Priority and After hours notifications for your team sometimes doesn’t fit well just using email.
Not all know that each cell phone number has an email address tied to it for SMS messaging.
By sending a message by email using the SMS to Email translation, a twitter type message can easily be sent to any phone.
Common cell phone carriers SMS to Email translation settings:
- Alltel: email@example.com.
- AT&T: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- T-Mobile: email@example.com.
- Virgin Mobile: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sprint: email@example.com.
- Verizon: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Nextel: email@example.com.
- US Cellular: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Using this capability within ConnectWise Manage allows us to develop a simple but cost effective alert system.
Here are a couple ideas for it’s use:
Option 1: A single cell phone is passed around to the On-Call team member.
Within a workflow, add an action for Send Email and setup the following entries:
- Select Email Address for Sent to.
- Enter the Cell phone SMS Email Address. In our example we used Verizon for the carrier, and would look like email@example.com.
- Select Email Address for Member from.
- Enter an active email address in your email system.
- Enter a Message that is desired to be sent. You can use tokens which will send the correct information each time! In our example we are sending a notification for a Priority Alert, the affected company name, the active ticket number, and the summary on the active ticket for this alert.
TIP: Think Twitter when constructing your message! A long message may result in multiple text messages received or not function at all due to limitations imposed by the carrier. We suggest using the Subject line, leaving the rest empty.
Option 2: Using a Distribution List with multiple cell phones.
This setup requires some setup outside of ConnectWise Manage.
A. Setup Contacts in your email system, one for each of your team members cell phones. Give it a name signifying it’s a cell phone, like Don – Cell. The email address for this contact will be phonenumber@CellCarrierSmtp.com.
B. Create a Distribution List in your email system, giving it a name for the type of alert you will use this for. Example: Emergency Alerts. The Distribution List should be email enabled, with a unique email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add each Cell Phone Contact to this new Distribution List as required. Each added contact will receive the alert when an email is sent to the Distribution List. You may add regular user emails to this as well so their Cell Phone and Regular Email will both receive the alert message.
One of the downsides to this setup is that if a cell phone is placed in DND, this method will not break through, leaving the alert unknown. Some phones may allow adding the sending email address as an emergency contact which would allow the message to be received.
We hope this tip helps a few organizations out!
Office 365 Setup Screenshots:
To help those that aren’t technically savy with Microsoft Office 365, here are some basic steps to setting up a distribution list and contacts.
Login to the admin center. Select Users, then Contacts.
Create all the needed contacts, one for each user with a cell phone.
Next from the main admin menu, select Groups. For this example we’ll select Distribution. A Distribution Group (List) is email enabled. When an email is sent to the Distribution email address, the message is relayed to all contacts placed into the group. These feature allows us to add & remove contacts from the group list as needed.
Give the new Group a name.
Enter the email address to be used. This is the email address for the new Distribution Group (List).
Now we wait for the group to show up to continue finishing the intended task. OR…
We use the alternate method as shown in the alert message. For this article, we navigated to the Exchange Admin Center from the alert message. Select the created Distribution List from the available selections, select membership from the pop-up window, then select membership.
Add each desired Cell Phone contact that was created previously. If desired, add the corresponding persons email address to this list. This will send the message to the cell phone and email inbox for each recipient.
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