Microsoft has introduced a new Outlook service today for iOS and Office 365 Business Premium customers. Called Outlook Customer Manager, the tool helps organizations track relationships with customers. In an official blog post, Microsoft says that this gives customers the ability to organize their marketing within Outlook.
The company points out that the tool is free as an integrated feature within Office 365 Business Premium. Microsoft adds that the service will be made available to Office 365 Enterprise E3 and E3 subscribers in the near future.
At the moment, Outlook Customer Manager is available to companies enrolled in the First Release track. Wider availability will come over the next few months. While clearly an Outlook feature, Microsoft says this tool is not coming to Outlook.com.
Users of iOS will get the feature through a dedicated application. Microsoft says it will be spreading the Customer Manager to other mobile platforms soon.
Outlook Customer Manager gives customers the ability to see interaction with all customers. With tracking features, users can see deals from existing customers, while track potential new engagements. Through Outlook 2016 on Windows, a new icon will appear to the right of emails showing tasks, timelines, and a log of interactions.
Outlook Customer Manager
Of course, all this information is already available in Office 365, but the tool brings it neatly to one place. This easy access means the data can be simply shared across an organization. This data is presented in a spreadsheet-like document that organizes projects in order of importance.
While similarities with a customer-relationship management (CRM) service are obvious, Microsoft explains the differences:
“As your business needs grow, you can move to Dynamics 365 to take advantage of enhanced customer information, process efficiency and consistency, and deeper financial and customer insights.”
Microsoft is really pushing the ease of access afforded by Outlook Customer Manager. By bringing basic CRM features into Outlook, customers have access within one solution:
“Because your data stays in Office 365, you don't waste valuable time setting up connectors to other software or services, or managing separate products,” Microsoft says.