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Why were Instant Messages and Chat Rooms removed?
Question asked by Ben Santiardo - 7/5/2022 at 10:21 AM
Answered
I remember there used to be an IM and ChatRoom ability in SmarterTrack, and the documentation still shows that those features are available. However, I can't find them in my ST v8158

Further research shows that in v7803 those two features were removed ... I am wondering why? I just recently had a conversation with a department admin and told them that IM's were available between agents as an option for communication with agents who will be working remotely. Now I have to go back to that department and reneg on that promise, as it seems it was removed.

I am curious as to why this decision was made. Is there any alternative to live chat communication between agents?
____________________________________
Ben Santiardo, Senior Programmer Analyst
Eastern Suffolk BOCES

11 Replies

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Zach Sylvester Replied
Employee Post Marked As Answer
Hello Ben, 

Thank you for reaching out to the community. I talked to the developers about this and they said that we removed it because it was causing SmarterTrack to have slowness issues and we noticed that there were better alternatives. Like SmarterMail Team Workspaces and XMPP. We also noticed that pretty much no one was utilizing this feature. So we removed it. 

Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Kind Regards, 
Zach Sylvester
Technical Support Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
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Ben Santiardo Replied
Zach,

Thank you for the response. Since we do not use SmarterMail, that is not an option for us. I was hoping to contain their tools into one product, and not have to force them to have multiple products open to get their work done.

It is a real shame that you guys removed this feature ... it really makes sense to have it included in a HelpDesk system. I am highly surprised that no one was using it. I know we weren't, but that is because, in our small office, people were sitting right next to each other. Now that we will start to have remote workers, a tool like this becomes crucial.
____________________________________
Ben Santiardo, Senior Programmer Analyst
Eastern Suffolk BOCES
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Zach Sylvester Replied
Employee Post
Hey Ben, 

Thanks for the follow-up. I understand the frustration that comes with that. SmarterMail has a built-in XMPP server. But you could set up one of these XMPP servers on your existing windows server. https://xmpp.org/software/servers/ then they can use the pidgin client to communicate with each other. XMPP is a secure, private, and free way for team members to collaborate with each other. I have personally installed the Tigase XMPP server and that one is really good from my experience. But I also understand wanting everything to be integrated into a single system so if you'd like I can submit a feature request to have this added back. 

Please let me know. 

Kind regards,  
Zach Sylvester
Technical Support Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Emily Ward Replied
Employee Post
Hi Ben,

I'm curious where in the documentation you see the chat room and IM mentioned. I did a search in the online help and knowledge base. I didn't see anything in the help. And the only reference I see in our knowledge base is under the Previous Versions folders. I want to make sure our documentation for the current builds are updated with the correct information. 
Emily Ward
Customer Relations and Partner Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Ben Santiardo Replied
Zach,

Thank you for that info, but I am not looking to introduce new servers into our environment just for this feature ... it would be easier to use something like SLACK at that point, although, again, that introduces another piece of software that our users need to install, learn, and utilize. As mentioned, would have been nice to have it all in one system.

I would like to see this feature come back, if possible.


Emily,

I do not recall where I "read" this information, but I do see an image here (https://help.smartertools.com/smartertrack/current/topics/livechats/overview.aspx) that shows Instant Messages and Chat Rooms, which is deceiving to those viewing this page since those features are now removed. Hope this helps.
____________________________________
Ben Santiardo, Senior Programmer Analyst
Eastern Suffolk BOCES
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Emily Ward Replied
Employee Post
HI Ben,

Thanks for providing the link. I'll get a request in to update the image on that page.
Emily Ward
Customer Relations and Partner Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
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David Fisher Replied
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Emily Ward Replied
Employee Post
Thanks, Dave! I've been doing my own searches, but the more eyes on this the better. 
Emily Ward
Customer Relations and Partner Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Ron Raley Replied
There are a ton of messaging apps to choose from.  WhatsApp, Google Chat, Microsoft Teams, etc.

Our team does not particularly look to SmarterTrack for instant messaging.  Also sometimes we don't have SmarterTrack open on our web browser while working.

Ron
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Ron Raley Replied
"Also, how does SmarterTools know if people use this or not, does it "phone" home on we do, kind of creepy, if it does!"

Dave, their team logs into customer installations everyday for support.

Ron
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Ben Santiardo Replied
There are a ton of messaging apps to choose from.  WhatsApp, Google Chat, Microsoft Teams, etc.

Our team does not particularly look to SmarterTrack for instant messaging.  Also sometimes we don't have SmarterTrack open on our web browser while working.
Ron,

As mentioned, our situation is avoiding the need for different tools. I have users that are not the savviest of computer users, and making things as easy as possible is a must. Having a single tool that can cover all (or most) of their needs is a super plus for us. And our agents are logged into the HelpDesk all day as this is their main contact point with their clients.
____________________________________
Ben Santiardo, Senior Programmer Analyst
Eastern Suffolk BOCES

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