Businesses commonly set up a central email account whereby a number of staff have access and manage the account. This is most used suchin sales or technical support teams. The central email established are usually sales@ or support@. Multiple users, multiple access managing queries and workflow. Another scenario is where personal assistants are delegated access to deal with their boss’s correspondence.
Whilst this may work well in some business, a major issue for consideration is tracking of correspondence and security. With a communal email account, it can be hard to track work flow and/or assign responsibility for correspondence. In the case where staff leave, there can be serious issues of security particularly where the staff continues to have access to the account. It is a huge vulnerability in the setup if the usernames and passwords are not changed.
A better, more secure solution is to use a system where the central account remains with the primary user with the option to delegate access to third parties. This functionality is available with the Google Apps Gmail platform.
The primary user of the account can enable or disable access to their account at any time. The beauty is that while the delegated user can access the correspondence, control of the account remains with the primary user.
How does it work? The primary user grants a third party access to his or her correspondence without providing direct access to the account through usernames or passwords. The delegated user accesses the correspondence and replies on behalf of the primary user (or as the primary user) depending on how you wish the recipient to view the email.
For example, below, Cassy (a delegated user) has sent an email to Benito on behalf of Murthy (the primary). When Benito responds to the email, it is directly received by Murthy and Cassy can view and access this correspondence.
Here are the instructions to set this up:
- Click the gear in the top right.
- Select Settings.
- Select the Accounts and Import tab.
- Under ‘Grant access to your account,’ click the Add another account link.
- Enter the email address of the person you’d like to access your account and click Next Step. Remember you can only enter a Google Mail address.
- You’ll see a confirmation message. Click Send email to grant access if you’re sure.
- The delegate will receive a verification email explaining that you’ve granted access to them.
- After the delegate confirms this request, it may take up to 30 minutes for the verification process to be completed. To see if the delegate has confirmed access to your account, look at the Accounts and Import tab in Settings
Gmail can also be setup so that a recipient receives the email as if it has come directly from the primary user even though it is sent by a delegated user. It is important to also ensure the signature is that of the primary user and not the delegated user. This can be setup in Gmail as follows upon your manager’s approval Here is how to set this up.
If you use Microsoft Outlook with Google Apps, follow the instructions as the above and then simply add the primary email account into outlook. This is done by:
- Click Start
- All programs
- Google Apps Sync
- Add account for delegation
- Enter the person’s email account you want delegated access to open Outlook and wait for it to sync up.
You will then see the delegated inbox and be able to send emails as the manager.
Email delegation using Gmail or Outlook will help keep your business data secure. For additional security, it is highly recommended you implement the 2-step authentication process which will further protect your login access. The setup is so that not only will the direct password to your email be required but an additional code, either generated from an App on your phone, sms message sent to you, or a phone call is provide to you each time you login. For more on 2-step authentication read this article.
If you dont have the option to setup email delegation in Gmail then its likely that you dont have this feature enabled for your domain. Here are instructions to enable or disable email delegation for your Google Apps users.
- login to admin.google.com with a Google Apps account with administrator privileges
- Click on Apps
- Google Apps
- Advanced Settings
- under End User Settings, tick Mail Delegation
If you need any help with setting up email delegation, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 9999 3106.