Posts by sgrunow

Salesforce Administration and Staff Turnover at a Small Charity

Posted by on Oct 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

This blog post is from a Q&A I had with a Salesforce administrator at a small charity. She is currently the project owner, champion, and administrator, though is largely self taught in Salesforce. She asks about the pros and cons of her taking the discounted ADM 201 with Salesforce, or whether her successor should. Rachel READ Hi Stony, I was wondering if I could get some advice? I’m currently about to work on implementing our Salesforce database pretty much full time, but only until the end of December. In order to focus this time, I’m trying to get advice on how useful it would be for the organisation, both for the next few months and into the future, if I attended the the ADM course. I’ve also been asked to make some recommendations about next steps for READ after I leave; do you perhaps have any examples from organisations you have worked with about how to hand over the work I’ve done and ensure the database is as sustainable as possible? I suppose we’re looking to understand whether someone internal can pick it up or whether we might need to consider budgeting for some consultancy work going forwards. If you have any pearls of wisdom to share on the...

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Managing with Dashboards explained in great New York Times article

Posted by on Oct 5, 2012 in Reporting, Salesforce

A lot of our clients look at Salesforce Reports and Salesforce Dashboards that we help them create, and say “That’s great! Errr, now what do I do?” The transition from working for your company or organisation to working on it is a big jump, and it can be hard not to wonder whether you are abdicating your responsibility or instead being responsible by delegating. Or maybe both? Dashboards help by giving you a high-level, graphical overview of the key metrics and indicators you are working with. At regular intervals, be they weekly, monthly or quarterly, you can determine what is happening, and what the trends are, and discuss those numbers with the people responsible for them. You may not know the details, nor can your brain hold all those details, but you are delegating the handling of the details while keeping aware of the aggregate results. The mechanics of this is written up beautifully in a post by Josh Patrick in the New York Time, How A Dashboard Can Set You Free. Josh is on twitter at @AskJoshPatrick. Below, you’ll see an example of what a Salesforce dashboard looks...

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Misunderstanding data centres, privacy, and legal concerns

Posted by on Sep 20, 2012 in Cloud Computing, Salesforce

According to a Computer Weekly article, Alzheimers’ CIO Phil Shoesmith ‘slammed’ Salesforce’s lack of an EU datacentre. While I agree it would be nice for Salesforce have an EU data centre, and they did promise one, such a data centre would do nothing to alleviate Shoesmith’s concerns. Shoesmith is unhappy that Salesforce doesn’t have an EU data centre, as “there were some concerns about using cloud solutions, particularly US-based cloud solutions for our data.” This is where I start to wonder if either Computer Weekly misconstrued Shoesmith’s words, or if Shoesmith doesn’t actually understand how cloud computing works. Salesforce, like any decent company offering a cloud solution, has multiple data centres, and have designed their systems so that at any time, an entire data centre could get taken offline and (in theory) people would continue their work uninterrupted. Not doing this would be mind-numbingly irresponsible on Salesforce’s part. I hope Salesforce does put a data centre in the EU, but even if they do, a copy of all of Shoesmith’s data will still be in the US. If he’s going to demand anything, it should be for two EU data centres (preferably located in different EU countries) with their data segmented away from the rest of Salesforce’s network (so...

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Free replacement for the retired Salesforce for Google Adwords (SFGA) plugin

Posted by on Aug 22, 2012 in Salesforce

[Update Dec 2012] Native Salesforce App replacement! If you want a Salesforce for Google Adwords replacement, check out Daddy Analytics – a native app on the app exchange. Prices are low, seems decent. Or, read on for the original post. It’s not elegant, but the following technical post will help people get a working replacement to the now unavailable Salesforce for Google Adwords (SFGA) plugin. Background: If you had installed & setup SFGA, and also added a tracking cookie on your Website, then when visitors submitted a web-to-lead form on your website, additional information called Lead Source Details was attached to that lead as a task. This task contained info on what website the visitor had come from,  the initial URI of the landing page, including query strings, and the keywords they searched for (if they used a search engine). Here is the text of an actual task from our Salesforce instance: In this example, I can see that the lead searched for “salesforce charity training” using Bing. Salesforce announced that SFGA was being retired May 2013 for existing installs, and unavailable for new installs. Replacements exist, but most involve coughing up several thousand dollars a month to the likes of Marketo and Eloqua. I’m sure these apps are worth it...

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Keeping Your Pictures and Documents safe and secure

Posted by on Aug 20, 2012 in Cloud Computing

While Salesforce.com is our favorite cloud-based solution, there are other cloud solutions that solve different needs. This post is about keeping your valuable data safe, even if you experience fire, theft, or dead hard drives. I’ve talked to inconsolable friends who lost five years of baby pictures when their laptops crashed, and others when their their business files ended up on a dead hard drive. It’s an awful place to be, and can be prevented easily, and sometimes for free. Some people backup with an external hard drive, but one of my friends had their house burgled, and both laptop and external hard drive were stolen together. Basically, if you value it, keep it in two locations. One of the easiest ways to do this is with cloud-based document and/or backup tools. My two favorite are Dropbox and iDrive. Both give you a limited space for free, or you can pay for more. If you signup for the free accounts, you can usually save all your documents (like Word, Excel, and financial stuff) and a thousand or so pictures, but not much more. If you want to backup thousands and thousands of photos, or your music or video collection, you’ll usually have to pay. Dropbox Summary Dropbox is best...

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Formula Tips and Tricks at the UK Salesforce NfP Usergroup

Posted by on Apr 16, 2012 in Salesforce, Salesforce UserGroup NfP

Today I had the pleasure of presenting one of my favorite topics, and what is hopefully a favorite topic of lazy (er, I mean efficient…) Salesforce Admins the world over: Formulas. You can use Salesforce Fomulas to link to other databases and websites, to bring in images from the likes of Yahoo Finance and Google Charts, or even to help you auto-fill objects by adding / overriding a New Object button. The slide deck below references a tremendous wealth of further reading, videos, and documentation, including a Dreamforce video on using Google Charts with Salesforce Formulas. And, the last two pages of the slide deck contain formulas you can plug into your Salesforce org without creating any additional fields (other than, of course, the formula field). Enjoy! Salesforce.com Formulas – Tips and...

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