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System for notifying teammate when concurrently composing reply to the same thread

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000225238D
Publication Date: 2013-Feb-01
Document File: 4 page(s) / 376K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

In many work environments it is a common case that multiple employees receive the same question or a help request via e-mail or other ways of one-to-many communication. When there is no single owner to handle the request it may happen that more than one employee start composing a reply at the same time. Such a duplicated effort is a waste for employer, and could cause a confusion to the requestee if he receives multiple answers. The Invention discloses a way to resolve these problems by synchronizing the work of a request receivers.

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System for notifying teammate when concurrently composing reply to the same thread

Consider a team working in a project, which receives questions/requests from other teams or customers via email or other electronic mean of communication. Sometimes more than one teammate is on recipient list of such a request. In such case it may happen that more than one teammate starts working on composing a reply. Depending on type of question/request it may take significant time to compose the response. If done concurrently and independently by two teammates without knowing of each other doing the same it is a waste of employee's time. Preventing such situations could improve efficiency of the team, improve customer experience and reduce the overall costs.

Related work:


• Currently there are mail clients (like web-based Google Mail) which notify about new received message in a thread while user is composing a reply. This helps to prevent from sending a message that doesn't bring any new information and could just cause confusion. However, the time spent on composing the redundant reply is wasted anyway.


• Ticket management systems are affected by similar problems. There are solutions similar to the one in previous bullet: support engineer gets warning if another support engineer already replied to a ticket: http://www.happyfox.com/blog/avoid-concurrent-staff-responses-on-the-same-ticket/


• In ticket systems users may have to assign the ticket to themselves before working or answering to it.


• There are also systems for notifying sender about recipient receiving message in his inbox, or opening it.

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/get-delivery-and-read-receipt-confirmations-HP0103550


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http://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1385059


• A patent regarding monitoring how long agent is responding to an email http://www.google.com/patents/US7853653?dq=mail+notify&hl=en&sa=X&ei=XA5X UNLTBYTCswbrnYAY&ved=0CEIQ6AEwBzgy

• Notification of activity around documents: http://www.google.com/patents/US20100017701?dq=mail+notify+reply&hl=en&sa=X &ei=8w9XUOKSF8fZsgaX9oDQCA&ved=0CD0Q6AEwBQ

• At IBM there was a "Reinventing Email" research, which was meant to address the need on the market for a more interactive and collaborative user experience with an email client. A kind of notification proposed in this disclosure haven't been considered, though.
http://www.research.ibm.com/remail/

The idea is to introduce a system that would keep track of users that have opened a compose editor in reply to some note. If there are more then two teammates composing reply to the same thread concurrently, they will both see a notification. They could then have a quick chat to figure out if both of them need to work on the request and share thoughts on it.

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Figure1: Sample notification

   Advantages over solutions described in question #1 include:
- User receives a notification as soon as teammate opens a compose reply e...