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Microsoft Outlook Edition

Salesforce.com's Outlook Edition's User SettingsSalesForce.com has a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook called "Outlook Edition." I use it primarily to capture outbound emails to my Contacts, although in some cases I use it to record inbound emails from my Contacts too. I don’t use it for inbound emails most of the time because Outlook Edition doesn’t assign them to my Contacts automatically — no matter how much I beg and plead for it to do so!

Outlook Edition also lets me synchronize my SalesForce.com Contacts to an Outlook Contact folder, which is moderately useful if for no other reason than to backup my list of SalesForce.com Contacts to my local system in case SalesForce.com ever decided to run loose and fancy free with my data, godforbid! However, Outlook Edition does seem to get confused and start duplicating contacts in Outlook and/or deleting Contacts in SalesForce.com account if I edit or delete the contact records in Outlook, so I just point the synchronizer to a Salesforce.com-specific contact folder in Outlook and leave it alone. Or maybe I’m just doing something wrong, who knows!Confused Smiley

Of course they say Outlook Edition is also suppose to be able to synchronize Tasks and Calendars but since I currently don’t use SalesForce.com for that, I currently don’t have a clue about that functionality so I won’t be commenting on it.

Next, they also say you can work in Salesforce.com tabs directly from within Outlook. Big whoop! I’ve tried it; It’s more constraining than anything else. Just open up a browser window, ferchrissake!

There are, however, many other useful things you can’t do with Outlook Edition. But those tidbits will just have to be the subject of a future post. You can’t expect me to blow all my content on this one little post, now can you?

(P.S. Can you tell it was really late when I wrote this?)

4 Responses to “Microsoft Outlook Edition”

  • Steve responded:

    I leave Contact syncing off by default for all my users and customers partially for the confusing behavior you talk about. I think the behavior is logical, but not necessarily intuitive.

    Another reason I turn off Contact syncing is that there isn’t a good way to sync a limited set of contacts. You automatically sync Contacts that you own, or that are in an Account that you own. But in my Contact-centric Salesforce.com model, the Account doesn’t really mean much. So, I don’t get the Contacts I want, and it’s really hard to sync that core set of contacts that everyone wants to have.

    But the rest of the Outlook integration really kicks butt, and is one of the biggest productivity benefits the platform has.

  • Mike Schinkel responded:

    Steve,

    Many thanks for your great comments! Yeah, syncing is a strange bear in SF-OE, but using it was a SF-specific set of Outlook contacts works for me.

    But as for SF-OE being one of the biggest productivity benefits the platform has, I definitely see that w/o it it would be a nightmare trying to record all the activity history, but I almost see that as necessary, not sufficient. Who knows, maybe I’m too demanding? Friends and family certainly think so. :)

    Anywho, I do see that SF-OE has key missing features; one in particular, but that is the subject of a future blog post. So rather than let the cat out of the bag, I’ll just ask you to stay tuned.

    Lastly, are there productivity benefits you see that SF-OE offers besides recording outbound activity history that I am not recognizing?

    Thanks in advance, and again thanks for your prior comments.

  • Randy Morrison responded:

    I am having an issue with SFDC and thier Outlook integration add-in. When I am on my VPN I cannot push an incoming Outlook email into SFDC. If I am not on the VPN it works fine. SFDC sent me this very long Q&A document to help them fix this - but they cannot offer up any suggestions on how to fix this. I am sure that other SFDC/Outlook add-in users have experienced the same thing. Any Suggestions?

  • Mike Schinkel responded:

    Randy - I wish I could help you but not having a VPN I don’t even have a way to test it. Have you tried the Salesforce.com forums?

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