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Use Outlook 2010 to Call Using My Smartphone

Posted on 2014-11-05
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Last Modified: 2015-07-21
Ladies and Gentlemen

We use Outlook 2010 with extensive Contact lists.  To improve productivity, we would like to use the "Click to Call" feature in Outlook so that we can initiate telephone calls by right clicking on a contact, following the call option and selecting the telephone number.  For some reason, our VOIP provider has been unable to provide that functionality for us with our desk phones.  Does Outlook 2010 have the functionality to push those calls through our smartphones?  I know we can connect the smartphones to our laptops using a Bluetooth connection.  We can also connect Bluetooth headsets to the laptops so that you can use wireless audio with the laptop.  Is there a way to click a contact in Outlook to place a call through the smartphone while using the Bluetooth headset as an interface.  It would make it so simple to log the calls, record the times, add notes regarding the call and save time wasted on typing 10 digit numbers, wrong numbers, etc.

I have been searching all day for a solution thinking this would be an easy process.  But I am having difficulty finding paragraphs that even address the issue.  Is Outlook and Smartphone technology insufficient to provide these functions?

Thank you in advance for your time and efforts!

Sincerely

Jebidieh
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Question by:Jebidieh
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LVL 26

Accepted Solution

by:
Leon Fester earned 500 total points
ID: 40425748
Your ability to dial your outlook contacts is limited by the version of Exchange Server you are running.
Exchange 2013 has Unified Messaging added as a component to the Core system.
Previous versions of Exchange did not have Unified Messaging as a native component of Exchange but was rather a separate application.

Another way to enable your dial options through outlook is to a Microsoft Lync server.
Both Lync and Unified Message services can connect to SIP-enabled PBX which will allow you to route your calls directly to or from your workstation.

This is what you'd want to be able to do.
http://office.microsoft.com/en-ca/office365-lync-online-help/make-and-receive-a-lync-audio-call-HA102925451.aspx

Unfortunately, Office365 does not offer Enterprise voice options in their plans so you'd have to consider getting Lync Onsite if you want to use that capability.
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Expert Comment

by:David Lee
ID: 40425820
Does Outlook 2010 have the functionality to push those calls through our smartphones?

No, it does not, and I doubt that Microsoft would ever add that feature to Outlook.  This functionality would almost certainly have to come via a third-party add-in.  I'm not sure that a company would spend time building such an add-in when it's just as easy to make the call from your smartphone using a voice command.  Of course doing this assumes that you're syncing your contacts to your smartphone.
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Author Comment

by:Jebidieh
ID: 40432859
Thanks for your responses!

I wish that installing a Lync server was an option.  But for our small to medium business, the expense involved for developing that option would be excessive when considering the number of workers that would be able to take advantage of the benefits of the installation.

We are synchronizing our contacts from Outlook to our smartphones.  However, when considering the hundreds of contacts that we accumulate over the course of just a few projects, we file the contacts by project number and company names.  We do not always remember the contact's first name or last name.  Sometimes, we only remember the company name or maybe just which utility we need to contact.  We can easily locate the contact once going to the correct project's contact folder, then sorting to look for first name, last name, company name or sometimes just by "what Power Company did we contact on this job?".  Searching for the contact is easier and faster in Outlook.  And adding one step to "click to call" to place the call is more efficient than then dialing the number on our landline instrument or re-finding the contact on our cell phones.

I am trying a 3rd party android app from Just Remote Phone.  The app is an improvement when out of the office using my smartphone since I can click to call from Outlook and just about anywhere a phone number appears.  The app shows real promise.  I am also trying a softphone license from our VOIP telephone system manufacturer, ShoreTel.  This would allow me to do the same thing from our VOIP phone system phones.  While I am able to click to call at this point, I am unable to use a Bluetooth headset for audio.  I still need to use the handset, but I think the capability is there.  I just need to get the correct license and software configuration in place.

It seems like such a small thing, but when making dozens of telephone calls a day, especially calls that require you to type on your computer while completing the phone call, being able to click to call can save a lot of time and a lot of wrong numbers.

Thanks again for your responses.

Sincerely

Jebidieh
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:Jebidieh
ID: 40892014
Ladies and Gentlemen

I graded the solution a B because I assume that the solution is an accurate one, but I have no way of testing it, since I do not have the software suggested and I do not have a Lync server.  Also, while those options may provide the function that I need, it does not help me with those functions using the products that I already own.  I believe the real answer is going to be for us to use our VOIP telephone system to provide the functions that we need.  We are able to use Outlook to "click to call" contacts as long as the phone software is configured properly and we upgrade the phone licenses, a $10 per license charge.

That is the solution that I am pursuing now.

I hope it is okay that I graded the answer a B.  If that is of poor etiquette, please let me know.  After reading the grading tips, it sounded like B was the grade that fit the bill.  Let me know if I graded the answer incorrectly.

Thanks again for your help!

Jebidieh
0

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