Unfortunately, Google Apps doesn’t come with the contact sharing baked in as well as some users expect (especially if they are migrating from Lotus Notes or Microsoft Exchange). Directory users can be shared but external ones can’t unless you use the API. So for most small businesses what are your options? Here are 5 options for sharing external (contacts in your “My Contacts” group) with other users in your domain:
- Export and import – Obviously not ideal but manageable if regular contact updates aren’t important to you. Click on the following links for more information: how to export Google contacts and how to import Google contacts.
- Contact Delegation – This allows users to delegate full access to the contacts in the “My contacts” group. This feature makes the most sense for when an executive needs to delegate their contacts to an assistant to keep updated. Unfortunately, the assistant won’t see the executives contacts show up in the autocomplete results (one of the main reasons for contact sharing). To delegate your contacts, follow these instructions.
- FlashPanel – This marketplace app comes with a lot more tools than just contact sharing but it does give you the ability to share contacts however it is admin controlled.
- Shared Contacts for Gmail – This marketplace app allows you to share contact groups (address books) like you would share a Google doc or calendar.
- CRM Syncing – This is always our recommended solution for several reasons:
- Collaboration – A CRM application helps you to collaborate with co-workers and is the best place to store your contacts and have a 360 degree view of all your interactions with them.
- Data Integrity – A CRM application preserves data integrity as address books tend to get messy in Google or any other contact manager. We always recommend 1 way syncing of contacts from a CRM like Salesforce to ensure that your data is kept clean.
- Simplicity – As your team ensures the contacts you have in your CRM are accurate, the subset of contacts you choose to sync to Google do so automatically behind the scenes if you are using a cloud app like Salesforce CRM. Clean data and less work managing contacts means better efficiencies for your small business.
If you’re looking for advice managing your contacts, we can help.
Contact Perpetual West at 1-(877) 388-6400 or visit our website.