In business, email is king. But managing emails is tedious, mainly because the messages are organized as individual silos within your inbox.
We aim to tackle the email problem by turning them into a real company asset where information becomes global, using the latest capabilities offered by Office 365.
What it does
Keluro is the first tool that helps you contextualize your inbox. By using advanced machine learning algorithms, Keluro helps you decide which emails are related to which topic (or channels) and which you should manage first.
Keluro is also a central platform to share important emails amongst teams and to visualize at a glance all important information included in each email. The information is organized by channels to easily determine which topic is related to which email.
Additionally, Keluro works as an intelligent archive, keeping track of important conversations, helping with the onboarding of new team members and avoiding the loss of important when someone changes job.
How we built it
On the tech side, Keluro is actually made of several single page applications. Among them being the Outlook add-in and the full application (available directly at app.keluro.com and previously known as the email library). We developed these client apps using the popular Angular.js 1 framework and typescript as a development language and system.js to manage module dependencies. The graphic user interface is based on the open source Office Ui Fabric.
The back-end server services are written in C# with asp.net Web Api 2. These APIs are secured with a code authorization flow (multi-tenant openidconnect protocol) based on Azure AD v2.
For easy in and out scalability, the app is hosted on Azure Web App. We use intensively the document oriented database DocumentDB and Azure Blobs. We use also an SQL Azure database to manage the tenants, channels, tokens etc.
Our server side code perform web requests using both the Microsoft Graph Api and Outlook REST Api.
Finally, we overcome add-ins authentication problem with a technique inspired from this blog post. We released an opensource project to share our experience regarding authentication problems with Outlook Web add-ins.
Challenges we ran into
The main challenge was determining the best way to deal with emails. It is not easy to rethink the daily interaction we have with our business emails -- What's the best way to deal with our mailbox to highlight exactly the information we are looking for?
Of course, we also had to make some difficult decisions and deal with several technical challenges. Should we delete an email when initially deleted from its original inbox or keep it as an archive? How do we share emails with people outside the organization? How do we handle the authentication process? Hundreds of questions came into light, and defining the solutions while keeping intact the relevance and importance of email, was no easy feat.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Overall, we are very proud to tackle the email collaboration problem. We have successfully reassessed how people use email, which information they want to see when they open their inboxes... and essentially, reinvent it all. Releasing the information from individual inboxes to a real company asset offers now lots of opportunities to go further and completely reinvent the way teams are sharing information within a company.
What's next for Keluro
We want to move our product forward to while adding more value to our customers. In order to achieve this, we need to:
- Improve our suggestion algorithm, allowing people to share pertinent information with their team seamlessly, without having to spend hours scanning their inboxes.
- Enhance visualization by highlighting and pinning the important attachments to a channel or customize the view so each user can have a different view of the same channel with the important conversations you need to know about.
We are impatient to get more feedback from you to improve the app!
Try it out. Here's how
To use Keluro directly from Outlook, install the add-in.