What Are You Thankful For?

GivingTuesday is coming up soon. And regardless of whether there’s any official activity in your community, you can still give of your time, talents or dollars, to those less fortunate. Dig deep. Think about what you have, and how you got to where you are today. I’m sure you’ll discover an organization whose mission is to support a cause that’s important to you.

For me, that’s Project Night Night. 15 years ago I began a journey through the darkest part of my life. My family and I struggled financially – we kept the power on in our home and kept food on the table, but we couldn’t always pay the mortgage or many of the other obligations we had. Somehow, we survived and even managed to keep our home. But for much of that time, I felt like we could have been just days or minutes away from homelessness.

What turned things around for us, was me stumbling into a job that became my entry point into the Salesforce ecosystem. It was really pure luck, and being at the right place and time. And from one person seeing something inside me, and giving me a chance at a new start to my career. (Thanks Pauline!) Shortly after that I was introduced to the Salesforce Community, and that’s when my career really started to blossom. Within a year, I started a local Salesforce Community group, and a year later I launched the very first Midwest Dreamin’, a Salesforce Community-led Conference. In 2012, I hosted the first Newbie “Reunion” Breakfast at Dreamforce – the event that became known as “The Bacon Breakfast.” Then, in 2013, I was named a Salesforce MVP for the first time, and it was at the 2013 Salesforce MVP Summit when I first met Project Night Night.

As soon as I discovered Project Night Night’s mission, it touched me deep in my heart, because I realized that the children they help, could have been my children – we were that close to homelessness. Project Night Night’s mission is to provide free Night Night Packages to homeless children from birth to pre-teen who need our childhood essentials to have a concrete and predictable source of security and increased exposure to high-quality literacy materials during this time of upheaval. Each Night Night Package contains a new security blanket, an age-appropriate children’s book, and a stuffed animal — all nestled inside of a new canvas tote bag. Put simply, the Night Night Packages provided by Project Night Night may be the only thing a child in homelessness had that they can truly call their own. It helps provide a sense of security, no matter where the child lays their head down every night.

They can’t fulfill their mission alone…won’t you please help me support the children of homelessness by supporting Project Night Night, by making a donation today?

3 Things You Might Not Know about Declarative Webhooks

The Growing Salesforce Ecosystem

Of the 76,000+ Salesforce certified professionals, Administrators are growing at a rapid pace: 37% a year! For reference, that’s the 4th highest occupation rate growth in the United States. The fourth highest! At the same time, Salesforce implementations requiring at least one integration with an external application are on the rise.  Oftentimes these integrations require custom code just to send data out of Salesforce.  So why are there so few tools in the Salesforce AppExchange, solving for this frequent business issue, that are built specifically for Admins? That’s exactly the question the team behind Declarative Webhooks asked. And furthermore, why spend thousands of dollars on custom development or learning a new off-platform app when you could implement a 100% native, fully declarative, but extremely robust tool that any Admin can use?  

A Brief History of Omnivo Digital

After 6 years of running Omnivo Digital, a Certified Salesforce Partner, and a combined 30+ years experience with the platform, Adam Zuckerman, Jason Sun, and Lucian Ciobanu recognized multiple opportunities in the marketplace. The first one they wanted to tackle? Integrations.  After having implemented custom integrations for hundreds of Salesforce projects and having to write custom APEX code to support many, including relatively simple integrations, they thought, “Why do Admins have to search for external solutions or hire developers to resort to custom code when they want to connect Salesforce to third party apps?”,  “Why is there an Outbound Message feature in Salesforce that only supports SOAP and not REST, the more popular framework for integrations and exchanging data these days?”, and finally “Why are we having to write custom code for so many of our integrations?”

So, they took their extensive experience with Salesforce development and cross-platform integration and developed Declarative Webhooks to solve this problem.  

Here are 3 things you might not know about Declarative Webhooks. 

  • It has a fully declarative interface. True to its name, the Declarative Webhooks tool is one that any Admin can use to build integrations between Salesforce and external systems. The point-and-click experience is key to accessibility, low cost, and time-to-implement, all the things we value in the growing Salesforce ecosystem.
  • You can build JSON from parent-child relationships and apply filters using SOQL. Declarative Webhooks enables Admins to easily create Callout Templates and data structures using an intuitive JSON Builder. Admins can apply filters with an easy-to-use interface or with custom SOQL, if desired.  They can also map data from both related parent objects and child related lists (with filters on child records too!) in the JSON data structure. Additionally, users can use a response builder to trigger multiple response actions. Did I mention you can integrate with platforms no matter what kind of authorization  method their API requires?
  • You can implement a callout in a button, flow, process builder, or scheduled batch. No matter what requirements your business or users have, Declarative Webhooks can flex to meet them. Whether you want to automatically trigger a webhook with a flow or process builder, run them on a schedule, or give your users a button to make the callout themselves, the choice is at your fingertips. 

The Hook about Declarative Webhooks

So next time you have a use case where you need to integrate your Salesforce with an external application, before hitting the custom development panic button, give Declarative Webhooks a try!  With the free tier, you can create a callout template and up to 100 callouts per month to take the tool for a test drive. 

3 Things You May Not Know About Mulesoft Composer

Mulesoft Composer became generally available for Salesforce customers in mid-March, in the middle of the pandemic. And even with the lack of normalcy in the world, it didn’t go unnoticed. 

“The idea behind MuleSoft Composer is to give business teams a simple way to leverage data any way necessary to create new digital services.”

Data Integration Solutions News

A Brief History

Mulesoft was founded in 2006, as MuleSource. In 2009 the name was changed to Mulesoft. Over the next several years the company became a leader in the application integration space, with continuous  growth and innovation, and was acquired by Salesforce in 2018. Mulesoft Composer became generally available in March, 2021. 

Here’s 3 things you might not know about Mulesoft Composer. 

  1. Mulesoft Composer is code-free, point & click 

Mulesoft Composer is helping to grow citizen developers with its code-free, point & click environment that previews connections as you build them. Wow – a preview of the connections as you build them. That certainly solves the problem that end users don’t always know what data they want to integrate until they see it, and since it’s also point & click, those citizen developers (end users) don’t have to wait for IT teams to build those integrations either! 

Mulesoft Composer screen shot
  1. Business Technologists are power users

According to a Gartner report, the number of business technologists will exceed the number of IT professionals by a factor of 4 within the next 2 years. Mulesoft Composer was built specifically with the line-of-business (LOB) end user, the power user, the Business Technologist, in mind. This empowers end users to help IT teams better scale the organization as it grows.

  1. Speeds Integrations & boost collaboration with pre-built Connectors

WIth many pre-built connectors, it is fast and easy to connect data from applications like NetSuite, Workday, Slack, Google Sheets, Tableau CRM, and Salesforce. And since Mulesoft Composer is built on the Anypoint Platform, it shares the same enterprise-grade runtime, security, governance & scalability capabilities, which helps to boost collaboration between lines of business (LOB) and IT.

Mulesoft Composer Use Cases

So…what are you waiting for? Just think of all the amazing things your business could be doing thanks to Mulesoft Composer. Want to learn more about the amazing capabilities of Mulesoft Composer, check out these product spotlights, then contact Salesforce to get started. 

5 Things You Might Not Know About SharinPix

Now I know what you’re thinking…photos in my CRM? That’s crazy talk. First off, why would I need photos in CRM? And second, won’t that eat up all my storage space?

Yeah, I thought both those things at first too. Then I discovered SharinPix. 

SharinPix not only makes it easy to bring the power of images to Salesforce, you can do it without writing a line of code, offering it to your customers, field service workers, agents, marketing team, community or any other Salesforce user.

Here’s five things you might not know about SharinPix.

  • Vision: Let’s start by examining the vision of SharinPix. According to their website, their vision is to empower users with advanced image management features, leverage the capabilities of Salesforce with integrated image usage, and automate business processes that start with image content. Breaking that down some, since the popularization of the smartphone, people have been taking pictures every day for a wide variety of reasons, including: to share on social media with family and friends, to prove or explain something or to save time on note-taking.
Young people watching a live streaming. Social media concept.
  • Unlimited Storage: SharinPix doesn’t store your photos in your Salesforce instance. Rather they are stored securely via their Album Component in a way that doesn’t count against your Salesforce limitations. This method enables SharinPix to offer all its customers unlimited storage, so you can use all the images you need to, whenever you need them. And you can do this regardless of how you use Salesforce: Classic, Lightning or Mobile.
  • Many Use Cases: SharinPix helps with retail execution. Imagine you’re a beverage supplier with hundreds of reps working sales routes in the field, and the corporate office requires these reps to submit photos of stock and special displays at every store they service and every competitor they encounter. WIth SharinPix, your field sales reps simply take photos that showcase their displays and highlight what competitors are doing. SharinPix handles the rest. Using Einstein Object Detection, the retail display images are automatically analyzed to extract the insights you need, stored in a custom object in Salesforce. Managers get near real time access to the work the reps are doing, and the reps don’t have to spend their evenings renaming and uploading files. SharinPix helps with field service, marketing, image design & validation for franchises and much more. 
  • Not Just an Image App: Since SharinPix comes in many forms, including Lightning Components, Visualforce pages and even HTML5 components, you can drag and drop SharinPix onto any Salesforce record page and start using it immediately, whether at your desk or on the go. And SharinPix can be even part of your branded experience for your community users. But wait, there’s more! Need to update a field in Salesforce when an image gets added or updated? You can do that with workflows!
  • Pricing and Plans for Everyone: No matter what your SharinPix usage is, there’s a plan for you. The Basic Plan includes unlimited storage, the desktop experience and basic image format. The Premium Plan also includes the Mobile Online Experience, which is required for the Salesforce Mobile App. The Premium Plan also includes Extended Image Format, Annotation, Tag & Search, Images as Salesforce Fields and Records & more. The Enterprise Plan also includes the Mobile Offline Experience, smart components with image features for smart implementation, Smart Document Scanning, Smart PDF Generation, Smart Google Maps with Checkpoints and Annotations, Smart PDF to Salesforce fields and more!

You can learn more and start a free 14 day trial on the Salesforce AppExchange.

5 Things You May Not Know About Akoonu for Pipeline Reviews

For sales teams, success depends on the pipeline and winning deals.  But managing the sales pipeline today is full of frustrations.  Poor visibility, bad data, and insufficient reporting mean that pipeline reviews are inefficient at best, and more typically frustrating and unsatisfying experiences for everyone.  Basic questions like “What has changed?” or “What deals are going to close?” are left incomplete or unanswered.

Akoonu for Pipeline Reviews, a native app in Salesforce, is game changing for pipeline reviews. It gives sales reps, managers and executives quick access to powerful views in order to inspect and manage the pipeline they own or oversee. They can stop the guesswork, stop the spreadsheets and custom reporting, stop the endless clicking, and focus on winning.

Here are 5 things you may not know about Akoonu for Pipeline Reviews:

1. Immediately know what has changed

The first question in most Pipeline Review meetings is “What’s Changed?” , which is surprisingly hard for most teams to answer!  The Pipeline Flow view in Akoonu is built to clearly answer this question.  It is the perfect starting point for any sales manager or executive to dig into the pipeline.
In this view, the deal changes are analyzed for a specific time.  For example, it will summarize how the Current Quarter’s deals have changed in the last 7 days.   The results are presented in two easy to digest ways: 1) a flow chart depicts new deals, wins, losses, pushes, pulls and value changes, and 2) a waterfall chart clearly illustrates how these changes impacted the overall pipeline number.

2. “Cross Object” Filters and Groupings 

Sales Ops could spend all of their time creating custom reports, but never fully satisfy the needs of how sales management would like to view their pipeline.  Things change, different people want to look at things in different ways.  Two powerful capabilities in Akoonu allow users to focus on exactly what opportunities they want to review, eliminating the endless streams of custom reporting requests.

First, users can add any number of filters to their views.  They can select a part of their team hierarchy, and can include filters on any opportunity field, any field from related objects (like the Account or Owner), and even any Product field. For advanced users, Custom Logic can be applied to craft the perfect view.

Second, users can choose how to group and summarize deals in the List View.  Again, users have the choice of grouping on any Opportunity field, any field on related objects, or any Product fields.  Sub-totals summarize the pipeline value for each group, and users can use “nested groupings” and layer subtotals to an unlimited depth.

3. Support your Sales Process with embedded components and configurable Actions

One of the primary objectives of pipeline review meetings is to evaluate the status of each opportunity, guide and coach reps to the next appropriate action, and enforce compliance of the company’s sales process.  

Akoonu for Pipeline Reviews can be customized to deeply support any sales process, be it a variation of industry standards like BANT or MEDDIC, or something completely homegrown.  This is enabled through the use of embedded UI components.  Organizations can create new Lightning Components, or use existing ones, directly in the Akoonu user interface creating a seamless, guided experience for sales reps and managers.  

Additionally, user Actions can be created to trigger Lightning Flows, Lightning Components, record edits, and more to put the reps’ key activities directly in the app.

4.  Guided Setup and Configuration App

Akoonu for Pipeline Reviews is highly configurable, and comes with a fully featured setup and configuration app for system administrators.  Every setting and option are available in this UI with contextual help content, eliminating the confusion and errors of directly editing configuration metadata.

Starting with a “Click to Configure” launching point, organizations can be fully configured in no time.  

5.  Data Security:  Data never leaves the Salesforce Platform

Most tools that provide sophisticated analysis of Salesforce data work “off platform”, exporting or syncing data to outside systems and applications to do complex analysis.  Not Akoonu.  Akoonu for Pipeline Reviews works in Salesforce, in real-time, with algorithms specifically built to perform and scale within the limitations and restrictions of being native in the Salesforce platform.  

Customer data stays locked down, in-place, within Salesforce’s secure Cloud, and Akoonu users don’t experience any of the data-syncing headaches and Info Sec concerns typical when connecting to outside applications.

Want to see Akoonu for Pipeline Reviews in action?  Both a Test Drive and a 30 day trial are available from the Salesforce AppExchange listing.

It’s All About Perspective

I’ve always thought that I was the kind of person who could empathize with those in different situations and from different backgrounds the me. I was raised in an upper middle class, predominantly white neighborhood, by 2 parents with 1 sibling. I had a nice childhood.

I never had to wonder where my next meal was coming from. I never had to worry about being too cold or too hot. My family could afford everything we needed, and much of what we wanted.

Growing up, my friends and classmates, as well as most of the population surrounding me, all looked like me. It wasn’t until I was in college that I started to experience the true diversity of the human race.

There were so many different colors of people, in both the literal sense and the figurative sense. I saw their struggles for attention. I saw their struggles to stay fed and warm. I saw their struggles to move around freely in a society that seemed to not care about almost anyone who’s upbringing and background was different.

In my eyes, we were all human. We all deserved our space on earth, and we all deserved the opportunity for a healthy and happy life – based on how ever we defined that for ourselves.

Once in college, I quickly made friends who didn’t look like me. Building relationships just came easy for me.

After graduating, I entered the world of the working people – I had good jobs at good companies. I had friends, food on the table whenever I wanted it, and a roof over my head. I could come and go as I pleased, without any real challenges.

Life was good.

Last weekend, I had an accident. It was caused by my own carelessness, I was trying to do something on my own that I really should have had help with. But I just wanted it done, so I set out to do it on my own.

I was making progress towards my goal, moving about the room, from ladder to ladder. And then, bam! I missed a rung on the ladder and went crashing to the floor about 4 feet below where my feet once were planted.

My hip struck the floor first, and within a nano second, I broke the rest of my fall with my arm.

Things hurt.

I laid there on the floor of our new shed for a minute or two, covered by the batt of insulation that came down on top of me.

I stood up. I walked around the room a bit. Nothing really hurt too bad, so I grabbed the insulation and the heavy duty stapler again and started to climb the ladder. As I lifted the insulation over my head, I discovered more pain. I could no longer do what I wanted to do. It hurt too much.

And yet, I chose not to seek medical attention because I figured if something was broken, it would hurt a lot worse than it was.

Over the next 4 days, the visible signs of the injuries grew. The bruising got larger, and more ugly by the hour. The pain in my hip was tolerable, but the pain in my shoulder was past the point where I could stand it without medication. Sleeping comfortably didn’t exist anymore. It became difficult to lift a glass of water or hold a fork full of food in my right hand. (It has always been a little difficult to do that in my left hand, as my right hand is the dominant one.)

I quickly began to realize just how difficult life must be for those with visible or invisible physical challenges.

I called my primary care provider who sent me to get X-rays done of my hip and shoulder. The X-rays showed a severe bruising of my hip and an avulsion fracture of the greater tuberosity in my shoulder. Huh? What? So that means the part of my shoulder where the tendons connect my rotator cuff to my shoulder muscles was fractured. Cracked.

See that gap inside the red circle? Yeah – that’s not supposed to be there. Of course for a fractured shoulder the treatment is to immobilize it. So now I have to wear a sling and an abductor pillow for at least 21 days to help restrict the movement of my shoulder, in hopes it will heal on its own. And if it doesn’t, surgery is likely in my future.

Doesn’t that look comfortable? And did I mention the Orthopedic doctor said I should wear it 24/7 except when I’m taking a shower?

I’m normally a stomach sleeper, with my right arm folded and up underneath my head. There’s no way I would be able to sleep like that with this sling on. Needless to say, I haven’t been sleeping as good or as much as I normally do due to the discomfort, no, due to the pain and agony in both my shoulder and my hip.

Enough about me and my injury. None of that is really the point of this post.

What I quickly discovered was that many of the things I needed to do on a daily basis were much more difficult than then were just a few days earlier. As I mentioned earlier, what were once simple tasks – changing clothes, using the rest room, eating, getting in and out of a vehicle – were no longer simple.

I had to have help fastening my pants because I couldn’t button them or close the zipper with just my left hand. Eating a meal took much longer than before, and if the food needed cut into bites & that couldn’t be done with just a fork, yep, I needed help with that too.

I discovered quickly that I had taken for granted the fact that I could so these simple things…and now I couldn’t, without help or without significant pain and moving the shoulder that was supposed to stay immobilized.

I know plenty of people who have different levels of physical abilities. Some who have been forced to deal with that their entire life, and others that began more recently as a result of an accident or illness. And now I was along the population of those differently abled.

I now have a new appreciation for being able to take care of myself. And I have a new appreciation for those who struggle with disabilities, whether visible or invisible, every single moment of their lives.

I’ve gained a new level of empathy and respect after walking a mile in the shoes of the differently abled.

I’m grateful that it was only a fractured shoulder, because if I had broken my hip, my road to recover would most certainly be a much longer and more difficult one.

You never know what curves life will throw your way, so make sure you are always grateful for what you have. And please treat those who are different than you, with respect, dignity and empathy.

A Job Search, Decision-Making Guide: Checking Off All The Boxes

job search

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Salesforce Admin, Architect, Developer, or End User. I’m sure there have been times in your life and career where you created a list for some reason. A shopping list; a to-do list; a list of step-by-step instructions; or even a pros vs. cons list. Lists help us keep organized. Lists help us teach others. Lists help us to not forget something. And lists even help us make life-altering decisions like how to evaluate the results of a job search.

A Job Search – Now I Have Your Attention!

Yes, that’s right. You guessed it. I’ve searched for a new job and am making a job change. For those of you who are really observant, you may have noticed some subtle changes to my social profiles over the past few weeks. I’m moving the bulk of my work energies away from ITequality, the fantastically diverse Registered Salesforce Consulting partner that I’ve called home for the past 10 months. It’s been a fun ride there, and I’ve accomplished what I set out to do there – primarily kicking off marketing efforts and helping set the organization up for growth and more success. And me moving on also gives the company the opportunity to help bring more new talent into the ecosystem.

C’mon Eric, Tell Us Where You Are Going!

Not so fast! First let me explain the job search process I went through. I bet some of you are thinking, “Please don’t talk about that, everyone knows how to go to Indeed.com and search for Salesforce Administrator, or whatever job title you are looking for.” And while that’s one way to search for a job, it’s not the one I used.

And now some of you are probably thinking, “so you went to Salesforce.com/careers, or direct to any number of company websites.” Once again, that is one job search tactic, and once again, it’s not the one I used.

Quit Teasing Us! Tell Us Where You Are Going!

Patience, my friends! I’m not done explaining exactly how I searched for my next role. Many of you probably know me as the “Kevin Bacon of the Salesforce Ecosystem”. Or perhaps you know me as the Founder of Midwest Dreamin’, a Salesforce Community-led Conference started in 2011 to bring people together to network and learn Salesforce. Or maybe you have seen me present at any number of events (Community-led conferences, Community Group meetings, Dreamforce, etc.) where my catch phrase has always been “For me, the greatest strength of the Salesforce ecosystem is it’s people, and the connections that are shared.”

That’s where I started my search – with my connections.

A Select Few – The Targeted Email Campaign

I started my job search by doing what some might call a rather unconventional approach. I thought about the hundreds of companies & thousands of people I know. I chose a very select few, those I felt that I trusted and know extremely well. I sent them a very simple email:

Hello <person name>, I don’t know if <company name> has any open roles that match what I’m looking for. I didn’t even check your website before sending this message. I simply wanted you to know I’m on the market for a new role, and wondered if we should have a conversation.

Surprising Results

The preliminary results of that campaign were very surprising. Most people not only read my email, but they responded. And they overwhelmingly responded with “Let’s talk.”

Over the next two weeks I had many wonderful conversations – I suppose I could have called them job interviews, especially since two of those conversations resulted in job offers. But because of the relationship I already had with the organizations and their people, these events felt more like casual conversations than stressful job interviews.

Was it a random thing, or was it destiny?

Then on a Friday afternoon, about a week into this job search process, I received a seemingly random LinkedIn message from the former Sr. Vice President of a company I had spent nearly 4 years at, working with this SVP for the first two of those years.

That message was very succinct: Hi Eric! I’m working at <Company “X”> now. We are expanding the marketing team as we scale up for growth. I’m wondering if you know of anyone with your stature in the Salesforce ecosystem who might be interested in a role very similar to the one you had when you were first hired at <former employer name>? Hope you and your family are well. Signed <Company “X” CMO>

My response to that was simple: Your timing is impeccable, as I’m looking for a new role. Let’s talk on Monday.

Did that just give it away?

Those of you who know me well, or those with a curious mind and the ability to do some searching have probably figured out part of the mystery. It shouldn’t take much sleuthing to figure out where I was hired close to 5 years ago. And with just a little more digging, you might even be able to figure out who the mystery person is that hired me back then (and did it again just a couple weeks ago.)

After a few conversations with this company’s team, I had a third offer sitting on the table – and had a monumental, life-changing decision to make.

We make tough choices all the time…

Life is full of tough choices – that’s something my Dad used to tell me a lot when I was growing up. And that was usually followed by, “Sometimes you just have to do things, whether you want to or not, because it’s your job.” Back then, he was referring to taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, cleaning my room, etc. All the typical things parents fuss at teenagers about.

As I got older and became a parent myself, I realized that my Dad was really teaching me how to make an important decision. And that’s exactly where I sat now – on the precipice of having to make a very important decision. So how do I do that? With a check list complete with boxes to put the “x” in. You do remember that the title of this blog said something about checking off all the boxes, right?

What’s in the box(es)?

Here’s where things get personal – your boxes may vary, because what’s important to me, may not be important to you. (And remember, just like most things in life, things change all the time. So what was important to you 5 years ago, may or may not be as important today.)

Show us your boxes already!

Ok, OK! Here’s my box(es)!

Ok, ok! Here’s my boxes – and I attempted to put them in priority order.

  1. What’s the company’s mission and is it something I would stand up for?
  2. Does the company value diversity, not only in it’s leadership team, but throughout everything they do? (Bonus points for having someone in a role with “Diversity” as part of their title, and even more bonus points for having ERGs [Employee Resource Groups] dedicated to diverse groups of people.)
  3. Who is on the team I would be a part of, do our personalities line up well, and who is my direct-line manager & what’s their management style?
  4. What’s my specific role within the organization, and how much authority will I have to do what I feel is right (without having to jump through a lot of hoops or approval chains first?) In other words – if I have an idea for something I think will work, can I simply make it happen, knowing that regardless of the outcome, my management team will be there for me?
  5. What if I want to learn new things, or attend conferences, once they start up as in-person events again? Will the company support those initiatives with either financial or time-off measures?
  6. Health Insurance & Benefits – I’ve got a family, and good medical/dental/vision coverage (that’s affordable) is important to me – as is NOT having to change providers because we like where we get our care from today.
  7. Compensation – what’s the salary? You know, the cash-in-my-pocket on pay day. And even beyond that, what about longer-term security for me and my family? Is there a 401(k), and how generous is the company match, if one exists?

Finally the announcement you’ve all be waiting for!

In the final analysis, I sent an email to the company whose offer I was turning down that said this:

Let me tell you that this has been by far, one of the most gut wrenching decision I’ve ever had to make in my life. Possibly only second to having to make the call to cancel Midwest Dreamin’ for 2020.

The conclusion I’ve come to, is that the other offer checks off all the boxes with a slightly heavier check mark than <Company “Y”>. So I am accepting the other offer.

And as you probably would have guessed, for me – it’s not all about the money either. As I discussed in our last call, there were a ton of factors weighing in on this choice, but please know, in the over-all analysis, there were no red-flags, not negatives about <Company “Y”>.

I really appreciate the time and effort you all put forth into this process. I think I’ve learned a few things from this too, and one of those is that, I really don’t like having to make a decision when it feels like I’m choosing between two friends.

I do hope you find someone to fill the role who will take <Company “Y”> to the next level…and you can bet I’ll be sharing the job posting out in my networks to see if anyone I know has an interest.

And the Winner is…<Company “X”>

Maria Pergolino! Uh, I mean ActiveCampaign! (Well, ok, it’s both, really.) Maria took a chance on me and hired me into the Marketing team as Advocacy Manager at Apttus in January, 2016. And now, whether it was a truly random chain of events, or a very calculated progression of her thoughts, Maria has hired me once again into a Marketing team that she is leading. This time into the role of Product Marketing Manager at ActiveCampaign. And I couldn’t be more excited to be going back home to work with Maria.

5 Things you might not know about Salesforce partner FairWarning

Guest post from Mike Mason, Senior Product Marketing Manager, FairWarning.

FairWarning is an ISV Salesforce partner – and here are 5 things everybody should know about us.

Kurt J. Long founded FairWarning after his own experience with a data breach.

Years ago, as founder and young CEO of the information security company OpenNetwork, Kurt was approached by the FBI after false information about a celebrity lawyer was sent from their network to a local radio personality, who read the information on-air to listeners. They needed to quickly determine where the leak originated, and whether they had somebody dangerous on staff. For three days, their key IT person – we’ll call him “Ken” – worked around the clock to investigate IP addresses and delve into all types of audit logs, painstakingly piecing together that the breach had come from an insider named “Don.” After this experience, Kurt realized the market needed a “Magic Button” that a business-minded person could push – one that would help organizations grow trust in their workforce while verifying that their access is above board. No other industry needed this more than the healthcare industry, due to the vast amount of sensitive data involved in patient care. FairWarning started there, monitoring electronic health record systems (EHRs) and other applications containing patient information. We introduced FairWarning for Salesforce in 2015 as a way for all types of organizations – not just healthcare – to unlock the information hidden in complex Salesforce Shield audit logs.

(EFD – Creating a product from a personal experience…I bet that’s how a lot of AppExchange partners go their start!)

FairWarning’s vision is to grow trust in an increasingly interconnected world.

According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, consumer trust in businesses has plummeted. As headlines of security breaches make their way to our news feeds nearly every day, citizens may feel that the organizations holding their most sensitive data care little about the security of that data. Everything that FairWarning does, from product upgrades to educating customers, is designed to help our customers grow that trust, both internally and with customers.

(EFD – All of us in the Salesforce Ohana understand the value of Trust.)

We want all business-minded users to have full visibility into Salesforce user activity – not just data scientists.

“Ken” from OpenNetwork spent three days combing through those audit logs to track down the origin of one leak. Had the FBI not notified Kurt of the leak, the company may have never known anything happened. FairWarning delivers that visibility by translating complex audit logs (e.g., Salesforce Shield Event Monitoring) into simplified, actionable insights and proactive alerts on specific user behavior. We believe everybody should have visibility into their cloud applications without having to turn to a data scientist to interpret the information within the applications’ audit logs. And we believe in providing a product that works when you need it most.

(EFD – Putting the power into the users’ hands!)

We work closely with Salesforce.com product development to help our customers unlock the full value of Salesforce and Shield.

Because visibility for all is so important to us, we are in constant contact with Salesforce.com product development and marketing to ensure that our customers’ voices are being heard within the Salesforce ecosystem. We have helped drive enhancements to Event Monitoring logs, and are currently working with a group of customers on real-time monitoring. In fact, our Dreamforce ‘18 messaging is “Empowering You to Take Shield to the Next Level.” We are a true partner for Salesforce and our customers, in every sense of the word.

(EFD – Be sure to visit with FairWarning while you are at Dreamforce!)

fairwarningbooth

FairWarning Senior Product Marketing Manager Mike Mason discusses how businesses can take Shield to the next level and get greater visibility into Salesforce by coupling FairWarning with Salesforce Shield Event Monitoring.

We are inspired by global adventure.

FairWarning’s values include “Growth,” and we’re inspired by challenges and adventures. For many years, we’ve had an internal Flag Program, where employees take a FairWarning Flag on their travels and submit photos of themselves in amazing locales (over 40 countries to date!). Recently, we opened the Flag Program to any customer who would like to take a piece of FairWarning with them. And FairWarning CEO/Creator Kurt J. Long is currently making his way across the Mediterranean for the 2018 Virgin Strive Challenge. The Challenge benefits Big Change, which works to give young people essential skills, opportunities, and support to grow within themselves and change the world. The five-stage challenge includes a duathlon across Sardinia, hike on Corsica, five-day cycling arm through the Southern Alps, Alpine hike, and scaling of Europe’s tallest mountain, Mont Blanc.

fairwarningflag

Customer Success Manager Megan Krieger displays the FairWarning flag while climbing the Salkantay Trek in Peru

(EFD – Wow! Now that’s a view that needs no warning!)

 

5 Things You Can do at Dreamforce Without Attending a Single Session

Guest post from James Lloyd-Townshend, CEO of Mason Frank International. James Lloyd-Townshend is the CEO of Mason Frank International, a specialist Salesforce recruiter and long-time Dreamforce sponsor. He has provided us with the following insight into what you can get up to at Dreamforce 2018, the biggest Salesforce event of the year.

Dreamforce truly is a dream for Salesforce professionals. With 3,000+ sessions over the four-day event, there’s every opportunity to learn more about your specialism or focus product within the Salesforce ecosystem, and gather insights into the future of the technology.

Arguably the best thing about Dreamforce, however, is the volume of exciting activities you can engage in without even visiting a breakout session. Some of the most innovative technology companies in the world are exhibiting in San Francisco this year and, like any good festival, sometimes you have to venture off the beaten path to find the real magic.

Here are five things you can do at Dreamforce 2018 without attending a single session:

Discounted training and certification

Salesforce has a fantastic open education portal that encourages professionals to learn at their own pace, wherever and whenever they like. This extends to its certification routes, as it’s now easier than ever to take online-proctored exams, meaning you don’t even have to leave your house to become a certified Salesforce pro.

One of the perks of attending Dreamforce, however, is the discounts you can get on both training and certification. Trailhead Bootcamps, led by seasoned Salesforce experts, are being held early in the week, and you can receive up to a 50% discount on certification exams if you register via the online portal. If you’ve been weighing up whether you can justify the expense of certification, you’ve just found your answer.

Find a job

The Salesforce Partner ecosystem is rich with growing enterprises, while End Users are always on the hunt for new talent. If you’re looking for a fresh new challenge, or you navigate the contract market, Dreamforce could be the perfect chance to link up with your next employer. However, if you don’t fancy wandering around resume in-hand, you could always take the opportunity to speak to a recruiter exhibiting at Dreamforce.

Mason Frank International is the largest recruiter of Salesforce jobs in the world and, having sponsored Dreamforce five years in a row, is well equipped to advise you on your next career move; even if that’s just giving you a few tips on where to look for jobs or how to optimize your resume for prospective employers.

Customer Success Expo

Are you interested in exploring the latest solutions created by ISVs? Dreamforce’s Customer Success Expo offers the perfect chance to test drive an independent application that could make your life a whole lot easier. With more than 400 Salesforce Partners showcasing their expertise at this event, consider it a Comic Con for Salesforce geeks, only instead of comic books and movie memorabilia, you might end up coming away with an innovative solution that doubles your earning potential.

Give back to the community (and see Metallica!)

Salesforce co-founder, Marc Benioff, is no stranger to philanthropy, and the fundraising efforts at Dreamforce 2018 demonstrate that perfectly. Attendees are being encouraged to complete Dreamforce Quests via the mobile app or at Quest Towers located throughout the campus; each completed Quest unlocks a $50 donation towards local charities in the San Francisco Bay area, in an effort to help end homelessness.

If that wasn’t enough, Salesforce’s legendary Dreamfest benefit concert has been supporting UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals for several years now, and the 2018 show will push the boat out even further by featuring rock legends Metallica. So whether you want to seek and destroy free cocktails, fade to black in the mosh pit, or nothing else matters to you except learning more about Salesforce, register your place for this concert for an unforgettable experience while raising money for children in need.

Party…party hard

There’s a reason why Dreamforce is affectionately nicknamed drunkforce by the Salesforce community. As well as the event itself doing its best to create a party atmosphere, the number of Dreamforce after-parties being hosted by partners and user groups will almost certainly set you up for a sore head. Check out Salesforce Ben’s Dreamforce party guide for a better idea of what’s in store, but you’re likely to end up being invited to several parties once you’re at the event. These parties offer a great opportunity to network, but you could always just play ping pong; nothing wrong with that!

Enjoy your time in San Francisco, and be sure to cram as much into your Dreamforce experience as possible. This is the biggest Salesforce event of the year, and of all time, so make the most of every second, whether that involves learning more about your focus product or watching MC Hammer do his thing at an after-party. This is what being part of the Salesforce Ohana is all about—see you there!

5 Things you might not know about Panaya – Managing Change Impact in Salesforce

Guest post from Ronit Eliav, Director of Product Marketing, Panaya

Who is Panaya and why we care about SFDC

Panaya is the leader in continuous delivery of innovation to the world of enterprise IT applications. As SFDC environments mature, they become more complex, making any system alteration or change a major risk. We enable risk-free change of Salesforce.com business applications.

What is RDx for SFDC

Panaya Release Dynamix (RDx) for Salesforce.com is a release management solution that pinpoints areas impacted by change so you can foresee and resolve potential change delivery risks. It helps you make informed decisions when going into production.

(EFD – Who remembers Panaya ChangeGuru, and who missed that when it was decommissioned off the AppExchange? Keep reading – you’ll enjoy the rest of this!)

How we provide visibility

With Panaya RDx for Salesforce, change is no longer a calculated guesswork.  How do we enable release certainty? The solution provides a full view of change dependencies and usage statistics so that you can pinpoint the  impact of all code developed. This way you can foresee and resolve any risks associated with the change prior to production.

(EFD – “Prior to production” – did you see that? You can see and resolve issues before things go live.)

Panaya Release Dynamix for Salesforce: Scoping

How we remove risk

Panaya RDx helps you understand the impact of all code developed before going to production. Once scoped items have been defined, you can decide which impacted customization and development components should be changed. For every scoped entity, a deep analysis is available, with detailed component dependencies including: code change highlights, usage rating, modification dates, and touchpoints to external applications. With an auto-generated list of impacted components, you can easily assign development and customization tasks to team members.

Panaya Release Dynamix for Salesforce: Dependency Map

How we ensure quality

Panaya RDx automatically generates test plans for safe release to production. Once the list of development and customization components has been created, a test plan can easily be defined. This is done based on an analysis of the chosen components and an auto-generated list of related testing entry points. For every entry point, a test owner may either link a test from an existing catalog, ask the system for test recommendations or create a new test.

(EFD – Panaya is trying to make your life easier. Shouldn’t you at least talk to them about a demo at Dreamforce?)

Release Dynamix for Salesforce addresses those pain points associated with releasing changes so that IT teams can deploy faster with quality. Calculated guesswork is removed and replaced with data-based decision making to ensure confident deployment.

See for yourself, download 5 tips to Safe and Fast Salesforce.com System Changes.