You have probably seen Office 2010 Technical Preview announcements in the press. Microsoft released a preview of Office 2010 yesterday to a limited number of users. Technical Preview is invitation only program. Office 2010 also comes with a brand new version of the Business Contact Manager. If you have received Technical Preview invitation, we highly recommend that you install new version of the Business Contact Manager, try new features, and give us feedback. You can download and install the Business Contact Manager from Microsoft Connect site (it's listed along with Office 2010 Tech Preview download)
Here is a list of some of the top features. We will be writing more about these and many other features in the coming weeks.
1. New User Interface: BCM features a completely redesigned user interface. The new UI is task oriented, and features activity dashboards, business metric gadgets, configurable tabbed views, and customizable preview panes. The User Interface is fully customizable and allows end-users to select the view elements that fit their business needs. The new UI also integrates with the Office Ribbon and the BackStage.
2. Dashboard: BCM offers a fully featured dashboard that enables users to manage their entire business and daily activities. The dashboard is fully customizable and can include a large number of sales, marketing, project management and utility gadgets. The dashboard will help users get a high level picture of their business and manage their priorities and tasks.
3. New Form Designer: BCM provides a new visual form designer that allows users to completely modify all BCM forms. Users can add up to 300 custom fields, remove fields (including default form fields) and add pages to forms. Customizations can be exported, imported, and shared across the organization.
4. Custom Entities: With BCM 2010 users can better model their business processes by defining custom “contact” and “account” type entities. For instance, healthcare companies will be able to create “doctors”, “patients”, “practices”, etc. The custom entities benefit from all business functions such as aggregating communication history, reporting, and so forth.
5. Sales Management: Business Contact Manager will allow users to define and track sales processes in an easy and straightforward manner. Users will be able to define multiple sales activities in multiple sales stages. Execution of sales activities is tracked directly on the opportunity and various dashboard gadgets and reports provide comprehensive analysis of sales status.
6. Lead Management: Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2010 helps users track their business leads and the process of converting those leads into contacts and/or business opportunities. Leads in BCM are lightweight (customizable) contacts that also include a lead score which is either manually assigned or calculated based on a set of scoring criteria. Users can set scoring criteria that makes sense in their business, helping track the quality of the lead and optimizing the sales process
7. Call List: With Business Contact Manager 2010, users will be able to manage the process of calling multiple contacts. This feature offers an easy to use user interface that takes the hassle out of tracking the calling process and analyzing its results. Call List will also provide the ability to define a call script that can be used when conducting the call, guiding the caller and providing a template for capturing responses.
8. Improved Reporting: Business Contact Manager will include enhanced business reporting. Reports will offer improved customization, sorting, and filtering, and custom reports can be defined and shared across the organization.
9. Performance & Reliability: Business Contact Manager comes with significant performance improvements.
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Visit this blog often as we will write more about Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2010.