Salesforce has just launched the Summer’17 release and once again we’ve collected our favorites from the new features and enhancements. And remember, these are Fluido’s favorites and not a comprehensive list so don’t forget to read the release notes for many many more!
Imagine the difference in grocery shopping between the past and now: in the old times people used to go to a salesperson standing behind the counter and tell them what they wish to buy. If they got a wrong product or didn’t quite like the colour of the apples after all, they had to hand the stuff back and ask for a replacement. This is exactly what is being done with the traditional reporting and BI tools - somebody from business decides what they need, explains it to an administrator and waits for the appropriate report or dashboard being created. Then he checks if it meets their needs, provides further specifications and waits again, and this can go on for days, weeks or even months. Later comes another person from a different department and wants to see the same data from a slightly different viewpoint. By the time everybody gets the data in the correct format for them it might already be too late for what they actually wanted to achieve with it.
Self-service is natural in grocery shopping. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who wants to squeeze their avocados before choosing the perfect one, and who gets inspired by walking through the aisles comparing different products and packages. Why should searching for perfect insights and visualizations from your data be any different to this? With Wave Analytics everybody from your company can bring in their preferred set of data and start exploring it intuitively. Sure, it makes sense for an admin to create some datasets, lenses and dashboards there to start with, but working with Wave is so easy and efficient that really anybody can do it on the fly.
Now that I’ve got your interest, let’s jump into details. What can you actually do with Wave Analytics and how? The easy way to start exploring the possibilities of Wave is utilizing the pre-built Apps by Salesforce - the Sales Wave App and the Service Wave App offer a set of datasets and dashboards optimized for sales and service use. You are able to configure the apps to some extent but for more custom business needs you’ll probably want to add your own datasets and visualizations on top of the variety of pre-built items.
Being Salesforce native, Wave easily connects to the objects, fields and their relationships in your own org. You are able to build a dataset that is composed of any standard or custom object and chosen related objects with your preferred selection of fields. In addition to Salesforce data you can bring in .CSV files or external data through various partner interfaces. The data gets updated regularly with a scheduled dataflow, or you can choose to update it manually.
Once the data is in you can start your exploration. You can dive into the data through a lens that lets you view the data from different viewpoints, experiment with different visualizations and drill down to interesting parts by filtering the data. You can operate with individual lenses and store the most intriguing findings, or you can combine a set of different lenses to a dashboard. A dashboard consists of several widgets that can contain for example graphs, numbers, text, tables or pictures. The widgets on a dashboard can be interlinked, meaning that you can apply common filters to change the whole view at once.
This all makes Wave a highly intuitive, interactive and effective analytics tool. You can get meaningful insights in a flash, regardless what your goal or role in the company is. But, unlike to the more traditional BI tools, with Wave it doesn’t have to stop there. Since it is directly connected to your Salesforce instance you can also take direct action based on the insights. The quick actions in your instance are easily accessible from within Wave. Imagine creating a task to notify a high amount opportunity owner to take action or updating account information based on your exploration, without needing to separately navigate to the record in question. You can even add your customized quick actions to perform various tasks according to your specific needs. It is also possible to share any lens or dashboard to Chatter, either as a link or as a screenshot of the relevant visualization. No more excessive navigation between the different tabs in your org or various emails containing manual screenshots and excel files - with a couple of clicks within Wave Analytics you’ve shared the meaningful insights to everybody who needs to know.
Taking Action Within Wave
And it works vice versa as well. With embedded dashboards you can bring Wave data and visualizations to your record page layouts. Viewing the key figures and graphs on the record itself saves your time and clicks, and you can easily dig in deeper to the data through the embedded dashboard.
I promised you earlier that Wave is accessible whenever, wherever. This is enabled by the Wave Analytics mobile app for iOS and Android. After downloading the app and logging in, your Wave data is available to you in a mobile optimized way. No need for customization or setting up, you’re ready to start exploring and taking action.
When starting with Wave Analytics it is good to keep in mind that the tool is constantly evolving like all Salesforce Clouds. The tool is already impressive but there are some improvement points for the future.
First of all, when things get complicated you need to use code. Luckily it’s simple JSON that even a not so technically oriented admin such as myself can operate with to some extent, but you can’t really assume a business user to edit a .json file. Accessing the code is also not made easy as it’s hidden behind a keyboard shortcut that you just need to know. Let’s hope the rumours are true and even more complicated editing of dashboards, such as combining data from different sources, will be possible through the user interface in the future.
The classic version of the Wave dashboard designer is also lacking some useful features such as being able to align the widgets automatically and sending them to back or bringing them to front. Since this type of functionality is familiar from basic office tools it can be really annoying not to have it. The new beta version of the designer brings some relief to that, enabling placing widgets only to predefined areas nicely aligned. However, this results in some limitations considering e.g. the widget sizes and positions, so no perfect solution available yet.
Even with the current restrictions I personally am convinced about the possibilities of Wave Analytics and feel that it can bring high value to many businesses when properly planned, implemented and brought into use. Be it better real-time insights for your business people or less secretary work for your administrators, surfing the Wave is something everybody in your company can benefit from.
Written by Paula Laitio
New in Lightning Experience!
Lightning Experience is coming out with a new, exciting interface and we think that it is moving in the right direction. There are big improvements for example in Reports and Dashboards filtering, Wave in Lightning or Kanban view in Leads, Contracts and Campaigns. If you haven’t tried it yet, have a look and enjoy the following features:
WAVE in Lightning
Basically everything about Wave in Lightning is pretty exciting. You can share insights from your business data and get more predictive information about your customers. We thought the best features, the ones that we like to highlight are:
Sync Appointments from Google Calendar™ to Salesforce (Beta)
Still in Beta, but Google Integration is available. What we can do is set up Google Calendar events to sync to Salesforce. You no longer have to maintain events in two separate applications!
We love how Salesforce made a great job by improving template-driven community experience. The napili template is now called Customer Service and supports more objects than previously plus you can now access external data and content that are stored outside your Salesforce org.
Our favourite part here is that we can add Reports and Dashboards to Community Pages thanks to a Lightning Component for a specific Report Chart or a whole Dashboard! This means that you can now share important metrics and charts directly with your Community.
Mobile enhancements in Salesforce1
The Salesforce1 mobile app helps your reps stay up to date on their most-important records, activities, Chatter conversations, and dashboards from wherever they are. Here are some examples of work which was done on Salesforce1:
Something Sweet for Admins
Improvements in Pardot B2B Marketing Automation
In addition to improvements in Salesforce, there have been some great changes in Pardot since Spring'16 release! Here are our 3 favorites:
Of course there are many more great features introduced by Salesforce in Winter’ 17. Have a read through the release notes for details, but we wanted to make your life a bit easier and picked out a few that stood out. We recommend you get going and get the most out of the platform. First hurry up and explore the new features!
Written by the Fluido Crew
New changes in editions seem great:
In Ligthning Experience we warmly welcome following improvements:
Salesforce has been also thinking about how to make life easier for Sales reps and increase the productivity in their sales teams. The most of our attention caught this enhancement:
In relation to Service Cloud we picked few cool tools from Summer 16 release which help you to avoid case feed clutter:
Administration and Customization
Here are some tips our developers like to share with you:
Bits and pieces
And at the end few bits and pieces they are worth to mention:
Well, and that’s it! Here are Fluido's insights into Salesforce Summer '16 release and its new features which we are looking forward to using!
Written by the Fluido Crew
Favorite Picks by Consultants
Some of our Developers Favorites
Have we forgotten some great new features to mention? Leave us a comment and tell us what you think of these!
Written by the Fluido Crew
The biggest annual Salesforce event took place in San Francisco last month - Dreamforce '15. As many of you already know, Salesforce officially presented an absolutely new user interface for the platform - Salesforce Lightning Experience. This is the biggest change ever in the Salesforce history since its launch 16 years ago.
But what is all about?
Salesforce is the leader in CRM. It has millions of users, and all of them wanted one simple thing: a new and more modern user experience. Salesforce listened to, studied, and considered all of the feedback, and put together a completely new CRM experience that is going to accelerate adoption and value for every Salesforce customer and end user.
Lightning is not just some new images or colors. It's a whole new concept for the system. Not only does it claim to increase even more the efficiency of sales reps, but also to make it easier and faster than ever. The first release of Salesforce Lightning concentrates in bringing the new user interface to some of the core functions of the Sales Cloud, but the rest are following in the future!
The new Lightning Experience that is based on the Salesforce1 Platform, and it is the combination of the Lightning App Builder, Lightning Components and the new Lightning Design System. All three together create an unique value
Let me briefly go through a couple of new features which make Lightning so special:
Focus on right deals and close them faster
Opportunity Workspace - new Look & Feel and generally a whole new interface to perform several different actions related to your deals:
Process more leads and qualify them faster
Bring your new reps quickly up to speed with guided sales process
Under Lightning, the configuration area is called Guidance for Success. The aim is to deliver relevant information for each stage, such as links to chatter posts and files, tips, or policy notes.
Understand where your deals get stuck
Keep in mind that The Board view presents one record type at a time. To have different record types presented you need to create new list views for every record type you want to present.
Trailheads for admins and developersAs a part of preparation to new Lightning Experience, Salesforce gives you the possibility to go through new Trailhead’s paths:
Trailhead is an interactive learning path through the basic. The idea is to go through modules, getting more familiar with new Salesforce functionalities through the process of earning points and badges to celebrate your achievements.
Lightning Experience will be generally available in Winter ‘16. It will be automatically available to be turned on by an admin in all GE+ orgs in Winter ‘16.
Note: The exception is Content Management Edition (CME) orgs and orgs with person accounts enabled.
Written by Piotr Frukacz
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