Contacting Engage by email
A common problem exists with Office 365 and email
Your contact is vital to us. But, if you haven’t heard from us promptly, it’s highly likely we have’nt seen your email.
Why? The company has recently changed email providers and now uses Office 365.
Although it’s a great service, there have been several reports and occurrences of customers having difficulty in delivering e-mail to our addresses. Hence, we thought we’d post an explanation of the cause.
This may also help if you use 365 in your school.
The cause is 365’s increased security.
Non-receipt of email apparently happens due to a mismatch of security protocols from the originating mail server (the one that does the sending) and the Office 365 mail servers (the ones which does the receiving). It appears that this is the most likely cause of the problem.
Why? To send to any Office 365 hosted email address, the originating mail server needs to be able to encrypt the connection with something known as Transport Layer Security (TLS). This increases the security and integrity of the delivery. If the sending server is not capable of utilising TLS, or configured not to use TLS, Office 365 will reject the connection and the e-mail will not be delivered.
This affects every organisation which uses 365 for their emails.
Unfortunately, this will be entirely invisible to the intended recipient, and in our company’s case, the Engage team. In other words, we won’t know you have been trying to contact us.
The source of the problem
We have found that most of the occurrences of this happening have been when email is sent either from old versions of mail servers or from domains which, for whatever reason, have been flagged as associated with spam.
This can happen not just because of anything your school does, but if your school’s domain, or the domain which your personal email uses, has been targeted by a third party and your website or other systems have somehow been exploited to bounce spam mail.
We’ve discussed this with Microsoft and been told that nothing can be done to work around the TLS requirement on a platform-wide basis. In other words, there’s no fix we can apply to inbound mail. Given the sensitivity of the work that we do, you’ll understand we don’t want to switch to something with a lesser security level.
We can however create exceptions on our mail server for specific email addresses that enable them to bypass the need for TLS thereby enabling successful e-mail delivery.
Knowing we need to do that for you of course depends on you being able to contact us in the first place!
How to contact us
If you suspect we have not seen or responded to an email you have sent to an Engage team member, or to our UK HQ, there are three ways to contact us:
- Raising your request (if you are a customer with licensed software) within the Support Centre, where everything is tracked and monitored and you can expect responses according to our service level agreement (SLA).
- Calling our Johannesburg office (010 500 6164)
- Using the contact form at the foot of every page of this website.
Don’t forget you can also call our Johannesburg Engage office (010 500 6164) – we’re here to help.
As an aside, one of our sister companies (du Pré Ltd) is an education ICT specialist with great experience in this area.