Earlier this month, Microsoft announced the launch of its new Starbucks for Outlook add-in, making it easier to schedule meetings at your nearest coffee house, where you can convince yourself that you're being productive while quaffing lattes and gobbling biscotti.
Today, it's introduced another new Outlook add-in, as part of its partnership with customer relationship management (CRM) giant Salesforce.
"CRM and email have traditionally been disconnected tools," Microsoft said today, "and sales reps have had to spend valuable time toggling between these apps."
Its new Lightning for Outlook add-in bridges the gap by allowing users to search, view and update Salesforce CRM entries connected with their email accounts within Outlook itself. Additionally:
Using Lightning Sync, you can automatically sync contacts and calendar events from your email to your CRM, so you don’t have [to] spend your time manually adding them. Soon you will also be able to add custom sales apps directly into Outlook, creating permanent shortcuts for tasks like updating a price quote using SteelBrick.
The new add-in is now available from the Office Store for Sales Cloud users. Lightning Sync is available at no additional cost for those with Sales Cloud Lightning Enterprise Edition or higher. Lightning Components Framework in Outlook will be available this Fall, and "pricing will be announced at that time".
To use the Lightning add-in, you'll need to be a user of the new Outlook.com, which is continuing to roll out; Outlook 2013/2016 for Windows; or Outlook 2016 for Mac or Outlook on the web, with Office 365, Exchange 2013 or Exchange 2016 mailboxes. It will be available for Outlook Mobile "soon".
Further info on the Lightning for Outlook add-in is available on the Salesforce Blog.