We have posted recently about a variety of email solutions including leveraging IMAP as well as issues with drag and drop functionality leveraging MyDocumentum for Outlook or Webtop. This post will review the use of the “forward” button to provide an email client neutral approach for ingesting emails into Documentum.
Issue with MyDocumentum for Outlook – Documentum Client for Outlook
As we mentioned in a 2009 post, many clients look for some type of “out of the box” solution for email integration, whether this is the MyDocumentum for Outlook product (formerly Documentum Client for Outlook), the Lotus Notes integration from Crown Partners or just using drag and drop in Webtop.
In our 2009 post, we surmised that the proliferation of mobile devices (iPhone/iPad at the time but has only accelerated with other devices) made the single approach for email integration somewhat problematic. Imagine the following example using MyDocumentum for Outlook:
A user receives an email while on their iPhone/iPad/Android device and needs to placed the email in Documentum quickly for some type of approval process. The user:
- Needs to go back to their corporate PC on the corporate LAN (assuming that Documentum is not hosted outside the firewall for security purposes).
- Launches Outlook
- Has to search through the emails that accumulated while the user was checking email from their mobile device.
- Once the email is found, the user needs to open MyDocumentum for Outlook to drag/drop the email into the right project/folder. If the user wants to keep a local copy, they need to make sure they have selected copy versus a move.
Why Forward or BCC makes sense
With users increasingly on the go, in 2009 we proposed that users could just leverage the “forward” button or reply and include a BCC to an address like documentum @company.com. Within our TSG Salesforce Practice, clients have had success with ingesting emails via the “forward” approach for later indexing manually or indexed automatically based on contact/opportunity based contained in the email header. Benefits of this approach include:
- Email Mode – when a user is in “email mode”, they are really just looking to work through all their emails (first thing in the morning or after lunch). These users don’t want to stop and index items into Documentum. Notes and Outlook connectors, even with swanky drag and drop, can still require attributes (Client) and detail about files (what is that attachment?). A forward allows the indexing to happen later without interrupting the email mode flow.
- Indexing Mode – often times a user will be receiving emails but would like another resource (legal secretary, librarian) to place the emails in the right folder. By forwarding to a common queue, all indexing can be completed by the same role with consistency. We often see clients (particularly insurance) set up different email addresses for separate roles.
We leverage OpenMigrate for email processing for our clients. OpenMigrate can be configured to store emails in Documentum in a variety of formats as well as kick off workflow events. OpenMigrate can also initiate business logic based on the email address or email attributes to provide a number of different capabilities to process emails including:
- Indexing data in the email – many times the application needs to pull data from the email. Indexing data could include property, invoice number or project but could also be a unique number. One of our clients simply added the project number to the Subject line when forwarding to automatically index without any manual interaction with Documentum.
- Indexing Application – some clients have developed indexing applications to allow emails or other documents to be quickly indexed into the right folder. Rather than a drag and drop approach that might involve opening a large amount of folders (think accounts payable), the indexing application provided the ability to view the email and attachments and file into multiple folders while preserving the link between the email and attachments.
Given the proliferation of mobile clients, particularly for email use, Documentum users should consider the use of native functions of email (forward, BCC) to capture emails into Documentum from a variety of devices.