Microsoft, Salesforce Outlook Integration Play a Plus for Users
The integration of Outlook with the Salesforce CRM system gives users a more efficient and productive option than toggling between the two programs.A joint agreement by rivals Microsoft and Salesforce shows the two companies clearly believe in the old adage, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." Two years ago the software giants agreed to a strategic partnership to develop compatibility and integration features between their respective platforms, and Microsoft Office in particular. The latest announcement on June 28 relates specifically to Microsoft Outlook. With the new Salesforce Lightning for Outlook add-in, users of the popular Microsoft email program will have access to customer and prospect records from within the email client without having to switch to Salesforce. This could prove especially useful to sales reps who communicate with customers from within Outlook. "Every Outlook user can take advantage of this new capability, but we see sales as the most common use case because 70 percent of a rep's time is spent sending or responding to email," Greg Gsell, director of product marketing for Salesforce Sales Cloud, told eWEEK. The Salesforce data is viewable in a third pane from within Outlook. Although salespeople aren't gaining access to new information, the convenience of not having to switch between apps is a clear time-saver, Gsell said.
"It does away with the old Alt Tab people have been dealing with for years," said Gsell, referring to the Windows keystroke combination that lets you switch between apps. Also, a Lightning Sync feature means any changes made to a contact from within Outlook is immediately updated to the user's mobile device and other departments the user may be working with, such as a support team and marketing.
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