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Travel Insurance Industry’s Email Problem

, February 23, 2023 475 Views

The one thing that anyone working in the travel insurance industry will say is difficult to deal with is the number of emails that they receive. They may hit that sweet spot, the magic number of people that is just right for this task, but they may not be aware of a hidden problem that their IT department would eventually be dealing with. Like everything digital, emails occupy space. And in digital world, storage space comes at a premium. This means that the companies will need to continuously monitor and manage this precious resource. This might seem trivial initially. Indeed, the size of each individual email is several kilobytes and with attachments, it could be on average about 15 megabytes. Not much, admittedly. But when one pulls out of the individual emails view and looks at the bigger picture over a period of time, things look different. They say small drops of water combine to create an ocean. Similarly, these small, single emails each occupying several kilobytes, would eventually, over time, end up occupying several gigabytes of storage space. And this creeps up slowly but surely till the company realizes that they are out of storage space.

Buying more storage is the obvious solution. But then the question comes of what kind of storage. Many would prefer on-premises storage justifying that everything remains within their sights and therefore within their control. Having on-premises storage infrastructure brings its own problems like constant monitoring, periodic upgradation and naturel and man-made disasters just to name a few. Others would move to cloud correctly trusting AWS, Azure and the like to maintain infrastructure as they buy or more specifically, rent the storage. The cost is low compared to the on-premises option but as the data or in this case emails and their attachment increase, the storage space decreases and there will come a time when organizations will have to buy or rent new storage space. The space within their application’s database is costly. For example, 1 GB on Microsoft Dataverse costs $40 per month. Obviously, most organizations can’t spend $40 frequently.

The way forward. 

Deleting the emails is not the option because the organizations are required by law to preserve the emails for a specific number of years. The best option here is to move older emails and attachments to a cheaper storage location like Microsoft SharePoint. An automatic process can be created that can move attachments of emails to folders in SharePoint and these folders could be linked to the emails which would allow accessing the attachments from email itself.  Microsoft Dynamics 365 solutions allow this easily, but other applications would also allow something like this. 

If the number of emails also explodes over a period of time and begins occupying the precious storage space, these could be moved to another, cheaper storage. One option is to move emails after a specific period, say 6 months or 1 year to Microsoft Azure SQL Server. These could be then reviewed and accessed using specially made Power BI reports. These kinds of emails only need to be stored for reference so a Power BI visual or a report would be a simple and effective solution. 

 And so

By combining 1 or 2 different services, preferably within the same ecosystem, for example Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online-SharePoint Online and the Azure SQL Server, the storage space problem may not be eliminated but could be mitigated considerably and prove cheaper over the lifetime of the organization. 

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