Add Contacts Outside Your Company

You can add contacts outside your company to your Communicator Contact List.

  • If your company is licensed for Public Internet Connectivity, you can add an Instant Messaging user from AOL, Yahoo, MSN, or Windows Live network of Internet services. You can then exchange instant messages with that user.
  • If your company enterprise is connected with another company's enterprise, also known as federation, you can add the user to your Communicator Contact List. You can then communicate with the user with communication modes such as IM, phone, and video, that are supported by both enterprises.
  • If an outside user is neither federated nor a public IM contact, you can add the contact as a "phone-only" contact to your Contact List. For example, you may want to add a family member to your Contact List so you can easily call them with one-click calling.

If you are not sure whether your company supports Public Internet Connectivity or if your enterprise is federated with another user's company enterprise, contact your system administrator.

What do you want to do?


Add a user outside your company to your Contact List

A contact outside the company (not listed in the company directory) can be:

ShowHow do I add public instant messaging contacts to my Contact List?

Office Communicator is configured to support public instant messaging (IM) connectivity, so you can add instant messaging contacts from AOL, Yahoo, MSN, and the Windows Live™ network of Internet services to your Office Communicator Contact List. When you add a public instant messaging contact, you can communicate with the contact using instant messaging. Communicator calls (Voice over IP, or VoIP calls), video calls, and audio/video conferencing, however, are not supported modes of communication with public instant messaging contacts.

The best practice for adding a public instant messaging contact is to use the Outlook Contacts folder to add their home, mobile, and other phone numbers. This enables you to call the contact using Communicator’s click-to-call feature.

  1. In Office Outlook, open the Contacts folder, and then click New.
  2. In the Full Name box, enter a name for the contact. Entering information in the Company, Job title, and File as boxes is optional.
  3. Under Internet, enter an e-mail address for the contact, and then fill in the following boxes:
    • Display as     The name that you want to appear in the Communicator Contact List.
    • IM address     The IM address of the contact. If this field is not filled in, you cannot add the contact to the Communicator Contact List. (If the contact does not have an IM address or if you do not know their IM address, enter a fictitious address as a placeholder, such as username@msn.com, and then replace it later with the correct address.)
  4. Enter phone numbers for the contact using the E.164 format of country code, area code, and local number with no hyphens. For example, a U.S. number might look like: 14255550101, where 1 is the country code, 425 is the area code, and 5550101 is the local number.
  5. Save the contact.
  6. Open Office Communicator, and in the Search box, type the name you entered into the Display as field in Outlook. The contact name will appear in the Search Results box.
  7. Drag the contact from the Search Results box into a group in the Contact List. You can now have IM conversations with the contact. You can also click the phone button to the right of the contact’s name. Communicator calls are not supported for public IM contacts, but you can make calls to the contact’s home, business, or mobile phone numbers.

ShowHow do I add federated contacts to my Contact List?

Office Communicator and Office Communications Server 2007 support the ability to federate (connect) with other organizations, enabling you to add contacts from those organizations to your Contact List. When you add a federated contact to your Contact List, you can communicate with the contact using any of the communication modes that are supported by both organizations. For example, if both organizations support Communicator calls, video calls, and audio/video conferencing, then you can use those modes of communication for communicating with the federated contact.

  1. In the Communicator Search box, type the e-mail address or IM address of the contact.
  2. Drag the contact name from the Search Results box into the Contact List. Federated contacts in your Contact List display the federated icon to the right of the contact's name.

ShowHow do I add phone numbers for federated contacts that are in my Contact List?

To add a phone number for a federated contact, request that the contact elevate your access level to Team or Personal.

Alternatively, you can delete the contact from your Contact List and then add them through your Outlook Contacts folder.

  1. Open Communicator, right-click the contact's name, and then click Remove from Contact List.
  2. In Office Outlook, open the Contacts folder, and then click New.
  3. In the Full Name box, enter a name for the contact. Entering information in the Company, Job title, and File as boxes is optional.
  4. Under Internet, enter an e-mail address for the contact, and then fill in the following boxes:
    • Display as The name that you want to appear in the Communicator Contact List.
    • IM address The IM address of the contact. If this field is not filled in, you cannot add the contact to the Contact List. (If the contact does not have an IM address or if you do not know their IM address, enter a fictitious address as a placeholder, such as username@msn.com, and then replace it later with the correct address.)
  5. Enter phone numbers for the contact using the E.164 format of country code, area code, and local number with no hyphens. For example, a U.S. number might look like: 14255550101, where 1 is the country code, 425 is the area code, and 5550101 is the local number.
  6. Save the contact.
  7. Open Office Communicator, and in the Search box, type the name you entered into the Display as field in Outlook. The contact name will appear in the Search Results box.
  8. Drag the contact from the Search Results box into a group in the Contact List. You can now have IM conversations with the contact. You can also click the phone button to the right of the contact's name. Communicator calls are not supported for public IM contacts, but you can make calls to the contact's home, business, or mobile phone numbers.

ShowHow do I add an outside contact that is not federated or a public IM contact to my Communicator Contact List?

To add a contact outside the company that is not federated or a public IM contact to your Contact List, use the Outlook Contacts folder to add their home, mobile, and other phone numbers. This enables you to call the contact using Communicator’s click-to-call feature. With outside contacts that are neither federated nor public IM contacts, you can call the contact’s phone numbers, but you cannot communicate through instant messaging, place Communicator calls or video calls, or conduct Communicator audio/video conferences.

  1. In Outlook, open the Contacts folder, and then click New.
  2. In the Full Name box, enter a name for the contact. Entering the Company, Job title, and File as boxes are optional.
  3. Under Internet, enter an e-mail address for the contact, and then fill in the following boxes:
    • Display as     The name you want to appear in the Contact List.
    • IM address     The IM address of the contact. If this field is not filled in, you cannot add the contact to the Contact List. (If the contact does not have an IM address or if you do not know their IM address, enter a fictitious address as a placeholder, such as username@msn.com, then replace it later with the correct address.)
  4. Enter phone numbers for the contact using the E.164 format of country code, area code, and local number with no hyphens. For example, a U.S. number might look like: 14255550101, where 1 is the country code, 425 is the area code, and 5550101 is the local number.
  5. Save the contact.
  6. Open Office Communicator and then, in the Search box, type the name you entered into the Display as field in Outlook. The contact name will appear in the Search Results box.
  7. Drag the contact from the Search Results box into a group in the Contact List. You can now have IM conversations with the contact. You can also click the phone button to the right of the contact’s name. Communicator calls are not supported for public IM contacts, but you can make calls to the contact’s home, business, or mobile phone numbers.

ShowHow do I add “phone-only” contacts to my Contact List?

Office Communicator does not provide a way to directly add a “phone-only” contact to your Contact List. Use the instructions provided in How do I add an outside contact that is not federated or a public IM contact to my Contact List?

ShowWhy can’t I add a contact from my Recent Contacts to my Contact List?

The contact may be a “phone-only” contact that is not in your company directory. Either you called the contact or the contact called you. Communicator does not allow you to directly add a contact that is not in your corporate directory. Use the instructions provided in How do I add an outside contact that is not federated or a public IM contact to my Contact List?

ShowWhat communication modes are supported with public instant messaging contacts?

With Communicator, you can send and receive instant messages from messenger clients from AOL, Yahoo, MSN, and the Windows Live™ network of Internet services. Communication with public IM contacts is limited to instant messaging. File transfer, Communicator calls, video calls, and audio/video conferencing are not supported with public IM contacts.

ShowWhat functionality is provided for communicating with federated contacts?

With Communicator, you can communicate with federated contacts using the communication modes that are supported by both companies. For example, if your company and the federated contact’s company support audio/video conferencing, then you can conduct audio/video conferences with the contact. If both companies support full audio and video capabilities, you can place and receive Communicator calls and video calls.

ShowHow do I know which companies are federated with my company?

Check with your system administrator to determine if a person’s company is federated with your company.

ShowDo I have to use the Add Contacts menu to add contacts to my Contact List?

No. For contacts within your corporate network, you can simply type the person’s name or e-mail address in the Search box, and then drag the contact from the Search Results box into a group in the Contact List. By default, Communicator will search your corporate directory and your Outlook Contacts folder.

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Change the level of access for a contact

When you add an Instant Messaging user from AOL, Yahoo, MSN, Windows Live, or a federated contact to your Communicator Contact List, the contact is added to the Public access level by default. When granted the Public access level, you can receive instant messages from the contact and get notifications from the contact. The contact can also see your Presence status (whether online or offline). If you want to share additional presence information with a contact, such as your mobile phone number or schedule information, you can change the contact's access level.

To change a contact's access level

  • In the Contact List, right-click the contact, point to Change Level of Access, and then select the access level.

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Applies to:
Communicator 2007