I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Guillermo Pedroni

This is the twenty-sixth post in my blog series in which I will feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.


For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.) Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce the Salesforce Certified Administrator and leader of the Orange County User Group, Guillermo Pedroni.

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What’s your job title? Senior CRM Applications Manager, Telogis (EFD – So you manage CRM applications? What’s the difference between that and an Administrator?)

What does that mean you do? I manage all things Salesforce related within my organization. We are a wall to wall Salesforce shop. I manage a team of 6, as well as a managed services team off site to keep my day busy. I work with my developers and system admins to listen, guide them and help develop all our internal processes within a multitude of departments. We use Salesforce within literally all departments globally and we develop various process within each department. I provide guidance on all Salesforce related business processes, architect and help deploy these projects. Some days are full of meetings while other days are full of execution. (EFD – Oh…I get it now. You’re like the Owl from the old Tootsie Pop commercials, you are the person who knows all the answers to all the question, or if you don’t know, you do the research and find the answer.)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been playing within the Salesforce ecosystem for the last 9 years. I was lucky enough to be in consulting for a while helping other customers implement and expand their usage of the Force.com platform, which really opened my eyes to its full potential. I’ve also lived in a few Salesforce shops as an employee within these orgs further expanding and breaking the image that Salesforce was just a “Sales” tool. (EFD – Wait, you mean Salesforce isn’t just a sales automation tool? Wow, who knew! #Sarcasm, but that’s a real pre-conceived notion for some people.)

Bacon or sausage? Can’t I have both?  Don’t make me decide, but if the zombie Apocalypse comes, definitely bacon!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? Both really. Who you know gets you to figure out what you may know, or need to know. But what you actually know can open you up to who you can or should know. Like all things, you need to balance. (EFD – So that’s a “who” because it leads to the “what” which takes you to “who” that helps you discover “what”? Uh…wow. My head hurts now. Can your draw me a picture?)

How did our relationship start, and when? We met virtually probably in early 2014 via the Success Community and User Group Leaders Community. But we actually met in the real world @ Midwest Dreamin’ 2014! From there, the Salesforce bubble closed in on us more and more even as it expanded. (EFD – I think we may have met in person at a User Group Leader event at Dreamforce 2013, but after the headache I got from the previous question, and you talking about bubbles closing in as they expand, I’m not sure if anything anymore. Now where did I put my Tylenol?)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? Can I cheat and put a few? I’m a brown belt in Aikido, which is a martial art that use indirect motion to deflect and disarm opponents. It’s less about hitting and hurting and more about deflection (but it can really hurt too!). I’ve almost died a couple times before my life as Salesforce person. The two most exciting stories would have been almost falling down a few thousand feet of mountain side after a rock slide I caused, only to be save by my uncle who pulled on my shirt and pulled me up. Then another time that I almost got lost on a Volcano when I was a kid. Both incidents were while I was traveling to Mexico, which my family did every other summer. I also do pro bono work twice a year for 2 random nonprofits to give back to the Salesforce community. (EFD – I’m sure I am not the only one who is glad you didn’t die, and thanks for the pro bono work! There are so many nonprofits out there that could really benefit from using Salesforce, but many of them don’t have the resources to make Salesforce work right for them.)

You can find Guillermo on Twitter.

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Patrick Solum

This is the twenty-second post in my blog series in which I will feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.)  Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce Salesforce Certified Administrator, and co-leader of the South Dakota User Group, Patrick Solum.

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What’s your job title? Marketing Director, Retail Data Systems (EFD – In case anyone is curious, Retail Data Systems is the largest provider of Point of Sale hardware and software in North America.  I suppose that means they are also the biggest POS in country.  Sorry, Patrick…sometimes my sense of humor filter goes unchecked. But then, you already knew that! )

What does that mean you do? My job is to at RDS is to build and launch marketing initiatives for our various offices.  These can be email, print, web etc.  Additionally I manage a small lead generation team and get to be a solo Salesforce admin for about 75 users  (EFD – Marketing. I used to wonder what that really meant. Now, with my latest job change – separate blog post coming very soon detailing that, I’m in Marketing too!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)?   I have been in the Salesforce world since 2010.  (EFD – Seems like only yesterday, doesn’t it.  No, not really. There have been TONS of changes to the ecosystem in that short period of time. )

Bacon or sausage?  Can’t I have both? Don’t make me decide.

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  Knowing where to find the answers and how to get them, no matter who has them or where they are. (EFD – So is that a “What” or a “Who”?  I feel a little like Whoopi Goldberg without the funky dance moves. #ExplicitLanguageWarning – not for those with “sensitive” ears.)  Some additional details from Patrick:  When starting with Salesforce 5 years ago in South Dakota there was really nobody around here to network with.  We were kind of the last frontier of salesforce so to speak.  By networking with others through The Nebraska Salesforce User Group (used to drive 2 1/2 hours one way to go to meetings) and the success community I found that connecting with others was my lifeline.  Early on, Brian Connell who mentored me in getting started, Steve Molis on answers, Mike Gerholdt on Button Click and many others I met online and at Dreamforce, too numerous to mention, these were my lifelines.   What stood out was how helpful everyone was and how everyone wanted everyone to succeed.  I found you could really be on your own in your business and really succeed with the community.   When companies started emerging in the area on the platform it took things to another level when Sarah, Liz and I started the User Group.  We again leaned on the success community to build that network (how I met you) and connect with others to help us “figure out what to do”.   Now its all about giving back and helping others find their lifelines.

How did our relationship start, and when? You were my life line when I started the User Group Leader Office Hours calls. (EFD – Ok, that’s the “how”, you are the who, user groups is the why, helping other user group leaders is the what, but where’s the “when”? [Oh my…that’s confusing!]  I think we first met at in person at Dreamforce 2013, at a user group leader event, and unlike “Who Wants To Be A Milloinaire” you can call on this life line as often as you need to!  #HappyToHelpSpreadTheUserGroupLove)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? For fun I spend time with my family (I have a beautiful wife Tiffany and 4 amazing kids), I am an avid gamer and practice Tae Kwon do.   Additionally I love helping the Salesforce community.  I am passionate about Salesforce User groups and helping leaders to help their users reach their full potential. (EFD – And you are pretty good at scoring points with the Mrs. Solum. I’m bet you’ll point out this blog to her so she can see what you just said there!)

You can find Patrick on Twitter, and be sure to check out Leaderforce, the blog for Salesforce User Group Leaders, current & future!

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Taylor Grimes

This is the tenth post in my blog series in which I will feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.)  Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce Taylor Grimes.

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What’s your job title? Salesforce Consultant, Cheshire Impact

What does that mean you do?  I help clients engineer the lead to revenue lifecycle through Salesforce architecture and Marketing Automation enablement.  I help with marketing and sales processes during Salesforce implementations, managed services and custom projects tackling unique pain points. (EFD – I have some unique pain points, but that might just be from being old!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? Five years. (EFD – So in ‘Salesforce years’ you are a relative rookie, but have seen some incredible improvements!)

Bacon or sausage?  Can’t I have both? Don’t make me decide!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  Who you know, every leg up I’ve gotten throughout my career in Salesforce is because someone smarter than me took the time to explain an answer which then became knowledge I helped share too. It’s a grassroots community empowering everyone who has a desire to learn 🙂 (EFD – Ahhh…the community in action. That’s awesome!)

How did our relationship start, and when? I started following you when I read your blog on becoming an MVP.  (EFD – so that would have been in April, 2013. I found out that I became an MVP the day after my birthday. What a present, huh? Oh…and in case anyone missed that blog, here it is!

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I went to a college prep boarding school for athletes in Faribault, MN right outside the Twin Cities.  Shattuck St. Mary’s focused on building a competitive environment for nurturing student athletes.  Alumnus include the great Marlon Brando, Sydney Crosby from the Penguins, Johnny Toews of the Blackhawks, Derek Stephan of the NY Rangers, or the countless AMAZING women on Team USA and many more. (If the Shattuck St. Mary’s google alerts find this article, my apologies for those left out who are worthy of a shout out 😉 ).  I used to think the highlight of my life would be saying I went to high school with the best of the best as I humbly cheer on my friends while they made it to Olympic levels, until I found my Salesforce network.  Now I’m a part of a group so powerful and exciting that I don’t have to just look back fondly at my time in high school, I’m excited for my future and what I can do for Women in Technology paving my own trail.  It may not be as glorious as a Gold Medal or Stanley Cup, but for me the growth in my career with Salesforce is more than I could have ever hoped for as a girl from Nebraska with a dream to find my calling. (EFD – There are some people who will be more impressed at what this girl from Nebraska has done, compared to winning an Olympic Gold Medal or the Stanley Cup….I’m one of those people.)

You can find Taylor on Twitter.

Great Dates, Bad Dates and Salesforce.com Dates

Did you ever go out on a date with someone a friend said was perfect for you only to be wishing the date never started after just 5 minutes? That would be a bad date.

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Did you ever go out on a date with someone who you figured out was perfect for you after just 5 minutes? That would be a great date!

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Did you ever wonder how you can filter a matrix report to compare this year versus last year in your production org? That would be a Salesforce date.  And when you use a Salesforce date in the right way, WOW!  The things you can do!

Salesforce dates come in all shapes and sizes…just like your personal good and bad dates. But unlike those dates, you have complete control over what your Salesforce dates will do. And that’s a good thing! Dates are one of the most important filters you can use on a report. They will not only make sure you get what you are looking for, but with a narrow focus, your reports will actually run faster.

Types of Salesforce Dates

There are many types of Salesforce dates. There’s the really important ones, the dates everyone wants to know – what date does Dreamforce start, and when is Midwest Dreamin’ next year?  While I admit those are important, they are really irrelevant to how you filter a report.

Everyone probably knows that you can use a fixed date range, simply by entering (or selecting from the calendar) the dates you want, and most people probably know that you can use a pre-defined date range such as “Current FQ” or “Last 90 Days”.

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But did you realize you can use mixed dates to give you a really cool filter?

mixed dates

In short, dates are awesome, and control what you see (or don’t see) in your reports and dashboards.

For some reason, when I think about the power dates give you in reports, I thought of this: https://youtu.be/NpWAlvWNZj0

You Don’t Have to be From the Midwest….

Perhaps by now you’ve heard of a little event being planned for July 9th & 10th, 2015,  at Chicago’s Navy Pier…it’s a little thing called Midwest Dreamin’ 2015. The organizers of Midwest Dreamin’  somehow managed to convince Dan Darcy to come to Chicago to open up the activities on July 10th, and Peter Coffee will be making a return trip to Midwest Dreamin’ to close the event down.

Who is Dan Darcy?

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Many of us that have attended Dreamforce over the past few years know Dan as “The Dreamforce Demo Man”, but he gave up that role about two years ago and moved into something bigger and better. Dan is now the Senior Vice President for Worldwide Product Readiness. He is responsible for working with the product organization to develop priorities, product positioning and competency strategy for the distriibution organization, customers and partners. In addition, he manages the New Product Introduction processes to ensure that product releases have an enablement plan and assets are developed for consumption by customers, partners and employees.  Dan is also still head of Customer Visions for Marc Benioff.

Who is Peter Coffee?

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Seriously? If you have to ask that question, one might wonder how long you have been a salesforce.com user, developer, administrator or fan. Just in case you did just crawl out from under a rock, or recently converted from some other CRM system, I’ll fill you in. Peter Coffee is the Vice President of Strategic Research at Salesforce.com, but to those of us in the Salesforce.com community, we think of him as so much more than that. He’s the voice of Dreamforce, the pre-Keynote entertainment, the Master of Ceremony at the worlds largest technology conference. He is the show, before the show. He sets the stage at Dreamforce and gets the crowd all pumped up to see Marc Benioff talk about all the exciting things that Salesforce.com is working on, and all the awesome good things the Salesforce Foundation is helping to accomplish thanks to the 1-1-1 model – One percent of your time, one percent of your profits and one percent of your products being donated to great causes in order to help make the world a better place for all of us. Peter currently supports Salesforce efforts in CIO and developer engagement; in regulatory and stakeholder discussions, including information security technology and practice; and in collaborations with research professionals in both the commercial and academic communities

Breakout Sessions Are the Skid Marks of Learning
I think it’s always interesting and entertaining to listen to Peter Coffee and Dan Darcy speak, but where the rubber meets the road is what really helps businesses and nonprofits alike. That’s why people attend events like Dreamforce and Midwest Dreamin’. Skid marks of learning – just what exactly is that?  These skid marks don’t get made from quick stops or from taking turns too fast. They come from the rapid acceleration of business growth, from increased innovation and new ways of taking care of customers. Midwest Dreamin’ just completed its call for speakers and has a great lineup of fantastic speakers talking on everything from “Creating Change with Salesforce Communities” to “So You’ve Inherited (or Created) a Mess…Now What?”  Check out more sessions planned for Midwest Dreamin’ 2015.

Time is Money
How valuable is your time? Consider not only your salary, but the time you spend with family and friends, the time you spend helping others through volunteering or just by being a good neighbor. Attending Midwest Dreamin’ 2015, can actually save you both time and money. Sure, there’s a hard cost to attending…travel expenses and the registration fee, but the knowledge you will gain and the value of those new ideas that will start floating around in your head will certainly exceed those hard costs and help you find more time in your day by allowing you to streamline processes.

The Proof is in the Pudding
I know what you are thinking now….how can I get in on this? What do I need to do to get a piece of this action? That’s the easiest part! Visit the Midwest Dreamin’ Register! page. Yes…it really is that simple!

What’s that? You want to help?
Are you with a partner and wanting to help get your company’s message out to the hundreds of attendees coming to Midwest Dreamin’? We’ve got plenty of sponsorship opportunities still available. For details, visit Sponsorship Options

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