Category Archives: Service Cloud

Kickstart Your Community implementation in Salesforce

Businesses now-a-days are using one or the other CRM tools to maintain their sales processes and sales pipeline. The way the businesses run is changing rapidly, so are the ways the customers interact with companies, as well as the ways the companies interact with their partners. And all this change requires something that has the capability to engage all these entities. What businesses need now is the right platform that can serve as an interactive bridge between businesses, customers, partners and employees.

Salesforce Community Cloud is an online social platform that enables companies to connect customers, partners, and employees with each other and the data & records they need to get work done. This next-gen portal combines the real-time collaboration of Chatter with the ability to share any file, data, or record anywhere and on any mobile device.

Community Cloud allows you to streamline your key business processes and extend them across offices & departments, and outward to customers and partners. So, everyone in your business ecosystem can service customers more efficiently, close deals faster, and get the work done in real time.

Because Community Cloud is built on top of Salesforce platform, you can connect any external system or data directly into the community. Your organization gains the utmost flexibility to easily create multiple communities for whatever use case your business demands.

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Posted in Sales Cloud, Salesforce, Service Cloud. Tagged with , , .

Service Level Agreement (SLA) Management for Cases in Salesforce

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In Salesforce, Entitlements are records which ensures that a certain case is acted upon within the given time limits. If not then a certain action is executed.

An entitlement mainly consists of below information:

  1. Entitlement Process
  2. Business Hours

An Entitlement Process declares the start time for the process and the exit criteria for the records, time interval when the criteria is to evaluated and the actions to be taken for scenarios of success, warning and violation.

This process is supported by the concept of Business Hours. Business hours define the window within which the SLA clock for the cases will run and will stop while current time is out of the window mentioned earlier.

Each entitlement process also contains sub-elements which help in evaluating the exit criteria mentioned in the process against each record that enters the entitlement process. These sub-elements are called Milestones. Milestones have different types based on requirement.

  1. No Recurrence
  2. Sequential
  3. Independent

These evaluate the criteria on a certain interval from the start time of the process. Also three types of events are attached to milestones, namely: success, warning and violation. These events are fired respectively on:

  1. When exit criteria evaluates to true
  2. When exit criteria evaluates to false, but the time interval is about to get over.
  3. When exit criteria evaluates to false and the time interval is already over.

These events can perform actions similar to a workflow except sending outbound messages.

Together these elements contribute to SLA process for an organization.

Posted in Case Management, Service Cloud, Service Level Agreement. Tagged with , , .

Integration with Salesforce Lightning External Services

Nowadays there is an API Integration in almost every org. The main purpose of integration with another service is to avoid reinventing the wheel. However, the development effort that is required to integrate with services is a complex and time-consuming venture. It reduces speed to market, but it also saps developer energy that is better spent in the front end, building the features that will really differentiate their app. With Lightning External Services, Salesforce makes this a lot easier and admin friendly.

With external services you can connect to any service that you want to, invoke methods based on the external source via a flow all with the help of an easy-to-use wizard. Declarative tools are used to import API definitions right into Salesforce. Swagger or Interagent-based API definitions can be used to define an external service. Once the definitions have been imported, you can create lightning flows which will invoke actions generated from the API definition schema. Below is a depiction of how external services works.

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Here is what is happening in the above image:

Based on provided API schema specification, a schema definition is created that describes the API. Once this is done, named credential is created to authenticate to the service’s endpoint using the URL provided by the external service provider. The endpoint is URL that exposes the web services resources that External Services needs to interact with. Using the named credential and schema definition, external service is registered. External Services imports the definitions into your org and generates Apex actions, which are available immediately in Lightning Flow. While creating a flow, these Apex actions are added into the flow which sends a callout to the endpoint and output is returned based on schema definition.

Schema Definition for your external service:

Schema specification is basically a contract which contains which type of inputs and outputs can be included in the API calls that are made from your external service. Endpoint information and authentication parameters for REST based API service are also included in specs. On the other hand, schema definition is human readable structured data.

Below is the schema definition of a pet store Swagger API.

Pet Store Schema

This schema declares various methods available in the API and the inputs, outputs included in this service. For example, the below snippet contains information about a GET method which is used to get all the inventories by status.

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We will be using the Pet Store Schema to illustrate the whole external service in this blog.

Registering an External Service:

Registering an external service involves the below two steps:

1. Named Credential: In order to register an External service, you need to create a named credential first. Named credential is created to authenticate to the service’s endpoint using the URL provided by the external service provider. Create a Named Credential as below in your org:

  • For Label, use SwaggerPet.
  • For URL, use https://petstore.swagger.io
  • Leave other fields as they are and click Save.

2. External Service: In your org, go to setup and search for external service in the quick find box. Create a new external Service and provide the below information in the fields:

  • For name, give ExternalSrv1
  • For Named credential, select SwaggerPet named credential created in previous step
  • In the Service Schema Relative URL field paste “/v2/swagger.json”

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The generated actions are used in the flows. Below is the list of actions available in the pet store endpoint. We cover getOrderById action in this blog.

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External Services in flow:

Apex actions generated from external services can be used in lightning flows. When users run the flows, during runtime external services sends a callout to the service’s endpoint. Create a new flow and drag the Apex Action element. Select “ExternalSrv1_getOrderById__Service”

This action takes an Order id (any integer between 1 and 10) and returns details for that order like Order quantity, pet id, shipping date. Create variables for input and output data and configure the output variables to be stored in the variables as done below. Provide the default value of id such that 1<=id<=10. Set the input values and the output values by associating each with a flow variable. Make sure that the data type of input/output matches the input/output specs mentioned in the schema definition.

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Connect the Apex Action with the start element.

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After completing all these steps, click on debug. Doing this will start the flow in debug mode. On the next screen select Show details of what’s executed and render flow in Lightning runtime and click Run.

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Above is the output of “ExternalSrv1_getOrderById__Service” for order Id = 2. Similarly, other Apex Actions can also be invoked using external services and flow without writing any code.

Summary:

External services are a great tool which along with point-and-click automation tool like flows and process builders can be used to integrate any API with Salesforce without writing any code. It reduces the development effort and is very much admin friendly making the process of integration making this process simpler and thus cheaper.

Posted in Agile, Salesforce, Salesforce Challenges, salesforce development, salesforce integration, Salesforce Lightning, Service Cloud. Tagged with , , , , , , .

The Future For Analytics, Data And What It Can Do For Businesses?

Times are changing; this has been a term in use since the rapid progress of humanity since the 18th century. Today, it can be used even on a daily basis. Technology remains the cornerstone through which humanity evolves, it is now embedded in every single part of our lives today and imagining a future without it would be quite challenging. This is why going forward, there is always going to be a discussion about its impact and how it will change as time comes.

Data is something which humans have been able to collect very efficiently over the past few decades. In recent times, the collection process and speeds have ramped up significantly. This also means that, in the world of analytics, anything and everything will have correlations. Here are some ways data will impact us:

  • Transparency: With more and more amounts of data being made available to the public, it is only a matter of time before we use it for every single task in and around the house. Today the insights provided by these numbers and metrics can only be picked up by data scientists, but the future is not too far away when even the common man would be able to infer from the said data. Its widespread adoption for all spheres of industry and business will become even more rapid as time progresses.
  • Marketing: There will be an increased personalization of marketing. As data flows, it allows companies to select and narrow audiences. With an increase in the sheer numbers and information, it would be a matter of time before marketing strategies will become highly targeted and become personal. This also might seem like an invasion of privacy, and as things go about, there will be solutions which address this issue as it arises.
  • Collaborative Vertical Solutions: As we head into the imagination and digital age, there will be an increase in digital transformation. Collaborative tools will improve through the sheer insight that data can provide. Templates, workflows, and platforms such as Salesforce Service Cloud specifically created for highly regulated industries such as finance and healthcare can contribute well to the success of businesses in a world that is connected.
  • Proactive customer service or reactive: This dynamic change comes as a result of the influx of information through analytics. Things such as connected devices, AI and more; companies and businesses can respond and resolve problems at the origin. This can be done without the consumer even acknowledging the issue. The impact it can have in consumer satisfaction is simply unparalleled.
  • Responsible AI: Ethics and values are all clauses which are under intense scrutiny when it comes to artificial intelligence. There is a question of accountability when it comes to AI creation and usage. There is an onus on the current developers and data scientists to create AI which is responsible. There is forced accountability being put on developers, thus there is an assurance that systems created henceforth will be responsible.

These are just small glimpses into what the future holds for data analytics and AI.

Posted in Artificial Intelligence, Sales Cloud, Salesforce AI, Salesforce cloud Implementation, Salesforce Einstein, Service Cloud.