Friday, September 4, 2015

Using SalesForce Communities

SalesForce has a powerful new feature called Communities.  It allows you to invite users external to your organization (e.g. customers, partners, etc.) into your SalesForce Instance.  This allows you to extend the reach of SalesForce well beyond your traditional CRM system.  This means you could use SalesForce to help make data available for different user groups or have them contribute their own.  This can be useful, especially for partners if you want them to add in details of the opportunities they are working on!

Of course, you have the usual control over what these other users can see in your SalesForce instance.  But, you also have the ability to custom brand your community so it looks nothing like SalesForce (or it can look entirely like SalesForce depending on your use case/preferences).  This means you could create something that looks completely like something you made just for your community users.

You have the ability, depending on the community type (e.g. Customer or Partner) to expose custom objects from your SalesForce instance.  And, if you are using a Partner Community (which costs more), you can expose Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities and Libraries.  With the Customer Community you can expose Cases.  So, depending on what is needed you can find the one that is right for you.

When it comes to licensing this exciting solution SalesForce has two different license models.  One is for a pool of logins (say 10,000 logins per month).  This is useful if you are expecting traffic to your community, but aren’t sure which users specifically will make up that amount.  Alliteratively, you can go with the Named User model which is similar to how SalesForce licenses their CRM itself - every user accessing it needs their own license.

There are many exciting ways you can use communities!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Lightning Experience

SalesForce, as part of their Winter release, is going to be updating the interface within SalesForce.  This is great news as the UI within SalesForce was starting to look dated.  Instead, it will now leverage the Lightning method that was first introduced to support SalesForce1.

Sample of the Opportunity List

As you can see from the above screenshot, a big aspect of the change is getting rid of the tabs along the top of the screen.  Instead, the tab icons (often of which seemed pointless to setup before) now have a purpose.  Additionally, on a list view, you can see a report of details on the list.

Sales Path available in Desktop SalesForce
You will have the ability to enable the new Lightning experience in the Winter '16 release.  Of course, with a change like this, you will want to make sure that your user base is aware of the forthcoming change.

New Setup Menu
Over the subsequent releases you will likely see more and more of the UI move into this new format.  Although the SETUP home page shows in the new UI, most of the other setup screens will still have the old look to them, for now.