John "Hannibal" Smith would be proud - we love it when a plan comes together.
When we developed the GSync for OpenCRM functionality we did this with a clear set of goals, these included enhancing a very robust server side synchronisation engine that could drive GSync and also third party synchronisations and putting your OpenCRM contact and calendar items into a place that could act as a conduit to integrate with other top draw applications.
Well Google was the obvious choice and GSync for OpenCRM was launched as a Beta back in July. Getting your contact and calendar items into Google has allowed us to leverage application development from Google and other world class development houses allowing you to make better use of this information and automatically broadening the scope of integration opportunities. On day one you could use a number of really cool Outlook integration applications giving multi threaded and scheduled solutions with a whole myriad of features and functions and giving you the choice to use what works best for you. This also enhanced our platform support as third party applications are available for Linux and Mac OSX bringing a new dimension to your data exchange options. Of course getting your data out to an iPhone, Android or Blackberry has been made much easier also.
As a company we have a healthy 'buy some build some' philosophy and have never been shy in writing integration tools to allow best of breed applications to work with OpenCRM and having GSync for OpenCRM has opened up new horizons.
Over the last couple of weeks we have been working with two great services that because of their integration with Google Calendar means that they automatically integrate with OpenCRM also.
Tungle.me is a really cool service that allows you to publish and manage your diary schedules online so that you can save that 'backwards and forwards' threading of emails to get everyone on the same page, its also a great place to open up a self service demonstration or presentation calendar where you control your free time and prospects book their slot for you to approve. Tungle.me has integration with Google calendar and therefore can take account of any appointments you enter in OpenCRM as these will automatically synchronise into Google and of course then block out availability in Tungle.me. Oh and I guess a biggie is that RIM (you know Blackberry) got their paws on the company a few months back and that's got to be a good thing.
One of the best services that I have seen in a while and brings a new horizon to OpenCRM is the nudgemail.com service. In essence this allows you to schedule when you want to be reminded about an email that you cant deal with now, but you may want to pop up on your radar at a more convenient time in the future. Nudgemail is real cool and what's so good is that its all managed from your inbox.
Nudgemail has some great commands allowing you to specify what time the event should be created for. Its really cool and very easy to master the few commands that will work best for you. No web portal access is required so you don't need to remember any usernames or passwords. You can even change between different date formats (DD:MM:YYYY or MM:DD:YYYY) just by sending an email to your nudgemail account.
Nudgemail is currently a free beta and I suspect in time a number of the features will become a part of a paid subscription, but if this is what you need (just as I do) then its a fantastic feature.
We have been looking to add a similar feature for OpenCRM subscribers based on our Pop2OpenCRM technology - this allows us to parse emails and create records directly in OpenCRM. Pop2OpenCRM is in use with hundreds of users and hundreds of thousands of emails are processed but as always development resource is at a premium as we continue to have so many cool ideas which need translating into features for our users, so in the meantime nudgemail.com is a good alternative.
Let me know if you have any other cool Google integration services for third party products and we can share them here and in our newsletters to customers. feedback [at] opencrm.co.uk