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Salesforce.com App for Microsoft Outlook Released to Beta

Microsoft and sometime partner Salesforce.com on Thursday unveiled a new cloud-based app that integrates Microsoft's Outlook product with Salesforce.com's CRM data.

The public beta version of the Salesforce App for Outlook is now available as a free download from the Microsoft Office Store here. It requires users to have a Salesforce Enterprise Edition subscription or higher. This video walks through the installation and setup.

The Salesforce App for Outlook lets a user open an e-mail in Outlook and quickly access relevant information stored in Salesforce.com, such as the recipients' contact information, leads, sales accounts and cases (see Figure 1). The user can access the Salesforce.com information without closing that Outlook e-mail. They can also click on an information item within the app and jump to their Salesforce.com account, as demonstrated in this short video.

[Click on image for larger view.] Figure 1. (Source: Salesforce.com.)

The app supports Mac and Windows PCs and currently works on both the browser-based Outlook Web App and the Outlook 2013 desktop client. According to Salesforce.com's announcement, the company plans to expand support to newer Outlook versions in the future.

"We are working closely with Microsoft to make the app work with new Outlook products in future releases," the announcement said. "For users of legacy, on-premise versions of Outlook, the Salesforce for Outlook plug-in remains supported and the team is adding new features in every release."

The app is one of the earliest fruits of a partnership inked last May between Microsoft and Salesforce.com, which are rivals in the CRM space. The partnership is aimed at integrating Microsoft's Office 365 suite with Salesforce.com's core CRM product.

In October, the two companies released a rough roadmap for solutions aimed at delivering that integration. The Salesforce App for Outlook appears to be one of the products that the companies said would arrive during the first half of 2015. A solution that enables integration between Salesforce.com and Microsoft SharePoint also became available in December.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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