features

  • Winter ’19: Top Sales and Service Cloud Features

    The first release of 2019 is almost here… Yes, I typed that right, 2019!  I was sitting in a meeting today, and we were planning the roadmap out to 2021.  It’s crazy to think…  But as the seasons change, we hit the start of the three-releases-a-year cycle with the Winter ’19 Release from Salesforce.

    winter19 - snowboarding Astro
    Winter ’19 – Snowboarding Astro

    Now I have to admit, I was caught a little off-guard by the release.  It wasn’t until I saw the new snowboarding Astro in a developer sandbox, that I realised I had completely missed the normal pre-release build up. :-O

    Where did the last 2 months go?!

    At least there is plenty of time until Dreamforce 😀

    Is it just me…?

    I struggle to be “wowed” with this release.  Now don’t get me wrong, there are some nice usability tweaks for sure.  And some additional features which do really help make Lightning a more robust and complete user experience.

    But I am left wondering, where is the “Salesforce magic”?

    Maybe there is more to be announced shortly at Dreamforce?  But what about Dreamforce last year?  Where is “myTrailhead” (there is an answer buried in the FAQ)?

    I assume the strategy for this year must be revolving around bedding-in the various acquisitions and general improvements to Lightning Experience.

    Top Features of Winter ’19 Release

    Stepping down from my little soap-box now…  And I will admit there are some really useful and cool usability features coming our way!

    So let’s have a look at the top features focusing on improvements to Sales/Service Cloud.

    Search List Views & Bulk Change Records

    List views have received some attention this release, and now have a cool ‘Search this list’ feature.  Such a simple idea, but I am hooked to using it now in my sandbox environment.

    Winter 19 Release: Search List Views

    You can now also do a number of bulk actions from the list view too, such as selecting multiple records and changing the owner.  This now brings yet another ‘small’ but useful feature from classic into Lightning Experience.

    Enhanced Run Page in Reports (Beta)

    Another cool feature – albeit a ‘beta feature’ – is the new Enhanced Run Page within Lightning Reports.  You can easily adjust what is displayed in the report, without having to edit the report and re-run…

    Also drilling down into a group/column is now a whole lot easier, matching Classic.

    winter19 - Enhanced Run Page in Reports
    Enhanced Run Page in Reports

    Joined Reports in your Dashboards

    Finally!!! Joined Reports can now be used as components on a Dashboard….

    Winter19 - Joined Report as a Dashbaord component

    Forecasts

    From memory it has been a little while since the last touch-up to Forecasts.

    Winter 19 will bring a number of new features, including the ability to now forecast by territory.

    Email tracking for your Sales and Service users

    In Lightning you can now track email responses, seeing if the email has been opened.  And actually displaying this information back in the Activity Timeline within Lightning, presenting this back in a way that is easy to view.

    Winter 19 - Email Tracking

    Live Agent Setup in Lightning

    You will now be able to setup Live Agent in Lightning Experience.  Another small thing, but one less reason to have to switch back to Classic!

    Bonus: Flow Builder

    So although not technically part of the Winter ’19 it was announced alongside the Winter ’19 release…  Early next year (likely Spring ’19 release), we will have a new Flow Builder.  Which will get a much-needed redesign.

    Removing the dependency on Adobe Flash is a huge benefit and one of the things I am most excited about.  It feels like every second day, I have to update Flash before I can then use Flow Designer.

    Salesforce's new Flow Builder
    The new Flow Builder… Coming soon!

    Wrap Up

    So aside from me being a little jaded, there are some nice usability features being added in this release which add a bit more flesh onto Lighting Experience.  (And if you haven’t migrated to Lightning yet, what are you waiting for?!)

    There are a lot of new features overall to the platform, and I am not sure if it is just the sandbox instance we are using or if it is the release… But Lightning Experience does feel a bit more responsive overall too.

    What are your top features?  Have I missed something?  Feel free to tell me / yell at me in the comments 😀

    Resources

    Other resources to help get #releaseready with the upcoming Winter 19 release.

    Salesforce Official resources:

    And the blogosphere:

  • Summer ’18 Release: Top Sales & Service Cloud Features

    Time marches on and 2018 continues hurtling towards summer (or winter for the southern half of the planet).  But it is that time of year again where we get to investigate and plan for the Summer ’18 release from Salesforce, which is due to be released to most orgs within the next month.

    Additionally, we see Lightning continue to be the primary focus for Salesforce with a number of key new features, as predicted, being included as part of this release.

    Release Notes – New breakdown

    Firstly, you may notice a subtle but helpful new format of the Release Notes.

    New sub-headings in the Summer '18 Release Notes
    New sub-headings in the Summer ’18 Release Notes

    Most features and changes included in the release notes, now appear to be broken down into easier to digest sub-headings covering the all important: Where/Why/How/When/etc.

    It is a subtle but useful change, given the volume of information in the 478 page document!

    Summer ’18 Release: Features Breakdown

    As with any Salesforce release nowadays, there are thousands of new features, and narrowing them down to a is getting harder and harder!  But let’s dive on in, and take a look at the Top Sales & Service Cloud Features.

    1) Lightning Console – To feature parity and beyond…

    With Summer ’18 Release, we see Lightning Console pretty close to matching Classic Console, with some additional new features added in for good measure.

    Now I know I am cheating in the top 10, as I am going to group a couple of features together in this one… But it will be worth it 🙂

    For the console changes, click here.

    Console specific features in the release include:

    Guided Engagement with Flow

    But the pièce de résistance though is the new Guided Engagement Console feature.  Allowing you to combine the power of Console and Flows, to give your users guided forms/scripts to work from:

    Summer '18 Release: Lightning Guided Engagement
    Lightning Guided Engagement

     

    2) Reports & Dashboards

    Summer ’18 Release from Salesforce includes a bonanza of features and updates for all things Reports & Dashboards… So again, I am grouping a few distinct features under one topic here – otherwise my top 10 would just be reports and dashboards!!

    For all Report & Dashboard features, click here.

    Lightning Report Builder

    First up, Summer ’18 Release sees Lightning Report Builder come out of beta, and become Generally Available.  With a few extra tweaks since Spring ’18 also added in!

    Summer '18 Release: Lightning Report Builder

    One thing to note: the user permissions have changed due to the feature becoming ‘generally available’, and this now allows you to hide Classic Report Builder from users, if you wish to…

    Lightning Joined Reports (Beta)

    Additionally, we see Joined Reports enter public beta within Lightning!  There are a few limitations listed in the release notes, but the biggest appears to be having to use the Salesforce Classic Report Builder

    Summer 18 Release: Joined Reports now available in beta
    Joined Reports (beta)

    Get organised: Folders and sub-folders

    I have to admit, this one makes my inner Salesforce geek very happy!  And I wrote about it in the predictions post back in January… As soon as I heard it was on the roadmap for this year, I have been eagerly awaiting this feature!!!

    Sub-Folders, within Folders!  OMG! 😀 😀 It is Lightning Experience only – but this has been a pain in the backside of many Admins, since even before I started working with Salesforce!

    Summer '18 Release: Report Sub-Folders
    Report Sub-Folders

     

    Export reports & keep your formatting

    Lightning Experience now allows you to export your report and keep the formatting of the report.  Simple…

    Filter History Reports by Old and New Values

    In Classic, another bug-bear of mine (and many others) was the fact you could not filter a History Report by the old or new field values…  It would only display them in the report or the history related list if the field was tracked.

    This ended up with a lot of reports being exported and then working with the data in Excel… GRRR

    But GRRR no more! With the ability to now filter by these values!

    Salesforce Summer '18 Release: Filter by Old or New Values on History Reports

    Thank you Salesforce!

     

    3) Lightning Experience improvements

    Another area with a number of smaller feature improvements, Lightning Experience continues to get refined with each release.

    Click here for all of them…  Otherwise, read on!

    Speed up your search

    Summer ’18 Release will allow your users to search by specific objects, from the global search bar…

    Summer '18 Release: Search by specific object

    Boom!

    Dependant picklists and Path

    Path is an amazing feature, allowing you to guide users through almost any process just based on a single picklist.  But with Summer ’18 release, any dependant picklists will now also prompt users when they move steps.

    Summer '18 Release: Update dependant picklists

     

    Group by Topics

    Topics are now available in Lightning Experience!

    Many users used Topics in Classic, and it is great to seem them ported over to Lightning Experience now.

    If you haven’t used them before, it allows your end-users to group and organise records, by a topic.  Imagine it like a #tag on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn/etc, allowing you to then search for the topic and get all related records.

    Salesforce Summer '18: Topics now in Lightning

    4) Privacy (Support for GDPR)

    With the upcoming GDPR changes, Salesforce has continued to add in features to assist businesses (and us Admins) to get ready.

    Changes to Individual object

    The Individual object was a little limited when it was first released in Spring ’18.  The object wasn’t like a standard object, meaning access was very limited.  And creation of records/etc Apex coding was required…

    But no more!  In Summer ’18 the object is now a standard object with all the bells and whistles that comes with that – including the ability to now use workflows/process builder!

    You will be able to now:

    • Create custom actions, buttons, and links for Individuals
    • Create different Individual record types
    • Undelete an Individual that you had deleted
    • Use Individuals with workflows or with Process Builder

    Make a Users’ personal data unusable

    As part of the new privacy regulations, and the ability to request your personal information is removed from a system, presents a bit of a challenge for anyone who has a user record within Salesforce.  These could be community users or internal users…. And is due to the fact you cannot delete a Salesforce user record, ever.

    So to get around this, Salesforce is now including a new system method ‘obfuscateUser()’ , which will scramble user information.

    This one definitely falls into the ‘advanced’ category, as it requires Apex knowledge (or how to invoke Apex via Process Builder/Flow).

    And would require planning and testing, as Salesforce is warning: that it cannot be reversed!

    Scramble user data before and after

     

    Summer ’18 Release: Key Dates

    There are a number of key dates you need to know for Summer ’18 Release.  So to help highlight what they are, here is a handy infographic from Salesforce.   Remember the dates shown below are in US date format though…

    Summer 18 release - key dates

    What is the release date for Summer ’18 Release?

    The release weekend for your org will depend on the instance it is on, but the release will occur on the weekend between the 18th May – 8th June 2018.

    Summer ’18 Release: Additional Resources

    Official Salesforce resources

    Other blog resources

  • Time to prepare for Summer ’18 Release

    It only feels like a few months since Spring ’18 release… Oh wait, it was.  As time marches on, we are now due for the next release from Salesforce with Summer ’18 release.  Over the coming weeks we will start the normal release readiness prep, but what are the key dates of the release?  And when will Summer ’18 be released? Additionally what features might we expect to see from Salesforce Summer ’18 release?

    Summer ’18 Release: Key Dates

    As with every release, there are a number of key dates you have to be aware of.

    Most of this is sourced from the Release Readiness Group and you can download a handy infographic here (source: Salesforce).

    April 19th – Pre-release orgs are available to preview the new release.

    April 23rd – The Preview Release Notes will be published.

    May 4th – Sandbox cutoff date.  Remember to check here for instructions on which sandbox instance a refresh will land on.

    May 18th, June 1st, June 8th – there are three release windows for Summer ’18 into production environments.  Which depends on your Salesforce instance.  You can check the dates relevant for your instance, here.

    There will also be a number of Release Readiness webinars, and sessions which will be posted via the Release Readiness Group in the Trailblazer Community.

    Summer ’18: Possible Features

    Because I am not one to generally wait…  Impatient, I know…  So I started searching the product roadmaps to see what is likely to be released as part of the Summer ’18 release.  Combined with a number of webinars I have watched, this is a list of some of the features likely to show in this release.

    But please note – this list isn’t definitive or guaranteed list.  And we will get official confirmation within the next week as the Pre-Release Orgs & Preview Release Notes become available. 

    So let’s jump in and speculate as to what we might see…

    Lightning Report Builder & Dashboards

    We are likely to see a lot more features being rolled out to the new Report Builder feature.  These are likely to include:

    • Joined Reports, finally in Lightning – albeit this is likely to be a beta/pilot release
    • The ability to create field to field filters. This will allow you to compare two fields directly within the report builder, without needing to build report formulas or custom fields. For example you could run a filter where Created Date equals any custom date field on your object.
    • The ability to create reporting sub folders.  So you could setup a ‘Sales’ folder, but then have sub folders for each sales team within it.
    • Ability to sort columns based on a summarised/aggregated value.
    • Setting dashboard schedules for multiple users

    Files

    Files is likely to see the introduction of a Library-type functionality.  This will be no doubt be a nudge for users still on Content/Libraries to move over to the newer Files functionality.

    Platform Enhancements

    The rollout of branding/themes started with the last couple of releases.  We will likely get the ability to now theme/brand each app individually (rather than one theme applying org wide).

    List views will also see Mass Quick Actions rolled out to more objects too.  While Persons Accounts should get the ability to create custom Quick Actions on the object.

    And Product Schedules should finally become available in Lightning Experience.  This should stop users having to switch back to Salesforce Classic to enable product schedules, or to establish/modify schedules for products.  Which is something one of my orgs uses alot, and has blocked Lightning roll-out for that team.

    Wrap up

    We will see if these possible features are actually included in Summer – and no doubt there will be a number of other additions which haven’t been included here… There are always 1,000s of features in each release – so I know we only touched the surface here!

    Appendix

    If you want to know more, one of the most helpful videos outlining some of the new features on the roadmap, is this one: True to the Core, which was originally included in my last post Dreamforce 2017 roundup.

    Also the Lightning Roadmap is available here, but a little out of date now Spring ’18 is in preview, it is available here.

    Hope that helps with exploring in more detail.

  • Cutting the Clutter: Maintaining a Clean Salesforce Org

    Maintaining a clean Salesforce org, doesn’t need to be a battle. Recently, I was watching a great webinar by Kelly & Leanne entitled ‘Cut that Clutter‘. And it got me thinking about how the problems faced by a cluttered Salesforce, and how it can easily consume an Admin’s time and effort. And it not only affects us as Admins, but also our end users! So in this post I am going to recap some of the awesome tips shared in this webinar, and also see offer some additional FREE tools to tackle the problem that so many of us face!

    The War Against Clutter

    Ok, ok. I admit that this header is full of hyperbole.

    Maintaining a Clean Salsforce, shouldn't be a battle...
    Don’t raise the white flag, in the war against clutter!

    But a cluttered Salesforce creates a lot of frustration and anxiety for me. And I assume most it does for most of you reading this too! My personal vendetta against clutter drives me to ensure I am always improving the org for my end-users…

    I have previously written about how we started to tame the Technical Debt beast haunting our primary orgs and removed over 2 million records from an org (hint: very manually).

    But there is still so much to do…

    It is a seemingly never-ending fight. But as Admin’s we are always looking for tools and resources to help us in our day to day Admin Superhero duties. And to help us in maintaining a clean Salesforce org…

    Cut that Clutter! – The Recap

    Now before we get much further. If you have a spare 30mins I strongly recommend that you watch the webinar as I am only going to briefly summarise it here…

    The session covers the Three-S’s. These are the primary areas to focus on, to ensure your CRM is kept in tip-top shape.

    • Security – making sure you know who can see what in your CRM
    • Structure – does the setup of Salesforce ensure data security and meet any data governance requirements
    • Strategy – how to plan and scale while ensuring you don’t have to keep doing ‘big clean-ups’ each year

    If you want to hear more, then please check out the video.

    Cut that Clutter: Resources mentioned

    Next up, the ladies mentioned some great tools to help you in maintaining your Salesforce org.

    From Salesforce:

    • Salesforce Optimizer (aka Optimiser in non-US/Canada countries 🙂 ) – I am in LOVE with Optimizer reports. It is such an amazing tool to help you analyse and understand where the Technical Debt is likely to be hiding within your org. This should be your first port of call, in maintaining a clean Salesforce. That is how much I love it!
    • Security Health Check – helps you understand any vulnerabilities you may have within your Salesforce. This covers areas like Password Policies, Critical Updates, etc.

    From AppExchange:

    • Field Trip – this tool is one I install in every org I have managed now for a number of years!! It is a great tool to help analyse and understand just which fields are being populated and used by your end users. It is worth noting, that if you have a field that is always updated automatically by a trigger/workflow… Then it will obviously show as being used, even if that trigger/workflow update isn’t actually required. But overall it will help you understand your org in very tangible way.
    • The Permissioner – can help you when mass assigning/removing Permission Sets from your users.

    From Trailhead:

    Additionally the ladies have set up an Admin Trailmix.

    This covers a number of modules covering: Salesforce Profiles/Permission Sets, User Authentication, Data Quality, Data Management and finally Reporting & Dashboards.

    Help with maintaining a clean Salesforce org

    Extra, extra! Two more tools to add to your Salesforce Cleaning toolkit…

    Now for the bonus round.

    There are always so many tools and ideas out there helping admins when maintaining a clean Salesforce org. And I am only skimming the surface with these next two tools…

    Compare Permission Sets & Profiles

    When watching the webinar, albeit not live, I started shouting at my screen.

    During the Security section, there was a point around Profiles/Permission Sets. As an admin it is a mammoth task to compare all profiles/permission sets and what they might grant access to within your org. This can be kryptonite to Salesforce Superadmins…

    There was a recommendation to switch off Enhanced Profile View, and then compare the permissions… But why do that? Especially, when there is a secret weapon at your disposal?

    Perm Comparator by John Brock is that secret weapon!

    Seriously… More people need to know about this tool! And I am not even on commission! 🙂

    Stop duplicates in their tracks…

    Salesforce hasn’t always been an admin’s best friend when it came to cleaning an org…And without getting all ‘back in my day’-ish…

    But there was a time Optimizer, Security Health Check and those tools simply didn’t exist.

    There was also a time Salesforce didn’t have an easy way to prevent duplicates… Admins had to either buy other tools to identify and manage duplicates, or create complex formulas and validation rules to try and prevent exact match duplicates.

    But when planning your strategy for maintaining a clean Salesforce, you should investigate the in-built duplicate management tools from Salesforce.

    After all, what good is cleaning up your security (profiles, access policies, passwords) and clearing out fields you don’t use any more – if your end users are still swimming in duplicate records?!

    The in-built feature will take care of the basics, but depending on your use case, there may still be a reason to buy a tool like Cloudingo or DemandTools (just to name a few).

    What is in your toolkit?

    De-cluttering your Salesforce can be so rewarding!
    De-cluttering can be so rewarding!

    As I mentioned I only skimmed the surface here… And this is a topic I can (and will likely) write more about in the future. I have rambled more than enough for now…

    So to wrap up the post, feel free to add any other suggestions or recommendations for your ‘Cleaning Salesforce Toolkit’ into the comments section below.

  • How to Plan Your Move to Lightning Experience

    For many businesses, now is the time to move to Salesforce Lightning.  But moving to Lightning can feel like a daunting task.  Where should you start?  How to you make sure you don’t disrupt the business?  So in this first post, we will take a look at how to plan your move to Lightning Experience.

    In the next post, we look at how to implement your plan and go-live!  But in the meantime, if you have any tips of your own, feel free to add them in the comments section below.  And let’s start planning…

    Planning your move

    migrating to Lightning is all about planning

    Before we start, let’s just clear the air.

    As an #AwesomeAdmin you probably already know there is planning required to make the switch over.  The old adage – ‘failure to plan, is planning for failure’ – is never truer than when changing how a user works within a system.

    But driving user adoption and making the transition as smooth as possible, doesn’t need to be overly complicated process though.  And by planning your transition you set yourself up for the best possible result.

    So let’s get started.

    WIIFM?!… What’s In It For Me?

    One of the first steps to planning any change should to be understand the ‘what’s in it for me’.  It is the first question most users want to know about any change…

    Salesforce Lightning adoption - answer 'What's in it for me' from your end-users point of view
    Understanding ‘What’s In It For Me?’will help drive adoption…

    Sure Lightning Experience looks great.  You can now customise the colours to match your company identity…

    But that doesn’t really engage end-users in using the platform.  After all we want them to use the system once we make the change, don’t we?…

    Be honest with yourself.  Would a typical sales, customer service or partner really care about that?

    Answering this question for each type of stakeholder is one of the best ways to ensure everyone buys-in to making the move.

    A great example is dealing with a stakeholder from Sales.  Lightning offers many new features which benefit most sales users.  Here are a few…. Sales Path to guide on what to do in the system to move to the next stage.  Kanban board for managing your pipeline with drag-and-drop ease.  What about Sales Console?  Use of macros practically anywhere in Salesforce?

    The point here is to you need to demonstrate you understand your end-users by understanding their problems.  If you understand the problem, you can effectively position a feature or benefit that solves it.  And this helps engage these stakeholders early on…

     Why should we invest in making this change?

    The next step is to develop a business case.  It sounds horrible, but it can really help in convincing your senior stakeholders on why they should support the change.  And to drive adoption when launched, you need their support…

    Salesforce Lightning Experience across multiple devices
    Even Astro loves Lightning Experience…

    This may not be applicable for all business, but I always try to work out a rough cost/benefit to any changes my team make.  Even if it is just an estimate.  And this loops back to understanding the WIIFM within your business.

    Every business problem – and in turn the potential solution – have a potential time/cost associated with them.

    This is the gold dust in developing your business case to answer the question most senior stakeholders within business would ask,

    As an example, a simple cost-to-benefit calculation could be based on decreasing sales admin time.  By improving the time taken to process and close a contract within the system, you can quantify the potential upside to the business.

    So if an average salesperson closed an extra 2 deals a day/month/year due to improving the sales workflow in Lightning, how much is that worth to your business?  (average contract value * extra deals per day = potential upside).

    Keep in mind, this is only an estimate.  But it can be a useful way to engage the business and to capture metrics relating to the success of the project once completed.

    Mind the gap…?

    Salesforce has spent the last couple of years attempting to make Lightning match the features of Classic.  But there are still some gaps between Classic and Lightning Experience.

    The next item on our list is to check what these gaps actually mean your org.  By doing so you ensure your users can still use all key features they need.

    If there is a feature gap or limitation, the next step should be to look at the publicly available roadmap.  This outlines the upcoming features planned for release and may cover the feature that is a priority for you.

    Also each published version of the release notes now include a section on what is and what is not included in Lightning Experience.  For the Spring ’18 section, please have a look here.

    Side note: The roadmap is scheduled to be updated after the Spring ’18 release, but a handy video to watch about the Force.com platform and upcoming features is the True to the Core video.  Or there is a breakdown of the expected features in the 2018 predictions post here.

    Resources

    Salesforce is clearly invested in supporting all orgs to move to Lightning Experience.  Releases now introduce most new features as Lightning Experience only.  But to help, there is a wealth of content available for free to sink your teeth into.

    For starters there is a great Trailhead module specifically on getting hands-on with a Lightning Experience roll-out.  There is also a quick overview of the steps on the Admin blog.  But personally I highly recommend jumping to the Power of Us site, which has been setup to cover best practice for making the jump to Lightning.

    Each and every org now also has the Lightning Readiness Check built-in.  And the check gets an update every release to give you more and more insight into your org’s compatibility into making the change.

    If you want more information about how to take a business-first approach to rolling out Lightning, I found this article over on SalesforceBen.

  • Spring ’18 Deep Dive: Reports & Dashboards

    Spring ’18 release brings with it a swag of new features.  But it also brings with it a big makeover for reports and dashboards.  In this post we are going to take a deep dive into reports and dashboards in Spring ’18, and see what is coming our way.

    Additionally (and most excitingly) this is the starting point for new reporting and dashboard features within the Lightning.  With another more features heading out way over the coming releases.  To see what this includes, check out feature predictions for 2018 here.  Otherwise let’s get started!

    Dashboards in Spring ’18

    Coming in Spring ’18 your users will now be able to subscribe to dashboards easily within Lightning.

    By setting up a subscription schedule (either Daily, Weekly or Monthly), Salesforce will then schedule a refresh of the dashboard and send out an email update to the user.

    Subscribe to Dashboard in Salesforce Lightning
    Subscribe to a dashboard. Source: Salesforce

    And keeping with the myLightning ability to theme and customise your Lightning instance, dashboards now support more customisation and personalisation by selecting a colour theme.

    Additionally you can then choose the theme by individual component to highlight sections.

    Set a colour pallette for your Dashboards
    Colour your dashboards whichever way you want! Source: Salesforce

     

    Report Builder (Lightning)

    Lightning Report Builder was first introduced in the Winter ’18 release.  But the new report builder is in beta, meaning there are a number of known limitations.  Reports and dashboards in Spring ’18 starts to bridge that gap.

    Most features in Spring ’18 release are migrated Classic features.  But these features are reworked to operate in a very Lightning way.  After all what good is it having a new user interface, and not take advantage of reworking how users can use the system?

    Most importantly it is easy to see how this is a stepping stone to the future for Reports & Dashboards in Lightning Experience.

    Summary Formulas, Buckets & Cross-Filters

    As mentioned above, these aren’t specifically new features.  But they are new for the new Report Builder and operate a little differently.

    For example being able to create a summery bucket on a column, simply select the column dropdown and create:

    Report Builder and creating a Bucket column
    Creating a summary bucket within the Lightning Report Builder. Source: Salesforce

    Or creating a cross-filter, which is also easily done now within the new Report Builder:

    Create a Cross-Filter within the Lightning Report Builder
    Create a Cross-Filter within the Lightning Report Builder. Source: Salesforce

    How to activate the new Lightning Report Builder

    To get access to all of the new features of reports and dashboards in Spring ’18, you will need to first activate the new Report Builder.

    A note before we start, there is a key dependency to activating Lightning Report Builder… That prerequisite is  enhanced folder sharing needs to be enabled.

    If your org was created after the Summer ’13 Salesforce release, you already have enhanced folder sharing. If your org isn’t already using enhanced folder sharing, see Turn On Enhanced Sharing for Reports and Dashboards in the Salesforce Help.

    Go to Setup -> Reports and Dashboards Settings -> Enable Lightning Report Builder (beta):

    Enable Lightning Report Builder (Reports and dashboards in Spring '18)
    Enable Lightning Report Builder

     

    Once enabled, remember to also update either a profile or permission set to include access to the Report Builder (Lightning Experience) too:

    Enabling Report Builder Lightning Experience
    Enabling the Report Builder (Lightning Experience) on a profile

    Remember, if you don’t see this option, you need to check your Folder Sharing rules within Salesforce.  And you will have to check via Classic Setup…  The irony isn’t lost – this dependant setting is only available via Classic Setup menu currently. 🙂

    Before enabling though, ensure you are aware of the implications of doing so.  Especially how this will impact end-users within your org.  When you are ready, jump back into Classic UI and then go to: Setup -> Folder Sharing -> “Enable access levels for sharing report and dashboard folders”.

    Wrap up

    The changes to reports and dashboards in Spring ’18 gives us an insight into where Salesforce is taking the analytics features of the platform.  Along with the added flexibility the Lightning Experience grants.

    Overall reports & dashboards within Salesforce are finally getting much deserved makeover…  And there is more to come over the next few releases!

  • Spring ’18 Deep Dive: GDPR Features

    Simple put, GDPR is inescapable for those dealing with individuals within the EU.  In the last post we took a look at what GDPR is and how to start preparing for it.  Additionally, within the next month we also have Spring ’18 release going live.  So the good news is there is a number of GDPR features included to assist Admins prepare…

    Recap: What is GDPR?

    General Data Protection Regulation, otherwise known as GDPR, is the new privacy regulation coming into force in 2018.  It will replace the EU’s previous Data Protection Directive, and align privacy laws and regulations across all EU member states.

    Part of the GDPR is the retention and removal processes re: personal data after a period of time.  Companies should only retain personal data for as long as needed.  So for example, if you have contact details of a person which is linked to contract data you may need to retain it for 7 years.  Versus simply having a contact on a mailing list, retaining the data for this long may not be justifiable.

    For more details, take a look at my last post for the what/when/how of GDPR.

    GDPR: Be Prepared

    GDPR is ultimately an update to a number of data/privacy regulations across the EU.  But the easiest place to start for most companies is to map out and understand the following: 

    • where your data comes from. (eg web-to-lead, email-to-case, data.com, users entering in the data),
    • how it gets used/stored. (eg are there integrations which also use the data, is it stored outside of Salesforce, are records stored in standard and custom objects within Salesforce),
    • what business processes which clean up or remove data. (ie how long does your company need hold onto personal data for (and for what purpose)? Is there already a process to remove personal data?)

    Once you understand there where, how and what of your data, you will then understand where the following features and changes may help and support you.

    Spring ’18 & GDPR Features

    Salesforce Data Privacy Record - aka Individual Record
    A sample Salesforce Data Privacy Record – aka Individual Record in Spring ’18 Preview Sandbox (click to view full image)

    Data Privacy Records (aka Individuals)

    Spring ’18 release brings with it a new setting under Company Profile within Setup.  The setting to enable Data Protection and Privacy, will expose the new object ‘Individuals’ within your org.

    This new object connects to either a contact or lead record within Salesforce to store data privacy settings for that person. So for example you can store the customer’s preference re: soliciting products and services.

    A key note here is that in the preview instances of Spring ’18, Individuals it isn’t treated like other objects and doesn’t have a standard tab available to access the object.

    But a gentle word to note before we go through how to set this up.  As with any changes to a production system, it will require planning before setting this up to ensure it works for your processes.  A number of these changes below may also require assistance from a developer or changes to your marketing platform via API.  This is not entirely a point and click setup…

    1. Activate the feature within Setup

    Lightning: Setup -> Company Settings -> Data Protection and Privacy
    Classic: Setup -> Company Profile -> Data Protection and Privacy

    This will expose the new Individual object, with the standard fields within your org.  Most of these fields are created for the purpose of tracking opt-out requests and personal preferences.

    Some examples include:

    If a contact opts-out of geo-location tracking, you can store that preference here.

    You can even store the D.O.B of the person and indicate if they are considered a minor or not.  (You might need to do this as minors carry different standards for elements like data retention under GDPR.)

    And good news is you can also add custom fields to this object if you wish to.

    2. Update Page Layouts

    Add field to relevant page layouts on contact & lead objects.  Salesforce also suggests to rename the field label from ‘Individual’ to something more meaningful to your users.

    3. Existing Contacts/Lead Records

    There is a code-based solution to create data privacy records for existing contacts & leads within your Salesforce, which also includes code for handling person accounts.

    I won’t go through the code here.  But if you are interested, you can take a sample of the code here.  Remember you will need to execute this somehow (ie start the code running), so you may need help from a developer friend(s).

    4. New / Changes to Preferences

    Finally, you will also need to plan how new records get managed within Salesforce.

    Will an Individual record be created when a contact or lead is created?  What about field updates / etc?  Do you do this via a trigger in Salesforce or via API from your email platform?

    And what do you get at the end of this?  A new record of course … 🙂

     

    bad data quality ahead

    Data Quality & Duplicate Jobs

    GDPR features in Spring also come in the form of expanded functionality.  Spring ’18 release provides an update for its out-of-the-box duplicate management to allow Admins to run a duplicate job.

    Previously matching rules would run when a record was being added or updated by a user.  This would then either alert the user or block the user, depending on how the Admin had set it up.

    But in Spring ’18 release, us Admins can now run a “Duplicate Job“.  This allows you to use (or create) a matching rule and then run a search within Salesforce to find duplicates.  Once a Duplicate Job completes, you will be able to take action by comparing and merging records, right from the summary page.

    Duplicate Job within Spring 18 release
    Duplicate Job within Spring 18 release.

    Changes to Web to Case and Web to Lead

    Spring ’18 release also brings another GDPR feature.  This time there is a slight update to how failed Web-to-Case and Web-to-Lead emails are handled.

    When a Web-to-Case and Web-to-Lead fails an email is generated automatically to advise.  This email will no longer include any personal data inserted by a third-party application.

    Data.com for UK/Ireland Contacts

    This only impacts users who are using Data.com Prospector or Clean.

    Data relating to contacts stored within Data.com Connect (only UK & Ireland) will now be removed from the Connect database.

    Also the Clean Status field on a Contact/Lead records will be changed to ‘Not Found’.

    Wrap Up

    As you can see there is a lot to cover, and Salesforce is enabling businesses to become GDPR compliant with all the GDPR features in Spring ’18.  There is still more to read in the Release Notes for Spring ’18 if you are using other tools like Pardot, Inbox or a developer (specifically around Event Logs).

    There is support at hand, and if you haven’t already I would strongly recommend completing the Trailhead modules setup for GDPR Basics (and there is also a trail for US Privacy Basics too).

    Additionally Salesforce has a new section in the Help for Data Protection & Privacy.

    And finally there is a basic scenario guide, which looks at a number of common requests and suggested actions/things to consider to be compliant under the various privacy laws (including GPDR).

  • GDPR for Salesforce Admins

    There has been a lot of attention surrounding GDPR.  But what is it?  Why does it matter?  How will GDPR affect your Salesforce?  What responsibilities do you have as a Salesforce Administrator?  And what can you do to prepare?  So many questions!  In this article we take a quick look at these questions and some additional resources available to you, when preparing for this change.

    What is GDPR?

    First up, let’s take a look into what exactly GDPR is.

    General Data Protection Regulation, otherwise known as GDPR, is the new privacy regulation coming into force in 2018.  It will replace the EU’s previous Data Protection Directive, and align privacy laws and regulations across all EU member states.

    It is primarily aimed at giving individuals more control over how their data can be collected, used, and stored.  While also extending the rights of individuals to have their data removed/deleted.

    One key point to note.  Even though this is obviously applicable for all EU countries, it may also apply to any business which deals with personal data of an individual within these countries.  So if you are in USA, India or even Fiji – but dealing with personal data from an individual living within the EU – GDPR will still apply.

    When will GDPR take affect?

    The legislation will take affect from the 25th May 2018.

    What is ‘personal data’?

    Another thing to consider is how GDPR will redefine what is considered to be ‘personal data’.  Overall the definition has been clarified and it will include ways modern technology allow an individual to be identified.

    Personal data, relates to any information which can identify an individual.  This could be either directly (for example a person’s name) or indirectly (a unique online identifier/ID or geolocation data).  The purpose of GDPR here is to clarify and provide stronger governance towards what is personal data.  Especially when compared to the preceding legislation.

    What can you do to prepare?

    At this stage it is worth pointing out this is something that potentially needs company-wide buy-in and support especially from your organisation’s leadership team.

    Keep calm and comply with GDPR

    Educate

    The first step is to be aware of the changes, we have taken some of the first steps here.

    Salesforce is trying to support its users through the pending change. The responsibility though relies on end-users to ensure compliance.  And to that end they have published a Trailhead module to support their users.

    The Spring ’18 release also includes a number of changes to support users with GDPR.

    Kick-off

    If your company hasn’t started the process to confirm compliance, then it is worth having a discussion with your manager or with your companies designated Data Protection Officer.

    GPDR is an enhancement from previous legislation so the changes required might be small, but it is important to understand how those changes could impact to your business.

    For example, say your business relies on email marketing.  Your contact lists may not contain details on how the individual’s consent has been attained.  With GDPR, it may be worth investigating your requirements for that data and plan how to reconfirm or get consent.

    Which leads us nicely onto the next step…

    Map your data processes

    A key to being able to understand any risks relating to GDPR and your Salesforce is to map out how data enters your Salesforce org.

    data storage

    Is it a web-to-lead form?  Or perhaps a landing page describing your products that tracks user behaviour via Marketing Cloud?  Or do your sales team import contacts via Data.com?

    What happens to it once it is in Salesforce?  Is it stored as leads, contacts, person accounts?  Do you have custom fields on objects containing personal data?

    This is a chance to get all these flows down on paper.  And remember to include if there are any prompts for user opt-in and what the purpose of the data is.

    Are there any other resources to help me?

    So as we wrap up here, it is worth mentioning that we have only just started to scratch the GDPR surface.

    The changes come into affect in May, so there is still time to prepare.  And if you were compliant with previous legislation like the Data Protection Act here in the UK, then GDPR may be an extension of your existing processes.  But don’t take this as legal advice!

    There are a number of great resources available to help companies with this transition.

    For Salesforce users:

    • as previously mentioned, I would start with Trailhead.
    • Salesforce has now also published a Data Protection & Privacy guide in the Help section, and
    • check the Spring ’18 release notes, as there are a number of features changing (or added to the platform) due to GDPR

    Additionally, I found a number of site relating to GDPR when preparing this post:

  • Salesforce Spring ’18 Release is almost here!

    Wait, what?!  Wasn’t it just Dreamforce last month?  Oh no, that was two months ago now!  And hold up, doesn’t it feel like winter has really only just started?  (I’m looking at you, US of A & Canada, and your freezing temperatures this last week).  Well as far as the good folks at Salesforce are concerned, that is the perfect time to start preparing for the Spring ’18 release.

    After making a number of feature predictions for 2018 in the last post, I am eager to see what has been included in this release.

    So let’s get release ready and warm up by the fireplace (or cool down by the aircon if you’re in the Southern hemisphere). And let’s look at the top 10 features for Sales and Service Cloud coming in the Spring ’18 release…

    Top Sales & Service Cloud Features in Spring ’18

    Macros, macros, everywhere!

    Macros are now available almost everywhere in Lightning Experience
    Macros are now available almost everywhere in Lightning Experience

    Spring ’18 release brings one killer feature that was only previously available in Console Apps.

    Macros!!!!  Technically Quick Text is now also available too in Spring ’18.  But as you can probably see, it is Macros that really have me revved up!

    You can now setup and use macros on pretty much every object now.  That’s right, most custom and standard objects are now available to use with macros – providing they support Lightning Experience.

    These are so useful for speeding up those really common processes that are so repetitive and tiresome for your users.  Click here, send that, update this field, mark as complete… Can now all be done at a click of a button (obviously once setup).

    Also Macros Utility Bar & Macro Builder both have an updated/easier to understand layout too.

    myLightning

    myLightning was announced at Dreamforce this year, and will be released in Spring ’18.  Truth be told, it seems that myLightning was just marketing ‘packaging’ for a number of new features which takes Lightning even further.

    Lightning Experience - Custom Themes with Dynamic Pages

    Custom Themes

    First up, there is Custom Themes which allow you to brand and theme your Salesforce instance to make your company’s brand (like the T-Mobile example, pictured left).

    Lightning Experience & Components

    Another killer feature, and of course Lightning Experience only, is the new Dynamic Components feature.  It allows you to control when to display certain Components within the Lightning App.  There are some limitations to what filters can be used, but there is plans to expand this feature over the coming releases (refer the features section in my last post for more).

    On top of this, Salesforce are now expanding the ability to set Component Visibility Rules across related objects and fields, instead of being limited to the record you are viewing.  This expands the options to control what is displayed and when…

    And when arranging your components on any Lightning Page into collapsible sections (accordion style).  This allows your users to now de-clutter what they are seeing and find what they need a whole lot quicker.

    Example of Accordion sections
    Spring ’18 and Collapsible Sections!

     

    Choose your own Path

    There is a very easy to miss feature has been included in this release.  Possibly due to the fact it is still only a preview feature.  But you can now setup a Path based on any picklist, across all standard objects.

    If you are not aware of what Path is, it provides your users with a quick guide on what are the next steps to progress a deal or a lead.  But it was only limited to the status or stage field, and only on a handful of objects.

    Personally I think it is an amazing feature that can really help drive adoption in a simple and easy to understand way.  But now, Salesforce are opening the doors to help all admins drive system and process adoption by expanding what options you can use to set up a Path for your users…

    Here is the example in the Release Notes.  It shows how you might setup a Path, and help your users on-boarding a new client:

    Salesforce Lightning Experience & Sales Path
    Path, now helps you go your own way… (click for full image)

    Mass Quick Actions

    BOOM - Spring 18 introduces Mass Quick Actions

    Bulk editing records from a list view, has been frankly a little tiresome within Lightning.  But fret now, you can now allow your users to use Mass Quick Actions to update up to 200 records within a list view.  It is only available for Cases, Leads and custom objects at this stage.   But I think it still deserves a little **BOOM**

    Clean your data

    Who doesn’t love a clean Salesforce?

    Spring 18 introduces new ways to clean your data

    I have been using Salesforce now for over nine years, and every single org has always had some form of record duplication.

    Salesforce has been taking steps to help Admins over the years when introducing the built-in duplication management toolkit.  But Spring ’18 has upped the ante.

    Rather than waiting for a duplicate to be blocked or alerted, you can now run a Duplicate Job when using your existing Matching Rules.  Right from the Setup menu.  It works for Business Accounts, Person Accounts, Leads and Contacts at this stage.

    And with Spring ’18, when the Duplicate Job has completed you can report on the results, share the results or take action directly within the Duplicate Job feature and merge those pesky records!!!

    Data privacy

    With GDPR and other privacy regulations coming into effect shortly, Salesforce has included a range of tools to support the Salesforce community through this change.  There is even a new standard object for storing an Individual’s privacy preferences.

    Now is the time to read up on all features relating to GDPR, and a quick search of the release notes will show you all specific updates regarding GDPR.  Here are two points that may help you in preparing for these changes.

    When does the Sandbox Preview for Spring ’18 start?

    Any sandbox refreshed before the 5th/6th January 2018, will routed to a Preview Instance.  This means that if you want to Preview the Spring ’18 release in a sandbox you have to refresh before this date.  For more details, check out this Salesforce page.

    All refreshes completed after the 9th/10th January, will be routed through to a sandbox with Winter ’18.

    When does Spring ’18 get released?

    Salesforce is planned to start rolling out the Spring ’18 release from February 3rd 2018.

    Other Resources

    As per every other release, there is a wealth of information available to get up to speed with the changes.

    Got a favourite feature in Spring ’18?

    Tell us about it below in the comments section!

    Adios for now…

  • Top 4 Salesforce Predictions for 2018

    It is the holiday season, and it is a time for being with family and friends. It is also a time to celebrate the year that was, along with planning for the year that is to come. Can you believe it, it is now 2018…. And with a new year, comes new expectations. In the Salesforce world, this means new features and new use cases. In this post we are going to look ahead to a number of Salesforce predictions for 2018.

    Salesforce Prediction #1: Salesforce revenue tops $12.5bn

    Salesforce Prediction: Revenue Forecast for FY18/19
    Salesforce Revenue Forecast (from Dreamforce 2017)

    This one shouldn’t be a a massive surprise, as it has been forecast in every quarterly update. But unless things go horribly wrong over the first three months, Salesforce will confirm it has sailed past the target of $10B revenue for its FY17/18 and pass $12.5bn for FY18/19!!!

    Marc Benioff has been quoted in the media saying: “We did this faster than any other enterprise software company in history. Our continued momentum as the leader in CRM, the fastest-growing segment of our industry, combined with more than $15 billion in billed and unbilled deferred revenue, puts us well on the path to $20 billion and beyond.”

    Why is this interesting? Firstly we could see Salesforce start acquiring more companies over the coming 12mths. Last year was all about bedding in the huge number of acquisitions from 2016. We are likely to continue to see new products and features from the purchases, but are there new ones on Benioff’s radar?

    This will make the battle between the Enterprise SAAS titans all the more interesting over the coming year, as Salesforce’s competitors gear up to take on the CRM behemoth. 2018 will see this competition among CRM platforms heat up… Which can only be a good thing for us as they all push each other to further innovate.

    Salesforce Prediction #2: Artificial Intelligence

    Buzzword and passing fad? Or a trend to look out for? However you feel about it, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will still be all around us in 2018. Einstein has celebrated its first birthday in 2017. After a slow start, new AI-enabled features being rolled out more frequently now.

    Helping hand: AI & Human

    But it isn’t just about Einstein. Recently I attended the “Week of Innovation” here in the lovely Salesforce Tower (aka Heron Tower) in London. One of the sessions that caught my eye was a Salesforce Ventures presentation. In it they highlighted the venture capitalist strategy, but also their portfolio of recent investments. And a number of these are also looking to leverage AI to solve specific business problems.

    For example, Digital Genius for AI in a Customer Service environment, TalkIQ for AI powered insight on call coaching your reps and Squirro for event-driven insights. All of these companies have been invested in by Salesforce Ventures, which shows that Salesforce is taking AI very seriously and looking to grow the AI & CRM ecosystem.

    Salesforce Prediction #3: Dreamforce customisation features (my, my, my)

    Another solid prediction… New features! My, oh my! But just bear with me…

    If you have been to a Salesforce presentation… Everything starts off with the ‘Forward Looking Statement’ (used to be called the Safe Harbor Statement). And this section will be no different! 🙂

    2018 will continue to see the standard 3x releases bring in a number of new features. So we will continue to be kept busy keeping up to date with all the planned features.

    Lightning Experience - Custom theme setup

    To start with, the big ‘my’ announcements at Dreamforce should all become available throughout 2018:

    • myLightning and all the custom theme goodness, is due for release in Spring ’18 (it is in the preview notes)
    • myTrailhead is expected to be generally available after a beta period. This is likely to be GA in H2 2018 (which is most likely to be the Winter ’19 release).
    • mySalesforce, myIoT, myEinstein will also likely become available too either in Summer ’18 or Winter ’19.

    Salesforce Prediction #4: New features keep on coming, to Lightning though…

    Another prediction for 2018: Salesforce will continue the trend of “Lightning Experience only” with new features. But what features can we expect to see in 2018? I have dug through a number of online videos, presentations and roadmaps to find out what is coming our way and here are some of the best features I found:

    Reports and Dashboards

    Reports and Dashboards in Lightning will get a lot of attention over the coming releases:

    • Dashboard tables will get reworked. Instead of being tied to the source report, the upcoming feature will allow you to have access to all the fields on your report type. (Likely Spring ’18 & Summer ’18)

    • Dashboard & Chart colour configuration allowing you to essentially create a custom look for your dashboard. (This should be available in Spring ’18)
    • Winter ’18 brought us Dashboard & Report folders within Lightning. But next year we will likely see the ability to create subfolders. (Likely in Summer ’18)
    • The ability to create field to field filters. This will allow you to compare two fields directly within the report builder, without needing to build report formulas or custom fields. For example you could run a filter where Created Date equals any custom date field on your object. (Likely Summer ’18)
    • Joined Reports in Lightning (Likely Summer ’18 via beta/pilot)
    • Ability to sort columns based on aggregate (Likely Summer ’18)
    • General usability updates, including ability to resize columns on reports and rename field labels in the report (Likely Winter ’19).

    Dynamic Lightning Components

    We saw the first iteration of this in Winter ’18 release, but there will be more ways to control dynamic components in upcoming releases. Potentially including the ability to filter the component by who the user is or by device being used.

    The presentation I saw on this actually went as far to say that Salesforce are working towards being able to release dependent page layouts… Which would be fascinating in the possibilities it would unlock for Admins and Developers on the platform!

    Lightning & Lists

    Inline edits when in list view have been in Lightning now for a number of releases. But the ability to mass action/update records has been limited.

    Moving forward, we will see a number of improvements to how you can work with lists when in Lightning. Things like the ability to mass change owner of records. Or updating multiple records from a list view with a Lightning Action…

    When will we see these? Well it is on the future roadmap for post-Spring ’18 releases.

    Wrap up

    So that is it for now. That was a glimpse at the crystal ball for 2018.

    As we all know, Salesforce is an ever-evolving beast of a platform. It will no doubt continue to drive industry-specific focus via packaged CRM features for industries (like Health Cloud or Financial Services Cloud). Are we likely to see a Retail Cloud some time soon?

    The year ahead also introduces a number of challenges for Admins, Developers and Specialists in the form of new privacy regulations. The largest change coming our way is GDPR, for companies dealing with individuals within the European Union.

    But as with every year, there is always a lot to look forward to. So happy new year and let the good times roll!

    Share your predictions

    Do you have any Salesforce predictions of your own? Feel free to share in the comments section below.

    Appendix

    If you want to know more, one of the most helpful videos outlining some of the new features on the roadmap, is this one: True to the Core, which was originally included in my last post Dreamforce 2017 roundup.

    Also the Lightning Roadmap is available here, but a little out of date now spring ’18 is in preview, it is available here.

    Hope that helps with exploring in more detail.

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