Home > Blog Articles > Contact Management > Automated Office 365 GAL Sync to Smartphones Reduces Business Risks

Diana was onsite with a $1M sales prospect, completing a proof-of-concept project, when her customer asked an unexpected technical question. The customer was notoriously impatient, and she knew that failing to come up with a quick answer could make or break the sale. Unfortunately, as she dug through her phone, she realized that she couldn’t reach the engineering team at the main office because she didn’t have offline access to her company’s Office 365 Global Address List (GAL). She apologized and told the customer she’d get back to him with an answer in the morning—but she couldn’t shake the feeling that this hiccup may have cost her the sale.

Remote workers like sales reps, telecommuters, and field office personnel struggle when the corporate contact information in their phones is outdated, incorrect―or just plain unavailable. The communication and productivity challenges they face can directly impact the bottom line. Organizations that are unable to make their GAL easily accessible are suffering the repercussions of this huge communication gap in the form of lost sales, wasted person hours, and frustrated employees.

 

Why workarounds of syncing the GAL to smartphones don’t work.

Not having up-to-date GAL access often creates a lot of business pain for end users, and many IT teams either aren’t aware—or aren’t taking it seriously. Some IT pros have stepped into the fray, fighting (and losing) the battle of trying to keep their company’s smartphone users in sync with the GAL. They’ve tried all kinds of workarounds including manually opening each person’s contact folder and adding, deleting, and updating the contacts from the GAL or dragging and dropping contact folders in Outlook as updates occur.

Such workarounds fall short for several reasons:

  • Manual updates are time-intensive – Consumption of IT staff with manual GAL updates to each user’s contacts can waste dozens of hours each month―and prevent them from focusing on bigger-picture projects.
  • Customization is tedious – Manually configuring lists of exceptions and special groups within a GAL push is a laborious process—especially when it needs to be revisited with every update.
  • Human error is inevitable – From transposed digits, duplicate contacts, accidental deletions, and forgotten pushes, humans are often the weakest link in the manual update process.

 

Transforming GAL Sync for Smartphones

So, what can eliminate the cost and business risk of manual GAL sync for smartphone users?

Automation.

The ability to automate GAL smartphone updates provides key productivity advantages:

  • Address lists are available and current 24/7
  • Offline or remote users never have that moment of panic when they realize that they can’t access the information they need, when they need it
  • Manual pushes, data or user edits, and after-the-fact error corrections are eliminated
  • IT resources are freed to be re-allocated to work on more important initiatives

 

Automated GAL sync packs a fast ROI punch.

The global mobility team at the consulting firm—Oliver Wyman Group—needed a way to provide better GAL support for their smartphone users. Employees were expressing frustration at not being able to easily separate unsolicited callers from important colleagues.

Now, with CiraSync—a secure, cloud-based solution that is easy to configure and scale—Oliver Wyman Group’s IT team has streamlined employee productivity and saved the company an estimated $100,000 in annual IT labor costs.

GAL Sync to Smartphone Solutions

Until recently, IT organizations were forced to develop solutions for smartphone GAL sync in-house and the results generally ranged from disappointing to poor. But, today several solution providers have built dedicated solutions to automate GAL sync for smartphones.

Here is a list of some of the offerings on the market today:

  • Add2Exchange (Did It Better)—Syncs the GAL, public folders, and mailboxes, and can scale up to 100 users. The solution is cloud-compatible, but it does not support SaaS. The company offers 8/5 technical support.
  • Epicenter (Connected Software)—Syncs the GAL and can scale to hundreds of users. The disadvantage of this solution is that it a desktop app only and does not support SaaS. It offers email support within one business day.
  • CiraSync (Cira Apps Ltd)—Syncs the GAL, calendars, and public folders multiple times of the days. Unlimited number of contacts and calendars can be synced and quickly scales to thousands of smartphones. Secure, SaaS, Azure-based solution. Offers 24/5 technical support; usually responds within one hour.

For more case studies, visit our Case Studies resource page to see how customers are using the CiraSync solution to increase productivity for their employees. Also, read reviews from happy customers on G2 Crowd and Capterra.

 

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