In our latest Best Practices Webinar, we highlighted Accelo & Office365 - our Product Experts Drew Hansen and Katie Priest discussed how this integration helps your team centralize communication and knowledge of your top clients, as well as manage the valuable resource of time within your team.
What is the primary challenge businesses are trying to solve? Every business is looking to use a group of people to achieve a common goal. In order to successfully do that it requires coordinating the management of time, labor and costs - and communication is key to making that happen. You need a centralized place where your team has visibility, are able to receive project updates in real-time, and can access critical incoming client communications while honoring privacy and confidentiality.
Accelo and Office365's integration helps to solve this challenge and makes this happen by championing your business' communication and time coordination.
The integration syncs your Office365 emails to and from Accelo, syncs calendar events such as meetings or assignments between the two systems, it syncs companies and contacts that you're working with and point of contacts, and it syncs your tasks of to-do items between the Office365 task module and Accelo to help get your client work done.
In Accelo, all the work you do for your clients is naturally organized under the relevant company you're working with or the piece of conversation will automatically be captured under the contact you're chatting with.
Under List Companies: Sync contacts in your Office365 address book into your Accelo account, and it'll naturally get organized to help you locate your clients and the work pertaining to them with ease.
In the company overview page, get further detail about each client and a high-level pulse check on the relationship with this specific client. You can see how much work you're doing for this client and how actively you're working with this client.
Touches: Find any of the activities with this client i.e. internal notes, emails to and from your clients, meetings scheduled and calls logged - this will feed into the touches metric no matter if it's sent via Office365 or Accelo.
The Stream: a chronological capture of all the activities, communications and progress related to the client. This is especially useful if one of your colleagues is out on vacation or out sick and you need to jump in to see where they left off and lend a hand.
Within Company Details under Privacy and Add Relationship. You can select the particular contact along with yours, so anytime you email each other you can make it Confidential - it will show on the Stream that you two emailed but that content will not show up or select Secret - your interaction will be left off the Stream, and only available to you.
In your Contacts tab, you can add a new contact in Accelo and it'll sync with your Office365 contacts. If you add a contact in Office365, it'll recognize where it belongs in Accelo as well.
In the Sales level, you can locate upcoming work such as needing to send out a quote or attend an upcoming meeting that also syncs with your Office365 Calendar.
With the two-way sync, any client emails sent through Accelo get captured and any emails sent and received through Office365 Inbox gets shown in the Stream. You can even see the delivery status of an email and open rate.
At the Project level, with the email integration, if a task has sat in a certain status for too long and you're waiting on the client you can automatically trigger the system to send out an email to the client in regard to the task. Likewise for internal communication, if the project sat in a status for too long without any progress, you can send an internal note to your team member.
Add an Activity in the far left corner. You are able to send a Note to your internal team, or an Email externally, book a Meeting or log a Call. Make email communication even easier by selecting a common Activity Template. You're also able to select the privacy in the Email section. Locate the privacy option in the right corner where you can choose Default Settings, All, Confidential or Secret for this particular email.
With the Team Scheduling tool - on the left, you have your Tasks and Milestones from that Project and on the right side, you have your entire team. Drag and drop the Tasks from the left side to the correct team member on the right. You can schedule a specific date and time for each task, so with the two-way sync, it'll update your Office365 Calendar.
With Accelo's Inbox - locate it in the right-hand corner. You're able to filter the messages or search by title or project. You can view when messages were opened, or reply to the thread, control privacy rules, all the while your timer is naturally ticking away to help you manage your time efficiently and automatically goes against the work you're doing.
In your Office365 Inbox, you are able to view, manage and reply to your client/project emails and those will automatically sync with Accelo inbox and against the project you're working on. Accelo will naturally keep everything organized where they belong.
In your Office365 Calendar, any external events you add onto your calendar (appointments, commute), along with all the client work assigned to you (tasks, quotes, proposal reviews) you'll be able to see everything back in Accelo. You know exactly when assignments are booked out and due, making it easy to ensure you have the time to complete all your client work in a timely manner. The sync helps when your manager is assigning tasks - they can note when you're busy or offline so they know your scheduling and capacity to assign at a time that best fits your bandwidth.
In Office365 Tasks module view all the tasks you added for yourself or have been assigned to you. The tasks sync the title, description, due date and status, and you can edit in either Accelo or Office365 and it'll update automatically.
Below is a link that will help you learn the steps to integrate your Office365 account with your Accelo system! How do you take advantage of the Office365 integration for your team? We want to hear from you!
Q: What is the best way to attach meetings scheduled on my O365 calendar to a Project in Accelo? Bookings sort of work for me, but if you edit the calendar event it unlinks.
A: Schedule the meeting activity against that project in Accelo, or book it on your O365 calendar - from there it will show at the company level in Accelo and you can relocate it against the Project.
Q: When I need to change the time of a meeting on O365 calendar, for example, instead of 2 p.m., I push to 3 p.m. will that reflect in Accelo?
A: Yes! Meeting edits needs to happen on your calendar and will sync back into Accelo. You can't edit meetings in Accelo.
Q: When you reply to an email in Accelo does it show up in your O365 sent Items?
A: Accelo does not sync outboxes - that's how we pull in sent emails.
Q: Will my clients see "via accelo. com" every time I send them an email?
A: Any emails that are sent from an individual user do not include "sent via Accelo", but anything sent from firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com, etc. (Accelo Request Inboxes) have the option to include "sent via Support", sent via Sales", etc. when replying from those request inboxes. There is a setting option in the Activities Settings to turn the "sent via" off as well.
Q: If someone wants to work from O365 and they complete or delete a task, what happens in Accelo? Does it disappear? complete?
A: Making changes to the title, due date, status (complete or in progress), and description of a task within your O365 tasks will be pulled back into Accelo. Deletes do not sync.
Q: I have turned off my O365 integration, but I see that my emails are still syncing into Accelo. Why?
A: Usually, it's because one of the other users in your same deployment have their email integration turned on. The system recognizes your email address from emails they have copied you on, etc. and captures those emails against your user record. The best practice is to leave all users' integrations enabled and use privacy rules to keep certain threads out of the Stream.