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Reflections from Tahoe Dreamin’
There is something special about community-run regional Salesforce events like Tahoe Dreamin’. They’re more intimate events that allow for more meaningful conversations. And there’s something special about a conference run entirely by Salesforce users who want to dedicate their time to learning more about Salesforce
Last week, 200 Salesforce users gathered in South Lake Tahoe to network, learn, and get inspired.
Sarah Joyce Franklin, SVP of Developer Relations and GM or Trailhead at Salesforce, gave a keynote speech that set the tone for the conference. In it, she made three key points that provided a new perspective on how you work with your Salesforce instance:
1. Change the story from “Can I change the world?” to “Will I change the world?”.
At Now IT Matters, our clients are in the business of changing the world, and that can be a daunting task. From connecting with constituents to monitoring program outcomes, leveraging Salesforce to fit your organization’s needs can be equally intimidating. But instead of asking yourself if you can do it, as yourself how you will do it. Just changing the story puts you on a path and is the first step in planning your success.
2. Do not be ruled by fear.
As I attended the sessions at Tahoe Dreamin’, I amended this to “Do not be afraid of Lightning.” Many nonprofits have been reluctant to switch over to the new platform because it’s different, it’s unknown. And if we’re being honest, that’s a little scary.
But Lightning isn’t something to be intimidated or worried about, it’s something to explore and be excited about! Turn it on in one of your sandboxes and play around. Collect use cases from your Salesforce users and see how you can solve them in Lightning. If you fail, it’s just a sandbox. And if you succeed, your users will thank you.
3. Be the change.
This comes from the famous Gandhi quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” And it holds true when managing a Salesforce instance. Be an example to your users. Inspire them to learn Salesforce by earning some Trailhead badges, or get a certification. Want them to get excited about the platform? Get excited about the new features coming out in the Spring ‘17 release and share them with your users.
Whether skiing down a snowy mountain or taking the leap to convert your org to Lightning, the point is to take the chance. Could you end up with a failed project (or a face full of snow)? Absolutely. But try anyway.
Now IT Matters would like to welcome Michelle Regal to our team! She comes to us from PBS and we are so excited about having her join our team. The following post was originally published on Michelle's Blog, The Dev-Admin. Michelle is an active participant on the Power of US Hub, a long-time member of NTEN, and a newly minted member of the Girlforce Leadership Team. When I was eight or nine years old, my dad gave me his old work computer – I think it was an IBM 486.
The first thing I did was create a database, although I don’t think I realized that’s what I did. I cataloged all my books – I think I may have included a few library books as well (shh!) – so I could easily call up all the works by a specific author, in a certain genre, etc.
Of course, it was always easier to just look at the books on my shelves than to actually use the database, but that’s kind of beside the point.
I loved the idea of capturing and organizing information, and then analyzing it to reveal even more information. Like, nearly half the books in my library were by Stephen King. And I still couldn’t persuade my mom to let me watch IT.
Data and databases followed me through high school, where my Computer Science project involved creating a payroll database using C++, and college, where I spent four years of work-study in a film library building databases and doing database entry.
I even scored an internship creating an Access database and cataloging films for a nonprofit. After college, I went on to create a video database in FinalCutPro for that same nonprofit before migrating their fundraising database to Raiser’s Edge.
At this point, you might think I noticed a pattern and just started referring to myself as the Data Guru and spouting appropriately nerdy references like, “All you (data)base are belong to me.”
But I didn’t. I didn’t even consider myself a techie. In the nonprofit world, the techie was an IT contractor who came in every so often to troubleshoot network setups and check on the server (side note: remember when servers actually lived in our offices?). I was just the fundraiser who knew a lot about computers. They called me 99 at the office because I was always able to figure things out.
Then I met Salesforce, and everything changed.
Nonprofits were seduced by the free licenses to this incredibly powerful database management system. I was seduced by the flexibility. (And if you haven’t noticed, I’m kind of a sucker for databases.)
Pretty soon, my office mates were calling me the Salesforce Guru, and my motto was, “Salesforce can do that.” It became a running joke, as co-workers asked if Salesforce can make them coffee or order Thai food*.
In my next job interview, I said one of my skills was that I spoke fluent database. I got the job.
I still didn’t fully identify as a techie, though. My job was billed as a marketing position with some database administration and development. In actuality, it was the reverse.
I toyed with the idea of being a database expert for all the nonprofits instead of just the one I was working for. In other words, I toyed with the idea of becoming a full-time consultant, and making my database and Salesforce expertise my primary selling point.
Then I met Now IT Matters, and everything changed.
Okay, not everything. But my job did!
I’m so excited to be a Senior Consultant with this incredible organization that uses Salesforce to help nonprofits do good better. I get to work with a variety of nonprofits and be a full-time database guru!
In this special edition of Where in the World is Now IT Matters, Justin Barss gives us a 45 second montage of not-to-be-missed highlights of the Salesforce World Tour in Washington, DC!
We missed a blog post last week because I was in New Orleans at the Higher Ed Summit 2016!
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It was so much fun and I learned all about the coolest stuff happening in Salesforce for Higher Ed. Here's some reasons why you shouldn't have missed the Higher Ed Summit (and should definitely attend the next one): 1) Lots and lots of brilliant higher ed brains - all in one conference: Whether you're curious about what Stanford is doing with data or interested in tracking emotional intelligence for research using Salesforce, the biggest Universities are using Salesforce in new and innovative ways, and the folks building those solutions are all right there! You could have had lunch with them, or attended one of their sessions.
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2) You've got questions? They've got Answers! - Not only was the entire Higher Ed Advisory Council present, there were lots of opportunities to talk with them, ask them questions, and even attend a live HED Office Hours! (If you missed the chance, you can still catch Higher Ed Office Hours on the regularly scheduled phone conference! Check our the Higher Ed group on the Hub for more info!)
4) HEDA!!!!! - HEDA (Higher Education Data Architecture) is the newest release of epic from Salesforce for Higher Ed. It builds on the Nonprofit Starter Pack model for a low-cost solution for Higher Ed Institutions right out of the box. I'm excited to see where this will go!
5) Girlforce - Girlforce is launching into Higher Ed and we hosted a Girlforce Happiest Hour at the Higher Ed Summit. We have a presence at many Salesforce events and we're always happy connect and learn from each other!
If you're in Higher Ed, make sure to connect with others in the Power of US Hub. It's where the party's happening![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]
In October, roughly 140,000 people will make the pilgrimage to San Francisco for Dreamforce where they will learn new ways to do more good (better) with technology! For one week every year, San Francisco is transformed into the Mecca of Geekery, and, although the majority of attendees fall more in the “geek” category than the “nonprofit” category, Social Good and Changing the World are common themes in all areas of Dreamforce. Last year, 20,000+ of the attendees were nonprofits and with ample opportunities to learn, grow and connect, it makes sense for nonprofits to attend. As a nonprofit, the Dreamforce experience will help you discover new tools and brush up on time-tested strategies with dynamic programming, case studies and leadership insights to keep you and your organization on point. You will have the opportunity to engage with a diverse group of your peers from nonprofits of all types and sizes, including foundations, charities, education, museums, associations and more! With dozens of classes and sessions aimed at nonprofits (and entire floor dedicated to all things nonprofit in the Foundation Zone) Dreamforce will inspire you, give you new ways of looking at challenges, educate you, and will connect you to thousands of other nonprofit geeks who share your passion for world change. Bonus: the Salesforce Foundation also offers a $799 discount for all nonprofits attending! …And just in case you’re still not convinced, here are my top three reasons to attend Dreamforce:
- Networking. Where else can you go where you can sit down to have lunch with the Grameen Foundation and the Global Fund to discuss best fundraising strategies for the 21st century? Dreamforce gives you the unique opportunity to talk to other nonprofits looking for the best ways to use Salesforce for their organization, and access to worldwide nonprofit and NGO practitioners (like American Red Cross, Polaris Project, and IAVA!). Not only will you have the opportunity to find out how trendsetting orgs are using technology to do more good better, but you’ll have the chance to speak with these guys personally about how they are addressing the world’s issues beyond the data level!
- Education. Hands on trainings, breakouts, sessions, spontaneous demonstrations – education is flying around you everywhere you go at Dreamforce. You can take back loads of information and resources to help your organization rise to new levels… and getting some solutions immediately? Priceless.
- Vision. One of the best things about Dreamforce is understanding where your CRM is going and how the evolution affects your organizational impact. New solution sets and ever-increasing integrations and customizations mean your org has more reach than ever before. Going to Dreamforce gives you the vision for what your organization can do to leverage your resources to maximize impact.
We hope to see you there this year! If you’re planning on attending, please make sure to email us so we can set up a time to connect while we’re there! Register for Dreamforce 2014 here: http://www.salesforcefoundation.org/events/dreamforce/