Tags:- Office.com/setup , Office Setup , Install Office Setup.

A couple of things you should know before importing data into Outlook Customer Manager (OCM):


1. OCM import allows you to map only to frequently used fields
During the import process, you can map columns in csv import file to OCM fields. To simplify the experience, OCM only exposes frequently used contact fields such as name, address, primary phone numbers, birthday, and notes. OCM allows you to create additional custom fields but limited to 25 fields. When the limit is reached, you can’t add more fields, even after deleting existing field.
2. OCM support small import file size
OCM has a limit of 30kb when importing csv from the module add-in view. When you have many contacts with many fields, the number of contacts, that can be imported through OCM can be quite small.


To overcome the limitations above, you may combine importing contact through OCM with the contact import functionality in Outlook.

OCM manages contacts directly from outlook contact, so any contact imported through Outlook will also be available in OCM. Similarly, importing or updating contacts in OCM will update Outlook contacts.

Importing contacts directly to Outlook Contact enables you to access more fields as there are more native fields available in Outlook. Outlook Contact import functionality also supports bigger import file size. After you finish importing contact through Outlook, you can then use the OCM to update the contacts with custom fields you created in OCM as well as to bulk share the contact with your colleagues.

Consider the following example, let’s say we would like to import the following contact data into OCM




Some of the fields such as anniversary, spouse name, children are not fields natively available from OCM. You could create custom fields in OCM, but doing so will reduce the number of fields you could add in the future as you can only create up to 25 custom fields.

However, those fields are available natively in Outlook contact and you can import the contacts using Outlook import contact

Importing Contacts using Outlook

1. From Outlook File menu, go to File > Open & Export > Import/Export


2. Follow import wizard steps


Blog03_OutlookContactMenu_a.png Blog03_OutlookContactMenu_b.png Blog03_OutlookContactMenu_c.png Blog03_OutlookContactMenu_d.png Blog03_OutlookContactMenu_e.png
Select “Import from another program or file” Select “Comma Separated Values” format Browse for your import contact file* Select “Contacts” as destination folder – you should select the root contacts folder (instead of its subfolder) Review/update mapping using “Map Custom Fields” and click Finish


*Note: Attached is the SampleOutlookContactImport.csv file I used for this article.  The sample file includes most of the contact fields natively supported in Outlook for your reference.

The imported contacts will appear in Outlook, which can be viewed by clicking on the People icon at the bottom left corner


Blog04_OutlookContact_a.png  Blog04_OutlookContact_b.png  Blog04_OutlookContact_c.png
Some of the fields appear on the main outlook contact card Select “List” view to open the contact details Look for contact details by changing the “select from” filter. For example, the anniversary, children, and spouse name appeared under “Personal fields”

When navigating to OCM module view, the imported contacts appear in OCM’s contact view. Clicking the contact shows the same information as the Outlook contact card:


You can update the contact using OCM import for additional capability, such as:

  1. Adding contact custom fields
  2. Linking the contact to a company
  3. Sharing the contact with your colleagues

 Adding contact custom fields

Any OCM users can easily add a field to the contact. Click “Add column” from the contact list then specify name and column type (OCM currently support text, number, and date column type — with support for more types coming soon).


Linking the contact to a company

OCM enables you to link contact to a company. You can add a new company from OCM contact detail view and the company will appear under company tab. You can link multiple contacts to a company and all communication history from any of those contacts appeared in the company’s activity timeline. For more information about OCM company, see  Managing Companies with Outlook Customer Manager

Sharing the contacts with your colleagues

During the OCM import, you can specify if the imported contacts to be automatically shared. Selecting the option will make the contact information to be available to all OCM users in your organization. Anyone can update the contact, so everyone can view the most up-to-date information about the contact. For more information about OCM sharing, see Sharing – how to keep your colleagues in the loop

Importing contacts using OCM

After you imported the standard fields through Outlook.

You can prepare an OCM import file to update the existing contacts with the custom fields and company — you do not need to include all fields that already exists in Outlook:


OCM import files must include contact first name, last name, and email address for OCM to know which contact to update.

To start the import, go to OCM module add-in view and select “Import > Contacts”


Browse the OCM import file.


Map the import file column to the OCM contact fields


In the next screen, select replace contact information option. This option will update the contact information with the data specified in the import file. Any fields not mapped to the import file column will not be updated and existing value for that field will be kept.  In this step, you can also specify if the imported contacts are to be shared.


After OCM import contact completed, you can view the resulting changes:

  1. All contacts imported from OCM automatically set the contact as “business contact”, you can change the filter to view only business contacts to separate them with your personal contacts.
  2. Company column is populated with company information and a link to the company view also appeared on the contact view
  3. All contacts are shared with all OCM users in your organization
  4. Custom fields are populated



In this article, I showed how you can import contacts using Outlook before updating the contacts using OCM. Importing contact using Outlook allows you to use all native outlook contact fields which are not available when importing directly using OCM. It also enables you to import bigger import files than the 30kb import limit in OCM.

After contacts have been imported into Outlook, you can use OCM import to update custom fields, company link, and share the contacts with your colleagues.

Using both native Outlook and OCM contact import enables you to fully leverage the native outlook contact management capability while using OCM import to bulk-update the contacts with specific OCM functionalities.

Related documentation

Running into Import issues? Refer to- Fix problems importing contacts to Outlook

Using Outlook for Mac? Refer to- Import and export options for Outlook for Mac

Source : techcommunity.microsoft.com

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