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Providing Automatic Responses to Common Helpdesk Queries

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Colin Minton

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Posted: 16 Jan 2002

Current Version: GroupWise 6, ZENworks for Desktops 3.2

Here is a very nice solution that adroitly takes advantage of the features of two Novell products, GroupWise and ZENworks. Should take some of the load off the stressed-out folks who man the world's helpdesks. Check this out, from cool reader Colin Minton in the UK.

How about this for a use of ZENworks: Using ZENworks Helpdesk requester to provide automatic e-mail responses / suggestions to helpdesk queries, so that your users can have an immediate solution provided to the more mundane or standard IT queries before an analyst is allocated the call. This has been setup using GroupWise, but any other MAPI e-mail package that allows rules will work just as well.

It's VERY simple to setup, the only hard part is identifying the requests for help that you want an automatic response for. What you select is up to you, but as an example let us say you want to set up an automatic response to a request for setting up proxy access in GroupWise. You are going to call this GroupWise - proxy access required.


The user who has a problem runs ZENworks helpdesk requester, selects the item from the dropdown list that he has a problem with (ie in the above example GroupWise - proxy access required), types any additional comments he wants, and clicks Send.

The e-mail system sends an e-mail to the helpdesk e-mail account.

The helpdesk e-mail account receives the e-mail and noting that it has a subject line of GroupWise - proxy access required, it then executes the rule and sends an automatic response detailing how to setup proxy access in GroupWise.

The helpdesk team then log the call in the normal way, and by the time an analyst talks to them, they will hopefully have sorted out the problem themselves. Quick call resolution for your analyst and he can move onto something else, and happy users.


Firstly setup your ZENworks, including the helpdesk policy. In the trouble ticket field of the helpdesk policy you then include an item called GroupWise - proxy access required.

Then go to the e-mail account that was specified in the policy as being the e-mail address that will receive the help desk requests. Set up a rule for that e-mail account that specifies that any e-mail received with a subject line that matches "GroupWise - proxy access required" will produce a reply to the sender. This reply should then explain how to set up proxy access.

Obviously what you need to do is create a trouble ticket for each item you want an automatic response for and then create a corresponding rule in the helpdesk e-mail account that replies to any e-mail with a subject that EXACTLY MATCHES the description in the trouble ticket.

Hope this will prove of use to some of you guys out there.

If you have any questions you may contact Colin at

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