Already scheduled an appointment and now you want to modify it? Introducing GroupWise Ascot!
We first introduced the concept of modifying an appointment in GroupWise 8. Using your Windows Client in GroupWise 8 today, you can modify the recipients of an appointment you have scheduled ‘after’ it has already been sent. You simply right-click on the appointment in your calendar and choose ‘Modify Recipients’.
This functionality, which exists today in the GroupWise 8 Windows Client, allows you to add or remove attendees for an existing appointment without having to resend, retract or even notify the other attendees.
The most common use case for this functionality is the fact that you have scheduled an appointment for your team or organization and someone either is added to the team or leaves the team before the appointment actually occurs. Especially true with recurring appointments. (ie. weekly staff meetings).
Now, with GroupWise Ascot, you can modify essentially every aspect of an appointment. Attendees, subject, message body, attachments, place, date/time, etc.
Each modification to an existing appointment has a few things to consider.
First of all….Appointment modifications can only be done by the ‘Organizer’ or ‘Sender’. Recipients of an appointment can NOT modify the original appointment in any way. They can delegate/forward the appointment to add attendees, but that is something they could always do.
Not all modifications are treated the same. There are some appointment modifications that will cause the appointment to have to be ‘re-accepted’ by all of the recipients. If you modify the place, date or time, then the modification will cause the appointment to ‘re-appear’ in the recipients in-box and they will have to re-accept or decline the appointment as necessary.
However, if you simply modify the attendee list, add an attachment, change the subject or modify the body of the appointment, no ‘re-accept’ will be required by the attendees. This allows you to do several things with an appointment. For example, you can schedule an appointment and add the agenda later. You can schedule an appointment and update the subject after the fact.
Note: If you ‘add’ new attendees, those new attendees will be required to ‘accept/decline’ the appointment. If you remove an attendee, they will be notified that the appointment has been deleted.
All modifications will cause some sort of ‘notification’ to happen on the already existing appointment. It will for sure be marked ‘unread’ again in the Calendar. It may also receive some sort of ‘badge’ or other indicator that the appointment has changed. We are still working on the design of how best to notify recipients of a change and how to tell them what exactly has changed.
How to access
We are still working out a few of the details, but we think we will completely remove the Modify… option, that exists in GroupWise 8, from the menu. Instead we propose to replace the functionality under ‘Resend’, with this Modify functionality. What this means is that when you select 'Resend', you will get this new 'Modify' functionality.
Once the appointment dialog is open you are able to modify everything about the appointment you want to and then on the tool bar we will have a new Send button. The text on this button will be "Send As" – and there will be an arrow next to it.
- If you select ‘Send as New’ then we will invoke the new Modify Appointment explained in this blog.
- If you select ‘Send as Copy’ then we allow the user to send this one as a copy of the old one. In this case, we will not retract the old appointment and we make recipients re-accept this new appointment. This allows you to use an existing appointment as a ‘template’ for other new appointments.
I’m sure there are several questions and use-cases that you might want to discuss. I think they are probably best handled as they are presented in this forum. So tell us how you will use this feature and let’s make sure that the final implementation meets your needs.
Allowing for full appointment modification has been a request for some time and with GroupWise Ascot you will now be able to do just that. This is another great reason to update to the very latest versions of GroupWise as they are delivered and made available.
Anticipating our users who like to micro-manage, would it be possible to perhaps add a user client option to force all resent/modified appointments to be re-accepted? Or perhaps to make the appointment unread. I can foresee users who don't like the idea of appointments on the calendars being changed without their knowledge. It could lead to someone being unprepared for an appointment.
This is a interesting suggestion and one we also considered. Here is our dilemma...
More options make the product more flexible - good thing! More options also make the product more complex, difficult to learn and 'clumsy'. We hear continued arguments on both sides of this issue. We are trying to move to 'less' options and better up-front design to get the 'best' experience in the first place without a lot of configuration. As you can imagine - this can be a challenge.
In addition to a simple option, that option must then be replicated to every client and translated into every language we support and documentation added/translated in order to explain what the option does and how to set it. Worse - then administrators want us to add it to ConsoleOne so they can set/control it. Now even more complex, more localization and additional documentation and training.
Most end-users want simplicity...think iPods....hardly any settings, simple interface and no documentation. Also - no training required.
So....here is what we do plan to do. No matter modifications the originator makes, the item will be marked 'unread' again for all users - at least. We are also looking at ways to more obviously indicate a change to the item. Some sort of 'badge' on the item when you look at the calendar or when you open the item again.
We will work out the final details through beta and customer input. We will try to avoid - if possible - adding a setting.
I'm in the camp of keeping it simple for the users. One thing that has plagued us is changing a time or date on an appointment. Our blackberry and droid users see "Meeting Cancelled..." and then another email inviting them to accept the new meeting. Because of the smaller screens they don't see the entire subject and it's very confusing for them. If you're going to reset the appointment so they need to accept it could you do it all in one email? If not, could you at least change that notification email to something a little less misleading, like "Meeting Modified...."?