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Contact sync to Outlook - What's the point?

  • 1.  Contact sync to Outlook - What's the point?

    Posted Dec 06, 2018 04:49 AM
    ​We have had contact sync switched on for 3 years now, and on reflection, the advantages for us seem appear to be outweighed by disadvantages, particularly now we have switched to the new App for Outlook, using server side sync.

    Can anyone think of good reasons why to leave contacts set up to sync? Makes sense for e-mails, appointments, tasks, but contacts?

    We are currently set only to sync contacts 'owned' by the user, but we have many contacts owned by the business (team), which do not sync, which are created from other sources (e.g. from out SAP system).

    Pros for Outlook Sync:

    • For contacts owned by the user and created in Dynamics, they show up on Outlook (and on phones etc), enabling contact creation etc. (although not all are owned by the user and so these ones do not show, even though the user supports them)
    • Changes made in either Dynamics or in Outlook reflect on the other side

    Contras for Outlook Sync:

    • In App for Outlook we can no longer select existing contacts to Sync with Dynamics, because this functionality only exists on the Desktop version, and is unbearably poor (very buggy, cannot select account etc). We therefore can only create new contacts from an e-mail (using the App for Outlook), or directly in Dynamics. In these cases, if a local Outlook contact already exists, it gets duplicated locally, and the user would need to delete, or leave the duplicate in place.
    • If the user did decide to track a local contact they created in Outlook to Dynamics, and this got assigned to a new owner, the sync would currently delete their local contact. Not sure this is ideal (although this could potentially be corrected with updated sync filter).
    • When users switch phones, we often get their entire contact lists duplicated on both sides (Outlook and Dynamics), which causes maintenance issues to clean up.

    Greg Stokes
    Kennametal Inc.


  • 2.  RE: Contact sync to Outlook - What's the point?

    Posted Dec 27, 2018 10:56 AM
    Hi Greg,

    In addition to collaborate and create a network of all the contacts the company knows as a whole, it is typically used to show the user responsible for that contact, which is typically the first person who added the contact on the first place.

    Now you mentioned that your contacts are owned by a team and don't sync to Outlook but this can be changed in the filters so all members from the team get the contact synchronized automatically. Not only new contacts but changes to existing ones, when a contact changes their phone number or email address (for example after marriage), that change will sync to all of the members of the team, which can make a big difference if multiple members of the team reach out to those contacts on an ongoing basis.

    Here is a tip I shared back in February:

    Lastly, there is no automatic deletion of contacts after reassignment...I wrote about this back in 2012 - you can read the "Bonus" section here:

    I hope this provides some clarity, I personally love to take advantage of this great functionality but I do agree with you that unless you are "doing something productive" with those contacts, it makes more sense to disable it.

    Gus Gonzalez
    7x Microsoft MVP, CRMUG All-Star
    CEO, Elev8 Solutions

  • 3.  RE: Contact sync to Outlook - What's the point?

    Posted Jan 02, 2019 11:53 AM
    Any time there is organizational knowledge around a contact, it makes sense to track them in CRM/Outlook.  I rarely leave the sync rules as the OOB owner sync only.    I often set up a sync rule that would be something like...sync contacts who's company I'm following.

    Michael Quattlebaum
    Sr. Functional Solution Architect
    AKA Enterprise Solutions
    New York NY

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