One of the challenges of using Dynamics CRM in small businesses is that business owner tends to own everything. What did it mean for one of our customers who had Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook installed? The default filter, as you know, is “My Contacts”, i.e. contacts “owned by me”, and she owned all CRM contacts, all 15,000 of them. Long story short, we had to kill the initial sync and clean up her contact list by hand.
It is possible to select the records to synchronize, of course. But what would be the filter for the owner of thousands of contacts?
On this occasion, it was the business owner who came to the rescue.
In my Outlook I want to see only the contacts I’m dealing with right now.
Solution? Add a new field “Last contact date” to the contact entity, populate this field using the workflow, when relevant activity in CRM is created (e.g. email, task, appointment, etc) and then use that field in the synchronization filter to only synchronize contacts that had any activity, in the past, say, 90 days.
Since Outlook never deletes the contacts “on behalf” of CRM, the challenge still remains, of course, is how to “clean up” the contact list in Outlook to get rid of stale contacts that no longer satisfy the filter condition. Luckily, in this case, “drop out” rate was negligible enough for the business owner not to worry about it.