In Place Archiving After Employee Leaves

Steel Contributor

Our existing Microsoft 365 Business Standard licenses includes 50Gb of online archiving and once an Employee leaves, if we convert the mailbox to a shared mailbox, we LOSE all that email.  Only option would be to export to PST first yet have no where in the cloud to store such a large individual file (due to all of the SharePoint restrictions and tiny drives we have on our clients).


So we are upgrading our top users to the E3 which gives us unlimited online archiving, yet are being told if that employee leaves, we'll also lose all that email unless we export to PST.


Microsoft is selling us on the whole E3 and archiving so we don't ever have to use such an old feature such as PST files yet they never seem to understand that Employees leave.  Why should we lose all of our cloud stored emails because no longer want the account to be active?  Keep paying us or lose all your emails.  


There must be another way?

9 Replies
Not sure on the limitations of a business license but it should be possible to put the account on a case hold which would preserve the mailbox data until the hold is removed, at which point you can delete or disable the user account.

@stonefr33 Yes I was looking at the Litigation Hold but it still requires us to pay for the E3 while it's on hold.  Our issue is how to we KEEP all of our own email yet not have to keep paying Microsoft for an account and email that's no longer being used?

Litigation hold is a bit different than a case hold, this is applied from the compliance centre rather than Exchange. In our case the account was completely deleted (mails recovered about 6months later) rather than unlicensed but the principle is the same.
So can you recover the mailbox and all online archived emails AND delegate all those emails to someone? Our needs are for when Employees leave and needing to give someone access to those emails. That's why Shared Mailboxes work so well but then you lose all the archives.
That’s where it would become problematic then as the mail is only accessible through the Compliance centre, it can be exported to PST but it wouldn’t be a quick process and would create a bit of administrative burden and as you said you didn’t want to do.

Only other thing would be lower tier licenses like exchange plan 1/2 if it was only exchange data you care about. Could at least reduce the cost a bit.
Our primary issue with PST is how it stands now with OneDrive/SharePoint having the restriction of 5Gb max per file. If we need to export 75Gb of data, we'd have to separate it out to 15 separate PST files then use OneDrive client sync as it won't work if in the cloud then manually adding 15 files to each user that needs to access the email.

Crazy how there is no solution for something so basic.
I think the file limit has increased now to 100GB files in OneDrive but you have to be careful as Outlook updates the file if it is opened and creates a new version so may balloon the OD storage for users.
Yes but we are trying to keep our devices as thin/dumb as possible (my tablet only has a 256Gb HD and others are 128Gb). Having a 100Gb file locally sync'd from OneDrive in order to access the emails is not possible.

@luvsql we are looking into this issue for another customer at Colligo. We're seeing this solution at another customer. If you're interested, let's connect offline.