Ideas about ways to improve the efficiency of our business processes often start with this simple question. Perhaps the genesis is an impromptu hallway banter between co-workers or maybe, it’s the result of a conversation with a frustrated client. While the question is simple, the results can be a game-changer, especially if it can be accomplished with tools already in place.
At Gimmal, we are well known for our information governance tools. Gimmal Discover, in particular, is a valuable tool for uncovering redundant, outdated, or trivial content, discovering sensitive data, or performing first-pass electronic discovery for litigation. But, our clients have also found several creative ways to streamline their unique business processes using Gimmal Discover.
Real-World Examples of Streamlining Business Processes
|Process Problem||How to organize disparate communications about maritime shipping operations that are provided to the logistics team by various field agents. These email communications detailing a vessel’s status and location are sent to two designated Microsoft 365 mailboxes. The messages describe the vessel’s location, current status (in port, at sea, etc.), expected departure or arrival time, etc. As you would expect, there are many messages for each vessel, multiplied by several vessels, which resulted in a large number of disorganized messages in the target mailboxes.|
|Process Improvement||The logistics team created a clever solution for this clutter powered by Gimmal Discover; here’s how it works: Using the vessel number, they create a distinct mailbox folder for each vessel. To help categorize messages, they instructed the captains to include the vessel number in the subject line of each email communication. Gimmal Discover periodically scans the inbox folder of the Microsoft 365 mailbox and examines the subject line of new emails to identify messages containing vessel numbers (this is done using regular expression pattern matching). When an email with a vessel number in the subject line is detected, Discover attempts to move that message to a mailbox folder containing the matching vessel number. If a folder number with the vessel number cannot be located, Gimmal Discover marks that message using one of the Outlook color categories. That flag serves as a visual queue to let the logistics team know a folder must be created for that vessel.|
|Client Industry||Financial Services|
|Process Problem||How to have specific regulations regarding email content, retention periods, etc., applied based on an employee’s geographic location. This multi-national client has a U.S.-based IT team that oversees operations for offices acquired in many countries. Each of those acquisition locations has different email rules that must be enforced within an aggregate Microsoft 365 tenant.|
|Process Improvement||The IT team realized that the key to determining which email rules should be applied was knowing what country the employee resided in. That information was not available within the email environment, but it was present in Active Directory. Tapping into that AD information solved the problem, here’s how Gimmal Discover helped: The IT director created extended properties within Gimmal Discover to store the AD values for country code and country name. Those properties were then added to the query for Data Owners to sync the country identity for each mailbox into Discover. Once the country information was present, it could be evaluated during the retention workflows to determine what retention guidelines should be applied. As a bonus, the country information in the database also helped trigger some specialized folder operations within the workflows. These operations were dependent upon testing the folder name in the language specific to a country (for example, Oberste Ebene des Informationsspeichers)|