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Mechanism for notification for vacation end-date change

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000236909D
Publication Date: 2014-May-21
Document File: 1 page(s) / 116K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a system that tracks the senders of email to a person who has enabled an out-of-office (or vacation) responder. If the originator changes the return date by extending or contracting it, then the system automatically sends a follow-up notification with the revised return date to individuals who sent email to the person who is away.

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Mechanism for notification for vacation end-date change

Automatic vacation responders (e.g., out-of-office replies) are common in many mail systems. Most systems respond once during the vacation period for each recipient, typically providing a time frame to indicate when the person is to return from period of unavailability (e.g., vacation).

However, in the event that the return-date changes (i.e. period of unavailability is shortened or extended) the recipient of the original vacation responder is not notified, even if a repeated message is sent to the recipient. This means the sender can be operating on a set of wrong assumptions, such as scheduling a meeting

when the recipient is still unavailable or waiting longer than necessary to get in

touch. The sender of the message might become frustrated and offended when an expected response is not received.

The novel contribution is a system that tracks the senders of email to the person

who originally enabled the vacation responder as well as the time when the

notification was sent. If the originator changes the return date by extending or contracting it after the original notification was sent, then the system automatically sends a follow-up notification with the revised return date to individuals who sent email to the person who is away.

Figure: Process flow

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