Blog Entries

Salesforce Summer ’17 Release: Google and Microsoft Integration

James Keaney, Director & Co-Founder

Integrating your email and calendar with Salesforce is one of the most valuable features you can enable for your users.  It will drive adoption and make the platform work for your team.  An example of this is the new Contact sync feature:  now a Sales rep can keep their Contacts up to date in Salesforce, from within Outlook or Gmail and know that the details that they keep up to date in Salesforce will automatically be synced down to their phone via their Contact address book.  Personally, this is my favourite feature.

Summer 17 on June 11 will enhance this integration yet again.  Some of the noteworthy enhancements are listed below:

Relate whilst you compose: relate emails to records whilst you compose them.  This will save your Sales reps time navigating back to their sent items to associate an email to a Contact.

Lightning Email Templates: Create, share and use lightning email templates from within Lightning for Gmail/Outlook.  Make it quick and easy to send repeatable content to customers and prospects.

Stay logged into Lightning for Gmail:  Salesforce session will be preserved now.  No more logging in every 4 hours.

Attachment selector: choose which attachments to save to Salesforce.

Events stay up to date:  Now when your events are sync’d through Lightning for Gmail and that event changes, those changes will be kept in sync.

Contact Sync:  Contacts can be sync’d between Salesforce and Google in both directions now. (Careful!)

Sync Frequency:  Contacts and Events will now sync more frequently with Gmail and Outlook.  

Salesforce Summer ’17 – Features for Admins

James Keaney, Director of Solution Architecture 

Salesforce will upgrade their platform on June 11 to the Summer ’17 release.  Last week I covered some of the new features that I am looking forward to.  This week I have a few new features that I think will make Salesforce Administrators lives easier.

Package Path:  Now you can migrate the Path metadata between environments.  Admins who have implemented Path will be thankful for the amount of time it will save them copying and pasting text and re-selecting the key fields.

Flow Lightning App component: add your visual flows to Lightning Record Pages. This feature is generally available now.  This is the best thing since sliced bread if you are a flow guru.

Launch Flows in Lightning runtime from buttons, links and custom tabs:  Visual flows are now executable in the Lightning Experience.  This now works within the new environment so no more blank screens and empty windows.

Flow redirect: use a retURL parameter to control where your flow returns when executed from the Lightning runtime.

Dynamic flow screen fields: This pilot allows you to select which fields on the UI of a visual Flow display based on user input.

New Setup look and feel: the Setup has been given another lick of paint.  The Setup resembles the Console allowing for multiple tabs for each of the setup options.

Migrate Communities:  You can now move communities between orgs.  This will make administrators lives much simpler when creating or updating a community portal.

Salesforce Summer ’17 Release Dates and Overview

James Keaney | Director of Solution Architecture 

Summer ’17 is coming June 11 (in Australia) so it is time for me to give you a quick run through of my favourite features that caught my attention as I ‘digested’ the release notes.

I encourage you to peruse through these items and see what catches your attention.  If you are a Salesforce user already, please send me a message if you would like to discuss these features and how they might be turned on for you.

Upgrade Times:
AP4: June 11th 3am EAST
AP1: June 11th 3am EAST
AP2: June 11th 4am EAST
AP5: June 11th 5am EAST
AP3: June 11th 5am EAST
AP0: June 11th 5am EAST

Lightning focus: Salesforce have updated the Lightning experience migration assistant to help customers check their readiness for the migration as well as trying to prove out the value of the new interface.  If you want to migrate to Lightning, this assistant will help inform you.  I would also recommend talking to an expert who will give it to you straight.

Lightning off: You can now make the Lightning Experience the only interface for your users.  No more classic.  If you’re game.

Keyboard shortcuts: Users can now interact with records using their keyboard. I recommend issuing out some communications after Summer 17 goes live to your users to instruct them on the useful shortcuts.

To view the available keyboard shortcuts, press:
Windows: Ctrl+/
macOS: Cmd+/

Lightning Console Apps: The beta Lightning Console is now generally available. If your users prefer to have access to multiple records at a time, then this is feature that you can easily turn on and make available for your users. (Think Service Console for Lightning.)

Field History in Lightning: This is one of those features that was missing from the get go that made little sense to the average admin punter. Now you can add the related list to your Lightning pages that shows you the Field History on your records.

Lead Account Matching: Account matching when converting Leads is being improved so that it is in line with how it works in Classic. You will be able to have multiple matches and even match against person accounts.

New Contact Record: Now when you create a Contact from an Account record you will inherit the phone numbers and address from the Account.

Lightning Dialer: Lightning Voice has been renamed Lightning Dialer. This is the integrated way to make calls from Salesforce through your telephony system. The dialer now supports a call list so users can add records to the call list that the dialer will queue up automatically.

Classic Email Templates in Lightning: Classic templates can now be accessed from the Lightning Send Email Activity. This is good.

Lightning Email Composer: Compose messages in a new pop out editor that allows you to edit the email whilst continuing to use Salesforce. Your email signature will now be added into the editor so you can see the whole message as your recipient will receive it.

Kanban by Owner: Group the Kanban view by owner. This is a good way to view the workload of your teams and allows your to change the owner with a simple drag and drop.

Duplicate checking between Contacts and Leads: check for duplicates with the new standard rules that check for the same record that may exist already as a Lead or Contact.

Surface Duplicates across objects: create duplicate rules that check for duplicate records between two objects.

Dashboard filters: Add filters to your dashboards from Lightning Experience.

Combination Charts: plot two sets of data on the one chart within a Dashboard. Nice one!

Create Report and Dashboard folders in Lightning Experience: Another one of those “I can’t believe I have to go back to Classic for this…”

Customise the Files Details Page: create custom fields, pages, buttons for files. This takes files to the next level and becomes a viable option as a light document management system in Salesforce.

Drag and Drop Files: drag files onto a record to quickly upload it to Salesforce.

Validation Rules on Files: collect quality information on your files when your users upload them to records. A new two step upload process will ensure users follow a naming convention or set the appropriate field for a file.

Maximising value from your Salesforce investment

Ian Goodwin, Managing Director

Recently I was speaking with a client who asked, “How do we ensure we get maximum value from a Salesforce solution?” She went on to say, “Many of the people I talk to who have implemented Salesforce are frustrated that, in spite of the platform’s great features, they are not getting the benefits they expect. How do we ensure we’re not one of these?”

These questions led me to reflect on a career spanning over two decades where I have worked on countless technology programs and projects across a range industries and led the delivery of CRM solutions into a range of organisations. You name it and I’ve seen it – the good, the bad and the ugly. I’ve seen fantastic CRM technology well implemented yet not achieve any of the expected business outcomes.  

So what is the sweet spot in delivering a vibrant, viable and effective Salesforce CRM solution? What do organisations considering a CRM solution need to focus on to ensure objectives are met, desired outcomes are produced and expected value is delivered? Fundamentally, it’s about delivering an effective capability. And in my book, effective capability delivery is achieved through the synthesis of 3 elements – alignment, execution and managing change.  

The first element, alignment, reflects the criticality of ensuring the envisaged solution is positioned to achieve the results the organisation expects. It’s about clarifying objectives, outcomes and value expectations. To help establish this, ask “what does the solution need to do?”, “what does the organisation expect to get?” and “how will it be measured?”.

The second element, execution, is about ensuring not only that that the work defined in the project plan is completed, but that there is a coordinated focus on the People, Process and Technology dimensions that combine to deliver the CRM capability. At the end of the day, Salesforce, for all its brilliance, is a tool, so unless the other non-technology pieces of the puzzle are comprehensively addressed, the expected results of a CRM initiative will typically fail to be realised.

The third critical element is managing change to ensure effective user adoption of the CRM solution. This is about bringing users on the CRM journey and transitioning to a better way of operating by providing adequate levels of training and support to ensure the new CRM technology and related processes are adopted and that the change ‘sticks’.

Put these 3 elements together and you will have a viable and effective Salesforce CRM capability that hits the sweet spot and delivers expected business outcomes and benefits.
Obviously synthesising these elements is easier said than done, however with the right Salesforce delivery partner, you can start your journey with confidence.

Want to know more? Get in touch 


Salesforce Spring ’17 Update Has Landed | Bonus Post

Spring ’17 is here.  But what does that mean?

In a nutshell it means that Salesforce have upgraded their platform (this happens 3 times per year.)  This release includes some new features within the lightning interface that being it in line with the functionality of the older Salesforce Classic interface.

If you want an overview of some of the specific features that I am excited about, please look back to my previous posts:

If you are an admin, create a new application for your users to use the new Lighting Console for Sales or Service.  Remember to pilot it first with a small set of users and provide instructions for changing between apps and/or interfaces.

Bonus feature review:

Salesforce Reports and Dashboards get some enhancements that will make lives in Lighting much more productive:

  • Users can now subscribe to reports in the Lighting Experience (previously only available in Classic)
  • Reports can be filtered via URL parameters. This used to be a feature in Classic that was achievable via a URL hack.  Now it is a fully supported Salesforce feature for the Lightning Experience.  This means that you can now place links within your record pages to reports and filter them based off of data from the source record.
  • Dashboards are now visible as other users in the Lighting Experience (previously only available in the Classic interface.)
  • Use chatter within Dashboards to share report charts.  This will be a great way to bring users into a conversations about actual performance.
  • Funnel and Scatter charts are now available in Lighting Experience Dashboards.  Now you can represent your pipeline as a funnel (like it always should of been!)

Salesforce Spring ’17 Einstein, Service Cloud & Communities Update Review

Salesforce Einstein

Salesforce has been buying up AI companies in the last 12 months and we are now starting to see these feature trickle into the Salesforce platform with the Spring ‘17 release.

Sales Cloud Einstein

Sales Cloud will get the first set of AI features on the platform.  Salesforce is introducing these features slowly as I think they are busy working on the real production ready version of AI which we will likely see in 2018.

Some of the features that AI does bring this year though is:

  • Automatic logging of your emails to the appropriate Account, Contact, Opportunity record.
  • Automatic lead scoring (0-99) based on the attributes of the Lead record
  • Smart insights on your Opportunities (smart alerts, predictions)
  • Account Insights through news and key business developments


The big one for Service is the new Lightning Console.  This makes Lightning a real thing for customers using Classic Console apps.  (Though the migration between these two would likely not be a quick project…)

The other new feature for Service is that Knowledge is now available in Lightning.

There is not much else to report within the Service Cloud, but do not underestimate these two new features.  They are a massive deal for Service Cloud customers as it brings them onto the Lightning platform.


Spring ‘17 brings a large amount of changes to the Communities product.  This is a product that Salesforce intends to grow and sell to new and existing customers.  It is a powerful product that can allow your customers to interact with your business directly as well as enabling a community around a product or your brand.

Some of the new updates to Communities that I think are worth mentioning are:

  • If you are on a version of a community template prior to Oct 2015, then you will need to upgrade your template.
  • Lightning Bolt gets more functionality.  Lightning Bolt is what Salesforce call managed packages on the AppExchange for custom Community offerings.  This will make setting up a community for your business processes even easier.  It will mean that your requirements might have already been built and optimised by one of Salesforce’s many ISV’s or consulting partners.
  • Custom Lightning Components can now be created specifically for communities.
  • Reports and Dashboards can now be added to communities pages
  • Create new records from lookups.  Just like your internal users do in Lightning, this is now available to your community users
  • Tasks are now available in Communities
  • Kanban modifications can now be given to community users.  This is a feature that was mentioned in a previous blog post of mine.  It will mean list views are able to be visualised and customised by community users.
  • Community Workspace is now the hub for all activity relating to your community.  All the tools are now accessible in the one place: builder, administrator and your dashboards.

Salesforce Spring ’17 Google Integration Review

Now, I know not everyone in the business world uses G Suite for their email, calendar and apps, but for those who do, Salesforce bringing their integrations to G Suite is the best and most welcome feature in a long while.

Lightning for Gmail

This is the best. I have been using the pilot for a few months now allowing me to be able to view the Contacts, Accounts and other information right from Gmail. Operating Salesforce from Gmail is a massive time saver.  It is also a great way to ensure that the data you have in your org is clean and present.  As emails have all the Account and Contact details in user signatures, it is easy to use the Lightning sidebar in Gmail to create and update records.

Now that this feature goes mainstream (from pilot to beta) it gets the addition of:

  • Inline editing in gmail (never leave GMAIL!!!!)
  • Drill down into a records detail, lists, chatter and activities
  • Relate emails to records with Enhanced email. (Brilliant!) The Enhanced email object is now an object that represents an Email, gone are the days of an Email being logged as a type of Task.

Admins and developers will now be able to customise the way that Lightning for Gmail is presented to users.  Customising the objects and components that are delivered.  Gmail + Salesforce now becomes a weapon.

Lightning Sync for Google

This integration connects a user’s Google Calendar and Google Contacts to Salesforce.  All in the background.  Now Sales reps can manage their days or weeks and know that the activities are being logged and assigned automatically to the right Contacts and Accounts.

The new feature here is that Contact sync is available.  This will make keeping an address book up to date between the two systems.

How hard is it to set up these Google integrations?

Not that hard, because Salesforce and Google are both cloud apps, they both utilise a framework that makes connecting these applications relatively straightforward.  As it is all cloud based, it means that rolling out these features requires turning them on, no software to install in Outlook.

Microsoft Integration

All of the above mentioned with the Google integration applies to the Microsoft Integration.   These features require Exchange to either be run from Office 365 or on the latest version if run internally.  So the tricky bit for a business is spending the effort on migrating to Exchange 2016 or Office 365.

Salesforce for Outlook

One thing I do want to get off my chest is that Salesforce for Outlook might seem like it brings all the features to the table if you are on an earlier version of Exchange, but the nature of rolling this software out makes it a painful thing to manage for IT teams.  In my view, the effort is best spent to migrate to the latest version of Exchange or Office 365.

Thanks again for reading.  Looking forward to the Spring ’17 update in a few weeks.

James Keaney | james dot keaney at cludo dot com dot au

Salesforce Spring ’17 Sales Cloud Feature Review

The new Spring ’17 update of Salesforce brings a suite of features to the Sales Cloud platform.  Here I break down the new features and updates that I am keen to share and excited to use.

Collaborative Forecasts

Now here is a feature that i thought was on the chopping block, but here we are and it has got a fresh coat of paint and is now Lightning ready. I am sure this will make some Sales Cloud Lightning Experience users very happy or enable them to make the switch.

Sales Path becomes Path

The Sales Path feature that was previously only available in Leads and Opportunities is now a global feature. Salesforce have renamed the feature to just Path and expanded its use to Quotes and to Custom objects.

This is a fantastic feature for providing stage based documentation and context for users. This will become a part of every Lightning Experience implementation (I believe).

Quote Updates in Lightning

Quotes was tacked onto Lightning in the last release which was good for exposing the functionality that still needed to be driven from Salesforce Classic. Spring ‘17 finishes the job and Quotes (and Products) are now full featured in Lightning.

There is a new window for easily adding products, quantities as well as a new system for emailing out your quote PDFs directly from Salesforce.

(Oh and Quotes also gets List View Kanban and the ability to set up Path.)

Contracts and Orders

These objects were severely hampered. I have had to build custom versions of both for customers just because they did not have all the object features available for customer specific customizations.

Now you can use Custom Actions. Doesn’t sound like much, but this will start making these objects useful and a viable option for customers to use.

Opportunity Products in Lightning Experience

Like mentioned in the Quote Updates, Products for Opportunities gets the new Product selector window that makes this a feature now Lightning ready.

List Views in Lightning Experience Default to the Last One Viewed

Every time I have rolled out Lightning for a customer the user feedback has always been that the Recently Viewed list view is not helpful to be defaulted to for every object.

This will be a small but impactful change for users.


This is now a game changer. Another feature that was tested on Leads and Opportunities is now available for all objects and custom objects (not for Knowledge or Tasks though.)

Kanban can be customised with the stages that are shown at the top, what is summarised in each column and the fields that are on the list view. This is now customisable by the end user as well, so they can set their list views up with Kanban how they like.

Can’t wait for this one!

Tasks become Lightning

Tasks are getting an update which makes them more inline with what we were used to in Classic: follow up tasks, recurring tasks, save and new tasks and tasks (and events) are now searchable.

Thanks again for reading. James Keaney.

james dot keaney at cludo dot com dot au

Salesforce Spring ’17 Update Review – Lightning is ready!

Alright! Time to start adding some content to this blog….

I am going to take the time and effort in writing posts relating to the thrice yearly Salesforce upgrades.  As a Salesforce nerd, the upgrades and release notes are something that I love to review and analyse for all the juicy new stuff that I can implement for Cludo and Cludo’s customers.

I will keep these short and on point.  The release notes are a lengthy read, so I will break these down and post once or twice a week leading up to the production release.

Lightning is ready!

Not everyone is on the new Lightning Interface, this goes mainly for customers who have been using Salesforce for a while now.  Since it was released in 2015, Lightning has been through pilot phase, beta phase and now it is GA (in my own view) with Spring ’17.

Here are 3 things from the Lightning Experience Features in this release, Spring ’17, that I wanted to share.

Lightning Console Apps

This is one of the most exciting features to come to the lightning experience.  For Sales and Service users, the multitab experience that the Service Console provided is now available in the Lightning Experience.  Two new apps now come standard with Spring ‘17: Sales and Service.

The reason that this is such a good addition is that it will enable faster navigation between records and related records in the system.  For users who work out of Salesforce for many of their day to day functions, this will provide a massive efficiency boost.


Utility Bar in Lightning Experience

The Utility bar has been available in Lightning apps for a little while now only via the API though.  Now the utility bar has a suite of standard components that can be added to a Lightning App.  Think of this as the Lightning version of the footer in the Salesforce Classic Console app.

I am excited about:

  • being able to place chatter in an always accessible place for users to collaborate
  • being able to have instant access to any list for any object
  • being able to trigger a visual flow (i love flows)
  • history will be a useful widget for quickly navigating around the system
  • having a new standard mechanism for integrating softphones for sales and service apps
  • seeing what other custom utilities can be developed by the clever people in the Salesforce ecosystem

Global Actions Menu

For users who have been on Lightning Experience for a while now you might of thought that the Global Actions Menu ( + symbol up the top) was quite limited.  Well now Salesforce has set this up so that you can put almost everything in there.  This will be valuable for quick creation of any object in the system or to trigger a lightning component.  This will start being a feature that is used more and more.

I am going to try to keep these posts as brief as possible to try and target information worth sharing.  Until next time when I talk about some of the new Sales Cloud features.  (And they are awesome!)

Thanks again: James Keaney | (james dot keaney at cludo dot com dot au)