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Using Business Contact Manager to manage company contacts

Posted on 2014-01-28
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We are trying to use Business Contact Manager to create one contact list for our entire company.  I'm hoping someone with more experience with BCM can answer a few questions?

1.  A contact added into the BCM will appear in a person's contacts but can a person add a contact to their list of contacts and have it update back to the BCM?
2.  A contact deleted from a person's contacts also removes the contact from the BCM database.  Is there a way to turn this off?  (it also begs the question of why #1 didn't work)
3.  Can we set up alerts when a contact is added/edited or deleted?  That way one person can manage and follow up if more information is needed for the contact.
4.  Can we set up Outlook or Exchange to send an email alert when people add new contacts in their own accounts?  Then our designated employee can go into their contacts (shared read-only permission granted) and then add that contact to the BCM.
5.  Can the permissions for the BCM be changed so that only one or two people have full permissions and others have read-only or add but not delete?

Any help is greatly appreciated!!!
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Question by:HSI_guelph
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 500 total points
ID: 39816580
Please don't take offense to my reply, but I want to help you achieve your intended goal.

Business Contacts (in BCM) are not the same as Outlook Contacts...
http://rdsrc.us/3Faeld

BCM is generally best used by an individual to help them manage a Sales Process Cycle -- it is much more than its name implies -- because it is not simply a business contact manager.

Is your primary goal to just have a shared contact list?  If so, BCM is an awful way to do it.

You are much better off using a Public Folder for this.
http://www.msoutlook.info/question/614

Public folders have much easier to manage permissions the contact list will function in much the same way a user's personal contact list would.

There is no way to have Outlook/Exchange send an alert when a new contact is added to their personal contact list.  You would just need to grant delegate access to the designated employee and have them monitor the list themselves.  The contact list will show up in their Outlook and if you have it set for "Show number of unread items" then there will be a  bold, colored number next to the folder anytime new items are created.

Contacts
Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 39816587
By the way... if you don't want any users to have a Contacts folder in their mailbox, you can actually HIDE it so it doesn't get used.

Check out this article on how to do that:
http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/delete-outlooks-default-folders/

FYI, I recommend that you don't delete it, but hide instead.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:HSI_guelph
ID: 39817784
Thank you very much for your reply!  No offense will ever be taken because my knowledge of BCM is little to none and I appreciate any help in understanding it and the drawbacks it has.  

We have noticed all the utilities geared towards sales and follow ups that BCM offer.  One thing it offered that we might have found useful was a history for contacts, as my boss would love to see a way that contacts are archived if not used within a specified period of time.  

Our Christmas greetings mailing is what started the ball rolling on this as we had to get everyone to share their contacts, copy their contacts into one public contacts folder (and some got moved not copied which caused some anxiety), then provide one shared public contacts list that everyone could access easily from Outlook and their Blackberries where they could add a contact and it becomes available to the entire company.  We ended up with ~2700 contacts and 900 returned emails.  But even before there was a desire from upper management to streamline the process and make it easy for the staff who've been here for years to adapt to.  I do like the idea of hiding their contacts folder so they are forced to use a public one but I would have to see if they could add a contact through their BB Z10s to the shared public folder.

Thank you again for your reply!
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 39819813
Actually, using a public folder could be problematic for mobile users.  I don't know what I was thinking when I said that.  Sorry.

Instead, you really want to use a SHARED mailbox.  You cannot create a shared mailbox in the EMC GUI, instead it has to be done via Exchange Powershell.

Here's an overview of how to do that:
http://blog.shiraj.com/2012/06/how-to-create-shared-mailbox-in-exchange-server-2010/

Once the mailbox is created, you may want to hide all the folders other than Contacts because otherwise all users will get the additional folders (such as a second calendar) in Outlook.

Good Luck!

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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