winter 18

  • 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.

  • Dreamforce ’17: roundup

    Were you fortunate enough to head to this year’s Dreamforce?  If not, have you caught up on all the new goodies that were announced?  If you are like me and couldn’t attend, we have to catch up on all the new announcements from this session via Youtube, Facebook,  Linkedin and other blogs.

    So to help out, below is an overview of some of the resources I have found useful to catch-up on all things Dreamforce 2017, and feel free to add your comments & own resources in the comments section at the bottom of the post.

    Fourth Industrial Revolution

    The key theme this year was around the 4th industrial revolution.

    And it contains a key message about the impacts on the impacts this next digital revolution will have on society, from AI and the workplace of the future, to how we treat each other…

     

    Dreamforce 2017: over 3200 sessions of learnings!

    If you have been fortunate enough to attend Dreamforce, the scale is massive.  It literally takes over San Francisco for a week and brings together people from so many different backgrounds to learn and network.

    But where to start though?  Catching up on everything is a mammoth task and with over 3200+ sessions, there is so much for people to catchup on.  New use cases and successes shared with the Salesforce community… It is what Dreamforce is all about!  That is why no two wrap-ups will be the same, as everyone has there own personal journey through the week.

    But key highlights for me include Salesforceben with two great posts stand out for me: Admin perspective or Nov roundup) and Jen Lee’s fantastic recap and her sessions about process automation and workflows.  Also David from SFDC99 has a great recap too.

    Salesforce has the videos published from most of their keynotes and a number of the larger sessions from the week, and you can access them on the Salesforce Youtube playlist.

    Key Youtube videos I have found useful include:

    And personally, I love the T-Mobile story at this year’s keynote, where they demonstrated a number of the new ‘mySalesforce’ features (such as my Trailhead, my Lightning and my Einstein).  You can catch that session including a live demo here:

     

    The future roadmap of Salesforce core platforms

    One session I always try to catch up on is the core platform update/roadmap sessions.  This next session has a number of the Product Owners talking about some of the features that are coming up over the next few releases.

    Want a crystal ball into Salesforce’s thinking and where they are focusing their efforts? Look no further.

    They also go into the Ideas Exchange, why some ideas can’t/haven’t been delivered so far (even though they might seem really simple from the outside looking in), and how Lightning is actually allowing Salesforce to drive the pace of delivery of new ideas that Classic simply couldn’t do…

    So without further ado, here is the True to the Core overview from Parker Harris and co…

    The future roadmap of Salesforce’s core products definitely looks promising and personally I can’t wait for the discussed improvements to reports & dashboards (Sub folders… Field to field filters?!  OMG)

    Comments always welcome

    Got any key videos / blogs / resources you have used to catch up on Dreamforce this year?  Share in the comments below.

  • Salesforce Winter ’18 Release

    Salesforce’s next release is here, and Winter ’18 is jammed packed with Lightning features and still brings some improvements for those (well most of us) who are still on Classic.  In this post I will also show you how to check key days for your org and share some of the best resources I have found for the Winter ’18 release.

    Let’s jump in and take a look at the top Sales & Service Cloud features in this release.

    Top 6 Winter ’18 Features: Sales & Service Clouds

    Enhanced Instant Search Results & Better Search in Salesforce

    Salesforce Winter '18: Smarter Search Results

    This is such a small thing overall, but will save so much time for users.

    Spell correction is now available within instant results!  Users will now get suggestions if there is no direct match.

    And the search has also been improved to allow users the ability to include an Account Name when searching for a contact, opportunity or an account.  This will then narrow the overall results!

    To check out this feature, click here.

    Lead conversion now improved in Lightning Experience

    This has been a bug bear of so many people.  Put simply the Lead conversion process in Lightning left a lot to be desired!

    Well Salesforce have heard us and worked on an improved conversion process, and now gives a clearer view to sales users on if they are creating a new record or linking the lead to an existing one.

    Personally, the new screen looks a little clunky… But it is still an improvement from the previous way of converting a lead.

    Salesforce Winter '18: Lead Convert Process

    The new lead convert process is documented here.

    Manage your duplicates using Duplicate Record Sets

    If you saw one of my last posts, data is such a big focus for us.  The new Winter ’18 release now allows you to manage duplicates within Lightning.

    In the Data Management section of the Setup menu, you can setup a feature to report on duplicates based on your matching rules.  Now in Lightning you can leverage any reported Duplicate Record Set, then compare and merge!

    Salesforce Winter '18: Duplicate Record Sets

    View this feature in the release notes.

    Macros & Live Agent now in Lightning Experience

    I have combined these two but Macros and Live Agent are now both support in the Lightning Service Console! #abouttime!

    This will bring about productivity improvements for those using Lightning.  But most importantly also removes yet another hurdle to making the change to LEX for those orgs not using Lightning UI and Service Cloud…

    Check out Marcos and Live Agent details.  Live Agent in particular does still have a few feature gaps between Classic and Lightning, but these gaps are slowly being removed and will no doubt be ironed out over the next few releases.

    Time Field Type (beta)

    There is a new feature in beta this release, which allows users to track time (independent of date). :-O

    Imagine in a project management app, being able to simply allocate time to something rather than stating a date/time…

    For more click here.

    Lightning gets a tweaked UI

    Lightning has been such a big focus for Salesforce and they continue to actively improve the User Interface.

    In the upcoming Salesforce Winter ’18 release, they have given us a new look and feel.  To me this is very similar to the new-ish design concept that Google and others are following, with ‘cards’ of information broken out into pieces and clearer whitespace usage to illustrate what is important on the page.

    And also in the Setup menu, there is future improvements hinted at.  Where in the future we might be able to update the background and theme Salesforce Lightning Interface to suit your business 🙂

    More details here.

    Salesforce Winter '18: New Look and Feel

    When does Salesforce Winter ’18 release?

    You will need to check Trust site for your server instance, but most production orgs are currently schedule for the major release from 7th October 2017 (select NA instances) – 14th October 2017 (most AP / EU instances).

    Can’t wait for the release?

    Miss the cutoff for sandbox refreshes on the last week? You may still be able to sign up for a pre-release Winter ’18 org to have a look at the new features.

    Best resources to help you get Winter ’18 release ready!

    Salesforce directly should always be your first port of call.  They always publish and support users through the transition and this release is no different.  Here are your go-to Salesforce resources:

    Other blogs and videos for Salesforce Winter ’18 Release Readiness

    Check out her blog, as there is a wealth of information also on areas like Mobile & Einstein!

    • Salesforce Weekly, has done a ‘Release in Action’ video for Salesforce Winter ’18
    • Rakesh on Automation Champion has his top 10 features
    • Praneel at Above and Beyond has a guide on the features of the release, with some additional focus on things developers (and some admins) would be interested in like DX.
    • Jenna Molby has a breakdown of her 12 favourite features from the release.
  • Winter ’18 Pre-Release Details

    So a really quick Friday update as the Winter ’18 Pre-Release takes shape.  You can now sign up to join the Pre-Release Treasure Hunt within the Success Comminity, and also Salesforce has actually announce a new logo for Winter ’18 (and an new ongoing theme based around Astro).

    Winter ’18 Pre-Release Treasure Hunt

    Every release now goes into pre-release, where admins/developers/consultants/anyone who is interested, can register and setup a Pre-Release Trail Environment, which is based on the new release (Salesforce Winter ’18).

    And the good folk at Salesforce, in turn, run a Pre-Release Treasure Hunt.  It is a great way to entice early adopters into jumping in and finding new features/changes within the system.

    So if you really can’t wait and want to dive into the new release before the preview release notes come out, sign up now (registration now closed) and post your findings aka “Treasure” in the Release Readiness & Feature Adoption Success Group and use the tag #Winter18Treasure to join the treasure hunt!

    I am going to join the hunt myself and will post what I find as a new post shortly (and in the success group).  But I did find this post by Swayam with a few of the new features he has found so far…  Happy hunting!

    Salesforce introduce an Astro Winter ’18 logo

    Salesforce Marketing Team has taken a bit of a change into the upcoming release, with a new Astro themed logo.  And it has generated a bit of conversation in the Release Readiness & Feature Adoption Success Group.

    Here is the original post from Salesforce introducing the new logo:

    Salesforce introduce new Astro logo

    What do you think about the new logo?  Love the new theme?  Not bothered?  Astro’d out?  Use the comments below…

  • Salesforce Winter ’18 Sandbox Preview

    It is almost that time of year, the days get a little bit shorter and the heat becomes a distant memory…  Well at least that is the case if you were in the UK this week 🙂  But also the Salesforce Winter ’18 release is slowly coming into focus for us Salesforce people, and this week saw Salesforce announce the Winter ’18 Sandbox Preview instructions on their blog.

    Salesforce Winter ’18 Sandbox Preview – Important Dates

    As with each release, Salesforce sets a few key dates to allow admins/developers time to either get a Sandbox onto a server which will upgrade to the new release, or to avoid upgrading all together.  So it is important to remember to check if you need to create / refresh any sandboxes by specific dates.k

    The blog post from Salesforce gives you some insight into how to check which sandboxes will upgrade/stay the same, so please take the time to read through it.

    The two key dates to remember at the moment are:

    • BEFORE: 12am (PDT) / 7am (UTC) on the 8th September 2017:

    Any refresh / creation of sandbox before this date, will mean your new sandbox will be created on a server with Winter ’18.

    After your sandbox has refreshed/created, always check the server location to ensure it will upgrade.

    • After: 12am (PDT) / 7am (UTC) on the 8th September 2017:

    Any refresh / creation of sandbox after this date, will mean your new sandbox will be created on a server not upgraded to the Winter ’18 preview.  Instead it will create with Summer ’17 instance of Salesforce.

     

    Existing Sandbox Instances:

    If you know how to check your server instance, here is the list from Salesforce of the various instances and what action is needed to either keep Summer ’17 or move to a preview instance of Winter ’18:

    Existing Sandbox Instances: Winter 18

     

    How to stay up to date, or find support

    Every release, Salesforce seems to get a little more polished on how they communicate what is coming… This release will be no different.

    The Release Readiness Success Community is a great place to start and have now published the key milestone dates for Winter ’18 release.

    Trailhead will get updated shortly with Winter ’18 specific modules, however in the meantime there are a few worthwhile trails about release preparations, which you can finish off before the preview release notes come out. 🙂

    And as we get closer to the release date, Salesforce will be running a number of webinars to prepare everyone.  To find the schedule of webinars, go here (redirects to a Salesforce Cloud Services page).

    Happy release readiness preparing!  In the comments below, feel free to share which team you were for the logo contest too 🙂  #teampengiun

     

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