Salesforce Spring ’17 Google Integration Review

/ Author: John Smith

Now, I know not everyone in the business world uses G Suite for their email, calendar and apps, but for those who do, Salesforce bringing their integrations to G Suite is the best and most welcome feature in a long while.

Lightning for Gmail

This is the best. I have been using the pilot for a few months now allowing me to be able to view the Contacts, Accounts and other information right from Gmail. Operating Salesforce from Gmail is a massive time saver.  It is also a great way to ensure that the data you have in your org is clean and present.  As emails have all the Account and Contact details in user signatures, it is easy to use the Lightning sidebar in Gmail to create and update records.

Now that this feature goes mainstream (from pilot to beta) it gets the addition of:

  • Inline editing in gmail (never leave GMAIL!!!!)
  • Drill down into a records detail, lists, chatter and activities
  • Relate emails to records with Enhanced email. (Brilliant!) The Enhanced email object is now an object that represents an Email, gone are the days of an Email being logged as a type of Task.

Admins and developers will now be able to customise the way that Lightning for Gmail is presented to users.  Customising the objects and components that are delivered.  Gmail + Salesforce now becomes a weapon.

Lightning Sync for Google

This integration connects a user’s Google Calendar and Google Contacts to Salesforce.  All in the background.  Now Sales reps can manage their days or weeks and know that the activities are being logged and assigned automatically to the right Contacts and Accounts.

The new feature here is that Contact sync is available.  This will make keeping an address book up to date between the two systems.

How hard is it to set up these Google integrations?

Not that hard, because Salesforce and Google are both cloud apps, they both utilise a framework that makes connecting these applications relatively straightforward.  As it is all cloud based, it means that rolling out these features requires turning them on, no software to install in Outlook.

Microsoft Integration

All of the above mentioned with the Google integration applies to the Microsoft Integration.   These features require Exchange to either be run from Office 365 or on the latest version if run internally.  So the tricky bit for a business is spending the effort on migrating to Exchange 2016 or Office 365.

Salesforce for Outlook

One thing I do want to get off my chest is that Salesforce for Outlook might seem like it brings all the features to the table if you are on an earlier version of Exchange, but the nature of rolling this software out makes it a painful thing to manage for IT teams.  In my view, the effort is best spent to migrate to the latest version of Exchange or Office 365.

Thanks again for reading.  Looking forward to the Spring ’17 update in a few weeks.

James Keaney | james dot keaney at cludo dot com dot au