In my years of running my businesses, I’ve regularly come across this challenge facing most businesses – silo’s of information restricted to only some members in the organization – a typical example of this is the company address book. This is not by design but just due to traditional means of communication and tools. In the case of a common address book, this is kept by someone, say a PA, in a book or at best, in an excel file which is not shared efficiently. Similarly, the buyer has his own hoard of addresses. I think you know what this leads to! Fortunately, we have managed to address this problem with one of the features of Office 365 – a common and shared Company Outlook Address Book. As usual, there are many ways to skin the cat, pardon the cat lovers!, however we have found this method is the most convenient way to implement this.
This involves the following mojo:
- Creating an address book on Sharepoint team site with the necessary permission rights
- Syncing this address book to Outlook of the people who have been granted access and configuring address book for easy reach.
The benefits of the shared outlook address book are the following:
- Secured shared address book and notes to your whole organization
- Anyone given permission can edit and change content.
- Automatic backup and easy restore of deleted/modified contacts.
- Easy search for contacts.
Your business, at one time had an issue that only one supplier was able to fix – say your exclusive coffee maker for VIP clients(and yourself 🙂 ). Its years down the line, it breaks down at a critical point in time and nobody can remember who the repairer was as there was only one person who dealt with this company. She has left the company and nobody can find the contact! Sound familiar?
Easy Peasy! Since you set up the company outlook address book in Office 365, and had added the details there in the notes, all you do is search for the word ‘Coffee’. Abracadabra! The details come up and Office 365 magic saves the day.
What this cannot do:
- As yet, Sharepoint contact lists cannot sync with your phone.
- However you can bookmark a direct link to this outlook address book on your phone browser and login to Office 365 this way. Bit of an inconvenience for phones with small screens though!
My interest in finding ways to share information was inspired by reading this article:
Hope this provides value to you too! Please feel free to contact us below for assistance on setting this feature up for your company.