As the developers of IssueNet, we are often asked how we use the product internally. There are two answers to that question, the operational answer and the practical day-to-day answer. Operationally we use IssueNet for many core functions: software defect tracking, external customer support, internal IT help desk, CRM, and miscellaneous issue tracking. But what people are usually asking is: in the practical course of our days, how do we interface with the system most? It varies some from department to department, but our favorite interface is the Microsoft Outlook integration.
Let's face it, these days, we all spend a great deal of time in our email, so working directly in that environment makes us more productive. How you might ask?
- IssueNet integration to Microsoft Outlook is achieved via an unobtrusive toolbar
- Quick access to creating all types of issues and viewing existing issues and tasks
- Special functionality to easily create issues from mail messages and append messages to existing issues.
The ability to quickly create issues from email messages is extremely important, because invariably, most issues are first reported through email. The quick ability to turn those random emails into trackable, actionable issues in the issue management system means less issues fall through the cracks.
We love the integration because it is easy to use on a daily basis, but that ease of use also serves a very important role in user acceptance during a new deployment. Making issue tracking available via the user's email application dramatically increases uptake for new deployments. Email clients are typically open all day so elminating the need to launch a separate application or browser tightly integrates IssueNet into the daily routine. All this adds up to an easy, low-overhead way to manage issues.
Additional Information on Outlook Integration