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Entries in Salesforce AppExchange (8)

Tuesday
Jun112013

Salesforce Launches Mobile Government Solutions

Keeping an eye on the mobile revolution, last week, Salesforce.com announced that it's releasing a suite of solutions aimed at helping governments better connect with each other and with their citizens.

This suite of solutions include Rapid Response 311, Mobile Communities for Government, Platform Mobil Services for Government, and Government Social Command Center. According to the CIO/CTO for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Sonny Hashmi, the GSA has already developed over a 100 new apps on the Salesforce Appexchange  platform, averaging more than 90% reduction in total cost of ownership and a 75% reduction in app development time. "Serving the public today means being good stewards of taxpayer dollars and doing far more with far less," said Hashmi.

It's been known that government agencies have not been keeping pace with the mobile revolution. Like in most organizations, abandoning legacy systems and shifting to mobile devices offers new ways for governments to connect with employees and citizens. Dan Burton, senior vice president of Government Technologies at Salesforce says that budgets are tight everywhere, particularly at the Federal level, where they're faced with sequestration and cuts.

"...Budgets structurally reinforce silos and duplicative systems...Innovation in public sector lags behind the private sector. Very few government agencies have mobile-enabled solutions, and few are able to serve citizens across all channels... To succeed, they must shed the legacy IT systems designed for the last century and embrace mobile cloud solutions that transform their ability to connect with citizens."

Hopefully, with the addition of these new Salesforce apps governments will have better communication with its citizens...at least, one can dream, right?

Saturday
Apr142012

The Cloud, Salesforce and Nonprofits

While non-profits may have endless ideas and passion, they often lack the necessary technology to put those ideas into action. The cloud is turning out the be a great resource for non-profits to aid them in spreading their messages and visions. In fact, a study of non-profits from last fall shows that 91% of all non-profit companies are using some kind of cloud-based resources. Email is the most common with 69% use amongst the respondents. When asked about the reasons they preferred the cloud, the respondents answered that they liked the remote access, the ease of maintenance and the modern features and interfaces. 

It seems to me that non-profits and the cloud are, to use a cliche, a match made in heaven. Many of these companies that are working with limited funds will see a decrease in cost over time. Since cloud solutions can be costly to implement initially it's helpful that the cost decreases greatly over time. 

I find all the innovations in the cloud that help nonprofits very interesting. The cloud allows for so many different solutions to help nonprofit companies meet their needs. Our very own Salesforce includes a special edition version just for nonprofits tailored to help them manage their grants, resources and members. The relationships that are present in a nonprofit environment can be hard to manage due to their complexity but Salesforce has naturally found a solution to the problem. The biggest aid Salesforce offers to nonprofits is its Nonprofit Starter Pack. It's entirely free and helps nonprofits by setting up all the tools they need for effective CRM. Salesforce has a very handy (though a bit long) video to show all the ways in which you can use it's nonprofit offerings.

 

Recently, I learned of the organization Cloud for Good which helps nonprofits implement cloud-based applications using either Salesforce or Google Apps. They offer an extensive number of services to help create strategies for nonprofits to help aide them in the their missions. I don't recognize other blogs often enough here at Salesforce General so I thought that I'd take the chance today to say that one of my favorite things about Cloud for Good is their blog. The updates are always great and they find the best free resources to help nonprofits succeed in the cloud. 

Anyway, that's a brief overview of the ways in which cloud can be used to help power a nonprofit organization. I'm excited to see what new innovations are coming next.  

Wednesday
May112011

Data Quality Tips, part 2

These Data Quality notes are straight from the Dallas Salesforce Users Group meeting last month. There was so much info, I had to divide it into two posts. Part one is two posts back or click here. In part two, I am just picking up where I left off in the previous post.

More from Symphonic Source on setting and maintaining high standards of data quality. This is the second half of the presentation that Symphonic Source made to the Dallas Salesforce Users Group last month.
Data Quality Stewardship
•    Educate-Convey the importance of Data Quality to individual job roles and to the company mission.
•    Analyze-Understand usage trends and need. Adapt processes accordingly.
•    Standardize-Establish policies and processes. Train best practices.
•    Monitor-Regularly review processes and validate data.
•    Facilitate-Utilize available resources to add efficiency and make tasks easier.
•    Reinforce-Encourage data quality practices with rewards.
Some Best Practices to consider
•    Preventing errors at their source is more efficient than search and repair
•    Minimize future errors by eliminating root causes
•    Automate processes for added efficiency and scaling
•    Establish goals
•    Set metrics and create reports
•    Analyze available resources (budget)
•    Nominate tools (i.e. for duplication)
•    Implement data quality processes
•    Communicate plan to stakeholders
Elevating Data Quality
Standardize-
•    Set policies for naming conventions such as Inc/INC/Incorp/Incorporated)
•    Use validation to standardize addresses, phone, and other information
•    Create pick lists for standard fields such as role, title, department, products, etc.
Cleanse-
•    Rectify missing, wrong, or contradictory data
•    Deduplicate records and offload unused data
•    Utilize automation tools and check data against other systems
Enhance-
•    Augment and enrich records with missing information
•    Poll users on data that would add intelligence and value
•    Pull in meaningful data from other internal systems
Resources
DupeCatcher is a free tool available from the Salesforce AppExchange. Immediately upon installation you can begin to block duplicates at the point of entry to your Salesforce database. The package allows you to create custom lead, account, and contact dedupe filters and rules as well as run reports on how often they are triggered. In other words, it is very customizable to your needs.  User reviews tell us that it is simple to set up and get working toward a cleaner database right away. Another advisable step is to set it up, let it run in the background, making valuable information available to admins about where your duplicates are coming from, potentially showing the root cause of duplicates being entered. With this information you can be strategic about how you set your DupeCatcher filters and rules. For assistance downloading and set up, there is a quick start guide available at www.dupecatcher.com as well as quick, how-to videos on the Symphonic Source YouTube channel.

Friday
Apr152011

The Latest in Social Media Help from Salesforce

Managing Social Media in the workplace is a a challenge that requires a full toolbox. There is a Force.com  posting this week that is a good summary of the latest additions to the AppExchange from the Force.com Labs that may include just the tool you need.

  • Salesforce for Twitter and Facebook v4
  • Chatter Blacklist
  • Chatter Out of Office (detailed in a previous post)
  • Chatter Bucks
  • Group Master

You can not afford to not have the most current Facebook and Twitter information as it relates to Salesforce if your marketing group is using these avenues (who isn't?). Your compliance officer has been waiting anxiously for the day that Chatter Blacklist was available to monitor posts for forbidden words! A nice, p/c substitution appears in place of the blacklisted messaging! We covered the Chatter Out of Office tool a few posts back and it is awesome! Group Master is another great tool when it comes to managing your Chatter groups and reigning it all in. Thanks Force.com Labs for putting out these practical tools to make us smile and so our workday will go a little bit smoother.

Monday
Apr112011

Dallas User Group Meeting

Any Dallas readers in the house? I was just reading that the Dallas User Group meets next week and their topic is Data Quality. That should generate some good questions and conversation! It's a subject that is high on everyone's priority list. If you work with any database, and depend on reports, you know how important the topic is. They will cover Best Practices and Symphonic Source will be presenting a demo of their popular app, DupeCatcher, available here on the Salesforce AppExchange. Here is the time and place if you happen to be in the Dallas area.

Dallas Salesforce.com User Group Meeting: Wednesday April 20th, 2011 - 11:45am - 2:00pm

Freeman
1600 Viceroy Dr
Dallas, TX 75235

Where do I park?
Please park in the surface lot across from our building and walk into the building. Our visitor spaces need to remain open for building customers.

Who should attend?
These meetings are generally targeted towards the Salesforce "champions" within an organization, however, users, admins, executives and potential customers are encouraged to attend.

Friday
Apr012011

New jewel on the AppExchange

For all the wonderful attributes of Chatter,  there are times when limits are helpful or even required. So when a solution was mentioned in the recemt Chatter Developer Tips and Tricks webinar, evidently the requests started flowing in for how to get copy of the app that was demonstrated.  The app is now available on the AppExchange as an unmanaged package! This may be just what you need to solve that pesty compliance issue or streamline conversations.  The handy dandy App lets you filter Feed posts, comments, and User status updates for blacklisted words.  Useful for compliance issues, the app also makes full use of the new (Spring ’11) feature of writing Chatter triggers.  Are you making use of this already? I would love to hear how it’s working out for you.  Click here for the post that tells more.

Friday
Feb112011

DupeCatcher Releases New Merge Function

I downloaded DupeCatcher several months ago from the Salesforce AppExchange and it was been a great, free tool for blocking entry of duplicate leads, contacts, and accounts into my Salesforce database. They recently released  much-needed new features. I'll highlight the new Merge feature today. With the new functionality, users can quickly and easily display data points from multiple like records, select updated and important information via quick radio buttons, and combine duplicates into a single, complete, and accurate Salesforce record. I think you will be impressed as well. I found a quick demo of this new feature on their YouTube channel. Take a quick look and see if this tool could be helpful to you as well.

Tuesday
Feb012011

A New Version of DupeCatcher

I mentioned a must-have app from the AppExchange a couple of months back, DupeCatcher, so wanted you to know that a new version of this deduplication tool is available as of yesterday on their AppExchange listing. The update adds merge and convert features that your Salesforce users and Salesforce Administrators are going to find valuable. And yes, it is still free!

The merge feature allows users to quickly display multiple like records, select key information via radio buttons and combine duplicates into one single, updated Salesforce record.

The functionality of the new convert features allows for matching incoming leads  to existing contacts or accounts and converting the new lead to the correct record type.

I don't know anyone using Salesforce that isn't constantly working on maintaining data quality standards so that makes this impressive tool worth looking at.  It is on the Salesforce AppExchange Top Ten Free Apps list for good reason.

It's easy to find out more about this tool. You can read yesterday's press release here. There's a new YouTube channel with a demo and some how-to info on the new features, and of course, there's the AppExchange listing, where they have updated their UserManual to include merge and convert information. All that for free. Impressive.