eDiscovery and security drives selection of Microsoft Office 365 email for leading accountancy and insolvency practitioner

Leading forensic accountancy and insolvency practitioner, McStay Luby enjoys reliable, secure email communications with deep archiving and eDiscovery capability, thanks to a Microsoft Office 365 deployment performed by MJ Flood Technology.

Like many businesses in a highly regulated industry, McStay Luby depends on a clear, documented audit trail for all email communications between the firm and third parties, particularly in cases of insolvency or liquidation, documentation for which may be required in court. As a firm that trades very successfully on its market reputation and solid track record, this is critical.

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Seamless Archiving and Retrieval

“In our role as liquidators and forensic accountants, it is always possible that we have to either purse legal action or that our actions are challenged. It’s important that we can exercise eDiscovery or the ability to go back and retrieve or reprint emails,” explains Margaret Smyth, manager with McStay Luby.

“From time to time, staff will have to refer to the archive to retrieve email communications. Insolvency cases can last for a number of years and documentation which is say five years old may be needed at any given point. The easiest way to find the documentation is through email and that’s critical,” she said.

Exchange Online Archiving supports eDiscovery for searching the contents of mailboxes. Users can search a variety of mailbox items – including email messages, attachments, calendar appointments, tasks, and contacts. Simultaneous searches can be performed across primary mailboxes and archives, making the process of discovery swift and easy.

Emails can also be placed on legal hold, reducing the risk that they may be accidentally deleted from a primary mailbox or archive.

“The Exchange administrator can use three different types of hold to protect the integrity of certain emails,” explains Declan Owens, sales manager networks with MJ Flood Technology. “We can preserve items indefinitely until they are no longer required. We can put in place a time-based hold for a specific period of time or a query-based hold which corresponds to specified search parameters such as keywords, sender or recipient address. It’s a powerful solution that has real, practical application, particularly for highly regulated industries,” he said.

The implementation of Office 365 has been very successful for us. The system works very well and migration to Office 365 went very smoothly with excellent project management and technical skills from the MJ Flood Technology team.”

Margaret Smyth, manager, McStay Luby

Security and Confidentiality are Key

The security and confidentiality of email communications is also critical to the practice and was one of the key considerations in moving the service to the cloud.

“Critical confidential documents are often circulated in draft between client and solicitor or bank,” said Ms Smyth. Email encryption gives us peace of mind that our correspondence is secure at all times.”

TLS (Transport Layer Security) is used to encrypt the connection between email servers to help prevent spoofing or identity theft and it provides a high degree of confidentiality for messages in transit. TLS is also used for securing on-premises mail server traffic to Office 365 data centers for Exchange Online Archiving.

McStay Luby has been using a Microsoft cloud-based email service since 2009 in the form of its first generation offering, BPOS. The firm was extremely progressive in embracing, what was at the time, a new concept of delivering email services from the cloud and was keen to upgrade to Office 365, once it became available.

“McStay Luby was one of our first clients to move to a hosted email solution. Given the sensitive and confidential nature of their business, the firm was unusual in that regard. But partners and staff clearly enjoy a high degree of confidence in the email service and it has brought many benefits to the firm including the ability to access email, on the go,” said Mr Owens.

“Email is integral to our business,” concluded Ms Smyth. “Emails could contain a contract that needs to be signed within a certain timeframe and requires a quick turnaround. However we have no downtime and the whole implementation of Office 365 has been very successful.

“We’re extremely happy with service levels, the technical ability of MJ Flood Technology staff and the way in which they project-managed the whole upgrade of our system. They did an excellent job,” she said.

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