed to help Office 365 customers mitigate the risk of moving their email infrastructure to the cloud.

Your archived data is easily accessible

Simple search, eDiscovery, and investigations. With MailMeter you can rapidly search your Office 365 Archive and retrieve content within milliseconds. It removes the complexity in conducting searches with no additional licensing, training, or expensive software required.

Avoid Data Loss

MailMeter with Office 365 provides a safety blanket by creating a copy of your data before it is migrated. This provides you with a fall back if something goes wrong, or the process is delayed. Users can also access this copy of your data during the migration process meaning they will still have access to their historical mail. 

Remove redundant mailboxes

Typically, more than 10% of all Office 365 licenses are redundant, you can also remove the backup for these licenses. We ingest all your historical emails into our compliant hosted environment.

Lower Storage costs

Office 365 mailboxes grow over time as they did on-premises, let us carry the load so you do not have to upgrade your Office 365 license. Every single email is captured by MailMeter with granular search capabilities for eDiscovery.

Avoid Upgrades to Higher 0ffice 365 Plans & Additional Advanced Compliance

MailMeter provides full eDiscovery regardless of the Office 365 license, so no need for expensive upgrades. Most of the time MailMeter costs less than what you are paying to just back up your mailbox.

Stop Over Licencing or Mis Licensing

To provide eDiscovery, retention, compliance, and visibility Office 365 requires E3 with add-ons or E5 licenses for every user. MailMeter works with EVERY license, providing growth, eDiscovery, and managed service experts.

No Requirement for Microsoft Administrators or Training

The costs involved in hiring external consultants in the event of an eDiscovery case can be significant. Our solution also includes access to our expert eDiscovery consultants for assistance with complex searches and providing best practices.

Remote Access

Access your email archive from anywhere using intuitive and powerful desktop apps – users can easily search for and access content without help from IT. This is also a powerful benefit if Microsoft 0ffice 365 or Exchange goes down.

Compliance Gaps

Simple keyword searches across all email accounts are impossible without a 3rd party compliance solution or expensive add-ons. eDiscovery, retention, and legal hold all require expensive and complex add-ons or full E5 licenses. 


In conclusion, migrating all your email to the cloud can be a good move, however, it may also be a move that many have felt pressurised into over the last year. Unknowingly many may now be feeling locked in and as a result, paying for unnecessary licenses and storage that they do not require.  It is time to take stock, evaluate and pay only for what you need. Utilizing a third-party email archiving solution such as MailMeter can help your organization avoid vendor lock-in.  

Trusted by many brands across multiple industries, our MailMeter solution works seamlessly with Office 365 and Exchange. Our experts are ready to talk to you one on one to suggest archival best practices, to help you manage email storage and discovery better, learn how to make use of all the archived business email for business intelligence and stay ready for regulation compliance.