Siebel Email Response Administration Guide > Overview of Siebel Email Response > Understanding the Siebel Email Response Architecture >

Managing Siebel Server Components to Process Incoming Email

Once a customer sends an email to your company, your email server that is connected to the Siebel Server receives the email and passes it to the Communications Inbound Receiver (CIR). The Communications Inbound Receiver (CIR) resides on the Siebel Server and has a primary role in the Siebel Email Response processes. Three Communications Server components manage inbound and outbound email messages: Communications Inbound Receiver (receives email), Communications Inbound Processor (processes and routes email), and Communications Outbound Manager (sends responses to the email). Workflow Manager invokes other Siebel Server components, such as Assignment Manager, Universal Queuing, and Smart Answer Manager. Communications Inbound Receiver uses the Internet SMTP/POP3 Server driver to periodically connect to your email server and check for new email messages. When Communications Inbound Receiver detects a new message, it does the following:

  • Downloads the message and attachments from the email server.
  • Parses elements of the email message (To:, CC:, Subject:, and body content) and places them in memory.
  • Converts this email data into event data which will be saved in the database (if less than 15K) or the Siebel File System (if greater than 15K).
  • If you are using nonreal-time email processing, the Communications Inbound Receiver creates a SRM request to inform the Communications Inbound Processor that a new event has been created.
  • If you are using nonreal-time email processing, the Communications Inbound Receiver passes event data from memory to the Communications Inbound Processor.

    NOTE:  Communications Inbound Processor can start multiple subprocesses so that multiple instances of a workflow can operate in parallel.

Processing Email in Real-Time and Nonreal-Time

Depending on your business requirements, you can process email in one of the following ways:

Figure 2 provides examples of different Communications Inbound Receiver and Communications Inbound Processor configurations for your Siebel Enterprise.

Figure 2.  Communications Inbound Receiver and Communications Inbound Processor Configuration Examples
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Processing Email in Real-Time

Real-Time email processing only uses one server component, Communications Inbound Receiver. This type of processing is best for businesses with a low volume of email customers or businesses who primarily use phone events, as these types of events always use real-time mode. Figure 3 describes the architecture for real-time email processing. For information on how to enable real-time email processing, see Enabling Real-Time Email Processing. For more detailed information on processing email in real-time, see How Real-Time Events Flow Through the Communications Inbound Receiver.

Figure 3.  Real-Time Email Processing
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Processing Email in Nonreal-Time

Nonreal-Time email processing has both server components, Communications Inbound Receiver (CIR) and Communications Inbound Processor (CIP) running as separate server components. This type of processing allows you to have multiple instances of Communications Inbound Receiver (CIR) and Communications Inbound Processor (CIP) on different Siebel Servers, providing a distributed architecture which is more scalable and reliable than real-time email processing. Figure 4 describes the architecture for Nonreal-Time email processing. For information on how to enable nonreal-time email processing, see Enabling Nonreal-Time Email Processing.

Figure 4.  Nonreal-Time Email Processing
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Processing Incoming Email with Siebel Business Process Designer

Communications Inbound Processor uses the Workflow Process Manager in the Siebel Business Process Designer to process an email message in a number of ways, depending on the workflow process you select to handle that type of message. Siebel Systems ships several preconfigured workflow processes that provide email processing features. For more information, see Setting Up Siebel Email Response Workflows. The Workflow Process Manager in Siebel Business Process Designer can be set up to perform the following tasks:

  • Determine the commit time (the time by which you should reply to the message) based on the customer's service-level agreement.
  • Send the message to Smart Answer Manager for language detection and categorization.
  • Send the message to Assignment Manager or Universal Queuing for routing.
  • Write a record to your database if the message is routed to an agent for response.
  • When integrated with routing and queuing software, route incoming email to an agent based on defined parameters such as agent skills. The selected routing and queuing processes route and queue messages to the agent with the skills that are necessary to respond to the message.

Determining how an Agent Replies to Email

The agent reviews the message using the Siebel client and composes and sends a reply using templates configured for your company's needs. See Figure 1 for an illustration of this process.

Understanding how the Communications Server Returns a Reply to a Customer

When the agent sends the message, Communications Outbound Manager, a Communications Server component, sends the replies through your email server using SMTP/POP3 communication protocols. Your email server then sends the email over the Internet to the customer's email server and the customer's email server sends it to the customer's mailbox. See Figure 1 for an illustration of this process.

Siebel Email Response Administration Guide