Wed, 13 December 2017
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re taking a post-Dreamforce journey back into the Admin Batcave: AppExchange. We’ll be talking with Connie Dea, Product Manager for the AppExchange at Salesforce.
Join us to learn about the AppExchange relaunch, Salesforce Labs apps, and what to do if you’re struggling to move to Lightning because an app isn’t ready yet.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Connie Dea.
Connie is back after an earlier appearance this year to share all the cool things that AppExchange got up to at Dreamforce this year. “Our big news was that we launched a new AppExchange,” Connie says, “there’s a lot of things to show off about the new AppExchange so we covered that in our den and our breakout sessions.” It came out a couple weeks before Dreamforce, so there was a lot to cover about what’s new and what’s changed.
The new launch has let them address a problem Connie hears a lot from customers: “It’s really amazing, you’ve got thousands of solutions on AppExchange, but often I have no idea where to start.” It can be sometimes overwhelming to sift through all of your options, so Connie’s team focused on how to make that process faster and easier for a customer.
The first thing you’ll notice is that there are personalized recommendations on the homepage, based on who you are, what department you work in, and what’s already installed in your org. Another improvement is to search to make it more dynamic and powerful. There are new solution types as well, including Lightning Data and Bolt Solutions. Finally, they’ve added integrated trails and content throughout the entire site so you don’t need to have a million tabs open to learn about something.
The Wonderful World of Salesforce Lab Apps
If you haven’t checked out the Salesforce Lab apps, you should. “These are all free, unmanaged packages that are built by Salesforce employees,” Connie says. There are more than 300 solutions on AppExchange that cover a wide range of uses, including dashboards and reports, and offer a lot of customization to help meet your organization’s needs.
Connie and her team recently had a contest to develop new apps around service. The winner was Fieldy, a technical assistant powered by Einstein that field service folks can take on the road with them and use to help get questions answered and troubleshoot any problems.
The AppExchange Action at Dreamforce
At Dreamforce, AppExchange had a Demo Jam in every theater. “The winners of each of the individual Demo Jams competed in a mega Demo Jam.” The winner (spoiler alert) of the big tomato was Conversica. All of the videos are up on the AppExchange, now that they have integrated content.
We wanted to go over the most common questions that Connie got asked at Dreamforce, so if you weren’t able to go we still might have an answer for you. A lot of new users to the ecosystem were wondering who the best person to reach out to if they have questions, and the answer is to tap into Salesforce’s amazing community. We don’t think that we’ve ever done a Salesforce Admins Podcast where someone doesn’t talk about the community. It’s the first thing that everybody mentions, and there’s a reason for that.
The other thing that Connie got asked a bunch at Dreamforce was how AppExchange can facilitate an organization’s transition over to Lightning. There are a bunch of Lightning-ready apps ready to go. Says Connie, “The simplest way to find those Lightning-ready solutions is to use the filters.”
Transitioning to Lightning
A lot of orgs are blocked from transitioning to Lightning because something in their package isn’t Lightning ready. Depending on what the App is trying to solve for, the first step is to reach out to the partner to see when they plan on making the app Lightning ready: “It’s great for partners to hear that there’s a continuing need for customers to migrate to Lightning.”
All apps that are added to AppExchange have to be Lightning ready now, and Connie’s team is making a huge push to work with partners to get other apps transitioned. There’s so much out there that there also might be something complimentary you can add on to fill in while you’re waiting for your partner app to get updated. Sometimes simply making the switch to Lightning means that you don’t even need an old-school app anymore.
For more insights, make sure to follow Connie on Twitter (@ConnieDea11).
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