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Attachment Size Does Matter

Increasing maximum size of email attachments allowed

Based on your feedback in the Idea Lab, we recently increased the size of attachments allowed for email messages on your hosted POP accounts. Community member Baxter made a comment that we should make a big deal out of this change, and we agree! So I'll tell you more about how email file attachments used to work, how we improved it, and how you can take advantage of this change to improve your customer service.

History Lesson:  You could only receive incoming email file attachments less than 7MB. So 1999.

Previously, we limited the size of email attachments to 7MB per email message to a hosted POP account at the server level. This meant if a customer submitted an email/incident with an attachment, then one of the following scenarios resulted, depending on attachment size:

  • 7MB or less:  Email with attachment submitted correctly. Agent solves issue. Customer is happy. All is good in the world. 

  • Bigger than 7MB:  Not so simple; not so good. 

    • Customer experience:  Email is submitted without the file attachment and customer should have received a response that their attachment exceeded message size limitations. But based on Community feedback, it sounds like the return message wasn't consistently happening. Chalk it up, perhaps, to random excuse that my dog ate your email!

    • Agent experience:  Depending on your version and whether or not you were using Visual Email*, your agents would have differing levels of visibility:

      1. Before May 2015, with Visual Email enabled, agents never knew file attachments were discarded, unless the customer referenced the attachment in the text of their incident. This was fixed in the May 2015 release by adding text to the thread to indicate the file was discarded due to size.

      2. On the off chance you started on an old enough version, and never enabled Visual Email, you were always seeing this message about the discarded file - lucky you! At least you had an opportunity to ask for the file through an alternate method, if needed. Still not the greatest experience!Message in incident thread about how an attachment was discarded because it exceeded maximum attachment size

    • Admin experience:How many of you had to listen to customer complaints that this information was missing?
      Did you create an alternate "back alley" plan to direct the customers to re-send files to an alternate location (e.g. use a service like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.)? Did you have to train your agents on this alternate plan? Or tell them to troubleshoot and solve the issue without the attachment? Let's reconcile with reality! Customers with large files would have a fractured experience from the beginning. Your agents bore the burden of suggesting this alternate solution. Not to mention, the attachment wasn't tracked in the system unless manually uploaded by the agent. Nightmare!

*Visual email was released in 2011. New sites after release had this by default. Existing customers had to migrate their incident workspaces to use the new Rich Text editor option.

Driving Change: *You* helped build the business case in the Idea Lab.

As a result, you (our customers) submitted ideas to the Idea Lab, requesting the size limitation on email attachments be increased.

When I joined the PM team in the fall of 2013, I started reviewing ideas in the Idea Lab relating to email. Community member Ralph Sunley commented on this idea, which initially brought the issue to my attention. I started petitioning our operations team, using this idea and each new comment to raise the flag internally that the size limitations were unacceptable, and that we needed to urgently address the problem. Some of your comments (kudos to William McMahon and Wouter Willemse) really helped me build a compelling business case, reminding us of the obvious:  file sizes had grown and other email services had adjusted their file size management!

All of these thoughts helped our case, too. The Community (aka you!) made my job easier...thank you for helping make this change possible!

Moving Toward the Future:  You can increase the size of mail file attachments up to 25MB.

We changed the mail server settings to set a new limit (25MB) on the size of attachments sent/received through email. This is consistent with other email providers (e.g. Gmail allows 25MB email attachment before offering storage on Google Drive) and surpasses what many of our competitors are doing. winkNow we can manage email file attachments that are comparable to today's standards, instead of being comparable to yesteryear. We all want to *party* like it's 1999, not send email like it's 1999!

This size limitation was adjusted on our mail servers, so any customer on any version with a hosted mailbox/POP account can take advantage of this enhancement. No upgrade needed! But keep reading...

Your Call to Action!

When any mailbox is added, the default Max Attachment Size for incoming messages is set to 5000000 bytes (5MB), and this hasn't changed. In order to receive messages with larger attachments, you'll need to adjust your mailbox configuration to set the max file size as desired (up to 25000000 bytes (25MB)). You need to make this change for each mailbox where you wish to allow larger files.

Edit your mailbox to change the maximum size of attachments allowed via incoming mail

CAUTION:  Please consider your business, use cases, and customers' email clients before adjusting to this to a large value. Some email clients or company domains may impose limits on file sizes for incoming or outgoing email, and these limits may not match your settings. Also, large files consume more storage on the file server, which can result in increased license fees.

In summary, if you should choose to accept this mission, and modify your mailboxes to allow for larger files, then your messages will no longer self-destruct! So go forth! Update your mailboxes! Email those hefty attachments!

If you've already implemented this change, leave a comment and let us know how it's working for you. 

Enjoy!  #OSVCforTheWin  #IdeasRock

~Keri

Join the discussion

Comments ( 6 )
  • Baxter Thursday, March 31, 2016

    This change has been very gratefully received within our business. As a publisher,
    our internal customers often want to talk to us via email about large PDFs or image
    files. The attachment size limitation led to our CS staff needing to closely monitor
    inbound emails both in Outlook and Service Cloud, just in case we needed to access the original email to get hold of
    its attachment. We're pleased that this "back alley" plan is no longer needed!

  • Barrilito van Dijk Friday, April 1, 2016

    Hi Keri,

    Good to read that the IdeaLab builds up a business case, we have had many doubts about
    it. So, that is good to hear. And I think the blog is a good way to show where the
    ideas came from.

    Thanks.

    Barrilito

  • eleep Friday, April 1, 2016
    Baxter said:

    This change has been very gratefully received within our business. As a publisher,
    our internal customers often want to talk to us via email about large PDFs or image
    files. The attachment size limitation led to our CS staff needing to closely monitor
    inbound emails both in Outlook and Service Cloud, just in case we needed to access the original email to get hold of
    its attachment. We're pleased that this "back alley" plan is no longer needed!

    Thanks for sharing how this change has helped simplify your process and your team's
    lives, Baxter! Great to hear how these changes come to life in different organizations.smiley

  • eleep Friday, April 1, 2016
    Barrilito said:

    Hi Keri,

    Good to read that the IdeaLab builds up a business case, we have had many doubts about
    it. So, that is good to hear. And I think the blog is a good way to show where the
    ideas came from.

    Thanks.

    Barrilito

    View original

    Thanks Barrilito! We were excited to feature this product change in part because it
    came about directly based on your feedback and some very thoughtful comments in the
    Idea Lab. We are planning to have PM's contribute these types of guest blog posts,
    so for everyone who enjoyed this blog post, make sure to subscribe to new blog posts!

    Thanks,

    Erica, Community Manager

  • Rodney Davis Wednesday, February 15, 2017

    I was wondering if anyone here has integrated a large file sharing solution with Oracle
    RightNow? Our tech support team needs to receive files almost up to 1GB and it would
    be great to receive it in RightNow instead of another app. Currently we know that
    a solution called Thru can do this but we wanted to know if anyone else has experience with integrating
    with Oracle in this way. Thanks!

  • Danette Beal Wednesday, February 15, 2017

    HI Rodney,

    Thanks for your question! It may be worth submitting this as a new post so our Community
    can chime in. If you need help on how to get started, check out the following links!

    How to Get Started

    How to Ask a Good Question

    Thanks!

    Danette, Community Manager

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