Feels like we’re still digesting Spring 14, and the Summer ’14 release notes are already out. With another over 300 pages of release notes (327 pages in all!), there is a lot to digest here.
Similar to the last few releases (Summer ’13, Winter 14 and Spring 14) there is too much here to do in one post. Looking at the notes, I think there’s too much to do in two posts, so we’re splitting this one into three posts:
Part 1 – Sales, Salesforce1 and the general platform
Obviously, there is overlap between these topics, but I’ll do my best reference where applicable. Let’s have at it. As always, in no particular order here are some of what we think are the most interesting new features:
Salesforce1 – In Spring 14, the salesforce1 features felt more like items that just missed the cut for Dreamforce. More fixes and updates vs. enhancements. With Summer 14, salesforce is making it clear that the talk about building everything around mobile is not just idle chat. There are over 40 enhancements for salesforce1 alone in Summer 14. I think that’s more than any single category of features.
Access to new Objects – A few core objects that were not available previously in salesforce1 will be in Summer 14. This includes Knowledge Articles, Campaign Members and a few Work.com objects (Coaching, Goals and skills). Knowledge is the big one here, allowing internal users to get to articles from the road. In addition, the need to explicitly make custom objects appear in salesforce1 is gone. Now, any custom object that has a tab can be viewed from the app menu.
Submit Approvals – Glad this one was fixed. Users can now submit approvals with the standard button from salesforce1. Before you needed a work-around to do this.
List Views – Instead of being limited to the 4 most recent views for an object, users can now drill down into up to 200 more views. Also, you now have the ability to sort the list views by tapping the column. With mobile, views are used much more heavily than reports to find records, so this are nice additions.
Chatter in Salesforce1 – Some nice additions to how you use Chatter in salesforce1. You can now search within the feeds, view topics and also update your profile picture. Also, if you click on a Chatter link from an email notification, it now opens directly in your Salesforce1 app (before it brought you to the browser version).
View Team Members – I really like this one. Based on the Manager hierarchy of the user, you can now view their team of peers and managers right from salesforce1. Simply click on Team from within the user’s profile and you’ll be able to view this. The Manager field on the user record will need to be filled out to use this by the way.
Files and Content – I’ll go more into the changes to Salesforce Files in Part 3 when we cover Chatter, but from salesforce1, users now have access to and the ability to share multiple types of content including Salesforce Files, Content Links and Google Docs. I’m assuming your phone needs to be able to handle certain file types like Powerpoint for example, to be able to open these, but I suppose it’s possible salesforce1 comes with a way to open these. I won’t be able to tell until this rolls out.
Today Enhancements – The Today app also got some enhancements including the ability to create Events and Contacts right from the app. The Today app also beefed up the ability to join conference calls right from the app. It will now dial the meeting numbers automatically for a bunch of services including GoToMeeting, WebEx, Intercall and Lync. This is a really nice touch – and on a side rant, why did Android break this in their calendar on Jellybean??? Finally, a little weather widget has been added to the today app. Most people can add this onto their phones directly, so I’d say this isn’t ground-breaking. (now, if only there was a Tomorrow app, that would remind me to pack a winter coat next time I fly to Grand Rapids…)
Reports Improvements – Some big changes in reports for Salesforce1 as well. Similar to the regular app, you can now drill down to reports from dashboards and drill down to a record right from a report. Extremely helpful, especially when you’re on the road. Reports also now include the ability to sort. Finally, you can now also view visualforce dashboard components if you’ve added them.
Case Feed – Finally, there is a mobile version of the Case Feed email response functionality coming in Summer 14. The salesforce1 app hasn’t focused a ton on Service, so it’s nice to see some of the core Service functionality making its way to salesforce1.
Territory Management 2.0 – This could be the biggest sales feature of Summer 14 and is a long overdue improvement. The existing Territory Management was the feature no one really wanted to activate and you tried as hard as possible to not need it. Territory Management 2.0 is a beta, so it does have some limitations, but looks like a huge step in the right direction. 2.0 is fully API enabled, and looks to have 9 new objects that allow you to map out your Territories for Accounts. When an Account is created or updated, Owners can be automatically assigned to the Account based on their territory rules. Looks like you can have multiple version of your territory map (territory models) – so you can have an active one at the same time you have a second one being built for an upcoming re-org. (for Sales Ops, isn’t this always?) It’s unclear if this supports multiple owners by territory using Account Teams or not, but I’ll try to confirm that. It could though, as it supports Partner Users as well. For the beta, this is not integrated with Forecasts yet – which is a potential hit to being able to use it. In addition, this only works with Accounts. It doesn’t work with Opportunities or Contacts related to the Accounts – or with Leads where the Territory Map might be the same. (Our own app – BREeze – handles all of this but with more of an assignments rule front end vs. the new Territory UI). Finally, it doesn’t handle user transfers. A few big things missing, but overall, I think this is a big step in the right direction. Hopefully this is another feature that gets regular enhancements over the next few releases like Forecasting has.
Activities Update – A couple of helpful improvements to Activities and Events. First, looks like there is a new object called Activity Relationships, that will allow for better reporting of Activities and Events. You can now report across Users to see which users are scheduling activities and events across different accounts. In addition, you can now report on more fields – like Is Parent, Is What, and Date Responded. A big new one fixes a long time pain – you can finally add Activity Date to formulas and validation rules as either a Date or a Date/Time value. This was a big one hampering things. (now if only we can finally create email alerts with workflow off of activities – hint hint). Finally, the homepage component for activities gets a little better by adding the Status and the Related to fields to the widget.
Opportunity Splits – Some big changes to the Opportunity Splits functionality. Basically, the splits object is now fully customizable – like any other custom object – and you can add custom fields, validation rules, triggers and edit page layouts. Splits are now visible within the Forecasting module as well. Great additions to an underrated feature that most sales organizations require.
Finally, another new feature allows you to add record types to Splits as well as workflow, but it’s only available for Unlimited and Performance customers. First time we’ve seen salesforce exclude Enterprise customers on a new feature like this. Not sure how this makes sense, but I really hope this isn’t a trend.
Workflow Merge fields for Targets – Interesting change where you can now use the target recipient’s information in merge fields for workflow activities and email alerts. Basically, this let’s you personalize your workflow communications.
Salesforce for Outlook – A few new updates to Salesforce for Outlook. First, you can now create even more records directly from the sidebar including Cases, Contacts, Opportunities and Leads. Before you could just create Cases. You can now also give different users different side panels. A big need especially for Sales and Service users. Finally, this is now available on Group and Contact Manager Editions
Attachment Size limit bumped up – Attachments on objects by default now support up to 25MBs. Hooray!
Reporting & Analytics – Not a big release for reporting and dashboards. I’m guessing the Winter 15 release will be loaded here based on all of the new functionality salesforce showed off at Dreamforce. I was really hoping the inline editing would make it into this release, but hopefully next one.
Report on Forecasting Changes – You can now do historical trending reports on forecasts – similar to how you can on Opportunities and the other Historical Trending capabilities. It’s limited to a few dimensions, and can only be done for up to 5 points of data.
“Pin” favorite Reports – A handy little feature that lets you “pin” your favorite reports so they appear on the top of the list. Similar to how you can pin objects in search results.
Approvals Reporting – Expanded reporting for approval requests. For some reason, previously you could only report off of approvals that were pending. Now you can do full reporting on approvals including completed and in-progress approvals.
Deployment Status Page – The new Deployment Page that came out in Spring 14 now includes all deployments including change sets and other tool deployments. A helpful addition to monitor change set deployments and any errors that come from them.
Finally, there is one particularly interesting Pilot in Summer around forecasting. For Pilots, you need to apply to get this functionality, so we typically don’t cover Pilot items. That said, in pilot, you can now use forecasting on custom fields instead of the standard Amount and Quantity fields. This is by far the largest reason a lot of customers choose not to use forecasting. This combined with yet another pilot that allows you to forecast Overlay teams, might be something to try and get into the pilots to see how they perform. These could be what finally pushes a rapidly improving forecast feature over the edge and become widely adopted.
That’s it for Part 1. Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3.
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.