26 July 2018

E-mail Converter for Azure and SharePoint Works 24/7

E-mail Converter logotype Last week I told you about the update of E-mail Converter for Outlook and SharePoint, the add-in that creates SharePoint list items from e-mails. Now we will soon release E-mail Converter for Azure and SharePoint. The Azure edition will convert e-mails automatically 24/7.

HelpDesk OSP on a sever
E-mail Converter was earlier called HelpDesk OSP, and under that name it has been sold as an issue tracking tool to organizations all over the world. It has worked excellently for companies that only uses the add-in for manual conversion and for creating new SharePoint list items from Outlook.

For automatic conversion, the solution has been less perfect, because E-mail Converter for Outlook and SharePoint requires that each user has the add-in installed and that one of the Outlook instances is running. When customers want the conversion to take place even if no user has Outlook open, we have so far recommended them to install the add-in on a server where Outlook is running all the time.

The support team has used HelpDesk OSP/E-mail Converter this way on a virtual computer for many years, and it has worked fairly well. It has however not been a perfect solution, as there were downtimes when the VM had to be restarted. Now we have solved this issue by developing E-mail Converter for Azure and SharePoint.

Lower cost and better performance with Azure
When the QA team found E-mail Converter for Azure and SharePoint ready for it, we started to use the new edition for the support e-mails. Our callers have not noticed any difference, of course, but for the company it has meant improved operation and better economy, compared to using a virtual machine.

Azure icon
We are using a free plan for the E-mail Converter for Azure and SharePoint web site on Azure, so we only have to pay for the Scheduler, which is EUR 12 or USD 14 per month. That is only a fifth of the cost for the VM we used before!

During the month we have used E-mail Converter for Azure and SharePoint in production there have been no downtimes, and we don't expect any such issues to happen in the future. We have thus managed to combine increased performance with lowered cost, something that always makes me, as a business owner, feel very content :-)

For auto-conversion only
E-mail Converter for Azure and SharePoint can of course only be used for automatic conversion of e-mails. That is what we need for the support mail, E-mail Converter for Outlook and SharePoint icon but we will continue using the Outlook edition of E-mail Converter for manual conversion and to create SharePoint list items from Outlook. Both editions have their benefits and range of application.

E-mail Converter for Azure and SharePoint will be published in a few weeks, and we will of course announce the release here in the blog.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

16 July 2018

HelpDesk OSP Becomes E-mail Converter

E-mail Converter logotype An update of the add-on that connects Outlook to SharePoint has been released. This time, the product has been renamed from HelpDesk OSP to E-mail Converter. As it can be used to create SharePoint list items from all kinds of e-mails, we found the "helpdesk" name too restricting. Changing product name is not something you do easily, but in this case we found it justified.

Convert e-mails manually or automatically
When HelpDesk OSP was first built, it was sponsored by a customer who was already using Folder HelpDesk for Outlook but wanted to have the helpdesk tickets in SharePoint instead. That influenced us when we named the new product, but later we have seen that customers find the product useful for other purposes than helpdesk and user support.

Finally we decided to change the name to better reflect what the add-in actually does, and the new name is E-mail Converter. With this product, users can convert e-mails manually and place them in any SharePoint list that has been added to the E-mail Converter.

E-mail Converter can also convert e-mails to SharePoint list items automatically, by monitoring an Outlook folder. An Outlook rule can direct certain e-mails to that folder, and users may of course also drag e-mails they want to convert to the folder. It is a good idea to use several monitored folders and let them convert e-mails to different SharePoint lists.

Create blank tickets
With E-mail Converter installed, users can also create totally new SharePoint list items from Outlook. They don't need to have SharePoint open, because the item will be shown in Outlook so that the details can be filled out.

When a helpdesk team uses E-mail Converter, they can either fill out the details for the person who reports a problem or select the caller from the organisation's global address book.

Everything is kept
If the e-mail has attachments or embedded images and links in the e-mail body, this is transferred to the list item. Converting an e-mail with E-mail Converter is actually a good way of getting embedded images into SharePoint list items. To add them directly in the item is more complicated.

The fifth version of HelpDesk OSP - or the first of E-mail Converter - has more news than the name change. A big part of the code has been updated to work better in the future and make further enhancements possible.

A few improvements have also been added, for example the automatic upgrades. Once users get version 5 installed, they will no longer have to download new versions from the website. Instead E-mail Converter will give an upgrade prompt when there is a new version. Upgrade icon If your organization has subscribed to HelpDesk OSP, you may upgrade it to E-mail Converter by downloading the setup file from the website.

Trial and Subscription Trial icon Would your organization benefit from a solution that converts e-mails to SharePoint list items? In that case, I suggest that you try E-mail Converter. You may evaluate the solution for 30 days without any obligations. In case you need assistance during the evaluation period, do not hesitate to contact our Support team.

E-mail Converter can be subscribed to on a monthly or yearly basis. My colleagues at the Sales department are always here to help you, if you have any questions regarding the subscription.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions