What are the limitations of Outlook 2007 BCM?



We are looking at different CRM/Contact Management software packages for our
sales group. We have 52 sales in the US and about 40 sales reps in Europe.
My manager wants me to look at Outlook 2007 Business Contact Manager. I know
in the past, BCM only worked with Small Business server and Outlook pop3
accounts. Now it sounds like this has changed with the newer version. I
would like to find out if Outlook 2007 BCM would meet our contact management
needs. From some reading I have been doing, Outlook 2007 BCM can only
support up to 50 users. Does anyone know why this is the limit? Also, I
have read that Outlook 2007 BCM can be used with an Exchange 2007 Server, not
just Small Business Server. Can anyone confirm this? I have also read that
you can centralize the database to a SQL database. Is this really the case?
I basically want to confirm that Outlook 2007 BCM would meet our US and
European sales group needs. I am thinking it really won't, but there are
others here who think it will. Thank you in advance for you feedback.

mrtimpeterson via OfficeKB.com


There are several limitations built in to Outlook BCM. I have tried the new
2007 BCM and after over 4 years, it is STILL needlessly limited in its
relational linking capabilities. The new user interface is beautiful but one
is still ONLY allowed to link 1 Business Contact Record per 1 Account Record.
Also, one can only link EITHER only 1 Business Contact Record or 1 Account
Record to an individual business opportunity record. Once a business
opportunity is linked to just 1 other record, you cannot link anyone elso
even if those other someone elses (as is so often the case) are also key
players intricately involved in closing a sale. It is almost like the
designers have naively assumed that there is 1 and only 1 way that a business
will operate. For the life of me, I just do NOT get it about this oversight!
I am just registering this solicited feedback as loud and clear as I can for
all to read and know BEFORE they begin to adopt BCM without knowing of this
oversight and limited functionality in advance.

In my opinion these design limitations are simply unforgiveable by MS for
small business users in the real world. I refuse to restrict my database
usage needs to such a stupid "one-size-fits-all" design flaw. This is an
unnecessary issue reflecting sloppy programming that should not require
someone to have to work around.

I would recommend that you check out an Outlook centric alternative such as

Best wishes,




I think your company is too big for BCM -- try MS CRM, or ACT!, or
salesforce.com, or SalesLogix. I don't believe there is a "hard" 50 user
limit on BCM but the synchronization is too limited for you to handle that
many users. Everyone would have to get a copy of the entire database and in
a company of your size, that's usually not wanted.

While I agree with Tim that BCM "could have" allowed an opportunity to be
linked to more than one contact or account (but not both), I don't see it as
such a showstopper as he does. For most small businesses, if they would just
enter the opportunities, link them to something, and track them through the
sales process, they'd be infinitely farther ahead than they are now. I've
been dealing with salespeople forecasting sales since we wrote
ForecastManager! for ACT! in 1994 and the biggest problem is not the software
-- it's that they don't do it!


Lon Orenstein

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