ClearContext Product Plan

Our initial ClearContext Inbox Manager release was designed in large part based on information we gained from interviewing many email users and taking surveys of these individuals (see our design whitepaper for more detail on this).  Now that we have a product in release, we get a lot of great information and feedback from our users.  As we mentioned in a previous blog post, we’d like to share our product plans with you to make sure that our product development priorities are closely aligned with our user’s needs. 

We really need your help and feedback to build the best product possible.  Our development plan is largely driven by user requests, so comments on this post will definitely make a big difference in our product direction.

We’ve broken this information into a few sections – v1.1, Incremental Features, Future Functionality, & Additional Products:

ClearContext Inbox Manager v1.1
These are largely changes that have been requested by users via support emails or posts in the forum.  We have also made a few bug fixes and performance enhancements and added a few new features.  Most of these items are currently in testing and we hope to release as many of them as is feasible in our upcoming release within the next few weeks.

New Functionality / User Requests
File Thread toolbar button
Allow Multiple Parameters in AutoAssign rules
AutoDetect for Upgrades
User editable results in Contact Analysis

User Interface / Usability
Additional Fields Available for Grouping in Views
Keyboard Shortcuts
Topic Drop-down Listbox Auto-fit
AutoFill Topic on AutoAssign
Topic overwrite option on Autoassign

Performance Enhancements / Bug Fixes
Topic Assignment Issues – bug(s) related to topic assignment while message open, etc.
Improved MAPI Error Handling
Background Processing and other general performance enhancements
AutoAssign Domain Rules – malformed/non-standard domain support
Improved filtering of non-critical contacts in Contact Analysis

Incremental Features
These are additional feature/functionality improvements which we won’t be able to include in our upcoming release but we intend to release soon thereafter.

Slave Mode for Multiple client Exchange Configurations
Reply Management
–    Auto Notify on Replies
–    Change in priority once replied to
–    Thread expiration / “unsubscribe” on reply
Topic DDLB Enhancements – Better UI for management of large folder hierarchies
Advanced AutoAssign Rule Management UI
Integrate AutoAssign Functionality with Outlook Rules
Import/Export of ClearContext autoassign rules
Advanced View Management and customization capabilities
Prioritization of All Outlook Folders / Compatibility with Search Folders

Future Functionality
These are mainly large new areas of functionality that we will be tackling in future major releases of the software.  A number of these features extend the software well beyond inbox prioritization/management into a full-fledged productivity tool.  We have not definitively prioritized these features and encourage discussion/feedback on which of these areas you feel are most important to address.

Message Content Analysis for Message Function
–    AutoAssign Topic, Priority
–    Suggest What to Do With Message (Convert to Contact, Create Task)
–    Adaptive Learning / A.I.
Automated Attachment Processing (documents, photos, etc.)
Workflow – Automates Task and Calendar Management, Integrated with Email
IMAP Support

Additional Products
These are a more few product ideas we have in our longer-term plans.  Which of these we focus on will be largely based on user demand.

Corporate/ Exchange Server Integration – Port core Inbox Manager functionality (prioritization, scoring, topics, etc.) to Exchange Server for application on both individual email accounts and on emails/threads across the organization.

Mobile Extension – Port core Inbox Manager functionality to mobile devices to allow functionality such as downloading of only high priority messages.

Vertical Customization – Job-specific customizations for fields such as Sales, Financial Services, Project Management, etc.

As we mentioned above, your feedback is the critical factor in our product planning process.  We are very interested in your feedback on each of these areas.  We have a fair degree of flexibility in our development schedule regarding most of these items and our final prioritization of these features will be largely based on the feedback we receive from our users.  We’ve posted this information both on our blog and in our Features/Support forum.  Please respond in either of those places or feel free to email us comments at support [at] clearcontext.com.  All responses are greatly appreciated.

We’ll be updating these lists and providing more detailed timeframes as we gather more information from all of you and approach our release dates.

5 comments.

  1. This is awesome! Looking forward to these features.

  2. ClearContext Survey

  3. ClearContext Survey

  4. I have a rather different perpective on how email can be made more useful. Essentially, I need all email to be outputed into a “issues register” which supports prioritisatoin and tracking. I want to be able to look at a single page and see all the email traffic attaching to a particular topic (which must support nesting) but I want to be able to write in actions against the topic. There are numerous features I require. I think you would find that the concept I am proposing would resonate widely in the market.

  5. Peter –
    You should look at our updated product plan located here:
    http://blog.clearcontext.com/2005/06/product_plan_v2.html
    In particular, I believe we will handle a great deal of what you ask with our upcoming “Unified view of related items.” This feature will provide the ability to click on an email, and see all related email, tasks, calendar entries, etc. and act on the information presented within the view. Watch this weblog for future news about the release, updated information on the product, etc..
    Thanks for your ideas – hopefully you will find what we are building useful!



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