Summer 16 is actually salesforce’s 50th release (I’ve been a customer or partner for 45 of these so this is officially making me feel old) and the release notes are out.
With Summer 16, we’re now 3 releases deep into the Lightning Experience roll-out, and it’s starting to get to the point where if you don’t switch to Lightning you’re losing access to some great new features – especially some of the new ones in this release for Sales Cloud. The past two releases we broke out the Lightning Experience updates into their own post, but pretty much Sales Cloud is Lightning now, so we’re going back to combining them into one post. However, it looks like we’ll still have 4 posts this release as there is a huge update to Wave Analytics. This will be the first time we’ve done a post dedicated to it, but it’s an exciting release and deserves a post. So, here’s the order we’ll be going in and let’s get rolling:
- Part 1 – Sales Cloud, Lightning Experience and the Platform
- Part 2 – Service Cloud
- Part 3 – Collaboration – Chatter, Communities and Work.com
- Part 4 – Wave Analytics
As always, in not exactly a random order, but more in order of what I feel is interesting stuff.
- Associate Contacts with more than One Account – This feels like it has been in Pilot forever, but it’s finally going live with Summer 16. This does exactly what it says – you can now link a Contact record to multiple Accounts. Essentially, the normal Account field is the Contact’s “direct” Account, but in addition, you can link as multiple “indirect” Accounts to the Contact as well. You can apply a role to these relationships as well. I need to play with this to see how it looks, but this could potentially solve the constant issue of when a Contact leaves a company. If you created a “Former Company” role, you could keep the Contact linked to their old firms while directly linked to their current one. In addition, definitely solves the issue of someone who legitimately is working for multiple companies – or multiple sites within an Account Hierarchy. A few things on this just thinking it through. First, I am assuming for a while Marketing Automation systems like Pardot, Marketo, Hubspot, etc. will only see the direct Account. I’d test this to make sure turning it on doesn’t break any of these products as well. Second, in the case where a Contact is legitimately working for two companies, this doesn’t seem like it allows you to save a different Phone / Email for each Account. Definitely a small downside there. Overall though a great feature.
- Customizable Homepages in Lightning Experience – One of the best features of the new Lightning Experience (LEX) is the super slick homepage. One of the painful parts of LEX was that this slick new homepage wasn’t customizable and was one size fits all. With Summer 16 that finally ends, and you can create homepages for different profiles, and modify the homepages as you need. You do this by leveraging the Lightning App Builder (interesting idea on how to do this) so this will let you pull in any Lightning components you have built as well as the normal components salesforce has been providing. Definitely a big feature that removes a big blocker to rolling out LEX to your users.
- Customizable Record Layouts in Lightning Experience – Similar to the Homepage above, record layouts can now be modified in LEX leveraging the Lightning App Builder. There’s a long list of objects this supports – including custom objects – and no real important standard objects are jumping out at me as missing. Orders, Service Contracts, Milestones and Entitlements are really the only ones I can think of that are missing. A big part of this new feature is for those companies on Classic that have visualforce pages within their layout, we can now convert those visualforce pages into a Lightning components and get it into the page layout. Much needed new feature for LEX adoption.
- Enhanced Email – A really big update to emailing within salesforce for Summer 16. First, users now have the ability to leverage their Gmail or Office 365 accounts to send emails vs. using salesforce’s service. This is really easy to setup and is definitely something companies will want to take advantage of. Second, Service Cloud has had this forever, but now any Emails sent using the Enhanced Email will actually save to the Email object instead of the Activities / Tasks object. As part of this, the Email object can now be modified and extended with custom fields, page layout and workflow / triggers. Previously this object was locked down for Service Cloud, and that occasionally caused some pain, so this is really nice to see. Finally, and to the users this is the big one, the Send Email page itself has been totally overhauled to act more like a true email client. From one very nice page (see below) you can add multiple recipients (and even multiple records), add attachments and write the email itself. The email editor is a rich text editor similar to your Outlook or Gmail client. Big update here, but this is only available if you have Lightning Experience turned on. Another thing to note here is some users might not like their Emails being pulled out of their Activity History list. You’ll need to do a little re-training here. The email editor benefit should override any objections though.
- News – I think this is a great new feature. I’m a little surprised it somehow wasn’t combined with Chatter, but I really like the concept. Previously, with Account Insights you could see news about the Account from their record. Now, in LEX and the salesforce1 app (sorry Classic), there is now a dedicated News page that will show all recent news across Accounts. It’s pre-filtered to show news for recently viewed Accounts, Accounts that recently viewed Opportunities are linked to, and Accounts that you have upcoming Tasks and/or Events linked to. Super handy to catch-up on anything about your active accounts. Also, as a side note – you can now see your Account Insights directly from an Opportunity. No more needing to go to the Account to see what’s happening at the company your deal is dependent on.
- Calendars – A pretty exciting new feature (only in LEX), that will now allow you to create custom calendars within salesforce. The beauty here is that it’s not just for Activities / Events like the salesforce calendar has been traditionally, but you can create a calendar from any object. There is an app called Calendar Anything that we have used to handle these scenarios. This new Lightning feature isn’t close to as powerful as Calendar Anything, but it definitely covers the basic use cases. It looks very easy to use – just click on new calendar, select the object and then the field (or fields – you can do Start and End Date values if you like) on that object that is driving the dates, and add a filter to the object if needed. After that, this will appear in your master calendar and allow you to filter on and off these new calendars, just like you do in Outlook or Google when viewing multiple calendars. See below for an example. Very cool!
- New Charts – Summer 16 brings a bunch of new chart types including funnel, scatter, combo and cumulative line charts. See below for how these look, but they look great. As you can see below, this is part of LEX, and is not available in classic. All of these except funnel are only available in Dashboards, while funnel can also be used in Reports. Finally, all of these are also available in salesforce1 as part of the Enhanced Charts. Please note, with Spring 16, Enhanced Charts only worked on a mobile phone, but with Summer 16 it’s also available on tablets.
- Report Filtering from Charts – A very cool new feature for the standard reports. Now, when you have a chart on your report, if you click into a segment of the chart (like a pie chart section), the report will automatically filter the data to the segment you selected. You can keep selecting new segments or clear all filters to get back to all data. Much easier than the “Drill Down” functionality. Again though, only available in LEX.
- Picklist Management – We talked about these features being in Pilot in Spring 16, but two new Picklist features are now in beta with Summer 16. Restricted Picklists allow admins to block data coming into a picklist field that doesn’t match the list. Previously, this only blocked users from doing it from the front-end, but data loads or any API record insertion could happily pump different values in. Be careful turning this on if you have integration, because if your integration isn’t mapped to the right picklists it’s going to start blowing up when you turn this on. Second, you have the ability to create Global Picklists. So, if you have a picklist on multiple objects (Leads & Accounts or Leads & Contacts for example) manage that picklist in one place as a Global picklist. Very nice for admins.
- Account Autofill – Interesting new feature. Now, when entering a new Account, salesforce will attempt to identify which company you are adding and then autofill information about them such as Website, Phone and HQ Address (in the Billing Address). The release notes don’t say where this information is coming, but I’m assuming it’s from Data.com. This only works for US based companies, and also only if you have LEX activated.
- Logos – I’ll admit, the only reason I like the Social Accounts functionality is that it let’s me put a logo on the Account record. Not sure why I like that, but it just makes the Account record look more complete with their logo right there. It appears salesforce agrees with me here, and in a Summer 16 beta, you can now add a company’s logo to the top of the page. If you’re using the autofill above, the logo will also be autofilled. As with the autofill, this only works for US companies and only works with LEX.
- Offline read and edit for salesforce1 – The killer feature we’ve all been waiting for….is in Pilot. I know I try not to talk about Pilots, but this one has to be mentioned. Right now this is just on Android, but you’ll be able to Create and Edit records even while offline with salesforce1. These will later sync back once you connect. As you can see below, there will be a new “Pending Uploads” section that will show you what still needs to sync. For now, this appears to drive off of the cached records a user has on their device. So, you won’t be able to just search for any record while offline. The cache is mostly driven by previously viewed records from salesforce1 (not sure if this can maybe be set programmatically as well). Looks like later in the summer – right in time for Dreamforce – the iOS version will be coming in pilot as well. Huge new feature for road warriors and this also sets the stage for expanding the new Field Service app (which I’ll talk about in the Service Cloud post).
- Salesforce1 Updates – Some quick hitters for salesforce1:
- Change Owner – Finally able to change owners on records within salesforce1. This is done through a new item on the Action Bar.
- Sorting on Notes List Views – List Views for Notes now can be sorted by any column.
- Record Types for Events – Salesforce1 now supports record types on Events.
- Enhanced Charts are now available on tablets as well as mobile phones.
- “Dense Charts” – Nice little touch here. Now for charts that are too hard to read in a small dashboard component in salesforce1 you can tap on the dashboard components and it’ll present in a “dense chart” view which makes it scrollable so you can view all the data.
- Recently Used Products – Quick Opportunity time saver here. When adding Opportunity Products, users will see the last 5 products they’ve used as a suggestion first. Especially if you’re working with a small set of products most of the time, this will save you a bunch of clicks.
- Lightning Experience Updates – The following features that were in Classic, now are available in LEX:
- Opportunity Teams – Now appear in LEX and functions more of less the same.
- Account Teams – Like Opportunity Teams, Account Teams are now part of LEX.
- Homepages per profile & customizable homepages
- List Views can now apply Filter Logic
- Reports can now be exported from LEX.
Big first post with lots of great features. There’s also a slew of smaller ones I couldn’t fit in here, but might be able to mention in some of the other posts. Again, as I mentioned at the beginning, if you’re an admin for a Sales Cloud instance, you really need to be working on your Lightning Experience roll-out plan. There are too many good features you’re denying your users at this point. Time to see what is no longer handled by LEX (that list is much smaller now) and figure out if you can live with that. Start building those Lightning Components and get used to the App Builder! Alright, next up is Service Cloud.
PS – Nearly just as exciting as all of these new features – we just rolled out a new design to our website – and finally got with the times and rolled out a responsive site that works with mobile. Hopefully you liked the new look and feel and got to the bottom of the post. Feel free to let us know what you think.