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Chatter – Not a big release for Chatter, but some nice new features.
With Spring 14, Topics move beyond just Chatter and start to take a big step forward.
First, Topics are now able to be set on records. When you activate this, the old Tags
functionality is turned off and users will have the ability to add topics on records.
Topics can be suggested to your users based on fields you select. So, if you want
Accounts flagged by their Industry, you can have that field offer the tag suggestion.
This is still an evolving feature though. For example, if you go to the Topic page,
records with that topic are not visible there yet. However, in this release, Topics is
now a filter you can use in List Views.
In addition to being across records, you can now endorse users for particular topics. Have
a user who is a subject matter expert on a product line or a particular industry? Endorse
them for that skill. There is also a Skills pilot that is just released – which seems really
similar to this – so I’m not sure how these will work together. Essentially though, it’s a
way to refer users asking questions or having issues on a Topic to the users who know
that Topic well. Crowd-sourcing your internal knowledge. Finally, Topics are now in the
Global Search as an auto-fill. Clicking on it will bring you to that Topic’s Chatter page.
Topics on Records
Announcements in Chatter Groups –new feature for Chatter Groups. Now you can
add an announcement for all Group members to see. It sits in the left hand side (see
the red highlighted box below) and can have an expiration date for how long it
remains. Particularly useful as Chatter Groups are being used more in Communities.
As users are updating Chatter
throughout the day, each post and
comment continues to move to the
bottom. Oftentimes, these are
important company announcements
which were posted at the beginning of
the day. As a result, these posts get
missed. We’ve heard this complaint
before from friends and clients. As a
consequence, sales managers and company leaders revert back to email when sending
out an important announcement. With Chatter announcements, your post is
highlighted to ensure everyone easily sees it.
Chatter Group Announcements
Email to Chatter Groups – You can now email directly to a Chatter Group. Nice
feature for forwarding important information. Any hash tag within the email is
automatically added as a Topic to the post.
Data Import Wizard
A new Data Import Wizard is now available, and it combines all of the different
stand-alone wizards that were out there into one consolidated loader. Leads,
Accounts, Contacts and Solutions can now all be uploaded from this. Definitely an
easier UI, but not much in terms of new functionality outside of a more stream-lined
Customize Branding for Email Notifications (Chatter)
Not the biggest and baddest feature on the docket but one that continues the
movement towards being able to drop the “Chatter” monicker. Just know that your platform
has collaboration built in. It’s a nice boost for companies that hesitate turning on great
features because they don’t adhere to corporate branding standards. Now you can have
custom values for the email sender’s name and address, footer text, and the logo that displays
in the footer.
Feed Based Layouts
Cases have already had a “feed” view for a while now, but with Spring 14 it’s now
available across all objects. Instead of having the feed across the top, it’s now a
tabbed approach with the Chatter feed and all the feed actions on one tab, and the
record details on another. For companies already embracing Chatter, this will be a
very nice addition, but if you’re not leveraging Chatter too much yet, this probably
won’t be something you want to activate.
More improvements to Forecasting. Salesforce has been steadily improving this over
the last few releases. If you’re forecasting model isn’t too complicated, or if you’re
just trying to establish one, you should think strongly about using this as the backbone
for it. Spring 14 has a few improvements of its own. First, is the ability to flip
between 3 different types of forecasts. You can now look at Opportunity Forecast
from the stand-point of Revenue, Quantity or both, Opportunities with Splits based on
Revenue, or Product forecasts from the stand-point of Revenue, Quantity or both.
Each of these types can be enabled or disabled by the admin. In addition, in reporting,
there is now a smart filter for Managers to be able to filter their results for just their
direct reports. A nice usability improvement. Finally, more as an FYI, the old
Forecast 1.0, will be retired in Summer 14, so if you’re still on that, you need to get
off this release.
There’s some pretty exciting new stuff with Flow and Workflow. The most exciting is
actually a Pilot, so you’ll need to get it enabled. Essentially though, you can now
launch a flow from workflow. So, if you have a complex process with lots of steps
that you used flow to map out, you can now have it triggered by workflow. Before
you needed Apex to have this done. This will gives admins a lot more fire-power with
their automation without the need for a developer. Outside of the pilot, there were
some other improvements to flow as well: Picklist values are now automatically
available to choose within flow, Date/Time fields are now supported, and there is now
improved logging. If you’re a Flow user, including the Trigger from Workflow pilot,
there are also a handful of other Flow pilots that would be worth looking at.
Improved Splits Flow
Splits get a UI facelift which is more of a wizard. Users can now move faster through
adding a split.
More File Storage
File Storage has been bumped up from 612MB per user to 2GB. Hopefully this is a
trend and we’ll see more data storage soon.
Salesforce.com Spring ’14 Other New Features
Twitter Profiles in Salesforce1
Last November as everyone was getting ready
for Dreamforce ’13, Salesforce released their new
mobile platform Salesforce1. This was a big victory
in the mobile space and over the past two months, we
have seen widespread adoption of the Salesforce1
mobile apps among our friends and clients. In Spring
’14, the records of your contacts, leads or accounts
will now show the individual’s Twitter profile,
meaning, when you are viewing a record in the
Salesforce1 mobile app, you can keep up with their
tweets as well. This ensures your ability to stay
connected and up-to-speed with your contacts.
Task Assignment Notifications in Salesforce1
As I write this, I received a notification on my iPhone from our local news provider alerting
me of a traffic backup in my area as well as a notification that someone retweeted one of my
tweets. With the Spring ’14 release, you will immediately receive task assignment
notifications on your mobile device through the Salesforce1 mobile app. You are probably
familiar with the bell icon notifying you of Chatter posts. Now, tasks will be included in that
notification window. Yes, the Salesforce1 mobile app has made us all much more mobile but
with this upcoming feature, we will able to keep up with those important deals and tasks that
we are working on with our team.
Salesforce Files Sync
In a world of creating multiple versions
of files and sharing them among the
team, Spring ’14 is greatly improving
the Files object. The Salesforce Files
Sync will be able to sync files on your
desktop to Salesforce. Soon, users
within Salesforce can access their files
from anywhere. Not only will it sync
with your desktop files but it will also
upload the latest version and alert
others when a new version has been published. No longer will multiple versions be floating
around the office. Instead, everyone can be assured that they have the latest file. Please note
that this feature will be in pilot mode. You will have to contact Salesforce.com to obtain
access to this feature. Rest assured though that once it gets through the pilot mode, it will be
available to everyone else.
A Few Other Features Worth Noting
While we are most excited about these six features that will come in the Spring ’14 release,
there are many more worth exploring. We intend to create more blog posts introducing these
to you. For example, we are anxious to learn about:
Salesforce for Outlook improvements and the ability to do one-click creation of a
case from Outlook
Floating headers in our reports that will freeze columns and rows
Calibration in Salesforce.com’s Work.com application which could bring more
“spreadsheet” capabilities into Salesforce
Mobile Communities for Sales Cloud and Service Cloud
Login with Salesforce that will use your Salesforce login credentials to obtain
access to your ecosystem of apps
Badging in Chatter communities for the added ability to recognize your employees,
customers or partners.
Salesforce 1 Mobile App
The Salesforce app has gotten a complete makeover and now offers
enhanced functionality on your mobile devices. You can now sell, service
and market like never before, and get ahead of your customers even in this
fast-paced digital world.
In addition to being able to use Chatter, users now have the same great
functionality they have come to expect from the desktop site, including:
Your Sales, Service and Marketing Clouds right at your fingertips, including all of the
customizations you have made to your Salesforce.com platform to fit your unique
Access Salesforce’s world class AppExchange, with all of your customer, employee,
and partner apps and CRM integrations ready to available for download and use from
any device you choose
Ability to view, edit and collaborate on cases, so lag time between cases logged and
resolved decreases drastically
Creating communities to better support your customer base and provide them with the
they need in a timely manner
All of these features allow you to keep your business moving, even when you are not at your
Salesforce A Admin Mobile App
In addition to the great functionality being deployed on the
Salesforce 1 mobile app, they are also offering Salesforce A for
administrators, making it easier for them to manage the internal
working of your company at your fingertips, including:
Setting and resetting passwords for users
Activating and deactivating users, which is especially useful
for companies with high turnover, or growing companies
who are always adding new employees
Viewing release notes on the latest features
No longer does the administrator have to be tied to their desk to be
able to keep the company’s Salesforce platform well maintained.
This new feature in the ExactTarget Marketing
Cloud allows users to create targeted notifications
for customers on their mobile apps, and send
location-based notifications to a specified area, as
well as rich messages that include multimedia
content, making the customer experience with your
app a more meaningful touchpoint.