Friday, May 1, 2009

Visnetic MailFlow can automate your organization’s mail processing


By Joe Dolittle

This week, we'd like to spotlight a neat tool we've been sniffing around for quite some time. It's called Visnetic MailFlow and is published by We've know the Deerfield people for years now, use their Visnetic MailServer within our internal mail processing environment, and know they make good-quality stuff.

MailFlow's an interesting beast, because either you need it, or you don't. If you have a sales team, a tech support team, or any sort of organization that gets a lot of incoming email that needs to be tracked, organized, and processed, MailFlow might be just for you.

The basic concept is the MailFlow ticket. Email comes into your mail server, then gets shunted to MailFlow. Let's say it's a tech support request coming into your support\@ account. The message gets dropped into MailFlow and a ticket is issued. You tech support techs then log into MailFlow's Web interface and do something with the message -- respond to it, forward, etc.

MailFlow has a number of canned responses, so over time, you can build up a nice library of customer support and customer response templates. It als tracks whether a response has happened, and lets you various members of your organization issue responses. The newest version connects to a PBX, so a ticket can initiate a voice-call back to the originator. And, as shown in Figure A, MailFlow has a lot of charting and reporting options.


You can track your customer support activity. (click for larger image)

To be clear, MailFlow is not a mail server. It works as an adjunct to your server, whether it's Exchange or some other SMTP server. It runs IIS, and most user interaction is done through the Web interface.

Here's one other neat fact: you can use MailFlow as an easy-to-set-up archiving system for all the mail that comes through your organization. It can interface with serious DBMS systems and create a dynamic email archiving solution for your company.