Salesforce User Group Report: What a Difference a Year (and a Half) Makes!

Salesforce Portland User GroupI last visited the Portland Salesforce User Group in mid-July 2014. It was my first Salesforce User Group presentation, and my first educational outreach to raise awareness about Salesforce data loss risk. In this blog post, you’ll learn about what’s changed over the past year and a half – including actions taken to prepare for data loss risk among the Salesforce Community in Portland.

First, I’d like to share my heartfelt thanks to Angela Mahoney, Peter Gutmann, and Jake Harris for having me join the Portland User Group and the Portland Women in Technology / Girly Geeks group for more shared learning. I am proud to be part of the Salesforce MVP program, and a frequent presenter to User Groups – and that couldn’t have happened without their support and encouragement.

So, what’s changed since I was last in Portland?

  1. More Salesforce developers and admins know they need to “back that SaaS up!” When I first began presenting to User Groups, it seemed no one knew that Salesforce themselves recommends using a third-party app like Spanning Backup to backup and restore lost Salesforce data. Coming back to Portland, more than half the attendees knew they were responsible for recovering from data loss, and two organizations had requested budget for an AppExchange app like Spanning Backup for Salesforce!
  2. There’s a deeper understanding of how Salesforce data and customizations can be lost. When I presented in 2014, few understood how common it was for a mass data load to be performed incorrectly, or for a third-party app integration to lead to overwriting good data with bad, or for an application sync error to lead to data loss. In 2016, there were more than a few stories shared during group discussion that showed admins and devs really “got it” – that data loss could happen to anyone.
  3. Trailhead, while still new, is playing an increasing role in admin and developer  Sales Cloud education. When asked whether or not they’d used Trailhead to learn more about Salesforce functionality, most I spoke with had used Trailhead – and had the badges to prove it!
  4. The Salesforce Lightning Experience, while still new, is top-of-mind in discussion and future planning for admins. The brilliant new user experience from Salesforce, Lightning, is getting a lot of attention from admins. I heard from admins who are beginning to plan for future implementation, as they see new updates and functionality that are especially useful for their orgs.
  5. Forcelandia is becoming a Force to be reckoned with! After a great inaugural event in 2015, Forcelandia, the Pacific Northwest’s regional Salesforce User and Developer Conference, will return in July 2016.

What a difference a year and a half makes! I found Portland’s Salesforce Community moving forward together, through more learning, more understanding, more data protection, and more innovation. Not bad, Portland, not bad at all!