What is our primary use case?
We use this solution for the storage and retention of emails and other data. We are a construction company and we store past emails as part of our security process. This is important because we don't always know what an employee is going to send. So, we keep everything backed up in the vault and it stays there for as long as we need it, to do any type of forensics work if needed.
Another use case that I was looking at is the storage of videos posted inside G Suite or Google Workspace. However, I have not yet started to work on that.
How has it helped my organization?
We had a rogue employee sending out emails. He was upset with the company and he was sending emails out with pricing. This may have been possible because he was allowed to have one of the devices by the owner, although we are not one hundred percent sure. In any case, he was still able to send out emails, and because of Vault, he wasn't able to remove them, or proof that he had sent them. This meant that we were able to catch sim sending them out and trying to sabotage our company.
He had been high up on the pole, so he had access to information. With his sending of emails, we were able to narrow it down to him and not someone else who was working there. It was a lot easier to do the forensics and track down to see what was going on, because of the Vault search feature.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable features are automatic document and email retention. If these are accidentally deleted then they are held in the vault.
The search feature is very helpful when you are trying to dive into the information. It's Google's search feature, so it's very good and I recommend using it.
What needs improvement?
The knowledge base is not as in-depth as it should be. The product offers a lot of functionality, but not a lot of people know about what it can do.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using Google Vault personally for a few years. My company has been using it for six or seven months.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
This product has been working consecutively for the entire time. There has never really been any downtime or outage or anything, except for the other week, when Gmail had an issue. That is something that affected all of Google.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
This product is very scalable, for what it is intended to do. It is not used directly by the users because they don't understand it. However, the people that it's activated for range from the owner to the president, finance, HR, and the foreman. It is used pretty much across the board because of its retention policy.
We have about 100 users in total and we will increase our usage as the company grows. At this point, there are no users without an account, and as new people come on board, we add a new account with Vault.
How are customer service and technical support?
I have not been in touch with Google support for this product. However, for other products, they have not been spectacular. When we needed assistance with Gmail or documents, they have been less than productive in their responses outside of just sending you a knowledge base.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Prior to Google Vault, we were on GoDaddy 365, which would have been Microsoft Outlook archive. They both operate the same for the intention that we have.
GoDaddy is a service that I am unhappy with, and they should never have had an Office 365 offering. It is terrible from an administrative standpoint.
To be clear, Office 365 is really good, but GoDaddy's implementation is not.
That said, Office 365 Archive is pretty much comparable to Google Vault. This is not the same as GoDaddy 365 Archive, as there are software limitations.
How was the initial setup?
The initial configuration involved setting up all of the emails and because the people were aware of Vault, I set up the auto-retention. From that point, whenever a user email was set up, Vault was already activated for them to do the backup. Using Google PowerShell, I was able to automate part of that. Whenever a new user was made, it would go ahead and set everything else up.
The deployment took approximately three days for full, wide usage.
Once it has been set up, it is good to go. There has not really been any maintenance outside of needed to do research or look into a specific email.
What about the implementation team?
I deployed Vault for the company, as I was the only one with the knowledge.
What was our ROI?
Outside of risk mitigation and liability mitigation, there really isn't much that is a return on investment. However, those hold their own value, but it depends on the situation.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Google Vault comes as part of a package deal for us.
What other advice do I have?
My advice is that if you have G Suite, then use Google Vault. It will certainly save you a headache. On the other handle, if you do not have the Google Suite then I would not recommend using it.
Early on, when I started using Google Vault, it taught me that it allows for risk mitigation and liability mitigation because you have exact copies of emails sent or documents that are sent out, and you have a paper trail that can be used if need be.
I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.