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

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