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Method to Detect Out of Office Agent Activation in Email

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000032962D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Nov-19
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Nov-19
Document File: 1 page(s) / 77K

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The ability to pro-actively access a recipient?s Out of the Office status prior to sending an email note will greatly improve a user's productivity by allowing the sender to make an alternative action. By pro-actively checking the availability of the recipient of the email, the sender is not forced to wait for a out of office notification to make an informed alternative action.

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Method to Detect Out of Office Agent Activation in Email

Most email clients allow users to set an Out of the Office notification mechanism. This is extremely useful for letting people know that the user is not able to respond to email because they are currently out of the office. In most instances the user can specify particular information related to their absence, for example days they will be absence, persons to contact in their absence, etc.

The problem with the present solution is that a person sending an email can only determine the recipient's Out of the Office status after he or she has already sent their note. When the information being sent is time sensitive this presents a problem.

This disclosure details a method for pro-actively accessing a recipients Out of the Office status prior to sending an email note.

The invention works as follows:

1. A person wants to send a time sensitive email note to several persons; a subset of which the person wants to send a note only if the persons are available.
2. At the onset of the creation of the email a mechanism is used to access the availability of persons in the subset.
3. If a person in the subset is listed not available and if information is presented for example days out of the office, back up contacts; the sender can use the available information to determine if the note should be sent and to whom.

There are several possible mechanisms to access the availability of a person in the subset. One approach is out...