Phil’s Salesforce.com Tip of the Week

This week is my 100th ‘Tip of the Week’ post, and for week #100 I wanted to reach out to the Salesforce community for their thoughts and ideas on what their Tip of the Week would be. So here is a ‘longer than usual’ set of Tips from 11 special guests.

Everyone who has attended Dreamforce or the Salesforce1 World Tour knows that Peter Coffee starts off these events, and so to kick things off…

Tip #1 Peter Coffee (VP for Strategic Research, Salesforce.com) 

“Don’t let “the cloud” be positioned in people’s minds as “that which replaces everything else.” Rather, position cloud as the new nervous system: an added “innovation layer” that lets everything else, especially legacy systems of record, become more valuable. Make silo’d information more useful in more ways, without compromising security, and introduce mobility and collaboration as platform services rather than costly new projects. This makes cloud a win-win for every constituency in the organization.”

Tip #2 Mike Gerholdt (Salesforce Admin Evangelist, and Button Click Admin hero)

“Find and join a user group near you and make friends in social. It’s easy to feel like you are on an island, but there are a lot of incredibly helpful people at user groups and on Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. that like to solve problems. It’s a great way for you to see new features, and hear about problems that admins are solving, as well as helping others learn the platform.”

Tip #3 SteveMo (The legend of the Answers forum with over 33,000 Answers)

“The Pitfalls of Notes & Attachments – Notes&Attachments are like the Panda bear of SFDC (an Evolutionary Dead End) You can’t access them with an out of the box Report, Formula, Workflow, etc, they also can’t be uploaded via Salesforce1. A lot of SFDC Admins get rid of them and hide/remove the Notes&Attachments section from the page layouts and replace them with Custom Fields, Custom Objects, or use Chatter and Files instead.”

Tip #4 Bill Greenhaw (MVP and Sacramento User Group Leader)

“Going to Dreamforce ’14? You should take a look the wide range of DF14 specific Community Groups. There is even a Salesforce Success Community to help lose a few pounds or get a little more active before the huge event, join the DF ’14 Health and Weight Loss Challenge to challenge yourself and motivate others to get healthier leading up to Dreamforce.”

Tip #5 Eric Dreshfield (MVP and Southern Indiana User Group Leader)

“Tip for surviving your first Dreamforce – My number 1 tip for Dreamforce attendees is  NETWORK!! Talk to people, don’t be scared…talk to everyone you can. The person on your right when waiting in line to go into a session, the person sitting to your left once you get inside a session. When you go to breakfast or lunch (the one that’s included with your conference pass) pick a table with a few people and ask to join them…then introduce yourself. If you are shy, quiet or not very outgoing, take the high-tech approach to meeting people: hang out at the charging stations, or even at an outlet on a wall in the hallways with a surge strip to charge your tablet…share your power. One surge strip = five instant connections / friends!”

Tip #6 Jeff May (MVP, and top community contributor)

“How to troubleshoot a formula field formula:
Formula fields can sometimes be tricky.  Create a tabular report and add the formula field, as well as each of the fields referenced in your formula field.  You can create additional formula fields to specific values like #UserRole.Name.  Run the report to see which data combinations work, and which ones cause problems.”

Tip #7 Jen Nelson ( MVP and Chicago Suburban User Group Leader)

“My Tip is to let Admins know that they can add extra branding to their Salesforce.com Org by creating a Custom App that includes their own Company’s Logo. For further info take a look here ”

Tip #8 Caroline Renard (MVP, and Technology Interpreter for Arts Groups)

“The big news from the Salesforce Foundation is the release of the new version of the NonProfit Starter Pack. Any nonprofit/charity that signs up for a Salesforce trial from this week will get the new version, and existing customers can get details about upgrading from the Power of Us HUB. NPSP3 comes with lots of new features and fixes: there is a new Household Account model option, clever customizations around household naming and noting affiliations, and tools to manage seasonal addresses, amongst many other things. The installation process has been simplified, with one download now instead of six! My colleague Judi Sohn has more details here.”

Tip #9 Deepa Patel (MVP, and San Jose User Group Leader)

“Three tips for DF14. Invest is a good backup battery charger, wear comfortable shoes, sign up for HOTS!”

Tip #10 Jason Atwood (MVP, and Podcaster)

“My tip is an old school configuration one, which is to standardize the page layouts for all objects so that certain fields are in the same sections and locations. For example, while Salesforce sometimes puts “System Information” in its own section at the bottom of a page, when I customize an org I do this on every page layout on every object. The reason is that studies have shown that good user interface design includes consistent placement of the same functions, as the brain actually memorizes the hand eye coordination from tasks to task. So, putting this into practice in SFDC helps lower the learning curve, increase adoption and cut down on support calls.”

Tip #11 And last but not least, a word from Parker Harris – Salesforce.com Co-Founder 

“Make sure to take advantage of our IdeaExchange. We started the IdeaExchange to create a community where customers can suggest new product features and connect with product managers, developers, partners, other users and admins. Our team monitors the site and keeps the community updated on which ideas have been chosen and when they’ll arrive. You have a voice and we want to hear it. Visit ideas.salesforce.com and let us know what you think!”

Thank you

A huge thank you to everyone who reads my blog, you keep me motivated to dig for news, and to try new Apps and Salesforce functionality!
And massive thanks to all my Guest Bloggers this week, it is amazing that this community will pull together for each other, you guys are all officially #AWESOME!