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I'm looking for an Enterprise Email management system. Something were we can have multiple people answering emails from multiple email boxes and have the emails automatically presented to them as they come in. We are currently using Nortel's Contact Center Six, but due to numerous issues are looking for an alternative. Please enter one option per answer along with any pros/cons you have found.

Edit: Key features necessary are the following:

  1. Multiple email addresses each routed to their own "Queue" or "Department".
  2. Ability to assign queues to an agent along with a priority for each queue.
  3. Automatic assignment/presentation of email to an agent based on availability.
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7 Answers 7

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Not a ton of help, but I'd say you're not looking for an "Enterprise EMail..." but rather a ticketing system w/integrated email support. By the sounds of it you want people (customers?) to send emails to an address (support@mycompany.com?) and have it handled by internal CSRs, yes? In that case take a look at the ticketing systems out there. We are currently using OnTime, but we don't like it, and it's too developer focused. FogBugz is another one w/email support, but again, likely to developer focused for you, but nice. Obviously you can roll your own, but there are many others.

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Yes, the emails would be from customers and yes they would be handled by internal CSRs. I should have included that to begin with. I've looked at some ticketing systems, but often their other features get in the way of the email feature. Yes, FogBugz is too developer focused and also can only handle 14 email areas (we currently have about 30 between multiple divisions of sales, financials and support). We have considered rolling our own, but want to look at other options first. –  Leigh Riffel May 5 '09 at 13:38

To follow up on WaldenL's ticketing system suggestion, Request Tracker (http://bestpractical.com/rt/) is a very nice open source ticketing system. We've used it successfully at my workplace for years for everything from IT support to employment application management.

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I like the Oracle back-end, but I'm not too keen on the Unix platform. I'll take a look. –  Leigh Riffel Jun 4 '09 at 14:27

Userscape's HelpSpot web-based help desk software might be worth looking into. You can have it check as many POP3/IMAP email accounts as you want and centralize incoming messages for your CSRs.

It's written in PHP and runs on Windows, Linux, Unix or Mac OS, and has some nice options for integrating with your other software (web services, LDAP/Active Directory, Request Push API).

Pricing seems very reasonable, especially when compared with products explicitly labeled and marketed as "Enterprise".

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HelpSpot looks nice, but emails are not automatically presented to CSRs and it looks like there is no way to decide whether the email reply should be from the CSR or from the email address it was received from. Thanks for the suggestion. –  Leigh Riffel May 5 '09 at 21:14

We use Kayako eSupport http://www.kayako.com/solutions/esupport/ which does everything we need it to. The biggest let down we tend to have with it is reporting statistics on how the CSR's are spending their time on tickets.

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This product looks nice. I don't see a way to have tickets automatically presented to a CSR. Is this possible? –  Leigh Riffel Jun 4 '09 at 13:59
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We basically separate tickets by products and have different CSR's working on different ticket queues. You can separate them based on the email that the ticket was submitted on and limit what queues different people have access to. If you have more than 1 person on a queue it shows you a little lock icon next to a ticket when someone else is looking at it so you can avoid stepping on each others toes. It's got the ability to assign tickets to people too but we never bother with that. –  Rodney Amato Jun 5 '09 at 4:36
    
Hmm, sounds a little more manual than we are looking for, but thanks for the info. –  Leigh Riffel Jun 9 '09 at 16:10

CRM Desk

It's cheap, robust, and best of all, hosted by someone else. Used them for another client of mine. They created the portal for us in about 2 hours. Their tech support is stellar. All around great site.

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Like most other ticket tracking systems this one does not do automatic assignment/presentation of a ticket to a particular CSR. When an email comes in I want the system to know which five of my 50 agents are capable of answering the email based on the address it came in on and automatically assign and present it to one of those agents based on availability and recent activity. –  Leigh Riffel Jun 4 '09 at 14:17

You should google for Contact Center Software. Thats really what you are looking for. CIC & Avaya are two names that come to mind. I don't know of any free/cheap ones though

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It doesn't have to be free, but I think most Contact Center Software is both overpriced and isn't as good because it focuses on the phone. Nortel's solution works fine for us for phone calls, but their email solution is fraught with problems and limitations. –  Leigh Riffel Jun 8 '09 at 13:04
    
CIC and Avaya are far more integrated (voice/email) solutions than I am looking for. I specifically do not want to replace our current phone handling, only the email. I took your search suggestion and found EGain which seems to have a separate email module, but as with most companies, it is difficult to see what the product actually looks like below the marketing glitz. –  Leigh Riffel Jun 8 '09 at 21:16

What you are describing sounds like workflow to me. Three are many good systems including K2 (Commercial) and Jboss (open source).

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I don't see how K2 applies. It is a workflow product for Sharepoint. I don't know much about either, but I don't see email management in either K2 or Sharepoint. –  Leigh Riffel Jun 8 '09 at 18:46
    
After looking at Jboss, I think I see where you are going. You are saying we should develop it ourselves. This is an option, but not our first choice if we can find something that works reasonably well. –  Leigh Riffel Jun 8 '09 at 19:00
    
He wants e-mails distributed to living people who will do something intelligent with it. That's workflow. –  Jim Blizard Jun 8 '09 at 20:46
    
Yes, I want that series of steps, but how does software designed to model a process solve the problem? Are there parts of K2 and Jboss that actually receive the email and route it to available agents for handling? Perhaps I'm blinded by the marketing glaze, but I don't see those features. –  Leigh Riffel Jun 8 '09 at 21:13

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