26 Replies Latest reply: Feb 28, 2012 9:54 AM by Paul Simon RSS

    What do you do about email notifications

    Iain Colledge

      We're just about ready to launch Bupa Live on May 5th and one of the questions our service people is raising is about what other companies do or have found with email notifications.

       

      With increasing users and activity email notifications can ramp up volumes a lot although as has been pointed out this is mitigated by the drop off in collaboration using word docs and email which results in multi megabyte mails getting spammed around the system.

       

      Would be great to hear what other companies have found with their experiences regarding email notifications and Jive SBS, so please post below if you'ev been using Clearspace for a while and what your experiences have been.

        • Re: What do you do about email notifications
          Ted Hopton

          Let me tell you the first thing you need to do: whitelist your system's email address. We suddenly stopped getting email notifications 7 months into our implementation. Turned out the company email servers detected such a high number of emails per minute that the system was branded a spammer and blocked.

           

          Nice to know we were generating that much activity! But not so nice having a huge queue build up.

          • Re: What do you do about email notifications
            Wolfgang Jastrowski

            We had the same concern for our pilot launch, but coming form the users and not IT. People were afraid of all the e-mails flooding their mailbox. So we spent quite some time to help them with the tool functionality to manage which notifications they want to have. The success is then on both sides.

             

            ~Wolfgang

            • Re: What do you do about email notifications
              Iain Colledge

              Thanks for the info about what your organisations do.

              • Re: What do you do about email notifications
                jim.smith@saint-gobain.com

                We couldn't live without email notifications as they are the way our remote blackberry users can stay in touch and reply to thread postings.

                 

                For desktop users, simply set up a rule that moves all SBS messages into a seperate inbox folder and they can look at them at their leisure.

                 

                Jim

                • Re: What do you do about email notifications
                  Claire Lash

                  We make people aware that they will be coming and tell them how to manage them.

                   

                  The question we are grappling with is whether to enable the capablity to have email replies post into Jive. Does anyone have any experience with that? Does it end up keeping people from using Jive directly, or is it generally only used when a member is remote?

                  • Re: What do you do about email notifications
                    jim.smith@saint-gobain.com

                    I'm posting this reply using the facility - for us it makes it quicker to get a reply into the system as email is still our primary tool.  It is also the only way mobile users can respond whilst travelling.  My worry is that if you don't enable it, they may not respond when they finally get to their hotel room and power up their PC.

                     

                    Regards

                    Jim Smith

                    • Re: What do you do about email notifications
                      Ted Hopton

                      It's a very popular feature for many of our users. True, it lets some of them avoid going into the system and interacting with it directly, but they prefer that ease of use. And it is essential for those who are travelling or away from their PC. Given that this tool is "competing" with email as an interaction medium, it needs to offer a similar low-friction interaction option.

                       

                      I think you'll find you increase adoption and engagement by enabling the feature.

                      • Re: What do you do about email notifications

                        Agreed - replying from my iPhone as well, from a road trip to Albany, 

                        NY.

                         

                        This feature keeps me informed on the places and content I've signed 

                        up to receive notifications for, which is great for times like this 

                        when I won't be able to reply from my laptop until this evening when I 

                        get back to my hotel.

                         

                         

                         

                        On May 28, 2009, at 8:17 AM, "Jim Smith" <clearstep-community@jivesoftware.com

                        • Re: What do you do about email notifications
                          Craig Woodward

                          Doesn't opening this feature up allow for users to spoof content as if it came from another user?  I'm not sure how the authentication of the returning email works but it would seem to be easy enough to spoof the from address to someone else and cause trouble.  It's because of this that we haven't turned it on, I haven't found any documentation explaining how the authorization works well enough to satisfy our worries.

                          • Re: What do you do about email notifications
                            Gia Lyons

                            Craig, that's an interesting viewpoint. I've yet to find an employee who would willingly spoof another employee's email address. Are you speaking about an internal implementation, or an external one?

                            • Re: What do you do about email notifications
                              Ted Hopton

                              I've got to agree with Gia. You really need a degree of trust in an internal online community. We have tons of other ways people could be more destructive if so inclined -- and much easier to do than spoofing an email address. But we have not had any issues because everyone understands that this is *work* and you don't do anything in the online community that you wouldn't do in the office.

                              • Re: What do you do about email notifications
                                Wally Rogers

                                We had one employee do it in our current 1200 user base. Of course it is quickly identified and corrected.

                                A prankster I think.  But an embarassed one.

                                • Re: What do you do about email notifications
                                  Craig Woodward

                                  Gia & Ted,

                                   

                                  I agree that you assume that your internal site will have a degree of trust and for the msot part we do, but we have 35,000 employees across 3 continents and strict security policies about accountability for systems.  So if the possibility of spoofing does exist it makes it that much hard to get past our security office.

                                  • Re: What do you do about email notifications
                                    jim.smith@saint-gobain.com

                                    I would agree.

                                     

                                    If you have concerns staff would want to post malicious messages there are usually plenty of opportunities with a normal system when someone moves away from their desk for a moment.

                                     

                                    I would say the benefits far outweigh the risks and we have detected no issues.

                                     

                                    Regards

                                    Jim Smith

                                     

                                    Sent from my mobile device - there may be some delay in responses.

                                    • Re: What do you do about email notifications
                                      Gia Lyons

                                      Ah yes. Security Czars can wield great power. Even scads of research showing how most people aren't dumb at work doesn't sway them.

                                      • Re: What do you do about email notifications
                                        Ted Hopton

                                        Well, then, let's hear from Jive's engineers: what protections are there?

                                        • Re: What do you do about email notifications
                                          John Lascurettes


                                          ctwoodward wrote:

                                           

                                          Doesn't opening this feature up allow for users to spoof content as if it came from another user?  I'm not sure how the authentication of the returning email works but it would seem to be easy enough to spoof the from address to someone else and cause trouble.  It's because of this that we haven't turned it on, I haven't found any documentation explaining how the authorization works well enough to satisfy our worries.

                                          From what I understand and hopefully an engineer might chime in and correct me if I'm wrong. The reply token (the unique ID in the subject) is only good for a certain amount of time and must come from the person the email was sent to. So this means a spoofer would have to:

                                          1. Know the original recipient's email address and spoof it
                                          2. Have the unique token for the reply via email functionality
                                          3. AND use that token and reply from within a certain window of time.
                                          • Re: What do you do about email notifications

                                            Craig, you bring up a great point. Right now there is a safeguard against spoofing for any reply to the system, but not for creating new content in the system. For replies we include a unique token in the email that is unique to the user so that the combination of that unique token and their email address are used for identification and if the combination is invalid the email is discarded. However, for the case of creating new content we do not have a mechanism like the unique token to address the problem. One way we had approached this problem was to create unique email addresses for each user's ability to create new content, but we found that to be difficult to use for most people such that the functionality was not well adopted.

                                             

                                            You can lock down the email plugin so that it only accepts incoming SMTP connections from certain IP's addresses, which would effectively give you the ability to lock it down so that it's spoof proof *as long as your email server* is spoof proof. If your email server (in our case Exchange) isn't spoof proof, you have bigger problems than the email plugin: anyone could send an email as dave@jivesoftware.com saying we're all fired or something like that and the security hole wouldn't be in the email plugin at that point, it would be in the email server.

                                             

                                            As you can see from the thread this has not been a pressing concern due to the nature of the corporate environment, but it is certainly something we would like to support and we welcome your input.

                                            • Re: What do you do about email notifications
                                              Gia Lyons

                                              It is noteworthy to point out here that the REPLY to email notifications is in the base product, and was the original topic of this thread.

                                               

                                              Greg is referring to the EMAIL PLUGIN, which is something your system administrator would need to install. It allows people to CREATE content by sending an email to a blog, space, group or project email address.

                                              • Re: What do you do about email notifications

                                                Ahh, thanks for pointing that out, Gia.

                                                • Re: What do you do about email notifications
                                                  Claire Flanagan

                                                  We have enabled email notifications for our company. Keep in mind - we have almost 10% adoption in a little over three weeks (and we are a global 90K + company). What does that mean? Potentially a lot of email. We are a highly collaborative company that has been desperately waiting for the right product to be as efficient at collaboration as we would like to be. (Yay Jive!)  So far no one in our messaging team has cried uncle . To a certain extent it's better to get short email messages of a few bytes vs. hugh large files on big email dlists! Still - this decision could change over time.

                                                   

                                                  One of my project partners created a fantastic "how to manage your email subscriptions" video (Rick Palmer: You have access to it if you want to genericize it and make it public to all Jive customers - should be re-shot by Jive, though). This is one of the most viewed pieces of content on our site right now. We are hearing that users really like the feature. And they really like knowing how to manage it. And the video is key. It's short. This particular topic - we feel - works best as a video vs. a written how to doc. People 'get it' right away with the video.

                                                   

                                                  Personally, as the 'community manager' I do appreciate the email alerts - but do find I need to clean out my mail file often. We have some folks creating email filters so that emails that come in from our site (C3: Connect, Communicate, Collaborate) are filtered into a special folder for when the user wants to deal with the mail.

                                                   

                                                  Finally, we have asked Jive in many of our discussions during our pilot planning to consider email digest preferences. Quite honestly this is one (among a few other features we discovered) feature that is preventing Jive from being an over the top enterprise solution. Don't get me wrong WE LOVE CLEARSPACE. But we are noticing there are some nuances to the product when you start delivering this to the size that we are.

                                                  • Users should be able to decide if they want the 'realtime' notices (current setting), daily digests or weekly digests.
                                                  • We have even heard from a few users that it would be great to even have a full list of potential subscriptions that a user could check off. Like show your list of groups and decide how you want to get alerts for that group on content/object type. Now again, for us, we are already around 600 groups in a few weeks - and we see the scope of this increasing exponentially - even this last suggestion might be unmanageable.
                                                  • Re: What do you do about email notifications

                                                    Thanks on the video offer, Claire - I'll check that out today

                                                     

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    On Jun 11, 2009, at 7:57 PM, "Claire Flanagan" <clearstep-community@jivesoftware.com

                                                    • Re: What do you do about email notifications
                                                      nnewcomer

                                                      I really like the idea of digest options for email notifications.