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Lightning for Outlook vs. Salesforce for Outlook: Which is Better?

25 June 2019 Amy Green Salesforce

There are a few basic questions sales teams have when attempting to integrate Outlook with Salesforce:

  • Should I be using “Lighting for Outlook” or “Salesforce for Outlook”?
  • I’m using Salesforce for Outlook. Should I upgrade?
  • What is the “Salesforce Outlook Integration”? Is this a new tool?
  • Are there any third-party tools that are better?
  • What’s the difference between all these tools, anyway?

In this article, we’ve broken down the exact differences, strengths, and weaknesses of these common integration tools in honest detail to help you decide.
We’ve also included our own opinion for the best third-party tool for integrating Outlook with Salesforce (if you’re looking for a faster, easier, and more secure solution).

Salesforce for Outlook: An Honest Review

When Salesforce for Outlook launched several years ago, it promised to sync your contacts, events, and tasks from your email to your Salesforce account.

While this application worked decently a few years ago, it has now become outdated and is no longer an effective solution for integrating Outlook with Salesforce.

Discontinued Starting Winter ‘19

Unfortunately, Salesforce has since decided to discontinue this application, starting in Winter of 2019.

According to the Salesforce website:

No Support from Salesforce

Salesforce will not be supporting the application at all going forward, which means if you run into any issues using the application, Salesforce will offer no assistance of any kind.

Only Works on Windows Computers

Even if you are able to install and run the Salesforce for Outlook application, it will only work with on Windows computers running older versions of Outlook.

No Automatic Sync

In addition, Salesforce for Outlook does not automatically sync data. The Salesforce for Outlook application requires users to manually click the “Add to Salesforce” button in order to sync their customer and sales activity data between Outlook and Salesforce.

No Mobile Options

Salesforce for Outlook also doesn’t work on mobile devices or tablets.

Replaced by Lightning for Outlook

Salesforce recommends using their new product, Lightning for Outlook, instead. However, users have found many critical flaws with this application that prevent it from sufficiently solving the problem.

The Limitations of the Lightning for Outlook

Lighting for Outlook was built as a new, up-to-date replacement for Salesforce for Outlook. While similar in functionality, it came with better performance and new, advanced features.

Lightning for Outlook promised to automatically sync contacts, events, and tasks between Outlook and Salesforce.

It also promised to give you access to Salesforce directly from Outlook, with “no more jumping between programs, no extra clicks, no hassle”.

Because it was built with newer technology, it requires at least Outlook 2013 for Windows or Outlook 2016 for Mac. Because it also works with Exchange Online, it can be accessed using an Office 365 account.

The ability to use it on Mac or with an Office 365 account are 2 new additions that weren’t available with SFO

NOTE: Lightning for Outlook was recently renamed to “Salesforce Outlook Integration”.

Slow and Buggy

Unfortunately, users confirm that the Salesforce Outlook Integration app is slow and buggy. Some users report the loss of data and up to 90 seconds of computer lag when the software is syncing. Reps get frustrated as they work and their productivity slows down.

A quick look through the AppExchange listing for Sales Outlook Integration shows what users really think about the app:

“Sales Outlook Integration lags while processing”
“It takes MANY clicks to simply log an email. Lots of lag while it thinks about each thing I ask it to do.”
– Cathy Leonard

“Sales Outlook Integration messes up data”
“I have over 10K duplicates contacts created thanks to starting a 2 way sync. It will create duplicates even if the duplicate rules are active.”
– Aditya Kamdi

“Sales Outlook Integration loads too slow”
“Make the loading time faster or don’t require an app refresh every time you move from one email to another.”
– Andrew Jack

“Sales Outlook Integration is disappointing”
“Relating records is clunky and inefficient. Task and contact syncing are a must in an add-in like this. Pretty disappointing.”
– Edwin Jeffords

Additional Concerns

Security Risks

There are also critical security risks with the Salesforce Outlook Integration, as it requires global impersonation, giving admins unlimited access to every single mailbox on your company’s Exchange mail server.

No Support for Exchange 2010

Many organizations still use Exchange 2010 to host their mail and calendars. Unfortunately, the Salesforce Outlook Integration does not support Exchange 2010 at all, so you will be forced to upgrade if you want to use it.

Insufficient Data Sync

Worst of all, the app doesn’t sync all the data that you need (such as opportunities, contacts, calls, and meetings) to generate complete, meaningful reports that leadership can use.

Fortunately, there is a third-party option that does all of these things seamlessly, automatically, securely, and reliably.

ZynBit is the Fast, Secure, Reliable Solution for Integrating Outlook with Salesforce

ZynBit is a tool that works in the background to automatically record and sync sales activity data from Outlook to Salesforce so your team is free to focus on more important activities, like attracting, delighting, and retaining your customers.

Your sales reps can carry out their work like they normally do, sending emails, booking appointments, making phone calls, etc. As they work, ZynBit automatically tracks all of their sales activities, without them having to think about it.

The difference between ZynBit and the Salesforce Outlook Integration app are clear:

Salesforce Outlook Integration vs ZynBit: What’s the Difference?

ZynBit powers data-driven sales.
Salesforce Outlook Integration doesn’t.

Truly lightning fast.Slow to load and crashes often – Not lightning fast!
Syncs calendar and email in the background with related object enrichment.Activities and custom objects only work after deep customization.
Data is reliably synced and stored in Salesforce.Lots of user errors.
Out-of-the-box automated syncing, plus Calendar Scheduling, Email Templates* and Email Tracking.
*Email Templates coming soon
Automated syncing not included.
Supports any Outlook or Exchange environment including Outlook for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.Requires Exchange 365 credentials in the cloud.
No Exchange connection requiredRequires global impersonation.

Fast, Automated Sync vs. Slow, Inaccurate Sync That Crashes Often

The Salesforce Outlook Integration app is slow to load and users report frequent crashes. It is certainly not the “lightning fast” experience that Salesforce promises. In addition, activities and custom objects only work after deep customization.

In comparison, ZynBit works in the background collecting meeting notes, contacts, opportunities, and quotes quickly, automatically, and reliably.

Syncing is instantaneous. You open an email, ZynBit gets the data and is already on its way to Salesforce. It’s so fast it’s practically real-time.

ZynBit syncs at the server level. It works in the background and doesn’t drain your local resources. Reps will never suffer computer crashes, system lag, or data loss.

ZynBit is fast to load and you won’t feel any drag as you work. It works quickly and seamlessly from the moment you install it, without deep customization.

Free time and pipeline data enrichment will enable your reps to focus on closing bigger deals, faster.

100% Accurate Sync vs Up to 40% of Data Lost

With the Salesforce Outlook Integration app, in order to sync records and sales activity data, you need an additional product: Lightning Sync, which is slow. The first sync takes 72 hours or more.

Each additional sync can take several minutes and is prone to creating duplicates, or losing as much as 40% of your sales activity data.

ZynBit, on the other hand, automatically syncs every interaction with clients, including email, calendar, phone calls, tasks, events, opportunities, and quotes with related object enrichment.

It frees up reps’ time and feeds their pipeline full of reliable data, without errors or duplicates.

Reliable activity data in Salesforce reduces guesswork and generates reports you can trust.

100% Secure Integration vs. Vulnerable Integration

The Salesforce Outlook Integration app requires access to your company’s Exchange server credentials in the cloud. This kind of direct server access creates vulnerabilities in your network.

ZynBit provides enterprise-level security. Many of our customers choose ZynBit as the most secure AppExchange partner. Connection paths of data are completely configurable and secured with SSO, SAML, or OAuth.

ZynBit processes the least amount of information required to complete the job.

Run All of Salesforce Seamlessly from Your Inbox vs. Difficult Customization

Creating Salesforce records from the Salesforce Outlook Integration sidebar requires extensive customization. This means that reps still need to login to Salesforce to their work.

ZynBit delivers 100% of what your reps can do in Salesforce right from their inbox, reducing their time away from sales. It increases Salesforce adoption by 40% because it keeps reps out of Salesforce.

You can create and edit all Salesforce objects right from your inbox, including tasks, opportunities, and custom objects, all permission-based.

Try ZynBit for Free

When it comes to integrating Outlook with Salesforce, ZynBit is the clear, best option.

If you’re ready to try ZynBit, you can sign up for a free, 14-day free trial:

Start a 14-day free trial – No credit card required ►

Download a full comparison report ZynBit vs. Salesforce products ►


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