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Increase Productivity by Integrating Outlook with Your ALM Tools

Microsoft Outlook happens to be one of the most popular Email applications. It also includes Task Manager and Contact Manager. Outlook is basically a Personal Information Manager that comes with Microsoft Office Suite. Developers, analysts, testers and other people associated with application development process usually communicate with each other through emails, especially when the team is distributed over various geographic locations. For them, an option to add Requirements, Defects or Change Requests directly from Outlook can be really handy. They do not require to log into any other system for this. All they need to do is to read the email and add it as a record to the mapped ALM solution in just a few clicks.

What if your Outlook client is connected to all the other applications you use in a day’s work? Wouldn’t it be great to see all your Application Development tasks popping up right inside your mailbox? You would also be able to mark your development tasks as completed from Outlook, or you could get detail notifications when a defect is assigned to you. Such robust Outlook integration with your ALM tools, that increases productivity, can be easily accomplished through the Omnibus Outlook Adapter and Kovair Omnibus Integration Platform.

Why choose Outlook?

 It is Popular 

Email Client Market Share  

 

  • Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Office 365 currently account for 51% of worldwide mailboxes in the Business Email and Collaboration market. (Source: http://www.radicati.com) 
  • Outlook.com has over 400 million active users and is the world’s fastest growing email service. (Source: Microsoft) 
  • Over 1 Billion people use Microsoft Office. (Source: Microsoft)

 

Popular email clients

 

Outlook is always ON 

Outlook is often the first application to be opened in the morning and the last one to be closed. It is one application that is always available as long as the computer is switched on. It also acts as a conduit to our mobile devices. Many of us use Smartphone these days which remain synchronized with our Outlook mailbox. Thus, for many of us, Items in Outlook are always available – anytime, anywhere and from any device.

Outlook has Tasks, Calendars and Contacts too

Outlook has Tasks, Calendars, and Contacts, all of which are used frequently in Project execution and are often synchronized manually. Therefore, integration will definitely help.

Outlook is where the inputs arrive often

  • Most of the customer feedbacks arrive via email in Outlook
  • These often map to Requirements, Change Requests and Defects
  • Most of the communications within  a team also happen over emails 

How does Outlook integration help in project execution?

Using Kovair’s Outlook integration, users can hook their ALM tools into Outlook. They can post artifacts directly to their development tools. This enables users to add Requirements, Defects or Change Requests directly from Outlook to their development tools such as Microsoft TFS, JIRA, IBM ClearQuest, IBM RRC, IBM RTC and many more. The Omnibus Outlook Adapter connects Outlook to over 40 tools that are currently integrated through Kovair Omnibus. The user no longer needs to open up the respective development tool to do trivial things such as updating the status of a task or defect. When defects are assigned to a user, he or she automatically gets a corresponding task in his/her Outlook with all the details of the defect. This is particularly useful, when a user works from a remote location or from the client’s premises.

Task Management

Using the Omnibus integration for Outlook users can get their development tasks delivered right inside their Outlook. They can update task status directly from within Outlook which immediately reflects within the Project/Task management tool being used. They can also create development tasks for other teammates and push them to their Outlook mailbox. These tasks can also be pushed automatically to the Project/Task management tool being used, such as MS Project.

Manage/Synchronize Calendars and Contacts

Users can synchronize their Outlook Calendar with MS Project for effective project planning. They can also synchronize their Contacts from other CRM applications such as Salesforce or ITSM applications such as Remedy and ServiceNow.

Integration between MS Outlook and MS Project and ALM Tools

 

Conclusion

Overall, the Omnibus Outlook integration increases the productivity of a project team by saving a lot of time, that are otherwise spent on switching to multiple development tools, copying and pasting contents from emails into ALM artifacts and delaying in noticing Tasks. It provides a seamless integration between the email client and the development tools being used in the organization.

Puranjoy Chatterjee is the Director - Product Solutions at Kovair Software. He has been associated with Kovair for more than 13 years and heads the engineering team for integration framework. He is responsible for solution design, development and delivery for major customers in Omnibus Integrations.

  • krushna

    A good integration tool to improve efficiency and productivity.