One of the most important elements to a successful business can be summed up in a single word: relationships. This is true regardless of the industry you’re talking about, particularly in those that are fast paced, hyperconnected, and where formality becomes more and more of a rarity with each passing day. Strong relationships, even those in business, are formed via personal connections. In June of 2016, Microsoft and Starbucks teamed to bring an innovative new solution to making those personal connections easier to cultivate than ever before by way of the Starbucks for Outlook add-in.

Starbucks Outlook

Starbucks for Outlook: The Basics

The most important thing to understand about Starbucks for Outlook is that it is not designed to be its own piece of software. Instead, it integrates effortlessly into your existing Outlook deployment. When a user creates a new meeting or calendar appointment in Outlook, they have a number of options regarding things like dates and times to choose from depending on their needs. With the Starbucks for Outlook add-in, a “Meet at Starbucks” button is automatically present in this window moving forward.

Instead of taking the time to manually enter in the address of a local Starbucks, users can specify their favorite location ahead of time. Clicking “Meet at Starbucks” automatically marks the location of the meeting in question to that location, saving a great deal of time in the process. The location is both added to the upcoming meeting and to all relevant calendar appointments, including those that are electronically shared with other meeting attendees.

Installing Starbucks for Outlook

The Starbucks for Outlook add-in can be installed in one of a few different ways depending on your preferences. For those using Outlook 2013, they can access the add-in by first clicking the “Store” button on the “Home” tab and then by selecting the “Manage Add-ins” button. After clicking the “+” button they can then search for the “Starbucks for Outlook” add-in by name, at which point they can click the “Add” button to automatically download and install all necessary components.

Users who are using Outlook 2016, Outlook on the Web, Exchange 2013 or Exchange 2016 can find the add-in by opening the “Store” page and selecting “Manage Add-ins” before searching for the Starbucks for Outlook software by name. Once you have navigated to the appropriate product page, you can click the “On” button to automatically install the add-in.

Regardless of which way you choose to install the software, the add-in will automatically appear in the “Command Bar” ribbon at the top of Outlook from that point forward and is ready to use right away. Note that the add-in is currently only available for computers running the Windows operating system and in the United States at this time.

Microsoft and Starbucks were so confident about their new Starbucks for Outlook add-in and the huge number of benefits that it could bring to the table for businesses everywhere that the software itself launched alongside a new promotion. When a user sends a Starbucks electronic gift card to another person using the Outlook add-in, they automatically get a free $5 Starbucks gift card in return. The add-in is absolutely free to both install and use, but it is important to note that a Starbucks user account (also free) is required to purchase a Starbucks electronic gift card using the add-in itself.

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