Service Cloud

  • Salesforce Summer ’20 Release: Top Features

    The Summer ’20 Release is coming our way, but it is safe to safe, it has been a crazy couple of months to start 2020…

    Salesforce has even had to shuffle the offical release date, allowing for a little bit extra time for business, admins and the to get to terms with the large-scale affect COVID-19 has had.

    But as they say, ‘the show must go on’.

    And today, the Salesforce’s Summer ’20 Release Notes have now been published, we can now dive under the hood to see what the top features are!

    Summer ’20 Release: Timeline

    • May 4th – Release notes are published
    • May 29th – Sandbox refresh deadline/cutoff date, to ensure your sandbox gets early access to Summer ’20 features. You can use the Sandbox Refresh Calculator to help you check your sandbox environments.
    • June 12th & July 10th – Some early access instances of Salesforce will get the Summer ’20 release.
    • July 17th-18th – Most Salesforce environments will get the release over this weekend.

    Top Features of Summer ’20 Release

    Historically, Summer releases from Salesforce tend to generally focus on the usability side of the equation.

    Summer ’20 seems to also fit that mould, with a large focus in Sales/Service Clouds on general productivity improvements to improve how users can interact with Lightning… So here are some of the top features coming our way.

    Sales Cloud

    • Opportunity Scoring has some general improvements, increasing consistency and only display access to Scoring Factors a user has access to.
    • Some general tweaks to Opportunity Splits, Territory Management and ability to create Orders without Pricebooks
    • Additional Email Insight now available, showing if a customer has indicated they are ‘Not Interested’
    Not Interest insight highlighted in the Activity Timeline.
    Email Insight showing customer is ‘Not Interested’
    Kanban view of all opportunities with a card selected and the details panel open
    Record Details available in Kanban view

    Service Cloud

    Service Cloud also gets a number of updates to its feature list:

    • Related Record lookup, allowing agents to navigate up to 2 levels of record relationships within Salesforce. (ie directly access the Account of a Contact, which is linked to a case).
    • Knowledge Sharing (available in beta). Allowing you to define sharing rules like standard/custom objects in Salesforce, instead of via Data Categories.
    • And, Einstein Recommended Response is now Generally Available:
    Chat Replies component
    Einstein Replies in Summer 20, now ‘Generally Available’ and out of Beta.

    Salesforce CMS

    A number of new features are coming out way, if you are a Salesforce CMS user, including:

    General Improvements

    Split view after opening a record
    Lead with Split View

    Flow, Flow, Flow

    And finally, deserving of its very own section… Flow!

    After receiving a fair amount of attention in Spring 20 Release, Flow continues to push the boundaries between Admin versus Developer!

    One-Stop Shop for Automation: Starting a Flow

    As part of the change, the trigger points for a Flow have been brought ‘in-house’. No longer requiring a trigger/apex or Process Builder to start the flow.

    Along with being able to start Flows directly, and Admin can also choose if they are run before or after a record has been created or edited!

    For example, this would allow you to update field values on the record BEFORE it is saved to the database. Need to override a specific field when criteria is met? You can now do this via Flow!

    Flow Builder Toolbox and canvas
    You can now configure how/when a Flow starts, within Flow Builder.

    Admins, can also configure a flow to start directly if a Platform Event is received.

    To also recognise these changes, you can also use the Flow Wizard to select the new ‘type’ of Flow:

    The Templates tab of the New Flow window
    New Flow Templates in Salesforce, as part of Summer ’20 Release

    Debugging a Flow, gets a little easier too. With the ‘Rollback Mode’, allowing you to undo any record changes that were made as part of debugging a Flow:

    Debug options section of the Debug the flow window
    Flows: Now with Rollback Mode

    And Flows now also have the ability to run, as a ‘System User’.

    One use case for this would be to allow the Flow to ignore Sharing Rules within your org.

    Under Show Advanced, System Context Without Sharing—Access All Data is selected for How to Run the Flow.
    ‘System Context’ now available in Flow! Use with care…

    I can’t wait to get my hands on some of these Flow improvements!

    What are your favourite features?

    With the Summer 20 Release fast approaching, share in the comments below what you are looking forward to the most…

  • Passing the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Certification

    Although not strictly part of the pathway to Certified Technical Architect, sometimes you just want to branch out a little and demonstrate your knowledge of the platform. So with this in mind, I recently sat the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Certification Exam (that is a mouthful!)

    Happily, I can report back, that I passed! And to help others also pass, I have compile a list of tips and resources I found beneficial to passing the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant.

    Salesforce Certified Service Cloud Consultant – Who is it for?

    Firstly, let’s clear the air a little.

    You don’t have to be a consultant to sit this exam. Much like I mentioned in the Sales Cloud Consultant exam, it is a good way to certify your understanding the features and benefits of the various aspects to Service Cloud and following on from that, also the implementation of it.

    If you are an Admin, Application Manager, etc – and are working within Service Cloud, and want recognition for your skills. Or wanting to learn specifically about implementing Service Cloud, this is the certification for you.

    Additionally, if you are a consultant and wanting to demonstrate your understanding of Service Cloud – then yes, this is also the exam for you. 🙂

    What does the exam cover?

    Even though the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Exam is based on Service Cloud products and knowledge – there is a sizeable chunk of the exam dedicated to which solution fits the business problem the best. Along with best practises for implementation steps and delivery of a Service Cloud project.

    Image result for lightning service console
    Lightning Service Cloud Console, unsurprisingly, forms a big part of the Service Cloud Consultant Certification Exam.

    Breakdown of the exam:

    • Industry Knowledge: 10%
    • Implementation Strategies: 15%
    • Service Cloud Solution Design: 16%
    • Knowledge Management: 9%
    • Interaction Channels: 10%
    • Case Management: 15%
    • Contact Center Analytics: 5%
    • Integration and Data Management: 5%
    • Service Console: 15%

    Salesforce’s Exam Guide gives you an official breakdown of each section.

    I found that the key topics/areas in my exam included – in no particular order:

    • Case Setup, including Console (both Classic with Case Feeds and Lightning Service Console)
    • Case Escalations rules
    • Entitlements and Milestones
    • Also, when you might use an Entitlement/Milestone vs Escalation rule
    • Knowledge, and all things relating to Knowledge (Articles, Permissions, Integration with Communities, Knowledge ‘Lifecycle’, Migrating to Knowledge, etc)
    • Marcos and Quick Text (why and how you might use them)
    • Email to Case, versus On-Demand Email to Case.
    • Migration of data, and best practises involved in such activities.
    • Industry knowledge, around metrics/SLAs and how to best report on them.
    • Use cases for customer retention (ie using Service Cloud and Sales Cloud together)
    • Different Service Channels, and why/when and how you might use them (Calls, Email, Live Agent, Social, etc )
    • Omni-channel, what it is used for and capabilities.
    • Different Console configuration options, and what might be best in specific scenario. Keep in mind, some of these questions still focus on both Classic Service Console and Lightning Record Pages with Components.

    Exam Format

    Like other Salesforce Exams, this in the format of a multiple choice exam.

    All up, there were 65 questions in total (n.b. this is at time of writing Jan 2020).

    Though this included an additional five questions, which don’t end up counting to your overall mark. Instead providing feedback to Salesforce on user understanding of newer practices, products and features.

    FYI – this is similar to other exams, like the Platform Developer I exam (where it had additional questions testing on your understanding of Heroku).

    Resources that helped me

    After using and implementing Service Cloud for a couple of years, I still found it really useful to study.

    For example, I didn’t realise there was a difference between Email to Case and On-Demand Email to Case… And there were a few questions about the different solutions and why you might use one versus the other.

    In short, studying helps! 🙂

    If you don’t have experience using Service Cloud, this might be a little more difficult for you to pass. But not impossible. The key is preparation.

    And when studying, don’t just learn the feature. Try and pay attention to the scenarios and the ‘why’ you might use a particular feature/solution.

    Trailhead, is a great place to start.

    The Service Cloud modules and projects, are very hands-on and give you that implementation experience. And Salesforce has grouped a large number of the courses together, into a ‘Prepare for Your Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Credential‘ trailmix.

    Even though I have hands-on experience, I still did the Trailhead modules. I always feel that you can never have enough hands-on experience. As it helps build your confidence, and if you get stuck in the exam, you can at least think back and try and visualise how you did a particular step.

    Online Course

    I also purchased the ‘Service Cloud Consultant Certification’ course on Udemy from Mike Wheeler.

    It is a good course and really outlines the foundation of the exam and how to implement certain solutions. I was concerned when watching the videos, that it was a little dated, especially considering there has been a big push over last few years to bring Service Cloud up to parity in Lightning.

    But from my own experience, there was enough on the exam still based around Classic… And the reasons of ‘why’ you would use a particular product is still the same.

    Community

    Most other blogs I researched before hand, seem to mainly focus on the exam and reiterate the outline of the exam… So I decided to also asked the Reddit Salesforce community for some tips & pointers for the exam, you can check out that thread here.

    One user ‘yummyyummybrains‘ (great username btw!) pointed out that with these Consultant exams:

    …I can say: the questions are going to involve a lot more qualitative and evaluative analysis than the Specialist Exams. Less: “What does this function do?” and more: “given these parameters, what’s the best way to achieve the client’s stated goal?”

    I’ve had a hard time recommending study materials for the MC Consultant Exam for that very reason — how do you study for an exam that requires deep knowledge of the relative pros and cons of different features, and how they would be impacted by the specific needs of a client?…

    yummyyummybrains on Reddit re: Service Cloud Consultant Exam

    One blog article I did find that stood out for me was from Ashish, who created an in-depth study guide, including checklist of topics and direct links to Salesforce Help articles for each specific topic on the Exam Guide.

    Wrap-up

    So there you have my little debrief of the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Certification Exam.

    As mentioned about, there is a big focus on why and when you would choose a particular solution to match a business requirement. So learning just the features of Service Cloud products won’t be enough…

    If you have any tips or insights you would like to share, please feel free to use the comments below.

    And if you are sitting the exam, best of luck to you!

  • Salesforce Summer ’19 Release for Admins

    Get ready for the next release from Salesforce, with Summer ’19 Release just around the corner. What new features are in store for your org and when can you access it? In this post we will take a look at the top new features for admins, so read on to find out more.

    Salesforce Summer ’19: Top Features

    Overall, most of the features in this release seem to be geared towards general improvements to the Lightning UI.

    A lot of this release feels like it is further ‘sanding back’ some of the edges of Lightning and improving productivity further for users.

    The ‘Summer’ release from Salesforce, does historically tend to be more focused on general improvements. And this year is no exception…

    Why? Well, keep in mind this is the release before Dreamforce (where a lot of the new and big features tend to be announced). And most of the Dreamforce announcements tend to be piloted/beta released in Winter or Spring, obviously depending on the dev teams progress…

    With that said, let’s take a look at the top features for Sales/Service Cloud in Summer ’19 release.

    Lightning Transition: Critical Update & Tools

    As announced in Spring ’19 release, from Winter ’20, any user which has the Lightning Experience permission will be automatically switched over to Lightning UI.

    So as part of Summer ’19 (the last release before Winter 20), there are a number tools and updates to support Admins this transition.

    There are a number of tools and tweaks which help, and they are outlined here.

    These aren’t ‘sexy’ features, but they will help with your transition if you are still planning on the move.

    Related Lists in Lightning

    Summer ’19 brings with it a few tweaks to List Views in Lightning.

    First up, we have ‘Enhanced Lists’. “A what?” I hear you ask… An Enhanced List will now allow for up to 10 columns to be displayed in Lightning (rather than the previous limit of 4).

    Enhanced Lists also allow for columns to be resized… YAY!

    Summer 19 Enhanced List Views
    A normal Related List (top) vs an ‘Enhanced’ Related List (bottom)

    Quick Filters on Related Lists

    When viewing ‘all records’ from a related list, you will now have Quick Filters available.

    Opportunities related list open quick filter icon highlighted and quick filter panel open.

    Speed Up your List View Search

    Previous releases introduced the ability to search within a List View, allowing you to speed up the process of finding what you were looking for. Though they didn’t support picklist values, only text.

    Well Summer ’19 release fixes that, and picklist values on a record will also be searched if using the List View search feature.

    Keep the Record Context when switching UI

    Another minor but useful tweak, when switching between Lightning UI or Classic (and vice versa), the record context will be remembered.

    This means for example, when you switch to Lightning from an Opportunity record within Classic UI – you will now be taken to the relevant record you were on but in Lightning UI (if it is available).

    Search Results That Reflect How You Navigate

    Another one for usability, how you navigate in Salesforce will be used to present to you the Search results from the Global Search, including any personalisations the user has made to Navigation Bar.

    This is quite an interesting tweak, and should help once again speed up the process of finding what you are looking for within Salesforce.

    Sales & Service Cloud – Core Improvements

    A number of the feature improvements for Sales and Service Cloud ‘Core’, are bringing in a number of features to increase feature parity between Lightning and Classic. And as a result, closes out the list of features not available in Lightning.

    Sales Cloud: Customisable Product Schedules

    Summer ’19 release brings with it the ability to setup and customise the Line Item Schedules object in Lightning UI.

    You can now enable and setup this object like any other, and create custom fields, buttons, validations, triggers, etc.

    Sales Cloud: Quotas Now in Setup Menu (in Collaborative Forecasts)

    Collaborative Forecasting has also FINALLY received the ability to edit and setup Quotas for Forecasting Users via the Setup menu. Gone is the need to update and add quotas via API / Dataloader.

    Quotas for Collaborative Forecasts is now available in Setup, thanks to Summer '19 Release
    Quotas for Collaborative Forecasts is now available in Setup, thanks to Summer ’19 Release

    This spells the end-of-the-line for Customisable Forecasting (the earlier version), which Salesforce has also announced will be retired after Summer ’20 (next year).

    Sales Cloud: Enterprise Territory Management

    Another one that has finally made it to Lightning, is Enterprise Territory Management, with the relevant object now showing in Object Manager within Lightning.

    And remember you can also forecast against territories in Lightning too. With Summer ’19 adding a new way to view your team’s Territory Forecasts.

    Finally, Salesforce has also announced the original Territory Management module will also be retired in Summer ’20 too.

    Service Cloud: Knowledge Enhancements

    There are a number of improvements to Knowledge in Service Cloud. Starting with in-line editing for article drafts.

    In-line Editing for Articles now available in Lightning
    In-line Editing for Articles now available in Lightning

    You can now also add the Knowledge component to more objects within Lighting, which will speed up the searching for Knowledge Articles.

    Other Knowledge updates are also included in the Summer ’19 Release, including improved reporting, paste images into Rich Text Articles, and more.

    Service Cloud: Merge Cases

    Summer ’19 introduces a new ‘Merge Cases’ feature, though keep in mind it is currently beta.

    It is a feature that has been available in competing platforms for quite a while, but never the less a very handy feature to clean-up your cases.

    And if you have used the Merge Accounts feature, it will look very similar to you…

    Merge Cases from within a case
    Merge Cases option, available in Summer ’19 Release (beta)
    Select the field values to merge
    And the merge wizard allows you to pick the fields to keep/retain as you merge cases together.

    Service Cloud: Improvements to Lightning Flows (aka Guided Action List)

    Another product has changed names, with Guided Action List becoming the new Lightning Flows. But the change also brings with it a few changes and improvements too.

    You will be able to reorder Actions and Recommendations as you like.

    Guidance can now also be added to additional objects: Orders, Products and custom objects.

    Actions and Recommendations now available on additional objects.
    Actions and Recommendations now available on additional objects.

    When will Summer ’19 Release be available?

    As we enter May, the Summer ’19 Release may already be available in a number of pre-release orgs and sandboxes.

    As per Salesforce’s blog, we have now passed the May 3rd cut-off date for sandboxes to be refreshed to gain access to the preview release.

    Production orgs will start to receive the release from this week (May 8th) for some US instances. And for everyone else, we will receive it either June 8th, and June 15th.

    Find your release date:

    • Go to the Trust website
    • Click on the button: ‘Status’, next to the status.salesforce.com text
    • Type in your Instance or Domain
    • Go to the ‘Maintenances’ Tab
    • Scroll and search for: ‘Summer ’19 Major Release’
    Summer'19 Release will hit EU16 on the 9th June.
    Example of the Trust site from Salesforce.

  • Spring ’19 Release for Admins

    And welcome to 2019! Just like that, we have started the new year and are about to hit the ground running with a new Salesforce release just around the corner. Salesforce’s Spring ’19 Release is just around the corner…

    First up, apologies for the lateness of the post… It has been a busy few months for me, but I will talk about that in another post shortly.

    As usual, we will take a look at what this release has in store and focus specifically on key features of the release which apply to Sales and Service Cloud users.

    Lightning Flow Builder (retiring of Cloud Flow Designer)

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

    Spring ’19 release will see the introduction of the new Lightning Flow Builder. This will update the UI for Flow Designer, making it HTML5 compatible. What this ultimately means, is no more clunky Flash based Cloud Flow Builder.

    Particularly, no more annoying prompts to update Adobe Flash in Chrome every 5 minutes! Which is what I think I am most excited about!

    Also things have been simplified. No more deciding what type of update/query you want. Do you want a ‘Fast Create’ or a ‘Record Create’?! Well, you don’t need to think about this anymore, as there is now just ‘Create’. Also variables and

    You will get this by default, but if you need to switch back to Cloud Flow Designer (aka ‘the old one’) you will be able to.

    Also if you use Flow and External Objects, things are about to become so much easier for data manipulation. With Flows being supported on External Objects.

    More data…  Sort of.

    Salesforce is finally, updating the base data storage each org gets. From a measly 1GB to a slightly less measly 10GB.

    Of course, you would take the increase. But seriously, in this day and age of Google/Microsoft/AWS offering 1TB or above on generic subscriptions… Why, oh why, is this only 10GB!?

    I know I should be grateful, but this has been a bug bear of mine for years now!

    Lightning Experience, take note…

    There are a number of tweaks and improvements in this release, as always, for things Lightning.

    But one thing you need to be aware of. Salesforce have finally waved the yellow flag to let users know that Lightning Experience will become the ‘default’ user experience for your users who have the Lightning Experience permission on their profile (or permission set), or any user on a Standard profile within Salesforce.

    These users will then also get moved to

    This is now a critical update, and will auto-activate as part of the Winter ‘20 release.

    So better get planning now! Check out the FAQ to get more answers about this upcoming change and who it will impact.

    Pin the List View you actually want!

    I think this was the biggest complaint we had when we switched users to Lightning: “why is ‘Recently Viewed’ always the view I get?”

    Well fret no more end-users!

    Salesforce Spring ’19 release now comes with added ‘pin-able’ List Views!

    So now you can Pin a List View to make it the default list view. Or you can Favourite a list view, or add a list view as a favourite tab… So your users have three ways to get to the view that they want now!!!

    Transferring Owner of an Account?

    Now you can move more of the related records to the new owner, in one quick action in Lightning… Saving Admins (or who ever transfers accounts) so much time!!!

    Service Cloud, hasn’t been forgotten…

    There are a number of additions to the way Service Cloud and Lightning work better together. But overall most of the additions seem for the Field Service package.

    Lightning Knowledge Migration Tool

    To help streamline the transfer to Lightning for service cloud users, and to encourage people to stay on the default / generic Salesforce objects. The Migration Tool will now be able to help migrate Knowledge from Classic to Lightning.

    Other Service Cloud improvements

    You can see find a list of the general improvements being made as part of this release, here.

    Most of the items include the changes to flow and processes for Service, or improvements to Omni-Channel in Lightning supporting new service channels. Or the new calendar scheduling feature, but that also applies across the other clouds too…

    When will I get Spring ’19 Release?

    Some server instances have already received the Spring ’19 release from Salesforce. A handful of NAxx Server instances…

    But for the rest of the world, the next two release windows are:

    • February 2nd 2019
    • February 9th 2019

    To find out when your instance will be upgrade:

    • please go to https://status.salesforce.com
    • in the search box, enter your server instance or custom domain
    • click on ‘Instances’
    • then on the following page, click ‘Maintenances’
    • user the Quick Find to locate ‘Spring ’19 Major Release’

    Here is an example of the calendar for the EU12 instance:

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Salesforce Hacks: Using picklists to clean your data

    One struggle every Salesforce admin faces, is how to get users inputting the right data. Free form text fields with no format or structure to them. And then trying to report on these fields becomes a nightmare! So how do you then make sure your users are entering in the correct values? That is where the wondrous (yet often overlooked) field type called a ‘picklist’ comes in…

    say picklist again...

    And picklists within Salesforce can help you structure data while guiding your users to complete fields as needed. While recent releases have also added to their versatility. In turn, this can help you as an Awesome Admin setup your Salesforce data more effectively.

    So let’s go back to basics and dive in to Salesforce Picklists!

    You keep saying picklist!!!!!

    Let’s take a quick step back to make sure everyone has the same understanding of what a picklist is.
    A picklist is ultimately a way to present several values to the user, and restrict what then select as a value in the field.
    As an example, a status field when selected could show ‘To do’, ‘In Progress’ or ‘Done’ in the picklist.

    Two types to rule them all.

    Now we start getting into the fun stuff. And yes, I know I am a bit of a geek! In Salesforce there are two basic types of picklists available for an Admin to create, the regular ‘Picklist’ and ‘Multi Select Picklist’.

    The primary difference is illustrated below, where a ‘Picklist’ only allows one value to be entered at a time, while Multi-Select picklists allow a user to select more than one value.

    standard salesforce picklist
    A Standard Picklist allows a user to select one value.

    A Multi-select Picklist allows a user to select more than one value.

    Flexibility with global control

    Reuse the same picklist values across various picklist fields.

    Picklists and world domination… Not coming to a cinema near you!

    Seriously though, as you can hopefully see picklists give you a fair amount of flexibility. But what if you want the same picklist options available across different objects in Salesforce?

    As of Winter ’17 release, you can now define a common or global set of values for any picklist in your org to use. To do this for a new picklist you can go to:

    In Classic: Setup -> Create -> Picklist Value Sets
    Or in Lightning: Setup (via the little gear icon) -> Object and Fields -> Picklist Value Sets

    And as added extra, the Summer ’17 release allows you to promote any existing picklist values and turn it into a global value set. Simply go to the picklist you want to promote, and you will see a button on the top of the page.

    Promote an existing picklist to a Global Value Set.
    Promote an existing picklist to a Global Value Set.

    Picklist ‘gotchas’

    Picklists are very handy in ensuring your users add the right value into the field. But because of the way they are structured there are a few things to remember when setting up and using picklists.

    1) Record types:

    Have you ever wondered why one user will see an option in the drop down, but someone else can’t see that option? The combination of record type and the profile of the user defines what she/he will see on-screen! (Don’t worry though, this one gets even the most seasoned of admins.)

    2) Dependant picklists:

    Alternatively, it could be a dependant picklist. This is where the value of one field, controls what options are available in the second field. An example of this could be on an Opportunity – where you have two picklists – the ‘Stage’ field and ‘Lost Reasons’.

    You might want to display a list of ‘Lost Reasons’ if the user selects the ‘Stage’ of ‘Closed Lost’. Thereby allowing you to once again guide the user in what the valid options are.

    Enforce picklist values when loading data into Salesforce3) Using Dataloader and picklists

    Picklists are ultimately just text when Salesforce looks at it at the database level, so be mindful that when loading in values via Dataloader.

    Any new values in the file being loaded into Salesforce may appear unless you tick the ‘restrict picklist values’ option on the field (or setup a validation rule).

    4) Picklists in formulas

    Picklist values are technically stored as a text value in Saleforce, however when using them in any advanced formula within Salesforce, like a validation rule, remember to use the function ‘ISPICKVAL()’.

    For example, say we have a picklist field with the name ‘Industry’ and you wanted to see if a picklist value was set to ‘Financial Services’, you would use the formula like so: ISPICKVAL(Industry, “Financial Services’)

     

    So there we have it. In a few short minutes, we have covered the basics of picklists! Exciting right 🙂 Now go forth and structure your data! Any business that values data quality will thank you for it!

  • Salesforce Summer ’17 is here!

    The Seagulls have landed (and hopefully not stolen your chips!).  For those eagerly awaiting the Salesforce Summer ’17 release, the preview notes are now live.

    But what are some of the key takeaways of the Summer ’17 release?  What does the Salesforce Summer ’17 release potentially have in store for you?  And what are the top 10 stand-out features of the release?

    So let’s get started and dive on in.  And if you haven’t already check out the preview release notes here.

    Salesforce Summer ’17

    Salesforce Summer '17 Release logo
    Are you ready for the Summer ’17 release?

    Overview

    There is no surprise but this is a yet another very Lightning Experience focused release.   As per my last post, I mentioned that there will be a continued focus on feature parity with Salesforce Classic.  Additionally there seems to be performance improvements too when using Lightning (at least in the Preview Dev instance).

     

    Top 10 features of Summer ’17

    Now let’s jump straight into my top 10 features from the Salesforce Summer ’17 release.

    1. A key feature of this release includes a revamped Migration Assistant and options to drive user adoption of Lightning Experience. Providing you with more insights into how ready your org is to make the switch, and includes a focus on helping Admins resolve migration issues with things like JavaScript custom buttons.  Plus you can ‘encourage’ adoption of Lightning Experience, with the ability to now remove access for users to switch back to Classic.

      Salesforce is really making a big push for users to make the switch over to Lightning Experience.  As mentioned before it is no real surprise that this release is very Lightning Experience oriented and most of the features are gaining parity with Salesforce Classic.  But at least with the Migration Readiness report you can make an educated decision and start planning for a Lightning Experience roll-out.Salesforce Summer '17 - Lightning Migration Wizard

    2. Keyboard shortcuts now available throughout Lightning Experience.  Just press CTRL-/ (WIN) or CMD-/ (Mac) to see what is available.
    3. You can now setup and view Field History lists in Lightning Experience.  This is one fits in the “why wasn’t this there already?” bucket!
    4. Another one for all Admins out there.  Got a picklist field on an object, but want to change it to a Global Picklist?  Worried about migrating the field values?  Worry no-more!  You can now promote a picklist to a Global Picklist.Summer '17 - Global Picklist
    5. There are a swag of improvements to Global Search.  The stand out for me is the ability to now setup a connected search provider, and then use that to search from within Salesforce.  This utilises OpenSearch and allows you to see results from connected external search engines, right from the Salesforce search results page.  And best of all, this feature is available in Lightning Experience & Classic.So imagine connecting up your Sharepoint or Dropbox and your users can simply search within Salesforce and see the relevant results without having to change systems/websites.
    6. Lead conversion process will be a lot easier now in Lightning Experience.  Summer ’17 finally brings the ability to have related files and records link to the account/contact/etc that’s created after the lead conversion.The lead conversion process also benefits from the new Account Matching feature which now allows you to type ahead or deal with multiple matches.
    7. Console has continued its feature development, with Lightning Sales Console now becoming available! Hello split views, come at me!
    8. Jump to ‘Object Setup’ in Lightning from the object in question.  This is similar to the Force.com Setup Menu you have in Classic, but using the new Object Manager.  Sound like such a little thing, but it will save so much time for Admins.
      Salesforce Summer '17 - Object Setup shortcut
    9. Lightning Service Console is now closer to the Classic Console.  You can now add Omni-Channel Utility to the Console, in addition small improvements like preview case details by hover-overs and the previously mentioned keyboard shortcuts will make Service Cloud users happier.  Still no mention of macros being supported though…
    10. Lightning Experience now gives you big productivity improvements in how your teams will use Activities within Salesforce.  First up is an improved timeline view, where you can now show/hide details of an individual task or expand details for all tasks.Summer '17 - Activity Timeline
      Secondly the streamlined activity composer will help your users log their activities.

     

    Bonus mentions

    I haven’t included this next one in my top 10 as it is only available in USA/Canada currently.   But Lightning Voice…  Oops, sorry it is now Lightning Dialer, looks slick and offers a new call list functionality.  In addition to the send a pre-recorded voicemail feature, this product is shaping up quiet nicely and I wish it would just be available in the UK already!

    To finish off on, Salesforce Summer ’17 release also appears to be the start of Salesforce addressing the disparity between a number of similar areas, namely Notes & Attachments, Notes, File, Content/Libraries.  I highly recommend taking a look at this section of the release notes if you use Content/Libraries, as they are about to go through a divorce in this release.

    It also appears that Files finally becomes quite useful as part of this release (now with drag and drop :-)).

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