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Salesforce And Microsoft Unveil Outlook Integration

shutterstock 288384938Salesforce and Microsoft teamed up to announce the release of Lightning for Outlook, a plug-in designed to help sales reps and marketers. With the integration, Salesforce and Outlook users will no longer have to toggle back and forth between the CRM and email provider to perform core tasks.

Salesforce users will be able to embed Lightning Components — the reusable building blocks of code that are placed into apps — into a non-Salesforce application. (For example, sales reps will be able to update a price quote with Salesforce SteelBrick CPQ from within Outlook, or leverage a partner component such as sales performance software Altify.)

In addition, the companies said mutual customers will be able to automatically sync contacts and calendar events across Outlook and Salesforce, as well as search for Salesforce records within Outlook.

Customers cannot access the plugin from mobile devices, but that feature is coming soon to Outlook Mobile, the companies reported.

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One analyst said the integration is a win for customers.

"The world is becoming more interconnected than ever before, yet most technology solutions are isolated from one another so users are spending their valuable time toggling between complex apps and manually updating data," saidMary Wardley, VP of CRM Applications and Customer Experience at IDC, in a statement.

"This relationship between Microsoft and Salesforce is an excellent example of two companies that are putting the customer first by offering joint solutions built with the end user in mind, so individuals can be more productive and companies can digitally transform faster."