Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Task Sync in Office365



Work plays a very important role in our daily life . So what is work? It is nothing but a series of tasks . Tasks have different priorities , different due dates , different owners, etc.

One of the most efficient ways to manage Tasks is to use MS Outlook, which is part of MS Office . And most of the working people do in fact use Tasks . So typically , as soon as people reach workplace , they spend about 15 to 20 minutes to plan their schedule for the day using Tasks of MS Outlook. Needless to say , MS Outlook is the best tool for Task management.

When you use Office365 , the Tasks of Outlook are in complete sync with the Tasks of Outlook on a browser , also called as Outlook Web Access or OWA for short . So even if you do not have access to your PC with Outlook, it does not matter as your Tasks are available on the browser.

However , it does not stop here . If your Smartphone , like Windows Phone , is configured with Office365, you can get your Outlook Tasks even on your Phone . And this takes productivity to the next level. Let me explain this with a scenario.

So normally when you come to work, you would spend about 15 minutes planning your Tasks for the day using MS Outlook. All of us travel at least for 1 hour every day to Work. Now while travelling , you could easily plan your tasks on your Smartphone . So you could set a Task reminder like say a) at 3 PM to call Mr. Mehta or at 4 PM speak to Peter . And guess what , at 3 PM and 4 PM respectively, you will get reminders on Outlook of your Work PC. Similarly if you have set a reminder in MS outlook and at that time you are Out of Office, you will get reminder on your mobile. There is seamless integration of tasks between Outlook, Browser and mobile.

So what is the BIG DEAL ? I believe this is HUGE .


So if we assume that an average person takes about 15 minutes to plan his To Do list for the day , then for 100 people Company , the time taken will be 100 x 15 = 1500 minutes . That is 25 hours per day spent on planning the tasks for the Day.

Now if these 100 people use their Smartphones to plan their To Do , what will happen is that when they reach office , they will already find their To Do list updated . Which means a saving of 15 minutes per person which is 25 hours per day .

Now 25 hours x 25 working days = 625 hours saved per month .

That is 625 x 12 = 7500 hours saved per year

So at average cost to Company per hour per person being about Rs. 200, this translates to a saving of Rs. 15,00,000 . This is a HUGE increase in productivity .

So get going and implement Office365 Tasks Sync in your Company ! Now !

with warm regards

Suresh Ramani


Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Shared Email Address Book in Office365



In my daily interactions with many Companies , one common area where I see inefficiency is in managing Email Address Book . A majority of the Companies maintain Address Book at Individual levels. This leads to following problems :

1. Duplication of Contacts

If there is a 100 user Company , and all are part of Email system , then its quite likely that they would be using MS Outlook as Email Client . The reason is that it’s the BEST Email Client in the World . And  it is part of MS Office which is a de facto standard for any Business User. If we assume that the average number of Contacts per user are 500 , more often than not , about 300 will be contacts which are common with other users in the Company . So we have this scenario where 300 contacts are entered in 100 address books leading to a huge waste of time.

Now , if one Contact changes phone number or the address , that means 100 address books have to be updated. So much waste of precious time.

2. Searching for Contact information which already exists in Company

Contact Information is already existing in the Company . But that is with some users who have stored the same in their address books . If this information is required by someone who does not have this information, then the process of searching will start and will include browsing the Internet or even calling the person for his information. All this means wastage of the precious commodity called TIME .

We can resolve this issue using SharePoint , which comes bundled with Office365 . Let me explain using our example.

We have created a TechGyan Contacts List on our SharePoint as can be seen in the highlighted portion of the snapshot below:




Now , I have gone inside this list and selected a contact “Baburaj” . So what you see in the snapshot below is the contact form in SharePoint populated with the entry of the Contact


Next I have synced this Contact List with my Outlook . What you see on the highlighted portion on the left is the name “TechGyan Contacts “. And on the right is the same contact “baburaj” appearing as a regular Outlook contact .






Finally in the snapshot below , you see that the TechGyan Contacts address book appears as a Outlook Address Book from where you can pickup an address of your choice and mail the same.




So if we assume that an average person takes about 5 minutes to fill up an Outlook address contact , then for 300 contacts and 100 people Company , the time savings are:

5 x 300 x 100 = 1,50,000 minutes = 2500 hours

So at average cost to Company per hour per person being about Rs. 200, this translates to a saving of 5,00,000 . This is not a small saving by any measure.

And this saving will increase whenever the Contact has to be modified , updated . And when we calculate the savings , I am not calculating the time wasted in trying to find the information here and there and calling Customers and creating a sub optimal impression.

So hopefully I have given you a very strong justification for using Shared Contacts . So go ahead and start planning how to implement Shared Contacts within your Company . Start Now!

with warm regards

Suresh Ramani


Microsoft MVP 2009
Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year 2011 & 2007