1. Chris Murphy's Avatar
    Calling all service field business owners / contractors or anyone that schedules crews and contacts..

    Currently I own a business that uses Outlook.com for all of our calendar and contact syncing with our BlackBerry devices. I have recently been told in another thread that Outlook.com has a max contact allowance of 1,500. I am currently a couple hundred away from that max and need to look elsewhere. Instead of using just another email client, I would like to step it up and purchase PC software that can handle everything I need, and will never have to switch again. We have a .com that has it's own email, so email does not need to be a factor in this.

    I run a company that needs a calender view that can handle many different crews, color coded with names. Also contact management that can handle thousands of contacts. I am looking for the absolute best PC software to handle this. Most importantly, it must play well with BlackBerry. Myself (owner), all office staff, and all field crews have a company issued BB10 devices, and we all need to stay in sync with no sync delay. The software also needs to be put on multiple PC's and will need to sync to and from PC's (on different wi-fi networks in different locations), and BB devices off of wi-fi (for workers out in trucks), with little to no delay.

    The thing I love about Outlook.com is that it is instantaneous. The second the office updates or adds a calendar event, the field crews see the change on their device to do the job correctly. The second the office adds or edits a contact, it is in the field crews device. This is a must for the PC software to do. It also must be vice verse. When field crews update a contact or calendar event, it must show on the PC software also.

    So I am looking for advice from anyone who runs crews for their business that has had good luck with software, instead of relying on Google/Outlook.com/etc, as I have done for years. I have done online research and found software that does list BB as a device it works with, but would really appreciate to hear from people who have been in the same boat as me and have found things that work well. Since it is my business, I really never purchase anything that isn't top notch, as I need to trust it without fail.

    Thank you in advance to anyone who took the time to read my lengthy post, it is much appreciated.
    01-07-15 10:06 AM
  2. anon1727506's Avatar
    Your going to need a server like Microsoft Exchange Server or a hosted Exchange like email service that offers ActiveSync.
    Then you could use a client like Microsoft Outlook on each desktop.

    There are a number of Linux email servers out there that you could install that are Free... but they require some knowledge to setup and operate. And there are other clients... But Microsoft Exchange paired with Outlook are the simpler solution (but not cheap).
    01-07-15 10:28 AM
  3. Chris Murphy's Avatar
    Your going to need a server like Microsoft Exchange Server or a hosted Exchange like email service that offers ActiveSync.
    Then you could use a client like Microsoft Outlook on each desktop.

    There are a number of Linux email servers out there that you could install that are Free... but they require some knowledge to setup and operate. And there are other clients... But Microsoft Exchange paired with Outlook are the simpler solution (but not cheap).
    As much as I am very knowledgeable with BlackBerry devices, I am extremely naive about BES, and how that is all set up. Is what you are referring too technically a BES setup, or is it something that can be done without BES licences?

    And also, with myself being as busy as I am, are there companies you can pay to just come over and build the setup I would need without me trying to figure out how to do everything? Sorry about the naive questions, I love learning about this stuff, but currently don't know much about it. I am very good with computers and could figure it out given the time and correct people to talk too. But doesn't sound like the easiest thing.
    01-07-15 10:37 AM
  4. anon1727506's Avatar
    As much as I am very knowledgeable with BlackBerry devices, I am extremely naive about BES, and how that is all set up. Is what you are referring too technically a BES setup, or is it something that can be done without BES licences?

    And also, with myself being as busy as I am, are there companies you can pay to just come over and build the setup I would need without me trying to figure out how to do everything? Sorry about the naive questions, I love learning about this stuff, but currently don't know much about it. I am very good with computers and could figure it out given the time and correct people to talk too. But doesn't sound like the easiest thing.
    No BES isn't an email server - it can connect to one and can be used to secure and manage email and devices, but you would still need some type of email Server. Microsoft Exchange is just a very common one - but it does have it's own cost. Usually a Server is needed, Licensing, someone to set it up.

    If you use outlook.com and like it and understand it... but just need more that the free version offers. Look at https://products.office.com/en-us/ex...xchange-online (but I don't know what the limits are on contacts)

    As I said there are other options... but setting up email servers is a technical prospect.
    01-07-15 10:46 AM
  5. Chris Murphy's Avatar
    OK great, thank you very much for the link.

    So long story short - If I purchase and set-up ME, I would then use Microsoft Outlook (the PC software, not the .com (to avoid confusion)) for my calendar and contacts. And that would sync to all devices and computers. Is that correct in a nutshell?
    01-07-15 10:57 AM
  6. blueyestm's Avatar
    you can still use the .com webpage but you'll just log into your 365 account. I have a 365 now through my school and do this.
    01-07-15 11:14 AM
  7. anon1727506's Avatar
    OK great, thank you very much for the link.

    So long story short - If I purchase and set-up ME, I would then use Microsoft Outlook (the PC software, not the .com (to avoid confusion)) for my calendar and contacts. And that would sync to all devices and computers. Is that correct in a nutshell?
    Correct, Exchange would handle all the data...
    Microsoft Outlook (part of the MS Office Package) would be your client to view the data and interact with the data on your desktop machines.
    Each mobile device should have a built-in client that would allow them to also connect to the Exchange Server to access the data and to make changes if you set it up too allow them to.

    But the online hosted options are a little more price friendly for a small company - initial investment and operation. Don't know your budget, abilities or the number of users you have...
    01-07-15 01:31 PM
  8. Chris Murphy's Avatar
    How would the previously discussed option compare to something like this? BlackBerry Outlook Sync -- CompanionLink Software

    That is just an example of something I have found, there are others like it also. I don't know much about that software, but just trying to see all options & suggestions to make an informed decision.
    01-07-15 01:37 PM
  9. anon1727506's Avatar
    How would the previously discussed option compare to something like this? BlackBerry Outlook Sync -- CompanionLink Software

    That is just an example of something I have found, there are others like it also. I don't know much about that software, but just trying to see all options & suggestions to make an informed decision.
    Companion Link sounds like it would work much link BlackBerry Link already does. But with a few options like cloud syncing.


    Don't know much about it... but I imagine there are delays between the syncs or you have to manually do it (said to push the button). That would cause issues if you are trying to share data with others and everyone not being synced "live".

    But they have a free trial...
    01-07-15 03:34 PM
  10. Chris Murphy's Avatar
    Companion Link sounds like it would work much link BlackBerry Link already does. But with a few options like cloud syncing.


    Don't know much about it... but I imagine there are delays between the syncs or you have to manually do it (said to push the button). That would cause issues if you are trying to share data with others and everyone not being synced "live".

    But they have a free trial...
    I just got off the phone with them. So far it sounds pretty good, but I will know more tomorrow. We are setting up a free trial on 2 PC's and 2 BlackBerry devices tomorrow. So I'll be throwing everything I can at it to see if it can hold up to everything. If there is a delay or can't handle the traffic I will go the other route. Once I have tested it and know more I will post my thoughts for others that may look into this in the future.

    - Chris Murphy 
    01-08-15 10:28 AM
  11. anon1727506's Avatar
    I just got off the phone with them. So far it sounds pretty good, but I will know more tomorrow. We are setting up a free trial on 2 PC's and 2 BlackBerry devices tomorrow. So I'll be throwing everything I can at it to see if it can hold up to everything. If there is a delay or can't handle the traffic I will go the other route. Once I have tested it and know more I will post my thoughts for others that may look into this in the future.

    - Chris Murphy 
    Post your findings either way....
    01-09-15 07:56 AM
  12. Chris Murphy's Avatar
    OK I have had enough days testing CompanionLink, and my decision is it is not good enough for my needs. It isn't bad at all, it's actually pretty good, so I'll explain further for the future readers if they are going through the same decision that I am.

    The sales and customer service teams were amazing. I was extremely impressed by how thorough they were at answering my questions, setting up a meeting, getting the software on my computer a devices, troubleshooting, and doing it all for free, as a trial.

    We set up my local Outlook file to sync to my device to and from, and upon the initial few minutes of using it I was positive it would be prefect. There is one app you download onto the BB that has contacts, calendar and many other things synced from the cloud automatically. The problem here is that it is all in their own app, and it is not in the BB calendar and contacts native app. Because of this, composing an email will not find those contacts. When I stated my concerns they told me about a 2nd app I could download that would put the information into the native BB apps. I was so excited because immediately they were all in there. Everything worked perfect and I hung up the phone with them saying I would keep testing it and get back to them to go through with the real purchase soon.

    It was then that I found the major flaws. Although everything with their app was auto syncing, and absolutely immediate, the app that brought everything to the native BB apps was not auto syncing at all. I had to manually press sync every time something was updated. If i was the only person doing this it wouldn't be a problem, but trying to get a whole team of people to constantly press sync, not going to happen, major deal-breaker. Also, their app is an Android port and full of bugs on the BB device. They told me I was wrong and there was no-one else telling them this, but I'm not wrong

    So in conclusion, if you are completely OK with never again using the BB calendar and contacts, and fine with using their own app that houses everything, this will work perfect for you and be fairly cheap. But these contacts will not be found in your email or phone applications. If you want to have auto syncing with the native BB phone apps, this route will become super frustrating. So in the end I will say the company was great and they had nothing bad to say about BlackBerry (which I find is rare when trying to get a company to work with my devices), and they are 95% there. But until they get a non-Android port, and get the auto syncing going, it will not be good enough for real world use in my eyes.
    01-14-15 09:14 AM

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