7 Ways Technology is Changing the Face of Treatment Centers

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Technology has provided healthcare many breakthroughs in recent years and Salesforce has been at the forefront of that. So if this is the case why are most treatment centers still so far behind. Everyday people are scouring the internet trying to find a great place to recover from the diseases of Mental Health and Addiction. It’s estimated that over 20 million Americans over the age of 12 have an addiction. Many treatment centers lack the basic tools needed to be able to serve these patients with the care they need. As a consulting partner for Salesforce we have seen technology changing the face of Treatment Centers. Technology is providing treatment centers with the advanced tools needed to navigate the ever changing landscape. We’re going to outline 7 ways that technology is changing the face of treatment centers.

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1. The addition of a CRM or Patient Relationship Management platform to the contact center is the number one way to better serving your patients. We have seen organizations taking notes on note pads or using excel to track patient calls. This is a major problem, in my experience working in a very busy Contact Center even your very best admissions representative will miss a follow up. Also in my experience, as a recovering alcoholic with almost 7 years of sobriety, I know that when I was ready to get help patience was not one of my strongest areas. So timely follow ups and the ability to take a call from beginning to end without hanging up the phone has resulted in a 35% increase in patient admissions based on case studies we have conducted.
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Salesforce for Wineries: The Customized Winery and Spirits CRM

Any business trying to grow and increase their client base needs a customer relationship management (CRM) software program. It’s just a simple fact that even the smallest businesses can’t avoid for very long before keeping track of clients starts to consume the entire day. Wineries are no exception. 

The wine industry has a tendency to be reactive with their wine sales after they build a client relationship. The wine industry needs to have a CRM that empowers wineries to take action proactively in their marketing efforts. Salesforce has this ability through the use of marketing automation, data analytics, and AI. Salesforce can use your winery’s historical data of purchases made by clients to predict what products that client may be interested in. This allows wineries to target specific customers with specific content.  

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We hear a lot that wineries prefer to use a CRM or a software product that is specific to wineries. That’s a great option if you are just starting out, but you are missing out on a lot of value. It’s no secret that Salesforce’s success comes largely from its ability to be customized to each company’s specific requirements.  

To put it plainly, Salesforce can be made into a customized winery CRM. The advantage that Salesforce brings to wineries is the support received from the business and marketing analytics. So, a winery will have the ability to do what we have come to expect from a CRM plus provide these strong tools that are designed to drive more sales through smarter marketing campaigns. Salesforce will feel like your winery CRM, not just a generic winery CRM. There are even winery specific apps available as add-ons to Salesforce. For example, GreatVines is a winery and beverage distributor sales app that helps sales teams manage client data in a more customized way to the beverage industry. 

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Thinking About Marketing Automation For Higher Ed?

How can we put our name in front of someone right when they are thinking about committing to a brand? This is the question we ask ourselves in marketing. The best marketing campaigns deliver a coordinated high-quality experience across every channel and with every prospect interaction. Marketing automation tools from Salesforce bolster an organization’s ability to deliver this syndicated message. Higher education organizations are thinking more and more about how to attract news students through marketing as the space becomes increasingly competitive. Marketing automation is a dream for any organization. Salesforce has made it possible for higher education institutions, and Mirketa Inc is able to implement that possibility with you.

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The Salesforce marketing cloud unlocks incredible recruiting possibilities for the higher education space. At a high level, marketing cloud uses data collected about prospects to then market back to prospects in the way that makes the most sense to each prospect and higher education organization. Salesforce has the ability for organizations to track the activity of prospective students on their website. Let’s say for example that a recruiter has met a bright student at a recruiting event at a local high school and this student agrees to give the recruiter a few pieces of administrative data like their name and email. The recruiter would then go back and enter this student as a prospective student as a prospect in their Salesforce. From that moment forward the recruiter would be able to see what sort of things the student was clicking on while visiting the school website, what they were searching, and how often they came back to visit.

It is obvious how powerful this information would be in targeting students that higher education organizations might view as a potential fit for their university. This same technology within Salesforce will assign this prospect a grade that communicates how good of a fit they would be within a university. So, for example, if the prospect continues to search for programs and look at things that may not be a strength of a higher education institution, then that prospect’s grade would be a little lower. This sort of information-based targeting and grading has enormous implications in ensuring students who start with a university, finish with that university. This is a metric that the Higher Ed domain watches with a close eye. Higher education organizations want to reduce the churn of students as much as possible to uphold their university reputation. After all, reputation in higher education can be some of the best marketing available.

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FullCalendar Plugin in Salesforce Lightning Component

Fullcalendar plugin is quite a useful tool for many calendar related application. It has been widely used with various javascript applications and even visualforce pages.

However, this plugin is also compatible with lightning as it is entirely created using jQuery.

The first step in using this plugin with your lightning component is to download it and upload it as a zip folder to your dev org as a static resource.

Download link – https://fullcalendar.io/download/

Salesforce Lightning Component

Salesforce Lightning Widget for Calendar

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Pardot for Higher Ed Salesforce Implementation

What really is Pardot? We have all undoubtedly heard about how great it could be for sales people, but is that as far as this powerful tool can take Salesforce users? Of course not. Pardot is a perfect tool to include as part of your Higher Ed Salesforce implementation.

Pardot is B2B marketing automation solution that ultimately makes the jobs of sales and recruiting teams much easier. We have seen more and more Higher Ed Salesforce implementations including Pardot for their recruiting teams and it’s obvious why once you begin using it. The features in Pardot provide a seamless connection between your marketing campaigns and how your recruiters can interact with prospects.

Source: http://leviwinglewich.com/ems/salesforce/what-is-pardot/

Pardot allows you to track prospects, conversions, and marketing campaign activity from a single dashboard. It also allows you to create email marketing campaigns to generate leads and then measure the success of those campaigns. These campaigns are highly customizable so when prospects receive the email content, it looks and feels like your brand.

Part of this customization allows the leads to go down a customized marketing content campaign based on their actions when receiving the emails. For example, If the lead opens the first email and doesn’t respond then they will receive a different email for the second stage in the campaign than if they decided to not open it at all.

Perhaps most importantly for your recruiting team is the real-time feedback on actions that leads take. For example, if someone registers for a webinar and fills out one of your forms, you get an alert for that action. Leads and prospects are also assigned a score and organized in order based on their interactions with marketing campaigns. That means that if a client signs up for a webinar and visits the website several times then they are really thinking about your school.

This information about client action enables recruiters to focus on the highest priority recruits right now. Pardot also enables recruiters to put these prioritized prospects into a “Nurturing Program” that gives them a more personalized follow-up campaign from whoever owns the lead. The “Nurturing Programs” within Pardot essentially automate the personal follow-up process for your recruiters. So, if a prospect says they just can’t devote the time for a conversation for about a month, then we can put them on a 30-day Nurturing Program that is going to follow-up for you at pre-determined intervals and with pre-determined messages so you don’t have to think about any prospects that are not needing attention today.

Pardot is the answer to many problems in the recruiting world. It automates a lot of follow-up that lingers in the back of our minds, allows customized marketing based on actions the prospect takes in the marketing campaign, and provides a seamless connection between the marketing team and the recruiting team.

Pardot may be an important consideration when thinking through your Higher Ed Salesforce implementation. If it starts to feel like too much work on top of everything else that needs to be implemented then finding a Salesforce Partner company to assist with implementation may be a great next step.

Posted in Salesforce, Salesforce Challenges, Salesforce cloud Implementation, salesforce consultant, salesforce customization. Tagged with , , .

The Truth About HEDA and Higher Ed Salesforce Implementation

HEDA (Higher Ed Data Architecture) is a cornerstone for enabling Higher Ed Salesforce Implementation for universities and campuses. However, Salesforce.org officials and training webinars have explicitly said that it is a stepping stone for organizations, not an all-encompassing solution. Salesforce.org training materials suggest that if Higher Ed institutions intend to expand the presence of Salesforce in their organization in the future, then they may benefit from consulting with a Salesforce Partner company that specializes in Higher Ed Salesforce Implementation.

HEDA has made Salesforce so much more than just a sales CRM. With that said, it does not solve admission, advising, communication, alumni relations, or fundraising. It does, give you a basic, light-weight, platform that you then can take and build on to create specific solutions to areas that are important to your specific organization.

Some universities need more attention in one area over the other, and HEDA allows for that customization. But with customization comes complexity. We like out of the box solutions because they are easy and simple. HEDA provides an out of the box beginning to what could make you feel like you are boiling the ocean.

Source: http://www.salesforce.org/best-practices-higher-ed-advancement-heda/

Source: http://www.salesforce.org/best-practices-higher-ed-advancement-heda/

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Big Objects in Salesforce

Have you ever been in a situation where you need to store gigantic amount of data in your Salesforce org? Are you tired of using third-party storage systems and writing web service calls to get the massive amount of data? Having to crunch those large numbers, though a reflection of your own success, can be troublesome and performance degrading. Salesforce has come to the rescue again by introducing big objects-which are objects with massive storage capabilities on the Salesforce platform itself. They provide consistent performance over a data set of the order of billions and are accessible through a standard set of APIs to your org or to an external system.

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Posted in apex develeopment, force.com app development, Salesforce, sfdc.

Salesforce Implementation Using Agile Scrum Process

 

 

Agile SalesforceWith having being part of 5 Salesforce Sales and Service cloud implementation projects I have realized that customizing the platform to the client’s need is not challenging but the build up to the production release and approach that the integrator adopts to, makes all the difference to have delighted project sponsors and end users. The implementation that I am considering for the scope of this article can range anywhere between 6 to 16 weeks depending on the complexity of Salesforce lightning components, number of external interfaces involved for integration with Salesforce and the number of clouds being rolled out (most common are Sales Cloud, Service Cloud or Community Cloud).

We can have varied school of thoughts on how to plan for such small duration projects; should it be a complete roll out of all features or an Agile Development approach where even a 6-week project is divided into 3 sprints of 2 weeks each. With my experience, I can safely say that breaking into multiple sprints will allow everyone to gain a lot more value out of the project as the lightning components and interface integration will evolve with regular feedback from the client. My team scored an average CSAT rating of 9 for the projects we have delivered in the last 1 year. Now let’s take a closer look at the key processes and scrum ceremonies one needs to follow that make the process truly Agile. Please note that one consultant will play the role of PO, Scrum Master and Project Manager because that helps to have full visibility and control on the timelines for the cloud implementation.

  • Requirement Discovery Sessions – This is the foundation stone and often referred to as sprint 0 for the project and generally ranges anywhere from 3 to 5 days of dedicated meetings and workshop at the client side sitting, discussing and brain storming the needs of the end users. The consultant running the workshop as a pre-requisite should have basic knowledge of the CRM domain, good understanding of the Salesforce Sales cloud, Service cloud or Community cloud and basic idea about the client’s industry will be an added advantage. The sessions are facilitated with flip charts, white boards and process maps. The consultant should constantly ask the question ‘Why’ to the customer team to understand the pain point before advising and concluding any solution to the customer. This will be a good place to define if any REST/SOAP based Salesforce Integration will be needed or not.

 

  • Define Stories in Jira or tool of your choice- Immediately after the workshops are concluded the consultant should start to document the discussed features with peripheral details into any tool like Jira and define the narrative and acceptance criteria on these stories. Even if the name of the feature is only added, more details can be added later.

 

  • Point Sizing and Team Strength – The PO/Project Manager who facilitated the discovery session needs to competent enough on Salesforce platform to provide the points in a Fibonacci series (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21) to each of the story put it into Jira. Based on the total points and agreed upon schedule with client the PO decides on the number of Engineers needed for the whole work. This is typically done by doing a mock/draft release planning with a technical lead and PO making a guess on how many points an engineer can deliver. This part of the project gets better only with practice and experience that you gain in at least two rollouts.

 

  • Backlog Grooming – This is an ongoing ceremony for the Agile team. We typically spend 60-90 minutes/week for a SCRUM team of 5 to 6 members including developer and quality assurance. The PM/BA   puts on the hat of a PO and interacts with the agile team and grooms into each requirement in detail and updates the story with acceptance criteria. The team agrees upon the scope of the stories and call them as ready for development. The grooming sessions are also used to decide on the technical solution to achieve the requirement the decision of configuration versus customization is decided now. It will be beneficial to have an Salesforce architect involved in the session so that the engineers don’t overkill the system with excess of apex coding like triggers, batch classes and rely on configurations as much as possible.

 

  • Sprint Planning – This again is an ongoing ceremony that happens at a cadence. Engineers pick up stories as per their understanding and add to the sprint. The assignment of stories should be done with everyone’s consensus considering the engineer’s experience and story complexity.

 

  • Sprint Demo and Retrospective – This phase utilizes the maximum benefit out of Agile Development for Salesforce clouds. The demo is organized by the PO to the stakeholders like the client’s functional users and project sponsor and get their feedback early and if needed changes can be implemented in the next sprint. This helps the client to have focus throughout the project and hedges the integrator’s risk towards any possible changes coming after all work is done.

 

I would like to summarize by saying that any process can be used to deliver the same set of things but keep in mind that you need to Adopt a process, Customize the process and finally accept and embrace the process so that you believe in it to ensure your client and team stand with you even if there are some challenges thrown your way in the implementation. Finally, don’t forget to have some fun in this journey.

Mirketa has been helping client’s ranging from small to Fortune 500 companies’ rollout Salesforce clouds with high customer satisfaction and user adoption rates. Get in touch with our Agile Salesforce champions to understand how we can help your sales business process achieve more with the powerful Salesforce platform.

Posted in Agile, Salesforce cloud Implementation, salesforce community implementation, salesforce consultant. Tagged with , , , , .

DESIGNING AN ARCHITECTURE FOR A SOFTWARE SYSTEM

1 INTRODUCTION

The primary objective of this document is to provide a standard format for the designing of an architecture for any software.

The first step in the Software development lifecycle is always requirement gathering as without that it is not possible to start building a software. Requirement analysis will give an idea about the various aspects that is to be built into the system and these aspects are the building steps to the architecture of the system.

 

2 SYSTEM

“The Attribute Driven Design (ADD) method is an approach to defining a software architecture by basing the design process on the quality attributes the software has to fulfill. It is a recursive decomposition process where, at each stage in the decomposition, attribute primitives are chosen to satisfy a set of quality scenarios and then functionality is allocated to instantiate the component and connector types provided by the primitives.” (Wojcik, R., Bachmann, F., Bass, L., Clements, P., Merson, P., Nord, R., & Wood, B. (2006))

The ADD approach is straightforward and efficient way of defining an architecture and it facilitates consideration of every aspect of the architecture separately while decomposition. This makes it easier for modifications to occur while the architecture is being designed, allowing the formation of a more complete design.

2.1 ASSUMPTIONS

As every system has their own set of requirements, they also have their own set of assumptions which refers to the various preconditions basing on which the entire SDLC is driven forward. It is absolutely necessary that all the preconditions are validated and checked with all the stakeholders in order to avoid rework and waste of resources.

 

3 REQUIREMENTS

As already mentioned, requirement gathering is the only step that can kick start the design and development of a system. Types of requirement that are needed to be taken care of are –

    1. FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS
    2. NON-FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS
    3. PRIORITY REQUIREMENTS

It is good practice to prioritise all the requirements right at the beginning.

3.2 DESIGN CONSTRAINTS

Under this section all the possible concerns related to the system can be discussed. For eg – security concerns, performance overheads, memory constraints etc.

3.3 ARCHITECTURAL DRIVERS

This is the section which discusses the major requirements of the system or in other words the requirements which has the most impact on the system. These requirements are known as architectural drivers and before deciding on a particular architectural design, it is absolutely crucial that these requirements are analysed to see if a particular design is better suited to allow convenient implementation.

The requirement section should also validate and justify the use of a particular design over others to allow flexibility of the system as this facilitates adoption of a new pattern or convenient combining of multiple patterns if required, without too much hassle.

 

4 PATTERNS-STYLES

Patterns and Styles are architectural design decisions concerning a specific problem and a development context respectively. Most systems consist of multiple styles and patterns instead of just one as this is more advantageous. Every aspect of the system is to be considered separately as well as together to make the perfect design decision about the patterns and styles to be used.

 

5 VIEW

Representation of the various modules, components and other elements of the system to be designed along with their relationships is taken care of in “Views”. All the stakeholders, developers and everyone involved in designing and implementing the system has a different way of visualising the system and view models are used to create relevant representations for everyone involved. The “4+1” view model is most widely used and following are its various sections.

5.1 LOGICAL VIEW

The logical view is to support the functional requirements of the system. It is also known as the design view and is closer to the implementation of the software. Thus, this view is mainly for the understanding of the developers. UML class diagram can be used to represent this view. Following is an example of a logical view and it shows a part of a certain system which handles student admissions and other such student and university administration interactions.

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5.2 DEVELOPMENT VIEW

In this view we take into consideration the various modules and subsystems present in the system to be designed. A basic UML package diagram of the system can represent this view. Following is an example of the development view of the system mentioned in the logical view section.

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5.3 PROCESS VIEW

The process view is to support the non-functional requirements like availability and performance. This view takes into consideration various interactions between the processes and the program flow. Activity diagrams can be constructed to represent this view. Following is such an example.

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5.4 PHYSICAL VIEW

Physical view is to provide a view of the integration of the software along with the hardware. This mapping can be represented using UML deployment diagram.

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5.5 SCENARIOS

The numerous use cases that a system will have is represented in this view. The UML use case diagram can represent this view. Following is one such example and it is a view of the system from the earlier examples.

 

6 EVALUATION

Evaluation is another crucial step for architecture design as this can clarify and shortcomings a design might have and also clarifies all the requirements in relation to the design chosen. For the evaluation of architecture “Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method” can be used. This is a very widely used evaluation technique and it takes into consideration every step of the architecture development process, therefore, increasing chances of detecting any defects in an organised manner. The method demands evaluation of the architecture from the point of views of an entire team involved with the construction of the system.

 

7 REFERENCES

Bass, L., Clements, P., & Kazman, R. (2003). Software architecture in practice. Addison-Wesley Professional.

Kruchten, P. B. (1995). Architectural Blueprints-The 4+ 1 view model of architecture. Software, IEEE,12(6), 42-50.

Taylor, R.N., Medvidovic, N. & Dashofy, E.M. (2010). Software Architecture Foundations, Theory, and Practice. John Wiley & Sons.

Wojcik, R., Bachmann, F., Bass, L., Clements, P., Merson, P., Nord, R., & Wood, B. (2006). Attribute-Driven Design (ADD), Version 2.0 (No. CMU/SEI-2006-TR-023). CARNEGIE-MELLON UNIV PITTSBURGH PA SOFTWARE ENGINEERING INST.

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Salesforce & IoT

Anything that can be connected, will be connected.”  This quote by Jason Morgan of Forbes.com, is going to be, what future holds, with the increasing growth of the concept of IoT.  Simply put, Internet of things is a system of electronic devices or components, interconnected with each other through Internet and capable of exchanging data and information.  The devices include everything ranging from cellphones, coffee makers, headphones, smart wearables to components of machines like engine of an airplane etc. The IoT allows the devices to be remotely sensed and controlled using the existing network structure; which enables the opportunity to directly integrate them with other devices or networks. So basically, IoT is a giant network of connected things.

Why use IoT & How big is it?

A survey conducted by HP estimated that the growth of IoT will be exponential and by 2025, over one trillion devices will be connected through IoT. Another report by Cisco predicts that IoT will generate $14.4 trillion in value across all industries in the next decade. These surveys suggest towards a fully automated future.

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Posted in Apex Development, Salesforce, salesforce consultant, salesforce for healthcare, salesforce for small business, Salesforce.com, Visualforce. Tagged with , .