I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Steve Molis

This is the fifth 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…since it seems very appropriate for Dreamforce week, I introduce Mr. Answers, SteveMoForce, the one and only, Steve Molis.

                               

What’s your job title? Applications Developer.  (EFD – Where’s the word “Answers” or “Salesforce”?)

What does that mean you do?  I’m your basic IT/MIS Database Admin/Analyst/Developer who “inherited” SFDC back when we first adopted it in 2003.  Prior to that I was basically doing everything I am now, but in Lotus Domino instead of the Force.com Platform.   (EFD – Lotus what?  Didn’t they make something called 1-2-3?)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been in the Salesforce ecosystem since September 4, 2003.  (EFD – Come on, Steve, can’t you give me the exact millisecond?)

Bacon or sausage? BACON!!!!! (Said in Benny from LEGO Movie “Spaceship!!” voice)

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  What you know…self-reliance can sometimes be the most valuable tool! No matter the circumstance, one’s brain will always be with them while the “who’s” might not always be available at the drop of a hat.  (EFD – Wait, you mean YOU might not always be out there answering questions in the Salesforce Community?  NOOOOO!!!!  Say it ain’t so!)

How did our relationship start, and when? I’m a gentleman, I never kiss and tell.  (EFD – Ok, Steve.  I’m almost a gentleman, so I might spill the beans.  Too bad I don’t really remember!  I know you helped me out with some answers when I was brand new on Salesforce, and sharing a room with you at Dreamforce 2014 was a blast. Oops…that’s how rumors get started.)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I was a stand-up comic. (EFD – WAS???  You still are.  But back then, did you have your own “Safe Habbah” statement for explicit language?)

You can find Steve on Twitter.

Safe Harbor

Inspiration.

So I’m on an airplane, again, and another inspiration seems to have struck me, just as the seat in front of me struck my knees when the passenger up there decided to recline.

Actually, inspiration struck me a couple days ago when one of those emails that most people would call spam hit my inbox. This one was from a university advertising an all new, totally online Masters degree program in Data Analytics. Of course, being an analyst, my curiosity was peaked. So I did what every marketer hopes happens, I clicked to open the email. (Seriously, I didn’t even consider the fact that it could be a scam or some unsavory character phishing for my identity.) I then did what I usually do when I open this type of email, I click the link…no, this time I’m kidding. I hit up Google and did a search for the university in question. What I found was a properly accredited university offering a great, totally online program in a field that I have been wanting to learn more about for a few years now. The tag line of the message in the email about this program was “Big data, big opportunities.”

Big Data.

As someone who has considered himself a data analyst for many years, and one who feels like he has dealt with big data before, the topic still fascinates me. I’ve often told people that my job is to translate data into meaningful information, which means I am a detective, searching to find what story all the data is trying to tell. I’ve worked for a university and helped them install a new student accounting system that took the staff through a leap from a weekly updated set of microfilm, to a real-time, online system, updated instantly. Talk about a leap of faith! This ‘big’ data jump was not without it’s share of problems, and even though we successfully tested (and properly balanced) the new system, and tested the conversion routines not once, not even twice, but seven times prior to doing it in the production system, it still did not balance when we did it for real. $42 Million in accounts receivables, and we were off by $107.25. What a way to cap off several months of hard work. Complete and total failure. Great! (editors note – please be sure you have read that last sentence with the appropriate amount of sarcasm!) This failure kicked off what I thought wa showing to be the start of a long and grueling weekend of cross checking, rebalancing, auditing and caffeine, hoping to discover where the missing $107.25 wound up.

I was searching big data, but without a modern tool to query with. Much to my surprise, finding the missing money was actually quite easy. It was the last record in the file, and out of the millions of records, it was the only one that was exactly $107.25! Yes! We are balanced. TURN ON THE NEW SYSTEM AND LET’S GET ROLLING!

Oh wait a second, we found the money, but not the account it was supposed to be charged to. Too late, we are live. The Vice President (of the university) said we had better go live on time, or we had better all start looking for other employment. Feeling confident that I could solve this mystery, if given enough time, we created a new account: “Unknown Student” and began moving all unidentified dollars to that account. After much searching, and getting down to the smallest detail, we successfully identified the correct accounts for all the mystery money.

A solution.

Customer data. Call it big data, call it small data. I think it really doesn’t matter how much data there is, as long as you understand what it all means.

Here’s a great way to better your understanding of your customer data: attend Dreamforce, San Francisco, November 18-22, 2013. Register at http://www.dreamforce.com and you too can become a Customer Company.

Save $100!

Use promo code D13MVPREF to save $100 on your registration!

Get to know the Community.

Want another way to help you understand how to make the most of your customer data and your Salesforce implementation? Get connected with a local user group! Find yours at http://success.salesforce.com/usergroups