AI for Admins: A Closer Look at Einstein Activity Capture

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As a Salesforce Admin, you implement tools to reduce busywork for sales teams so that they can focus on the more important stuff. You know, like working on actual deals. One common busywork rabbit hole is the never-ending task of keeping data up to date between Salesforce and email and calendar applications. Einstein Activity Capture has evolved over the past few years to become the leading Salesforce solution for managing data flow between applications. Here’s a quick overview to help get you started with Einstein Activity Capture.

The data trifecta

To keep data between Salesforce and your email and calendar applications up to date, Einstein Activity Capture focuses on three types of data.

Emails
Emails that Einstein Activity Capture users send and receive are automatically added to the activity timeline of related Salesforce records. Email data is also used to create email insights. Plus, if you use Inbox or High Velocity Sales, email data generates engagement data.

Events
Events that Einstein Activity Capture users are included in are automatically added to the activity timeline of related Salesforce records. Events are also synced between Salesforce and users’ connected Microsoft or Google accounts. Events appear on the My Events calendar in Salesforce. When events sync to Salesforce, they become Salesforce records and are available in standard reporting and Salesforce Platform capabilities.

Contacts
Contacts are synced between Salesforce and users’ connected Microsoft or Google accounts. When contacts sync to Salesforce, they become Salesforce records. Contact Data from the connected account is also used to create email insights and recommended connections.

Events and contacts sync similarly to earlier products, such as Salesforce for Outlook and Lightning Sync. However, since those products are no longer being actively developed, now is a great time to explore Einstein Activity Capture. And Einstein Activity Capture offers even more benefits than our other sync products. For example, it syncs calendars faster, which opens up the door to additional tools such as Lightning Scheduler.

Events and emails are added to the activity timeline of related Salesforce records

Synced events are added to the My Events calendar in Salesforce

You control data flow

For each Einstein Activity Capture configuration, you decide whether to enable emails, events, and contacts. Don’t want Salesforce touching your emails? No problem. Just disable emails in the configuration. You also decide which users are in which configuration. Don’t want Salesforce touching emails for only some users? Again, no problem. Just have some users assigned to a configuration with emails disabled, others in a configuration with emails enabled.

Keep in mind that for each data type that’s enabled, data is captured from the connected Microsoft or Google account and stored using Salesforce’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure. Because email data is stored only in AWS and isn’t used to create Salesforce records, it isn’t available in standard reporting. However, you can use the Activities dashboard and Activity Metrics fields to get a full picture of your activity data.

As mentioned already, when events or contacts are enabled, the data is also synced between Salesforce and the connected account. You choose the sync direction. When events and contacts sync to Salesforce, they become Salesforce records and are available in standard reports and other Salesforce Platform capabilities.

Einstein Activity Capture configurations control which data moves between Salesforce and the connected Microsoft or Google accounts.

The more you know

As with any Salesforce product, you want to do some homework and planning before jumping in. The same is true of Einstein Activity Capture. You probably already have some basic questions about availability, requirements, and security. We organized all of this info for you in the Einstein Activity Capture Basics section in Salesforce Help.

And, like much of Salesforce, Einstein Activity Capture offers plenty of settings and customizations. You’ll have a better sense of what to expect if you familiarize yourself with the “rules.” For example:

  • Learn which Einstein Activity Capture settings apply to all users and which apply to only the users in a particular configuration.
  • Know the effects of excluding email addresses and domains.
  • Review what happens if you disable emails, events, or contacts.

It might seem like a lot to take in, but you’ll be rewarded with an easier rollout. To help, we compiled details about setting up and using Einstein Activity Capture.

Tips for a successful rollout

When rolling out new features for your company, surprises are never welcome. When rolling out Einstein Activity Capture, here’s how to make sure nothing sneaks up on you.

  • Set expectations. Have clearly defined business goals from the start. Then, learn how Einstein Activity Capture can meet those goals. You’ll be in a better position to assess whether Einstein Activity Capture is meeting those goals and where to make adjustments to your Einstein Activity Capture settings.
  • Test your implementation. Before rolling out to users, test your implementation with a small pilot group. Get feedback from your pilot users, make adjustments, and then test again. Make sure the outcomes meet your business expectations. When you’re ready for a larger rollout, prepare your teams and be ready to provide resources and support.
  • Always add Einstein Activity Capture users to a configuration. All it takes to capture a user’s activity data is to assign the user to Einstein Activity Capture and the user to connect their account. They technically don’t have to be in a configuration, but it’s much easier for you to manage Einstein Activity Capture users when they are. Plus, you can only add sync functionality through a configuration.

Each release, we make improvements to Einstein Activity Capture. For the latest, keep an eye on the Release Notes.

Einstein Activity Capture Resources

Salesforce Help: Einstein Activity Capture
Salesforce Doc: Einstein Activity Capture Security Guide
Salesforce Help: Compare Lightning Sync and Einstein Activity Capture
Salesforce Help: Explore Our Latest Microsoft Integration Products
Salesforce Admin Blog: AI for Admin Series

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