Salesforce for Outlook is a native application of Salesforce. This application is used for creating a simple data connector between Microsoft Outlook email, Salesforce, calendar, contacts, and tasks. With this integration, the Salesforce with customer data (captured from Outlook) is updated, and this data is available for internal communication, transactions, and enhancement of customer relationships. But with the announcement of Salesforce for Outlook retirement by December 2022, users are looking for Salesforce for Outlook alternatives so that there is no problem in the seamless working of the organizations. Because Salesforce for outlook is taking retirement so in this blog post, we will discuss some of the best alternatives for you.
How the Salesforce for Outlook Help Businesses?
For businesses using Microsoft Office and Salesforce both, the Salesforce for Outlook application works as a bridge between the two applications. There is no need to port the customer data manually from one application to another as automatic synchronization is available between tasks, contacts, events, and Salesforce for Outlook. Additionally, after the data is captured, the events, messages, and contacts become visible on the Salesforce Activity Timeline so that the concerned people can access customer-specific data for use.
Why is Salesforce for Outlook Getting Retired?
The Salesforce for Outlook was created to bridge the gap between pre-Internet Explorer 11(IE 11) and Salesforce Classic. The IE 11 communicates through APEX calls, but Salesforce for Outlook used Lightning Experience for interpreting the APEX calls of Internet Explorer 11. As most users have switched over to Lightning Experience, Salesforce has decided to stop support for Salesforce for Outlook in June 2023.
Timeline for Salesforce for Outlook Retirement
- June 2019– Salesforce for Outlook was transitioned to ‘maintenance only status .’ It was available to existing users.
- June 2020– Salesforce for Outlook Action Menu was retired. The users cannot access the ‘New Records’ button, so they cannot create Salesforce records using Outlook.
- June 2023- Salesforce for Outlook will officially retire.
How it Impacts Organizations?
One of the options in Salesforce for Outlook is to fetch data automatically. After June 2023, admins and users won’t have access to these features anymore. However, as per Salesforce retirement of Salesforce for Outlook will not impact customer’s existing tasks, contact, event, or email data. Individuals will only see the disconnected message once they try to disconnect from Salesforce for Outlook without changing back their sync frequency after June 2023.
Be Prepared for the Alternatives from Salesforce
When Salesforce for Outlook retires, no synchronization of events, contacts, or other tasks would be possible. Additionally, as the Side Panel of Salesforce for Outlook cannot be connected to Salesforce, users cannot work with Salesforce data from Microsoft Outlook.
Salesforce has already announced that Salesforce for Outlook will completely retire in June 2023. As a result, Salesforce recommends its users to moving to their next-generation products, the Outlook Integration and Einstein Activity Capture.
The Salesforce for Outlook support for the older version will end in December 2022. Users are advised to log into the system using a more reliable, more secure, and faster authentication method. The features of Outlook Integration are discussed below.
Tracking Engagement for Multi-recipient Emails
- In the current version of Salesforce for Outlook, the multi-recipient email had engagement information by email. However, it did not include the engagement information by each recipient. In the new version, the engagement data of multi-recipient emails will have replies, out-of-office replies, and soft & hard bounces for each recipient. The change applies to Salesforce Inbox.
- It will be available free of cost in Salesforce Essential Editions and available in Professional, Group, Enterprise, Developer, and Unlimited editions for an extra cost.
- Data is collected from the To and CC fields of the email to track engagements for multi-recipient emails.
- The ‘Feed Tab’ in Inbox has to be used to track the engagement activities of multi-recipient and single-recipient emails sent,
- It will be possible to track the emails sent using Outlook Integration with Inbox, High-Velocity Sales, and Lightning Experience. ]
- The engagement data will also be available in the email information under Activity Timeline and the engagement-related list.
Support for the Older Version is Ending
- The support for the Outlook Integration in the current versions will end by December 2022. To continue to get support for the product after December 2022, the users must have Windows 10 version 1903 and Office version 16.0.11629 or more. Salesforce will not support the older Outlook versions after December 31st, 2022.
- The changes will apply to the Outlook Integration, earlier known as Lightning for Outlook. The changes will occur in all editions of Outlook.
- It is always recommended to use the latest version of Windows and Outlook to ensure that the system is secure.
- Additionally, Microsoft Add-in Framework is used to build the Outlook Integration. Earlier, Internet Explorer 11 was used to launch the Add-in Framework, but Microsoft Edge is used to launch the Add-in Framework in the latest versions. In the latest Windows versions, Microsoft Edge is the native browser. So, it is mandatory to upgrade to the latest versions of Windows and Outlook.
Support for Outlook for Mac
- Salesforce now offers support for New Outlook for Mac since February 2022. The changes apply to the Outlook integration in all available editions.
Salesforce Outlook Integration offers many of the same features as with Salesforce for Outlook, but it has some additional features that are not included in Salesforce for Outlook. It lets users to work with Salesforce records and some Salesforce features while in their Outlook email or calendar.
- With Inbox for Outlook, you can log emails to Salesforce as emails. With Outlook for Salesforce, you would need to log them as tasks.
- The Outlook interface can be customized to suit the needs of individual users. Lightning components from the AppExchange can be downloaded, installed and configured within the interface.
- To draft Outlook emails users can take help of Salesforce templates that are preconfigured.
Salesforce Inbox is available as an add-in for Outlook (or a Chrome extension) that offers email templates, calendar sharing and email tracking. However, Einstein Activity Capture will be able to automatically sync data between Outlook and Salesforce. This can provide a more streamlined, efficient experience for companies looking to manage all of their communication with one integrated tool.
Einstein Activity Capture (EAC)
Einstein Activity Capture is meant to replace Outlook Sync. It syncs contacts and events between Outlook and Salesforce, making it a one-stop tool for all your business needs. For users, the sync can be set up with one click from the UI.
- Salesforce provides the latest product updates automatically every time a new release happens.
- Administrators can override or hide some preferred synchronization settings of the users. In Einstein Activity Capture, only the administrators can decide about the objects to be synchronized and how. Users cannot synchronize settings. With Einstein Activity Capture, the available event synchronization directions are Salesforce to Outlook, Outlook to Salesforce, and both ways.
- It is possible to set certain contact synchronization filters such as contact owner, field, sync contacts users follow in Chatter.
- The event capture and email display events and emails on the Activity timeline of the Salesforce records, and in case of new events, it automatically gets updated in the timeline.
- Users in the system can set event Synchronization filters. Admins can use filters- not including private events, end date, not including event series.
- An access activity metrics will be given to users by the software in the paid version of Einstein Activity Capture. In the paid version, users can create custom insights.
Factors to Consider
It will be inconvenient for Salesforce for Outlook users to switch over to other alternatives. But it is time to review the needs of the organization considering the following aspects.
- Scale of Business – The size of your organization, as well as the importance of real-time synchronization, are essential in determining what CRM software you need.
- Budget – Companies are faced with the choice of either maintaining a Salesforce for Outlook system or switching to an alternative. Some companies have a budget for an alternative and others do not, but either way it’s important for the company to know what it is relying on Salesforce for Outlook for. How much is your reliance on Salesforce for Outlook and what is your budget for an alternative?
- Security – Data security and customer privacy are two of the most important factors for many companies. what level of data security and customer privacy do you provide?
- Support – Whether you need a response team that is on-call 24 hours a day or just want to store knowledge bases, the support you need will vary depending on the size and type of your organization.
- Compliance – There are many regulatory standards that organizations need to follow or they risk non-compliance. Failure to comply can mean fines. What regulatory standards your organization needs to follow and what are the related financial ramifications of noncompliance?
It is advised to contact experienced Salesforce consultants to decide on the most appropriate alternative for Salesforce for Outlook.
Besides Outlook Integration and Einstein Activity Capture, the other alternatives for the Salesforce for Outlook include:
- LinkPoint 360
Because Salesforce for Outlook is taking retirement, you need to make a move. Now, it is time to switch to the best alternative for Salesforce for Outlook. The experienced and skilled Salesforce consultants at Webuters can help you find the best alternative for Salesforce for Outlook with seamless implementation.