24 May Lightning Sync for Google/Microsoft Exchange is No Longer Available for New Salesforce Orgs…What Now?
What Exactly is Being Deprecated?
According to the Summer 20 release notes Lightning Sync will no longer be available in newly provisioned orgs. For those not familiar with Lightning Sync this is the tool that enables bi-directional sync of Contacts and Events with Salesforce and GSuite. For example, if you create a Contact in Salesforce it syncs to your Google Contacts, so that when you compose an email the contact is already there, and you don’t have to manually key in their email address. Another piece of of Lightning Sync is event sync. This enables you to create an event in Salesforce and have it sync to GCal, or vice versa. One part of this functionality I really like is when you create an event in Salesforce Lightning it also sends an invite to the invitee, and displays the response back in Salesforce! In addition, Lightning Sync has a setting where you can select which events in GCal sync to Salesforce (via the Log Event button in the side panel). That way, you’re not bringing over your dentist appointments into Salesforce.
It is equally important to distinguish what is not being deprecated, namely the Lightning for Gmail side panel. This is the side panel that you can use while while in Gmail on Chrome desktop to log and send emails, You can also leverage it to use Salesforce email templates when sending from Gmail.
What Does the Future Look Like for Contact and Event Sync with Salesforce? Einstein Activity Capture
So Contact and Event sync are going away. Is Salesforce offering anything to replace this functionality? In the release notes Salesforce points to Einstein Activity Capture:
We heard your requests for more flexible connection options and optimized features. To give you the best in Microsoft integration, we are combining our resources to focus on delivering one sync product: Einstein Activity Capture. With Einstein Activity Capture, you get the same basic features as Lightning Sync, and more.
The release notes point us to the Salesforce Help Article, “What can Einstein Activity Capture do?”. It talks about email and event logging, which displays on a Contact or Lead’s Activity Timeline. In addition, the article also states “Einstein Activity Capture also syncs events and contacts between Salesforce and your Microsoft or Google account.” Events and Contacts will continue to be synced in the Salesforce database, just like Lightning Sync does today. However, logged emails via Activity Capture are not stored in Salesforce, and are not available in standard reporting. If you want to have email sync in the Salesforce database you can turn off email capture for Einstein Activity (but still use it for Event and Contact sync) and continue to use the Lightning for Gmail plugin to manually log emails.
Similar to Lightning Sync, an Admin will create a configuration in Einstein Activity Capture to define the sync directions, and which Contacts and Events sync. It’s also important to note that new Salesforce orgs with Sales Cloud licenses will have 100 Einstein Activity Capture permission set licenses included at no additional cost!
All in all, this is a great new change that will prevent the hours of setup the Lightning Sync previously required!