Comparing Cirrus Insights vs Appirio Cloudfactor – A Review

Posted by on Oct 23, 2012 in Cloud Computing, Google Apps, Salesforce, Sync

Users of Gmail and Google Apps have always needed better integration between their email and Salesforce, but unlike Outlook & Exchange users, Salesforce hasn’t built an app to facilitate connection. And we do need a tool to make the following things easier: View a contact’s Salesforce details quickly and easily, even when in the Gmail window. Create a new Salesforce Lead or Contact based on an incoming email When sending an email, create a task that associates that email with the Contact/Lead AND the relevant Case/Opportunity/Account. Luckily, two different third-party apps bring Salesforce information into the browser, allowing us to see context-relevant records all within the gmail window, without having to look someone up in Salesforce. It’s not just that the apps save time, they allow you to see information you wouldn’t have bothered to look for. We tried both, giving different users in our office one of the two integration tools. The clear winner was Cirrus Insights, and all users on Appirio requested to move over to Cirrus. For a one line summary, Cirrus is better because it’s on the sidebar and also loads faster. For further details, read on. Or, go ahead and give Cirrus Insights a try, they have 30 day full evaluation, after which you...

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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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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! Formulas – Tips and...

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Third Sector IT’s Partnership with Convio / Common Ground

Posted by on Mar 9, 2012 in Cloud Computing, Salesforce

We’re very excited to be partnering with Convio and their cloud-based fundraising solution for Non-Profits, Common Ground! Common Ground is deeply integrated into Salesforce, and allows charities using Salesforce to do so much more. We’re one of three organisations picked as UK partners – and quite frankly, we’re the coolest of the three. Best of all, Common Ground will help us defeat Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge. What? Blackbaud buying Convio? Errr…long live our new Database Overlords. If you’d like to learn more about Convio’s Common Ground, please join us for one of the following events: Introduction to Common Ground: an online product tour Take a free hour long guided tour through Convio Common Ground, the revolutionary cloud-based CRM system built on Salesforce without leaving the office. This platform lets you and your colleagues manage all your relationships in one place with social media built right in – sign up to see it in action! Dates: Tuesday, 20 March, 12:00-13:00 and Monday, 30 April, 12:00-13:00 Live Common Ground demo Because an hour is not long enough to show all the Common Ground has to offer, Convio would like to host you at our funky east London workshop space for a free extended in-person demo of the revolutionary cloud-based CRM system...

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