Salesforce Community Cloud – A Portal Unlike Any Other

Salesforce Community Cloud – A Portal Unlike Any Other

Over the past few years, Salesforce…

has implemented a customer portal to give external users a branded experience with interactions to your Salesforce org and data. Since then, the releases have implemented new changes to the Community Cloud while Salesforce has also made this available to Lightning and Classic users. You may be asking yourself what is the Salesforce Customer Community and how is it beneficial to my practice? What started as a place to embed files and records in 2013 has now turned into a solution to extend collaboration, increase productivity, and builder better products within your CRM.

What is the Community Cloud?

Salesforce Community Cloud
Salesforce states that “A customer community allows users, partners, and company employees to share information, answer questions, post problems, and discuss ideas about product enhancements and best practices in real time.” Yet, this does not help explain why the customer community is beneficial to the end user. In an age where customer experience is becoming one of the largest driving forces in an individual’s or company’s purchasing decisions, the Community Cloud functionality truly is a breath of fresh air.

Why the Community Cloud?

Customer experience can be driven in many ways. One of the most impactful way to drive this is by making yourself accessible to customers. As a company, you do not want to make it difficult for a potential customer to find you. With the Salesforce Community Cloud, you can post pertinent community chats, recommended articles and answers across multiple channels. This includes but is not limited to leveraging search engines and social media platforms.

Along with making your company more accessible to customers another great way to reach your customers is by going mobile. As we move into a more mobile age it is important to make sure that your community is accessible through mobile interfaces. This will give you the potential to generate more prospects and potential customers.

While customer accessibility is important your company should focus on generating quality content. The better the quality, the likelier you are to get higher customer traffic. When you first create the communit, you should monitor participation. Salesforce suggests three different metrics to help build your community:
• “Identify the people in your community who are most vocal, knowledgeable and helpful.”
• “Reach out with questions to encourage engagement between customers.”
• “Treat your champions to perks.”

Click here to learn more and/or to sign up for a demo presented to you by Salesforce. If the Community Cloud is something that interests you, the CleanSlate team can help you make the most out of your Salesforce Sales, Service, and Community Cloud. Send us a message!

Salesforce Certificate Changes in Early 2018

Salesforce Certificate Changes in Early 2018

Salesforce has recently published a news release that is relevant to all users of middleware solutions.

To uphold the best practices in Security, Salesforce has decided to rotate some certificates out during January and February 2018. Google Chrome no longer supports Symantec-issued HTTPS certifications and is now going to use DigiCert-issued certificates instead.
DigiCert
This could have an impact if you and your company use a middleware solution like Mulesoft, Scribe, IBM Broker, etc. to interact with Salesforce once the certificates are updated by Salesforce. According to Salesforce, “To test your software and middleware solutions, use //certtest.force.com as the base URL of the API login URL.

  • If you see an invalid username error or a different HTTP status code, then the test was successful.
  • If you see a certificate trust error, then the trust was unsuccessful.”

For the vast majority of Salesforce users this will have no impact on your day-to-day experience. However, companies with middleware solutions are most likely going to require some configuration updates to trust the new root, intermediate, and other relevant certificates with DigiCert.

The deployment schedule for these updates certificates are: 1) Sandbox instances during the second week of January, and 2) Production instances during the second week of February. Additional information can be found at the following site, Salesforce Certificates change from Symantec to Digicert in Jan 2018. These updates should be thoroughly tested and validated in your Sandbox instances prior to the Production deployment.

If you would like to see what CleanSlate can do for you and your Salesforce Sales and Service Cloud orgs please contact us today!

What Do Beer and Robotics Have in Common?

What 20th-century invention goes best with beer and pizza? If you answered “robotics,” you’re right! (We also would have accepted “Buffalo wings.”)

Kidding aside, the CleanSlate team recently joined other technology firms around the Indianapolis area for a program called BeerBots. This event is a joint effort hosted by TechPoint Foundation for Youth and Sun King Brewery. The two companies want to ensure “Indiana’s underserved K-12 students have access to experiential learning opportunities that inspire the pursuit of STEM careers.” BeerBots is a fun way to show the promise of their efforts and share its relevance with the technology community.

On another level, it’s a chance to relax with coworkers while nerding out and working with robotics. Over the course of the event, our CleanSlate crew created robots, drank beer, ate pizza, and teamed-up to win prizes in battle. The game is simple: Robots battle for 1 minute, with a mandatory driver change at the 30-second mark. As the rules state, “Both offense and defense are permitted during the battle, and strategy is key.” The first-place team wins a trophy. Three other teams get the Badass Award, the Nerd Award, and the Terminator Award.

If you or your company are looking for a fun teambuilding activity, contact TechPoint Foundation for Youth for more information.

 

Salesforce Winter ’18 Release Highlights

Salesforce Winter ’18 Release Highlights

Each year, Salesforce comes out with three different releases during the spring, summer, and winter. Their releases typically address customer issues, how to create more momentum for the platform, and any bugs from previous versions.

The Winter ’18 release is focused on three main categories: AI (Artificial Intelligence), decreasing click rates, and improvements to the Lightning interface. You can check out all the details of these improvements in the Salesforce Winter ’18 release notes.

If you don’t want to read through all the release notes, here are the highlights directly from Salesforce:

“Winter ’18 builds artificial intelligence right into the Salesforce platform, so you can build apps that get smarter with every interaction. Salesforce Einstein also powers improved lead scoring, data discovery, duplicate management, and recommendations.

Lightning Partner Central extends Salesforce CRM to your partner network, while Lightning Omni-Channel helps you route customer service cases to the right agent at the right time. You get more tools to help your users adopt Lightning Experience, plus Lightning console split view, which lets you open multiple records and related records on one screen.”

As you can probably tell, the biggest updates to Salesforce in the Winter ’18 release revolve around AI, or what Salesforce is calling Einstein. It’s an exciting new feature, and eventually, it will assist your organization with adaptive learning—something we can’t wait to see.

Click rate minimization is another important development, and Salesforce is doing a great job of minimizing the amount of clicks it takes to complete a task. This saves end users time and streamlines their experience, making Salesforce one of the most efficient CRM products on the market.

The Lightning platform is nothing new, but Salesforce is still not done tweaking the UI. The Winter ‘18 release fixed many bugs with the interface, increases efficiency, and also changes the background to reduce white space.

Our team is excited about the Winter ’18 release, and we’re preparing for the release module to be available on Trailhead. We’ll keep you posted with all the latest Salesforce news—and if you need support with Salesforce updates or any of your technology, contact us today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dream Lives On: A Midwest Dreamin’ Wrap-up

On August 10th and 11th, the CleanSlate team attended Midwest Dreamin’: a regional conference in Chicago that brings together the best of the Midwestern Salesforce community. Midwest Dreamin’ is two days of networking, continuing education, training, and meeting with vendors and partners—and this year, CleanSlate was a Silver Sponsor for the event along with CheckMarx.

If you’re familiar with Salesforce, you’ve probably already heard of Dreamforce in San Francisco. Midwest Dreamin was inspired by this annual event, giving people the opportunity to attend a similar conference on a smaller, more affordable scale.

What we learned.

The training seminars offered at Midwest Dreamin’ this year covered lots of subjects that are key to the Salesforce platform. They included:

  • Automation
  • Conversion to Lightning User Interface (UI)
  • Apex development
  • Data migration
  • Data management and security
  • AppExchange tools

Why we sponsor Midwest Dreamin’.

As a Silver Sponsor for Midwest Dreamin’ 17, we were able to meet vendors and people from within the Salesforce community who showed us lots of new products and services that can benefit our customers. We also got the chance to introduce ourselves—and our company—to other people using Salesforce.

But the reason for our sponsorship goes beyond networking—because we think it’s important to support our local community of Salesforce users however we can. And sponsoring Midwest Dreamin’ is one of the best ways we can do that.

Two inspiring nonprofits.

Indianapolis faces the challenge of not having enough technical talent to meet current job demand. We met two inspiring nonprofit organizations at Midwest Dreamin’ that are helping close the gap between talented young adults without access to higher learning and jobs requiring post-secondary education.

The first nonprofit we met was Year Up, an organization whose mission is to empower low-income adults in making the transition from poverty to rewarding careers. Year Up provides one-year, intensive training programs for young adults with an emphasis on hands-on skills development, coursework eligible for college credit, corporate internships, and wraparound support. We believe in their mission—and if you do too, you can support them here.

The other nonprofit that caught our attention was Pep up Tech, an organization dedicated to enabling community-based groups with technology programs for underserved people. Their goal is to inspire others with computer science and technology—and we think that’s pretty cool. If you feel inspired, you can help support their good work.

Our team at CleanSlate had a great time at Midwest Dreamin’ 17, and we’re excited to go back next year. If your company is using Salesforce and you need help getting the most out of the platform, we can help. Contact us today to learn more.