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Email single sending to connections


Cizzling
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We went live on August 1st. This week we have experienced our first major incident with multiple customers impacted and we are learning a lot about how to optimise and utilise the tool. 

BUT we have one very major concern especially in these days of GDPR requirements. When sending email updates on status to our customers we used a ticket where we added the impacted customers as connections. We have recieved a lot of negative critique from our customers due to them being able to see each others emails. Setting them as BCC will risk the emails to end up in spam filters instead which is equally bad.

We would prefer emails being sent singly to each recipient. Could you please let us know what is your view on this? 

(I would prefer not to have alternative email groups to our customers in mailchimp etc for these situations but be able to keep it all in Hornbill).

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@Cizzling, @HHH,

All the Connections are added as a BCC recipient in one email message - This is to ensure that we do not create a queue of emails and improve the responsiveness of the business process to help a user to faster track the next step in their process. Although, I can see that an email ending up in a user's Spam folder is far from ideal, specially when a Major Incident is at stake.

@HHH I'm interested to understand why this is considered a GDPR issue? The email address of a Connection is added to the BCC field to ensure that email addresses remain hidden.

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18 hours ago, Ehsan said:

@HHH I'm interested to understand why this is considered a GDPR issue? The email address of a Connection is added to the BCC field to ensure that email addresses remain hidden.

If they are sent BCC I'm OK with it, although I recently discovered a case (not in any way related or connected to Hornbill) where an email was sent BCC to several recipients and someone clicked reply all and all email addresses were displayed in the reply.
Probably a faulty email server somewhere, I have not been able to reproduce anywhere I've tried but it has made me cautious.

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@Ehsan

I think this should be configurable setting, in our case we do want a single email sent the customer containing connections as CC:/BCC, especially the CC: so that they know who has been copied in.

@HHH @Cizzling

Though related to the the BPM, we raised enhancement request to be able to add connections to the same email when sending one to the customer and being able  to add them as either CC: or BCC. 

 Cheers

Martyn

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@HHH,

All the recipients are indeed BCC'd; I can confirm that the addresses are not exposed to the recipients through "Reply" All action or the email header. @Cizzling raised the concern that Connections emails end up in the Spam folder for some/all of the recipients. This will be down to the email server / client for those recipients (e.g. The FROM address is considered as a Spam, by the clients rules set up) - As an example, such email does not appear in the Spam folder when I'm a BCC recipient of the email as the mailbox server is recognised by my email client.

Hornbill send one email message, which includes the email addresses of the Connections as the BCC recipient. Our justification is:

  • To prevent a long queue of emails for the mailbox server to send. Consider an example where a Request has 10 Connections; instead of sending 10 separate emails with the same content, one email is sent. The responsiveness of your business process is key here and we would like to avoid creating a scenario where the responsiveness is affected. There is no limit to the number Connections that you can add to a Request, there may well be a dozen of Connections added to a Request.
  • The emails are sent from your mailbox and every Hornbill instance has a limit on the mailbox storage space. By adding more automated emails to the Sent folder in your mailbox, the storage will be affected (Even if it's very small in size - It can add up over a period of time). It'll then become your responsibility to arrange for clearing down mailbox folders.

To maintain existing behaviour, the immediate solution that I can come up with, is to set the TO field to "no-reply@live.hornbill.com". This should eliminate the concern that @Cizzling raised in relation to emails ending up in the Spam folder. Would this be OK? This is separate to the enhancement Request that @Martyn Houghton has raised, as the suggested enhancement request requires a much winder discussion and considerations prior to presenting it to the development team.

Ehsan

 

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@HHH @Cizzling,

Following a discussion within Team Hornbill in relation to this challenge - Whereby email addresses of a Request's Connections are included as the BCC recipient of an email which depending on the email Domain causes the email message to end up in the Spam folder for some clients... We are going to investigate whether the Hornbill API that is responsible for this operation can email each user separately without impacting an instance's performance. Currently there is no time-frame on this investigation but we'll post back as soon as we have more details to share on this matter.

In the meantime, it would be worth if you could contact the team responsible for managing your Organisation's email Domain to confirm whether there is a Rule in place to automatically move emails to the Spam folder when recipients are BBC'd. Users can also configure their Client to automatically move emails where they've been BBC'd (An example of doing so in Outlook can be found here https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/manage-email-messages-by-using-rules-c24f5dea-9465-4df4-ad17-a50704d66c59).

Ehsan

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@Ehsan

Since we support mainly external business-to-business operations we cannot request our customers to have their IT departments enforce specific rules for them to be able to receive Hornbill emails. Or do I misunderstand your question?

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@HHH Sorry for not clarifying - I was suggesting that one or more of your customers may have individually built a Rule within their email Client (e.g. Outlook) to automatically move emails that:

  • They are the BCC recipient of, into the Spam folder.
  • Contain a particular Domain (e.g. @domain.com) in the FROM address, into the Spam folder.

Either one of the above will not only affect automated emails that are sent by Hornbill, it'll affect any email that those customers are BCC'd in.

As this hadn't been reported before, I can only imagine that it'll come down to custom Rules that are configured by individual users. As we can't control users' preferences, we  have added a task to our backlog to review whether we can review the API implementation to determine whether it is technically feasible to send emails out separately without implicating the system.

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