Monday, August 19, 2019

SkyPlanner Named One of Inc.’s 5000 Companies


“There’s fast growth and then there’s Inc. 5000 fast-growth.” Last week, Inc. magazine unveiled its 2019 list of America’s fastest-growing and most inspiring companies to watch. We are thrilled to announce that for the first time in our history, SkyPlanner has been recognized as an innovator on a national platform. No small feat, Inc. 5000’s list represents a unique look at the most successful privately-held small businesses within the American economy, and once featured companies like Microsoft, Dell, Timberland, LinkedIn and Domino’s Pizza, before they achieved the international-scale exposure and popularity they enjoy today. 

“We are truly humbled and honored to be named one of Inc.’s 5000 companies this year,” expresses Rene Garcia, Co-Founder and Managing Director of SkyPlanner. “And we couldn’t have done it without the hard work and dedication of our amazing team-- this accomplishment is a testament that together, we can achieve anything. We hope this award serves as a source of inspiration-- for our team, partners and community-- so that we may continue to think differently, dream big and work tirelessly to create a future filled with possibility."

The Inc. 5000 has become the hallmark of entrepreneurial success, and it’s an honor to be recognized as one of the most successful independent companies in America. Eight years ago, we had a dream to help entrepreneurs like ourselves do more with their businesses. Today, we are awed by the results. It’s inspiring to see what true dedication, hard work and passion can do in such a short period of time. And although our mission has evolved to include leveraging the power of Salesforce to help companies, big and small, transform their businesses, we know that we are on the right track. And we know that together, we can do the impossible. 

“The companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 have followed so many different paths to success,” said Inc. editor in chief James Ledbetter. “There’s no single course you can follow or investment you can take that will guarantee this kind of spectacular growth. But what they have in common is persistence and seizing opportunities.”

This is the first time in our young history, that our work is recognized on a national scale, but it certainly won’t be the last. We look forward to serving our Clients with continued excellence and to celebrating many more achievements like this in the near future. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Salesforce Basecamp for Service: Top 5 Trends to Watch Out For



Last week we attended the Salesforce Basecamp for Service at the Hilton Miami Downtown and boy was it an incredible experience! The event showcased how Service Cloud can help companies empower their service teams with automation, embrace digital channels, and elevate their workforce. It featured Service in Action, delivered demos and included two theater sessions focused on Digital Engagement, Einstein Bots & AI Analytics, with keynote speakers including--
  • Michael Maoz, Senior VP of Innovation Strategy @Salesforce
  • Dave Gearhart, VP of Service Cloud - East Region @Salesforce
  • Ben Irvine, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Service Cloud @Salesforce
who spoke to the importance of leveraging service as a key differentiator in business. The event also included a panel of local customer service Trailblazers who shared firsthand tips about driving customer success with Salesforce. 

The future of customer service is evolving. With technology such as Business Intelligence (BI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), there are so many ways you can enhance the service experience for your customers. Here are the top 5 #CustomerService trends to watch out for in the next couple of years: 

1) Unified Customer Experience 

Service impacts every moment of customer interaction, that’s why it’s important to deliver a unified customer experience. Every moment is an opportunity for service. Businesses must evolve and become customer companies, making service their foundation. They need to reinvent themselves and their ecosystems to create new forms of customer value. It’s not about focusing on what other businesses are doing, it’s about focusing on what other businesses are doing well to serve their customers. 


“First focus on the needs of the customer, not on the competition.” 
- Michael Maoz


A customer uses an average of 10 channels for service; one way companies can elevate the customer experience is by automating routine customer interactions and enhancing every digital channel with service bots. They should also leverage technology to optimize existing operating model and business processes. 

2) AI Everywhere 
AI has a growing role in service, particularly for use cases such as chatbots, text & voice analytics, and more. Customers are already using AI everyday, case in point, Amazon’s Alexa. AI analyzes massive amounts of data to give evidence-based suggestions. For example, with Einstein Analytics for Service Cloud, you can automate processes, enable personalization, and gain key insight about your customers. More and more, you’ll see companies adopt AI for their service and support teams. In fact, AI adoption is expected to surge by 143% over the next 18 months. 


Dave Gearhart, Erin Wilson, and Michael Maoz share their Service Cloud tips. 

3) Contextually Precise Personalization

Personalization is key to great customer service. It’s your company’s responsibility to anticipate what your customers need before they reach out, and assist them right away. With each generation, connection means something different to everyone, but BI and AI help businesses tailor messages in order to establish that special connection with their customers regardless of age, profession, or interests. 


“Your customers expect you to know why they’re contacting you.” -  Ben Irvine 


Not only do we need to personalize agent services, but we also need to offer personalized self service so customers can help each other as well. Humans are highly influenced by recommendations from what to watch on Netflix to where to travel to by Airbnb. With AI, recommendation algorithms will deliver precise personalization that will assist in service and sales.  

4) Evolving Workforce 
The workforce is changing. In fact, 80% of the global workforce, (2.7 billion people!) today does not sit at a desk. And with technology coming into play, the role of agents is becoming more strategic now than ever, resulting in the upskilling of the workforce. AI, for instance, is empowering agents to transition into elevated roles. The agent’s job now is focused on understanding the customer and delivering an exceptional experience while also building and maintaining long-term customer relationships. Companies need to adopt a unified agent workspace so that their agents are situationally aware and can respond fast to unplanned events.  


Theater Session on AI + Analytics for Intelligent Customer Success 

Engaged employees are the key to customer experience excellence. That’s why we need to automate routine customer interactions, and assist and educate agents so that they’re well prepared to tackle each customer interaction on a personalized basis and treat it in the unique manner the customer demands.  

5) New Age of Service
The future of service is here and there are so many more exciting changes to come. Don’t believe us? Just check out these 7 fascinating predictions by Salesforce:

By 2022...
  • 75% of service/support interactions will not involve a case.
  • the majority of customer service/support engagements will involve mobile messaging, WhatsApp and WeChat, driven by machine learning bots.
By 2023...
  • Up to 50% of support interaction will be carried out by customers using a speech-driven, AI-based application.
  • Over 75% of customer engagement resolutions will come from recommendations curated based on advanced CBR (case-based reasoning) AI inside of a knowledge management system. 
By 2024...
  • Customers will expect the business to understand their reasons for contacting you before a customer support request is initiated. 
  • Data visualization of real time information will be a standard tool for Customer Service supervisors and managers.
And over the next 5 years...
  • Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) systems will support ‘multi-business’ processes.  


Stay up to date on the latest in Service Cloud: 

Have a project in mind? Get started today!


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Salesforce Miami User Group is Back


Hey Trailblazers! We’re so excited to announce the summer edition of our #SalesforceMiami User Group taking place on Wednesday, August 14th from 5pm-8pm at the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC Miami).  

The event will feature talks about what’s new at Salesforce, best practices, tips & tricks and product demos. Guests will have the unique opportunity to meet community members, hangout with local Trailblazers and make some awesome new friends.

This is our second User Group event of the year, and will be hosted by our very own Co-Founder & Managing Director, Jorge Fernandez. If you haven’t had the chance to attend one of our events, we recommend you stop by this one and get to know your #SalesforceMiami community. We’re a lively bunch excited to exchange ideas, support one another and talk about all things Salesforce. 

“Our goal with the Salesforce Miami User Group is to come together as a community, not only to share information but also to inspire each other, “ expresses Jorge. “We’ve been hosting these events since last July and have had a lot of fun bringing the community together.”

Our Salesforce Miami User Groups were created as a place where everyone is welcomed to learn and ask questions. It’s like the community cloud coming to life. 

“Whether you’re a beginner or advanced admin, we hope to foster an inclusive community that provides value for everyone wherever they are on their Salesforce journey,” adds Jorge. 

Join us for an unforgettable night of networking, happy hour and Salesforce chats. The event is free and open to the public, just make sure you register here.

Stay tuned for our speaker line-up and chats to be announced soon.

We hope to see you there

EVENT INFO: 
WHEN: Wed, August 14th, 5pm - 8pm ET

1951 NW 7th Ave #600 
Miami, FL 33136 
*Self-parking is available


Friday, June 7, 2019

What's New at Salesforce: Our Top 5 Highlights from TrailheaDX 2019



Daymel, Tamara, and Diana heating things up at #TDX19
Last week, our very own SkyPlanner team members Daymel, Tamara, and Diana attended Salesforce TrailheaDX, a 2-day developer-focused conference designed for everyone who wants to learn about building on the Salesforce Platform, from advanced admins, developers, architects to beginners who are just getting started with the platform. Hosted in downtown San Francisco, this year’s event featured hundreds of hands-on learning experiences including workshops, technical sessions, certifications, demos, challenges and more; and offered attendees the opportunity to learn from Salesforce engineers, product leaders and developer luminaries, while connecting them with fellow trailblazers from all over the world. All about learning, coming together as one community and giving back, this annual conference is an epic celebration of everything Salesforce.

Our team came back raving about the event, describing the energy as electrifying. Everyone was thrilled to be there, excited to help one another and to come together as one Ohana. Salesforce leaders shared insights on the latest and greatest Salesforce products and innovations, showing attendees how Salesforce is blazing a better future filled with opportunities for everyone—businesses and communities alike, all over the world. And Mackelmore and DJ Umami made a surprise appearance — what an experience!



We sat down with the team to collect their top highlights and here’s what they had to say:

1) Blockchain Technology
Blockchain technology was the star of the show at this year’s TrailheaDX. From finance to agriculture, its applications are numerous and absolutely incredible. If you’re unfamiliar with blockchain, it’s a growing list of records of transactional data that’s maintained across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network. The data is immutable, irreversible, and always up to date on all participants’ networks. This creates a democratic system where all transactions are permanent and transparent, holding everyone involved, accountable for their actions.

“We help companies build for the future by making breakthrough technology accessible and easy to use—today we are doing just that with Salesforce Blockchain… Now, companies will be able to create new ecosystems and achieve new levels of interconnectivity through trusted partner networks.” said Bret Taylor, President and Chief Product Officer at Salesforce.
Keynote: Introduction to Blockchain for CRM

Salesforce Blockchain is a low-code blockchain platform connected to CRM that allows organizations to securely collaborate and share data across a trusted network of partners and third parties. It creates an opportunity for organizations to build blockchain networks, workflows, and apps to better serve customers. With Salesforce Blockchain, organizations will be able to design new business processes and models that bridge sales, service, marketing, and beyond to increase the speed of business, freeing up employees to focus on more high-value work. In addition, blockchain can be used for cases including asset tracking, and credentialing, verification, and authentication of products. Future applications of blockchain include validating the origin and safety of food and pharmaceutical drugs, authenticating high-value items like art or jewelry, securing voting, or moving healthcare records from one provider to another.

An early version of Salesforce Blockchain has been released for designated partners and customers, but will become more widely available in 2020. However, you can still learn the basics of Salesforce Blockchain in this new Trailhead module.

2) Open Source Ecosystem for Lightning Web Components
Salesforce also announced that they will be open sourcing Lightning Web Components -- a huge opportunity for innovation as it opens the door to millions of developers and gives them the access to build apps on the Lightning Platform. Developers everywhere will be able to create web components on the development stack of their choosing. They’ll also be free to code with the same standards-based framework and build applications on any platform, using the tools and open languages of their choice.

“Open source software is a leading accelerant for innovation. With more companies than ever investing in open source, Salesforce is proud to continue its work supporting an open web by empowering developers with an enterprise-ready framework to build the next generation of connected experiences.” said Chris Kelly, Director of Open Source at Salesforce.

This healthy open source ecosystem will foster a world of innovation that will benefit both the community and businesses in different ways. Any developer will be able to contribute and help define the future of development on Salesforce. If you’re a developer, you can get started right away by visiting Lightning Web Components and GitHub.

3) Ruth, the elephant in the room
Image courtesy of Salesforce
Meet Ruth, Salesforce’s charming lady elephant and the newest addition to the Salesforce Ohana! Sassy, with a can-do attitude, Ruth is the expert in all things architecture and will be leading the troops in leveling up their architecture skills. Look out for her on Trailhead and if you’re up for the challenge, try your hand at “Advanced Apex Specialist,” her favorite superbadge. #GirlPower

4) AI & Responsibility
Trailhead launched a new module titled Responsible Creation of Artificial Intelligence that focuses on teaching users how to use and build AI in a responsible manner. One of the biggest challenges with AI is its susceptibility for bias; and the first step in preventing bias is to understand how it works and how it can appear within models and training data.

“We aim to empower developers, designers, researchers, writers, product managers — everyone involved in the creation of AI systems — to learn how to use and build AI in a responsible and trusted way and understand the impact it can have on end users, business, and society.” - Kathy Baxter, architect of ethical AI practice at Salesforce.

With Trailhead’s new module, users will learn how to detect bias and avoid it in their algorithms.The module is designed for everyone from data scientists to business managers alike. This is one step forward to building a better future with AI.

5) Trailmoji

Want to dive even deeper into the Salesforce Ohana? You can now use Salesforce characters to express yourself with Trailmoji. Create and share your own Trailmoji that reflects your personal style, hobbies, and interests. The app also allows you to chat with Trailhead peers during Salesforce events and year-round, share stickers in your favorite apps, and use augmented reality (AR) to create dancing versions of Trailhead characters. You can get started by downloading Trailmoji on the App Store or Google Play.



Altogether, TrailheaDX was one for the books! We came back feeling empowered and ready to make the world a better place. We can’t wait to return to San Francisco and see what’s in store for next year.

Monday, May 6, 2019

The Top 5 Things We Learned at eMerge 2019

From Pitbull’s wisdom to robotic florists, here’s everything we learned from eMerge.



Last week, on Monday and Tuesday, we participated in our second eMerge Americas yet. eMerge is Miami’s premier tech event connecting Latin America to the rest of the world. Every year, the two-day conference brings together start-ups, government leaders and small to mid-size enterprises, and introduces them to the Miami community. This year’s event featured 180+ speakers, 270+ exhibitors, and a Shark Tank startup competition with more than 100 competing ventures.
Our amazing SkyPlanner team!

At this year’s eMerge, we gave attendees a sneak-peek at our new company branding, including a new SkyPlanner logo, look & feel, swag, signage and more, previewing where we’re headed and what our future looks like. Later this year, we’ll be launching a new website, a bigger and better social media presence and more! Stay tuned for the big reveal. Details coming this summer.

The star of the show, Astro poses with our co-founders, Rene & Jorge and Raul from Salesforce! 

This time around, we took residency at Booth 432 and our team (South Florida’s largest group of Salesforce certified specialists) gave attendees an insider look on how they can get the most out of their Salesforce experience. Through LIVE demos, the team educated attendees on the power of Salesforce technology, walked them through each of the products, shared tips & tricks on data organization and educated them on what Customer Relationship Management (CRM) truly is and what it entails. From Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud to Customer Communities, our team answered questions and provided insight on all things Salesforce. You can still find some of these tips on our twitter @SkyPlanner.

Our gong was a hit! Symbolizing unity & success, this gong rings with a little pixie dust and a whole lot of Salesforce magic. 


TALKS, HIGHLIGHTS & MORE


Jeff Hoffman and Pitbull

1) Design Your Future, Pitbull & Jeff Hoffman

Miami’s very own, Mr. 305 and Grammy Award Winning Artist, Pitbull, along with global entrepreneur, Jeff Hoffman delivered the most motivating talk. Together they shared their stories and expert advice on how to become a successful entrepreneur, emphasizing the importance of the people you invite to join you on that journey.

“It’s not about the journey or the destination, but the people you share it with.”

Pitbull went on to explain that money problems are the root of too many broken up partnerships and lost friendships. And that it’s better to stay focused on value. “We need to love what we’re doing and enjoy it with the people we’re doing it with regardless of the money. Money is not the goal, but a bonus. Our goal should always be to provide value in one way or another.” Thank you Pitbull and Jeff for the valuable insight!

2) KnoNap, A Napkin that Knows

One of the most interesting startups we saw was KnoNap, winner of eMerge’s Shark Tank startup competition and a D.C. based company founded by Danya Sherman, a student at George Washington University. KnoNap is a cocktail napkin that detects the presence of certain types of date rape drugs in your drink. All you have to do is place a few drops of your drink onto the napkin and if the napkin changes color, then it indicates that your drink has been tampered with and is no longer safe to consume. Neat!


Michael Keider and Jim Chung

3) Global Lessons from the World’s Largest Tech Accelerator, Jim Chung & Michael Keider

George Washington University’s Jim Chung (Associate VP, Research, Innovation & Entrepreneurship) and Michael Keider (Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering) delivered one of the most fascinating talks about Entrepreneurship. The duo developed a new and improved scientific method that challenges the traditional approach to founding start-ups, focusing on experimentation, first steps and building a customer-centric company.

"Entrepreneurship needs to be evidence based and not faith based.”

In other words, you shouldn’t base your conviction purely on faith but instead learn through experimentation. You also need to lead with the business model, before you can think about diving into the business plan. And finally, you need to focus on developing a customer-centric company that provides value to the customer, before you can begin digging into the product development. As both speakers eloquently stated, “it’s not about what you can do, but rather what you can do for them.”


4) Floravina, World’s First Robotic Floral Designer

Another awesome startup we came across, is Fort Lauderdale based Floravina, the world’s first robotic floral designer. This startup is tackling the shortage of florists with the necessary skills to create physical arrangements for mass shipping. Founder Alex Frost claims his device can save wholesalers 80% on labor costs, and plans to market it to both florists and mass retailers such as Walmart and Publix who organize bouquets.

5) Women in Tech

We were delighted by the number of female leaders presenting and exhibiting at this year’s event. In a largely male dominated industry, it’s exciting to see gender diversification represented across speakers, exhibitors, CEOs and emerging tech startup founders. Some of our favorite talks were hosted by the WIT Signature Panel and featured disruption in venture capital, funding women founders, live pitches and what it takes to scale without venture capital.



And that’s a wrap! A BIG thank you to everyone who came by our booth last week. We had a great time exhibiting, talking about Salesforce, catching up with old friends and making new ones.


eMerge 2020, we’ll see you next year!

 
                                                  



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Thursday, April 18, 2019

SkyPlanner Brings Salesforce Solutions to eMerge Americas 2019



With Offices in Miami, FL, Bogotá, Colombia and Espírito Santo, Brazil, SkyPlanner is the Trusted Salesforce Partner of the Americas.


Attention all Trailblazers! SkyPlanner is thrilled to announce its participation at eMerge Americas, the premier tech event connecting Latin America to the rest of the world and transforming Miami into the tech hub of the Americas.The event will take place on April 29-30 at the Miami Beach Convention Center and will showcase the latest innovations in tech including SkyPlanner’s cloud based business solutions.


SkyPlanner aims to support as many businesses in the Americas as it can, using Salesforce to improve their productivity and leverage optimization. For us, it’s not just about doing business, it’s about developing real, long-term relationships and doing everything we can to help our partners succeed,” notes Co-founder Rene Raul Garcia.


Image courtesy of Mitchell Zachs Photography



SkyPlanner will be making its second debut at eMerge Americas this year. Its multilingual team will be performing live demos, showcasing its Appexchange products and customizable business optimization solutions for customer relationship management (CRM), sales, marketing, support and more. Attendees will also get the chance to score free consultations to assess their business.


With the largest team of Salesforce certified experts in the South Florida area, SkyPlanner welcomes attendees to stop by and learn about the latest trends in tech and what's happening at Salesforce.


“We are better together. Our success is the sum of all and that’s why we are committed to helping you out, whether you’re new to Salesforce or already a user,” adds Rene.


If you’re at eMerge Americas, stop by booth #432 right by the eMerge Cafe, grab some free swag and learn how SkyPlanner can help you work smarter to maximize your business results. For more information on the event and to register for tickets, click here.



We hope to see you there!