Ask a Salesforce Partner: 4 Exciting Innovations from TrailblazerDX
Celebrities have the Met Gala. Foodies have Noma restaurant. Football fanatics have the Super Bowl. And Salesforce devotees have the TrailblazerDX conference – the place to see and be seen within the Salesforce technical community.
TrailblazerDX brings together Salesforce developers, consultants, partners, architects and basically anyone who touches the platform for one of the biggest conferences of the year.
So, what’s all the hoopla about? The annual event is notable because it is where Salesforce announces its latest innovations that will shape the future of the core Salesforce platform, with this year’s event focused primarily on enhancements related to Salesforce’s MuleSoft, Tableau and Slack applications.
Conference attendees take the valuable learnings about Salesforce’s cutting-edge advances and apply them to drive digital transformation for their organizations, as well as benefit their clients and customers. As a longstanding Salesforce Partner, Kenway Consulting was well represented for the two-day TrailblazerDX conference. Here we’ll unpack what we discovered and how we can help your organization capitalize on all that Salesforce has to offer.
Blazing a Trail as a Salesforce Partner
Becoming a Salesforce Partner isn’t like one of those fly-by-night institutions where they hand out certifications to just about anyone who asks. Salesforce vets and validates all its partners before allowing them to proclaim to be part of the elite group of certified Salesforce professionals.
Being a Salesforce Partner means that Kenway is a valuable part of what Salesforce refers to as its Partner Ecosystem, with a practice comprised of Kenway Trailblazers who are the heart and soul of Salesforce. Salesforce defines a Trailblazer as:
- A pioneer; an innovator; a lifelong learner; a mover and shaker.
- A leader who leaves a path for others to follow.
- Most importantly, a person who builds a better world for others.
As a Salesforce Partner, Kenway is proud to be part of the Trailblazers group that delivers successful solutions with Salesforce to its clients and customers everywhere. Salesforce Partners lead 70% of customer implementations. Kenway Consulting can be found on the Salesforce AppExchange, where more than 91% of Salesforce customers find partners’ apps and experts to help with their various initiatives.
But why is it so important to Kenway to be labeled as a Salesforce Partner? The “Why” goes back to Kenway’s own Why of “To help and to be helped.”
At Kenway, we focus on helping businesses achieve their complex business objectives through the lens of enabling and enhancing the people, processes and technology involved. Our vision aligns with Salesforce’s aim to change the world for the better through technology that builds stronger relationships – “To help and be helped.”
4 Salesforce Platform Enhancements from TrailblazerDX
There were many new Salesforce products and features announced at TrailblazerDX. These are a few of our favorites because we think they will have the most impact and benefit our Kenway clients the most.
1. Salesforce Platform for Slack: The next generation of Slack
Slack is a workplace messaging application owned by Salesforce that integrates with other Salesforce products. Slack has taken on a more prominent role at organizations that have shifted to remote work because it connects employees across the business in a streamlined fashion, resulting in increased collaboration and communication opportunities. Perceptions of Slack have changed, and now 60% of end-user organizations view apps like Slack as a hub for work rather than purely a messaging app.
At TrailblazerDX, Salesforce announced the Salesforce Platform for Slack, a new toolkit that lets developers build custom, time-saving Slack apps natively on the Salesforce Platform. Developers can easily pull critical functionalities such as actions, automations and business insights directly from Salesforce into Slack using familiar tools and coding languages.
The result is that the Salesforce Platform for Slack will save developers’ precious time and bubble up more opportunities for business process automation through employees’ increased use of the Slack app right within their Salesforce instance, eliminating the need for resources to swivel-chair up and down the tech stack throughout the course of a workday. The move will help to increase workers’ productivity and allow them to operate more seamlessly across the Salesforce ecosystem of products.
2. Salesforce Flow: High attention to low code
Automation. Automation. Automation. We can’t say it enough (and neither could Salesforce at TrailblazerDX!). Companies are realizing that pivoting to automation at scale is paramount to scaling enterprise operations and key to doing away with manual processes, as well as driving better productivity, client interactions, and a bottom line.
Salesforce research shows that 91% of organizations say they need solutions that automate processes so they can do more with less, and 77% of workers say automation has provided them with the necessary time to deepen relationships with their customers and stakeholders. At Kenway, we know how important the customer experience is for our Salesforce clients. Facilitating and implementing these automated solutions necessitates the right type of engagement at the right time with their clientele, driving exponential value.
Flow is Salesforce’s low-code authoring tool that lets companies automate complicated business processes via a drag-and-drop user interface (UI). Salesforce claims that customers save 109 billion hours every month using Salesforce Flow. That number is about to increase based on the several updates to Flow that Kenway plans to immediately leverage and implement with its clients to help them along their automation journey. These include:
- Flow in Slack: Enables developers to build automated processes for manual tasks in Flow inside of the Slack interface, such as creating a new Slack channel
- Flow Actions: Launch workflows in Salesforce Flow directly from a Tableau dashboard to eliminate the time-consuming task of switching between multiple applications
- Flow Orchestration: Use automation to support multi-user and long-running flows to help simplify multi-step and multi-user processes
- Flow RPA: Powered by MuleSoft, robotic process automation is driven by the creation of bots that can interact with legacy mainframe (and other) systems in your tech stack to execute historically repetitive, high volume, manual tasks. Flow RPA integrates this technology directly in Salesforce Flow and makes end-to-end automation possible for low-code resources in your enterprise.
3. MuleSoft Anypoint Code Builder: Build integrations faster
MuleSoft has been part of the Salesforce tech stack since 2018 and focuses on streamlining the experience of systems integration, products and services for both the technical and more functional platform users. MuleSoft supports the process of connecting Salesforce CRM and Cloud instances to each other or to other enterprise systems using API-led integration.
According to a report by MuleSoft, 88% of organizations surveyed said they are facing integration challenges that continue to slow their digital transformations. Only a third (30%) of organizations said they can provide completely connected user experiences across all channels without the aid of an iPaaS.
One solution to these challenges is the new MuleSoft Anypoint Code Builder that is part of MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform. Anypoint Code Builder allows developers to move faster and be more productive by enabling them to create an app, service or customer experience within a single environment. The new integrated development environment (IDE) has built-in recommendations at design time, as well as a library of development best practices for common API and integration patterns.
Anypoint Code Builder will be in Beta in the coming months and is expected to be available in the second half of 2022. The next and most immediately available solution is Kenway – with technology platform integration being a core skillset we possess and consistently showcase in virtually all our Salesforce engagements. Kenway has a plethora of experience leveraging the MuleSoft platform and we are taking steps to familiarize ourselves with the Anypoint Code Builder to determine how it can supplement our existing subject matter expertise.
4. Tableau Insights – Embedded: Unlock the power of data
What is the value of data if you can’t understand it? With the addition of Tableau into the core platform, Salesforce is trying to ensure “data rich” enterprises across the globe don’t become “insight poor.” Tableau is an analytics solution for your enterprise’s massive amount of data. Tableau blends with Salesforce data and other disparate enterprise data to increase visibility and facilitate a deeper understanding of clients’ and customers’ information – driving insights for your org.
While having data is beneficial to an organization, its true power can only be realized when ensuring that data is being pulled from the correct places and being visualized in the right way. At TrailblazerDX, Tableau announced some new capabilities for Salesforce developers to embed, extend and customize data and analytics on any project – no matter where it comes from – seamlessly and directly on your platform instance. Web Data Connector 3.0 provides a single, streamlined toolkit with the tools developers need to build a connector to their web application data from end to end.
With the new API, Kenway can now help clients easily embed Tableau Insights directly into their web applications built on the platform. This task has historically proven cumbersome to execute. It also streamlines the execution of integrating Salesforce Flows into Tableau so users can now kick off Flows from within a dashboard.
Get Help with your Salesforce Custom Development
As a Salesforce Partner, Kenway recognizes the platform’s capabilities and understands how Salesforce can work for your company. At the same time, we are management and technology consultants first and Salesforce experts second. We approach each engagement uniquely and through a consultative lens, considering the people, processes and technologies that your initiative touches – in that order.
Our team of Salesforce experts are well versed in the latest innovations and will help your organization realize its business objectives by ensuring your people and processes are enabled by an optimal Salesforce architecture and solution design. Connect with us to get started with or continue your Salesforce journey.
Certain information set forth in this blog post contains “forward-looking information.” Any unreleased Salesforce services or features referenced in this blog post may not be delivered on time or at all.