Salesforce released the Winter 13 release notes today.
Here are some of the more interesting features to expect:
Chatter Polls – similar to Facebook polls allowing users to collect data on users’ thoughts and opinions. Might be a bit easier than corporate surveys with a simple 1 click response.
Chatter Reporting – now available are 2 Chatter custom report types to report on Chatter Activity statistics (comment counts, like counts, post counts, “influence” score, etc) and hashtag usage.
Google Talk no longer supported – just like the Google Adsense plugin for web 2 leads, there goes Google Talk as well. I guess you don’t need 2 messenger clients in one tool, do you?
Customizable Forecast custom report types – allowing more granular overviews of exactly what is happening within forecasts (e.g. value before manager overrides/user overrides, owner only amounts, etc). Chime in here if you use customizable forecasts and not just reports/dashboards? Most of the people I work with only use basic reporting without adding in forecasting. I feel most organizations requiring this typically already have their own quota management tools and use them in combination with SFDC reports.
Opportunity Teams (previously Sales Teams) enhancements – Now this enhancement is a bit interesting. Opportunity teams will now be an entirely new entity with their own page layouts, custom fields, custom buttons, links, validation rules, reports, APEX Triggers, their own related lists, and more to allow better automation of sales team assignments. There will now be a brand new Opportunity Team Member page. You will need to go back and “disable team selling” to remove the old sales teams and do some picklist adjusting for the existing roles.
You can now create custom reports that will report on “team” performance and success. You can also assign teams to specific Accounts and report on them this way as well. Definitely a different way of thinking from the traditional “this is the salesperson and THIS is THEIR opportunity.”
Salesforce for Outlook enhancements – This is also a nice feature. This is essentially embedding additional details, such as recent activities (emails, calls, meetings) and recent opportunities about the contacts / leads that you are emailing directly in a side panel in Outlook. If you are an “Outlook” shop that essentially lives in Outlook, this can be a great tool for saving time.
Also, if you use Social Accounts, Social Contacts, the pictures that you have chosen from Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn will show up as well.
Draft Emails in Cases – Salesforce is now becoming a full Chat / Email / Communication client. As least they are getting close. Now case agents do not need to send an email immediately. They can start an email, draft it, continue to work on the case, and send the email when ready. This is a much needed feature for users that use only Salesforce for customer service.
Tags: winter 13, winter 2013
Posted in Announcements, Winter 2013 | Comments Off on Salesforce.com Winter 13 Release Notes
In addition to my Developer cert from the other day, I just received my Administrator certification today. Maybe I completed those in reverse order. Next stop will be Sales/Service Cloud as well as Tech Arch.
Tags: certification, salesforce.com administrator, salesforce.com certifications
Posted in Announcements, Salesforce.com Certifications | 1 Comment »
As a bit of a hobby project, I created a pretty handy mobile application for Salesforce.com Adoption that can be downloaded from the AppExchange that can compliment my other Adoption app that I created.
Instead of buying new licenses when you have a new user, try deactivating users that haven’t logged in within the past 30/60/90/120 days. Why not just deactivate one of the users that you gave an account that has NEVER logged in before?
Adoption Manager allows you quickly to see who hasn’t logged in in the longest time (or never) and deactivate them. It also allows you to reactivate any old user in the system or create a brand new user. Search through the entire database if you do not want to filter through lists and know a specific user to activate/deactivate.
What makes this even better is that this app can be accessed via the browser or your MOBILE browser. iOS/Android apps are coming soon, but this won’t hold you up, because of this mobile optimized app, using OAuth to securely login to Salesforce.com.
Manage your users quickly and more effectively on the go!
Tags: adoption, appexchange, chatter, mobile development, salesforce mobile, Salesforce.com user adoption, User Adoption, users
Posted in Announcements, Force.com User Adoption, User Adoption | Comments Off on Adoption Manager – Free mobile adoption app
Salesforce Winter 2012 features. I know this is a little (very) late, but it is better than never.
There are a lot of big releases during this upgrade and a lot of new things for everyone to learn, like Siteforce and Visual Workflows. Take a look below to see my platform overview
Salesforce Social Contacts – this feature sounds great, but I am not overly enthusiastic. You can link your contacts to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You can add in their picture and see their posts. Great! The problem is that you need to do this contact by contact and social network by social network. The system does not automatically scour the web and update all of your contacts. Even worse, Salesforce searches the social networks by the contact’s name. Have you ever tried searching Facebook for a common name? You ALWAYS get 100 results. Have fun with that.
Customer Chatter Groups – This is a great feature. Create your own “customer portal” for collaboration and discussion. Invite your customers into a Chatter group and chat with them, share documents, and more. I like it. Maybe try tying this in with an actual Salesforce customer portal?
Dynamic Dashboard filtering – This is one of those features that should have been there since day 1. Now, you can filter individual dashboards by criteria, such as region, industry, product line, etc. For all of the large organizations out there that have SO many dashboards created in a specific (hokey) way, I wonder how difficult it will be for them to migrate 1000 dashboards into this format.
Case flows – Wow, Cases have become beautiful in the Service Cloud. Everything seems very social. It is very easy to add comments, send emails, log calls and more. This is really a great UI makeover.
The Service Console has somewhat of a small overhaul as well and makes it very easy to find data quickly.
Pinned Lists – For the service console, you can now pin vital lists on the left side of the screen to always have the data available. Very nice. Time for everyone to invest in wide screen monitors.
Chatter Private Messages – This is another “should have been day 1” feature. Very simple. Send messages to 1 or many people in Chatter.
Chatter Approvals – Integrating approval requests directly into Chatter feeds for the manager that does not like digging through many records to find an action he needs to take.
Chatter Now – Integrating instant messaging directly into Salesforce with Chatter Now. How many instant messaging clients does everyone have now? Well, here is one more.
Chatter for Microsoft SharePoint – Allowing for simple integration of Chatter functionality into Microsoft SharePoint. This seems very useful for making all of your boring internal websites socially enabled. Great idea.
Admin quick links – This should make it a lot easier for the new SFDC admin.
One-click App Creation – Salesforce is trying to make it a LOT quicker to create a new custom object, app, and tab. Simply click the “Create App” button, fill in a few fields and you are ready to start. A little bit easier than before.
Visual workflows – This is where I get excited. Visual Workflows allow you to use a cloud designer tool to visually create VisualForce wizards. So, instead of building a lot of VisualForce, it can all be drag and drop, point and click. This is something everyone needs to spend a couple of hours learning over the next few months.
Siteforce – is generally available in Winter 2012. It is essentially a web designer tool and content management system all in one, allowing you to utilize Salesforce as a backend database/admin console and build a dynamic front end website with nothing but point and click.
There are also several smaller features available, such as:
-Likes on Chatter comments
-Cloud designer for Visual Workflows
-Sharing Chatter files via email/IM inside and outside of SFDC (awesome!)
-Upload and Share Files at same time
-More Chatter filters
-Chatter for Android
-New Forecasts generally available
-Salesforce Mobile Beta for Android phones
-Presentations can no longer be assembled
-Enhanced reports tab (here’s to confused users that just got used to managing their reports)
-iPad mobile dashboards app
-Jigsaw is now Data.com
-Permission sets are now available – no longer need to create an infinite number of profiles to solve small needs!
-Just in Time provisioning for SSO portals
-APEX REST API
Tags: chatter, features, functionality, release notes, winter 12, winter 2012
Posted in Announcements, Chatter, Salesforce.com, Winter 2012 | Comments Off on Salesforce Winter 2012 Features
I don’t know about you, but I am ready for Winter. I live in Florida and I am tired of burning alive in the Florida heat. Luckily, Salesforce is bringing Winter ’11 to us soon enough to cool us down. Allow me to detail out some of my favorite features that they will be releasing.
It wouldn’t be fitting to start out a new feature list without Salesforce Chatter – Now, you will be able to search Salesforce Globally for Chatter feeds, people, files, and groups. This won’t help for finding field changes posted in feeds, but it will help for finding posts by other users and relevant topics with #hashtags.
Chatter Files Tab – This will include all files that you upload and other people upload to Chatter. This makes these files easy to find, follow, preview, and search. This is most likely going to generate a lot of confusion as to the difference between Files, Documents, and Content.
Chatter Tab – This brings together all of your People and your Groups and see the recommended People to follow and Groups to join. This will certainly put a lot more focus on Chatter for the users and make it easier to take advantage of.
Chatter Filters – Don’t want to see all of the “spammy” field update posts in Chatter? Now, you can filter your feeds to only see posts from your groups, or posts from people, or posts directed at you. This should cleanup some of the mess.
Chatter Topics – Similar to #Twitter hashtags, you can form relevant topics in Chatter, such as #Invoice, #RFQ, #BigDeal, etc for logical grouping of these posts.
Salesforce for Outlook – This is now available for everybody. This should be helpful to a lot of smaller organizations. This is really a useful tool.
Quote Templates – Released in beta in Summer 2010, this is now Generally Available, allowing you to customize your quoting templates and make them look and feel exactly how you would like. You will need Professional Edition or higher for this. Now, you can preview the templates as you create them, add graphics, add rich text and more. Great functionality.
Attaching Attachments to Activities – This should be useful. Task: “Generate a Quote” Attachment: Customer’s Specifications…although this should probably be placed on the Opportunity, but you get the picture.
New and Improved Service Cloud Console – Now Salesforce requires less clicks and less scrolling. You have to leave the page much less than before and you can jot notes without even leaving the screen. The console allows you to see all related records directly on the screen along with the current record’s information. The console is critical for any organization moving quickly through any sets of records (leads, activities, etc). They have also built in a highlights panel to show the most important fields in an easy to view manner.
Web 2 Case limit increased to 5000 – If you previously stopped using Salesforce, because you hit the 500 Case limit, you are now good to go with 5000.
Global Search – A new and much more powerful search bar for Salesforce.com. No need for the Advanced Search hacks of the past. Now, this bar allows you to be as generic or specific as you would like when searching for your pertinent data. This will now search custom fields, long text areas, notes, comments, and more. Beautiful!
You will need to enable the new User Interface Header to have this new search bar and look and feel.
Real-Time Report Builder!! – This is a good one and I think we have all been waiting a long time for it to come. I love this. This will make training users much easier when it comes to report creation.
-Drag and drop report columns
-Display report type on report
-Easier chart creations
Visual Process Manager and Force.com Flow – Pilot – This will allow you to build your own wizards with point and click operations instead of VisualForce code and APEX. This is actually pretty incredible. Have a scripted sales process for gathering details? Want to walk your users step by step through the process? Here you go.
Profiles in Change Sets – Oh yes. You can now add Profile settings to Change Sets. This will save a lot of time for developers creating large implementation deployment packages.
I am definitely excited about some of the upcoming changes. Force.com Flow is going to be huge and so are the Report creation changes.
What is your favorite?
Take a look at the full release notes here: Salesforce Winter 11 Release Notes
Posted in Announcements, Winter 2011 | 3 Comments »
Although this is a little behind, it is still worth summarizing some of the best features from the Summer 2010 Release of Salesforce.com.
Salesforce Chatter (obviously) – This is being enabled by default for all new organizations. Existing organizations must enable it. This has all of the typical aspects that I am sure most of you are already used to: Chatter Profiles, Groups, Feeds, etc.
Tips: Try fun things like using the API to force certain types of users to auto follow certain types of data, e.g. Automatically force users from territory A to auto follow all Opportunities selling Product XYZ.
Haven’t seen Chatter? Take a look
Out of curiosity, how are all of you handling the training of users on Chatter? I certainly think it requires some kind of “nudge” to truly explain the benefits and how to use it.
Cloud Scheduler – This is a great feature if you would like to schedule meetings out of Salesforce.com. You can propose meeting times and allow your customers to decide which time is best for you. Salesforce will generate a custom web page for them to visit. This can be done for Leads, Contacts, and Person Accounts. Salesforce can even propose the time for you and try to select the best time.
Quotes Template Editor – This is in beta. Instead of having to use Salesforce’s basic quote layout, they are now allowing you to create your own Quote templates, which is very necessary. This functionality is very basic, doesn’t allow you to preview what you are doing, but it is at least worth trying.
New Opportunity Page (Pilot) – I feel like this was originally announced SO long ago. I can’t believe it is now only being piloted. This puts the focus on key Opportunity fields that are used the most in a highlight panel at the top of the screen. It also focuses on Chatter and recommendations. Cool feature.
Salesforce Mobile Enhancements – Chatter in the mobile app is the biggest improvement. Hello Salesforce, where is the Salesforce for Android app?
Email Opt Out Warning – Finally. When sending a mass email, Salesforce will warn you if Email Opt Out is checked for any contacts. About time.
Multiple Email Addresses on Contacts and Leads – Now, you can specify multiple email addresses for these records, e.g. Work and Home email. When emailing them from within Salesforce, it will allow you to choose which email to send to. Nice.
CRM Content Available for all Editions – At no cost.
Salesforce Knowledge Enhancements – There are quite a bit of knowledge enhancements, making it so much easier to populate this database and easily help your customers, such as creating an article while closing a case and using suggested articles while solving a case.
Community Enhancements – Salesforce Answers can now be used in Sites. Great! Questions can be generated into Cases. Replies can be converted into articles. Just imagine the customer support database you can build with a community like this.
Dynamic Dashboards – Use the security settings of the current user to power the dashboards they visit. This is a great way of not having to create 100’s of duplicate dashboards for everyone. Make sure you have your role hierarchy in check! Also, take a look at the drag and drop dashboard builder. This saves a lot of time.
Dependant lookups and lookup filters (beta forever) – Why is this in beta? I feel like we have been waiting on this for years. ex. On an Account lookup on an Opportunity, you can set it up so that it will only show Accounts where Active = TRUE. This shrinks down the mess in the lookup windows quite a bit.
Well, these were my favorite updates. There are a lot of other changes related to Sites, VisualForce, Development as a Service, etc, but I don’t want to bore you with those
Posted in Announcements, Chatter, Salesforce.com, Summer 2010 | Comments Off on Salesforce.com Summer ’10 Release
The Salesforce.com Spring 2010 release is finally upon us and you are probably wondering what you can enable / setup within Salesforce.com to better streamline your business. I will briefly go through many of the top features (IMO) and let you know what to expect.
Real Time Quotes – This is a new feature that should have been around a long time ago, because most companies have already created their own quoting process by now and it will be difficult to convert to this new Salesforce functionality. Multiple quotes can be associated to one Opportunity, data can be synchronized between the Opportunity and Quotes, and PDF’s can be easily generated. I am really not too impressed by this, because there really are some excellent AppExchange products out there that already do this.
New Opportunity UI (User Interface) – This is actually pretty cool, but it is currently in Pilot mode and must be enabled. The idea behind this is that there are certain fields on an Opportunity, no matter what business you are in, that are vitally important, such as Stage and Amount. This UI places these fields directly on the top of the page and makes them highly visible and accessible. I like it.
Salesforce Mobile Lite for ALL Organizations, including Group – Congrats everyone! If you haven’t been able to access Salesforce Mobile before, you can now. Go to the BlackBerry and Iphone stores now and download and customize this app for your organization!
Rich Text Area fields – Once again, Pilot, but long needed in Salesforce.com. Contact your Salesforce reps for this.
Branded Event Invitiations – Salesforce has always neglected email marketing / email templates in Salesforce.com. You can now place your logos on outgoing calendar events, therefore branding them.
Entitlement Management (Service) – Salesforce is now making a BIG push for the service aspects of its product, ie. the Service Cloud. Entitlement management is a newly released feature, which will be highly beneficial for support companies that are actively managing Service Level Agreements (SLA’s). You can quickly identify if customers have support agreements, what level they are subscribed to, and the KPI’s that your customer support reps must adhere to. Workflows can be built to enforce these KPI’s and everything can be tracked with reports. There are additional components related to Entitlement Management to facilitate additional aspects, such as service contracts and milestones. This is a really big feature and is something that needed to be custom built and highly customized before. Let me know if you need assistance with setting this up.
Salesforce Answers – Just like Yahoo Answers, but built into the Salesforce platform. This will be built directly into your Salesforce community and will allow users to ask questions, answer questions, and vote on answers.
New Salesforce.com User Interface Design – Salesforce has been a little behind the times with their design when comparing their website to other SAAS / Web 2.0 sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc. They have decided to upgrade their overall design. This will not be available immediately and will need to be enabled. It won’t be enabled by default. I hope this new design is faster. It seems that Chrome is not supported.
New Report Builder!!!!! Developer Only – This is going to be revolutionary. Instead of tons of steps in a report wizard, this will be one, all encompassing report builder that is easy to use for everyone, with an excellent preview mode. Developer mode only, which is saddening.
Custom Dashboard Tables – Outstanding! The table dashboard component now allows you to display 4 columns instead of 2. Previously, you could only display an Account Name and a Dollar value for an example. Now you could also display the Country field and Account #. This is a nice improvement.
SOQL Enhancements – This is huge. Now, advanced SOQL functions can be used, such as GROUP BY, HAVING, AVG, MAX, MIN, SUM, COUNT_DISTINCT, etc. There are also many additional Date filters. Why was this not there before? Do you know how much time this would have saved all developers if this previously existed? I am very pleased with this. There are also ANTI JOINS and SEMI JOINS.
Debug Log Improvements – Debug logs have drastically improved, which is a small, but very nice improvement if you are working with APEX code.
Change Sets and Cloud Deployment (beta) – Great idea, but needs a lot of work. I have rarely been able to use this feature successfully, because of minor errors. It will allow you to deploy sets of code, reports, fields, layouts, etc from the Sandbox to Production and vice versa from directly within the user interface, instead of Eclipse’s IDE or the awful ANT migration tool. This is similar to SAP transports.
Multilevel Master Detail Relationships – You can now create multiple levels deep. ex. Project, Requests for Bids, Actual Bid Submitted, Review of Bid could be multiple master detail relationships.
My Domain – Receive your own subdomain name directly on the Salesforce.com servers. Limited release only.
Take a detailed look through the Spring 2010 Release Notes.
Let me know if you have any questions about any of the new features or if you need any information about how they might apply to you or how you could enable them.
Posted in Announcements, Spring 2010 | Comments Off on Spring 2010 Salesforce.com Release is Here
Hey everybody! The features for the Salesforce.com Winter 2010 release are starting to be decided upon and there seem to be a lot of good ones, right in time for Dreamforce in November! Here are a few to look at and think about for now:
Scheduling of APEX – This will allow you to have Cronjobs in Salesforce.com. Before, if you didn’t have your own server or Cast Iron, you could not schedule some mass processing task to perform on a daily basis. This will add a lot of functionality on top of workflows existing functionality. Great feature. I wonder how the governors will work with this.
Batch Processing – I believe that this is becoming widely available in Winter ’10. It will allow you to mass process thousands of records at once to do large scale transformations and calculations at once. Salesforce must be ramping up their data center.
Mass Uploading of Content – Self Explanatory. Could be beneficial for new projects and data migrations.
Specification of how “Others” will be defined in dashboards – You can choose certain thresholds for how a record will show up in “Others” in a dashboard. We’ll see how this really works later.
Changing colors on dashboards – specify your own color schemas.
Compare User Profiles to view the differences – This is great, because it is VERY difficult to manage multiple profiles now.
Multiple Y-Axis Items Allowed in Charts – I guess I will need to see a real life example of this.
“Send From” with Workflow Emails – FINALLY! Instead of mailing from the person who last modified the record, this will allow you to specify an email to send workflow emails from.
Create Quote / Convert to Order / Convert to Assets – Whoa whoa whoa. Rewind. Is Salesforce really implementing some huge new functionality like this? Link
Dashboard drilldown to specified drilldown on report – Very cool
Help text for standard fields – Ok, this might be useful.
There’s more, but these are the most interesting so far. Take a look at the other ideas under consideration!
Posted in Announcements, Salesforce.com | 2 Comments »
I was hoping that they would choose the gingerbread man for the Salesforce.com Winter ’10 Release, but they decided on the snowman. Get ready to see this little guy for a long time
Tags: new features, winter '10, winter 2010
Posted in Announcements, Salesforce.com | 1 Comment »
Do you have the need to integrate your Salesforce.com system with any of your ERP or legacy systems or databases?
Would you like to link up SAP Customer Orders with Salesforce.com? Would you like to integrate the Contacts in your SQL database with all of your Accounts and Contacts in Salesforce.com? Maybe you would like to seamlessly integrate multiple Salesforce.com org’s into one business warehouse?
I have performed countless Salesforce.com integrations including systems such as SAP, SQL, Oracle, Web Services, Salesforce.com, Flat Files and more. All interfaces are possible. It all comes down to gathering detailed functional and technical specifications. Shamrock CRM has a massive amount of experience with Enterprise level integrations.
If you would like to pass data between Salesforce.com and another system, whether it be bi-directionally, uni-directionally or en masse, Shamrock CRM can set this up for you in a timely and cost effective manner.
Email Tanner at email@example.com for more information about Salesforce.com Integrations.
Tags: cast iron, oracle, projects, sap, sql, systems integrations, web services
Posted in Announcements, Programming, Salesforce.com | Comments Off on Salesforce.com Integrations