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What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)

Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager graphicMany people have asked me what the killer app is for Office and I have always replied that it depends on the customers' needs.  This is still true, so I am not doing a U-turn on that, but one thing people are always after is some form of CRM solution, but moving people to MS-CRM has an associated expense and complexity.  BCM in Office 2003 was a nice package, but suffered on account of mobility, sharing account information and scalability.

Office 2007 has addressed these issues and is now an amazing product.  To see what it can do I strongly recommend you go and watch the small flash demo at http://office.microsoft.com/search/redir.aspx?AssetID=HA101759211033&Origin=HH101878561033&CTT=5 .  When you load it onto your system (yes, I have it loaded on my work system connected to Exchange) you get the following mail that explains what it can do.  I have bolded the sections I think are the most important.

One of the really interesting things is that many customers say they want some form of contact management system, but are far less interested in the marketing side.  When you drill down into this, it is often because they consider it too hard and complex.  Once they have seen how easy it is to deliver a campaign professionally with Office 2007, it is often the area that excites them the most and BCM can manage and monitor this for them, ensuring they understand what gives them value and that they follow up with customers as needed.

If your customers could do with a bit of this - then Office 2007 is the product for them.

Welcome to Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager, which combines the familiar appearance of Outlook with great new and updated features.

Feature  Overview

New Features!

  • Customization - Tailor Business Contact Manager for Outlook to fit your business needs by customizing forms, lists, and reports.
  • Marketing Campaigns - Manage and measure the effectiveness of the marketing content that you create. Promote your brand, quickly see which Marketing Campaigns help you generate more business, and improve customer satisfaction. If you have created Marketing Campaigns before, Business Contact Manager for Outlook helps you distribute the Marketing Campaigns more effectively. If you're new to marketing your business, Business Contact Manager for Outlook guides you through the process.
  • Business Projects and Project Tasks - Manage your time and business better by using the Business Project feature. Business Projects give you a single place to store all related project information, tasks, and assignments so that you can quickly see who's doing what project task, and its due date. Easily share project information across your company. For example, you can assign project tasks to colleagues, which they can see in their To-Do Bar.
  • Offline - Take your data with you on your portable computer so that you can see how your business is doing at any time. View reports, follow up with customers, create new Business Projects, or just update Account and Business Contact information. When you return to your office, it is easy to synchronize the information.
  • Business Contact Manager for Outlook E-Mail Marketing Service - By combining the power of the E-mail Marketing Service* with Business Contact Manager for Outlook, you can send specifically targeted e-mailings to your customers, and keep track of the responses to your e-mailings. The E-mail Marketing Service is free to try and provides a cost-effective and powerful way to reach your customers in a personal way. To use the E-mail Marketing Service, create a Marketing Campaign, and then select the Campaign Type as E-mail and the Delivery Method as E-mail Marketing Service.
  • Home Page - Get a complete view of critical information through the centralized home page. This customizable home page helps you summarize your important business metrics and prioritize business tasks.
  • Leads or prospects - Differentiate leads or prospects from existing Business Contacts, and create customized reports.
    Search Folders - Use Search Folders to gather Accounts, Business Contacts, Opportunities, Business Projects, or communication history items into a folder based on your criteria, such as all Business Contacts with an Excellent rating.

Improved Features! 

  • Reports - Use one of the more than 50 reports to see the state of Accounts, Business Contacts, leads, Opportunities, activities, Business Projects, and Marketing Campaigns. Use the new report filtering capabilities to easily sort and filter data, and then export it to Microsoft Office Excel 2007 for further analysis.
  • Integration with accounting applications - When you combine Business Contact Manager for Outlook with supported accounting applications, your Business Contact information and financial history are seamlessly integrated. Sales opportunities can be easily converted into quotes, sales orders, and invoices in your accounting application. Go to the Microsoft Office Accounting Web site to see a list of supported accounting applications.
  • Sharing of customer data and communication history across your business - Sharing Accounts, Business Contacts, leads or prospects, and Opportunities gives you and your colleagues a rich view of all communications that your company has had with each customer. This feature gives everyone the shared customer history data that they need to respond faster and serve customers better.
  • Opportunities - Quickly organize, manage, and track all of your Opportunities, including details such as sales stage, potential value, and estimated close date, so you can assess potential sales and make better-informed business decisions.
  • Communication History - Enjoy immediate access to the history of your customer interactions. Items stored in the Communication History folder include business notes, phone logs, Opportunities, Business Projects, tasks, e-mail messages, appointments, and files. It's easy to share this communication history with your colleagues.
  • Import and Export - Easily import and export data from or to various applications and formats, including ACT!, QuickBooks, Access, Excel and many others. The enhanced mapping capabilities make it simple to transfer information from other applications that may have different fields than Business Contact Manager for Outlook.

*The E-mail Marketing Service is available only in select markets.


Posted Fri, Nov 24 2006 6:28 AM by David Overton
Filed under: , ,

Comments

Paulie wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Fri, Nov 24 2006 1:25 PM

Dave,

Do you know if BCM 2007 can run in a terminal server environment as this was not supported in BCM 2003.

Thanks

Kikker46 wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Fri, Dec 8 2006 12:16 AM

I can't install the business Contact Manager because he doesn't look if the Microsoft Office 2007 Interop Assemblies are already installed...

David Overton wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Fri, Dec 8 2006 9:02 AM

On the BCM install - I presume this is all using Office 2007 RTM code?  If so, go back to the Office 2007 setup and add the interop libraries, or simply tell it to install everything to the local hard disk.

On the TS question - I need to go check, but I can't see why it will not run today.

thanks

David

Andrew Sadler (Microsoft) wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Tue, Jan 30 2007 1:25 PM

David,

Is there any chance you know how to import contacts and link them in to accounts - I have tried this by bringing in contact records and mapping to the parent account field but the impot seems to ignore this - have you any idea why this is or how I should be doing this, many thanks.

Adam Lapsevich wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Fri, Feb 2 2007 4:08 AM

Dave,

I've been beta trialing it for about 6 weeks and LOVE it. I just bought it the other day.  I would love to figure out how to get it to work across my staff though. Does it work on any hosted exchange servers that you know of? How should I do this?

Second, if I put it on one computer in our office and we all share it, I use a laptop, will I be able to see the info when I'm on the road?? This is a bit confusing for me.  I'd love to be able to make changes when I travel and have my staff do the same. Will it 'sync' when I return?

HELP! Thanks

David Overton wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Fri, Feb 2 2007 11:51 PM

Andrew - not sure yet - I will try to find out

Adam - have a look at the BCM Database menu - you can share your database - do this on the 1st PC and then connect to it from the 2nd PC - that should do the trick - I will blog it in a day or so.

You might also find http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/thankyou.aspx?familyId=F24267EE-9AD5-4BE5-B888-C9A50AE395CA&displayLang=en helpful

ttfn

David

chris wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Wed, Feb 7 2007 12:25 AM

Do you know if Outlook 2007 w/ BCM installed directly on a win2003 server running exchange 2003 is supported?  I know outlook 2003 wasn't...

Salomon wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Wed, Feb 14 2007 7:52 PM

Sure you can "customize" forms by adding your own fields. But what it seems you can't do is remove standard fields or add/remove tabs...

Now i'm left with a single "user properties" tab with 40 of my fields crammed into a space and 2 other tabs with fields that I mostly won't use.

Now I understand that BCM is lightweight and any heavy mods should be left for MS-CRM (which I have toyed with extensively and is not for the faint of heart!). Its unfortunate that they have no solution that falls in between.

David Overton wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Wed, Feb 14 2007 8:57 PM

Chris - installing onto the server itself - no as Outlook and Exchange crash.  However if you meant installing when Ouitlook connects to the server then this has been supported via a patch on BCM w/Outlook 2003 then the second release of BCM 2003 and again with Office 2007.

Salomon - there is customisation, but as you have said, it is limited.  I wish there could be more, but this is one of the defining distinctions between MS CRM and BCM.  BCM is an off the shelf solution with some customisation - MS CRM is 110% customisable, but therefore more complex.

thanks

David

jeff thompson jr wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Sun, Feb 18 2007 6:17 AM

i am user bcm 2007 and oa 2007 with the data being shared between the two apps in a remote database.  for the most part, it appears to do pretty well but i do have one desire with all this...as i am not a programmer, please forgive my ignorance but how can i have the information stored in my user-defined fields (of the business contact form) reside in the same database as all the rest of the information entered into the form?  i presume that i will need to create some additional tables or columns in the database but how do i get the info from the form to go there when the form is saved?  all i need is some direction as i would indeed like to learn this rather than have someone do it for me.  any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

good day to you.

Greg wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Tue, Apr 10 2007 1:00 AM

Too bad it doesn't sync with Office Live... pretty much makes both worthless to me.

David Overton wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Tue, Apr 10 2007 7:29 AM

Greg,

so let me just make sure I understand this - having a sales and marketing tool that helps you manage your customes, shares sales and contact information between all your staff and enables you to do some reporting is not good enough unless the sharing happens using an online tool rather than something based on your LAN or SBS network?

Also, Offie Live does have a form of contact and lead sharing etc, but also gives you a domain, e-mail based on that domain, a wizard or frontpage based website and the power of Windows SharePoint Services - this is also of no use to you?  With the cost point being £0 - yes zero for the domain, web and e-mail and something like £22 for the larger set of servies (WSS) - this is no use either?

They are both fantastic tools - if your needs are different, then I get it - otherwise.. I think they are good, maybe not as advanced for your desires, but considering what you DO get,and the price point (included in the price of Office SBE, Pro & Ultimate) - I would say amazing.

ttfn

David

John wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Wed, May 23 2007 8:21 PM

Outlook with BCM apparently requires a volume license to install on a Terminal Server.  This has prevented us from upgrading to Office 2007 since we have volume licencing for Office Pro Plus only.  Is there any way to download a seperate version of BCM 2007 or Outlook 2007 with BCM that can be installed on a Terminal Server?

Thanks

David Overton wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Wed, May 23 2007 9:06 PM

John,

Outlook with BCM only ships in 3 versions of Office - I know this is a pain.  I will ask, but I suspect that you need either Small Biz, Pro (not Pro Plus) or Ultimate.  Outlook with BCM does not require a Volume License to run inside Terminal Services.  Office 2007, all components, has to be licensed using VL to run under TS.

I will ask and get back to you.

thanks

David

John McCarvill wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Tue, Jun 5 2007 6:18 PM
We are using BCM as a nice, rich, Outlook-based client for accessing our other online systems. We have been able to do some pretty interesting modifications to BCM that, although unsupported, allow us to integrate it with other products such as a highly customized Microsoft CRM-based business portal as well as customize the base forms within BCM. Our custom BCM logic allows us to modify the BCM forms as well as to perform high-performance background synchronization with other online systems. If you are interested, take a look at our website for more info: http://www.consultimc.com/ContentPage1.aspx?Content=Product-IT-BCMPortalClient I'd be glad to help others develop their BCM-based solutions, John
Tad Cooper wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Fri, Jun 22 2007 1:27 PM

We have recently started migrating some of users to BCM 2007 - mainly those sales and marketing people who travel with laptops.  The reason we went to 2003 was the ability to share the data and take a local copy on the laptops.  We also have inside people who do not have to travel and have 24-7 access to the server from their desktop.  Do you know how I can integrate BCM 2003 users and BCM 2007 users?

David Overton wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Fri, Jun 22 2007 2:18 PM

Tad,

do you mean the main reason you went to 2007 was the ability to share?  Anyway, you just to clarify - is your question can you have some people on 2003 and some on 2007 against the same database?

thanks

David

Duane wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Thu, Jul 19 2007 9:51 AM

Were you able to get a response to Paulie's question regarding running BCM 2k7 on TS David? (Nov-06)

Duane wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Thu, Jul 19 2007 9:58 AM

David,

We have a client that wants to run BCM 2k7 on a 2k3 TS with all user RDP client profiles loading Exchange 2k3 mailboxes.  As Exchange mailboxes cannot be loaded on a TS in Cached Mode and BCM requires Cached Mode to function, how does this work (if at all)?

Duane

Hagen wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Fri, Jul 27 2007 12:48 AM

I would also like to know if BCM 2K7 will run on TS 2003.  we have several remote users that only connect via remote desktop (we are a rural but very large Ag Co. and our only internet connection is via satellite thus limiting VPN connections)  We are currently migrating to BCM 2K7 from Outlook 2003.  We switched from one user that had goldmine (very clunky) and need to have everyone that is remote be able to use BCM 2K7..  is this possible in a TS environment?  PS.  An upgrade to our current Office 2003 Pro on the terminal server failed and I had to back everything off and restore multiple settings and files..

Traci wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Fri, Jul 27 2007 9:55 PM

Where are the to-do list tasks stored in BCM? I've added follow-ups to my contacts and they show in OL2007 in the same list as my non-BCM tasks. However, I'm unable to sync them with my wireless device because the sync program only looks in the Tasks folder (which only contains tasks not associated with BCM). I'm only running BCM locally on my laptop as I don't need to share the data with anyone else at this time. Thanks!

Rafal wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Mon, Aug 13 2007 9:26 PM

How to customize BCM to make a quotation for client directly from Opportunity form or any ither place in Outlook ?

Rafal

Andrew wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Thu, Aug 30 2007 3:26 PM

David,

I have a small business with 2 X PC's both running MS Vista Ultimate and MS Office 2007 Ultimate. BCM is used and shared between the 2 PC's.

On the PC which does not physically contain the database, I am able to go into an Account and create a 'follow up' - this follow up appears on both PC's 'to do' list and both PC's are then able to make changes to the follow up, as expected.

However, on the PC where the database is stored, upon creating a 'follow-up' it appears in the 'to do' list of that PC - however this follow up cannot be viewed on the other PC that doesn't have the physical database.

Any suggestions? many thanks in advance.

Andrew

David Overton wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Fri, Aug 31 2007 8:00 AM

Andrew,

is the action assigned to someone?  If so, perhaps this is why it is only appearing on one to-do list.  If this is not the case I will investigate more, let me know.

thanks

David

Andrew wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Sun, Sep 2 2007 11:13 AM

Hi David, thanks for your comments.

I have spent more time investigating, and my initial comments were slightly incorrect:

I have a small business with 2 X PC's both running MS Vista Ultimate and MS Office 2007 Ultimate. BCM is used and shared between the 2 PC's.

PC 'A' - contains physical database

PC 'B' - shares the database from PC A

On PC A, I create a new Account (the new Account automatically appears on both PC's). I then go into that Account and create a 'follow up' - the follow up only appears in the 'to do list' of PC A.

On PC B, the newly created Account can be viewed (but not on the to do list as a follow up - no flag). I then create a follow up, it then appears on the to do list on PC B - from this stage onwards the to do lists on both PC's are synchronised. Whichever PC I go to and make changes to the follow up for the Account, the to do lists are synschronised.

This process happens the other way around too - meaning, if the Account and follow up are created on the PC B, the Account appears on the PC A, but the follow up does not (and so on).

It does the same regardless if assigned to someone or not.

This is the only way I can succesfully scynchronise the to do lists - this doesn't seem right. Is this a known problem with BCM?

I also note that when I create an Account on PC A and set it to 'non-active' (no tick in box - and it doesn't matter which PC I do this from), when I go to PC B and open up the created Account, it is set to 'active' - not a huge problem, but curious as to why this would happen?

Hope you are able to help. Many thanks in advance David.

Andrew

Paul Watkins wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Tue, Sep 18 2007 6:06 PM

I have read a lot about the benefits for BCM 2007 and its email marketing system and it seems to be exactly what I need but it seems the email marketing system is not available in the UK yet - any idea when it might be?

Thanks

Tom wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Thu, Oct 25 2007 8:53 PM

Yes BCM 2007 great improvement over previous and it integrates well with Small Business Accounting...but I'd like to use both BCM and Accounting in a WSS 3.0 enviroment on SBS to create a few workflows and can't find any info on that integration.

David Overton wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Thu, Nov 1 2007 12:06 AM

Paul,  I doubt the "marketing" piece will be available, however the tool is basically a list manager.  BCM has those capabilities.

David Overton wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Thu, Nov 1 2007 12:07 AM

Tom,

BCM and Office Accounting can be configured to work together, however I don't see how you could take the data which is basically stored in SQL and suddenly use WSS v3 to deliver workflow.

Sorry

David

Ted wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Thu, Nov 1 2007 8:38 AM

All the fancy stuff doesn't seem to me to address Outlooks basic and continuing failing - i.e the fact that contact information cannot be shared between PC's on an office network (yes I know all about the extremely complex and cumbersome Exchange) - but surely a straightforward sharing system is long overdue... I have another very cheap and basic PIM program which includes that  facility .......... Ted

David Overton wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Thu, Nov 1 2007 9:04 AM

Ted,

I disagree.  BCM DOES allow sharing of information in the scenario you talk about and Small Business Server which has Windows Server, Exchange and much, much more is available cheaper than a Windows Server, is low maintenance and I think in the UK alone, several thousand partners would be able to tell you how a network centered on SBS has saved their customers money, time and given them much, much more than just "PIM sharing".  If you want to really know more, e-mail a list of your network requirements to admin@uksbsguy.com and how much you think you would be prepared to pay for this and I will tell you how amazingly easy it would be to buy this with SBS.

Tyler wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Thu, Jan 10 2008 7:34 AM

I have the same question Andrew Sadler did on the 30th of january last year. Did you ever figure out how to link the contacts to accounts during import? Mapping them to "Parent Account Name" doesn't seem to work.

Martin McCarthy wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Tue, Feb 12 2008 3:34 PM

Hi David,

I have 2 small businesses that I currently keep track of using Access, I would like toi take advantage of BCM and eventually Microsoft Office Accounting.  To be able to do this I will need to set up Contacts and Accounts in BCM.  I can import the data into either the Contacts or the Accounts but I will then need to link one to the other separately, as I have over a thousand records to import this will take some time and effort.  Is there any way of automating this (perhaps through SQL Server?).

Martin

Rod wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Thu, Feb 14 2008 6:22 AM

I have the same question Andrew Sadler and Tyler asked.

Did you ever figure out how to link the contacts to accounts during import? Mapping them to "Parent Account Name" doesn't seem to work. I'm importing outlook contacts.

Thanks,

Rod

Luke Shaw wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Sat, Mar 29 2008 12:46 AM

Hi,

I want to run Sharepoint Services 3 on SBS 2003 and use BCM to act as a small crm system. Do you know of anyway to link the products so that you can get one view of you entire customer?

Lea wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Mon, May 26 2008 3:55 AM

H David,

While searching for a solution to my problem I saw Andrew entry for September 2, 2007 entry.

Its the same issue as we are having and I wondered if there was ever a solution put forward for it.

Thanks Lea

Karan wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Sat, Jun 28 2008 11:54 PM

Hi Dave,

I am trying to establish if it is possible to create (and view) relationships between people. We want to basically view who knows who sort of information.

George de Vries wrote re: What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)
on Mon, Oct 20 2008 12:54 PM

Hi there,

I look at all answers in here but couldn't find a answer. So I will ask it again.... Will BCM 2007 work on a Terminal Server 2003/Citrix environment?

Regards,

George

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