BYOM - Bring Your Old Mail!

Friday, July 27, 2012

I was recently asked to provide a VisNetic MailFlow demonstration, highlighting the benefits it could bring a small online retailer.  The CSM of this retailer was practically "sold" on MailFlow before the GoToMeeting even started. It turns out a friend of his had already recommended MailFlow. 

The manager had several notable requirements;
1. He wanted to efficiently route email to the correct individual or group, and not waste time forwarding emails.
2. A means to confirm every email was getting answered, and when necessary a means to spot-check the correspondence.
3. Teams members needed to be able to collaborate on responses.
4. Quicker response times.
5. Easy to learn interface.

MailFlow was hitting the mark with flying colors until we reached the 6th and final requirement.

6. Must be able to import their existing email into MailFlow.

Problem is MailFlow does not have an email import utility. 

Most MailFlow administrators set a "go-live" date with the understanding from x date forward all correspondence will be retained in MailFlow, anything prior would remain in their old email client.

Bottom Line - if we could find a way to get their old .pst mail into MailFlow we could add their name to the list of MailFlow customers.

We knew we could define a process for getting their mail in, the challenge would be to retain the original received date and sender, as well as attachments.  

We did it - Here's How:

1. We had the Mail Server Admin create a new account called "Import".
2. The VisNetic MailFlow Admin created a new Message Source to collect email from the account.
3. MailFlow then had to be configured to utilize the first inbound message date.  (This is under Administration/General Configuration/Settings/Ticket Settings tab, Ticket List Date.)  

Now we're ready to go to user #1 and setup their email client so MailFlow can collect their mail.

Let's assume the user's email client is "account 1". 

4. The user configures a second account in their email client, this will be the new account.  
5. The user then performs a simple drag & drop of the email from "account 1" into the "import" Inbox of their email client.

The MailFlow Message Source will collect the mail from the import account.  The original sender will be listed as the Contact and the original date the email was received will be retained.

6. The corresponding Agent in MailFlow should then take ownership of all their imported email, set TicketCategories if needed, then Close the Tickets.
7. Delete the import account from the user #1 email client.

Repeat Steps 4-7 for each user's email you wish to import to VisNetic MailFlow.

There you have it - My recomendation would be to test this process on a small scale prior to importing everything you have.

While admittedly not the most elegent of processes, it satisfied the needs of the customer!

Questions? Drop us an email at, or if you would like a quick demonstration of the process.