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Email Help Desk


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Just trying to get a feel for the current prices if the need arises for the company where I work at to hire a FM professional to do some work.

The solution would be made by us, the design, all of the functions and related. The solution would be a help desk for handling of the customers e-mail questions.

The thing that would be needed would be to integrate the solution with the outlook where a button could be pressed labeled "Get mail" and all of the new mail would be imported from outlook into the solution. Each imported e-mail would create a new record and once the e-mails are imported they would be assigned a ticket/case number. So basically if we received an e-mail from [email protected] a new record would be created for that e-mail and a case number would be assigned, something like case #12345. Now, if we receive an e-mail from the same customer again a new record would be created again for the e-mail but the same case number would be assigned again until the case is closed. There would also be a button labeled "Send mail" which would send our reply to the customer.

I did some research and found Outlook manipulator from Productive computing. To achieve the above would it be better to purchase the developer edition of that plug-in and try to integrate/do the outlook part ourselves or would it be better to hire someone to take care of that for us? Also what would be the cost of developing the whole solution from scratch if we did hire someone?

Is the FM a way to go to achieve above or should we look into different programs and or solutions offered?

Just trying to get a feel of things before starting the project. Some of our other solutions are done in FM (in-house) so we are inclined to have this in FM as well?

Any thoughts, advice or suggestions are appreciated.

Thank you.

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I think what you really need to do here is explore the various email plug ins. This would make FileMaker the email client for this purpose instead of having an intermediary client.

I has been some time since I did this type of thing, but I found Pop3it and SMTPit at that time invaluable. I know that there are also other choices now.

In terms of how they work, most plug ins work by pounding a field with instructions. It is not that intuitive, but after you get the hang of it, it is not hard.

There are several upsides to this approach:

1. At least one layer of human intervention is removed

2. Automated backups when using FMP server

3. This can be coupled with other company data to perfrom multiple functions over time

4. In using intermediaries, if the base email client functions change and the connection plug in is not available or not updated, you can be left stranded or doing a major rework.


Dave McQueen

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