There is big business in wrangling company communications. From video conferencing to instant messaging clients, companies are finding more ways for their employees to transfer information and communicate. So much so, that businesses are being built around just the communication aspects of the enterprise. However, for some companies, the old-fashioned means of communication like IM and email have been enough to suffice. Some businesses rely on it so much that it becomes less of the densely impacted information blast, and more of long form texting.
Today, Brian Shiers, senior product marketing manager, and Kumar Venkateswar, senior program manager on the Exchange team, are offering some more details on an email tool to help organize massive email noise. Earlier this year we reported on a Microsoft Exchange tool called Clutter. Clutter is a machine-learning application of sorts that lives in Office 365. Clutter is intended to be a tool that learns from a user’s email behavior and then sorts emails accordingly. Last fall when Clutter first introduced, it was offered as an off-by-default option. Brian and Kumar are reporting today, since Clutters introduction, the sorting tool has been “moving over one million emails per day and saves users 82 minutes per month on average.”
Encouraged by those numbers, Brain and Kumar are reporting that starting in June of this year, Clutter will be on by default. Along with the on-by-default standard, Clutter is also receiving some new administrative controls as well improvements in the interactions between emails and users. In June, administrators will be able to turn on or off Clutter for users using two PowerShell cmdlets scripts. Administrators will also be able to configure a reply-to address for Clutter notifications, this is in addition to the existing options of changing the sender’s name and message logos. As far as improving the user experience, Brian and Kumar are reporting that there will be changes to the existing inbox notifications. Inbox notifications are now being replaced with alerts and summary notifications that are sent when Clutter is at work. The new alerts are sent when emails are moved to Clutter for the firs time. In an effort to reduce the notification noise, users will receive a maximum of one alert per day. Users will receive summary notifications once per week as well.
Included in today’s announcement, Brian and Kumar also took the time to address some frequently asked questions regarding Clutter in a Q&A style response.
Q. When will Clutter be turned on by default for my tenant?
A. Tenants in the First Release program will begin being on by default on June 1st. Standard release tenants will begin being on by default on June 15th.
Q. Will new mailboxes created after Clutter is auto-enabled have Clutter on by default?
A. Yes, new mailboxes will have Clutter on by default. Administrators can turn Clutter off using the PowerShell cmdlet after the mailbox is created.
Q. What happens to existing mailboxes after Clutter is on by default?
A. Users who have already turned Clutter on will continue to have Clutter on and will receive the new notifications. Users who have not turned Clutter on will have it turned on automatically. Users who have initially turned on Clutter and later turned it off will continue to have Clutter turned off. And finally, users whose admins have turned Clutter off on their behalf will continue to have Clutter turned off.
Q. Can a user turn off the use of Clutter?
A. Yes. Users remain in control and can elect to disable the Clutter feature when they choose, through the options page in Outlook on the web, Outlook 2016 Preview, or the link at the bottom of each notification.
Q. How frequently will users receive notifications from Clutter?
A. Users will receive one summary notification per week and up to one message per day when new message types are moved to Clutter, i.e. the first time a message from given distribution list is moved.
Q. Why are the notifications delivered to my inbox?
A. The notifications are delivered to your inbox to ensure you can stay informed across the range clients you might use, including Outlook desktop and mobile email clients.
Q. Can a user or administrator opt-out of the Clutter notification messages?
A. These notifications are an important part of the Clutter feature, because they keep users informed about which messages are being moved to Clutter. No option to deactivate them exists at this time.
If you have access to Clutter, give it try and let us know about your experience.