Dreamforce 2016 Takeaways – Part 2 of 3 (Enterprise Customers)

  • Migration to Lightning is underway at a number of customers. There seems to be two segments of customers when it comes to Lightning .. those that have had Salesforce for a number of years and are finding Lightning Migration Assessments are showing there’s a long way ahead before they are able to migrate over; and those that are relatively younger, smaller deployments that have a fewer customization barrier to climb over. Among the customers we spoke with, those who have given their end users options to switch back to Classic UI are finding the migrations to never fully realise, so are resorting to a ‘burn the boats’ strategy.
  • Interestingly, in the second session on Training for End Users on Lightning by Shell Black  that I attended, he polled the attendees by show of hands who had made the switch to Lightning, are in the process of switching and those with concrete plans to switch within 6 months and then 12 months. Very high number of hands went up for each category it appeared.
  • Of course, what and to what extent switching to lightning implies, is left to one’s interpretation.
  • Lightning Bolt is being utilized for building industry specific prebuilt solutions utilizing communities. Bolt goes beyond the community templates in that business logic and workflow in the form of  e-commerce functionality, recommendation engines, case management etc, are built in.
  • Salesforce platform is consistently being utilized for rolling out a series of innovations rapidly at $1B+ companies. One particular retailer showcased a series of mobile applications rolled out, leveraging the platform – apps for customer facing in-store associates and apps for support functions removed from customer engagement.
  • Centers of Excellence are increasingly being implemented at large, global organizations successfully. Quite a few sessions focused on such initiatives. Considerations discussed included:
    • Defining roles and responsibilities that are enterprise wide and project specific
    • Formalizing linkages with enterprise functions (data management, User Experience, Security)
    • Change & Adoption, Release Management
    • Project Initiatives and Workstreams
    • Business Justification for Projects
    • Global Considerations (building on a Global Core followed by Regional roll outs)
  • Discussions on integrations highlighted the significance of capabilities to integrate with industry specific systems. SF Connect is becoming mainstream; an alternative to using ETL tools, for use cases that don’t need copies of external data to be stored, and where you need real time access to the latest data.
  • Recommended Best Practices to Grow Adoption that a SF slide presented:
    • Executive Sponsorship
    • Focus on Manager & End User Value
    • Training & Communication
    • Support & Change Management
  • Common Customer Definition and Data Governance continue to be popular themes
    • Alignment of Sales teams calling on Customer Segments
    • Reparenting Records
    • Cleaning up orphaned and outdated records
    • Accounts vs customers
  • Mapping Salesforce Initiatives and Features to Business Value is a CIO ask at large enterprise customers
    • One session presented by Salesforce was particularly impressive in mapping SF investments to Business Value. Map out a flow along the lines of: Business Objective  -> Value Lever ->Impact ->Value Driver & KPI ->SF Product -> SF Capability & Product -> SF Feature (e.g.., Increase in shareholder value ->Increased Revenues ->Customer Growth ->Increase in cross-selling and up-selling ->%age Increase in Revenues ->Sales Cloud, Wave Analytics Cloud ->Opportunities ->Big Deal Alert / Opportunity Management /Lead Tracking)
Ramana Metlapalli
Ramana Metlapalli
Ramana is a Managing Principal at Varasi. Ramana is a lifelong learner and eternally curious about what goes into making some individuals and organizations, high performance ones. He writes about Business Analysis, Salesforce best practices and the world of Consulting.