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The Microsoft Outlook Social Connector is a feature of Microsoft Outlook that combines ‘business and personal’ updates of all of your contacts across Outlook, Facebook, LinkedIn & Windows Live in a centralized location. In this post, we’ll explore how to use the Outlook Social Connector in CRM 2011.

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Why is this important for Microsoft CRM clients Well further to your 360 degree view that Microsoft CRM provides, now you have the ability to fully complete the circle by tracking all of your contacts activities across Outlook (emails, appointments, tasks) and now social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn!

Some cool features:

  • Displays your contacts profile picture from the site you connect with
  • Lists all of your contacts social updates
  • Displays all messages that you and your contact has exchanged through the social media site
  • All of this information available when you send/read emails from your contact in Outlook and in CRM.

What do you need to get started?  The Outlook Social Connector is available for Microsoft Outlook 2010, 2007 and 2003.  You will also have to download the 3rd party add on’s to bring in the updates from your favorite social media sites.

Social Network Providers available for Outlook Social Connector

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Let’s walk through an example of setting up LinkedIn for Office Social Connector.

If you have Outlook 2010, the Outlook Social Connector should come automatically with your activation.  If you have Outlook 2010, but no Social Connector, it may have been deselected during the installation of Microsoft Office Outlook.  In which case:

  • Open the Windows Control Panel, then click Program and Features.
  • In the Program and Features dialog box, select Microsoft Office 2010 and then click Change.
  • In the Microsoft Office 2010 setup dialog select Add or Remove Features and then click Continue.
  • In the Installation Options dialog, click Microsoft Outlook, click Outlook Add-Ins, and then click Outlook Social Connector.
  • Select Run from My Computer, and then click Continue.
  • Finish the Microsoft Office 2010 configuration process and restart Outlook.

For earlier versions of Microsoft Outlook (2007 & 2003), you can download the Microsoft Outlook Social Connector here.

Next, once you confirm you have the Microsoft Outlook Social Connector tool installed, proceed by downloading the LinkedIn Connector.

On the LinkedIn for Outlook site, click download and follow the quick wizard that downloads and installs the LinkedIn to Outlook connector.

Restart Microsoft Outlook.

In the Microsoft Outlook Ribbon

  • Click View
  • In the People Pane Section, Select People Pane

Social Connector in CRM 2011 image 2

  • Select Account Settings

Social Connector in CRM 2011 image 3

  • Select the LinkedIn checkbox and sign in to LinkedIn with your normal username and password.
  • Click Connect then Finish

Now go back to your inbox and highlight an existing email from one of your contacts, who is also a Connection on LinkedIn.

Social Connector in CRM 2011 image 4

Example: Jim Sheehan is a connection of mine on LinkedIn and Jim is also a contact in Microsoft CRM, with Microsoft Outlook Social Communicator; I am now able to view all related activities in one central location:

  1. Jim’s LinkedIn profile picture – put a face to a name/email address
  2. Jim’s company and title
  3. LinkedIn Connector icon
  4. Links to Home Page, Jim’s RSS Feeds, Emails received from Jim, Attachments received from Jim, and all meeting invites from Jim
  5. All of Jims LinkedIn updates, LinkedIn messages, RSS feeds, standard emails, standard outlook appointments sorted by date.

Oh wait, there’s more. Not only does this store all the important information that I need to know before my next interaction with Jim from Outlook, I can also see this same information for Jim’s contact record in Microsoft CRM 2011.

Social Connector in CRM 2011 image 5

Cool stuff.

Happy CRM’ing!

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JoeCRM

Joe CRM is a CRM superhero who runs on pure Microsoft Dynamics CRM adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe CRM’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics CRM and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.