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Why create an email archive?

There are a variety of different reasons why your business should have an email archive. These include:-

  • Legal Compliance
  • Performance improvement
  • Protection of Your Intellectual Property
  • Business Continuity

In general all of the above come down to getting a copy of your email into a secure location as quickly as possible after it is received, or sent.

Options for creating your email archive

There are different ways that your email archive can be created. These either involve you:

  • Installing email archive software on a server in your office
  • Using a hosted email archive provider

Local Email Archive

A local email archive will generally involve having an additional server, somewhere in the infrastructure. This server host the archive to ensure that data cannot be ‘lost’ by people deleting emails.

Your local archive should be on a separate server to your email server, ideally it should also be in a separate physical location.  So for Small Business this isn’t a realistic option, the capital expense of a second server just to hold your archive would not normally be acceptable.

Hosted Email Archive

I would recommend that you use a hosted email archive. A hosted archive is a very cost effective solution as, most of the email archive providers, don’t require any upfront investment. You will get a highly performant email archive, you don’t need to worry about having to backup the email archive, you also don’t have to worry about scalability.

There are lots of options for  Hosted email archive companies, but don’t forget that you are entrusting them with your information so don’t just choose the cheapest. The 2 options I would recommend are:-

If you want information about either of these please contact me via the SystemAssure website. Both Webroot and Microsoft offer free trials of their archive solutions and we can help you set these up and evaluate the best email archive product for your business.

Send Large Files to Customers

Just imagine the situation, you have just finished preparing a PowerPoint presentation and you want to send a copy to one of your clients. So you zip the presentation up and email to your customer, along with a message telling them that they need to unzip it.

A couple of minutes later you find the message in your inbox, along with a message from the clients email system stating that they don’t accept large emails. Now what are you going to do! You promised the client that you were going to email them the information and now you can’t get it to them.

Why does this happen?

Lots of companies set file size limits on email, so that their system doesn’t get clogged up with large files being sent back and forwards. Exchange allows you to set several different limits, a default maximum send size, a default maximum recieve size and then override sizes for specific people – like the MD. So how are we going to get round the problem?

What are the different ways of getting round the problem?

  1. We could just increase the maximum file size that we can send, that should work. – As you can see from this case we were able to send the email, it was the clients system that rejected the email due to a policy set by their System Administrator.
  2. We could copy the presentation to CD and pop it in the post. – Not a very quick solution nor a particularly Green solution, but it would work.
  3. We could use a service like ‘YouSendIt’ www.yousendit.com

YouSendIt

YouSendIt is designed specifically so people can send large files to customers. YouSendIt has  couple of different services with different costs varying from Free to $30.00 a month.

  • Lite – Basically a free option for occasional use – max file size of 100MB
  • Pro – $10.00 a month with a max file size of 2GB per download
  • Business Plus – $30.00 a month same sizes as Pro but designed for teams of users.

The full details are on the YouSendIt website.

They even have plug-ins for Outlook, so that if you try to attached a file greater than a specific size it will automatically upload the file to your YouSendIT account and put the download link in the email, so you don’t have to think about it or change the way that you work. https://www.yousendit.com/outlook-plugin 

How YouSendIT enables you to Send Large Files

Send Large Files with YouSendIt

1Easily select and send your large file, or document, quickly and easily by uploading it through a web browser, from your desktop or right from within your favorite application such as Microsoft Outlook. If you use the Outlook integration, then even if you ‘attach’ the file to your email it will actually be sent via YouSendIt 

2The YouSendIT system store your file(s) securely on the YouSendIT servers and then sends an email to your recipients containing a YouSendIt link for them to click on and quickly and easily download the file.

3Your recipient receives the email notification, clicks on the link in the email and downloads the file. Done!

Green Business

Help to make your business a Greener, more efficient, Business by cutting out the need for Couriers, CD’s etc. By using a service like YouSendIT to send large files and documents you can also improve the turn around time to customers as well as saving money and reducing the Carbon Foot print of your business.

Xobni and Social Networking

If you use  Xobni you will know something about the power of its email search facilities. However have you considered the value of using Xobni and Social Networking applications with analytics to find out how your customers interact with each other?

Like most people I build up a mental image of customers when exchanging emails and having phone conversations with them. From the tone of someones voice you, subconsciously, start to build a picture of them in your mind. Once you have exchanged email with your prospect Xobni goes to work on your behalf to gather some more data for you.

Xobni and Social Networking

If your customers use Social Networks like Linkedin or Facebook then Xobni will see if there is a public profile with the same email address. If it finds a matching profile you will see the picture, taken from the social networks public profile, displayed along with other profile information as part of their Xobni information. Now we know what the person looks like, or at least we have the image from their public profile which may not necessarily be the same thing. So when you turn up for that first customer meeting you know who you are looking for.

You can also find out a bit about any contact that you may have in common. This can be helpful as you may well find that you can leverage the power of an introduction or reference to that person from a common contact.

If your customer uses Twitter you can also follow their feed from within Xobni. Just click on the icon and you can see what they are Tweeting about.

If you want information about how Xobni collects and displays this information go to the Xobni site support pages.

Xobni Analyticsxobni and social networking

In the image on the right you can see part of the Xobni Interface, in this case showing the summary statistics for the contact that you are displaying. This shows the number of emails exchanged, in and out, it also shows the time of day that the person is most likely to respond to you. So know you know when they are most likely to be at their desk if you need to call them.

Xobni Summary LogoThe little Xobni Logo shows the summary screen, which includes the threaded conversations, contacts and files that you have exchanged with that contact.

Xobni mailThis Tab shows the number of email conversations that you have exchanged with the contact, in this case we have 167 conversations. In the summary on the right you can also see the number of emails within the conversation.

xobni contactThis tab shows the number of email contacts this person has which they share with you. The information on how this is gathered is on the Xobni Support Site.

xobni filesWhat files have you exchanged with this contact? In this case there is a total of 43 files that we have exchanged by email. I use this section a lot, where I send out quotes to customers, its really simple to find the documents, PDF’s, Excel files etc that you have exchanged with them.

Xobni also has integration with Skype, Hoovers, Salesforce.com and Yahoo Mail and I am sure that the list of integrated applications will continue to grow.

Xobni Editions

There are now 3 different editions of Xobni, the original free version of Xobni, Xobni Plus and Xobni Enterprise. The functions described above are available in the Free edition of Xobni. Xobni Plus adds additional features, a comparison of the products is available on the Xobni site.

I hope that the article has given you an idea of how you can use Xobni and Social Networking within your business and shown some of the interaction between Xobni and Social Networking applications like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.