#1. Microsoft left it up to you
The “sync gap” is real. Microsoft never included the functionality to automatically sync the GAL. There is a widely held misconception that GAL contacts sync automatically to Outlook and smartphones, but they do not. Although Microsoft Outlook can sync contacts to smartphones, Outlook does not automatically get updates from the GAL.
#2. The smartphone is where everyone needs their contacts
Employees need those industry contacts: suppliers, service vendors, emergency contacts, and partners, and they need them in the smartphone itself. Once in the smartphone, the value of those contacts is multipled.
#3. Time usage and effectiveness
Many employees consider their smartphone the most important technology they use throughout the day. You want to optimize both your time and your effectiveness using it. When you search for a person by their name, job title, or department, you can’t afford to get bogged down.
#4. Keep your contact data clean, accurate, and well governed
The IT term for this is data hygiene. There should be a single, central version of the data that everyone draws from. If a phone number is wrong, somebody will complain, and it gets fixed. It’s self-correcting. Crowd-sourced updates become a reality, because everybody benefits from every contribution.
“Didn’t he get fired last year – but he is still listed as Director of Operations?”
Accuracy counts! Wrong numbers waste time and can be embarrassing.
#5. Departed employees may remain forever in employee smartphones
Obsolete contacts probably won’t be removed from smartphone address books, with most sync methods. Calling employees who have left the company, or leaving a voicemail with confidential information for a contractor whose engagement ended badly might do more than waste time. It can open a Pandora’s box of ill will. You need a reliable, automated method to remove obsolete contacts.
#6. Support the organization’s mission
Nearly every company has groups of employees who must reach internal and external contacts, in order to do their jobs. Shouldn’t they be able to do this immediately from their smartphone? This challenge is easily solved via automation and central management.
#7. Save money for the company
Your time, and that of your colleagues, is not free. Hunting down phone numbers, or updating them on their mobile devices, incurs a salary cost that could be $1 per minute, or many dollars per minute. Multiple that by dozens of minutes per month per employee, and the cost is worth avoiding!
#8. Know who is calling you
It’s important to know who is calling or texting you. This helps you prioritize the incoming barrage and never blow off a call from the Big Boss.
#9. Syncing is a task for automation, not for employees
It’s nearly always a waste of resources and brainpower when a person syncs contact data manually. Copying from a spreadsheet, typing names into the smartphone, or scraping numbers from an email.
#10. Automated sync allows strategic management of enterprise contacts
Contacts are a valuable and proprietary resource that should be governed thoughtfully. Not every employee should have the company’s vendor contacts. Not every salesperson should necessarily have the contacts of all customers. The CEO and your board probably don’t want contact data for all 2,000 employees. Employee personal contact information such as home phone and address is on a need-to-know basis, and must be automated to be given to only the right people.
#11. Contact sync is more crucial than many realize
Like backing up data, it should be done every night. Typically, the discovery that it hasn’t been done consistently or correctly comes at the worst possible time: in a crisis or disaster. The consequences can be costly or disruptive for a business and its customers. Employee safety and welfare could easily be compromised without proper emergency contact information.