November 30, 2018 · Software · (No comments)

By Warren Strokes

Alphabet Soup

In the alphabet soup of computer software for businesses, there are very few standouts. One of these is SFA Outlook. So, what’s SFA stand for? Sales Force Automation, of course. SFA Outlook is not a brand name, but a class of plug-in or add-in to make Microsoft Outlook work smarter and not harder for you. Perhaps the most famous SFA Outlook plug-in was ACT, but there are now a lot more software companies making quality SFA Outlook programs.

Why Are There So Many?

Whenever one product makes money, there are bound to be a hundred other imitators usually making products inferior to the original. However, in the case of SFA Outlook plug-ins, this is not the case. The original SFA Outlook plug-in was ACT, but original is not always best in the business computer universe. Many computer experts today say that ACT is currently antiquated in comparison to many other brands of SFA Outlook plug-ins.

But ACT SFA Outlook still sells well and has just as many people who swear by it as there are people who swear at it. And you will find those many other brands with as many champions as detractors.

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Why is this? This is due to the nature of computers. Unlike many other kinds of equipment, like copiers or staplers, computers are very individual machines. Just because one hundred computers can use a particular brand of SFA Outlook does not mean that YOUR computer will be able to run it.

For all of these quirks, there are many companies out there putting out SFA Outlook plug-ins to help serve all of those cranky and individualistic computers and their components.

Because it s not only your computer’s hard drive and Outlook that your SFA Outlook add-in has to cope with, it’s also your ISP, your computer security programs and your email programs. With each new program, the chances for screw-ups and non-compatibility increase.

What Does It Do?

You know the old saying, “Computers aren t smart. They just do dumb things really fast”? Well, SFA Outlook does dumb things in Outlook very fast. They can automate a lot of time-consuming tasks for your business. Tasks that SFA Outlook programs can automate include order tracking, inventory management, sales forecast analysis and information sharing.

The best SFA Outlook plug-ins are integrated within Outlook itself, and can be used for Outlook 2000, 2003 or XP. (Oh come on no one seriously uses Vista yet!) This way, you only have to have one application up instead of two on your computer. Any applications slow your computer down, so it’s best to have as few on as possible.

Remember, SFA Outlook plug-ins are only for Microsoft Outlook. They are not made for any other word processing or office management program. They also do not work for Macs. (That might seem painfully obvious to you, but some people in business need practical advice).

Doesn’t CRM Do All Of This?

Don t confuse SFA Outlook with contact management plug-ins or add-ins. They are similar, so this confusion is only logical. They both need Outlook in order to work and both enhance qualities of Outlook to help make your job easier. Contact management programs are often known as Customer Relationship Management or CRM programs. There’s that alphabet soup again to make things a bit confusing.

But SFA Outlook add-ins imply a certain specific function within the CRM universe. So, all SFA Outlook is CRM, but not all CRM is SFA Outlook. Before you go pounding a sledgehammer into your hard drive, take a deep breath. SFA Outlook just refers to the function of making some tasks automatic in Outlook.

Or, go ahead and pound your hard drive with a sledgehammer anyway. It’s a free country. Your sledgehammer won’t automate common business tasks like SFA Outlook will, but it will probably be more therapeutic. And it may make negotiating your next raise front page news.

When you eventually get out of jail, get another job, get another PC and put Outlook back on it, you will want to be sure your next CRM program has a SFA Outlook function, because not all do. And definitely put the sledgehammer away. Smashing computers into junk never feels as good as it does that first time you do it.

About the Author: Author Bio: Warren Strokes is the co-founder and CEO of Avidian Technologies, makers of Prophet, The easiest CRM software for Outlook, SFA Outlook – Your Business Solution. For more information about Avidian, visit


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October 14, 2018 · Software · (No comments)

By Yzwd Dwz

Yammer is a corporate social network service launched in September 2008, the growth is very rapid, and in less than three years time, it already has more than 100,000 corporate users in more than 160 countries and regions, including the wealth 85% of the 500 companies … Cisco, Groupon, Adobe, AMD, Intuit and other companies are Yammer Yammer website said user. ,7-11 this year, Ford Motor Company, Southern Company, Shell and SuperValu have become Yammer customers.

Positioning determine success or failure: what Yammer positioning?

Facebook positioning public groups, Yammer positioning of enterprise groups. Facebook is no threshold, people can register. Yammer enterprise users via E-mail registration. It locked segments and corporate users. Viewed from this angle, Yammer overall closed, partially open, to provide personalized for each enterprise SNS platform, a working version of Facebook.

The Yammer oriented colleagues at any time to express the state: what I am working on, what I’m working on. Yammer is essentially an SNS tool, and be able to make work easier, more efficient.

Yammer function-oriented

The Yammer theme What are you doing the work. This is a guide, let you publish state organizations colleagues to discuss the creative, ask questions, share links and other information. From this perspective, Yammer is equivalent to the establishment of an internal knowledge base for each enterprise KM, here to save all employee records and question-and-answer dialogue record.

It does not have a character limit, you can add photos, documents and videos. Easy throughout the organization completed in a convenient platform for the sharing of knowledge, transfer of experience, wisdom upgrade.

Companies often have different project team through the Yammer project-based time management, team members can be above the daily schedule, weekly plan, monthly plans. Daily work can be updated in real time, managers can keep abreast of the progress in the development of the developers.

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The full-text search and tagging features enhanced convenience and systematic knowledge management. By a different label, the employees can browse the different knowledge base classification system to learn the knowledge; through full-text search capabilities, you can search for the state of past users to publish and upload the document content. Yammer’s full-text search, text search the contents of Word documents can easily find the relevant documents.

The Yammer need the implementation of the Business

Yammer the above characteristics also makes the corporate Yammer need a separate familiar with knowledge management staff to implement the operators and operations personnel all documentation tab “Q & A” tab “reasonable organization and management of uploaded documents to form an internal “knowledge-based systems.

In enterprise collaborative aspect of the work plan, the project manager should be forced to project personnel to use Yammer Entry “weekly plan” or “work plan”, so as to facilitate the administrator at any time to view the work status of employees.

Yammer’s purpose is to make the work more efficient, if the user information is not standardized, are likely to lead to lower employee productivity, therefore Yammer operators need to implement in the enterprise.

Yammer in the end do what things

Yammer can bring enterprise rigid demand for enterprise use Yammer?

1 in the URL Favorites folder (like Delicious)

2, and the e-mail exchange, released less urgent information

3, Knowledge Base, upload DOC, PPT files, the formation of knowledge precipitate and fast query text search.

4, the mobile office, by phone anytime, anywhere access.

5, the corporate address book

6, sharing, voting, quiz, Conference Management

7, project management, time management

The domestic class Yammer enterprise social several development direction

1, the to Sina microblogging direction of development, highlight the convenience of communication exchange, this direction of development will eventually toward the nature of the microblogging platform development, the structure fundamentally biased in favor of sharing the Chat class information, for the enterprise, the enterprise Managers will consider how to guide employees issued and work-related information, which will increase or decrease the efficiency of the staff is a doubt.

Enterprise social platform is a real name of the community, to facilitate communication between the user, can not have a lot of entertaining applications Sina microblogging, otherwise it will affect the efficiency of the office, the office type applications can include schedule management, time management, task management, e-mail communications, project management, customer relationship management …

2 to platform direction of development, to provide an open platform, the introduction of a large number of third-party applications, making it a large and enterprise information platform. The reason for this line of thinking is that internal exchange platform is not sufficient to attract users, so we need something rigid, such as project management tools, scheduling tools. The early stage of development of this model will be very difficult, because the basic function, if not attractive, its value-added features also difficult some people will use.

Vertical development, basic functions focused on communication, at the same time to the development of additional features, such as: 1 KM to the corporate knowledge base and document management system development; 2, the internal HR and workflow development.


Rumored that Microsoft’s $ 1.2 billion acquisition of Yammer, the other a lot of people surprised, at the same time you can see the value and potential of social networking sites is huge, in fact, Microsoft has long seen the trend of development of the enterprise social network, for which it also introduced own enterprise social tool SharePoint. But SharePoint is not a successful product deployment process is very cumbersome, and poor cooperation and interaction, Yammer can just replace SharePoint dysplasia products. Analysts believe that the use of enterprise social future will be very common, and Internet field is in a large change of the times, to cloud computing, moving into a unique enterprise social applications will play an active role in the new world.

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