Equant has expanded its suite of messaging services with the announcement of an e-mail archiving product designed to help corporations comply with government regulations that require e-mail storage.Equant's E-Mail Archiving and Compliance Offering is available immediately in all the countries where Equant does business.The company already offers e-mail hosting, spam and virus scanning services, and the top-tier ISP has nearly 100 corporate customers for these services. Indeed, Equant hosts and manages more than\u00a01 million mailboxes for multinational corporations."Developing an archiving and compliance solution is a logical extension to what we've been doing," says Andy Early, a director of client\/partner services at Equant. "Most of our customers - about 95% - are global in nature...We've been hearing that they need help with improving e-mail storage and they also need help with regulatory compliance. We're hearing this from all the verticals - financial services, pharmaceuticals, healthcare - and from public companies."The carrier's latest service targets companies that must comply with such regulations as Sarbanes-Oxley as well as other rules from the Securities and Exchange Commission, National Association of Securities Dealers, and the Food and Drug Administration that require e-mail retention.Equant's service includes consulting to help companies develop e-mail retention policies and development of reliable systems that will comply with those policies. Equant will then manage the customer's archiving infrastructure either at one of its hosting centers or at the customer's premises.Among Equant's technology partners is EMC, which provides its EMC LEGATO EmailXtender and EMC LEGATO EmailXaminer products to the Equant e-mail archiving offering. Equant has also teamed with Kahn Consulting, which specializes in the legal and policy issues related to IT.Equant says it has already signed up two customers - a chemical company and a pharmaceutical company - for its new e-mail archiving service. These two companies will go live with the service by early next year, Equant executives say."The chemical company is a customer of our managed messaging services. The driver for them is reducing the cost of their e-mail storage and improving the whole process," Early says. "For the pharmaceutical company, the driver is regulatory compliance."Although other service providers including AT&T have similar offerings, Equant says it is coming up against companies trying to tackle e-mail outsourcing in-house."Our biggest competition is clients that want to do it themselves," Early says. "We try to give them a better understanding of everything that's involved...and then they're more interested in speaking with us about a managed service."