What Does Google’s New Privacy Policy Mean To You?

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Google is changing their privacy policy. Some people don’t really care; others are up in arms. Where do you fall on the spectrum?

If you don’t have an answer to that, I strongly recommend you take the time to read and understand Google’s new policies. Knowing how they intend to use your data is important to your personal and professional lives. How it affects you is ultimately for you to decide.

But you should decide.

So what are Google’s new policies? In brief, they’re consolidating. Sixty privacy policies are now becoming one. One that uses simpler language and terms. One that allows Google to share data between their services, such as Gmail and Google Maps. One that goes into effect March 1, 2012. Read all the details.

For many of us, the convenience of having our data hosted and accessible anywhere is well worth agreeing to Google’s new terms. Others – largely business professionals – may not be able to afford that luxury.

Many professionals, such as doctors and lawyers, cannot allow their customers’ data to be stored in an online environment like Google’s.

Sync options like our own Direct USB or Local WiFi are perfect for these professionals. They allow access to customer data while mobile without storing it online. It’s simple, fast, and convenient.

For the rest of us currently storing our data on Google’s servers, however, knowing just what we’re agreeing to is important. So, again, ask yourself the question, “What does Google’s new privacy policy mean to me?”

Maybe it adds a new level of convenience for you. Maybe it will cause you to look for a new sync solution. Maybe it elicits an entirely different response. Either way, I think finding out for yourself is important.

Preventing Duplicate Records in Salesforce CRM Before Syncing Your Data

An important first step in setting up any sync is ensuring that the database you wish to sync is ready to go. Part of this process often means cleaning up any duplicates before syncing. Our friends over at Starrforce have offered to share some tips for dealing with duplicates (and preventing them in the first place!) in Salesforce CRM. Read their post below:

“If you have used any business management software or CRM software you understand that duplicate records are a way of life. Salesforce duplicates are common in all size companies and contributing factor to low user adoption of Salesforce. Although it is a best practice to search before creating a record, duplicates still happen. Salesforce understands this and has tools built in to help you merge duplicate leads, accounts, and contacts.

Removing Salesforce duplicate records becomes even more important when you are syncing your data to other systems using CompanionLink, since you do not want to sync any duplicates into your other tools such as Microsoft Outlook.

Your sales leads in Salesforce probably came from multiple sources like purchased lists from sales lead generation companies, campaigns, trade shows, and manually entered. The Salesforce Lead Import Wizard does a good job of finding duplicates before they are mass uploaded but what do you do when they are already in the CRM system?

When you first go to work a new sales lead in Salesforce, the first thing you should do is click the “Find Duplicates” button. This searches the CRM system for matching leads, contacts, accounts, and opportunities based on the lead full name, last name, company, phone number, email, or email domain. You have the option to include or exclude any of the search criteria. By doing this duplicate search first, you may find that the new sales lead is actually a contact with a slightly different spelling in your Salesforce CRM system. Or, your co-worker may have been at the same trade show and entered the same lead.

If a contact matches the lead exactly, then depending on your sales lead process, you should either delete the lead or convert it into the existing contact and account. If you find a duplicate lead, then you can use the “Merge Leads” button. You are presented with a screen that gives you the option to pick any differing data and to select which is the master record. Any related items from the duplicate lead(s), such as activity or campaign information will be associated to the merged lead so you do not have to worry about manually moving these.

To merge accounts in Salesforce, you must first open the “Merge Accounts” tool from the Tools section on the accounts tab. Then you can do a search for the accounts to merge. This search is quite simple if you know that the accounts all start with Acme as you can just search for Acme*. But how do you search for Acme Business Management Software, ABMS, and Business Management Software by Acme?

The only way to bring accounts into the merge tool that have different names that cannot be found in a single search is to rename the accounts. Find your second, third, and other (you can only merge three accounts at a time) accounts and rename the duplicates so that they can all be found from a single search.

Once you have selected the accounts to merge, you will be presented with a page like the “Merge Leads” page where you can select the master record and any differing data. All records associated to the merged accounts will be added to the master account.

When merging duplicate accounts and/or contacts in the Salesforce CRM system, please keep in mind that it is a best practice to first merge the accounts as all the contacts will be associated to the merged account.

Once the accounts have been merged, then you can go to the contact related list to merge the contacts. Contacts can only be merged from the account they are associated with so by merging the accounts, all of the duplicate contacts will be associated to the merged account.

If you have duplicate contacts in an account in your Salesforce CRM system, select the “Merge Contacts” button in the contacts related list on the account detail page. You are then presented with a list of contacts where you can either search for specific contacts or view all of them. Once you have selected the contacts to merge (you can only merge up to three contacts at a time), you will be presented with a screen like the two above where you can select the master record and any differing data. All records associated to the merged contact will be associated to the resulting merged contact.

For leads, accounts, and contacts, there is some basic Salesforce automation available to make merging easier. But what happens if you have duplicate cases, opportunities, or custom object data? At this time, Salesforce does not have a tool to help with these objects so they will have to be merged manually. This is another reason to do a search before creating a record.

To merge records where there is not a merge tool in the Salesforce CRM system, first decide which record will be your master record. This should be the one with the most correct data and the most related records like activities or attachments.

Open each duplicate record in a new tab in your browser and copy any needed data from the duplicate into the master. Then copy the master record name or number and edit any related activities, attachments, or other records one at a time and paste the master record name or number into the “Related to” field. When you save, the record will be associated to your master record. Once all of the related data has been moved or associated to the master record, you can now delete the duplicate records. You may want to let the creator of the duplicate record know about it so they can be more careful in the future. You may also want to create some basic reports that you can run on a regular basis so that you can easily spot Salesforce duplicates before they get out of hand.

StarrForce is a leading Salesforce partner that helps companies optimize and support Salesforce.

How to Sync Google, Salesforce, & More with iCloud

It seems like it should just work. If you set up iCloud to sync with Outlook using Apple’s iCloud Control Panel and you’ve set up Google, Salesforce, or another CRM to sync with Outlook, it should all sync up nicely – right?

When you set up iCloud to sync with Outlook, the iCloud Control Panel creates a unique Outlook Folder, which it then uses to sync with iCloud. It will actually move items from your default Outlook Folder to this new iCloud Outlook Folder in order to facilitate the sync. This doesn’t really change how things look in Outlook, but it does change how things sync.

Many tools that sync CRM solutions such as Google and Salesforce are set to sync with only the default Outlook Folder, with no option to change this. Because iCloud is syncing with a different Outlook Folder, these two sync tools don’t work together. Fortunately, CompanionLink is different.

CompanionLink allows you to choose which Outlook Folder(s) you want to sync with. So if you want to sync Google with Outlook and iCloud, or Salesforce with Outlook and iCloud, it’s as easy as configuring CompanionLink to sync with the iCloud Outlook Folder. From there, any data synced from sources like Google or Salesforce will sync through iCloud to your iOS devices and any other PC or Mac that iCloud is configured on.

For details on configuring which Outlook Folder(s) to sync with in CompanionLink, see our Configuring Outlook support article.

How To Sync The Kindle Fire With Google

The Kindle Fire doesn’t allow you to sync your Google Contacts and Calendar, but CompanionLink does! Here’s a quick guide on exactly how to do it:

  1. Download DejaOffice for free from the Amazon Appstore.
  2. Install CompanionLink for Google on your computer. This works with DejaOffice to sync Kindle with Google.
  3. In CompanionLink configuration, select Android as your device.
  4. Select Direct USB as your sync method.
  5. Select Google as your database from the final drop-down list.
  6. Follow the setup wizard in DejaOffice and you’ll be syncing in no time.

Note: Due to the way USB currently connects to the Kindle Fire, you’ll need to follow a specific pattern to begin the sync:

  1. Connect the USB cord to your Kindle Fire
  2. Unmount the SD card via the Notification Tray on the Kindle Fire
  3. Open DejaOffice
  4. Tap Sync

That’s it! So, whether you are the proud owner of a Kindle Fire today or are hoping to get one soon, rest assured that we’ve got you covered when it comes to syncing your data!

CompanionLink for Google comes with a free 14-day trial. When you’re ready to buy, use the affinity code SYNCKINDLE and you’ll pay just $39.95. If you already own CompanionLink 5 for Google, just make sure you have the latest version by checking our updates page.

CompanionLink Build 5008 Is Now Available

With over 25 changes, CompanionLink build 5008 is a big update. We have been hard at work improving the software to bring you an even better sync. Our latest update focuses on refining the process, eliminating duplicates, and adding a few new features. Read on to learn what we’ve done.  Continue reading

Sync the LG Nitro HD

The past month or two have brought a number of top-tier Android phones: the Motorola DROID Razr, the HTC Rezound, and the soon-to-be-released Samsung Galaxy Nexus. This week, the LG Nitro HD joins the pack.

Sporting a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 4.5” HD screen, 4G data speeds, and Android 2.3, the Nitro HD can compete with the best of them. While the Razr, Rezound, and Nexus are all Verizon phones, the Nitro HD brings its power to AT&T. Check one out in stores today.

If you’re thinking about picking one up, rest assured that CompanionLink will sync the Nitro HD with Outlook, ACT!, Salesforce, and more. And if you’re upgrading from an older device, just download DejaOffice to the Nitro HD and in one sync you’ll have access to all your contacts, calendars, tasks, and memos.

Questions? Comments? Shout out in the comments below!

Sony Shutting Down The Sony Ericsson Sync Service

Image Credit: WikipediaSony recently announced that it is shutting down its in-house Sony Ericsson sync service at the end of the year. In their announcement, they suggest exporting your contacts and importing them into Google for future use. Google works with all Android devices, which is where Sony devices seem to be headed.

While this option should work well for some users, we recognize that not all of Sony’s customers will want to store their data on Google’s servers. For those people, CompanionLink has another option.

CompanionLink is able to sync contacts, calendars, tasks, and memos to your Sony device. We support popular contact managers like Microsoft Outlook, Palm Desktop, Lotus Notes, and many others.  And we offer a variety of sync methods, as well as our free Android app, DejaOffice, for managing your data on the go. CompanionLink also offers free phone support. If you ever get stuck with your sync, just give us a call – we’re here to help!

The latest version of CompanionLink currently supports all Sony phones and tablets running the Android OS, and we intend to continue supporting new Android-based Sony devices as they are released. Should you ever upgrade to a new phone that doesn’t happen to be a Sony, rest assured your data will come with you. We sync with Android, Apple iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and more.

If you’d like to try CompanionLink as an alternative to Google Sync, head over to www.companionlink.com/android and download a 14-day free trial!

Give the Kindle Fire a Productivity Boost with DejaOffice!

Image credit: AmazonWe just finished putting the Kindle Fire through its paces, testing both CompanionLink and DejaOffice on the affordable new tablet from Amazon. The results? DejaOffice runs well, and sync with the Kindle Fire works perfectly!

In fact, everything is working as we expected, with the exception of USB sync, which requires a small, but simple workaround. The Kindle Fire automatically mounts its SD card. You must Disconnect from USB Storage, then open DejaOffice and hit sync. We’re looking into a fix to eliminate this step, however.

After testing the Kindle Fire, I think it is important to remember that it’s first and foremost a Kindle – great for consuming media. But with a few easily downloaded apps like DejaOffice, you’ll have transformed your Kindle Fire into a business machine, filled with your contacts, calendars, tasks, memos, and more.

Syncing the HTC Rezound

 It’s a great time to be in the market for a new smartphone, especially for Verizon customers. With the DROID RAZR now available and the Nexus Galaxy around the corner, the carrier has quite the holiday line-up. But they’re not done yet. The HTC Rezound, released today, completes the trio of powerful Android phones available from Verizon this season.

The folks over at The Verge have an impressive review of the Rezound available, and I’d encourage you to check it out if you’re interested in learning more about the phone. If you’re interested in learning more about syncing the Rezound, however, you’re in the right place.

As with most any Android device, you’re able to sync contacts, calendars, tasks, and memos from a whole host of CRM software to the HTC Rezound. Learn more about your options at http://www.companionlink.com/phones/htc-rezound.html or head over to our downloads page to get your 14-day free trial and start syncing today!

An Update On Syncing the DROID RAZR

The DROID RAZR is now available! We’ve been busy testing ours to ensure complete compatibility with CompanionLink and DejaOffice, and I happy to report that it performs as expected.

To sync the DROID RAZR with Outlook (and more), just make sure you’re running the latest version of DejaOffice (1.12.3) and connect the RAZR in “Charge Only” mode. After that, you should be set to sync.

If you’re new to CompanionLink and DejaOffice, we have some great resources to help you get started. Visit our Getting Started page to learn how to set up a reliable sync. Check out our Android Setup Guides for help configuring our software. And head over to our Support Center if you need more help getting everything up and running. Whether your a seasoned Android pro or are new to the platform, we’re here to help!

Now go on and enjoy your sleek new phone!