Auckland, New Zealand (PressExposure) July 16, 2009 -- Onlooker for Microsoft Outlook
This new software launched as an add-in for Microsoft Outlook helps prevent users from the embarrassment of forgetting to include an attachment when they meant to do so.
Be honest, at one time or another weâve all sent an email promising an attached file with further information on a specific topic and forgotten to actually attach the file.
If you are lucky you realise what you have done within a few minutes and can correct the situation with a quick follow up email, this time including the attachment. But sometimes you only realise what you have done when you receive a response asking where the attachment is.
Hopefully when this happens the email is to friends or colleagues where the damage is limited to only minor embarrassment, but if the email is to the boss or even worse a customer or prospect, then you could be responsible for creating the impression that you donât pay enough attention to detail or that your organisation is always in a rush and too busy to give customers the attention they deserve.
Finally a smart solution has been invented by Tony Gorham of New Zealand based business software developers, Polychrome Ltd and is so inexpensive that no-one should ever have to make this embarrassing or potentially costly mistake again.
Tony says about the product: âI came up with the idea for Onlooker when exchanging emails with a friend of mine in the UK. We would occasionally forget to add an attachment and because of the time zone difference between us it could take 12-24 hours before an important file actually reached its destination!â
Tony appropriately named the product âOnlookerâ because it sits unobtrusively in your Microsoft Outlook email client and monitors your outgoing emails. Described as âa friend in your outboxâ Onlooker has an intelligent and customisable email content recognition system that prevents you from forgetting to add attachments.
How does it work?
When you send an email, Onlooker checks your message and looks for specific search terms in the text like âATTACHEDâ or âSEE FILEâ and then checks the number of attachments added to this email. There are a number of built in search terms for the most common phrases that people use when they mean to attach a file and users can even add their own search term if they find that they commonly use different phrases to indicate that a file should be attached.
If Onlooker determines that you have forgotten to add your attachment it will prompt you with a message reminding you. Of course it is possible to quickly dismiss the message with a single click, or stop the email from being sent while you add the attachment.
There were two obvious problems with this approach that had to be solved during development and testing. Sometimes people may regularly use one of the built in terms that Onlooker looks for with a different meaning, i.e. nothing to do with attaching a file. It would have been intrusive for Onlooker to keep popping up a warning in this case, so each of the standard search terms can be switched on or off by the user.
Also, many people have footers on their outgoing emails, which are actually small attached files. Tony didnât want Onlooker assuming that these footers represented valid attachments and therefore failing to remind the sender if they genuinely forgot to add an attachment. The solution to this was simple, a starting attachment count which is also user configurable allows Onlooker to ignore any footers before looking for attachments that should have been included.
Onlooker is a valuable add-on for Microsoft Outlook, for individuals or companies, which successfully prevents embarrassing or costly mistakes from being made in email communication. It is priced so that everyone can afford it, a single user version costs only $9.99 and a site licence, where as many people in a particular location, such as a company office can use it, costs only $99.00
Tony said about the giveaway pricing âWe wanted to solve a common and frustrating problem rather than make a fortune, so we priced it so that no-one is left out. The price is a one off cost with no ongoing maintenance or support feesâ.
To download a fully functional trial version of Onlooker for Microsoft Outlook visit http://www.polychromenz.com/products/onlooker