follow up calls - how do we manage them?


G

Guest

We have a simple requirement and as yet BCM does not seem to fulfil it. This
is getting very frustrating to the point of ditching the product. Here it is:

We need to be able view a list of follow up calls to accounts (or business
contacts – either will do) that need to be made each day. From that list we
need to drill through to the account and make the call. Sounds simple doesn’t
it? ….You’d think.

Apparently BCM doesn’t support Follow up flags in any meaningful way (due
dates especially), or enable a list view of accounts that can be sorted by
follow up flag “due dateâ€.

Also, Tasks are clearly held outside of BCM and the only way to make a link
that you can drill back to the account with is to manually search and attach
from the contact box on the task.

Yes, I know you can link the task to an account when the task is created
from within the account, but you can’t drill back to the account from the
task (unless you’ve gone through the unnecessarily long process of manually
attaching it first). This makes using tasks in the way we understand it,
unmanageable.

Surely wanting a follow up list sorted by date is standard contact
management functionality.

Sorry for the “rant†but as a company we want to access our list of follow
up calls quickly and make them.

Please help us if you have any good suggestions as to how we can truly make
the best of BCM?

Thank you.
 
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T

Tim P via OfficeKB.com

You have concluded correctly that the only way to manage your follow up calls
in the way you want to is to use a task item for each call. Once the task
item is manually linked you can then drill through from each task item in
order to have 2 way navigation between the task and the linked Account or
Business Contact item. Your dated Follow up call task items can be sorted
and viewed any number of ways that you wish. Using Tasks is the only way
because BCM does not support the use of the follow up flag feature that
Standard Outlook alone uses. When viewing my tasks I arrange by using the
"Show in groups" option and this gives me a good variety of ways to see and
plan for what is ahead. Play around a bit with the different Task folder
viewing options on the menu bar and you may find something that works well
for you.

-THP
 
G

Guest

Hi Tim,

Thanks for your thoughts. We have a telemarketing guy whose job it is to
call new contacts and schedule follow up calls etc. Tasks is the logical
choice and anyway using Calendar for this would be unworkable.

The heart of the problem is that when adding the task, you have to manually
search and make a connection with an account or contact (if you want to get
back to that account or contact from the Task - and everyone would!) Surely
if I have initiated the task from within an account, a link must be made that
I can drill back to account from!

Manually doing this is not good when you have between 5 and 10k
records....and several clicks to get there first.

I know the Task will be "auto-linked" to the account but it's worthless if I
can't follow that link.

I hope I am making sense here as I'm sure I'm not missing something?

Thanks.
Ian
 
G

Guest

Ian I agree with you this is my biggest gripe with this app, how they even
try to call this a mini CRM or a contact manager baffles me. You can get
this functionality in many other programs like ACT, Goldmine etc. I would
recommend looking at one of those apps.
 
T

Tim P via OfficeKB.com

Ian,

BCM is a relational data base add-in to stand alone Outlook which has a very
popular UI but utilizes PST object items. Tasks are native Outlook PST items
that are copied in BCM but remain and operate as separate object items in the
original Outlook application. My guess is that this kludgy manual linking
requirement is due to their being 2 side by side separate apps. This manual
linking requirement is indeed a shameful BCM workflow design limitation. My
own work around is to keep repeatedly using the same task item over and over
for each newly planned follow up call. Once each follow up call task item is
manually linked to either an Account or Business Contact (or both), I just
change the date on this already linked task item to the next intended follow
up so I avoid having to always create a new task item and re-link it again.
It's a real labor saver. BCM's Business History folder effectively journals
what has happened with my logged calls in the past so I don't need to keep a
redundant list of "checked off" completed tasks in the task folder. This
work around procedure also keeps my Outlook PST task folder item count lower.


Your telemarketing guy could manually link each phone call task initially 1
time only and then just maintain the same linked task item for each
subsequent follow up call. Catching up with linking your multitude of other
existing Contacts and/or Accounts can occur gradually over time as he runs
into the follow up calls that take place. By maintaining 1 constantly linked
task item with each Account I then also have a way (using the lower left
contact link field on the Task form) to link additional Business Contacts to
an Account eventhough those Business Contacts may already be linked to an
additional separate Account thus also getting around the stupid BCM design
limitation of only being able to link 1 Account per a single Business Contact.


If you're already fed up and not willing to utilize my suggested work around,
you can explore a great Outlook based alternative at www.avidian.com. I have
also used this add-in application and it works very well.

Best wishes,

-THP


Ian I agree with you this is my biggest gripe with this app, how they even
try to call this a mini CRM or a contact manager baffles me. You can get
this functionality in many other programs like ACT, Goldmine etc. I would
recommend looking at one of those apps.
[quoted text clipped - 66 lines]
 
T

Tim P via OfficeKB.com

Additional thoughts:

I believe that the workflow assumption of BCM's design is that you always
access a linked task (1 way) from the Account or Business Contact item.
Sales action however can often best flow off of a sorted and prioritized task
list. I don't initiate my follow up calls each day by going to the Account
or Business Contact first. I look at my task list from the Outlook Today
view first in order to see what needs to be done. Eventhough we can
initially create new task items from the Account and have them Auto linked
and listed in the Account History form we need a way to view the link and
navigate both ways more easily without extra manual linking required. 1 way
auto linking of tasks is not worthless. It is entirely convenient but it's
what happens afterward as one needs to work with such linked items. BCM
designers need to incorporate much more end user reality and fore thought in
order to avoid such rudimentary sales related workflow issues. Your postings
on this thread make perfect sense to me Ian and I don't think you are missing
anything.

If anyone is missing something it seems to be the designers of BCM who
apparently do not run their own small business thus not relating well to
fundamental usage features as this thread illuminates. BCM limitations such
as this cannot be due to limited time or resources in the version release
planning cycle. I will never believe that. Limits such as this just seem to
be sloppy oversights that result from the lack of end user empathy or input.


-THP


Tim said:
Ian,

BCM is a relational data base add-in to stand alone Outlook which has a very
popular UI but utilizes PST object items. Tasks are native Outlook PST items
that are copied in BCM but remain and operate as separate object items in the
original Outlook application. My guess is that this kludgy manual linking
requirement is due to their being 2 side by side separate apps. This manual
linking requirement is indeed a shameful BCM workflow design limitation. My
own work around is to keep repeatedly using the same task item over and over
for each newly planned follow up call. Once each follow up call task item is
manually linked to either an Account or Business Contact (or both), I just
change the date on this already linked task item to the next intended follow
up so I avoid having to always create a new task item and re-link it again.
It's a real labor saver. BCM's Business History folder effectively journals
what has happened with my logged calls in the past so I don't need to keep a
redundant list of "checked off" completed tasks in the task folder. This
work around procedure also keeps my Outlook PST task folder item count lower.

Your telemarketing guy could manually link each phone call task initially 1
time only and then just maintain the same linked task item for each
subsequent follow up call. Catching up with linking your multitude of other
existing Contacts and/or Accounts can occur gradually over time as he runs
into the follow up calls that take place. By maintaining 1 constantly linked
task item with each Account I then also have a way (using the lower left
contact link field on the Task form) to link additional Business Contacts to
an Account eventhough those Business Contacts may already be linked to an
additional separate Account thus also getting around the stupid BCM design
limitation of only being able to link 1 Account per a single Business Contact.

If you're already fed up and not willing to utilize my suggested work around,
you can explore a great Outlook based alternative at www.avidian.com. I have
also used this add-in application and it works very well.

Best wishes,

-THP
Ian I agree with you this is my biggest gripe with this app, how they even
try to call this a mini CRM or a contact manager baffles me. You can get
[quoted text clipped - 5 lines]
 
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G

Guest

Hi Tim,

I appreciate you taking the time to explain the reason for the issue and
your suggested work around, many thanks for your explanation. We will try
your idea of one rolling task for each account that we need to follow up.
This makes sense to me.

I still can’t believe something has been written for contact management that
doesn’t allow you to schedule follow up calls, properly linked to an account
or person!

Anyway, I have looked at Avidian Prophet and it looks good, although I would
be interested to know if it does anything unfriendly to Oultook when you
de-install it at some point. I know this is probably not the best forum to be
talking about Avidian.

I have invested a lot of time and effort into BCM and I would be keen to
make it work for us…..but there’s a limit…..MS must remember that we are all
trying to use this as a tool for our business .

Tim – thanks again.

Ian

Tim P via OfficeKB.com said:
Additional thoughts:

I believe that the workflow assumption of BCM's design is that you always
access a linked task (1 way) from the Account or Business Contact item.
Sales action however can often best flow off of a sorted and prioritized task
list. I don't initiate my follow up calls each day by going to the Account
or Business Contact first. I look at my task list from the Outlook Today
view first in order to see what needs to be done. Eventhough we can
initially create new task items from the Account and have them Auto linked
and listed in the Account History form we need a way to view the link and
navigate both ways more easily without extra manual linking required. 1 way
auto linking of tasks is not worthless. It is entirely convenient but it's
what happens afterward as one needs to work with such linked items. BCM
designers need to incorporate much more end user reality and fore thought in
order to avoid such rudimentary sales related workflow issues. Your postings
on this thread make perfect sense to me Ian and I don't think you are missing
anything.

If anyone is missing something it seems to be the designers of BCM who
apparently do not run their own small business thus not relating well to
fundamental usage features as this thread illuminates. BCM limitations such
as this cannot be due to limited time or resources in the version release
planning cycle. I will never believe that. Limits such as this just seem to
be sloppy oversights that result from the lack of end user empathy or input.


-THP


Tim said:
Ian,

BCM is a relational data base add-in to stand alone Outlook which has a very
popular UI but utilizes PST object items. Tasks are native Outlook PST items
that are copied in BCM but remain and operate as separate object items in the
original Outlook application. My guess is that this kludgy manual linking
requirement is due to their being 2 side by side separate apps. This manual
linking requirement is indeed a shameful BCM workflow design limitation. My
own work around is to keep repeatedly using the same task item over and over
for each newly planned follow up call. Once each follow up call task item is
manually linked to either an Account or Business Contact (or both), I just
change the date on this already linked task item to the next intended follow
up so I avoid having to always create a new task item and re-link it again.
It's a real labor saver. BCM's Business History folder effectively journals
what has happened with my logged calls in the past so I don't need to keep a
redundant list of "checked off" completed tasks in the task folder. This
work around procedure also keeps my Outlook PST task folder item count lower.

Your telemarketing guy could manually link each phone call task initially 1
time only and then just maintain the same linked task item for each
subsequent follow up call. Catching up with linking your multitude of other
existing Contacts and/or Accounts can occur gradually over time as he runs
into the follow up calls that take place. By maintaining 1 constantly linked
task item with each Account I then also have a way (using the lower left
contact link field on the Task form) to link additional Business Contacts to
an Account eventhough those Business Contacts may already be linked to an
additional separate Account thus also getting around the stupid BCM design
limitation of only being able to link 1 Account per a single Business Contact.

If you're already fed up and not willing to utilize my suggested work around,
you can explore a great Outlook based alternative at www.avidian.com. I have
also used this add-in application and it works very well.

Best wishes,

-THP
Ian I agree with you this is my biggest gripe with this app, how they even
try to call this a mini CRM or a contact manager baffles me. You can get
[quoted text clipped - 5 lines]
Thank you.
 
T

Tim P via OfficeKB.com

Ian,

I had absolutely zero difficulty with my entire experience using Avidian
Prophet. They are a very helpful and innovative 3rd party developer with
great support responsiveness. The main reason that I am currently tolerating
the design limitations of BCM is in transitional preparation for the next
release (1st quarter '06?) of the full CRM version 3.0 on a hosted server.
My consulting business needs are growing and if the costs of access are
appropriate for their new upcoming CRM small business edition I may just
make the leap on a trial basis. My biggest wish is for an easily accessible
database from remote locations by many users. The Salesforce.com model seems
to be the wave of the future and I hope that Microsoft gets into the game
with a very Outlook friendly solution along this path. Microsoft is going to
give users the option to implement a solution that is web hosted by their
partners with the option to migrate the hosted CRM to an in-house server
anytime at a later date or vice versa. This appealing option flexibility is
a whole new approach for Redmond and its partner network. We will have to
wait and see if they can navigate the paradigm shift. I truly beieve that
BCM is intentionally crippled with functional limitations because if this app
were more robust it would compete with the need for us small business guys to
hire a Microsoft partner for implementation because many of us wouldn't
necessarily need to migrate to the full CRM as quickly. In other words the
misery incentive from BCM is probably just great enough to get many to step
up into their CRM. That's too bad because I believe that a more smartly
designed, functionally robust version of BCM would actually prove to be a
more powerful entry level drawing card (rather than deterrent) for so many
Office users that wish to remain comfortably within the familiar Outlook
environment. If you can get users loyal to a platform without needlessly
pissing them off with limited functionality it would seem to serve a more
successful higher purpose as the small business grows their enterprise.

My motto is bring the application to the user rather than the user to the
application.

But hey, what the heck do I know?

-THP



Hi Tim,

I appreciate you taking the time to explain the reason for the issue and
your suggested work around, many thanks for your explanation. We will try
your idea of one rolling task for each account that we need to follow up.
This makes sense to me.

I still can’t believe something has been written for contact management that
doesn’t allow you to schedule follow up calls, properly linked to an account
or person!

Anyway, I have looked at Avidian Prophet and it looks good, although I would
be interested to know if it does anything unfriendly to Oultook when you
de-install it at some point. I know this is probably not the best forum to be
talking about Avidian.

I have invested a lot of time and effort into BCM and I would be keen to
make it work for us…..but there’s a limit…..MS must remember that we are all
trying to use this as a tool for our business .

Tim – thanks again.

Ian
Additional thoughts:
[quoted text clipped - 65 lines]
 
T

Tim P via OfficeKB.com

Ian,

The information about SQL interference from BCM with Prophet is consistent
with my experience. You cannot have these 2 com add ins installed
concurrently. When I removed the BCM version 1 I did it through the Control
Panel add/remove. I'm not sure why that option isn't possible for you on
your machine. I agree that you can try to do an uninstall from the original
set up disk.

-THP


Ian I uninstalled it from Add/Remove programs, you could try to uninstall it
from within the Office 2003 set-up program.
Thanks Joey,
[quoted text clipped - 55 lines]
 
G

Guest

Yes it is too bad that Avidian does not have any discussion forums.

Tim if you know of any discussion forums on Prophet I would sure appreciate
it.
 
G

Guest

Thanks,

I'll tell you what I've got MS "wise" that may be relevant in add/remove:

..NET framework 1.1
MS Office Outlook 2003 with BCM update
MS Office Professional
MS SQL Server Desktop Engine

Sorry but I'm not a technical person but I would have thought I would have a
program in add/remove called Microsoft Business Contact Manager? or do I need
to remove ALL of Outlook then re-install without BCM?

I'm showing my technical naivety here :)

Thanks for any help.
Ian
 
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T

Tim P via OfficeKB.com

Ian,

In your Add/ Remove section of Control Panel you need to select the program
titled "Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 with BCM Update." This program should
be the size of 231 MB. This is what you highlight to remove. It will not
remove your entire Outlook program, just the BCM add-in. During uninstall,
the wizard will prompt you to also approve its removal of the "Microsoft SQL
Server Desktop Engine". This program should be the size of 75.74 MB. Click
yes for the wizard to also remove the SQL Server Desktop Engine when prompted.


This should get the job done for you.

-THP
 
G

Guest

Thanks Tim,

Sorted it now. Thank you for your help. I can take a good look at Prophet.

Back to the original conversation we were having, I'll let you know what
progress I make with the problem of scheduling follow ups with BCM. I have
serveral users on it and have a degree of reluctance to ditch it and spend
more money...although if Prophet can make us more productive, it will carry
the cost easily.

Ian
 
T

Tim P via OfficeKB.com

Ian,

I will be very curious to learn how things work out for you and what you
eventually decide to do.

-THP


Thanks Tim,

Sorted it now. Thank you for your help. I can take a good look at Prophet.

Back to the original conversation we were having, I'll let you know what
progress I make with the problem of scheduling follow ups with BCM. I have
serveral users on it and have a degree of reluctance to ditch it and spend
more money...although if Prophet can make us more productive, it will carry
the cost easily.

Ian
[quoted text clipped - 32 lines]
 
G

Guest

Guys,

I think I just found a way to deal with this linking issue with tasks.

When you are in an account and want to create a a task, go:

New, task (as normal)
Add the notes you want
Then just "cut and paste" the name of the account from the account main
screen, to the "contact" field (bottom left of the task screen).
The link is now made.

After you have saved the task, when you go back into it, you can drill
straight through to the account.

Sounds too simple to me :)

I'll let you know if it starts acting strange.

Cheers.

Ian



Tim P via OfficeKB.com said:
Ian,

I will be very curious to learn how things work out for you and what you
eventually decide to do.

-THP


Thanks Tim,

Sorted it now. Thank you for your help. I can take a good look at Prophet.

Back to the original conversation we were having, I'll let you know what
progress I make with the problem of scheduling follow ups with BCM. I have
serveral users on it and have a degree of reluctance to ditch it and spend
more money...although if Prophet can make us more productive, it will carry
the cost easily.

Ian
[quoted text clipped - 32 lines]
Tim if you know of any discussion forums on Prophet I would sure appreciate
it.
 
T

Tim P via OfficeKB.com

Ian,

Much kudos to you for discovering such a great short-cut solution as a
helpful work-around for this. Sometimes the simplest solution is the most
obvious yet elusive one! Your cut & paste idea sure beats the more
cumbersome navigating necessary in order to manually create this link from an
Outlook (Task)record item back to the BCM (Account) record item in order to
effect a 2 way navigation route for "drilling" both ways between these 2
items. I still wish that this design oversight wouldn't necessitate such
creative invention and I sure would love to see some kind of "Tips & Tricks"
users guide published.

-THP


Guys,

I think I just found a way to deal with this linking issue with tasks.

When you are in an account and want to create a a task, go:

New, task (as normal)
Add the notes you want
Then just "cut and paste" the name of the account from the account main
screen, to the "contact" field (bottom left of the task screen).
The link is now made.

After you have saved the task, when you go back into it, you can drill
straight through to the account.

Sounds too simple to me :)

I'll let you know if it starts acting strange.

Cheers.

Ian
[quoted text clipped - 20 lines]
 
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G

Guest

Tim,

I must admit, it gave me a shock to discover something so simple…..and me
not being a techie aswell!

I like you idea of a tips and tricks guide, maybe MS will pick up on this
(we know you're listening) :)

On the wider point, I can see us sticking it out with BCM as I feel the
overhead of change may be too great. We have 5 users and loads (and I mean
loads) of data - circa 34k of contacts. It’s a common story - “the software’s
not great but the pain of change is too highâ€. I say it’s a shame the
software isn’t great in the first place!

Don’t get me wrong, there is some good stuff here and I know it’s never
going to be all things to everybody, but some of the features that will be
common to most, if not all businesses, e.g. follow up calls, should be better.

Anyway, we need to hold and share the d/b centrally as we’re tired of doing
the import / export routine and I’m looking at getting an Exhange Server and
SBS, although I’m not sure if or how this works with BCM.

Have you done this or do you have any thoughts here?

Ian


Tim P via OfficeKB.com said:
Ian,

Much kudos to you for discovering such a great short-cut solution as a
helpful work-around for this. Sometimes the simplest solution is the most
obvious yet elusive one! Your cut & paste idea sure beats the more
cumbersome navigating necessary in order to manually create this link from an
Outlook (Task)record item back to the BCM (Account) record item in order to
effect a 2 way navigation route for "drilling" both ways between these 2
items. I still wish that this design oversight wouldn't necessitate such
creative invention and I sure would love to see some kind of "Tips & Tricks"
users guide published.

-THP


Guys,

I think I just found a way to deal with this linking issue with tasks.

When you are in an account and want to create a a task, go:

New, task (as normal)
Add the notes you want
Then just "cut and paste" the name of the account from the account main
screen, to the "contact" field (bottom left of the task screen).
The link is now made.

After you have saved the task, when you go back into it, you can drill
straight through to the account.

Sounds too simple to me :)

I'll let you know if it starts acting strange.

Cheers.

Ian
[quoted text clipped - 20 lines]
Tim if you know of any discussion forums on Prophet I would sure appreciate
it.
 
T

Tim P via OfficeKB.com

Ian,

I remain mystified by this whole question of whether or not BCM will work on
a server. Officially, the answer from anything I can find from Microsoft is
no. BCM is supported only in a peer to peer network configuration. I
believe that if it were server based it would compete too directly with their
CRM. I do not have any experience of setting up something like this but I
certainly have a keen interest because fundamentally it is a great thing to
have the capability for secure, centrally accessible data via a web
connection from remote users. A LOT of the questions on this forum are from
people who are misinterpreting that as what BCM version 2 data "sharing"
means. I don't believe that BCM is intended to be server based at all
eventhough some users have indicated that it has a tolerated co-existance in
an exchange or SBS environment. Someone with more tech know how than me will
have to weigh in on this one.

BTW, I agree with your 'pain of change' sentiments. I rant here a lot about
some of the stupid oversights with its design but BCM does have some nice
features. It is because BCM comes so close sometimes that it is a big tease
enough to piss you off when certain basic functions are so lacking. BCM is a
great step in the right direction for improving Outlook but it has a ways to
go to be the premier small business tool in this regard. Suckers like us
will just have to make do as best we can I guess. Microsoft is missing the
mark of a real opportunity here with BCM's limitations. They could draw a
LOT more users if it were more robust and customizable. Who knows, maybe in
10 years or so they might just catch on!

-THP
Tim,

I must admit, it gave me a shock to discover something so simple…..and me
not being a techie aswell!

I like you idea of a tips and tricks guide, maybe MS will pick up on this
(we know you're listening) :)

On the wider point, I can see us sticking it out with BCM as I feel the
overhead of change may be too great. We have 5 users and loads (and I mean
loads) of data - circa 34k of contacts. It’s a common story - “the software’s
not great but the pain of change is too high”. I say it’s a shame the
software isn’t great in the first place!

Don’t get me wrong, there is some good stuff here and I know it’s never
going to be all things to everybody, but some of the features that will be
common to most, if not all businesses, e.g. follow up calls, should be better.

Anyway, we need to hold and share the d/b centrally as we’re tired of doing
the import / export routine and I’m looking at getting an Exhange Server and
SBS, although I’m not sure if or how this works with BCM.

Have you done this or do you have any thoughts here?

Ian
[quoted text clipped - 38 lines]
 
G

Guest

Hi Tim,

I appreciate your thoughts.

I don’t believe we need web access. All we want to do is to work remotely
and then when we are back in the office, synchronise with the server so that
all the users have a refresh of all the data?

Ian


Tim P via OfficeKB.com said:
Ian,

I remain mystified by this whole question of whether or not BCM will work on
a server. Officially, the answer from anything I can find from Microsoft is
no. BCM is supported only in a peer to peer network configuration. I
believe that if it were server based it would compete too directly with their
CRM. I do not have any experience of setting up something like this but I
certainly have a keen interest because fundamentally it is a great thing to
have the capability for secure, centrally accessible data via a web
connection from remote users. A LOT of the questions on this forum are from
people who are misinterpreting that as what BCM version 2 data "sharing"
means. I don't believe that BCM is intended to be server based at all
eventhough some users have indicated that it has a tolerated co-existance in
an exchange or SBS environment. Someone with more tech know how than me will
have to weigh in on this one.

BTW, I agree with your 'pain of change' sentiments. I rant here a lot about
some of the stupid oversights with its design but BCM does have some nice
features. It is because BCM comes so close sometimes that it is a big tease
enough to piss you off when certain basic functions are so lacking. BCM is a
great step in the right direction for improving Outlook but it has a ways to
go to be the premier small business tool in this regard. Suckers like us
will just have to make do as best we can I guess. Microsoft is missing the
mark of a real opportunity here with BCM's limitations. They could draw a
LOT more users if it were more robust and customizable. Who knows, maybe in
10 years or so they might just catch on!

-THP
Tim,

I must admit, it gave me a shock to discover something so simple…..and me
not being a techie aswell!

I like you idea of a tips and tricks guide, maybe MS will pick up on this
(we know you're listening) :)

On the wider point, I can see us sticking it out with BCM as I feel the
overhead of change may be too great. We have 5 users and loads (and I mean
loads) of data - circa 34k of contacts. It’s a common story - “the software’s
not great but the pain of change is too highâ€. I say it’s a shame the
software isn’t great in the first place!

Don’t get me wrong, there is some good stuff here and I know it’s never
going to be all things to everybody, but some of the features that will be
common to most, if not all businesses, e.g. follow up calls, should be better.

Anyway, we need to hold and share the d/b centrally as we’re tired of doing
the import / export routine and I’m looking at getting an Exhange Server and
SBS, although I’m not sure if or how this works with BCM.

Have you done this or do you have any thoughts here?

Ian
[quoted text clipped - 38 lines]
Tim if you know of any discussion forums on Prophet I would sure appreciate
it.
 
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G

Guest

I'd like to thank Ian, Tim and joeycan for confirming my opportunity tracking
experience with BCM & Outlook. I employ reusable Tasks for reminders,
back-link via the Contacts field in the Task to the Account, and either use
the manual Link to Record in a Task for existing Tasks or the Create new Task
in an Account to achieve bidirectional navigation. This is at least a
workable approach.

In my opinion, the key requirements for BCM's competitive success are to:
1. Integrate BCM with Outlook in such a way that the full functionality of
Outlook is available in BCM and enhanced by the additional functionality
offered with BCM.
2. Support fluid relationship management among contacts (e.g., individuals,
accounts, organizations and roles [including positions]), events (e.g.,
calendar [schedule] & condition [task] driven), processes (opportunities,
sales cycles, delivery cycles) and supporting content (e.g., documents,
folders, attachments, notes, messages). Linkages need to be as automated as
possible to reduce work effort.

Selling and delivering occur in a non-linear fashion that can only be
handled through effective integration and agile management of this kind of
information.

I am also the owner of a small consulting firm and must depend on software
to relieve me of administrative overhead that I don't have time for. BCM
shows glimmers of this vision but needs a more thoughtful and
better-architected approach to achieve it.

If I stumble across any “eurekasâ€, I'll pass them on.
 

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