The new Spring ’15 Release aims to empower every Salesforce user with the ability to create relationships that span across their customer’s journey. With upgrades for every cloud – Sales, Service, Marketing, Community, Analytics, they are delighting everyone in the Salesforce ecosystem.
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Salesforce Delivers and Delights
Communities are the future as confirmed by Forrester in this study. With Community Designer being launched, Communities Dashboard 2.0 rolled out, and expectations on moving Ideas, Answers, Q&A into Chatter*; Salesforce is making it loud and clear that Communities are only going to get bigger.
To help you make the most of the upcoming release, here’s a digest on Salesforce.com Spring ’15 Community Cloud Release Notes Preview.
1.Streamlining Community Building
With the Community Designer Templates (Koa, Kokua, and Napili), creating a self-service community is easier. For using Salesforce Tabs+Visualforce pages, you can select these via an installation wizard’s help.
In both the cases, the community can be set-up simply by selecting New Community under All Communities and a wizard pops up. The wizard then guides you through the entire process of setting up the basic community.
While you are inside the environment, you can edit your pages to:
- Navigate seamlessly
- Choose another template easily (if required)
- Keep a copy of your older community
However, for extended functionality, Salesforce Tabs, VisualForce pages and the templates need to be tinkered around with.
2.Speeding up Community Designing
Inside the Community Builder you can:
- Preview Design Changes: This enables you to preview the community as it would appear to a customer, and you can easily cut down the total time taken to design the community
- Brand extensively: Choose the in-built colors or create your own color palette inside Community Builder, along with adding your logo to the community’s pages
3.Simplifying Community Organization
As the community grows, it becomes extremely difficult to organize and localize it fast. Giving more flexibility on how community topics are organized, community managers and admins can now:
- Merge & create topics
- Merge feed-items & records (yet to be confirmed)
- Localize topic names
Additionally, the community statuses have been renamed to remove any ambiguity. Organizing a community need not be solely Community Manager’s job. With this release, users can self-register themselves to create personal accounts.
4.Enhancing the Functionalities for the Community Templates
The release is focused on Napili template with a lot of enhancements planned. Some of the enhancements have already been incorporated and some will be shortly occur.
- integrating reCAPTCHA into case login screen to deter spammers. This is available across community
- For the users who will be using Napili template there is greater flexibility on how a user consumes content and receives notifications; user settings can be set right from the template.
- The layout of the Napili template has been changed to focus on three things:
- User Details: now appears on top of the profile, others can easily follow them
- Activity: Reputation points, activity level of user, traction their posts receive
- Privacy: Nickname shown instead of full name
- This feature reminds me of Skype. While asking a question, it is now possible that you can attach a file. Quite handy, especially when you need to share screenshots, docs, and more
- Gamifying the community has been made possible with the inclusion of Leaderboard widget
- Self-service cannot exist without an organized knowledgebase and pointing trending topics, auto-suggesting related topics, and allowing users to easily follow a topic; is a step in the right direction
- Accessibility improvements added for the Koa, Kokua, and Napili Templates
5.Improving Community Management
This release has enabled some key features that will cut down a lot of tasks for Community Managers by integrating everything under a Community Management Console.
- Community management section has been upgraded to include everything inside one section itself
- One overview page to change settings on-the-fly
- For a cleaner interface, only relevant settings are shown on community management page & administration settings are moved inside the console
- Once the community has out-grown the original template, it can be changed directly from the console
- API is not required to moderate flagged files
- Add or Remove Topics from Posts
6.Feed actions & Gamification
To truly customize the community, now managers can create any custom actions within the community. This enables:
- Fast case login by customer
- Quick resource sharing with partners
- Easy expense reporting by employees
- Users can now earn reputation points for endorsements
- Campaign tab support added for partner users
Chatter Question-to-Case that enables moderators to escalate questions in Chatter to cases, making it easier to track and resolve customers’ issues much faster. Salesforce records into Chatter Groups – Users can now create users and groups & add existing records to groups. This enables users to quickly see which group is talking about which record and see which record is associated with which group.
8.Syncing Systems and Platforms (Files Connect)
Microsoft is one of the most popular file creation OS and increasing the level of integration with Salesforce, this release enables files to be social and mobile, backed by Salesforce’s robust platform and Salesforce Files Connect.
*Yet to be confirmed
It is truly an exciting time to be a Community Manager for a Salesforce Community. If you are thinking about setting up a community, now would be the time.
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