What is a traceable email address

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  1. 1. Forward the email to a person via alias
  2. 2. Distribution of the e-mail to a mailing list (distribution list)
  3. 3. Delivery of the e-mail to a group mailbox
  4. 4. Processing of the e-mail via a trouble ticket system

At Chemnitz University of Technology, e-mail addresses are generally personal, i.e. under[email protected]
you can reach exactly one person who needs their personal user ID and password to read the e-mail.

Often, however, there is also the desire to assign e-mail addresses for institutions (faculties, professorships, projects) or functions (dean, responsible persons, information).

  • This address should be independent of person.
  • The e-mail should be able to be edited by specific people.
  • This group of people can change (e.g. in the case of substitution), whereby the email address remains the same.
For example, the (imaginary) professorship "Bitmagie" of the Faculty of Computer Science should be accessible via:
This mail should normally be processed by the secretary, or by a colleague in the case of substitution. Of course, the professor would also like to have access to the mailbox.

We offer the following options for delivering an email to a general, person-independent address:

1. Forward the email to a person via Alias

An incoming email will to a personal mailbox delivered.
In case of substitution, the mail administrator must be informed, who will change the forwarding.

Problem: The e-mail can only be read by one person, the e-mail ends up in their personal mailbox.
The personal password must not be passed on to anyone - this would violate the URZ Terms of Use!
By setting access rights, you can allow other people to access your personal mailbox - but they will then see all e-mails there.

2. Distribute the email to a Mailing list (Distributor)

Incoming email will be to multiple recipients distributed in their personal mailboxes.
In case of substitution, the administrator of the mailing list must change the members.

Problem: The processing status of the email is not visible. then several people answer the e-mail (or rely on the other). This could be regulated by organizational measures: Define responsibilities, if an email is answered, a copy should be sent to the distribution list.

3. Delivery of the email in a Group mailbox

Incoming email will to a group mailbox that can be accessed by several people (with their personal passwords).

  • The access rights can be assigned (and changed) in a differentiated manner (e.g. "read only" or "read + write").
  • The personal emails are not mixed up with the emails in the group mailbox.
  • The processing status (read, answered) can be viewed.
  • In case of substitution, the administrator of the group mailbox must give the substitute the appropriate rights.

Depending on whether you and the participants have their mailboxes on the normal mail server or in Exchange, you should also have the group mailbox created there. The following is the description for a group mailbox in the normal Cyrus mail server:

Requirement: It has to be IMAP-capable mail program can be used, e.g. Thunderbird, Outlook, or IMP-Webmail. Mail programs that are set to the older POP protocol cannot use this variant.

After setting up the group mailbox, it appears in the folder overview. If this is not the case, then subscribe to the group mailbox: Thunderbird: File → Subscribe: There in the hierarchy group Click on the folder.

You then have to monitor another mailbox in addition to your personal mailbox. For better organization, you can create additional sub-folders (e.g. "Done") in the group mailbox, in which certain mails are then stored. However, this requires a certain discipline on the part of all editors. You can see this in the Thunderbird e-mail program and in webmail as shown on the right.

So that sent e-mails also have the sender address of this group mailbox, you have to create an additional identity in the e-mail program. In webmail this is done via the “cogwheel symbol” → User settings → Webmail → Personal details, in Thunderbird via the menu Settings → Account settings: there, under “Other identities”, create the functional email address.

A Assign a group mailbox You as an employee in identity management. There you can find Email a tabGroup mailboxes. click on Create a new group mailbox and enter the desired e-mail address of the group mailbox (lower case letters and minus signs are allowed) as well as the duration (you will be contacted in advance to extend the term). After the URZ has created it, you can add other persons responsible for the case of substitution.

The Setting the access rights is done by the administrator of the group mailbox via webmail. Right-click in the folder overview on the left under “Shared” on the group mailbox, select “Edit ACL” and assign permissions for users. Alternatively via Settings → Webmail → Shared Folders - select the relevant folder under "Shared" at the bottom left.

See also: Exchange group mailboxes

4. Processing the email via a Trouble ticket system

If there are several processors for inquiries to one e-mail address, a group mailbox can quickly become confusing. Then the use of a web-based order system is recommended - a so-called trouble ticket system, which offers significantly more functions than a mail program for order processing, but also requires a certain amount of training. The criteria for using such a trouble ticket system are:

  • The e-mails trigger orders or are inquiries about services that should be answered by several processors in a short, defined time.
  • The processes triggered by the e-mails must be processed by several employees one after the other (workflow).
  • The processing of orders or inquiries should be traceable and documented. The responsibility for an order always has exactly one processor at a time.
  • In the event of delays, the system should react appropriately, e.g. if the processor is sick
  • Telephone inquiries should also be recorded and clearly documented as a process.

As a service facility for the TU, the URZ has been using the Open Trouble Ticket System OTRS for inquiries and orders from its users. All e-mails that are sent to our helpdesk address end up here. The user immediately receives an answer with a process number, the processors in the URZ answer the inquiries or distribute them to the responsible employees. Queries are automatically assigned to the process. For example, all orders, inquiries and fault reports for VoIP services are processed via OTRS. The orders can also be sent by the user via a web form.

This is how an engineer sees his tasks in a web browser:

In 2008 over 9000 inquiries and orders were answered with the help of OTRS. The trouble ticket system is used by other areas in addition to the URZ. If you would like to use or get to know the system for processing cases, please contact us. Send an email to - and your request will be processed by us via OTRS.