Even as Microsoft pulls together a lot of its collaborative firepower into Teams, it's continuing to spin off more focused apps at specific challenges facing businesses. Today, that challenge is customer relationship management for small businesses.
It's launched a new service and mobile app called Outlook Customer Manager that's available as a free add-on for those with an Office 365 Business Premium Plan, starting today for those in the First Release program and rolling out worldwide over the next few months.
The app builds on Bookings, its customer scheduling app, and is designed to hit at the same small business segment.
"Outlook Customer Manager gives you a complete view of your interactions with each customer, helps you track tasks and deals in progress, and surfaces timely reminders. You can stay on top of customer relationships right from Outlook, with no need to install or learn separate tool," Microsoft wrote in a release announcing the new software. "And as your business needs grow, you can move to Dynamics 365 to take advantage of enhanced customer information, process efficiency and consistency, and deeper financial and customer insights"
The app looks like a slick way to bring varying data sources — from calendar items to customer contact information — together in one place and allow smooth transitions in case one employee needs to hand off things to someone else.
On desktop, the application just surfaces as a new tab in Outlook (see above), and on mobile it has its own dedicated app:
The mobile app is iOS only for now, but Microsoft said it will be rolling out to other operating systems soon.