Idea Details

Allow Stakeholders to Update Using Email Replies

Last activity 05-31-2019 02:18 AM
John COWSERT's profile image
01-18-2018 10:39 AM


The ability of an ITSM tool to allow Analysts and Customers to collaborate to resolve a Request is critical to giving good customer service. 


Traditionally, Service Desk Manager (SDM) does not allow customers the ability to update other customer tickets via email or web.  While in most instances this is the correct and most secure approach to servicing an issue, there are times where teams of Analysts and outside customers need to be able to collaborate on a ticket and resolve the issue as a team.  SDM does not allow unlicensed Access Types (customers) the ability to update tickets where they are not the Affected End User.  This feature is hard-coded in the SDM system and cannot be overridden via partition rules or form code changes.


I field many complaints about SDM's inability to track dialogue in the Activity Log.  Analysts are forced to work outside SDM, typically in their email inbox, to support a ticket and then are expected to copy their final thread to a ticket comment.  When they add the comment, they find that they can only update 4000 characters at a time.  Email threads can become long during the support dialogue for a ticket.  This adds to their frustration when using SDM when they have to create an attachment just to add the email support thread to the ticket.



In SDM, an Analyst (Analyst 1) sends a manual notification to another Analyst (Analyst 2) from a Request.  Analyst 2 is able to reply to the manual notification and update the Request successfully.  During troubleshooting for the Request Analyst 1 realizes there are other people who must perform tasks or may have ideas on how to solve the problem so Analyst 1 sends another manual notification to Analyst 2 and two other external contacts.  Analyst 2 is still able to update the Request via an email reply, but the other external contacts cannot update the Request via an email reply.  They receive a cryptic error message that says the are not able to update or create a Request via email.  


Analyst 1 can add the external contacts as Stakeholders to the Request, and future notifications are send to the Stakeholders, but those Stakeholders still cannot contribute to the resolution of the Request.



Since SDM has the ability to add Stakeholders to a Request, I propose the idea that adding Stakeholders to a Request should allow those Stakeholders to contribute to the resolution of the Request.  Essentially, this temporary "permission" to update a Request becomes a two step process.  Stakeholders would only be able to update a Request if they are first added to the Request as Stakeholders by the supporting Analyst/Assignee of the Request.  If a previous Stakeholder was not added to a new Request they could not update the Request via a reply to a manual notification.  Stakeholders would have to be added to each Request when needed.


01-30-2018 04:13 AM

This idea is being Wish-Listed for potential inclusion in a future release.


Before this idea moves to the next stage (Currently Planned or Not Planned), I would like to invite community members to please provide additional input and/or vote. Please note that Wish-listed ideas are selected for inclusion in a release based on multiple factors including - number of votes from community members, alignment of idea with a release's themes and goals, complexities and risks involved in implementing the idea, so a timeframe for availability of the idea as a product feature/functionality cannot be provided. Additionally, the implementation of your idea may not be exactly as requested and/or may be delivered in a new user experience.

01-26-2018 09:41 AM

Hi Brian,


Yes, we do have 'Allow Anonymous' set so that anyone (contact record or not) can create tickets.  But unless you are the affected customer in the ticket (or an analyst in the system), you cannot update a ticket via email reply unless we make the employee access type a licensed user.  I'm told this is how it is designed to be, but I disagree with limiting the ability to update a ticket by replying to an email that an analyst has sent you from the ticket if you're not the affected customer or an analyst.



01-26-2018 02:01 AM

Hi Tammy,


The Mailbox has a 'Allow Anonymous', which allows users that don't exist as a contact in SDM to create tickets. Have you tried to enable this and have a Mailbox Rule to update the ticket this way? Or are we saying that even with this enabled it still does not work. Perhaps I'm simplifying this when the issue is more complicated at code level?



Kind Regards,


01-18-2018 01:40 PM

Hi John,


We have about 58,000 employees, but luckily we have not marketing using the employee interface much, so I don't think making the employee access type licensed is impacting us much.  But now I'm stuck with not being able to market using the employee interface. 


I think this should be an options manager setting that each of us can decide if we want the employee access type to be able to update any ticket via email.  And maybe another options manager setting to decide if we want to enable your idea, to only allow stakeholders to update the ticket.  We just need more flexibility with configuring the system how it best works for each of us. 



01-18-2018 12:38 PM


I completely understand what you are saying and went through the same pain point on licensed vs unlicensed access types.  I unsuccessfully tried to find a workaround to this issue and ended up doing the same thing you did and created a licensed Access Type that allowed a limited list of Requestors to update their tickets. 


We have about 70,000 potential customers at our university with students, alumni, retirees, employee, faculty and staff.  So giving all of those potential customers licensed access would not be feasible for us and could become costly.  


Some groups, such as ourselves and other public or government customers, have issues where, due to FERPA and HIPAA constraints, allowing others to update tickets where they are not the Affected End User might become a security risk.  So I'm proposing this as an alternative to just letting any customer update a ticket via email.



01-18-2018 12:16 PM

I personally would like to see the ability for anyone who has received an email from a ticket to be able to reply to it and update that ticket.  An analyst is sending the email from a ticket, and needs them to reply and have it update that ticket -- plain and simple.  I don't understand why that should be restricted to only the affected customer or a licensed access type.  We have had to make our employee access type licensed so that we can do this. 


I added similar comments to another idea that was posted back in 2012: