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New Option for Email Processing

Overview

When new emails arrive into Enate, the system analyses the email to determine whether it’s a brand new request or related to an existing one, and then determines how to proceed.
We have added another option for how you choose for emails to be processed to existing Work items. You can now set a 'Plus Addressing ONLY' option which will match emails solely using plus addressing rules.
Previously, when Plus Addressing was switched on the system would use plus addressing information AND the standard email processing rules to try to match it with Work Items. This option is still available under the newly named 'Mixed-mode' option.
The options for email processing are now as follows:
  • Plus Addressing OFF - Plus Addressing is completely disabled and emails are matched using the standard email processing rules only (i.e. those not used in Plus Addressing).
  • Mixed Mode - Plus Addressing is enabled and emails are matched using both plus addressing AND the standard processing rules standard email processing rules.
  • Plus Addressing Only - Plus Addressing is enabled and emails are matched using plus addressing ONLY.
Note that the default value is set to 'Plus Addressing OFF'.

Which mode is best for me?

Depending on how your email server is configured / what changes you may have recently made, here is our recommendations for which of these modes to use:
  • If your email server is configured to support plus addressing, we recommend that you use Plus Addressing Only.
  • If you are transitioning from Plus Addressing OFF mode to include plus addressing, we recommend that you use Mixed mode for a short amount of time to ease the transition before switching to Plus Addressing Only mode.
  • If your email server is not configured to support plus addressing, you should use Plus Addressing OFF mode.
Important Note: You should only switch Plus Addressing on in Enate AFTER your Email Administrators have confirmed that your email servers are set up to support Plus Addressing.

What is Plus Addressing & why is it useful in Enate?

Plus Addressing is an industry-defined feature which allows the automatic addition of information into an email address when a mail is being composed. Systems can then subsequently use this additional information if they know to look for it within the email addresses, while still ensuring that the mail gets to its intended recipients. In Enate, we make use of Plus Addressing by automatically adding the reference number of a Case, Action or Ticket (e.g. '101203-T') into the email address of any emails that we know should be being subsequently shared with that work item.
Adding this extra information into the email addresses of mails relating to work items allows us to run an additional layer of processing logic for any response emails which come back in as responses from them. The logic is fairly simple: If a work item reference number is recognized as part of any of an email's target mail addresses, that mail is shared with that work item.
Doing this massively reduces the chances of creating unnecessary work items when sending emails back and forth - particularly useful when there are multiple separate work items being actioned across multiple separate teams in Enate to deal with larger queries.

Example

If an Agent is emailing out a reply to a query that has arrived into the mailbox '[email protected]', upon sending the emailback out, Enate will auto-populate the From email address with a plus sign (+) followed by the reference number of the work item as a tag, so the From email address coming out of Enate will look something like this: '[email protected]'. The underlying structure of this is: [email connector address][+EnateRef]@[email domain].
Similarly, if the person sending the email out from Enate includes other Enate email addresses (e.g. they're copying in other internal departments) where there might also be a linked work item the email could be shared to, the system will allow the sender to share their mail with these other departments - it does this by adding in further work item references to the other departments' email addresses.
Check out this article showing how Working Between Teams is improved by this approach.
Additional advantage: Plus Addressing can match an email with multiple work items. The standard email processing rules can only match an email with one work item.

Plus Addressing OFF Mode

How does Enate match an incoming email in Plus Addressing OFF mode?

In Plus Addressing OFF mode Plus Addressing is not used, so incoming emails will be matched using the standard email processing rules. Plus Addressing OFF mode will match with a single work item. Plus Addressing matches with multiple relevant work items, if they exist.
The system will look at the following list of criteria in order and if it finds a match, it will stop searching (i.e. first one wins). The order this runs in is as follows:
1) Header ‘in-reply-to’ value – the ‘in reply to’ value in the header of the email. This value has the following structure:
<‘Unique email GUID’.’work item GUID’@‘Enate server that sent the email’.enate>
e.g. <d23a9d57-6006-4ab7-a412-8ca8ece2f3aa.2b8586bb-ef95-4020-9cf8-ed56a059b47e@SendingServerName.enate>
2) Unique identifier in email message body - If the incoming email has been sent as a response to an email which was sent out from Enate, it will likely contain a unique identifier tag as part of the email body text.
3) Work item reference in email subject
4) Work item reference in email message body

What happens when a match cannot be found? - New Work Item created

If no information can be identified to link the email to a currently running work item, the system will generate a brand new work item (Ticket or Case) based on the email’s configured routing rules. A confirmation email will be automatically sent back out to the requesting email address containing the reference number if the email route settings specified in Builder have ‘send response’ set to ‘on’.

When should I use Plus Addressing OFF mode?

If your email server is not configured to support plus addressing, you should use Plus Addressing OFF mode.

Mixed Mode

How does Enate match an incoming email in Mixed mode?

In mixed mode, Plus Addressing is enabled and emails are matched using BOTH:
  • Plus Addressing (to potentially multiple work items) AND
  • The standard email processing rules (which stops after it matches with a single work item). See this section for an explanation of the standard email processing rules.

What happens when a match cannot be found?

If no information can be identified to link the email to a currently running work item, the system will generate a brand new work item (Ticket or Case) based on the email’s configured routing rules. A confirmation email will be automatically sent back out to the requesting email address containing the reference number if the email route settings specified in Builder have ‘send response’ set to ‘on’.

When should I use Mixed mode?

If your email server is configured to support plus addressing and you are transitioning from Plus Addressing OFF mode to plus addressing, we recommend that you use mixed mode for a temporary period to ease the transition before switching to Plus Addressing Only mode.
This is because any emails sent out before plus addressing was introduced will NOT contain plus Addressing information in the email addresses of any response emails coming back into the system. If you were running Plus Addressing Only mode, such emails would not be able to find a match and so would lead to undesirable creation of new work items, rather than matching to an existing work item.
Once you are comfortable that there are no / very few work items in your system which are still open but which started before Plus Addressing was enabled, you can then consider if you wish to move to Plus Addressing Only mode.

Plus Addressing Only Mode

How does Enate match an incoming email in Plus Addressing Only mode?

In Plus Addressing Only mode, Plus Addressing is enabled and emails are matched ONLY through Plus Addressing. This means that when new emails arrive into Enate, the system analyses the email according to the Plus Addressing rules and then determines how to proceed.
Note: Plus Addressing OFF mode will match with a single work item. Plus Addressing matches with multiple relevant work items, if they exist.
1) Plus Addressing used in the email address section - if a work item reference number is recognized as part of any of an email's target mail addresses, that mail is shared with that work item.
The underlying structure of this is: [email connector address][+EnateRef][@email domain]

What happens when a match cannot be found?

If no information can be identified to link the email to a currently running work item, the system will generate a brand new work item (Ticket or Case) based on the email’s configured routing rules. A confirmation email will be automatically sent back out to the requesting email address containing the reference number if the email route settings specified in Builder have ‘send response’ set to ‘on’.

When should I use Plus Addressing Only mode?

If your email server is configured to support plus addressing, we recommend that you use Plus Addressing Only mode. However, if you are transitioning from Plus Addressing OFF mode to include plus addressing, we recommend that you use mixed mode for a short amount of time to ease the transition before switching to Plus Addressing Only mode. See Mixed mode for more information.

Why would I ever move from Mixed to Plus Addressing Only Mode?

You might ask why you would bother moving on from Mixed mode into full Plus Addressing Only mode? Here is a business scenario which explains why running in fully Plus Addressing Only mode can be advantageous:
You can have a scenario where a query is sent in to the IT department. IT team sends a response back out from Enate informing the requester that this needs to be dealt with by HR (they may even even create a new Linked work item to for the HR department. Either way, further correspondence from the requester needs to go to the HR department, not the IT department.
If the original requester sends an email back in, removing the IT department's mailing address and making sure it is only being sent to the HR email address. How will this work in Mixed vs. Plus Addressing Only mode?
  • If you are running in Mixed mode, there could well be the original 'guid' stamp in the email chain which states 'this came out of Enate from the IT department'. So Enate will use the standard email processing rules to match the incoming mail with the IT department's work item which is NOT what is wanted here.
  • If pure Plus Addressing is used (i.e. Plus Addressing Only mode), then the mail won't go to the IT department. It will go to the HR department - either as a brand new request (if no plus addressing data was found), or into the existing HR request if plus addressing data for an HR work item was injected into the mail chain in a previous step.
In circumstances such as this where you want to fully switch a work item away from a department/team that was previously involved, you would want to use Plus Addressing Only mode and NOT Mixed mode. So, once you're comfortable that all open work items come from the point where Plus Addressing was switched on or later, we recommend you move to Plus Addressing Only mode.

Plus Addressing Additional Details

  1. 1.
    If an agent writing an outgoing mail includes an email address which Enate knows is linked to an Enate mailbox, when they click to send the mail Enate will display a popup showing them: - All currently linked work items which were created as a result of a mail into that same mailbox - An option to create a NEW (automatically linked) work item.
  2. 2.
    Once the agent has chosen existing work items / created a new linked work item(s) to share their mail with, the mail will be shared with them, and the email will be sent out to any external / non-Enate using parties. Additionally, the work item references of THIS work item AND the ones it is behind shared with will be added into the respective relevant mail addresses which are part of the outgoing mail. This ensures that on ALL subsequent email exchanges - coming either from internal parties or external / non-Enate parties, those work item 'tags' in the addresses route the mail to share it with the required work items. Further things to note...
  3. 3.
    If an incoming mail is replying to a closed work item, the system will create new one.
  4. 4.
    Live and test items cannot be addressed in a single mail.

Hide Work Item Matching Data in Email Addresses

There is an option to hide work item matching data in email addresses when using Plus Addressing. This is available just in the System Settings section of Builder, just below where you choose your Email Processing mode.
Enabling this will add a 'Reply To' header for outbound emails where work item matching data will NOT display as plus addresses in the 'From' address.
The impact of this is that if the setting is enabled, instead of seeing emails with
'[email protected]' in the from field, it will instead show simply as
Note that this option is set to off by default.
See this article for further details.

One further note - Testing:

When an email is being sent out from Enate which includes an Enate-linked mailbox in the To / Cc addressees and the specific work item reference number it would be appended to, Enate will perform this appending immediately before the mail is sent out. In order to avoid a duplicate appending when that email ultimately arrives back in to that Enate mailbox, Enate knows to recognize any incoming mails which have a ‘from’ address which has been used in the config settings of a Ticket / Case or Action, and it will NOT process that mail into Enate for that ticket.
A knock-on impact of this can be this: if as a configurer you are testing incoming emails, and you manually send mails to Enate from an account which has been used in the config settings of a Ticket / Case or Action (including retired versions), Enate will NOT append the email to a work item, nor will it create a new work item. As such, please pay close attention to the test mail accounts you select to send test emails into Enate from.

Activities required outside of Enate

You must enable Plus Addressing in whichever email system you are using.
This article takes you through how to enable Plus Addressing in Microsoft 365:
This article shows you how to enable Plus Addressing in Gmail: