Group Email – Hints and Tips

mailinglistEmail has become an integral tool for business communications.  However, using email to communicate among a group can be challenging.  Here are some ideas for more effective communication and collaboration within a team or other UCI community.

For small groups and short-term issues, a simple cc: list and “reply all” can get the job done, but when the number of recipients grows, communication becomes disjointed as people reply to different messages in a chain, respond to different drafts of a document, accidentally share comments intended for one recipient to the whole list, and other inefficiencies.

Mailing lists (provided at UCI by the Mailman software) are a convenient method for communication among a large group or interest community.  Lists can be configured to be for announcements only (list members see official postings but cannot reply), moderated (anyone can reply but the list administrator has to approve a reply before it is distributed), or open discussion.  You can request a new mailman list on the OIT Web site.  Administrators can build a list of recipients, or potential subscribers can add and remove themselves from a list as interests change.  Recipients are spared a chain of “Please remove me from this list” email messages which can result from using cc: addressing.

Beyond simple group communications, there are collaboration tools such as UCI Google Groups.  With collaboration software, you don’t have to send email attachments around – teams can work on a single on-line copy of a document together, discussing ideas in email, or attaching comments directly to the document.  Access to the document is tied to membership in the group, so as people join and leave the team, the ability to participate in discussions or change team documents follows in parallel.

If you have questions or wish assistance in using group communication tools, please contact the OIT Help Desk.

 

In Brief December 2014

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  • As planned, online legacy financial systems are being retired.  Access will no longer be available after December 30, 2014.
  • Representatives from Microsoft are scheduled to visit the campus on Wednesday, March 11th and will be conducting a hands-on training lab for Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform. This event is open to the campus community.
  • During the campus holiday closure, December 24 – January 1, the OIT Help Desk (824-2222) will remain available for urgent support issues, but with limited staffing and potentially longer resolution times.

New Service Platform

servicenowOIT’s mission is to provide information technology leadership, services, and innovative solutions to promote the research, education and community service goals of the University.  To fulfill that mission, we also have to solve your IT problems and fix IT services which are not working properly.

OIT recently deployed a new service platform – a software system to help us more reliably log, assign, follow, and resolve IT problems, and better communicate progress with you.  This software is built upon ServiceNow, an industry standard IT Service Management platform.  We are calling our implementation OIT Service Desk to reflect the teams within OIT who answer questions, resolve incidents, fulfill requests, and develop new tools and services.

Nothing needs to change in how you ask for help.  You may still call or send email to OIT.  However, you will see – or may already be seeing – email messages with a new layout, and you can use those messages to follow your issue or communicate with us.  OIT Service Desk email messages will notify you when a request has been created, when new information is available (or needed from you) and when your issue is resolved.

In addition to getting email from the system, allowing you to follow the progress of your request, OIT Service Desk provides a web interface where you can review your tickets, or even make new requests and report problems.

This is a multi-faceted system.  We have begun by implementing support for requests for help, or reporting services which aren’t working properly.  Over time, more features of the system will be configured and deployed so that IT Service Management at UCI will become more integrated and fluid, making it easier for you to get the IT services and support you need.

In Brief September 2014

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In Brief April 2014

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