USO Mail list services

New for 2011: “USO-Mail List” from Atomwide offers enhancements to LGfL 2.0 StaffMail & LondonMail/SafeMail services now, with other regions to follow.

In response to the emerging need for ever-more sophisticated mailing list functionality in the email services supported by Atomwide, enhancements have now been developed that will initially offer schools in London the following benefits:

1. In Microsoft Exchange-based systems integrated with Unified Sign On, and hence specifically LGfL StaffMail, distribution lists can now appear in the main address book for each school rather than in the Public Folders. This makes them easier to find, and hence much easier to use. When enabled for the school, the mailing list service uses USO profile data to create the most frequently requested distribution lists. These include a list for all students, one for all staff, one for each year group and one for each class group (assuming in all cases that the school is exporting the relevant information from its MIS via USO-AutoUpdate).  In addition, it remains possible for individual users to create a personal, manually-maintained distribution list that still benefits from the other features listed below.

2. The list of users within a distribution group is dynamically updated from the USO database at the time an email is sent. This will help ensure there are no out-of-date addresses in the list and, therefore, few bounced or incorrectly addressed emails. This relies on each school keeping its USO user data up-to-date, which is typically achieved by exporting that data regularly from the school’s MIS into USO using USO-AutoUpdate.  In exceptional circumstances, manual account updates in USO may still be appropriate, and the distribution lists will respond to those updates accordingly.  As already stated, manually-maintained lists will not be updated.

3. Distribution lists containing more than 100 recipients (e.g. year groups) can now be used successfully to send an email to all recipients. This effectively removes the restriction that previously existed whereby only the first 100 recipients could be sent an email, and so particularly benefits LAs and schools using USO with StaffMail, LondonMail, SafeMail and LA SurgeMail systems.

4. To protect the individual recipients’ identities, when a distribution group is selected in the “To” field of an email, all recipients will see just the distribution list name when the email is received. The list cannot be expanded to reveal the names and email addresses of other individual recipients.

5. In order to limit access to distribution lists, those users wishing to send an email to a distribution group must have a profile option called “Distribution list poster” added to their USO account profile. This profile option can be added to a user’s account by a Nominated Contact in the school, or an LA Power or Super User.

Schools wishing to use the service, which is initially released for use by schools using LGfL StaffMail, are invited to raise a support case with the Atomwide LGfL Service Desk to request it to be enabled.

Further developments, including support for other regions’ mail services, and the ability to create custom automated mailing lists from USO data (i.e. subject groups, staff role, etc.), are planned for the future.

3 thoughts on “USO Mail list services

  1. The implication of using USO updater to keep the list up to date is that what is on SIMS will override what is on USO (by default, this is the SatffMail for Staff and London Mail for pupils.

    Is that right?

    Is there any way that the school can identify which profiles are used in generating (there is no help page from the one where it says ‘set up distribution lists’ so it is a step in the dark for trying it out.)

    A bit of longer term thinking. When the USO upadter is ready to pass data to Fronter, will it merge the email address stored / updated in USO to pass that on to Fronter as part of the ceration/update process?

  2. 1. USO-AutoUpdate ensures that the selection of USO accounts included in each distribution list is up-to-date, but USO-AutoUpdate does not currently overwrite email addresses that are held in the USO database with values that are held in MIS databases. In other words, email addresses in MIS databases do not directly influence distribution list members or posters.

    The new distribution list functionality does, however, blend together relevant email addresses from USO (where users can generally set their own preferred values) and StaffMail (where mail domain administrators set up aliases for users) when compiling lists of people who are members of, or posters to, a list. It is also worth pointing out that a script is available which can make active StaffMail ‘From’ addresses into default USO addresses each night. If you would like this script to be enabled for Harrow LA, please let us know.

    2. At the moment, a default set of distribution lists is generated when the functionality is requested. These lists are: all Staff, all Pupils, one list for each Year Group and one list for each Class group (if Class data is being exported). In the future, Nominated Contacts will be able to create bespoke lists by selecting users with different USO profiles. This functionality is currently in development. In the meantime, a help page describing the functionality is now available in our online manual and can be found here – https://support.lgfl.org.uk/secure/guide/WebGuide/Help.html?lgfl_distlist.html

    3. This is technically possible but a decision regarding it has not yet been made.

  3. yh i really cant log into anythin at google it keeps goin at the lgfl. and wen i log on to lgfl it doesnt work

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