Salesforce 2016 World Tour Melbourne - Financial Services Cloud summary

One of the big news items during the Salesforce World Tour 2016 in Melbourne on Tuesday was the APAC introduction of the new Salesforce Financial Services Cloud. We sent our crack team to the Financial Services track and asked them to provide a quick summary of what the new Financial Services Cloud offer. 

What is the Financial Services Cloud?

Besides the big smiles, here is their rapid fire summary of the new Financial Services Cloud.

A: Financial Services Cloud is the first industry product built by Salesforce, tailored to Wealth Managers. It serves Financial Advisors, their teams and their clients. Built on the salesforce platform, Salesforce Financial Services Cloud is designed to transform the client-advisor relationship for the digital age.

Who is the Financial Services Cloud for?

A: Financial Services Cloud provides an advice platform that is tailored to any Financial Services professional with a high touch relationship model. First cab of the rank is Wealth Management Advisors and Advisor teams.

Financial Services Cloud can extend to Insurance advisors selling wealth management products and to high end retail banks.

What are the primary value propositions for the Financial Services Cloud?

1. Speed and lower TCO:

As the industry prepares itself for the enormous opportunity offered by secure cloud services, it is looking to technology partners to not only offer more, but to reduce time to market and simpify ownership. That means Salesforce needs to work [off the shelf] with less implementation effort (cost and time).

2. Continuous Wealth Management innovation:

Salesforce is putting its whole weight behind this industry, condensing everything it has learned about wealth management over the last 15 years and combining it with a modern clean interface. Many of the leading wealth managers have used Salesforce to create great experiences (paperless offices, gamification, leading edge goals based engagement, etc). This knowledge has now been productised. The result is a platform built to take advisors to the next stage of their journey, delivering new features 3 times per year.

3. Advice not admin

The end result is lower cost:income ratios. Your high cost/high value advisors spend less time doing admin and more time in front of clients. You need less back office support, your clients feel loved like never before and reduced attrition rates will follow. You'll have more time to spend with new prospects and can focus on growing the top line.

4. Baked right into the Salesforce Platform

For the first time ever we are speaking the language of the industry natively in Salesforce.

Native dashboards focused on helping advisors manage their books, deepen client relationships and grow their portfolio will simplify reporting and improve your productivity.  The ability to look at Clients and Households and see the engagements across both will help you slice and dice your portfolio by top clients based on AUM.

Life will never be the same.

Venkat Lavu is a Consultant with System Partners. He currently spends 8 hours a day with financial services clients. You can contact him directly:

Salesforce 2016 World Tour Melbourne - Innovation Track

Salesforce World Tour 2016 rolled into Melbourne this past Tuesday with a bang showing off the latest product releases and customer stories to the 5000 odd attendees. I spent the day attending the innovation stream breakouts and wanted to share some observations.


It’s no surprise that the Innovation track has become a regular feature at World Tour given the record Salesforce has as being one of if not the top innovators globally. Forbes has named them #1 most innovative company 4 years in a row. Only dropping to #2 behind Tesla last year, something I’d imagine they can live with.

Hosted by the always insightful Peter Coffee in the Richmond Room at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre the track run with 4 sessions covering the following topics:

  • Increasing Your Innovation Fitness
  • Secrets from the Startup Ecosystem
  • Evolution of Technology
  • Building the Knowledge Economy

The much hyped standout was of course Evolution of Technology with Peter Schwartz. Schwartz generally needs little introduction, but for those who aren’t familiar with him he worked at NASA during the Apollo Program, Consulted to the movie WarGames, published multiple books including The Art of the Long View, and is the current Senior Vice President Strategic Planning at Salesforce. A world renowned Futurist he’s well placed to speak authoritatively on the future of technology. The focus of the session was the rise of Predictive AI leading to a world where everyone had the equivalent of an intelligent ‘team’ of assistants working for them via their technology. Much in the same way today’s high flying corporate executives have teams of assistants managing their activities on their behalf. Furthermore Schwartz indicated this was the direction Salesforce were heading and was their big bet for the future.


While Peter Schwartz was the big drawcard the other sessions did not disappoint. Panellist such as Ti Tien Mak, CTO of Auspost describes the culture of innovation he was creating at a large organisation that needs to go through transformational change tosurvive. Along with Rohan Workman, Director of the Melbourne Accelerator Program at the University of Melbourne providing insights into how Startups need to interact with large corporates, and how large corporates need to behave when interacting with Startups. Plus the benefits the two can gain from each other.

I’ve only scratched the surface of the day's insights in this post, but if any of it is of interest I encourage you to consider making the trip to Dreamforce in October where the innovation track takes on a much grander and more comprehensive schedule of sessionsthan the 4 run at World Tour Melbourne.

Heroku: Scalable apps on any budget

In this, my fifth and final instalment on the recently held Developer Playground in Melbourne I’ll be focusing on Heroku.

While Heroku may not be the sexiest Salesforce product from the perspective of the enterprise. I share the opinion of the session’s presenter, Troy Sellers (LinkedIn|Twitter), that it continues to be one of the most exciting and interesting products available today.

For those unsure what Heroku actually is, I’ll have a stab at an explanation. It’s a platform to deliver applications over the web, in any language (although a list of 10 or so are officially supported), that can be instantly scaled.

Still confused?

Here is a practical example:

You’ve written an app in Python, you want to put it online, see if people start using it, and hopefully build a startup around it. Traditionally you would need servers, OS management, network comms etc.

Or, you load your app to Heroku via Git, activate it with a single click, and it is available. Initially Heroku is free, but after a few weeks more and more people start using your app. Rather than having to buy more servers, install them and worry about load balancing etc. you just log onto your Heroku dashboard, click edit on your app, and move the slider upwards to increase the power available to serve your application.

Whether you are servicing one user, or one million, Heroku can adapt by adjusting some settings on the dashboard. Instantly scalable. It is the sort of thing that makes me want to go back to all the Python and Ruby textbooks I’m halfway through and finish them off.

The implications for your business are this, if you want or need to deploy an application in a B2C model, start small with a low recurring cost, and you will be able to scale instantly should your application take off. Choose Heroku.

This concludes my series on the Developer Playground. To finish off, I’d like to reiterate some comments I made in my first post. Salesforce events are there to help you explore and navigate big wide world of Salesforce. You’ll always be enriched in someway from having attended, and if you pay attention, you may just win a Drone!

If you haven't read my previous blogs in this series click the links below:

Christopher Nugent (LinkedIn|Twitter) is a Senior Consultant with System Partners, he specialises in finding the right solution for our clients. You can contact him directly:

Contact us if you want to find out how we can help your business with a instance:


VisualForce Sortable Tables made easy

Are you a developer? Yes? Then as a Developer I am guessing that at some point you have faced the challenge of re-creating a table in VisualForce whilst trying to maintain the native look and feel and I am guessing that the path you took to handle this was using apex:pageBlockTable.

But I suspect that many of you, myself included, have encountered issues or limitations with this path including:

  • Rendering in Internet Explorer issues

  • Sorting issues

  • Styling issues

  • Situations that require you to stay away from VisualForce components (due to responsive design, performance, or whatever reason)

So what’s the solution?

Homemade HTML tables with CSS styling...

Let me guess, any of the issues above lead you to creating your own HTML tables and styling them up using CSS? It's a workaround, it solves the problem but it's time consuming and fiddly work to get everything pixel perfect.

What about sorting?

- "Easily done, I'll find some jQuery code and I'll muck around with it"

Again, this is time consuming and not very efficient to load a whole library in order to achieve something straight forward and simple.

My solution: A template

Based on the amount of issues I experience using apex:pageBlockTable and the amount of occasions I need to create tables as a Developer, I decided to create a solution. I combined a bunch of static resources and wrote an HTML snippet that will serve you as a template every time you need to create a table.

The bundle consists of a CSS file for the look and a JavaScript file for the sorting functionality. Also the table relies on the standard stylesheet classes, so any changes made by will have impact on the layout of your table.

With only 2 quick steps you can get this up and running in minutes:

Step 1 - Create a static resource with this file into your org: SortableTable

Step 2 - Stick the following code inside your VisualForce page and modify it accordingly to your variables:


<apex:page controller="YourApexController" showHeader="true" sidebar="true" standardStylesheets="true">
	<apex:stylesheet value="{!URLFOR($Resource.YourStaticResourceName, 'sortableTable.css')}"/>
	<apex:includeScript value="{!URLFOR($Resource.YourStaticResourceName, 'sortableTable.js')}"/>

	<apex:sectionHeader title="Example" subtitle="Sortable Table" />
		<apex:pageBlock title="Accounts" mode="detail">
			<table class="list sortable" width="100%" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0">
				<tr class="headerRow" >
					<th style="width: 25%;">Account Name</th>
					<th style="width: 25%;">Phone</th>
					<th style="width: 25%;">Type</th>
					<th style="width: 25%;">Owner</th>
				<apex:repeat value="{!accounts}" var="account">
					<tr class="dataRow even first">
						<td><apex:outputText value="{!account.Name}"/></td>
						<td><apex:outputText value="{!account.Phone}"/></td>
						<td><apex:outputText value="{!account.Type}"/></td>
						<td><apex:outputText value="{!account.Owner.Name}"/></td>

And voila, you now have a sortable HTML table with the native look and feel. Below is a short video that demonstrates it in action:

Six Summer '15 features Developers should be excited about

Every year certified professionals have to take on 300+ pages of documentation for each of the three releases to keep up-to-date with the latest and greatest features on the platform.

It's pretty hard to keep track and to remember everything that is coming out in each release, though if you're developing on the platform you should at least glance through and familiarise yourself with the major features.

I'd like to quickly highlight the most important (at least for me as a developer) features that are coming out in the next (Summer '15) release that will have a major impact from a development point of view:

  1. Custom Metadata Types
  2. Data Loader officially supported for Mac OS X
  3. New code coverage calculation for multiline statements
  4. Iteration order for maps and sets is now predictable
  5. Choose which tests to run in a deployment
  6. Track your organisation's Apex transactions with Apex limit events (Pilot)

1. Custom metadata types

Imagine being able to deploy custom settings metadata and data from one org to another and to be able to reference the data in your code quicker, without adding a SOQL query entry to the governor limit counter.

This is now possible with the ability to define custom configurations that are cached on the platform, don't count towards the governor limits and can be deployed from org to org. Personally I think this is a huge piece that was missing over the years, especially for independent software vendors that had to write hundreds of lines of code for an alternative solution, or perhaps a post-installation documentation that creates an overhead for the end clients to configure the app before they can start using it.

At this stage I'm not 100% sure whether this will replace the current custom settings functionality or will differentiate in some way, but regardless, this is something that I'm really looking forward to.

2. Data Loader officially supported for Mac OS X

After many years of using LexiLoader as an alternative, finally we have an officially supported DataLoader for OS X. Hopefully this won't be the exact copy of the DataLoader for Windows and we'll get slightly better, more advanced application.

3. New code coverage calculation for multiline statements

Have you ever seen inconsistent code coverage when running test classes inside and your IDE? Well, most likely that was due to having multiline statements that weren't calculated properly. This is a bugfix that will give developers trust to the test run results and save them time from re-running the tests in different environments in order to confirm the results.


Summer '15:
4. Iteration order for maps and sets is now predictable

As we all know up to this point a Set or a Map is a collection of unordered elements. Every iteration through a collection could result with a different order of the elements, meaning that you could not rely on the order of elements of these 2 collections. From Summer '15 onward, things are changing - Maps and Sets will not have arbitrary order of the elements anymore, rather we'll get a predictable iteration every single time. This will allow developers to write less lines of code and improve performance of their components.

5. Choose which tests to run in a deployment

Deployments... Every Developer's nightmare!

Deploying to large and complex environments can be a pain and it takes forever for hundreds of test classes to run before any changes can be deployed (pray that you don't get an error!). You can now choose which tests to run in your deployment process, which will shorten the deployment time and increase productivity.

6. Track your organisation’s Apex transactions with Apex limit events (Pilot)

I've seen quite a few questions of the type "How to handle this apex error?" or "What is causing this apex error?".

Sometimes when a piece of apex code hits the platform's hard limits, a runtime error is thrown that cannot be handled and it is not always clear of what exactly happened.

With this feature you can keep track of Apex executions that are hitting (or are close to hit) these limits which will allow for developers to narrow down the cause of the problem, therefore optimise the code. It's only a pilot at this point in time but it's something that will definitely contribute to having a more healthy environment and better landscape of the business logic that runs in your org.

I hope my six Summer '15 features have provided some more detailed insight into the advantages this release will have for Developers. If have any further questions please contact me by clicking the link below:

For more on the Summer '15 release check out Harry Bohosian's blog: 
Whats new in the Salesforce Summer '15 release

Gamifying your org

Two weeks ago I posted my first ever blog. The intention of the post, to provide insight into Apps on the Appexchange that I would recommend to help Salesforce users enhance their experience and instance. My first post covered my top three free admin apps and following the positive response I received, I decided to ask my audience for input on what I should write about next. I put a poll on the Success Community:

And gamification was the topic of choice!

For those of you who haven’t yet discovered the Success Community, do it! It has a never ending source of knowledge and amazingly helpful people.

So my second post in the series about my favourite apps on the Appexchange focuses on gamification. But what does Gamification actually mean?

According to Gartner, gamification:

“... uses game mechanics and game design techniques in non-gaming context – it's a powerful tool to engage employees, customers and the public to change behaviors, develop skills and drive innovation.”

As I explained in more detail in my previous Free Productivity Apps for Admins, installing a gamification app will most likely not change the behaviour of users or engage your customers. Instead what it does, is provide the tools to support this behavioural change.

Another way to look at it is to use the apps early on as inspiration for organisational change. Looking at what different apps are offering can be a good way to get an idea of how something like gamification could benefit your company.

Gamification apps

A search on the Appexchange returns just over 30 hits on the term ‘Gamification’. Two gamification apps I have previously installed for customers are Hoopla and LevelEleven. Both apps add nice graphics, really play on the competitiveness of the users, have cool functionality and great customer reviews. But my recommendation and the focus of this post is a fairly new player in the gamification space: Corsica.


Only released on to the AppExchange 4 months ago, Corsica has already gained popularity among users. While Hoopla and LevelEleven focus on gamifying the sales department, Corsica aims to bring gamification into every users daily life, even partners and customers! Plus Corsica’s lack of customised visual interface makes it different to the other apps. It is built only using standard Salesforce functionality and provides all you need to custom build your fancy looking leaderboard. Let’s see how the app is configured in my test environment.

How Corsica works

In Corsica, it is all about setting objectives and having your users work towards reaching goals and targets as part of the objective.

Objectives are based on any Salesforce standard or custom objects, meaning that not only sales value can be measured, but any company KPI for any type of user.

Each objective includes a badge that will be rewarded when reaching the goal, but also a score that will be added to the user's total score.

My example objective is based on number of weekly meetings, and rewards 10 points if completed.

Objectives can also be scheduled to run on a daily or weekly basis. Setting up a number of scheduled objectives will make the gamification of any process an ongoing motivation, and not just a sales competition lasting for a day or a week.

The Weekly Meetings objective is restarted every Friday afternoon.

In the filter tab, the criteria and the goal for the objective is set.

There are quite a lot of settings to choose from when setting up objectives, but the interface is clear and intuitive making it a nice experience and easy to get started.

So in summary...

Corsica is a great app providing a solid platform to support your gamification strategy and make updates in Salesforce more fun! I particularly like the recurring scoring possibilities and the flexibility it provides by being built natively on If you are looking at gamification for your company, I would recommend to take the following steps:

  • Evaluate where the pain points are. What KPIs need to be improved, sales figures? Forecast Accuracy? Case resolution time? Quality of data entry? User adoption?
  • Start simple. Set up a few scoring rules around one or a couple of your KPIs and create a single dashboard to track the progress.
  • Communicate results and reward winners! Make sure your top performers are rewarded and that the result is clearly communicated.
  • Improve. They key to keep up a successful gamification process over time is to adjust the scoring rules to make sure it is a fair game. Listen to the users.

I hope this post gave you some inspiration on how a gamification strategy can change behaviour in your org, and an overview how the setup can be done from an app perspective.

Are you interested in discussing a gamification strategy for your company? Get in touch by clicking the button below:


Free Productivity Apps for Admins

During my 4 years on the Salesforce platform, I have on many occasions been approached by clients I am working with and asked the question: 'Can you recommend some good apps for us?'. A straightforward question which can have a variety of simple and complex answers based on who is asking me and why.

I have a similar quandary answering the question ‘What are your favourite apps?’. So in this post, my first in a series on my research into Apps, I attempt to answer both these questions based on my experience and knowledge gathering.

All Apps should be implemented based on the business value they provide, not just because they look good or are easy-to-use. They should drive business improvements, aid revenue, growth and business efficiency. I view Apps in two groups. The first group are Apps that when implemented enhance business processes that impact an entire organisation and drive organisational change across the board. The second group are Apps that are much less complex to implement and simply solve a specific problem or limitation of the platform. This group are the focus of this blog post.

I have scoured the AppExchange to find a selection of Apps which more or less any Salesforce customer can benefit from without impacting existing business processes. I am talking about free, productivity apps aimed at Salesforce administrators.

Clone This User

Why implement this app?

This application can be a huge time saver for the admin in an organisation with a complex setup of roles, profiles, permission sets and memberships. Instead of creating a new user every time it is needed, an existing user is used as a template to get all the settings right as soon as the new user is set up.

How does it work?

After installing the app, the only setup needed is to add a custom link to the user page layout. When the link is clicked, the name and contact details for the new user are entered while the remaining settings and access is cloned from the template user.

And if that’s not enough, you can even clone a user from the Salesforce1 app. Getting new users onboard have never been easier!

Auto Capitalize Your Data

Why implement this app?

This app can be a lifesaver for admins in an organisation with dirty looking data, or actually anyone who wants their data to look nice, consistent and tidy. And who doesn't want that?

The app not only mass-updates existing data with the chosen capitalisation standard, it also updates newly created records to follow that format. No more dirty looking data in the database!

How does it work?

My new lead entry is populated in a rush, even if there is nothing wrong with the actual values, this lead will look bad in reports and give an untidy impression.

Let’s check the settings in the Capitalisation app before saving the lead:

Now, saving the lead will update the Description field to capitalize the first letter of each sentence, the City field to include only capital letters, and Company, Last Name and First Name to capitalise the first letter of each word.

As you can see, there is some intelligence built in such as the abbreviation in the company name is kept (and not formatted to Llc), but there is also limitations to what can be automated. I would recommend to only use this app for First Name, Last Name, City and Country unless your data is a real mess at start.

Top tip: Make sure to backup your data before activating this app in a production environment. Once a capitalisation rule is activated, there is no turning back and the operation cannot be undone.


Why implement this app?

Octopus is an app which aims to make one of the most overlooked processes easier - I am talking about documentation. I don’t know how many times I have asked an admin for the system documentation and ending up with the answer that there is none, or that it hasn’t been updated for years.

How does it work?

Octopus gives the possibility to with only a few clicks extract information about apex classes, pages, workflows, fields and more or less any Salesforce component. It won’t write the documentation for you, but it is a handy tool to keep the documents up to date with custom objects, fields and other components.

Snapshot of custom fields extracted from the Account object

The one thing that could make this app go from good to great is if the Description field was included. But hey, the app is available for free and will still save you a lot of work!

I hope you find these free Apps as useful as I do and that they inspire you to go browse the 2700+ Apps available on the AppExchange. If you need advice on how to best leverage the power of the AppExchange, or have problems finding what you are looking for, don’t hesitate to contact us by clicking the button below:



Analytics for the rest of us

The past few weeks have been very busy but also very exciting for those of us in the Salesforce community. Early in March Salesforce hosted the Salesforce World Tour at the Melbourne exhibition centre and the Salesforce #LighningDevWeek across the globe which stopped in Sydney and Melbourne the following week.

During the developer meetup, as part of the lightning dev week, we learnt about and got to have hands on experience with Lightning Connect (currently available), Lightning Components (currently in beta), and the Lightning Application Builder (currently in pilot).

This got me really excited, just imagine, soon you'll be able to access the data stored in your ERP and visualise it on your mobile phone from within the context of your salesforce records using the Salesforce1 platform. You will be able to do this using the power of Lightning Connect, which allows you to access data stored in your ERP which may be in your own data centre. As well as building Lightning Components to visualise that data which can then be dragged and dropped onto your customised mobile app using the Lightning Application Builder.

The future looks bright for both Salesforce Developers and Administrators with interesting and innovative mobile solutions to tackle business problems. Developers will be able to create dynamic web apps for mobile and desktop devices using the Lightning Component framework, a modern framework for building single-page applications engineered for growth. The framework supports partitioned multi-tier component development that bridges the client and server. It uses JavaScript on the client side and Apex on the server side. Administrators will then be able to drag and drop these components onto an application, set the view based on the device type and then make that application available to users within (or even outside of) the organisation.

During the Salesforce1 Tour we were shown some great case studies of Salesforce Wave, also known as the analytics cloud, both within our region and around the globe. What really caught my attention was the Harmoney use case for the analytics cloud, which has been able to provide insights into sales data across the bank. I later found out that implementation was put together in a few weeks, what an impressive, agile, data analytics platform.

It has been great to have a feel for what the analytics cloud looks like and gain an understanding of some of the features that are available. You can also experience what Wave can do by having a go at the analytics playground.

Some of the most impressive features of the Analytics Cloud is that you can visualise your business data, allowing you to measure, group, filter and share those insights with others in your team via a marked up image in Chatter. You can also upload an excel spreadsheet into the same big data repository to then visualise the data that it contains. The best part is that you can do all of this from your mobile phone.

Salesforce Wave will provide Analytics for the rest of us, the ability for those who are on the front line, who aren't data analysts, to be able to visualise the data, drill into specifics and gain insights into how we can improve our business outcomes based on near real time data.

If you have the skills to implement the above technology and are interested in joining our team and want to know more about what sets us apart - then let's catch up for a chat. Click I'm interested below and we will be in touch.

Harry Bohosian (LinkedIn|Twitter) is a Lead Consultant with System Partners, he heads up the Sydney consulting team. You can contact him directly:

Salesforce for startups

Like many people in the technology industry I harbour dreams of one day founding a business based on one of my crazy ideas. One of the reasons why this remains a dream (for now) is because I am acutely aware of the difficulties involved. Particularly when it comes to the cost of infrastructure and software. Salesforce has recently made this journey easier by pulling together several of their product offerings as Salesforce for startups and offering free periods to get businesses going.

While the program was launched at Dreamforce last year my first exposure was at the Salesforce World Tour held recently in Melbourne. Ludo Ulrich ran a breakout session focusing on the program and the key myths that exist about founding a startup. I’ll save the myths themselves for another time as today I’d like to focus the Salesforce for startups program itself.

The Salesforce offering provides assistance to startups in three areas:

  • Build (platforms and technologies)

  • Grow (Sales, Service, and Marketing)

  • Learn (education and  access to expertise)

The Build component of Salesforce for startups brings together three existing Salesforce product offerings under the startup banner. While these have existed for some time it’s likely not been obvious that they are such appealing technologies for startups to leverage. They are:

  • Salesforce1 platform

    • Provides a free development environment

    • Ability to deploy enterprise applications via the AppExchange

    • Can rapidly prototype apps without development experience

  • Heroku

    • Provides application delivery platform for scalable consumer based apps

    • Can rapidly prototype apps with development experience

The Grow section of Salesforce for Startups combines access to Salesforce’s industry leading applications for the purposes of selling, servicing and marketing your product. For Sales you get access to a proven sales channel in the form of the AppExchange, plus a free 30 day trial of Salesforce CRM Professional edition. The CRM trial also provides marketing functionality. When it comes to Service Salesforce are generously offering 2 seats of Standard Edition for 1 year!

In terms of Learning, Salesforce have created a blog that is regularly updated by Mike Kreaden with facts and industry information ideally suited to those in the startup game. Furthermore it appears as though the team at Salesforce are keen to get to know those registered in the program and want to provide mentoring and guidance where possible.

Salesforce for startups is a solid start in providing tools and expertise that startups otherwise would unlikely be able to afford. If you’re considering jumping into the exciting yet slightly crazy world of starting your own technology or product based company, the Salesforce for startups program is a great opportunity to get access to marketing leading products and proven startup knowledge.

System Partners was a start up back in 2008. We have scaled our way to success using if you want to know more about how we did it tune into this blog or contact us directly by clicking the link below.



What Actions does Lightning Process Builder support?

Quality Business Process mapping is at the heart of all successful software projects. Whether they be or otherwise. At System Partners we work hard to take customers “as-is” processes and introduce automation (amongst other things) to ensure the “to-be” processes we build from represent a streamlining of their business.

Essentially we want the system and their business to work better when we leave it compared to when we found it. Using the new Lightning Process Builder (Video overview) we’ve been able to automate business process in with clicks, not code.

While I’ve written about Lightning Process Builder before, this post focuses on the new process builder's capabilities. Functionally I see it as Salesforce’s answer to IFTTT (If This Then That). You start with an object in your Org and specify the IF criteria in one of three ways. While the first two options will be familiar to admins everywhere, the third represents an interesting time saver. Rather than having to create a filter condition that always equals true, you can specify the action always runs.

  • Filter conditions are met

  • Formula evaluates to true

  • No criteria - just execute the actions!

Once you’ve set your IF criteria you can create one or more actions that will execute should your criteria be met. The process builder supports several different types of actions, these are listed in the table below.


Then you repeat the steps of creating criteria followed by actions until you’ve exhausted all of your scenarios. Activate your process, and you’re done!

As an example, you may wish to create a process whereby your company’s hiring manager is notified each time a contact is added to the talent pool. In that case you would build a process with logic such as:

Drowning in duplicate data? Here's a solution...

I’ve never encountered a business that didn’t struggle with duplicate data in their CRM. It’s almost as if dupes are the other half of the double edged sword that are enterprise wide data intensive applications.

On the one hand they provide a powerful tool to business, on the other they require additional resources to manage. Both at an individual and enterprise level. This is why I’m so pleased has released Duplicate Management powered by

While there have been third party tools on the AppExchange for some time that deal with dupe management, they’ve added the operating costs of Salesforce by requiring the purchase of additional licences. The new native solution means you now get these features as a part of your standard salesforce licensing. Oh and I should also point out that you don’t require a licence to use Duplicate Management. The reference merely means it is powered by the same technology as

Before you tell your boss you don’t need a third party dupe tool, here are a few of the biggest limitations to consider:

  • Only supports Accounts, Contacts, Leads and custom objects;

  • Doesn’t work with quick create

  • Doesn’t work with Exchange Sync

For the full list of limitations consult the Release Notes. If these don’t present a problem for your use case, I’ve included some instructions below so you can jump right in.

Getting started

To get started with Data Management powered by there are a couple of steps you need to take.

Start with creating some custom Matching Rules. These form the logic that determines whether a record being created or edited matches and existing record.

Then Activate your rules

Now you’re ready to create your Duplicate Rule. These tell Salesforce what action to take when duplicates are identified. Such as whether to block or allow the duplicate, alert the user, enforce sharing rules etc.

Then activate your Duplicate Rules and you’re ready to reap the benefits of Duplicate Management powered by!

If your organisation is drowning in a stormy ocean of duplicate data, then Salesforce has thrown you a life preserver in the form of Duplicate Management Powered by Take a look today.

Duplicate Management powered by is one of a range of products I have been reviewing, if you haven't read my recent blog on why I think  in helping customers get the most from their salesforce instance click here to find out.

Christopher Nugent (LinkedIn|Twitter) is a Senior Consultant with System Partners, he specialises in finding the right solution for our clients. You can contact him directly:

If you would like to leverage the most from your instance contact us to find out how we can help:


Salesforce World Tour 2015: Get your unfair advantage

Yet again the team put on a great event. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to attend the annual global customer conference Dreamforce in San Francisco. It was amazing! 60,000 people off their nuts about Salesforce! But alas, I wasn’t able to get across the pond last October. It is because of this that I’m so grateful the Salesforce World Tour, a subset of this conference, is taken to various cities around the globe. Luckily for me the tour came down under to Melbourne for the second year in a row.

There’s far too much content in an event like this to talk about in a single post. However I thought I’d call out three of my most interesting highlights from the day:

  1. 70% of customer buying is based on service

  2. Analytics Cloud Data Sets

  3. Lightning App Page layouts for Apple Watch


1. 70% of customer buying is based on service

During a particularly engaging and energetic opening Keynote from Leyla Seka, Senior Vice President and General Manager of at she mentioned the statistic that 70% of customer buying is now based on the quality of service the customer receives from the seller.

This probably resonated with the majority of the audience, but for me personally it resonated in a massive way given I rate service so highly when buying a product.

One of my first service experiences occurred when I first moved out of my parent’s house. I suddenly needed to connect internet services to my new rental. Given I was studying at the time I went for a cheaper ADSL plan from a budget internet provider. Why? Well because I felt it gave me the best value for money. Turns out I was wrong.

My connection was plagued with issues from the start and it took months before I had a stable and reliable internet connection at home. Said internet provider’s customer service were useless. I swore once my contract expired I’d never use them again.

Fast forward to 2015, no longer a student, recently moved into a new home and I had learnt from my previous experience so arranged for my ADSL to be connected by a different provider that values customer service. There were setup problems (as I now know are typical with ADSL in older buildings) but my new internet provider iiNet were a class act every step of the way providing me with outstanding customer service. Not only am I willing to pay more for their service and am fiercely loyal, I recommend them to everyone I know at every chance I get.

Salesforce know this approach works and through service cloud they are giving their customers an unfair advantage by pushing this statistic and their services so strongly.


2. Analytics Cloud Data Sets

I’ve been pretty curious about the Salesforce Analytics Cloud since I heard about it last year. Honestly I figured it would be hard to break the stranglehold of the existing players in this space. What I saw on at the World Tour completely changed my opinion.

The ability to receive an excel file via email, create a Data Set from it, then group, sort and analyse the data is absolutely game changing in the world of analytics. Having worked at organisations that use products such as IBM Cognos and Microsoft SQL Reporting Services I’ve felt the pain of long wait times to have reports built only to be disappointed by the result. The inflexibility makes it difficult to manipulate dimensions on the fly. Being locked into the desktop operating environment to view reports effectively rules out managing your business on the road. The Salesforce Analytics Cloud has changed the game.


3. Lightning App Page layouts for Apple Watch

To be honest I’m not quite sure what to make of the Apple Watch. I’ve read opinion pieces that claim it’ll fail as Apple aren’t solving any problems, yet I know that deep down I still want one. What I am reasonably sure of however, is that the device will create the opportunity to innovate.

Given my past experience in the IT department of a large general contractor the first possible use that comes to mind is it could be used as a Man Down alarm. Currently solo workers often carry a token to be used in case of emergency. Perhaps they are performing a road maintenance inspection in a remote part of the network.

They leave their vehicle to inspect a fault and fall down a ditch, breaking their back. Unable to return to their vehicle they swipe on their Apple Watch, it sends a signal to their iPhone that sends a distress call to their company. Right now organisations need to purchase specialised systems to perform these actions. Why not leverage their existing investment in Salesforce? This is a classic case of digital convergence.

Clearly Salesforce has recognised this in becoming the first enterprise software provider to support the device. I was particularly impressed that their Lightning App Builder, which I’ve written about on our System Partners blog previously, already supports page layouts for the Apple Watch.

Get your unfair advantage

While getting across to Dreamforce is, and always will be the gold standard of understanding the products and innovation hub that is If you can’t get to San Francisco, do yourself a favour and attend the Salesforce World Tour when it comes to town. You can’t afford to miss out on this unfair advantage.

Click the links to find out how our clients: CGU and Trip a Deal have the leveraged their unfair advantage with salesforce.

To see if Salesforce are coming to a town near you click here. Can’t make those dates? Watch the keynote replays from the Salesforce Melbourne World Tour here

To find out more about our team's commitment to helping our customers get the most business value from their Salesforce implementation click below and we will be in touch:

Trailhead is awesome! skills are valuable. End of story. Until recently when asked by clients “how do I learn about” my response included references to training courses costing thousands of dollars and the (somewhat limited) free online training modules. This is no longer the case thanks to the recent release of Trailhead.

So what is Trailhead?

Created by Salesforce it is a self-paced training option to help anyone learn about configuring and developing in the world. The learning process is simple. You are provided with lessons and then tested on what you have learnt in those lessons through a skill or knowledge challenge. The knowledge challenges take the form of a short quiz, however the skill challenges are the really exciting part!

Trailhead integrates with your Developer Edition (DE) Org so that you literally build the functionality required by each lessons skill challenge, then you click a button, and Trailhead checks to see if you have completed it correctly.

I recently completed a few lessons to take Trailhead for a test drive and I was very impressed with its ease of use. Investing time in this tool is worthwhile as have demonstrated their commitment to the currency of the lessons. A great example of this is the recent addition of lessons on how to build Lightning Components!

So how do you get started?

The process is as follows:

  1. Choose the Trail (lesson plan) you want to take

  2. Connect to your Salesforce Developer Org (click here to create if you don’t have one)

  3. Login to your DE org

  4. Allow Trailhead app to access your org by granting permission

  5. Complete the steps required by the Skills Challenge

  6. Go to the Trailhead Lesson page and click “Check"

  7. Trailhead will tell you if you are missing anything

  8. If everything’s good you will get points!

If you are looking to increase your skills, visit Trailhead and give it a go! It will be worthwhile!

If you haven't read any of my previous blogs click the links below:

Christopher Nugent (LinkedIn|Twitter) is a Senior Consultant with System Partners, he specialises in finding the right solution for our clients. You can contact him directly:

If you would like to leverage the most from your instance contact us to find out how we can help:
 is wear?


Given I’ve now dedicated significant time to the latest and greatest news that I picked at about Lightning at the Developer Playground last month in my three previous blogs it feels time to turn my attention to the launch of Salesforce Wear in the fourth blog of my series of five.

Wearables played a significant role on the Dreamforce #DF14 agenda this year.’s unveiling of his new PULS Smartband product proved that even celebrities from the world of music are participating in the creation of disruptive technology next to technology giants Apple and Samsung. You can view your emails, make calls, use social media as well as monitor your fitness performance all from your wrist with the device.

So are we looking at the potential transfer from a ‘mobile’ world to a ‘wearables’ world in both our personal and professional lives? And if so, how would that impact or be adopted into the Salesforce ecosystem?

It’s accepted these days that Enterprise Software lags behind that developed for consumers. As a result we’ve got a dearth of big players targeting the enterprise with wearable devices and apps for them. Many large organisations are still trying to figure out what to do with mobility let alone wearables! It is in this context that I find it pleasantly surprising Salesforce is so out in front of their peers with the Salesforce Wear developer pack.

The product offering comes in the form of the Salesforce Wear Developer Pack, that is, according to “...a collection of open-source starter apps that let you quickly design and build wearable apps that connect to the Salesforce1 Platform.” Then the site goes on to list some example apps for various devices. The Developer Playground focused on a couple of examples:

While the Oculus Rift demonstration was amazing, (I got the chance to try out the headset during the break) what really got me excited with the use of Augmented Reality via the Google Glass to display a map and inspection checklist for an oil rig worker. The use case is obvious, having the app displayed via the Google Glass keeps the workers hands free to, well, work. This could be invaluable in any number of roles in the near term.

A previous company I worked for was involved in the manufacturing of asphalt. I can imagine a worker performing maintenance on an asphalt plant would benefit from having their task list or instructions shown on a heads up display, selected contextually based on what they’re looking at.

While it will likely be several years before this area fully matures, the building blocks exist to start building out wearable apps now. Lacking the development resources in house isn’t a barrier either. Plenty of partners exist to help you along your journey. Maybe your wearable device and app combo will be on stage at Dreamforce ‘15!

I’ve almost reached the end of my Developer Playground series, in my next and final installment I’ll discuss Heroku and what makes it one of the coolest parts of the world. If you haven’t read my previous posts they are available here:

Lightning the load Lightning fast process development Lightning fast mobile apps

Christopher Nugent (LinkedIn|Twitter) is a Senior Consultant with System Partners, he specialises in finding the right solution for our clients.

Contact Christopher at: or click below to find out how we can help your business:

Lightning fast process development

Recently I’ve written about what I learnt at the Developer Playground held at the Park Hyatt in Melbourne. Having looked at Lightning ConnectLightning Components and App Builder in my previous posts Lightning the load, and Lightning fast mobile apps

In my third post I’m going to round out the discussion of all things Lightning with a quick look at Lightning Process Builder.

The first thought that came to mind when I heard about Lightning Process Builder was that it must be the next iteration of Flow. But more capable and easier to use.

However when I asked's Michael Meisels (LinkedIn) this question during the developer playground session I quickly found out that Lightning Process Builder is an entirely different beast altogether.

The way it was explained to me is something like this: Flow is more about capturing information and displaying screens and Lightning Process builder is more about the True/False logic and performing actions based on decision gates.

If there’s one thing I have learnt during my many years working in industry it is that getting business process right is hard, damn hard. Generally speaking it is only the largest and most affluent of companies that invest in the tools and people to ensure a uniform approach across the business.

Where I see Lightning Process Builder delivering real value is introducing logic and process to the Salesforce Objects people are already using. Thereby demonstrating how investing some time to map the business process can deliver value today.

If business process mapping struggles to get the attention it deserves in your organisation and you use, Lightning Process Builder is what you need to demonstrate its value within your organisation. 

This concludes my focus on what I learnt about Lightning at the Developer Playground. Next time I’ll take a look at Salesforce Wear. This stuff absolutely blew my mind and I cannot wait to share.

Christopher Nugent (LinkedIn|Twitter) is a Senior Consultant with System Partners, he specialises in finding the right solution for our clients. You can contact him directly:

Business process mapping is a major part of every System Partners' implementation. We can help your business get the most from your instance, including providing advice on how to best use the Lightning Process Builder. Contact us if you want to know more and find out how we can help.



Drag and drop your way to Salesforce success

Harry Bohosian

Dreamforce this year has been touted by some as the year of the admin, and it was not just because there was a dedicated Admin Zone. This year additional declarative tools, such as the Lightning Process Builder and Lightning App Builder, were announced which enable #AwesomeAdmins to implement changes to their Salesforce instance quickly and easily using “point and click” and “drag and drop” tools.

As I watched a live demo of the lightning application builder, I was not only blown away by what it means to the future of enterprise mobile application development but it also reminded me that we already have tools similar to this at our disposal. At that point I realised that I do not use them enough. Since then I have revisited and fallen in love with the Schema Builder due to the amount of time it saves me on a regular basis.

At System Partners we have discussed as a team what we think the introduction of Lightning will mean for customers and developers alike. My colleague Chris Nugent has posted a series of blogs including Lightning the load and Lightning fast mobile apps in which he discusses how he thinks Lightning can be best used. 

The focus of my post is the current declarative tools Salesforce provides, with particular focus on Schema Builder and why I think the new Lightning product family will be a game changer. I will explore what I believe Schema Builder does well versus what it does not. The post is concluded with my thoughts on how Lightning will change how we develop enterprise mobile applications in the future.

Modifying the Data Model (what Schema Builder does well)

Salesforce allows you to create custom fields in a 5 step point and click wizard, which is quick and easy, but can quickly become cumbersome when you need to create a handful of fields across multiple objects. However using the Schema Builder, you can create new fields by dragging and dropping the required field type onto the desired object, drastically improving the speed of configuring changes to the data model and improving your efficiency as an administrator.

Drag the required field type onto the desired object

The Schema Builder brings all of the steps required to create a field into one screen.

Once a field is created, you are able to manage field permissions by right clicking on it.

Defining the layout (what Schema Builder doesn't do)

The missing piece is selecting which page layouts the field belongs to, the schema builder doesn't provide that option. I find it more effective to create all the fields that are needed, using schema builder, and then update the page layouts as required, ensuring that the relevant information is available to the users that require it without cluttering the screen for others.

Easily build responsive applications for any screen (what Lightning allows you to do)

In the (near) future building the user interface and business logic of enterprise mobile application(s) will be a simple declarative drag and drop process much like the schema builder, using the tools bundled in Lightning.

Lightning is the next generation of the Salesforce1 Platform, announced at #DF14. Lightning provides a framework of components for producing mobile applications that scale to the screen size of any device without the need to be reconfigured. This framework uses JavaScript on the client side and Apex on the server side.

Allowing developers to develop their own Lightning Components, and modify and extend standard components made available by Salesforce. But, Lightning is not just limited to developers, with the addition of the Lightning App Builder, a drag and drop tool that allows non-developers to compose applications from all the components built by Salesforce, in house developers and the developers in the appexchange ecosystem.

The exciting part about Lightning is that it allows non-developers to create Salesforce1 mobile applications that scale responsively across any device; from a wearable device, to a phone, tablet, laptop or desktop. Non-developers are able to create mobile application user interfaces by dragging and dropping components onto the screen to define the flow of a user through the application at lightning speed (all puns intended).

Currently the Lightning Components framework is in Beta and Lightning App Builder is in Pilot. Right now you can enable Lightning Components in your org and start developing components and apps in code, but the drag and drop builder is only available through the pilot program. We should see this functionality become generally available in future releases. To be nominated to join this pilot program, contact your Customer Success Manager or Account Executive. Additional terms and conditions may apply to participate in the pilot program. Also note that enabling Lightning Components will cause Canvas apps to no longer work in Salesforce1 so consider the impact to your instance before clicking save.

Talk to us and find out how we can work together to deliver a mobile application to create business value for your organisation. 


Lightning fast mobile apps


November 10, 2014

Christopher Nugent

Two weeks ago I was fortunate to attend the Developer Playground at the Park Hyatt Melbourne. I heard about the latest and greatest product developments recently launched at Dreamforce 2014 and those that will available be in the near future. This is the second installment of a five part series on my insights into how customers can benefit from's latest product releases.

I would like to continue where I left off in my last post: Lightning the load and relay more of what I learnt about durning the session. The new Lightning product family was a major theme and requires (or deserves) more than a single post’s treatment. Last time I focused on Lightning Connect, a way to integrate your back office ERP with Salesforce via ‘point and click’ configuration.

In this post I’ll be taking a closer look at the Lightning Components and App Builder and why I think salesforce customers should consider these products as part of your mobility strategy. Lightning Components are effectively the building blocks that you’ll use to build applications in the future. When I say build, I should probably use the word assemble. Because the thing that struck me most about the App Builder was just how much like building a Dashboard it was. Provided you have the components, assembling the app is drag and drop. Pure child’s play.

Returning to the Lightning Components for a second, there are two types:

  • Standard components that are provided by out of the box, and

  • Custom Components, that you can build yourself with the open source Aura framework.

The real world effect of these two parts of Lightning are the ability to rapidly develop enterprise applications for your organisation.

When I worked in industry I was constantly frustrated at the prohibitively high cost of developing a mobile front end for the apps we had built on the Salesforce1 platform. If it was 'x' dollars for the app itself, it would be 'x' dollars again to build the mobile version. Lightning reduces this to a negligible dollar amount if there is any additional cost at all.

If your business wants or needs mobile applications, Lightning Components and App Builder will enable you to rapidly churn out capability like nothing you have seen before. You can access it now in any Developer Edition (DE) Org and general availability is coming in the future.

I would like to thank Michael Meisels (LinkedIn) from for running the session on Lightning and I cannot wait to attend the next Developer Playground.

In my next post I will conclude my focus on the Lightning Product Family with a look at Lightning Process Builder.




Lightning the load

I was fortunate this week to attend the Developer Playground at the Park Hyatt Melbourne.

It was a great opportunity to hear about some of the latest and greatest product developments recently launched at Dreamforce 2014 and those that will available be in the near future.

There were many personal highlights during the afternoon session:

While I could write about all three in this article I’ll just focus on the one that impressed me the most: Lightning Connect. It absolutely blew me away.

The ease at which the demo org was able to be linked to an instance of SAP to display live data was incredible. That sort of ‘clicks not code’ integration ability would have saved me hours of integration work in past roles.

For example in a past life I served as the Business analyst in the IT team for a large Construction Contractor. We used JDE in the backend and having Lightning Connector available would have let me show live financial data for our major projects on the projects record itself.

For a bit of background here, we used a custom App to manage project information from pre-contracts through to history and archiving. But that’s a post for another time.

Furthermore it allows presentation of ERP data in Salesforce where people would have previously not bothered due to the complexity and cost of doing so. Big props to Salesforce for this one.

If you are involved with or responsible for in any way within enterprise, you need to look at Lightning Connect to see what it can do for your organisation!

There was so much value to be had from the developer playground session, so much so I do not have the space to cover it all in one post. I’ll be continuing to share my insights and thoughts in a few upcoming posts focusing on the other Lightning products, Salesforce Wear and Heroku.

I cannot recommend strongly enough how important it is to get along to these sorts of sessions so you can gain an understanding of what is possible in an ecosystem as sophisticated as

Big thanks to Michael Meisels and Troy Sellers for putting on a quality afternoon.

Oh and make sure you listen carefully to the techie stuff, you might just walk away with a Drone!

Christopher Nugent (LinkedIn|Twitter) is a Senior Consultant with System Partners, he specialises in finding the right solution for our clients. You can contact him directly:

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#DF14: learn, listen and launch: Brand and Marketing

Last week I was lucky enough to be part of the System Partners’ Dreamforce 2014 tour team heading to San Francisco. 

Our team went to the USA to:

  • learn about new products and services,  

  • listen to existing and potential customers about how we can assist them to deliver the right solution so they get the best Return On Investment (ROSI),  

  • launch our new branding, and

  • launch our new business health checks

As this was my first trip to Dreamforce I wasn’t sure what to expect from an event of this scale but I came home fascinated, inspired and educated.

Keynotes from Hillary ClintonTony and Marc Benioff demonstrated the reach of and the way innovation and technology can not only transform your business but also play a major role in transforming the world around us by giving back.

It would be impossible to cover everything the team saw and learnt in one blog so we are running a series to provide you with the technical, sales and marketing and customer success insights from our experts. Look out for our #DF14 posts.

From my perspective, as System Partners’ Marketing and Communications Director, Dreamforce was my opportunity to observe and understand all things social, marketing automation and cloud, events, customer success and in particular brand awareness.

Brand awareness
For the third year in a row System Partners were a major Dreamforce APAC sponsor. It is our opportunity to support and raise awareness around our brand on a global and APAC platform. This is why we chose it as the perfect location to launch our new branding and logo. Turns out we weren’t the only ones. Salesforce also profiled their new logo:

Our new look - Why and how?
A rebrand is not a small task for any organisation. There is an important journey to take for decision this major and it is essential to engage all stakeholders to gain feedback, insight and buy in before a new logo is created and rolled out.

We didn’t just pick a graphic we liked. As part of a wider program of improving our marketing suite we ran customer personas with our clients and Salesforce Account Executives about their wants, needs and motivations and we employed the services of brand experts Prime Motive who ran a brand methodology workshop internally before creating our new brand.

We used the findings from both to help us realign our vision, mission, values and service offerings and aid Prime Motive to create our new look and feel. The final result represents our new direction:

Coming up...
As part of this SP series I will discuss how I think Pardot, Exact Target and the latest developments in the marketing cloud presented at #DF14 can help develop your marketing offering from branding through to customer personas and journeys to create one-to-one customer relationships to help achieve your business goals. Look out for the technical and sales blogs from our Principal and Lead Consultants and Business Analysts. 

Highlights from the entire Dreamforce showcase are available here.


CGU Insurance and Xero build their "Internet of Customers" using Salesforce CRM

Chris Ridd, Managing Director, Xero Australia

We are excited to announce an innovative global first in the insurance market! Today at Xerocon 2014 CGU Insurance and Xero have announced a ground breaking partnership.

System Partners have helped CGU Insurance and Xero deliver a new offering in the financial services market. For the first time customers can connect an insurer to their cloud based accounting software and have their insurance needs determined automatically based on their up to date financial data.

The project was delivered in a total time of 5 weeks from inception to go-live using best of breed technologies including the Salesforce CRM platform click here to check it out

It's also great to see the ASX has deemed this to be a material market impacting announcement and have published the media release you can read the official release here