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Starting A 1-To-1 Instant Messaging Conversation

This article describes how-to use the Instant Messaging service at Skyway Networks. Similar to SMS texting from a cell phone, Instant Messaging provides a means to have quick, informal online chats with a colleague in your organization from your computer, phone, or tablet. But, unlike an SMS text message sent from a cell phone, Instant Messaging conversations are encrypted, so they remain private and secure.

What You Will Need

For clarity, an email account enabled with Zimbra Connect Pro is not required for either party in the Instant Messaging Conversation.

Getting Started With Sending Messages From Your Computer

Step 1.) Login to your email account at: https://emailhosting.cloud.

Step 2.) Click on the "Connect" tab.

Selecting the Zimbra Connect tab

Step 3.) Click on the "New" button, then in the menu that appears, click on "New conversation".

Selecting the New Conversation menu option.

Step 4.) You will be prompted to enter an email address of the person to which you would like to send an Instant Message. The address entered must be a colleague within your organization. For example, if your email address is michelle@example.com, the address entered must also end in @example.com. As you type, a pop-up will appear with a list of possible recipients. From this list, click on the name of the desired recipient.

Entering the email address of the person you wish to send an Instant Message to in Zimbra.

Step 5.) If you have never sent the recipient a message in the past, a new Instant Messaging conversation will now start. Or, if you have previously sent a message to the recipient, the prior conversation will resume, showing the history of the earlier conversation. Messages can be sent simply by typing in the highlighted area in the screen shot below and pressing enter. Clicking on the smiley icon enables selecting an Emoji from a large variety of options which can then be inserted in to your message.

Appearing next to each message in the conversation you send, you will see either 1 or 2 check marks. One check mark indicates your message was sent to the recipient, but has not been read yet. Two check marks indicates the message has been read by the recipient. Additionally, the person you are conversing with will appear in the column directly to the left of the Instant Messaging conversation, along with an icon indicating if they are online, or the date they last logged in.

A screen shot illustrating an Instant Messaging conversation.

Tip # 1.) If at least one partipant in the Instant Messaging conversation has the Zimbra Connect Pro service enabled for their account, a camera icon will appear near the top of the conversation for the partipant with Zimbra Connect Pro enabled, as highlighted in the screen shot below. Clicking this icon will result in the other party of the conversation seeing a prompt asking if they want to accept your video call, even if they do not have the Zimbra Connect Pro service enabled for their email account. If the other party accepts by clicking the "Answer" button, then both parties in the conversation will start a video call. Refer to the Starting A Video Call how-to article for details on the controls available for a video call.

A screen shot illustrating how to start a video call from within an Instant Messaging conversation.
A screen shot illustrating a prompt to accept or decline a video call.

Tip # 2.) After clicking on the "Connect" tab (refer to step 2 above), in the lower left corner of your screen, click on "Connect Settings". You will see a window similar to the screen shot below. Clicking on the area highlighted in the screen shot will enable you to add a photo or image for yourself that others will see for both Instant Messaging conversations and video calls. You can also set your preferences for how incoming messages appear.

A screen shot illustrating the available settings for Instant Messaging.
Getting Started With Sending Messages From Your Phone Or Tablet

Step 1.) On your Android or Apple device, install the Zextras Team app (refer to the "What You Will Need" section at the top of this page).

Step 2.) Open the Team app on your device. You will be prompted to enter these settings, followed by tapping the "Done" button:

A screen shot of the login page for the Zextras Team app.

Step 3.) In the bottom right corner of the Team app, tap on the red + sign. A menu similar to the screen shot below will appear. Tap on the highlighted icon to start a "Single conversation" (1-to-1 Instant Messaging conversation).

A screen shot illustrating how to start a 1-to-1 Instant Messaging conversation in the Zextras Team app.

Step 4.) In the "Search buddies..." field, enter an email address of the person to which you would like to send an Instant Message. The address entered must be a colleague within your organization. For example, if your email address is michelle@example.com, the address entered must also end in @example.com. As you type, a pop-up will appear with a list of possible recipients. From this list, tap on the name of the desired recipient.

A screen shot illustrating how to add an attendee for a 1-to-1 Instant Messaging conversation in the Zextras Team app.

Step 5.) If you have never sent the recipient a message in the past, a new Instant Messaging conversation will now start. Or, if you have previously sent a message to the recipient, the prior conversation will resume, showing the history of the earlier conversation. Messages can be sent simply by typing in the "Message" area at the bottom of the screen, then tapping the arrow icon, as highlighted in the screen shot below.

Appearing next to each message in the conversation you send, you will see either 1 or 2 check marks. One check mark indicates your message was sent to the recipient, but has not been read yet. Two check marks indicates the message has been read by the recipient. Additionally, the person you are conversing with will appear at the top of your screen, along with an indicator if they are online, or the date they last logged in.

Tapping the circular "i" information icon in the top right corner of your screen will display additional details about the person you are conversing with, along with a setting that you can toggle to be notified of new Instant Messages that arrive. If you have the Zimbra Connect Pro service enabled for your account, a camera icon will appear at the top of the screen, as highlighted in the screen shot below. Tapping this camera icon will result in the other party of the conversation seeing a prompt asking if they want to accept your video call, even if they do not have the Zimbra Connect Pro service enabled for their email account. If the other party accepts, then both parties in the conversation will start a video call. Refer to the Starting A Video Call how-to article for details on the controls available for a video call.

A screen shot illustrating how to send an Instant Message in the Zextras Team app.