If you are not seeing the Alert icon (The Bell) in the SharePoint 2010 ribbon on lists or libraries, your friendly Server Guru/SharePoint Admin will need to tweak the set up. The underlying problem is that SharePoint needs to know where to find the SMTP server (your mail server) so it can generate emails.
In order to send email eg use the notification setting or alerts – you need to
- Set up SMTP
- In Central Admin – enter the information to tell SharePoint where the SMTP server is
This article covers the process for Step 2: “To configure outgoing email for a farm by using Central Administration”