3Planning Deployment for Siebel Email Response

About Deployment Planning for Siebel Email Response

This chapter provides tools and resources to help you implement Siebel Email Response. Setting up Siebel Email Response for your business is easier if you:

  • Use the provided planning tools.

  • Follow the recommendations, unless your business needs dictate otherwise.

This chapter includes guidelines for business analysis and setup planning. Content in each topic tells you what to do and why to do it, and it provides suggestions for obtaining more information. Your answers to questions in each topic consist of the data that you use to set up Siebel Email Response after installation.

Business Analysis for Deployment of Siebel Email Response

Before you set up Siebel Email Response, analyze your company’s email business needs. Often customers deploy Siebel Email Response to meet the needs of one group in an organization. After additional research, you might identify other groups that can benefit from the capabilities of Siebel Email Response. To analyze your company’s business needs, answer the following questions:

  • Which groups in your organization have the largest email volume?

    Groups with the largest email volume benefit most from using Siebel Email Response. Analyze all groups in your organization to determine which groups can benefit from using Siebel Email Response. Email server administrators in your organization can help you to identify the email addresses that are most heavily used.

  • What email addresses will you use for Siebel Email Response?

    Develop a list of current and new email addresses that you want to use for all groups using Siebel Email Response. Specify the email addresses that you must create to receive incoming email. Your email server administrator can tell you the email addresses that your company currently uses.

    Designate each email address to receive unstructured (free-form) or structured (keyword-based or Web-form) email.

  • Does your organization use structured (Web-form) or unstructured (free-form) email messages?

    If your company uses many structured email messages, then you might want to use Siebel Self Service. This product can automate many of the processes that Web forms solve. For example, use Siebel Self Service to automate service request submissions or status updates.

    • Web forms. An example of a Web form is an order status form. Compile a list of Web forms that you might use. If you currently use Web forms, then gather examples with your standard responses.

      A Web form saves time because no human interaction is necessary to respond to the initial email. However, you need special skills and time to set up and maintain Web forms with associated responses. You cannot use Web forms in every situation, but they are useful to handle high-volume communications that require standard responses.

    • Free-form messages. Examples of free-form messages are a free-form email for a customer’s order status and a free-form email for help with a product that the customer purchased.

      Agents must respond to each free-form email.

    When you set up your workflow processes, decide which workflow you want to use to process incoming messages, eMail Response - Process Message or eMail Response - Process Service Request.

  • What are the most frequently asked questions that you receive at each corporate email address?

    Gather examples of the most common questions (and associated responses) and estimate how many of these questions you receive. You can modify templates, so concentrate on determining the most frequently asked questions you receive at present.

    One of the most valuable features of any email response product is the ability to store templates that agents can use to respond to common questions.

    You can identify questions that templates can answer by asking customer service agents for a list of the most commonly asked questions and the appropriate response for each question. Another source of templates is FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) documents that you develop for your customers.

  • What solution documents do you currently use?

    A solution document can be any document you prepare for customers that provides a fix or a recommended approach to an issue. For information about when to use solution documents (called FAQs in Siebel Self Service), when to use reply templates, and how solutions and templates compare to free-form replies, see Solutions and Templates Decision Table.

    Gather copies or make a list of these electronic documents and the network location of them. Specify new documents that you need and existing documents that you can convert to electronic documents.

  • What categories do you want to associate with templates and solutions?

    Sort the templates and solutions into types of email questions (categories) and assign a category to each solution and template. During Siebel Email Response setup, you associate solutions and templates with categories so that agents can insert solutions and templates into the body of Siebel Email Response replies.

    Note: Associate with a category only the templates that you intend use as body templates.
  • Who will be responsible for template maintenance and developing maintenance procedures?

    Develop a process and specify a responsible person. Develop procedures for maintaining templates, for notifying agents that new or changed templates are available, and for using templates.

    You must review templates for needed changes if your business changes. For example, when you launch a new product or discontinue a product, you might want to review your templates for needed updates. Also, for example, you can add the URL of a new Web site to the signature line of an email template.

  • Do you want to automatically acknowledge receipt of incoming email?

    An auto-acknowledgment message sets reasonable customer expectations for a response and reduces the chance that customers send follow-up email or communicate through other channels.

    Obtain a copy of any existing auto-acknowledgment message. An auto-acknowledgment message thanks the customer for the inquiry and tells the customer the time needed to respond.

  • How do groups currently route email messages? Why do you use the current routing approach?

    Determine how each of your target email response groups (such as, Sales and Call Center) currently routes an incoming email message to the agent best suited to handle the message. In most organizations, agents select email messages from a list of messages that are sent to an address. How do you manage incoming email queues and why?

  • Which routing and queueing method meets your needs for email response?

    When using Siebel Email Response, you can choose from several methods to route email messages to the correct agent. For information about different routing and queueing methods, see Comparison of Routing and Queueing Methods.

    The method that you use is based on the way that your business needs to route incoming email. For example, if you must notify agents immediately after routing a message, then you need a custom routing and queueing solution.

    If CTI software is set up for your contact center, then you can use third-party routing and queueing technologies to make multiple media channels available to your agents. In this scenario, customer service representatives might handle telephone calls, but when they are not busy with telephone calls, they are assigned email messages.

  • What are your language support needs?

    Determine the languages in which you customers send email, the languages in which you reply to email, and if you have templates in multiple languages. For more information about supported languages, see Siebel System Requirements and Supported Platforms on Oracle Technology Network.

  • Do you need to set up multiple organizations for your company?

Setup Information for Siebel Email Response

You gather setup information for Siebel Email Response by answering the following questions:

  • Has your system administrator installed and configured a working Siebel Business Applications environment?

    You must have a working Siebel Business Applications environment. For more information, see the Siebel Installation Guide for the operating system you are using.

  • Has your Communications Server administrator installed and configured your email server?

    Your email server must be installed and configured.

  • What communications drivers and profiles will you use for Siebel Email Response?

    Note: Use the Internet SMTP/POP3 Server driver or Internet SMTP/IMAP Server driver for connecting to all supported email servers.

    Create communications profile names that correspond to all the mailboxes that you monitor, for example, customersupport@example.com and sales@example.com.

    The values that you assign to driver parameters apply to every profile that uses that driver unless you add a profile parameter override value to the profile. Profile parameter overrides enable you to uniquely identify each profile.

  • What profile parameter overrides and values do you need to establish for each profile (email address) that you assign to the communications driver?

    A profile parameter override is a setting that overrides the values on the driver that the profile uses. Note the following guidelines about profile parameter overrides:

    • If you do not supply a profile parameter override, then the default parameter value on the driver is used. Some required parameters, such as POP3 Account Name and IMAP Account Name, do not have a default value. You must provide values for all required parameters.

    • If you supply a profile parameter override, then the override value is used instead of the parameter value on the driver.

    Each profile has parameter overrides that are necessary to connect to the email server account. For example, a common parameter override is From Address. The From Address parameter is passed to the SMTP server as the address that shows in the From field in an email reply. Values that you assign uniquely identify each profile. You add profile parameter overrides during Siebel Email Response setup procedures.

  • Which email profiles (mailboxes) will receive Web-form messages and which will receive free-form messages?

    Separate your email profiles into two groups, one group to receive Web-form messages (such as, service requests) and one group to receive free-form messages.

    For each of these two groups of email profiles, separate the profiles into groups with the same types of email behavior (input arguments). You associate each of these profiles with a single response group.

    These groups are the response groups and associated profiles that you create. For more information, see Process of Setting Up Communications Driver Profiles and Process of Setting Up Response Groups.

    Choose the following values for each group:

    • Name. Select a meaningful name for each response group.

    • Administrator email address. Select the email address to which you want to direct unprocessed email (email that cannot be processed due to a database error, a routing error, and so on) that is sent to the profiles in each response group.

    • Description. Describe the types of email behavior that each response group controls. This information prepares you to set up input arguments for each response group.

  • What email behaviors (input arguments) do you need for each profile type?

    Input arguments provide information to a business service so it can process incoming email. Because input arguments control the way that email is handled, all profiles in a response group must have the same input arguments.

    Using the response group description, assign the input arguments to each group of email profiles. For information about available input arguments, see Business Service Methods for Siebel Email Response

  • Do you need to modify the workflows included with Siebel Email Response?

    If you want to modify the predefined workflows, then you must activate them in the Administration - Business Process screen before starting Siebel Server and receiving incoming email. For more information about predefined workflows, see About Processing Email with Siebel Workflow. For information about creating and modifying workflows, see Siebel Business Process Framework: Workflow Guide.

    Caution: If you modify a workflow, then the modification is not upgraded when you upgrade Siebel Email Response. You must re-create all modifications in the prebuilt workflows.
  • Which routing and queueing method will you use to route incoming email to agents?

    By default, email messages are recorded in your Siebel database as activities or service requests.

    Identify the routing and queueing methods that you want to use, such as manual assignment, Siebel Assignment Manager, or custom routing and queueing. For information about the advantages and disadvantages of each method, see Comparison of Routing and Queueing Methods. For information about creating routing and queueing rules, see Siebel Assignment Manager Administration Guide.

  • Do you want to process email using real-time processing or nonreal-time processing?

    Depending on your business requirements, you can set up Siebel Email Response for real-time or nonreal-time processing. For more information, see Real-Time and Nonreal-Time Processing.

  • Have you enabled your email server for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS)?

    Siebel Email Response enables communications drivers to work with email servers that you enable for SSL or TLS. For more information, see Cryptographic Protocols and Communications Drivers.

Requirements for Setting Up Siebel Email Response

This topic describes the tasks to complete before you set up Siebel Email Response. For information about the supported email servers, see Siebel System Requirements and Supported Platforms on Oracle Technology Network.

Before you set up Siebel Email Response, confirm that the following tasks are completed:

  • Siebel Business Applications software is installed. The system administrator must install and configure a working Siebel environment before setting up Siebel Email Response. For more information, see the Siebel Installation Guide for the operating system you are using.

    • During Siebel Business Applications installation, the following items are installed and configured:

      • Siebel Gateway

      • Siebel Server

      • Siebel Database Configuration Utilities

      • Siebel Enterprise Application Integration (The use of this item depends on the nature of your custom integration. You can use this item if you implement a custom routing and queueing solution.)

      • Siebel Application Interface

    • After Siebel Server installation and configuration, the following components are enabled:

      • Communications Management (includes the Communications Inbound Receiver, the Communications Inbound Processor, and the Communications Outbound Manager)

      • Siebel Call Center (includes Siebel Email Response and Siebel Service)

      Component groups can also be enabled after the Siebel Server installation.

    • After Siebel Server installation, the spell check feature is installed.

      The spell check feature is automatically installed and enabled as part of the Siebel Server and Mobile Web Client installation processes. Spell check dictionaries are installed in several languages. For information about supported languages, see Siebel System Requirements and Supported Platforms on Oracle Technology Network.

  • A third-party routing and queueing solution is installed (optional). If you want to use a third-party queueing solution, then install and configure it using the vendor documentation.

  • The email server is installed, configured, and tested. For installation and configuration information, see the installation instructions that you receive with your email server. For information about supported email servers, see Siebel System Requirements and Supported Platforms on Oracle Technology Network.

  • Basic tests are performed. Before you set up Siebel Email Response, perform the following tests:

    • Verify network connectivity by establishing the presence of the email server from the Siebel Server.

    • Test the email server, and make sure that the email server is properly set up by verifying that you can communicate to and from each email account that you create. For each email account, you can use any email client to:

      • Set up test accounts.

      • Send email from each test account to itself.

      • Send email from each test account to an account outside of your company.

Your network administrator can help identify the person in your organization who performs each of the tasks in this topic.

About Implementing Routing and Queueing Processes

Siebel Email Response workflows record incoming email messages in your Siebel database, except for messages identified as junk email. The eMail Response - Process Message workflow creates an activity record and the eMail Response - Process Service Request workflow creates a service request record.

The Process Message and Process Service Request workflows can use the routing and queueing features in Siebel Assignment Manager to further automate your email interactions. Routing and queueing choices include Siebel Assignment Manager and custom routing and queueing solutions. For information about determining the routing and queueing method to implement, see Business Analysis for Deployment of Siebel Email Response.

Siebel Assignment Manager can assign ownership of email activities and service requests. Your organization can use the preconfigured routing and queueing rules that Siebel Email Response provides, revise these preconfigured rules, or create new rules. Before you start Siebel Email Response and process your incoming email messages, you must activate the Siebel Email Response workflows, make changes to the routing and queueing method that you choose to implement, and start the server tasks that are associated with that routing and queueing method.

You can route email using one of the following methods:

  • Manual assignment. A user who is dedicated to the routing process manually assigns each incoming email to an agent as it arrives, or agents select a message from a message queue.

  • Siebel Assignment Manager. Use Siebel Assignment Manager to create new assignment rules that route email to an agent who has the appropriate skills. For more information about Siebel Assignment Manager, see Siebel Assignment Manager Administration Guide.

    Use Assignment Manager to assign email messages by setting the Enable Assignment Manager process property in the Email Response - Process Message workflow:

    • If you set the process property to True, then Assignment Manager assigns email messages for all response groups.

    • If you set the process property to True for a response group, then Assignment Manager assigns email messages for that response group.

      Note: When you create or update assignment rules, you must stop the Communications Inbound Receiver component to suspend the processing of new inbound email. After you stop this component, you can create or update the assignment rules, release the assignment rules, and then restart this component.
    After enabling Assignment Manager, complete the following tasks:
    • Verify that you assigned each employee in your Siebel database the appropriate skills to respond to incoming email. For example, you might assign each employee an email recipient address and define competencies, expertise level, and exception hours.

    • Set up the service regions and associate each employee with a service region.

    • Create new assignment rules, assign criteria, define employees, and release the rules.

    • Activate Assignment Manager.

    • Test your Assignment Manager setup.

  • Custom routing and queueing solution. You can use a custom routing and queueing solution, such as a third-party product. Consult the documentation for that product for implementation instructions.

Comparison of Routing and Queueing Methods

The following table shows the advantages and disadvantages of each routing and queueing method.

Table Routing and Queueing Methods Comparison

Routing Method or Product Advantages Disadvantages

Manual routing

  • Simple.

  • Slow. A user must manually assign each email to an agent.

  • A user must be dedicated to the routing process.

Custom routing and queueing

  • Meets precise business requirements.

  • Can accommodate more complex business processes and hierarchies.

  • Other possible advantages vary according to the specific solution.

  • Takes time to design and program.

  • Other possible disadvantages vary according to the specific solution.

Siebel Assignment Manager

  • Skills-based routing.

  • Workload-based routing.

  • Rule maintenance in graphical user interface. No programming is required.

  • No real-time notification using the communications toolbar.

  • No blending of inbound communications in different channels.