Contact manager

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A contact manager is a software program that enables users to easily store and find contact information, such as names, addresses, and telephone numbers. They are contact-centric databases that provide a fully integrated approach to tracking all information and communication activities linked to contacts. Simple ones for personal use are included in most smartphones. The main reference standard for contact data and metadata, semantic and interchange, is the vCard.

Sophisticated contact managers provide calendar sharing features and allow colleagues to access the same database. The main reference standard is the vCalendar.

In management terminology, advanced contact managers can be called individual resource management (IRM) or contact management (CM) tools – systems for managing an individual's interactions with current and future contacts, to organize, collaborate, and synchronize health, lifestyle, and financial needs.


Contact lists have been available for a long time. The original contact management system (CMS) was Exsell for DOS[1] by Excalibur Sources, released in 1984.


A contact management system (CMS) may be chosen because it is thought to provide the following advantages:[2]

  • Centralized repository of contact information
  • Ready-to-use database with searching
  • Sales tracking
  • Email integration
  • Scheduling of appointments and meetings
  • Document management
  • Notes and conversation management
  • Customizable fields
  • Import/export utility
  • Contact sharing

Differences from customer relationship management[edit]

Traditionally, a contact manager is usually used for instances where the sales interaction model of the organization is a one-to-many interaction model, in which a single sales representative is responsible for multiple roles within a company. Alternatively, a company with a many-to-many interaction model, in which many sales representatives are targeting a single job role, a customer relationship management (CRM) system is preferred.:[2].

However, most recent contact management solutions are fully adapted to many-to-many interactions models, and the difference between a CRM and a Contact Manager starts to lay more on the fact that CRMs are commonly used to automate sales and marketing processes (quotes, invoices, reminder emails, etc.) where contacts management solutions focus on a people-centric approach which goal is to centralize all contact information within an organization and have better control on who can access this data and how it is accessed.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Inc, InfoWorld Media Group (1987-06-01). InfoWorld. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. p. 16. Exsell excalibur. {{cite book}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  2. ^ a b Aberdeen Group (January 2009) Automating Success: The Choice Between Contact Management and Customer Relationship Management [1]
  3. ^ "The Short Guide To Contact Management". 2 November 2021. Archived from the original on 2021-10-21.