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 catching 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.

5 things you might not know about Salesforce Partner Digitsec, Inc.

Special guest post from Allison Wolf, Social Media Manager.

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Never heard of Digitsec, Inc.? Here’s 5 things you should know to about them.

1: We’re a young startup that packs a powerful punch.

DigitSec, Inc. was founded in early 2017 by our CEO, Waqas Nazir. Waqas had spent the previous 8 years working as a cyber security consultant for Fortune 100 companies and had amassed a large amount of knowledge and insight around SaaS application security design. After noticing a gap in the marketplace, he created S4 – SaaS Security Scanner for Salesforce. It was an instant success with clients and has continued to make waves in the Salesforce industry ever since. Shortly after the company was founded, DigitSec became a registered ISV partner with Salesforce – allowing us to join the AppExchange and help a greater number of people.

(EFD – Do you know the S4 process?)

2: S4, our SaaS security scanner, does a lot more to protect your data than other security solutions on the market.

With our patented white-box fuzzing, S4 can rapidly identify injection flaws other security scanners on the market aren’t able to detect. This enables us to offer vulnerability tracking for risks like authorization bypass, stored cross-site scripting, and Lightning components XSS – all of which are not currently offered by other similar security solutions. Learn more about the other risks and vulnerabilities we cover here.

(EFD – Check out the list of risks and vulernabilities covered…it’s quite a list!)

3. Salesforce security is more than what we sell – it’s what we practice every day.

At DigitSec, a commonality between employees is our passion for security. Everyday we think about how we can improve our solution and better protect Salesforce users. One of the ways we do this, is by looking ahead and keeping track of data privacy trends and compliance laws. Leading up to the GDPR for example, we devised our security scanner to account for each of the law’s relevant security regulations. By acting right away, we helped many companies meet compliance levels before it was too late – saving them from heavy fines and potential breaches.

(EFD – I’m sure many companies are glad to have you looking out for their interests when it comes to privacy and compliance laws!)

4. We put a high value on the relationships we’ve developed in the Salesforce community.

There’s hardly a Salesforce conference out there we haven’t been to and had a wonderful time at. We love our ever-growing Salesforce Ohana and can’t say ‘thank you,’ enough to the people we’ve met since the company first started. You’ve been our friends, our customers, and even our mentors.

digitsec london

Here’s Digitsec’s CRO Ryan Smith with Salesforce Trailblazer Community notables Lauren Touyet and Zachary Jeans. Photo taken at London’s Calling, February, 2017.

(EFD – The Salesforce Trailblazer Community is what brings us all together.)

5. We offer a free version of our SaaS security scanner you can test today.

At the end of the day, we want every Salesforce user to be able to have secure data. If they’re not aware of the risks their platforms face though, it’s hard to help them. That’s why we created a free version of S4. With one click, Salesforce users can scan their instance and receive a detailed report of the risks and vulnerabilities confronting it. You can test out the free version of S4 here.

(EFD – Be sure to check out the free version and get your detailed report.)

EFD – Thanks, Allison, for bringing the value of Digitsec to my attention and allowing me to share it with others.

Hurry! Offer Expires at 11:59 PM Central Time, July 31, 2018!

Want to Attend Dreamforce 2018, and Help Homeless Children at the Same Time?

If you had the chance to do something (that you do every year) and help a great cause at the same time, would you do it?

Yes, that was a rhetorical question, but do me a favor, answer it anyway.

My answer would be a resounding ‘Yes!’ I try to give back to the Salesforce community every chance I get. So I reached out into my network of connections in search of a pass to Dreamforce that I could auction off with the proceeds going to Project Night Night. I was very fortunate in that the first person I emailed replied back with a resounding “Happy to provide that for you.”

Today I’m thrilled to launch the 2018 edition of the “Attend Dreamforce, Help a Homeless Child” auction. The rules are pretty simple:

  1. Place you bid here.
  2. All entries must be received by 11:59 PM Central Time on July 31, 2018.
  3. The highest bid wins.
  4. Free pass covers conference registration fees only. All travel and other accomodations are the responsibility of the winner.

When registration for Dreamforce 2018 opens, the rate for a full Dreamforce pass will be $1,899.

One lucky winner will get a free pass to attend Dreamforce and many homeless children will get a NightNight pack from Project Night Night.

Please answer these two questions:

  1. Do you, or someone you know, still need a pass to Dreamforce, or want to save money on the pass you already have?
  2. Do you want to help children have sweeter dreams at the same time?

If you answered yes to both questions, please place your bids here. To see the current high bid, follow me on Twitter and search for #DF18PNN_HIGHBID.

The bidding will close at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, July 31, 2018.

If you happened to answer the first question with a no, please visit Project Night Night and consider making a donation.

Either way, please follow Project Night Night on Twitter and support their cause with prayers!

Thanks!

Come Celebrate a year of Salesforce Saturday in Chicago

Special Guest Post by Mary Tagler.

Mary Tagler

For Chicago, it all started with a Tweet.

The lovely Jen Nelson asked who ran our local Salesforce Saturday group and the answer was no one. At the time, I didn’t know a lot about Salesforce Saturday, but the idea intrigued me and I batted the idea of starting one around. Then I went to TrailheaDX in 2016 and met Stephanie Herrera. Her enthusiasm is infectious; the doubts and hesitations I had about kicking off a Salesforce Saturday group in my hometown transformed into ideas and excitement. I came back ready to make it happen.

So what is Salesforce Saturday? Started in 2015 in Austin, it has become a global movement to motivate and inspire our current and future Ohana while strengthening our community spirit. Spending your Saturday Salesforce-ing might sound strange as many of us spend our weekdays immersed in the system and weekends are our time, but I honestly look forward to every single one. It excites me to laugh, collaborate, network, and learn with some great people. I am so pleased to see new faces, satisfied when they find the help they seek, and elated when they come back for another one.

Our Midwest Dreamin’ 2018 Salesforce Saturday will be our one-year anniversary. In that year, I’ve meet some wonderful people and deepened relationships with others. We also grew from one Saturday a month to two and excitedly participated in the first Global Trailhead challenge.

Summer is one of the best times to explore Chicago. If you’re considering extending your Midwest Dreamin’ experience into the weekend, we would love to have you spend some of it with us at Salesforce Saturday.

Register for Chicago Salesforce Saturday, July 14, 2018 here.

Join the Chicago Salesforce Saturday group on the Trailblazer Community.

5 things you might not know about Skyvia – Salesforce data integration & backup platform

Special guest post from Alex Hirniy, Head of Skyvia Platform.

alex hirniy

Never heard of Skyvia? Here’s 5 things you should know to about them.

One: Skyvia is a product of Devart, a well-known vendor of a data connectivity solutions.

Devart is software development company with 20+ years of experience in creating the database tools for developers and administrators. The company has more than a dozen product lines and is trusted by over 40k of grateful customers, including companies from Fortune 100 and Fortune 500.

4 years ago Devart entered the cloud data integration market with Skyvia – at that time a simple Salesforce data loader tool. From that time the product has evolved greatly. Now Skyvia is a full-featured cloud data platform suitable for solving a wide range of business data-related tasks. Skyvia supports over 30 major cloud applications & databases and has over 20,000 of devoted users from companies of different sizes and industries.

(EFD – Are you one of the over 20,000 already using Skyvia?)

Two: All-in-one platform for a wide range of data-related tasks

Skyvia is an all-in-one cloud data platform with support for all major cloud and on-premise data sources. It solves a wide range of data related tasks, including no coding data integration for automating data workflows, managing data via SQL from web, exposing data as an OData endpoint, and protecting it via a secure cloud-to-cloud backup. Skyvia is an intuitive and easy-to-use web product that provides a convenient GUI to configure and automate your data-related tasks.

(EFD – Check out the supported data sources…it’s quite a list!)

Three: Easy Salesforce integration and backup

Skyvia’s goal is to automate routine tasks and data flows and save your time. It is a completely no coding solution both for IT professionals and people without any technical skills. You can use Skyvia to integrate Salesforce data with multiple cloud and on-premise data sources, ETL your business data to a database for archiving or analysis, expose database and cloud data via OData to access it directly from the Salesforce interface via Salesforce Connect, etc. All the integrations are configured in an intuitive UI and can be flexibly scheduled for automatic execution.

In addition to data integration, Skyvia platform offers a daily automatic backup for Salesforce. Skyvia stores your backups in a secure Azure GRS storage, and at any time you can restore your data directly from web browser in just a few clicks.

(EFD – Backups stored in Azure – wait a sec, that’s Microsoft!)

Four: We value our clients by delivering the best support

Skyvia team adheres to customer-oriented approach. We use best customer success practices in order to help our customers with on-boarding and assist should they have questions later on. Our customers address us the way they like: at our Support portal, via an online chat in the application, or just schedule a demo/on-boarding call with a technical specialist and management.

As a result, we help our customers to set up their accounts and solve even the most difficult scenarios quickly and seamlessly.

(EFD – The support portal looks similar to the Salesforce Trailblazer Community Answers forum.)

Five: Skyvia future plans

Skyvia’s mission is to provide a universal product for solving all the data related tasks in one platform suitable for companies of any size. We constantly improve Skyvia’s usability, performance, add support for more connectors, and we plan to significantly increase the number of supported cloud applications in near future. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority.

Currently, our team is developing a new product – a visual designer for automating workflows in a company and providing a true trigger-based integration. Find us in Facebook or Twitter and keep updated about our future releases and improvements, or try Skyvia right now.

(EFD – Check you their story, and be sure to check out the app.)

EFD – Thanks, Alex, for bringing the value of Skyvia to my attention and allowing me to share it with others.

5 things you might not know about Salesforce ISV Partner StatX

Special guest post from Prasad Raje, Founder & CEO, StatX.

Prasad Raje

Never heard of StatX? Here’s 5 things you should know to about them. (EFD – I had never heard of them until getting connected to them leading up to Midwest Dreamin’ 2017.)

One: StatX is to desktop browser apps what Salesforce was to on-premise apps.

Salesforce was built on the promise of “No Software” and was one of the pioneers of business apps in the cloud. StatX is taking this to the next level of “No Desktop”. We are a pure mobile app because this is the ubiquitous computer that is in the hands of 2.2 billion people and mobile use and traffic now exceeds desktop. (EFD – I wonder how many people are reading this post on a mobile device right now.)

Two: StatX is a complete re-thinking of business mobile apps.

Our design philosophy for StatX is that we do not want to re-create a miniature web app on mobile. Users do not want to click and explore or spend as much time in mobile apps as they do on the desktop in a web app. StatX is a complete re-think from the ground up of the mobile use case in a simple, beautiful, easy to use app. (EFD – So StatX is kind of like mobile phones were back in the 1980s…a totally new approach to an old problem.)

Three: StatX relieves pipeline anxiety.

StatX with Salesforce brings sales progress to the user instead of requiring constant attention, keeps teams in sync in real-time for faster communication on deals, presents deals and dashboards visually together for efficient consumption, enables easy succinct updates on deals on mobile to improve sales data quality and improves user adoption of Salesforce. See it in action in this demo video or try it for yourself by downloading the mobile app or try the Test Drive in AppExchange. (EFD – You’ve said a mouthful there – a very important mouthful: in sync, real-time, faster.)

Four: StatX is like Google Now™ for Business.

StatX also connects to other data sources in the cloud like QuickBooks, MailChimp, GitHub, Google Sheets or even desktop Excel to bring visual, succinct information to mobile for fast consumption, change updates and easy collaboration. We have built a general platform that we can build connectors to any REST API in the cloud – eventually we will open this for 3rd parties. (EFD – Check out the integrations page on their website for more details.)

Five: StatX founding story.

StatX was founded by Prasad Raje and Pablo Bellver. Prasad had previously sold his enterprise cloud software company (Instantis) to Oracle. Pablo had co-created Google Now as one the first engineers on the team. They joined forces to create StatX to bring relevant information to business users on mobile (full story). (EFD – Check you their story, and be sure to check out the app.)

EFD – Thanks, Prasad, for bringing the value of StatX to my attention and allowing me to share it with others.