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All good things must come to an end.
When Microsoft discontinues its extended support services for Internet Explorer 11 in December 2020, Salesforce For Outlook will be formally retired too.
While this development has been on deck for some time – since the end of 2019, when Salesforce reduced support for the tool to maintenance-only for existing users – we’re now living in a very different world; one where there’s an even greater reliance on the use of digital platforms for sales and marketing efforts.
But what does this actually mean for users? Will the same functionality be available? Which features will be affected? Are there alternatives in the pipeline?
Let’s take a look at where things are headed, then explore Salesforce For Outlook alternatives.
According to the Salesforce website, Salesforce For Outlook’s retirement will impact several areas of the SaaS platform.
“This change applies to Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic in Contact Manager, Group, Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions.”
Post-retirement, as well as users, Salesforce admins won’t be able to use, update, or even access any of Salesforce for Outlook’s features, settings, or assignments.
And while there won’t be any adverse impact on customer details, tasks, events, or email data, Salesforce for Outlook will no longer be able to sync any of this information to Microsoft Outlook.
Plus any configurations created will be lost; meaning Salesforce admins won’t be able access, create, or edit those.
While ‘Unresolved Items’ can be accessed using other products – namely Einstein Activity Capture, Lightning Sync, and Email to Salesforce – they won’t sync in Salesforce For Outlook anymore.
In addition, come December (date still TBA) the Salesforce Side Panel will no longer connect – meaning that sales teams won’t be able to access their Salesforce records from Outlook or use any of the features. At all.
From the outside looking in, businesses that have relied on Salesforce For Outlook software to automate the way in which they capture, record, information will be at a severe disadvantage when the extended support ends.
However, while it seems Salesforce has a few other options up its sleeve, it looks as though the same levels of integration won’t be possible – at least from a single platform. But it’s not just Salesforce putting forward new candidates as replacements.
Salesforce is currently billing several options as likely successors to Salesforce For Outlook:
Formerly known as ‘Lightning For Outlook’, Salesforce’s Outlook Integration has a very similar appearance to the retiring software. However, its additional functionality means users can look through existing records, edit fields, and create new records as needed
It boasts a suite of features that exceed the outgoing service – such as Enhanced Email, which automatically logs Outlook emails as Salesforce emails. The ability to draft Outlook emails using Salesforce email templates is another improvement – as is email engagement feedback and meeting scheduling features: although at an additional cost.
However, while it lets users connect emails to the necessary Salesforce data (contacts, events, leads etc) it doesn’t currently sync contact information. And, although it works well with Chrome and Outlook, Salesforce’s OutIook Integration loses points for not being compatible with Office 2010, Exchange 2010, or Internet Explorer 11.
Though cloud-based, it works via Office 365 and on-prem (using) Exchange 2013/2016S. But it’s biggest flaw is the fact it will only work on PCs running Outlook 2013 or 2016. And on Mac it’s only compatible with Outlook 2016.
Available as an add-in for Outlook (or a Chrome extension that users can tag onto their Gmail services), Salesforce Inbox offers email templates, email tracking, and calendar sharing. However, Einstein Activity Capture is still able to automatically sync data between Salesforce and Outlook.
Seen as the other ‘Next Gen’ tool to complement Outlook Integration, Einstein Activity Capture (EAC) captures email and events from any Microsoft or Google account and automatically adds them into Salesforce.
Its most distinguishing feature, however, is the level of activity insight EAC offers.
While all of these tools offer complementary, but ultimately distinct, features and benefits – ultimately they seem to have various ‘personality quirks’ that go with them.
And given the fact there’s no single solution that can be used for collating, automating, and sharing prospect information; the whole set up begins to look quite complex.
Here at ZynBit, our all-in-one email solution combines the functionality of each of these high performance Salesforce For Outlook contenders – and offers additional features that sales teams and Salesforce admins are sure to love.
For example, our SaaS platform provides simple Salesforce integration with Outlook, giving sales teams and Salesforce admins access to a range of features – including a sidebar, email tracking, email templates, and even a calendar sync tool.
Users can also book more meetings by sharing their availability with prospects (rather than play constant calendar ping pong!), get an instant overview of their complete sales pipeline, and get all of the insight they need relating to each recipient – including their publicly-available social profile information.
ZynBit automatically records and syncs all sales activity – emails, calls, meetings, contacts, notes, and custom objects – directly into Salesforce from any email platform: Google’s Gmail and Microsoft Office 365, as well as Outlook.
What’s most important when it comes to sales prospecting? Speed? Accuracy? Simplicity? Ease-of-Use. All of these, right?
When choosing a replacement for Salesforce For Outlook you need a solution that offers all of these in a single, integrated system.
While ZynBit isn’t a Salesforce-owned platform, it does offer users and admins alike an impartial, viable alternative to a string of different company-built apps, that seem to overlap in their purpose and complexity.
Why not give it a try?
Give it a test run and see if you like it. Click here for your free 14-day trial.