How do you upstage your CEO while he’s in the middle of a major product announcement? Try dressing in a colourful, head-to-toe body suit and carry a plastic lightning bolt. And while you’re at it, call yourself “Lightning Man.”
This is exactly what happened during Marc Benioff’s Dreamforce ’15 keynote on Wednesday Sept 16th, when he was joined on stage by an appropriately dressed Parker Harris to showcase some of the capabilities of what Salesforce calls the “Lightning Experience.”
Lightning is a project that Salesforce has been working on since at least 2013. And, while much of the media focus has inevitably been on the visual enhancements to the user interface, the Lightning Experience is far more than just a pretty dashboard. The real fancy stuff lies under the hood, where developers have built a component framework and toolset to make app-building, data integration and business process automation smarter and faster.
The new Lightning interface is designed to be flexible and intuitive, allowing critical data to be accessed quickly without the need to navigate multiple screens. Screens are more focused around what a user needs to do, so administrators can design layouts that bring relevant information into a single screen, rather than making users jump from page to page, which should help with productivity, as well as user training and adoption.
[clickToTweet tweet=”If you think @salesforce #LightningExperience is just a pretty dashboard, you’re so wrong” quote=”If you think Salesforce’s new Lightning Experience is just a pretty dashboard, you’re so wrong”]
Our flash of Lightning
As a partner, it’s heartening to see Salesforce continue to refine its customers’ environments to get the most possible value from the platform.
Lightning provides an open User Interface framework which allows ISVs (like us) to build components that connect to your Salesforce data. These components give Salesforce admins the flexibility to super charge the Salesforce User Interface with various apps, widgets, tools and layouts – all with a few mouse clicks.
We were one of the first partners to develop a Lightning Component and one of the first partners with a Lightning Ready app for the new Lightning Experience. So we were delighted that Dealmaker Opportunity Healthcheck was heavily featured in the Salesforce Admin keynote at Dreamforce this year where the customizability of the Lightning interface was put through its paces.
Lightning gives Salesforce customers a modern, flexible and engaging user experience that will drive enterprise adoption and performance. The ecosystem will also benefit as Lightning provides a standard and consistent way for 3rd parties to interoperate with the core platform to the benefit of users, admins and partners.
How Lightning will affect the way we build apps in future
Lightning Components and the App Builder allow us to ‘unbundle’ our main Dealmaker app into various components so that the right componentry can be configured in the right places, for the right people. For example, we created the Dealmaker Opportunity Healthcheck Lightning component to check the health of an opportunity. Using the App Builder in the Lightning Experience, that component can be easily placed on the Opportunity record layout.
When Salesforce set out to build the Lightning Experience their ultimate goal was to “help sales professionals sell faster, work more productively, and make better decisions.” From an ISV perspective, Lightning gives us an opportunity to advance this goal by interoperating more seamlessly with the underlying Salesforce functionality to improve the overall experience for the end user and drive predictable revenue growth.
What does this mean for our current & future customers?
Whether you’re a sales person out in the field looking for advice on how to approach key decision makers, or a sales manager who needs a detailed overview of your team’s performance and pipeline health, our Dealmaker apps integrate natively and easily within your Salesforce CRM. The additional configurability in Lightning will enable us to further extend our unique integration of the TAS methodology within Salesforce and make the terminology part of the user’s overall opportunity management and account planning experience.
To find out more about our Dealmaker suite, or ask a question about Lightning components, get in touch with us