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System and method to improve Out Of Office usability in email application. Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238011D
Publication Date: 2014-Jul-25
Document File: 3 page(s) / 48K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Embodiments relate to set of improvements to the out of office assistant. Out of office assistant associates an out of office message with a calendar action event sent to sender with notification to ensure the out of office message is sent only for the predetermined time period associated with the calendar event. This also includes intimation to desired contacts before user actually starts his vacations. Other embodiments of the out of office assistant for out of office form are selecting backup contacts and adding defined signature in notification.. In a further embodiment, user is facilitated to send a SMS from his/her Registered Mobile Number to email server Administrator to enable OOO.

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System and method to improve Out Of Office usability in email application .

Today if UserA enables the Out Of Office (OOO) feature for a certain duration , emails sent from UserB to UserA during this duration would be responded with an automated OOO notification .

A. Most of the times UserA would mention someone as his/her alternate/backup contact in the OOO notification. On receiving the notification, UserB could then either forward or add this contact in the original mail from UserB to UserA. Further if UserB finds the sent email by manual search, then s/he has to get exact email address of UserA's alternate/backup contacts from OOO notification and try to send email which may lead to error if UserA has not set correct email address OR it is incomplete OR it is resulting in multiple contacts with same name. The problem here is UserA could not easily select his/her alternate/backup contacts with exact email address hence UserB might end up problematic situation.

B. UserB might just forget or if UserA is out for longer time period (say few weeks/months) then UserB is likely to forget and might just wait for UserA's response. So there is no way for UserB to remind/update him again about OOO of UserA.

UserA happens to be unavailable on his email due to unavoidable circumstances and also UserA could not get chance to enable Out Of office or notify his /her important colleagues /team members about his/her unavailability. UserA works on remote location and does not have any delegatee to do the needful in his absence . All the email senders to UserA will keep sending emails and expect responses from UserA . But since UserA has not /could set OOO there is no OOO notification to senders.

   C. The problem here is, since the Out of office for UserA in not enabled hence all the email senders to UserA will not be aware of UserA's unavailability.

   D. Even if other users sending email to UserA get to know about unavailability of UserA, still they cannot identify the alternate contact information in absence of UserA, since the alternate contact information is stored in UserA's Out of office form.

OOO Notification

1. OOO notification provides "Add to Calendar" action to sender to help with reminder. Sender can take these actions at his/her own discretion.

2. OOO notification can be enhanced to show duration of OOO of a user in mini calendar form highlighting the days instead of informing the same in form of text.

OOO Form
3. OOO form provides an easy way to choose one or more alternate/back up contacts.

4. When recipients receive the intimation that OOO user is planning to go out, that intimation itself can have action "Add to Calendar".

5. OOO form supports adding defined email signature of OOO user on received notifications.

6. If user is not available in office and OOO is not enabled, allow User to enable his/her Out of Office by sending a SMS from his/her Registered Mobile Number to email server Admini...