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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Productivity Advisors Overview

We are excited about our new services video that highlights what we do, who we are and how we work.   Let us know what you think and special thanks to Charly and all the folks at Fric Animation! for all their help.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

So you want to learn Salesforce...again

Taking up Salesforce is daunting, no doubt about it. But the developer marketing folks at Salesforce have a plethora of resources to check out. Here’s a guide to some of the essential and free resources that will help you get started:
  • Sign up for a Developer Force account - The best way to start is to have your own developer environment to build and experiment with.   Then leverage a great online community that promotes learning, growth and contribution for the Force.com platform.
  • Trailhead - Salesforce's Training website. (NEW WEBSITE)
  • SFDC99 - Code training site from Salesforce MVP at Google.com (NEW WEBSITE)
  • Release Training - Website with videos on the latest functionality available in Salesforce
  • Check out some examples via workbooks :
    • Force.com - point-and click configuration for setting up and administration of the    environment
    • Visualforce - Page markup like HTML
    • APEX - Programming language
  • Videos - For the visual learner, Salesforce has hundreds upon thousands of videos up on Youtube.

Monday, March 23, 2015

What does Customers for Life mean?

I was recently at a Salesforce event for customers and partners and was presented a slide that really interested me. The content was as follows:

Customers for Life - Challenge
How to empower employees with an actionable 360 view of SaaS customer relationships...
  • Site Performance and Offload - Is their site performing as they had planned? Inquiries & Deflections?
  • Consumption Against Commit - Are they using what they purchased? 
  • Competitive Insight - Ability to bubble up competitive factors on an Account? 
  • Customer Satisfaction - Are customers happy? qualitatively? quantitatively? 
  • Customer Cases and Incidents - Are customers getting their issues resolved and in a timely manner? 
  • Configuration Updates - Are customers using the latest versions of software or components?
  • Professional Services Projects - Are ProServ projects with customers being managed appropriately? 
It was an explanation for their approach to working with their customers and making them life long customers. I had seen previous graphics, like below, but what really stuck with me was how comprehensively they look at all aspects of customer relationship health to develop their 360 degree perspective. Not saying this always happens for all clients, but it is ambitious to empower sales and support teams with these types of goals.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Agile on my Mind

A few weeks back I was listening to one of my favorite BLOGs, ButtonClickAdmin, as a podcast. The title of the podcast was How Admins can use Agile with Kelly Currier. I was delighted because not only was it an approachable review of how Salesforce admins could use Agile, but really how anyone could use Agile for whatever project or process they were working on. Kelly knows something about Agile because she heads up the Agile Delivery Methodology program for Salesforce.com’s Technology & Products organization -- I knew her moon's back when our paths crossed at Macromedia.

 I highly recommend the podcast to anyone interested in Agile, in the workplace. Additionally, Kelly mentions a YouTube by Henrik Kniberg, called Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell and it is a great primer for how you might actually start using Agile. If you want to roll out Agile to a small to mid-sized team, then you may want to check out a lightweight Agile app called sprint.ly, which has an excellent overview video here.

At Productivity Advisors, we have tried to incorporate Agile in our iteration cadence with clients. It has allowed us to be responsive in what we design and build for clients, and it has helped us to prioritize deliverables with clients. We have also developed a tool using Intuit's Quickbase to manage project tasks with an Agile style -- ping us to find out more.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Things Your Consultant Won’t Say To Your Face

This article is from the Salesforce ButtonClickAdmin BLOG
A key nugget we appreciated was:
2.   Don’t fall in love with your requirements.
Documenting your own processes and creating a list of requirements before finding a consultant is a great thing to do. It will help save time and guide us in the right direction. Just don’t fall in love with the document. Use the requirements as a platform to start a conversation with your consultant and be open to making changes.

Consultants write up requirements all day, every day.  Most users do this only when they are tasked with adding new functionality and providing guidance to consultants. Don't get me wrong, I love it when clients actually write up requirements, I just think they represent a starting point, not the finishing point. Good systems come from teams collaborating and having a conversation that involves probing, exploring options and prototyping.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Control over Task Assignment Notifications in Salesforce - Winter '15

New functionality: Administrators can enable a setting that allows individual users to control task assignment notification emails. When this setting is enabled, users can go to My Settings > Reminders & Alerts to modify the “Email me when someone assigns me a task” checkbox. Disabling this checkbox turns off all task assignment email notifications.

Our Thoughts: In case users complain about receiving too many email notifications, they will absolutely love this new feature. This setting allows individual users turn notification emails on or off for all task assignments globally. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

CS183B is a class being taught at Stanford. It’s designed to be a sort of one-class business course for people who want to start startups....

We have subscribed to the class feed and have been perusing the class readings and videos since the start of the semester. It's definitely the who's who of Silicon Valley, that's participating. Here's a link to the site and a glimpse of the content featured.