Monday, October 27, 2014

Building Better Business Apps, Body Language, and Strong Brand Evangelists: All that and more in the newest edition of the SkyPlanner Parachute.

business crm, cloud computing, CRM, inbound marketing, Lead management, Leads, outbound marketing, sales tracking, salesforce, salesforce automation, Salesforce CRM,

It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Find out what we at SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, have been reading, watching, listening to, and learning from during the past week. Click on each link to view our curated content.


  • Want to learn more about Salesforce's new Salesforce1 Lightning? Head on over to our post from last week and read all about the future of mobile business app creation!
  • Prior to the advent of cloud computing, small businesses (SMBs) had to spend money they didn't have to buy servers to house their software, and waste time they couldn't spare to keep them running. Thanks to cloud computing that is no longer the case.  
  • Did you know that how you say what you say is as important as what you have to say? Master body language to give your words the impact they deserve
  • Whether you like it or not you're future is going to be filled with "smart" devices. "Several hundred" to be exact, according to a recent study by Gartner Research
  • At SkyPlanner we've always preached about the benefits of word-of-mouth and we've always been lucky that the word about us as South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company has never been anything but great. Much of that is due to our strong commitment to treating our customers with transparency, fairness, and respect. That is key to building strong brand evangelists
  • An often overlooked trait of the many of the world's most successful people? A strong, positive attitude. When caught in the bleakest of circumstances a good attitude can help you overcome the obstacles in your way (even if its just thinking positively about a negative outcome). 


At SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, we love to hear from ours clients and supporters so please feel free to comment or email us with suggestions for future content.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Salesforce1 Lightning: Mobile business app creation for the masses.

Last week we covered the first of two major product announcements, Wave, from Salesforce's hugely successful Dreamforce 2014. In case you missed our post about Wave, the new Salesforce Analytics Cloud, you can read it here.

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The second big announcement at Dreamforce was the unveiling of Salesforce1 Lightning, the second iteration of the Salesforce1 Platform. The Lightning framework is, in reality, a proprietary technology developed by salesforce.com in its efforts to create truly mobile applications for the emerging Internet of Things (IoT). The framework allowed Salesforce developers to create individual components that could be rearranged to fit different device layouts, but its availability was limited to internal use and outside developers had to work within the confines of the Salesforce1 Platform as it was released to the public.

Luckily, that is no longer the case. Salesforce1 Lightning is Salesforce's move to make app-creation more accessible to everyone. It harnesses the technology of the Lightning framework and allows developers to build their own Salesforce1 components as needed by their own organizations. And the benefits of Salesforce1 Lightning are not limited to developers. The goal of Lightning is to extend the capabilities to anyone. Using a simple drag-and-drop interface, Lightning users can create their own applications by arranging standard and custom components, as well as those downloaded from the AppExchange, as they see fit; quickly modifying applications for different mobile devices, including wearables. Users can also define workflow actions to automate the applications, all with minimal code (though code will still be necessary for more intensive components).  

SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, is very excited for Lightning and the possibilities it holds for our own customers. What do you think about Lightning? Let us know in the comments!

Monday, October 20, 2014

The SkyPlanner Parachute: Dreamforce 2014 Recap Edition.

business crm, cloud computing, CRM, inbound marketing, Lead management, Leads, outbound marketing, sales tracking, salesforce, salesforce automation, Salesforce CRM,

It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Find out what we at SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, have been reading, watching, listening to, and learning from during the past week. Click on each link to view our curated content.



Last week members of the SkyPlanner team descended upon the lovely City by the Bay for the 2014 edition of salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference. Dreamforce now stands as the world's must-see cloud computing event. And SkyPlanner hasn't missed one in years.The slate of events during the week was full of interesting speakers, seminars, product demonstrations...and even a performance by Bruno Mars. Below you can find some of our favorite moments from Dreamforce 2014.

First up is the inspirational opening keynote for the man himself, Marc Benioff (begins at about the 14:20 mark of the first video): 



During the opening keynote came the official public unveiling of the Salesforce Analytics Cloud...



...and Salesforce1 Lightning: 



If you'd like to learn even more about Wave you can check out our own write up of the new Salesforce Analytics Cloud on our blog here.

But Wave and Lightning weren't the only products that were talked about during Dreamforce. The complete list of product keynotes cane be found here on Salesforce's Youtube channel.

Of course, as is always the case at Dreamforce, not all the best moments were tech-driven. There was a bevy of other wonderful speakers such as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and lifecoach Tony Robbins.

There was so much to take in at Dreamforce '14 that even a month in San Francisco wouldn't have given us enough time to experience it all, but we're still amazed with what we did see....and we can't wait until Dreamforce 2015!

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SkyPlanner team members Willie Garcia, Daymel Marrero, Jorge Fernandez, Rene Rodriguez, and Rene Garcia enjoy the last quiet moment before stepping into the craziness of Dreamforce 2014.

At SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, we love to hear from ours clients and supporters so please feel free to comment or email us with suggestions for future content.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Salesforce catches the next big Wave (pun intended) in enterprise analytics with the Salesforce Analytics Cloud!.

The SkyPlanner team is currently in San Francisco for the 2014 edition of salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference and believe us, it sure started off with a bang...or should we say a rush...of water. Get it? No? Ok, ok. Maybe comedy isn't our strong suit but keeping tabs on everything to do with the world's #1 CRM sure is. The biggest news so far has been the announcement of the Salesforce Analytics Cloud.

It all started with this tweet from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff:



In his presentation of the Salesforce Analytics Cloud during yesteday's product keynote, Benioff had this to say:
“Did you know 90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years? There’s going to be 10 times more mobile data by 2020, 19 times more unstructured data, and 50 times more product data by 2020...Our vision is to build the platform that allows you to connect. We know that if you engage deeply, interact, remember those customers, and create 1-to-1 relationships with them, you will have incredible success.”
The features of the Analytics Cloud, as listed on the Salesforce website,  are as follows:

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Source: Venture Beat
For all business users: 
Self Service
Reward your curiosity with fast, responsive answers. Built around the way you ask questions, not around the limits of legacy technology. Easy, beautiful, and interactive.
Instant Access to Any Data
Now you can easily mash-up different datasets and build beautiful dashboards that let the data tell a story.
Search-Based
Your data finally works with you, not against you. No more waiting for IT to build datamarts, install and optimize software and hardware before you can ask a single question.
For mobile users: 
Easy to Explore
Measure. Group. Filter. View. Share. Five actions let you unlock limitless insight. The only platform that lets you easily navigate every data set right from your phone.
Share on The Go
Get answers, share findings — no desktop required. Have a conversation around data. Answer any question with everyone on your team and present your findings from your phone.
Mobile First
Designed for mobile and rapid visualization across every device. Build any analytic app mobile first for any business need. Through a rich, responsive analytic platform you can customize, connect, and deploy everywhere, instantly.
And as for the platform itself:  
Native Salesforce Integration
Securely deliver any data, from any source via a 100% native Salesforce cloud service. Up and running instantly; managed simply.
Cloud Deployment
Deploy Salesforce Analytics faster than ever. No more hardware hiccups and untimely software updates. Analytics Cloud is reliable, convenient and deploys five times faster than the competition.
Powerful Governance and Trust.
Your company’s data is secure. Powerful field level security and role based hierarchy controls that guarantee the right people have the right answers – always.

You can watch the Salesforce Analytics demo video here (we would've embedded it but it's not a public video and we don't want to upset anyone). And after you're done watching we recommend downloading the application from iTunes and give it a whirl. We have, and it's a beautiful and fun experience just playing around with the Analytics Cloud.

Sources:
  1. "Analytics Cloud:Business Intelligence and Analytics Software Solutions - Salesforce.com." Salesforce.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2014.
  2. Fagan, Laura. "Marc Benioff Announces Salesforce Customer Success Platform, Analytics Cloud." Blog. Salesforce, 14 Oct. 2014. Web. 15 Oct. 2014.
  3. Schirtzinger, Alexa. "Wave: Analytics for the Rest of Us." Blog. Salesforce.com, 13 Oct. 2014. Web. 14 Oct. 2014.
  4. Clark, Jack. "Salesforce Unveils Wave Cloud Product for Data Analytics." Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg, 12 Oct. 2014. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. 
  5. Hardy, Quentin. "Salesforce Makes Its Big Data Move." Bits Salesforce Makes Its Big Data Move Comments. NY Times, 12 Oct. 2014. Web. 14 Oct. 2014.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Dreamforce is in full swing but that's no excuse for missing this week's SkyPlanner Parachute!

business crm, cloud computing, CRM, inbound marketing, Lead management, Leads, outbound marketing, sales tracking, salesforce, salesforce automation, Salesforce CRM,

It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Find out what we at SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, have been reading, watching, listening to, and learning from during the past week. Click on each link to view our curated content.


At SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, we love to hear from ours clients and supporters so please feel free to comment or email us with suggestions for future content.




Thursday, October 9, 2014

Another day, another accolade for Salesforce: the #1 name in cloud computing is also one of the best tech companies to work for.

Salesforce.com, the world's #1 CRM software company, has received yet another accolade. And it's one of the type that makes us at SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, proud to be associated with Salesforce. Salesforce has been named one of Great Rated's People's Picks: 20 Great Workplaces in Technology.

Salesforce earned a spot on the list as a result of over 1,000 anonymous employee responses to a Trust Index Survey, which is Great Place to Work's proprietary method for assessing how great a place actually is to work. The survey aims to find which companies give employees the best tools for personal success, such as  company culture and atmospher, professional training, and employee benefits. Below is a breakdown of how the employees surveyed responded:

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Source: Great Rated! 
Among some of the perks that employees listed were paid volunteer hours, rooms dedicated to bringing your dog to work, parent-to-be programs, competitive salaries and raises, discounts on company stock, and reimbursement for money spent on staying healthy. 

Some employee quotes taken from the Great Rated! profile: 

"The company has come up with really unique ways to engage and recognize employees. I have gone to concerts, sporting events and executive lunches as a form of recognition for my hard work. The company also is amazing at celebrating its success by giving back to the community. Our 15th birthday this year is a perfect example. We donated over 15,000 pounds of food to the San Francisco food bank." 
"This is the first company I've worked for that acknowledges where it has room for improvement in its hiring practices and actually acts upon its promises. We had a town hall and the COO was open about needing more women and minorities, even going as far as promising one female candidate for every VP spot. If an employee wants more responsibility to further their role, you only need to ask and follow through." 
"This is by far the best work environment I've worked in. We get free breakfast Monday to Thursday and lunch catered on Mondays as well. We have walking treadmill desks that help me be productive while feeling active and they have tons of relaxing places to work from within the building that are not your boring old desk." 
"Living a healthy lifestyle is encouraged and supported. Monthly stipends, fresh fruit and healthy snacks are all great ways to provide employees the options to live healthier lives." 
"They genuinely care for employees, they have events that the employee would have fun at, not just events that the company does to look better. They take any opportunity to make you feel good about working here. You just feel like you belong from day one."

And Salesforce.com isn't just one of the top tech companies to work for. Fortune magazine also ranked Salesforce as the number 7 in its 2014 list of the 100 best companies to work for (regardless of industry). 

Sources:
  1. Hanft, Sarah. "Salesforce.com Named One of the Best Workplaces in Tech!" Blog. Salesforce.com, 08 Oct. 2014. Web. 08 Oct. 2014.
  2. "Quiz." Salesforce.com. Great Rated, n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2014.
  3. Hackett, Robert, and Christopher Tkaczyk. "20 Great Workplaces In Tech." Fortune 20 Great Workplaces InTech Comments. Fortune, 08 Oct. 2014. Web. 08 Oct. 2014.

Monday, October 6, 2014

It's time for another installment of the SkyPlanner Parachute! Enjoy all the latest news on Salesforce, tech, business, and life!

business crm, cloud computing, CRM, inbound marketing, Lead management, Leads, outbound marketing, sales tracking, salesforce, salesforce automation, Salesforce CRM,

It's SkyPlanner Parachute Monday! Find out what we at SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, have been reading, watching, listening to, and learning from during the past week. Click on each link to view our curated content.

At SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, we love to hear from ours clients and supporters so please feel free to comment or email us with suggestions for future content.




Thursday, October 2, 2014

So much to do and so much time to do it in: A SkyPlanner refresher of all the things Salesforce developers and Salesforce admins can expect at Dreamforce '14!

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Salesforce.com's Dreamforce 2014 is less than two weeks away and SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, has been busy planning our trip to San Francisco. There's so much to do so a good plan is absolutely necessary. This recap of Dreamforce offerings for developers and admins should help you plan your own effective itinerary.

Everybody knows that Salesforce wouldn't be a fraction of what it has become if it weren't for the dedicated and innovative community of developers that spend countless hours customizing their customers' Salesforce organizations. That fact has led event organizers to think up and execute a bevy of activities catering to Salesforce developers. First off, developers can expect bigtime keynote like this one:


Developers will also be treated to the Developer Zone where developers first-hand glimpses of all the latest offerings from Salesforce. This year there will be more ISV involvement, more to learn about wearable tech, and an aptly named "Demo-palooza" complete with MC. Workshops will let developers get hands on training in a collaborative atmosphere. The developer workshop topics will center around codeless App Building, advanced coding with Apex and Visualforce, helping developers on other platforms become familiar with Salesforce, and expanding existing developers' knowledge of Salesforce stalwarts like Force.com, Heroku, and ExactTarget.

There will also be 250 dedicated sessions where developers can pose tough questions about anything Salesforce and get expert answers in an intimate setting.  Finally there will many opportunities for crossover with the Admin Zone. As the line between developers and admins continues to blur, Dreamforce has placed both zones adjacent to each to encourage as much overlap as possible.

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As for admins, Dreamforce will be inlude  aforementioned Admin Zone. The Admin Zone is a new addition to the already extensive Dreamforce experience. The Admin Zone is a sanctuary of tips and tricks, networking, demos, and expert Q&As. There will even be Apex workshops for those admins who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty in a big bucket of code. And the Admin Zone is located right next to the Developer Zone so prepare for some serious mingling. Admins can also look forward to over 125 40-minute sessions covering analytics, declaratives, mobile, career advice, multi-org functionality, sandboxes, data, and more. Sessions will cater to everyone from the newest greenhorn to the most grizzled veteran. Use the Dreamforce Agenda Builder to plan your schedule for maximum learning. Want to know where to go to get your organization working at lightspeed? Get on down to the Success Hub, where you can find hands-on Salesforce U training. The Success Hub is also where you'll have access to the Services and Premier Support teams.

Scattered throughout the conference are Circles of Success  where 6 to 8 other admins and a Salesforce product expert prepare for a wild ride as your new group of best friends navigates through specific Salesforce themes of your choosing. The themes covered include data, adoption, metrics, innovation, and the Marketing Cloud.

While these are most of the goodies geared towards Salesforce devs and admins there is so much more both groups can expect at this year's Dreamforce. Members of the SkyPlanner team are booked and ready to be a part of the world's greatest cloud computing Are you?