SmarterMail 16.x Chat - Allow writing to someone that is offline
Idea shared by Ionel Aurelian Rau - August 7, 2017 at 6:55 AM
Completed
Hello!
 
We`ve been trying in the past months to at least give SM 16 chat a chance to see if it can replace other chat services like Skype, for example, but unfortunately it is not even remotely up to the task, not even for the basic text chat feature.
 
The main issue (and I personally find it puzzling since I did not see this limitation in any other chat service) that makes SM 16 chat unusable is the fact that you cannot leave a message for another use if that use is off-line. You cannot write anything to him as the text box is greyed out and stays like that until he comes back on-line. Is this how it`s for everyone (do not think I saw a complaint here on this), or is it like that just for us?
 
In case this is how the chat was designed and how it`s for everyone else, does nobody find this logic bothersome? We are not all on-line at once and this means that any time we need to leave a message for someone we need to use another service like Skype. And since we`ve started the conversation there we usually continue there when we are on-line together, thus SM chat is again overlooked.
 
Are there any plans to finalize the chat feature and allow you to leave an off-line message for a user so he can write you back as soon as he comes on-line?

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Hi Ionel,
 
This functionality was actually changed in our latest minor release, 16.1.6425:
Changed: In the web interface, the chat box no longer grays out and becomes read-only for the sender when the recipient goes offline. A toast notification is shown indicating that the recipient may not have received the message.
 
If you attempt to send a message to a user who is offline, you'll be notified that they are unavailable at the moment, and the chat message will remain in the textbox, where it can be manually sent when the user is back online.
 
Hope this helps!

Andrea Rogers
Communications Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278

www.smartertools.com

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It would be nice if we had a few options here:
  • Queued and the user receives when they go online
  • Shoots an email to the user (this would be my preferred)
 
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I can't see the value of sending an email as then that potentially moves the remainder of the conversation off system and then control and audit is lost
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I too cannot see the value of sending an email instead of the Chat. If a conversation was started on the Chat, it should be continued there seamlessly. This is the problem we currently have: I cannot leave an off-line message for someone, switch to Skype, then when the user replies he does so on Skype and the conversation remains there..
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Hi Andrea, nice to hear about this change. While this is a good step forward, it`s not enough. The recipient needs to see the message as soon as he comes on-line - you cannot rely on me monitoring is on-line status and re-sending the messages once he does come on-line. More often than not, I will miss him coming on-line and I`ll go off-line, so we`re never in sync..

Again, I`ve never seen this behaviour in any chat service except for SmarterMail.

The complete functionality of the simple chat service would be to be allowed to send messages to any user, regardless of their on-line status and have those messages queued for delivery automatically as soon as they are on-line without any intervention on the sender`s part. This is a "normal" chat service functionality that would make SM chat usable.

I really hope this functionality will be added in full in a relatively near future. We`ve tried now for several times to have the users stop using Skype and use just SM 16 chat, but hit this brick wall every time - we cannot keep asking them just so they complain they cannot use it.
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What I think you are missing is not every business is the same. If I was in the middle of a conversation, my internet faulters or I close and someone types something I would either (1) want to receive a copy of the message as email or when I come back on have it show up. What many of us forget is not every business works the same. I agree that chat is CHAT. The problem is there are times when chat is not CHAT. That is when we get disconnected, etc. Options are what make software great. Not pushing everyone down a single path. Heck, take it a step further and I send X a chat we've had going and they are suddenly offline. Why not make it so the person can choose to send an email to the person letting them know the last item? Yes, it goes off the chat standpoint but I also know I wanted the person to receive the message.

As a final note there are companies we work with and their standard is there is no logging allowed. If logging is done they would dump a chat program immediately. They utilize Skype and you cannot pull up history.

Every company is different. Every user is different. The purpose of software is not to force people to conform to the software's will but for the software to conform to the users (businesses) will.
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Hey John, thanks for the input!

I totally agree that if possible, choice is very good, but that means actually having the choice. Right now there is no choice. In case you can set up chat to both allow you to send a message to someone that is off-line (and it will be delivered when he comes back) and to send a mail instead if you want - that is more than perfect. But if the system were set up so that when an user is off-line you can ONLY send and email, then that is neither choice nor a proper implementation of chat.

I do not want SM to make chat so as to only fit our company`s case.. that is not what I was requesting.. I merely wanted SM to finish the implementation of the chat feature..

For example, in our company 95% of our employees use Windows 10 and all use the Skype UWP app which is perfect - why in the world would we want to replace that perfectly fine chat service which does not need any bloated software to be installed, has perfectly functional clients on all mobile and desktop Operating Systems and has all of the chat features you would expect, with SmarterMail`s Chat service? There is actually just one reason - the fact that there is no need for Microsoft to know and process all of our internal chat. If SM has chat, why not make it 100% functional so that we can actually use it?

It would actually be nice if your idea would be implemented, but what I wanted to stress is that chat is no longer chat if you need to switch services. A feature to send a email instead is something that would actually be a plus, above the normal features of chat, but for now, we just wanted to have fully functioning chat..

So, please do not take my initial comment as a down-vote for your proposed feature - that is actually a good idea, but something that I see as a good addition after the Chat is in a final state.
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I agree Skype is better. We actually as part of v16 made the JUMP from Office 365 with Skype to SmarterMail. I am still thinking we are going to have to keep Skype which is kind of upsetting (in a way) as I've seen so much hype in the chat. I would never have put chat in an email program myself. We tested this yesterday (only one day). Thought it was cool but not really great. Especially since the connection wasn't perfect. I would love to be able to integrate SmarterMail with Skype as the client -- if you can I haven't found out how (yet).

Never a down vote thought. Everyone on these forums is a SmarterMail advocate. We have pushed for years the concept of SmarterMail being a true Exchange replacement which means we need to be on par with Exchange as a core package. Skype (chat) to me is a separate product which makes sense being that you have chat in multiple solutions.
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Really now, how is this not a problem? 
 
Your easy fix was to switch from not being able to send a message to a user because he is off-line because the text box was greyed-out to still not being able to send a message to a user but because if you write anything you will be notified you cannot send the message because the user is off-line?
 
We really cannot use SM`s chat as it is right now and believe me, we`ve tried. We have yet to see another chat program that works like SM, so I do not understand where this design came from.. And mind you, we did not ask for advanced features like editing a sent message or even deleting one - but to simply be able to leave a message that someone will receive it when he comes on-line..
 
Since SM is now at 16.3 and Chat is not fully implemented yet, can someone at least comment if there is any plan to fix the chat implementation at some point?
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Hello all,
 
Thank you for the feedback! I've changed this thread from a Problem to an Idea in order to facilitate tracking on the request to send offline chat messages.
 
SmarterMail's chat functionality in 16.x is currently working as designed and as it was available in previous versions. However, we are going to explore the possibility of offline chat. Please understand, though, that this offline capability will be available for webmail to webmail and will not be recorded in XMPP clients.
 
We'll be sure to update this thread as more information becomes available. 
 
Thank you,

Andrea Rogers
Communications Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278

www.smartertools.com

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Thank you for taking the time to update with this information. Feedback is important.

On the other side, I still do not understand where this design came from. SM mentioned HipChat and #Slack in their blog posts, but at least with those you can leave a message for a user that is not online. The design as it is only works for teams that are all working in the same schedule - maybe people in the same building or same town / region. For us, it`s always 50% chance that when you want to chat with someone, he may or may not be online, thus we turn to Skype instead and that`s that. If the user`s schedules do not align perfectly, they cannot use SM Chat, thus we can never truly push the SM web interface on users as they complain that it does not help them.

If you will make chat work properly at least in the web interface, that will definitely be a step forward, so looking forward to the updates on that.
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Hi Andrea, as part of GDPR effort, we want to use our instalation of SmarterMail as only chat option inside company.
What is the problem to spool messages for offline chat users and when they come online to send them all in the spool?

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