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Exchange 2010 Beta First Looks: E-mail Moderation

The next release of Exchange will include e-mail moderation, whereby you can "ask" for approval to send messages to certain individuals or domains. I think this is pretty neat and beneficial for firms looking to apply compliance controls or build ethical firewalls to avoid any potential legal issues.
As in my earlier blog on e-mail disclaimers we’re back again using Hub Transport rules to achieve this and once again, it’s really easy to set this up. Probably the more difficult aspect would be in determining which messages get flagged for moderation. I mean, what manager would want to approve potentially hundreds of emails before they left the company? I think with some creative rules and exceptions you could minimize this. In my example there is a contract negotiation going on between Contoso and NWTraders which is sensitive in nature so the boss(es) want to be extra careful given this situation so they want their staff to seek approval for any email they send the client. That’s pretty rough, huh? :)
Here’s the rule configuration to pull this off. Remember we want all email sent to nwtraders.com to be flagged for moderation but the two bosses.
Select your conditions:
Here we want to add ‘@nwtraders.com’ as search criteria so the HT (hub transport) grabs the messages and processes them appropriately.
Now we want the HT to forward these messages to the bosses for approval. What I noticed is that while you may have multiple people on the moderation list, any one of these people may approve or reject the message. This may help when people moderating messages are out of the office and are being covered by someone else.
Here’s the summarized rule.
Now let’s compose a simple message and see how this works. I prepared a message with two people from NWTraders, one listed as a contact in the GAL and another I added manually.
After sending the message, the Administrator and Boss Person receive it. Here’s what it looks like in OWA 2010. When it shows up in Outlook 2007, it shows up with voting buttons at the top but operates normally.
We’re going to decline this message.
And so I receive the Administrator’s message back which shows up in the conversation thread.
As you can see, this is a pretty powerful feature. Companies in delicate relationships or under compliance restrictions might consider this to be a very useful tool.

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