Comparing Google Apps Sync with CompanionLink

One June 9, 2009, Google announced a tool that can sync Microsoft Outlook contacts, calendar, and emails with Google Apps Premier edition and Google Apps Education edition. (Source)

But how can people with free Google or Gmail accounts sync with Outlook?  And what about support?

Google says that the Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook is for Premier and Education edition customers.  So you can’t use that.

CompanionLink has a solution for everyone using a free Google account.  It’s called CompanionLink for Google.  It syncs Outlook contacts, calendar and tasks (no email) with any Google, Gmail, or Google Apps account.  CompanionLink works with all editions of Google Apps (Standard, Premier, Education, Government, Non-profits, etc.).  The one-time purchase also comes with free email and phone support for as long as you own the product.

Keeping private Outlook data out of ACT!

There are two ways that you can keep your private Outlook contacts from synching to ACT!:
1. Keep your private contacts in a separate Outlook folder from your corporate contacts, then configure DoubleLook to sync only with the Outlook folder containing your corporate contacts. You can find this setting under the Outlook Folders tab in the DoubleLook configuration.
– or –
2. In Outlook, categorize your private contacts as “Personal”, then configure DoubleLook to ignore records in the Personal category. You can find this setting under the Personal Category tab in the DoubleLook configuration.

There are two ways that you can prevent your private Outlook contacts from syncing to ACT!:

1. Keep your private contacts in a separate Outlook folder from your corporate contacts.  Then configure your CompanionLink product to sync only with the Outlook folder containing your corporate contacts. You can find this setting under the Outlook Folders tab in the software’s configuration.

– or –

2. In Outlook, categorize your private contacts as “Personal”, then configure your CompanionLink product to ignore records in the Personal category. You can find this setting under the Personal Category tab in the software’s configuration.

How to select specific ACT! Groups to sync

Don’t need all 20,000 ACT! contacts on your phone? CompanionLink has a way to limit the sync to only the data you actually need.

The “Groups” tab in CompanionLink lets you choose specific ACT! Groups that you want to sync. Here’s a video that shows you how.

Speed Patch for BlackBerry phones

speed

Starting with CompanionLink Express and Pro builds 3068 and higher, BlackBerry users who have over 1000 contact records and who are running BlackBerry OS 4.5 – 4.7 will be prompted to install the speed patch on their phone at the end of each synchronization, as part of the Sync Completed message.

The patch increases the sync speed by logging record transaction times.
This allows CompanionLink to synchronize by looking only at changed records on the BlackBerry instead of querying the entire BlackBerry database for changes. This frequently cuts sync times down by 50% or more.

Users can install the patch by downloading it directly onto their device. You can get more details here: companionlink.com/speedpatch

Sync Outlook Business Contact Manager with phones

CompanionLink can sync Outlook 2007 Business Contact Manager data with BlackBerry, iPhone, Palm Pre, Google, Windows Mobile and Palm OS phones.

In fact, Microsoft’s help portal mentions CompanionLink as a solution for BCM sync with various devices not supported natively by Microsoft.

ms-bcm

Here is a list of the Outlook BCM data CompanionLink syncs:

  • Contacts
  • Categories
  • Contact notes
  • Opportunities
  • Business projects
  • Project tasks
  • Marketing campaigns

Here is a list of the Outlook data CompanionLink syncs:

  • Contacts
  • Calendar events linked to contacts
  • Calendar event details and notes
  • Recurring events
  • Tasks
  • Categories
  • Contact notes
  • User-defined fields
  • Alarms and calendar reminders

Get more info about Outlook BCM sync.

Linking contacts to calendar activities/events

Here’s a common request:

“I’m using ACT!.  How do I link a contact to a calendar activity on my phone?  Also, how do I see the name of the contact without opening up the calendar activity on my phone?”

CompanionLink can link contacts to calendar activities.  CompanionLink also has a Calendar Format tab that allows you to define where the contact will show up on your phone.

If you select the “Description preceded by link name” option, this will put the name of the contact just in front of the subject of the Calendar Activity.  This way, when you look on your phone’s calendar, you’ll see the name in your daily schedule.

calendar-format

New RunStart configuration service

Hands-free configuration can’t get easier than this.

CompanionLink recently released a new configuration service called RunStart.  The service enables CompanionLink technicians to log in to your PC and completely configure your sync for you.  It’s like hiring a professional tech to set everything up for you. You can just sit back and watch.

Currently, RunStart is available for customers using Palm Desktop, Microsoft Outlook, and ACT!.

Details and pricing available here.

Use Google Sync with ACT! and get free mobile sync

Welcome to the new world of free mobile sync, courtesy of Google.  Google has released a free over-the-air (OTA) sync service for phones.  This rivals existing Exchange/BlackBerry Enterprise configurations that are expensive for companies to buy and maintain.  Now, all you need to do is sync ACT! data with Google, and you’re done.  Google will handle the rest.  The great part is that this can work for one user or scale to an entire organization.
How it works:
CompanionLink can sync ACT! data to a user’s Google account.  Once this data is in the Google account, Google’s new sync service will automatically sync the data to the user’s phone, over-the-air.
Data is synchronized to the native address book and calendar application on the phone.  This guarantees that all the alarms, reminders, and basic features like Caller ID work great with your ACT! data.
Also, this sync process works two-ways.  So if the user were to change data on their phone, the data would sync back to their Google account and back to the ACT! database using CompanionLink.
Wait, what’s the catch?
There is none, unless you think setting up a free Google account is a catch.  But, it’s hard to argue with something that’s free.  And it’s hard to argue when you look at the other option: setting up Exchange and BlackBerry Enterprise Server (if your clients are syncing with BlackBerry devices).
What phones work with Google’s sync service?
Google covers over 75% of the phone market, including iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Symbian devices.
What CompanionLink products do I need?
You’ll need CompanionLink Express or Professional if you’re configuring single users.  If you have a site with multiple users, DoubleLook Enterprise is the best solution.  It will run on one PC and sync data for all your users (this is known as a server-side solution).
How do I get started?
1. Make sure you have a Google account set up for the user.
2. Make sure you have a CompanionLink product that will sync with Google.  Configure it to sync the PIM (i.e., ACT!) with the user’s Google account.
3. Visit m.google.com/sync from the user’s phone to configure the free OTA mobile sync with the Google account.
I have questions.  Who can I ask?
Just reply to this email.  We’ll be in touch within 24 hours!

Welcome to the new world of free mobile sync, courtesy of Google.  Google has released a free over-the-air (OTA) sync service for phones. This rivals existing Exchange/BlackBerry Enterprise configurations that are expensive for companies to buy and maintain.  Now, all you need to do is sync ACT! data with Google, and you’re done.  Google will handle the rest.  The great part is that this can work for one user or scale to an entire organization.

How it works:

CompanionLink can sync ACT! data to a user’s Google account.  Once this data is in the Google account, Google’s new sync service will automatically sync the data to the user’s phone, over-the-air.

Data is synchronized to the native address book and calendar application on the phone.  This guarantees that all the alarms, reminders, and basic features like Caller ID work great with your ACT! data.

Also, this sync process works two-ways.  So if the user were to change data on their phone, the data would sync back to their Google account and back to the ACT! database using CompanionLink.

Wait, what’s the catch?

There is none, unless you think setting up a free Google account is a catch.  But, it’s hard to argue with something that’s free.  And it’s hard to argue when you look at the other option: setting up Exchange and BlackBerry Enterprise Server (if your clients are syncing with BlackBerry devices).

What phones work with Google’s sync service?

Google covers over 75% of the smartphone market, including iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian, Google Android, and Palm Pre devices.

What CompanionLink products do I need?

For a single-user license, you can use CompanionLink Express or Professional.  If you have a site with multiple users, DoubleLook Enterprise is the best solution.  It will run on one PC and sync data for all your users (also known as a server-side solution).

How do I get started?

1. Make sure you have a Google account set up.

2. Make sure you have a CompanionLink product that will sync with Google.  Configure it to sync the PIM (i.e., ACT!) with the user’s Google account.

3. Visit m.google.com/sync from the user’s phone to configure the free OTA mobile sync with the Google account.