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Learn how to access your Microsoft Exchange account online using Outlook Web App (OWA). In this course, author Gini Courter takes you on a tour of OWA, and shows how to send, receive, and manage your email on the web. Learn the ins and outs of tagging and organizing your email and discover how to create appointments, request meetings, and view multiple calendars. Plus, find out how to add, group, and search for contacts and use the task feature to manage your to-do list effectively.
In this movie, I'm going to show you how to set automatic replies, which are also known as the out of office assistant or out of office features. So Olivia is on vacation right now. She left this morning and I need to ask her to do something. So I'm going to start by creating a new email and I'm going to address it to Olivia and as I tab out of this control and into the CC box, Exchange is saying wait a second, Olivia's not here and she has an automatic reply in her email and I can even read it here, I am on vacation, okay.
Well, this Remove Recipient link is so I can say oh well never mind then, I need this done today, so I am going to ask Greg instead of you. That's how that works. But I really do want to ask Olivia and this is something that she can do next week when she returns. So I'm going to say that I have a research request, and I'm going to enter the text in my email. I am going to say Olivia, can you provide me with information about help desk usage, that's my email and it's all good and I'm going to send it.
Now there is the automatic reply coming back. Here's my Desktop alert and I can just click the email and it says I'll be on vacation, same thing that was shown to me in the automatic reply. Pretty cool! That works all day long every single day. So when I'm out of the office, how do I do this? Well, let's go to Options>Set Automatic Replies. The possibility of having an automatic reply is always here and it's turned off by default. So when I want to create an automatic reply, I turn on Set Automatic Replies, which happens when I just slide in here. I say either to send him during a specific time period.
Now this allows me to set up in advance. For example I'm going to be out of the office this Friday. My two choices are to send automatic replies and to do this the last thing before I leave on Thursday or to set it up right now, so that it's time and date aware and say you know I actually want this start when I am going to be leaving the office may be about 7 o'clock on Thursday night. And I want this to turn back on automatically on Monday probably just before I get into work. I'm assuming anybody who emails me after midnight probably knows its Monday; they don't need an automatic reply.
So if people are used to me emailing or if the culture the company is that I am going to reply to emails over the weekend, but I'm not going to, then that's a good time for out of office reply. What I'm trying to do with this to say you would expect me to reply in some normal period of time, an hour, two hours, so I am not going to today, because this is what's going on with me. Now I need to provide some text and notice that this is for each sender inside my organization. That's because when I scroll down, I have choices for senders outside my organization.
So let's enter the text for people inside my company. So I'm going to enter I am attending a new employee retreat all day on Friday, this is pretty casual because it's only for folks inside my organization. They know there's a retreat, they know how this works. I have access to all my formatting tools here if I want to change the font or if I want to highlight that I'm returning on Monday, March 4, especially if I had something long, I can just go ahead and highlight this to, oh, okay if that's what I think people are most interested in, I could also have information here that says something like if in my absence you need to speak with someone and I can tell them who to direct their email or their voice message to.
This is for people inside my organization. Now what about people outside? Inside and outside, by the way, are defined as on your Exchange server with the same .com .edu .gov .ca whatever you have. Outside my organization I have three choices; one if the sender is outside my organization, don't reply to this. Second possibility, if they're outside my organization, send them a reply; and the third, if they're outside my organization, check to see if I have them in my contact list; if I do, send them a reply, if I don't, don't. Now there's a big assumption written in to here about a best practice that you may or may not follow.
The imagining here is that everybody inside my organization is on the global address list and that everybody outside my organization that I would want to communicate with I have in my contacts list, a feature that we are going to cover later in this course, but I'm tracking their information I have their email. So that it makes sense for the Exchange server to say well, okay they are in the global address book inside message; they are Gini's contacts list, cool, outside message. And it's solid thinking, but here's who gets left out.
Perhaps, I get an email for the first time from someone who was referred to me by somebody who is in my contacts list. So somebody have never met before sends me an email and says Gini, hey I'd like to work with you on this project based on a recommendation from someone else. That new sender, that new possible vendor relationship, supplier relationship, customer relationship, that person is not in my contacts list and because they're not, they won't get an automatic reply. And so when I'm out of the office for a day or for a week or for two weeks and don't send automatic replies to people outside my organization, I risk having people assume that I don't care about their email.
On the other hand I know people whose jobs are not customer-facing at all. The only work emails they get are from inside their organization unless it's a newsletter or tips on how to use OWA or something else. So they just turn this off, because they don't really correspond in a business setting outside of their organization. But I'm going to say send my replies to all external users. I am going to paste that information in and I might want to provide more or less information.
I have the opportunity to say thank you for your message. I am attending an all day event on Friday and will not have access to email. If you need assistance before then, please email and I can provide somebody else's information, so I have the opportunity to provide two different types of text; something very formal for outside, more casual for inside.
Now this is going to kick in at seven o'clock on Thursday and I just absolutely love that it's going to do that. But I want to show you what happens if you don't set it to automatically turn on and off. So I'm going to turn off this calendar and save it without saying wait till Thursday, in other words this is going to be in effect right now. We're imagining it's now Thursday. I'm strolling out the door. I got done early at 6:30 and I went in and set this up, turned it on and I'm going to click Save.
And by the way I could have all the text in here already; it's just a matter of when I choose to turn it on, either time and date-based or by setting it myself. Let's click Save. Now I'm going to return to Mail and I'm done. I'm ready to log out so I am leaving. I want to sign out, close the window. So now it's Monday and I'm back in the office and I'm getting ready to log in to OWA and sign in.
The very first thing I see is a message that says hey Automatic replies are currently on, would you like to turn them off. And you are going to want to stay in this, I am not having to respond to email state just a little longer sometimes. But don't do that because you will forget later on and you'll have automatic replies on all day. So it's time to turn them off, and by the way I wouldn't be prompted again as long as I stayed in this browser session. So I definitely want to make sure, yep I am going to turn off those automatic replies.
This is how automatic replies works in OWA to help provide people with information even when you are out of the office.
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