It’s been getting hot out here in New England, so this new Summer 15 logo is starting to feel really appropriate. I’ve already had a few ice cream runs, including my favorite spot of all, The Ice Cream Smuggler down in Dennis, MA (coffee heath bar – nothing is better) so the real Summer is nearly here. For salesforce, the ice cream truck is almost here as well, and Summer 15 will be out in just a few short weeks.
We’re on our last part of the Summer 15 write-up, this one focusing on all of the Collaboration features – Chatter, Communities and Work.com. In case you missed our previous two write-ups, In Part 1, we covered all of the new features around Sales Cloud, salesforce1 and the platform updates while in Part 2 we focused on all of the Service Cloud enhancements. Let’s get at it. As always, this is in no particular order (except the top one being the one I like most, so I guess there is an order).
- Enhanced Goals – I don’t think I’ve led with a Work.com feature before, but the Enhanced Goals is a pretty cool one that could help out in a bunch of use cases. First off, this is available only to subscribers of Work.com. (the release notes aren’t completely clear on this, but salesforce reached out to confirm this). Essentially, what Goals allows you to do is to set a goal for a user and then track their progress against that goal. Sounds simple enough, but there is a nice way to automate the tracking of the goal. In the screenshots below, you can see a little bit of how it’s done (you might need to click into the image to see it better). On a Goal, you can set various Metrics that a user will be tracked against. Those Metrics can be tracked manually – just someone updating them every month, etc. – or they can be linked to a report. When you link to a report, you need to make sure the report has some value being summarized, and you select that as what is being tracked. So, in the example below, the Goal was to have 100 Completed Activities by the end of June. I built a report that tracks Activities until that time frame and then linked it to the metric. Now, you can see the progress being tracked against the Goal in the second image. Pretty simple to setup and a very handy feature as this type of measuring an actual report against a Goal has always been a pain point.
Ironically, we have built something custom just like this previously – and we leveraged the same technique of linking the Metrics to a report. Two things we found playing with this vs. what we had run into that you should be aware of. Unless I just don’t see this in the pre-release org I’m playing in, the report isn’t dynamic down to the user. So, if you have a team of 100 Sales Reps each with the same Goal of 100 Completed Activities, you’d need to create a Metric and a unique report for each user. We actually tied that to the group-by of the report when we built it and I could see salesforce going there at some point too. Also, I couldn’t see how to make this repeatable. So, if that user has a 100 Activity goal every month, you’re not going to want to add a new Metric each month. I need to play with it some more to see if I’m missing anything, but overall this is a great step forward for goal tracking.
- Chatter Editing – I think this one deserves another hooray, as this was a pain-point admins had to deal with. With Summer 15, users now have the ability to edit their Chatter Posts and Chatter Comments. No more accidental typos or maybe even regrets on a snarky comments, as you can now go back and edit. This feature also applies to Community users and their posts, which is really big as that was typically going to a support department if your community user was really concerned about the post. There are two options for this that you can control with security settings. First is you can grant users the ability to edit just their own posts. Second, you can also enable users to edit posts made by other users, but on a record they own. So, if a Sales person owns an Opportunity and someone else adds a Chatter post to it that maybe contained something sensitive and that shouldn’t be shared, the Opportunity Owner can edit it.
- Report Management for Community Users – A ton of potential here. Community users that have access to run reports, can now also create their own reports and save them in a personal folder just like an internal user would. They only get this if you grant access to them, and similar to an internal user this doesn’t expand any data access. They can only create reports for objects, fields and data you’ve made visible to them. That said, what a great feature to give to your power Partners or power self-service users. Instead of your Partner Managers or Customer Support team running these reports every time your customer / partner wants a different data cut, give them a quick report training and let them go nuts themselves. I know a certain Customer Service Manager who might be fainting right now at this.
- Centralized Community Management – Picking off where they left off in Spring 15, the Community Management page has centralized even more of the Community controls and been re-organized a bit to be more intuitive. Overall, this is a really big improvement over the initial Communities setup as admins now have a one-stop shop to not only manage their community, but also to moderate and report on it.
- Control Recommendations on Communities – A nice new Community feature allows Community Manager to control the recommendations vs. relying on the suggestions engine salesforce has. Now, you can make sure certain recommendations are always visible. This is done right from the Community Management page and is also available in the Community templates.
- Customize Community Pages – Now, you have an easy way to set what the Change Password or Forgot Password Pages should be and you can use Site.com Studio or Visualforce to brand these. This was previously always a bit of a pain point as you could do it with visualforce, but it wasn’t the easiest process. In addition to the Password pages, you also can now control the default Homepage and Service Not Available pages in the same manner. All of this is done right from the Community Management page. Nice little update here.
- Files – A bunch of enhancements to Files in Summer 15.
- Folders – You can now organize your synced Files by creating folders within your Salesforce Files directory and pushing Files to these folders. Pretty cool.
- Content Files – You can now Sync Files that were in Content! This was always a bit of a gap with Files in that you had all of your Files from Chatter and Groups, and then you had a whole separate set of Files in Content & Libraries. With Summer 15 the walls are gone and these Content Files can be synced as well. This also applies to any Personal Content Files a user might have. If a user wants they can now share those too.
- Share to a Library – With the walls now down between Content and Files, you can now also share any File directly to a Library. Before this was a multi-step process, but now as you’re loading a file you can share it directly to a Library just like you would a Chatter Group.
- @Mention with new Files – A quick new feature allows you to @Mention users when sharing a new file in a Group.
- Sync More – You can now sync even more files as the limit has been bumped to 10,000 files.
- Community Template Updates – Salesforce continues to improve and expand the Community templates.
- Publish Communities in Sandbox – You can now publish a Community built on the templates from the Sandbox. This wasn’t a big issue yet, but it was going to be a big issue over time. Glad to see this fixed.
- Improved Case List View in Napili – A nice update to the Case view in Napili.
- See Knowledgeable People – In the Napili template, you now have a widget that shows the top knowledgeable members of the community for a Topic. This looks like it is based on a calculation of best answers, mentions and likes on posts related to that topic – and is not based on your Reputation scoring model. I’ll need to dig into it to be sure there though.
- Updated Attach File for Napili – A handy new update on the Napili self-service template that allows the user to attach files from their computer or from the community itself. Similar to how internal users can attach files from within salesforce or from their computer when sharing.
- Napili Contact Visibility Setting – A new setting allows users of Napili to determine if they want their contact visible to users that aren’t logged into the community.
- Profiles & Case Lists now available in Koa and Kokua Templates – Similar to what Napili has had, users that are in a Koa or Kokua community can now see a Case list view as well as their profile information.
- Community Reporting Enhancements – As with the past few releases, Summer 15 has a few new additions to the Community reporting which is terrific. First up is an improved Licenses Dashboard that gives a Community Manager a much better ability to track license and login usage against your allocations. Always a bit painful, and looks like this is now a ton easier. Second is the ability to report on Feeds themselves. Pretty interesting twist. I’ll need to play with this to really see how it works, but basically you can report on which Object feeds have the most activity and which users are hitting each feed. Could provide some really interesting insight into your Community activity. Finally, the Network Members report type has been expanded to allow you to slice and dice by some of the user attributes such as last login, department, country, role and profile.
- Approval Emails to Community Users – Not the biggest use case, but if you’re using approvals with Community users, the approval emails now have a link back to the Community. Nice little fix.
- Partners can now see Campaigns – The Campaign object can now be exposed to Partner Community users. Especially handy in those joint-campaigns where you are either co-branding with the partner or driving all of the Leads to a particular partner. Now they can see that Campaign progress right from the Community.
- Improved SEO for Communities – All Communities now have the robots.txt file setup for the content and topic pages. Previously you had to enable this leveraging visualforce. Nice improvement for public facing Communities as it will expand how outside users can find your information and Community.
- See who has received Badges – Cool little new feature for companies using the Badges feature. Now, from the Badge page itself, you can see everyone who has been awarded that badge but by adding a related list to the layout.
Well, that wraps up Summer 15. Looking back, this was a really big release, especially for the Service Cloud. Some very big new features came out this release – Lightning App Builder, Omni-Channel, SOS, and Goal Tracking. And as always a slew of smaller and medium sized enhancements. Can’t wait to see this live and to get my hands on some of these features.