I am introducing here Quote to Cash which is well known as QTC. QTC is a process where Sales Organizations send details to their customers on their product offerings as per their need, provide them with the pricing for the set of products that they have requested, put all those in an official document called ‘Quote’ and then it continues through Invoice, payment and negotiation which comes under ‘Cash’.
It is extremely notable that the amount of customer data is expanding with each passing moment. One can’t simply physically investigate information and know each pattern or test numerous theories. Taking care of and dealing with this colossal data is no less than a challenge which stresses on the significance of analytics further. Acknowledging this need to be of immense importance, Salesforce recently uncovered its most progressive CRM platform called Einstein Analytics. The analytics has opened ways to a few stunning elements for CRM clients, empowering them to utilize advance analytics powered by Artificial Intelligence.
The proportion of data that a business is developing at a rapid pace, and recognizing each pattern and relationship, and to test each speculation, utilizing traditional manual situated techniques is currently beside unimaginable but Einstein analytics resolves client’s dilemma by stimulatingsales, improving client service and optimizing their marketing campaigns. Overall, the Insights offered by Einstein allow executives to make decision 38 % faster which data scientists took days or even weeks to achieve.
When the user enters a query, the tool uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to throw logically important outcomes, pinpointing what is occurring, the purpose for such an event, and expectation on what is probably going to occur next. Einstein utilizes machine learning to identify factual patterns and designs, and convey the same to users in a significantly more far reaching, reliable and contrasted way than what data scientists can ever give. The engine consequently examines billions of data combinations, and prescribes the best game-plan, assessing the in all probability situation, and the upsides and downsides of each possible action. Users may penetrate down to the most state of the art information, reveal bits of knowledge, team up and take instant action from any device.
Salesforce Einstein Analytics goes above and beyond, and is a direction framework, which utilizes past information and mediates it with current circumstances and future conceivable outcomes, to anticipate patterns.
Consider the case of a sales executive out to meet his quarterly numbers. When he uses Salesforce Einstein Analytics, he gets comprehensive and in-depth insights on a customer, competitor and pipeline data, and recommendations – Let us suppose Mark is his customer and he had set up a meeting with Mark to close the sales 3 days earlier. He assumes Mark to be loyal but Mark is talking to the competitors very often. Taking him for a coffee may be a good idea or he needs to bring in three or so managers to close the deal. Here is what you should be doing and so on.
Using Einstein Dynamics, each Sales executive gets a dynamic dashboard, complete with all the required functionalities, for example, activity tracking, account whitespace, benchmarking, and more, offering them powerful insights required to perform successfully and close more deals. Having identified a new opportunity or uncovered a trend, the user may create a task, change a close date or share insights on any device, all seamlessly from a single pane, without bothering with spreadsheets and other tools.
Einstein Discovery is a tool launched concurrently with Einstein Analytics, and superbly supplements the latter. It just takes couple of minutes for Einstein Discovery to get outcome from insights from millions of data combinations. It makes precise predictions by instantly analyzing massive amounts of data and mining out crucial patterns. “Further, Einstein Discovery generates explanations, answers, and recommendations that are easy to understand and implement by the users. This is done with slide presentations that are generated automatically, containing visualizations and key points.” (http://www.algoworks.com/blog/salesforce-einstein-analytics/, 2017)
To learn new exciting analytics, salesforce offers a package of 12 modules – “Analytics trailblazers” fun way to learn salesforce. With these smart analytics, Independent software vendors (ISVs) can now create apps using analytics app designer, visual data preparation, and outside data connectors to build their own custom analytics apps on the Salesforce platform, ensuring they have all the relevant metrics they require, and omitting any superfluous details for their business. AppExchange has around 20 analytics apps from ISVs
So, this is how you can become a data scientist in a fun and smart way!!!!!
Now a day the entire world is connected through technology. Salesforce for Nonprofits is one of the most powerful tools for any nonprofit organization as it helps in getting connected with the entire world. Built for the social and mobile era, Salesforce for Nonprofits will connect your entire organization— your partners, supporters, employees, and programs— so you can, deliver better programs and services, engage and strengthen your community, communicate more effectively, and raise more resources. (www.salesforce.org/nonprofit/, 2017)
To use salesforce for nonprofits, first you need to register to the “Power of us” program of salesforce. Once you are accepted in “Power of Us” program your organization will get your own salesforce instance with 10 free Enterprise Edition licenses along with the other products and services provided by salesforce. Through the “Power of us” program, qualified organization will receive the product and resources needed to effectively manage your organization and program.
Organization can purchase additional liquesces and services at a deep discounted price. All the amount received by Salesforce for these additional licenses, go right back into the foundation to allow salesforce to donate more to the nonprofit community. So, if you purchase additional licenses and invest in your own organizational success you are also investing to the overall success to the nonprofit community that uses salesforce.
As a part of the “Power of Us” Program you will get the benefits mentioned below:
- 10 donated Enterprise Edition Sales or Service Cloud subscriptions
- Discounts on additional subscriptions, products and/or services from Salesforce.org
- Discounts on Salesforce training
- Discounts on Salesforce events
- Access to nonprofit and education specific user groups, events and webinars
- Discounts on participating Apps and consulting partners from the AppExchange
Pricing of the additional Licenses:
Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP): Configured out of the box for nonprofits, NPSP sits on top of the Lightning Enterprise Edition and provides complete Salesforce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and tools to help manage programs, donations, volunteers, and supporters all in one place.
|Edition||Standard Pricing||Pricing for Non-Profit|
|Lightning Enterprise Edition||$150||$36|
|Lightning Enterprise Edition + NPSP||$150||$36|
|Lightning Unlimited Edition||$300||$72|
|Lightning Unlimited Edition + NPSP||$300||$72|
Salesforce.org offers a powerful, enterprise level suite of products with the potential to dramatically transform your organization. Salesforce has different criteria for different Countries depending on the law of that country. Basic criteria to be eligible to apply for the Power of Us program is, your organization must be recognized as a charitable, nonprofit, or nongovernmental organization in the country where you are located. Your organization must have a certificate of Trust or society issued by the government of the country.
To get the in-depth knowledge about the eligibility criteria please visit the link mentioned below:
How to register for “Power of Us” program:
Now before you go forward to invest your money in Salesforce the big challenge in front of you is to know whether Salesforce is an excellent choice for your organization or not, whether it is fulfilling all your organizational requirements or not. Salesforce comes forward to help you out with making a correct decision.
Salesforce offers a free 30 days’ trial for all its Nonprofit Service Packs mentioned above in the Pricing section. You can register for any of the available packs and get your free trial as soon as you register. To register for your free trial please visit the below mentioned link:
After using that free trial Salesforce instance, if you think that this pack is best suited for your organization then you can convert this trial account to a permanent account by applying on the below mentioned link:
Here, first you need to login with your Salesforce trial account Username and Password. If you have more than one Salesforce trial, you must log in with the username and password of the trial that you want as your production account. If you need to select a different edition, please sign up for a new trial before submitting your application. Once your application has been approved for an account you had selected, you will no longer be able to switch your licenses to another Salesforce account or instance.
Fill in all fields on the application before submitting. If approved, your organization will receive a confirmation by email stating your acceptance into the Power of Us program.
Since a long time, engineers have been striving to make machines perform tasks that human beings do; which has led to birth of the field of machine learning. Understanding the language humans speak, constitutes a vital part of this field. This field of computer science which deals with human-machine interactions, especially concerned with computer programs which can process natural language efficiently, is known as Natural Language Processing, mostly referred to by the abbreviation NLP.
NLP sits at the intersection of computer science, artificial intelligence and computational linguistics. “By utilizing Natural Language Processing algorithms, developers can organize and structure textual data to perform tasks such as automatic summarization, translation, named entity recognition, relationship extraction, sentiment analysis, speech recognition, and topic segmentation.” (En.wikipedia.org, 2017)
Natural Language Processing is characterized as a hard problem in computer science since human language is rarely precise, or plainly spoken. To understand human language, one must not only understand the words but their meaning & context and how they interconnect to form meaning. The vagueness and ambiguous nature of human language makes it difficult to learn for computers while being easy to learn for humans.
Components of NLP
There are two components of NLP which are listed as follows:
- Natural Language Understanding(NLU)
This includes understanding the different aspects of the language and mapping the input text in natural language to useful representations. This is the harder of the two components since this section has to deal with the ambiguity & complexity of the language. There are mainly three levels of ambiguity which are as follows:
- Word-level or Lexical Ambiguity
- Syntax Level or Parsing Ambiguity
- Referential Ambiguity
- Natural Language Generation(NLG)
As evident from the name, NLG is the process of producing or generating meaningful phrases and sentences in the form of natural language. It involves text planning, sentence planning and text realization.
Syntax: It refers to arrangement of words which form a sentence. It also involves determination of structural role of each word in the sentence.
Phonology: It is the study of organizing sounds systematically.
Morphology: It is study of how words are constructed using primitive meaningful units.
Semantics: It deals with the meaning of words and how they can be joined/combined to form meaningful sentences.
Discourse: This determines how the immediately preceding sentence can affect the interpretation of the next sentence.
Pragmatics: This deals with how the interpretation of a sentence changes according to the situation.
What can developers use NLP algorithms for?
- Summarizing blocks of text to extract the meaningful information from the given text, ignoring the remaining non-relevant text
- Understanding the input and generating the output in Chatbots
- Deriving the sentiment of a piece of text using Sentiment analysis
- Break up large text into simpler tokens such as sentences or words
Some Open Source NLP Libraries
- Apache OpenNLP
It is a Java based machine learning toolkit provided by Apache, that supports the most common NLP tasks, such as tokenization, sentence segmentation, part-of-speech tagging, named entity extraction, chunking, parsing, language detection and coreference resolution. OpenNLP also includes maximum entropy and perceptron based machine learning. It provides built-in Java classes for each functionality as well a command line interface for testing the pre-built agents.
- Natural Language Toolkit(NLTK)
It is a platform for building Python programs to read and process human language data. It provides easy-to-use interfaces to over 50 corpora and lexical resources, along with a suite of text processing libraries for classification, tokenization, stemming, tagging, parsing, and semantic reasoning, wrappers for industrial-strength NLP libraries, and an active discussion forum.
- Stanford CoreNLP
Stanford CoreNLP provides a set of human language technology tools. It can give the base forms of words, their parts of speech, mark up the structure of sentences in terms of phrases and syntactic dependencies, indicate which noun phrases refer to the same entities, indicate sentiment, extract or open-class relations between entity mentions, get the quotes people said, etc.
MALLET is a Java-based package for statistical natural language processing, document classification, clustering, topic modeling, information extraction, and other machine learning applications to text. Apart from classification, MALLET includes tools for sequence tagging for applications such as named-entity extraction from text. Algorithms include Hidden Markov Models, Maximum Entropy Markov Models, and Conditional Random Fields.
These are few of the many open source libraries and toolkits available for development on Natural Language Processing which can be utilized by developers in their applications.
In conclusion, Natural Language Processing is an important part of the artificial intelligence field and needs to be given importance if someone wants to master the trade of Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence.
Customer data is the soul of an organization. Quality data is priceless and acts as a driver of high productivity and good decision making. Managing Quantity and Quality parallelly has always been a challenge. Same is the case with data now-a days, as the data volumes grew rapidly, the data quality went down, posing a serious challenge in maintaining the sanctity of databases. This challenge of avoiding data duplicity and keeping the orgs clean is faced by almost every company and although it may seem like a trivial issue, the impact these duplicates have on businesses cannot be looked down upon.
All the marketing and service activities revolve around the customer database that a company has.
Duplicates prevailing in a system means:
- Increased cost for marketing campaigns.
- Bombarding the same customers with same information multiple times, eventually degrading the brand image in the minds of customers.
- Reduced Operational Efficiency.
- Confusion among the sales reps while processing requests.
- Bad service experience encountered by the clients.
- Bad Data leads to Badly informed business decisions.
- Increased challenges in maintaining the database or moving the current system to a new one.
What causes these duplicates:
- Human error – Sales Rep entering duplicates
- Multiple sources capturing the same information
- No instrument to restrict duplicates from entering the system
Some pointers on how you can keep your Salesforce org clean:
- Think of all the ways the customer data enters your CRM system: Manual customer data Entry by Sales Reps, bulk customer data upload, Automated Lead Sources like web to lead etc. and ensure that you have them all covered to avoid duplicates entering your CRM system.
- Keep a mandatory field on each Object which handles your customer data, one which is relevant to your business operation like a phone number or an email on Lead. For Standard fields have your tech. team enable Duplicate Rules & Matching rules to avoid duplicates formation and for Custom fields check ‘do not allow duplicates’ so that Salesforce won’t accept duplicity against that field on the Object and sales rep won’t be able to create duplicate records.
- If your mandatory field is a picklist field, ensure that you enable restricted picklist for that field as Salesforce allow values coming in from external systems other than the field picklist values also.
- Monitor the data that your CRM system is getting from multiple sources to keep an eye if anything wrong is happening around your data so to handle the situation in time. Generally, companies don’t realize this until they have loads of dirty data existing in their CRM systems and then try to recuperate from the damage.
- Ensure that you have clean data while uploading data in bulk into your system.
- Define all your lead sources clearly and distinctly, this can avoid a lot of confusion when leads start to pour-in from multiple channels.
- Make sure your Sales Reps fill all the necessary customer details in the form and instruct them not to save a half-filled form.
- Cloning the records should not be a general habit of the team, this leads to human error of saving the cloned records without making relevant changes and thus creating duplicates. You can even disable the Clone button from the layout if you want to.
- Use standard Salesforce Reports for tracking duplicates entering your system (if any) are essential to your business or not.
- With large volumes of data coming in your system, some duplicates are anyway bound to enter your database, one way or the other. Use a deduplication tool, this can really make your life easy by keeping your Salesforce org clean of duplicates.
Check out Advitya – The Perfect Duplicate management app for Salesforce. Advitya solves all your data duplicity problems and can save you time and effort in keeping your org clean.
Keeping your Salesforce Org clean is not a one-man job or a onetime activity. It calls for a collective effort and is an ongoing process, you strive to keep your Database clean and perfect which eventually gives you returns in terms of smooth Operations and Profits.
All the best in keeping your Org. clean!!
Any code when written in a clean, easy to understand and formatted way is easily readable and accepted by everyone.
It is essential for everyone to easily understand the code one writes as same projects can involve participation of multiple programmers. For easy identification and understanding of the code and code flow by everyone involved, it is essential that the code is structured, clean, and easily maintainable.
Explained below are some of the practices to write clean and understandable code.
Commenting and Documentation
For any software project reliable documentation is crucial. Commenting and documentation helps one analyze what’s happening inside the code. This is very crucial for the one who is examining the code for the very first time. Writing comments for methods or functions is good for understanding its purpose. They can quickly show what a complex function is doing.
However, don’t write unnecessary comments as it would make your code messy. Obvious commenting does more harm than good. Comment should describe only what the method is doing or why it’s written. It can also describe the purpose of writing the program in a nutshell at the beginning of a class or module.
Adopting a consistent naming convention in your program is always a sensible and thoughtful practice. It’s a set of rules for picking the character flow to be used for identifier, which signify variables, functions & methods. It makes it easier to understand the purpose of using that variable / function / method. If one’s a beginner, it’s a good practice to give meaningful names to your variables, methods, functions etc. instead of vague combinations of alphabets and numbers. Using camelCase and underscores is a widely popular approach. Use of camel case is to be preferred as this does not create confusion between salesforce api names and variable names in case of apex code.
There’s nothing worse than reading a piece of code that is poorly formatted. Indenting makes your code looks neat and clean. It is easy to understand the flow of program, the link between control flow constructs such as loops and codes written inside and outside of them.
Keeping it simple
One should keep their code as simple as possible. Avoid writing complex code for simple logic. Try breaking down your code in multiple methods if the logic is getting too complicated for a single module.
Ideally a method or a function should not have more than 40-50 lines of code, excluding comments.
Modules like servlets, triggers and callouts should not have any logic written in them. All the logical operations should be performed in a helper lass.
It is not advisable to use “hard-coded” values referring to environmental parameters, such as absolute file paths, file name, user name, host name, URLs etc. Else, the application might not run on a host with a different design. An efficient programmer should parametrize such variables and configure them as per the hosting environment outside of the application.
The best way to do it would be to maintain all the required constants in a single file which is easily configurable without making any code changes.
Loops and conditional statements
Beware of using loops and conditional statements in your code! Choose right loops at the right place in order to save code’s execution time.
Too many nested blocks of code can reduce code efficiency and readability drastically.
Omit unwanted code
It’s very common to find a block of code commented inside the program. It’s not going to do any harm to your program but bloats the code unnecessarily, so try not to keep such code. In addition, since this code is not going to be executed or compiled there is no difference between commenting out and deleting that code. Deleting commented codes makes your entire program looks cleaner.
In case of future necessity of the commented blocks, maintain additional backup along with the code repositories.
Do not just copy and paste code
If you have a snippet of, say, seven lines of code that do one thing, and you want to do it again for another module, don’t just copy and paste the code. Instead, make a function and to make it reusable. It’ll keep your code simple.
Code Versioning, popularly known as version control, is the management of the changes made to computer programs, documents and other collection of information.
In computer programming, it refers to the process of tracking & controlling the changes made to the source code.
Version control becomes very important especially when working in a big team as this saves additional time that one might require for code merging and also one can easily backtrack in case of errors.
Code versioning is to be done for every project using available resources like Gitlab, Github, Assembla, etc.
Salesforce.com has been the number one CRM platform for some time now and its accomplishments as a CRM solution can be described as none less than top of the line. But there are some common issues that all the CRM systems face and which is prevalent in Salesforce as well. Managing Data duplicity is one such big issue.
In this article, we’ll be giving you some insight in some of the top duplicate management apps available on Salesforce AppExchange, which can help you with your dedupe apps hunt for your company. The following five apps have been selected based on their user adoption profiles on Salesforce AppExchange.
Out of the box Salesforce Dedupe solution
Every Salesforce org. has this out of the box deduplication solution. Though this one has many limitations and is not a very smart solution, but specific and simple deduplication tasks can be easily done here and that too free. That’s why we gave it the top position in our list.
- Search up-to 50 records and merge 3 records at a time on Lead, Account and Contact based on the name field.
- Ability to do a fuzzy search.
Its free. Comes stacked with your Salesforce Org.
Within the salesforce duplicate management apps purview, this app has the most number of customer reviews (216) on AppExchange. This app by Symphonic Source, backs an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 and comes second on our list of the dedupe apps.
- Merge & convert from a simple dashboard view
- Auto-Merge, mass merge, or manually merge dupes without losing any important data
- Mass update & mass delete records
- Geocode, validate & standardize addresses
- Cleanse import files before data reaches Salesforce
- Prebuilt filters or easily create your own to make Cloudingo work for you
- Drag-and Drop UI
- Audit trails to track data changes
- Enterprise API (in/out)
- Works with standard & custom objects
- Basic: $1,096/year/per Salesforce Org
- Standard: $2,146/year/per Salesforce Org
- Custom: Data quality services & customization starting @ $10000
Discounted for Non-Profits.
Duplicate Check for Salesforce
This app by Plauti B.V. has 100 user reviews on AppExchange. Backing an average rating of 4.2 out of 5, this app comes on the third place on our list.
- Fuzzy Matching finds duplicates caused by misspellings, typos and different formatting
- Mass Deduplication will find all duplicates, presenting it in a clear report which allows you to merge manually or automatically later.
- The application is highly customizable and can be configured to fit the exact needs of your particular database.
- A ‘Duplicate Check Job’ will analyze and dedupe your entire database by your preferences.
- 100% native force.com – no data transfer is needed in order to find and remove duplicates.
- ‘Auto Merge’ automatically merges duplicates, possibly saving hours of your time.
- ‘Duplicate Prevention’ will prevent you and your colleagues from entering duplicates.
- Both standard objects as well as custom objects can be deduped.
- Free up to 5000 records + Additional 5000 after sign up
- Advanced – $ 99 /year
- Premium – $ 1,499 /year
Complete Data Quality Suite
This app by RingLead, with 96 user reviews on AppExchange and backing an average rating of 4.8 out of 5, secures the fourth place on our list.
- Identifies duplicate Leads, Leads to Contacts, Leads to Accounts, Contacts, and Accounts. Unique Upload
- Prevent dupes in your web forms. Your fields can be updated without any data loss based on your defined rules. It’s campaign and lead assignment supported. Task/email notifications alert record owners to the attempted dupes.
- Prevent the creation of duplicate Leads, Contacts and Accounts when uploading lists. The app uses a field-by-field configuration based on your business rules.
- Unique Entry will seek and display possible dupes in real time.
It’s a paid app. You’ll have to contact them for quotes.
This app by d2b International ApS dba, with 70 user reviews on AppExchange and backing an average rating of 4.6 out of 5, gets the fifth place on our list.
- Mass Deduplication of leads, contacts, accounts and person accounts
- Dupe Detection upon Entry
- Phone Number Cross Checking
- Social Media Matching
- Integrated Merge wizard(s)
- Campaign Deduplication
- Custom Merge Rules
- Customization of Matching Process
- Weekly and Monthly Automatic Scheduling
- Small Business – $750 per year per Organization (for up to 10000 records, pricing varies for more no. of records)
- Standard – $1800 per Organization/year (for up to 50000 records, pricing varies for more no. of records)
- Enterprise – $2500 per Organization/year (for up to 50000 records, pricing varies for more no. of records)
And although all these apps get the work done, we created a Salesforce duplicate management solution of our own, packing all the best features along with a smooth user experience. We would like to introduce the latest addition in the deduplication app domain, Advitya.
Following capabilities makes Advitya better than all other deduplication apps:
- Powerful bulk Search & Merge via optimized design
- Smart Reporting via intuitive dashboard
- Job Scheduler
- Exact search based on multiple criteria
- Deduplication on standard as well as on custom objects
- Search based on both standard and custom field criteria
- Choose the master records
- Choose which duplicate records to merge and which to not
- Preview screen to verify the ‘to-be master’ record before actual merging is initiated
- Export the searched duplicates
- Re-parenting of child records while merging the Parent records
- Master record field updates while merging
- Save your searches for future use
- Native Salesforce.com deduplication solution
- Intelligent notification alerts on successful merge with the master record details
$50/org/month (no limit on the no. of records)
Discounted for Non-Profits.
Thanks for reading!!
**Disclaimer: All the information given here has been taken from the available public information. Please contact the vendors individually for more and detailed information.
The images/logos for Salesforce, Acme Data, Clean CRM, Cloundingo, Data Trim, Dedupe manager, Dupe Blocker, Dupe Catcher, Duplicate Check for Salesforce, Experian Data quality, Sensis Data Solution, OpenPrise, Ring Lead have been take from the respective websites.
Earlier this week I sat through a retrospective session for a complex Salesforce Implementation project we just wrapped up. The client gave us the NPS rating of 8.5 out of 10 (which I think is great). However, as we all looked back at the project, the memories of good, bad and ugly were refreshed. And both sides made recommendations on what we as a Salesforce Development Organization and Client teams could do differently next time to avoid some of the pain points.
The retrospective reminded me that there is a common set of learning that apply to any complex Salesforce Implementation project. In this article I am sharing my learning that are based on the projects that we managed and from the learning that our clients have shared with us. Continue reading
Image credit: Miranda Kumar (at age 8)
For the last 20 years I have been in the business of helping companies get better at developing software products. I started my career believing that the highly structured processes like CMM Level 5 will magically take care of the software projects woes. After two disappointing years, I moved on to Rational Unified Process (aka RUP). After another 6-7 years of disappointments with RUP the natural progression in my thinking and (coincidently) software development process evolution took me down to the path to Agile. My success with Agile processes has made me a believer in the process.
Unfortunately, many of the teams that start their journey towards the Agile land don’t ever reach there. Across the board I have found some common traits in the teams that failed with their Agile transformation effort. In this article I have shared all of them. Feel free to add more from your experience in the comments below.
Recently we completed an engagement to redesign organizational structure for a mid size product company. The goal for this effort was create new structure to give autonomy to departments and subsidiaries while leveraging a set of shared processes and tools and to connect related products and services for the better customer experience. We have put together a visual of the framework for approaching this product rationalization, process modeling and organization redesign effort. The framework connects the company Vision to Customer Needs, Products/Services and Operational People, Processes and Tools.
This framework can be used for organizational restructuring and process redesign for rolling out new tools such as salesforce.com Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and other CRM products.
Following is the Infographic of the framework. Feel free to use it for your organizational and process modeling effort for initiatives like salesforce.com rollout. Ping me if you have any questions or comments.