How-To Geek

Getting Started with Outlook Business Contact Manager 2010

Do you need to keep up with your customers, projects, sales, and more?  Here’s our look at Outlook Contact Manager 2010, a great, simple tool to help you keep your business organized.

Getting Outlook Business Contact Manager 2010

Outlook Business Contact Manager 2007 was available as a stand-alone purchase, and was also included with Office 2007 Small Business, Professional, and Ultimate.  Strangely, however, Business Contact Manager 2010 is only available with Office 2010 Standard and Professional Plus.  This means you can only get Business Contact Manager through a volume license or a Technet subscription.  Or, if you used the Tech Guarantee to get a free Office 2010 upgrade, your upgrade may include the Business Contact Manager if your copy of Office 2007 included it.  Microsoft has stated that they may offer other solutions in the future, but for now, Business Contact Manager is mainly only available to Volume Licensed copies of Office.

Installing and Using Business Contact Manager

If you do have access to Business Contact Manager, it’s a great tool for keeping track of your business contacts, deals, sales, and more.  To get started, simply run the installer and setup as normal.  The installer works the same as the main Office 2010 installer, but you won’t have to enter your product key again as Business Contact Manager recognizes your Office 2010 installation.


Note that you’ll need to have all Office applications closed during the setup.  If any Office apps are open, you’ll be prompted to exit them before continuing with setup.  Close the programs, and then re-launch the setup to install Business Contact Manager.


Once the installation is finished, run Outlook to finish the setup.  You’ll be greeted with a Business Contact Manager setup screen, where you can choose setup quickly with default settings or start a custom setup where you can tweak your account.


Now, select whether you’d like to start out with sample data or with a fresh new account.  If you’re just getting started with BCM, it may be helpful to start out with the sample data to see how it works.  You can always switch to a new account whenever you’re ready to start using your real company data.


Now BCM will setup your new database, which may take a few minutes if you selected to include sample data.


Once it’s finished, you’ll be asked to enter info about your company.  When you’re finished, click Next to finish setup.


You’ll now see the new Business Contact Manager open in Outlook, with a welcome message that will explain how to use it.


You can easily access Business Contact Manager anytime from Outlook via the links in your email Folders list or with the Business Contact Manager button on the bottom left of the window.


You’ll notice a variety of new tools in Outlook when you’re in the Business Contact Manager pane.  You can add new accounts, contacts, vendors, and more.


You can then add detailed sales opportunity info, and follow up when you make a sell or purchase.


You can then sort your contacts by project, listing their payments, orders, and more.  This is a great way to track everything in your company, whether you’re a freelancer or running a full-sized business.


BCM also includes a great project manager that you can use to keep all the activities in your company organized.  It’s fully integrated with Office, so you can include relevant Office files in your projects.


Office Integration

Business Contact Manager isn’t just restricted to one part of Outlook; once you’ve got it installed, it’s fully integrated throughout the program.  When you’re reading an email, you’ll see options to create a new record or add the email to an existing one.


You’ll also see a new Business Contact Manager pane in the Outlook File menu.  Here you can backup your business data and change your BCM settings.


You can also import existing business data from ACT! or QuickBooks directly into BCM from the Options pane.


Business Contact Manager is also automatically integrated into many of the other Office apps.  Here’s the new Business Contact Manager pane in the Word 2010 File menu, which lets you directly link a document to a record or use it to create a new marketing activity.  This makes it easy to keep up with your projects and records, no matter what you’re working with.



If you need to keep up with business contacts, track marketing projects, and keep your sales information together, Business Contact Manager is a great tool that turns Outlook into a nice CRM tool.  We wish it was more widely available, and hope Microsoft does release it for other editions of Office.  Until then, it’s still a great tool if you have a volume licensed copy of Office or a Technet license.  Be sure to check out the links below for more info about the Business Contact Manager.


Office Business Contact Manager Info from Microsoft

Compare Office Suites Containing Outlook Business Contact Manager

Discussion about Business Contact Manager Licensing Options from Microsoft Answers

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  • Published 09/9/10

Comments (17)

  1. kev

    This looks great – I use multiple computers (desktop in the office, tablet on the road), is there an easy way to sync the software between different machines? (using dropbox maybe?)

  2. RIck Willeford

    BCM 2003 would not sync with regular Contacts. Is that an issue with 2010?

    Can BCM 2010 sync with Exchange Public folder to share contacts across a network?


  3. Robert

    Hi Rick – Yes you can link business contacts with regular contacts. That was a priority for me as I use Exchange as well.

  4. TJ

    i am looking for a 1 to 1 solution to help get BCM 2010 implemented. where i can ask questions and get answers (over the phone). Probably pay by the hour or month. would like to get help setting it up, organizing it for multiple users, and debugging it.

    can you suggest a direction for this?

  5. DHK

    Getting the MOST out of Outlook 2010 Business Contact Manager. I’ve been working with this tool off and on, and now I’m HOOKED! Since I haven’t seen any other really useful tips on using BCM, I thought I’d add a post to this article.

    1) Keep in mind that BCM is a separate program within Outlook. If you don’t click on it, it’s too easy to forget it’s even there. So, I had Outlook open DIRECTLY into the Contact Management section. Go to File – Options – Advanced – “Start Outlook in This Folder” & choose BCM’s Contact Management. Now, when you open it, you’ll see your tabs for Accounts & Business Contacts in a LIST VIEW.

    1a) Get rid of those gadgets while you’re at it. They simply take up space and aren’t that useful. If you want to view your gadgets, use the “Dashboard” view by clicking directly on the “Business Contact Manager” folder.

    1b) I really like that pane on the right that gives you a “contact summary”. However, I would take out the “Communication History” (that stores events linked to the contact) and have it show your own Comments instead. Just click “Select Sections” and pick what you want shown.

    2) Create an “Inactive” tab for those contacts or leads that are no longer active (but you still want to retain the record and send out correspondence to). Click to create the tab, name it, and choose filters. Go to Advanced Filter – Field Name (Active) and choose “Is Not Selected”. Now you can look up all your inactive leads and contacts! (Of course, that means you’ll actually have to USE that feature…)

    3) Move your BCM folder to the top above your email .pst folders. It just makes it easier to find and navigate to when you need it. Just click and drag it.

    4) Create different kinds of custom accounts and business contacts to help you further classify your contacts. Note that when you do this, BCM will automatically create a new tab in your Contact Management folder! That’s cool!

    4a) You can choose different icons to represent different accounts and contacts. Search online for other icons (.ico) when the ones presented don’t quite match what you’re looking for.

    5) Project Management is great for managing recurring projects with checklists and timelines. I’m in financial services. When I put on a seminar, I can use this utility to help me keep on top of this project each and every time.

    6) I really can’t stand the “Linking” thing that this program makes you do with files and notes that are outside of Outlook. You can either:
    a) Drag and drop the file into an appropriate .pst file in Outlook
    b) Use OneNote to link to the contact. In OneNote you can store just about anything there for future reference.
    c) Add a field for an online document storage URL (like In, you can set up a folder to “share” and have it generate a URL. Just name a file after your contact/account and copy/paste the URL into the new field you generated.

    7) Don’t forget that you can “right click” on all the other sections of Outlook 2010 to have them open up in another window. This is very handy so you can keep your contacts and contact notes open and in front of you at all times.

    This is one of the few CRM programs that can work really well on a NETBOOK! I tried Act! 2011, SugarCRM and some other ones specific to my industry. Each has it’s pluses and minuses. Now that I can get Outlook to actually ACT like a CRM program… I think I’ve got a keeper!

  6. Akritas Sidiropoulos

    Is there any good tutorial or book you can recommend for BCM 2010 ?

  7. JB

    Nice summary, DHK.

    Can you tell me if there is a way to plan revenue from a project?
    Imagine that your project is a consulting one, where you expect to charge a monthly fee to a customer for x months. How do you manage this?
    Seems to me that Sales module is only intended for selling physical stuff.


  8. Mitch M

    Thank you for the pointers DHK. Akritas: I am using BCM 2010 and learning as I go. Resources like you and this forum are most helpful. I purchased a book: Managing Contacts with Microsoft Outlook 2007 BCM just to get a leg up on the product. The book was helpful for me to establish the concepts behind the product: what is an account versus a business contact , etc. But I create purchase agreements regularly and need a quicker mail merge function for just one contact. I seem to recall an email on another forum that said 2010 has a solution but I lost the link. I’ll keep searching though. I just saw a Outlook 2010 for Dummies book that looks interesting. Perhaps that will help us both.


  9. Michael Proffitt

    Is there any in formation available of upgrading and existing BCM 2007 implementation to BCM 2010? Will it do an in-place upgrade at all? I have not found anything addressing this yet.

  10. S:)ZZ

    I’m starting out totally new. Wanting to use Outlook 2010 with Business Contact Manager. I have neither of these. I work with three different computers and travel and use inhouse computers there. Will I be able to access this program at all stations?

  11. Ruth Tearle

    What a wonderful article. Thank you.

    1) Do you have any pointers to how to get BCM 2010 to send out html emails – rather than converting html emails to plain text? (BCM 2007 did it perfectly.) Or failing that – since i have my entire database on BCM, do you have any suggestions of how I can send out a mail shot in html to a mass market?

    2) Also, I have mapilab toolbox installed as an addin to ensure I don’t send out more than 90 emails an hour. How can I get it to work with Outlook 2010? Once again it all worked fine on 2007 – and it says it should work on 2010. Its all installed okay… but it just doesn’t do the job.

  12. Ademola Adebisi

    Pls I need a book on Microsoft Business manager 2010. Thanks

  13. Dave Broderick

    We upgraded my computer 2 days ago to Office 2010 (from 2003), but tech support did not realize I had BCM for Outlook 2003 installed. Yesterday, I loaded BCM 2010, but it did not find the existing BCM database and shows no contacts in BCM. Outlook shows about half of my contacts, but clearly old contact info, so not sure where it picked them up from. How can I get my contacts loaded in BCM 2010 (there were over 2000 contacts!).

  14. patty

    I purchased Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010. However, it did not download Business Contact Management program. How do I get a supplement without having to spend $400 plus for a new Office suite?

  15. rohn

    For the Office Pro Plus bundle, can you confirm the 3 disks should be installed in this order:
    – Office Applications
    – BCM
    – run Outlook to finish BCM install
    – Lync

  16. Frank

    I have installed 2010 Outlook.pst on a seperate drive (D:\Outlook\Outlook.pst) this makes is easier to backup and copy between Notebook and Destop.

    By default BCM installs the data files here C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Business Contact Manager\here are the .mdf and .ldf files

    Is there a way to nominate the file location for the .mdf and .ldf files so as to keep them together with the related outlook files.

  17. bag

    looking for a book or additinal resource for implementing bcm

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