Einstein Activity Capture is a function to automatically capture Activities from Gmail or Outlook against account, contact, lead, opportunity, contract, and quote records.
This feature is powered by Salesforce Einstein and available with Sales Cloud in: Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, and Unlimited Editions. It’s supported only in Lightning Experience which means it won’t work with Salesforce Classic (but who’s still using classic!).
What Is Einstein Activity Capture?
Einstein Activity Capture (EAC) is part of the Sales Cloud family.
It uses the power of AI to automatically log events and emails against their respective Salesforce records and can also sync Contacts from Gmail or Outlook.
It’s the successor to Lightning Sync that syncs Events and Contacts to Salesforce from Gmail or Outlook and hasn’t been available to new customers since Winter ’21.
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Benefits and Challenges of EAC
The nature of Einstein Activity Capture is both its upside and its downfall.
Due to its AI-powered nature, it can log emails, events, and contacts automatically without the need for any manual intervention from sales reps. It supports Google and Microsoft Outlook and a number of different authentication options.
One drawback is that the data resides in AWS – as a result, it’s outside your Salesforce org. This could cause a compliance issue and also means you can’t report natively on emails as they are not stored within Salesforce. ‘Streamed’ records are also not targetable in other Automation Records such as Flow.
Three Ways to Report on EAC
1. Activities Dashboard
Enter stage left, the Activities Dashboard! This is powered by CRM Analytics and brings together the streamed records stored in AWS with your Salesforce records for a fuller picture.
This is provided at no extra cost, but you need a paid license to be able to edit the default settings. In the background, this uses datasets and joins – adjusting for your own requirements isn’t for the faint-hearted!
Salesforce users can access this dashboard from within Salesforce without having to switch to another system.
2. Einstein Activity Metrics
Next up we have Einstein Activity Metrics. You are required to have at least one paid license in the org to unlock this feature.
Once enabled, the system creates some special roll-up objects in the background that then allow you to see metrics such as [Last Mail Date] [Last Call Date].
These are standard Salesforce fields, so once you’ve set up all the fields you can use these in Page Layouts, Dynamic Forms, Record Highlights, Reports, Dashboards, and other tools such as Flow.
3. Unified Activity Report / Activity 360 Reports (Beta)
Salesforce has had various versions of solutions that bridge the gap with EAC reporting in beta over the last few years.
The latest is Unified Activity/Activity 360 Reports which bring your Salesforce Records and Streamed Activities together in the same report or dashboard, regardless if the activities are automatically captured or logged manually.
This requires at least one Einstein Activity Capture paid license in the org and it’s currently in Beta, until the Winter’24 release when it is supposed to become generally available – meaning it’s not yet officially supported or part of the Master Service Agreement (MSA).
The paid license can either be included (for example under Sales Cloud Unlimited) or purchased as part of an add-on such as Revenue Intelligence or Salesforce Inbox. You can sign-up for the closed beta access for your organization using this form.
Personally I’d opt for Activity Metrics with Unified Activity (Activity 360) Reporting to get the insights I need.
Although this requires at least one paid license, this is a small price to pay for customizable reports and dashboards in Salesforce without having to switch over to analytics (which I am not as comfortable in).
Fingers crossed this becomes generally available in an upcoming release and is made even better in the near future!