Out-of-office assistant

E-mail applications
Microsoft Exchange
Good day people When a user leaves the company, and have a personal email address where others can reach him on, can I set up a type of ?out-of-office assistant? on the server side, to reply to incoming emails and disclose his other contact information? We're using Server and Exchange 2003. Then after three weeks, we can kill that assistant. Oh, that sounds dodgy? :-) Thanx Something else I thought of, Does Lotus Notes have something like this as well? Same scenario, just with Domino etc.. Thanx

Answer Wiki

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Hi WikusIT,

This is an awesome request…man thats a fantastic idea!
I dont have an answer that meets the exact requirement.

But would like to offer one suggestion (you probabaly might already knwo this)….on the user’s properties –> Exchange genral Tab —> Delivery options –> “Forward Address to” and give the user’s personal email address here.

I would love to see if anyone comes back with a solution meeting your exact requirement. Will keep an eye on this thread 🙂


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  • GeorgeBonner
    Think about what you are about to do. Depending on exactly what details you put on this service - you could open yourself up to prosecution. Do you have the data owners permission to pass this information to anyone who happens to use their old business address? I'd probably only reply with a "This account is no longer valid. Please contact the account holder using their personal details."
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  • Sonotsky
    Notes/Domino does have a similar facility, the "Out Of Office" Agent. AFAIK, this agent must be configured and activated from a Notes client, while it actually runs on the server. I do not know if you can activate the agent purely from the server (Domino) side. The up side is that you can create a very custom message telling mail senders to that account where the user has gone, and optionally forward mail to an alternate address. But a valid point was raised above - any forwarding of mail may open up some legal issues, so before doing any such forwarding/redirecting on a user-by-user basis, discuss it with your organization's legal department. There's nothing like thinking everything is humming along, until you find out you're in audit violation. D'OHHHH! Cheers Steve
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  • Nickd9999
    Wikus Best is to talk to the user leaving the company and ask him if he stills wishes to receive e-mails. Also check with management as this might not be the way how do see it. I can imagine that management will not be too happy with customers talking to someone who has left the company. If you still want to implement this feature you can create a contact in AD and forward the mails to the new address. This way you have the option to keep the received message at the mailbox too. WKR Nick
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  • WikusIT
    Thanx heaps guys. Yeah real good points raised. The user went as far as putting something in writing saying they want their mails top be forwarded. And since they ain't leaving on bad terms I guess the person who they dealt with was ok with that. But you?re right, I'll go have a chat with the legal dude. I like the AD idea. You never know what can happen in the future. Thanx heaps for your opinions. I will take them all into account and make sure no loop holes get left open. Thanx again W
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  • Insightful
    We created a profile in one of our mailfile templates that we use in special situations. The difference from Out of Office is that this inbox replies to EVERY memo sent in. Out of Office only replies to the first memo sent in. Here are the fields and an example of the message. The options provide solutions to a variety of applications. In this case, a Business Unit Mailin database was set up to collect input from people visiting a web site. There is no promise to reply by email. ----------------------------------------------- 1. Reply Subject Tag: Response To Medicaid Reform Web Posting 2. Reply Message: Thank you for your interest in Medicaid Reform. Your comments will be reviewed and forwarded to the Appropriate Medicaid Reform Work Team. This is a message automatically generated by your e-mail. 3. Include Original Memo In Reply: Yes (or no) 4. Delete Incoming Memo After Reply: No (or Yes) --------------------------------------------------------
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  • Stevesz
    Ifg your company does not ahve a policy on this, it is probably past time to establish one. One client I have allows the departing employee to access their e-mail for 30 days post departure. Others allow more or less time to access e-mail. Some cut the e-mail at the time of departure. As pointed out by one of the previous posters, there are liability issues that need to be considered, depending on the business. How would a company like it if a top sales monkey left and took all his customer information with him? That could result in a lot of lost business. In a case like that, the company may well prefer that all incoming mails be directed to somewhere or someone else so that they can be handled by a company representative. Other scenarios come to mind as well. Talk with the higher ups and determine what they would like to have done in this case, and then make sure they establish a company wide policy on this for future use. Steve//
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