Penrod Blog

Penrod’s Take: Looking Back at 2018, Looking Forward to 2019

Salesforce is closing the door on a successful 2018 and looking forward to an even greater 2019. Naturally, it’s the perfect time to look back—and ahead! Penrod gathered a group of our Salesforce experts to dish on what they loved in 2018 and what they can’t wait to get their hands on in 2019.

What was your favorite Salesforce feature, functionality, or release in 2018?

Keegan Tague, Salesforce Lead:

The new Cloud Flow Designer. It allows consultants and clients to build powerful automations without custom code.

I find it to be especially valuable for our Health and Life Sciences clients. For example, experimental drug companies need to have physicians create and review prescription records within Salesforce, which can be a complex workflow. These users may not be familiar with how Salesforce operates, but offering a step-by-step, screen-by-screen, guided experience showing them how to create records and complex automation allows for rapid onboarding with little to no training required.

Steven Soukup, Salesforce Specialist:

I really like the ability to customize the look and feel of Salesforce using Custom Themes. Clients love nothing more than to see their logo and color scheme throughout the org. It adds a nice touch to the implementation.

Our clients take a lot of pride in their organizations, and some, like Kawasaki, have a very recognizable brand and logo. It was cool to be able to customize Kawasaki’s solution; users got excited when they logged in and saw their logo and colors being used. It’s a simple thing that has a huge positive effect.

Thuyet Nguyen, Salesforce Project Manager:

My choice is factoring in secondary territory operating hours for resource scheduling in Field Service Lightning. It’s a common business need for many of our clients, especially ones that are growing and expanding territories, and it allows them to be more flexible when using the scheduling engine for resourcing.

One of our clients is a private utility locating service provider. Every day they have technicians in the field, locating underground utilities and structures prior to owners digging or building on the property. The field service techs are often assigned to more than one territory on a regular basis, based on proximity and skills coverage, for workload balancing. Their secondary territory can change from time to time, and to use optimized resource scheduling effectively, both their primary and secondary operating hours must be factored into scheduling work orders and service appointments. Now they can do this easily.

Renee Baumgartner, Salesforce Lead:

My top pick is Anonymous Surveys in Health Cloud. The ability to send out customized surveys to patients without another tool or help from a developer can be really helpful.

We partner with a Health and Life Sciences client that, sends surveys to gather feedback about how they are doing and why people may not be utilizing their services. Now they can send those surveys seamlessly and leverage Salesforce reporting tools at the same time.

Nick Coley, Salesforce Developer:

Apex Replay Debugger. Being able to debug complex custom logic is a crucial part of the work our Development team does. The Replay Debugger in VSCode is a paradigm shift in debugging Apex code and is a huge time saver!

One of our current clients runs significant parts of their nationwide business through their Salesforce build, and the interplay of custom business logic components and automation can get complicated. Replaying how code is executed, and being able to inspect variables and program states at various points in the code, can lead to significant time savings, which ultimately translates into our ability to more rapidly deliver enhancements that drive the business forward.

The Winter and Spring 2019 Salesforce Release Notes are out. What are you most excited about?

Keegan: I think the new improvements to the Lightning Experience, such as Lightning Console Apps, are going to be great. We see a lot of clients in the classic interface when we begin our relationships and the more flashy and powerful features Lightning offers, the more impressive that switch becomes for end users.

Steven: I think the Assign Owner to multiple Leads, Cases, or Custom Objects all at once is a really cool feature. Also, the ability to pin a different List View as the default is nice.

Thuyet: Amending subscription line items on the Quote Line Editor for Salesforce CPQ.

Renee: Pinned lists! Having the ability to have the same listview open every time you open a tab will save our clients—and us—lots of time.

Nick: The Field Service Lightning drag-and-drop crew management tool. The ability to modify crews in response to real-world conditions is a huge functionality improvement that allows FSL’s service crew feature to be used with existing business practices that have dynamic or frequently changing crew compositions.

Anything in the Salesforce Ecosystem you’re geeking out over right now?

Keegan: I’m really excited with the constant improvement and development of the relatively young Health Cloud platform. I believe we’ll see a quick expansion of the breadth of features and applications for the industry, such as the new clinical data model.

Steven: I’m excited to see continuous CPQ improvements. It’s such a powerful tool already and saves sales teams a lot of time every day. Given the amount of functionality that is currently in place, the opportunity for even more enhancements is enormous.

Thuyet: I’m really interested in seeing a combined CPQ, FSL, and Community use case where customers can generate quotes and schedule appointments themselves through a portal. I’ve heard multiple FSL clients talk about this “blue sky” scenario and would love to see it implemented.

Renee: Pretty much everything! It’s really fun to watch Salesforce constantly find new products and grow in new places. When I started working in the ecosystem, it was the newest and greatest CRM. It’s so much more than that now, and seeing Health Cloud come along and give the industry something new and exciting, the tool is far bigger than I would have ever imagined.

Nick: Field Service Lightning. I love working with it because it can be so transformative to dispatchers, service resources, and to an organization’s’ bottom line. It’s a powerful product, and each new release adds even more features. FSL is one of the most unique products offered by Salesforce; not only can it make your existing business processes more efficient, it can also transform scheduling and dispatching by leveraging advanced optimization features. As it’s feature set continues to grow, it appeals to more and more industries and organizations. I’m excited to see where it goes next.

Ready to ramp up your business? From Field Service to Health Cloud and everything in between, Penrod can help you customize and implement cutting-edge solutions. Contact us today!