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What options are available for syncing Emails, Contacts and Calendar items between OpenCRM and other applications?

Updated: 17 October 2016 12:05:25 OpenCRM::Calendar OpenCRM::Settings OpenCRM::Add-in::Outlook OpenCRM::Add-in::Pop2OpenCRM

There are three separate products which are available, as part of your OpenCRM subscription, to allow users to sync Emails, Contacts and Calendar items between OpenCRM and other applications such as Gmail and Outlook.

Each product works in a different way to fulfill a specific purpose, and so you will need to consider which offers the best solution to your requirements.

 
Product Name What does it sync? Automatic or Manual Process? Where does it sync to/ from?
Pop2OpenCRM Email Automatic Between your email service directly into and out of OpenCRM
Outlook Add-In Email, Contacts, Calendar Manual Between Outlook and OpenCRM
Google2OpenCRM Contacts,Calendar Automatic Between Gmail and OpenCRM

 

Here is an overview of the three products.

Pop2OpenCRM

How does it work?

Pop2OpenCRM syncs emails between your email account and OpenCRM, setting up inbound and outbound mailboxes, and using these to post emails between OpenCRM and your email server. This is done by auto-populating the BCC field to post in and outbound emails into the specified mailboxes. Once this is configured, emails will be posted in and out of OpenCRM and attached to the relevant Lead, Contact or Company (as well as any other related entities*). Emails that have no corresponding Contact record in OpenCRM will be posted to the Email module but will not create a new Contact record. There are various configuration options available to allow exclusion rules to be set up. Privacy headers will be converted as Private emails in OpenCRM.

*Note: Pop2OpenCRM uses CRM  ID Tags, which enables it to link emails to related entities in OpenCRM such as Projects, Quotes, Opportunities, Orders, Invoices etc.

How can I set this up?

This is a one-time configuration job which the support team at OpenCRM carry out. We will need information from you (or your email provider) to enable us to set this up. There is no need to install any software on any particular device

Pros

  • As this is an automated process, once it is set up there is nothing left to do for you and your users
     
  • This is a robust, one-time only installation that is not affected by any third party software upgrades - any changes made to Internet Explorer, Gmail or any other popular web services will not affect the functionality of Pop2OpenCRM
     
  • Once this has been set up, it is supported by OpenCRM.

Cons

  • It is worth remembering that this is an automated process and so any exclusion rules you may need must be carefully considered.
     

Outlook Add-In

How does it work?

This is installed within Outlook. Once installed, you navigate to the Add-In Tab and you can then choose whether to sync Contacts, Calendar Items or Emails. Emails are synced one by one using the Associate function; you also have a Quick Associate function which allows you to select more than one email to sync. The Outlook Add-In can sync Contacts and Calendar items by selecting the folder in Outlook that you wish to sync from. Config options are available which allow you to specify conflict resolution rules e.g. which system should over-ride the other.

How can I set this up?

This is a one-time configuration job which OpenCRM users are able to manage themselves; a project to set up the Outlook Add-In will normally be managed and supervised by a Project Manager or member of the support team here at OpenCRM. The Add-In needs to be installed within the Outlook instance on each machine on which it is required.

Pros

  • The set-up and config is relatively straightforward.
     
  • This is fully supported by OpenCRM
     
  • This is a manual process, giving you the flexibility to select which emails are copied into OpenCRM.
     
  • You can also select related Companies, Opportunities, Quotes, Sales Orders, Purchase Orders, Invoices, Projects and Helpdesk modules to associate emails.
     
  • Contact and Calendar items are also updated manually.

Cons

  • As this process is manual there is no failsafe way of checking that all the valuable information you receive into Outlook will make its way into OpenCRM, there is always the 'human' element.
     
  • The Outlook Add-In is designed to work with 32 Bit versions of Office and not 64 Bit versions.
     
  • It is not mac-compatible

 

Google2OpenCRM (Google Sync)

How does it work?

This is set up on your OpenCRM system, at global and user level. Once this has been enabled, it will sync Contact and Calendar items between OpenCRM and a specified Gmail account. There are numerous configuration options available, including conflict resolution options, the ability to choose sync direction, and the ability to set up duplicate checking rules. Once this is configured, the sync is an automated process with no need for manual intervention.

Can I sync to Outlook?

Google2OpenCRM only syncs between OpenCRM and Gmail - to subsequently sync to Outlook requires the use of third party software. We currently recommend a product called Gsyncit (provided by Fieldstone Software)

How can I set this up?

You will need to contact OpenCRM support or your Project Manager to get an Activation Key. You can then manage the set up yourself with the aid of FAQs, or commission OpenCRM to assist you in the set up. There are a set of global conditions to be set up which 'enable' Google2OpenCRM at an organisation level, and then further configuration needs to be done on each User record in OpenCRM.

Pros

  • The Google2OpenCRM installation is a fairly straightforward process that does not require any software to be installed on individual machines.
     
  • It is a one-time only set up, once installed it will run automatically.
     
  • Google2OpenCRM is fully supported by OpenCRM.

Cons

  • Sync beyond Gmail will require third party software; this is not covered by OpenCRM support.
     
  • OpenCRM cannot forsee what might develop within Google and therefore cannot be responsible for any changes in functionality introduced in Gmail.

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