Winter 16 is already here for half of us, and the other half will be getting it this upcoming weekend. In Part 3, we covered all of the Collaboration Features in Winter 16 including updates to Chatter and some major new features for Communities. Here in our last part we’ll be covering all of the Sales Cloud, salesforce1 and Platform features that are coming.
By far the largest new Sales Cloud feature is Lightning Experience – the new UI that is really a platform. There was a huge amount of buzz on this including its own release parties and it was a big part of Dreamforce as well. This is a big enough feature that the first post of our write-up was dedicated entirely to Lightning Experience and what it delivers (or in some cases doesn’t deliver yet). We’re not going to repeat those features on this post, but if you haven’t already, I highly encourage you to read about it as there’s a lot there and a lot to consider. With that, let’s get to all of the other features:
Salesforce App for Outlook – There’s now a new way to connect salesforce to your Outlook experience. The salesforce App for Outlook doesn’t replace Salesforce for Outlook (at least not yet), but gives users another option. In particular this one is more embedded within Outlook as you can see below vs. leveraging a side bar. Also, being an app, this works with Microsoft’s web App (OWA) which Salesforce for Outlook never could. Looks like it’s also compatible with Office 365, Outlook 2013 and the newest version – 2016. It doesn’t have all of the features of Salesforce for Outlook but is able to add Emails and Attachments to salesforce records as well as pull up relevant records from salesforce into calendar, contact or email records. Definitely one I’ll need to play with a little bit and compare to Salesforce for Outlook which I use a ton. One note, the new App does not support Contact or Task syncing, and salesforce is recommending using the server based Exchange Sync which came out in beta in Summer 15. That might be a blocker to rolling this out to your Sales teams depending on how they are using the connectors today. Finally, a nice touch is that if you do enable this new connector, Salesforce for Outlook automatically is turned off. No need to worry about conflicts with having both in place on a user’s laptop.
Salesforce for Outlook supports Windows 10 – I still dread the day when I’ll be dragged from Windows 7 into the tiles hell of Windows 8/10, but when that day comes at least I know I’ll be able to use my Salesforce for Outlook.
Inline Duplicate catching for salesforce – Cool new update that will potentially catch dupes using the Data.com Duplicate Manager while the user is entering in the record versus waiting for them to hit enter. Especially with mobile data entry you have to assume they aren’t searching prior to entering a new record. This is a great way to help catch dupes and not aggravate the users. (This is also available in Sales Cloud but only if you have Lightning Experience turned on.)
Two-way Camera for SOS – I’m literally bouncing in my seat over this feature. Part of me isn’t sure if this is what I think it is because it’s buried in the salesforce1 section and not even mentioned in the Service Cloud section of the release notes, but I’m 99% sure this is what I think it is. This is a huge hooray here. Basically, this feature extends out the video chat in SOS to be a two-way video chat, vs. just showing the agent to the customer. What this means is your agents are no longer blindly being guided by wonderful but maybe not the most savvy of your customers. Instead of having to ask 14 times for the customer to describe the cable they are seeing (why don’t you just tell me the movie you want to see?!), you can now just tell them to turn their camera and show the cables via the video. A massive sanity saver for your agents and not to mention a big custom sat driver for your customers. (I’m actually adding this to our Service Cloud write-up as well, as I missed it the first time around since it wasn’t mentioned in the Service sections.)
Object Manager – Admins will rejoice that there is now a new central Object Manager that combines all custom and standard objects into one consolidated list. This is a great start, but sip that champagne instead of pounding it all back. As of now this only works on objects that are supported by Lightning Experience. So, it’s almost all objects. Once again, no love for Assets. Even without Assets, it’s a great update and will cover all objects soon enough.
Overall Search Improvements – A few quick updates to Search. First, you can now disable search on custom objects to increase overall search performance and reduce the clutter in search results. Admins control this and by default all objects are still searchable. Second, salesforce has added a nicknames library. Can’t remember if you put the name in as Peter or Pete? Now search for either and search will find both. Pretty cool. Finally, the search algorithm as a whole has been updated to handle things like punctuations better.
Improved salesforce1 scrolling – Very handy for records with a lot of data that can’t fit on the screen. Previously you had to do the old “pull up” to get more data (always tough when you’re not supposed to be driving), but now just by scrolling down salesforce1 will automatically load more data.
Picklists Pilots – Two very exciting pilots around picklists. First is Restricted Picklists. Currently, picklists only enforce making sure you enter values from the picklist from the UI. So, users can’t enter anything but picklist values. However, admins or people with ability to upload records always could. Picklists were not enforced on data uploads or the API. In some cases this is a pretty handy thing. In others this is downright annoying. With this Restricted Picklist pilot you’ll be able to set a picklist to strictly enforced and then even the API and data uploads will not be able to insert values not in the picklist. Excited about this one.
The second pilot is Global picklists. This will give you the ability to share a picklist across multiple objects. Especially for Leads and Contacts/Accounts/Opportunities this is a huge time-saver. However, there’s plenty of other use cases for this. Really exciting.
More Roll-up Fields – The limits for roll-up fields on an object has been bumped from 10 to 25. Nice!
Improved Login Look & Feel – Winter 16 brings a much improved look and feel to the Login page for salesforce as well as the Change My Password page. This page is available with Lightning Experience but also in Classic as well as salesforce1.
Additional Fields can be Encrypted – Salesforce has extended this list of fields that can be encrypted to protect Personal Identifiable Data/Information (PID / PII). In addition to the user fields, now you can encrypt Person Account fields – Account Name, Contact Name, Address, all standard Phone & Fax fields and Email. Also you can encrypt Case Subject and Description as well as the Case Comments body. Finally, on custom objects Text Area fields can now be encrypted as well.
Group Post Notifications in salesforce1 – You can now use notifications on your mobile device to hear about posts in your Chatter Groups even if you aren’t @mentioned. Handy especially for critical groups.
Well, that is it for Winter 16. With Lightning Experience this is a monster release and clearly one that will impact the next several releases. Thanks again for reading and enjoy all of your new toys!
Harry is the CEO and founder of GearsCRM, with more than 18 years of experience working with the Salesforce platform. Outside of Gears, Harry enjoys debating Star Wars and Marvel with his son and sharing music and videos with his daughter. He is an avid racquetball player, bleeds Dodger blue, cries Jets green and always tries to find spare time to read a good fiction novel.