Friday, May 21, 2010

Why does Microsoft Outlook still ignore Social Media Contacts?

What does a Solopreneur, Solo-practitioner, Freelancer, or Small Business Owner use nowadays to handle their Contact Management and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) needs?

It's safe to say that once predominant desktop applications, such as Sage's ACT Software, are leaving the scene and Cloud CRM (such as SalesForce, ZOHO, LongJump and others) are now dominating the marketplace.

Microsoft's Outlook however remains a reliable player for many folks as a convenient tool for consolidating emails, tasks management, scheduling (calendar), and contact management.

I have to admit that I use Outlook, and I actually like it. Having it on my laptop makes it pretty mobile, and I can easily sync my calendar, tasks, and contacts to my blackberry; or vice versa. Though I wonder how long can Outlook hang in there still allowing only one single web-address field per contact, and without proper fields allocated for the various web addresses of contacts (such as blogs, and social media links including twitter, facebook, linkedin etc).

In an ideal world, Outlook should be able to allow for twitter, facebook, linkedin, and blog fields for contacts; and they can even take it one step further such as building-in a blog's most recent RSS feeds or a contact's most recent tweets and linkedin status updates.

How wonderful would it be to have that kind of visibility/snapshot to what my contact is up to that I'm about call!

PS: Even though I'm picking on Microsoft Outlook here, I have to be honest, and add that the other rising player in the market, Google Mail is not doing that much better when it comes to its address book, though google at least allows for additional "web addresses" per contact. | Even the CRM software I tried out there (SalesForce, Longjump, or ZOHO) is not that much better, they do not allow pre-configured fields for a blog, twitter feed, linkedin or facebook URL for contacts. Obviously you can configure some fields depending on your subscription. | Interestingly, it appears 37 Signals (the makers of Basecamp) gave more consideration for this kind of stuff in their new "Highrise" Cloud CRM, but based on the intro video that doesn't seem to exactly have all that I want, though certainly has the room to grow and scale to that kind of environment.

Ky Ekinci : Co-Founder Office Divvyposted by Ky Ekinci
Co-Founder, Office Divvy
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

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