True to form in this series, we are getting these principles by analyzing the cutting edge of thought in another industry of interest, the American electricity industry. This analogy is unbelievably informative, and also quite entertaining to read.
These should be taken together with the first 4 principles in our last post.
So let’s take this home!
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In our previous post, we described what the last mile problem was and what last mile solutions are. We see that in the electricity industry, solutions at what can be defined as the last mile hold the most promise for saving our electric grid and achieving a goal of a sustainable energy future.
In this and the next post, we take some lessons learned from the electricity industry and rolling out customer life cycle management solutions at scale to outline 8 principles for last mile solutions.
Ready? Let’s get started!
In this post, we’ll get into the conclusion we’ve all been waiting for: how the solutions to the seemingly insurmountable problems facing the electric grid and enterprise data management sit at what can be defined as the “last mile”.
First, let’s talk about what won’t work. These futile solutions are similar to someone banging his head up against a concrete wall, hoping for it to break down.
In the first post in this series, we established parallels between the American electricity industry and enterprise data management systems, like Salesforce.
America’s electricity grid is a big complicated system with many problems related to scale, electricity delivery, and utilization.
Enterprise information systems that govern our customer life cycle, from lead to cash and beyond, are also complicated systems with many problems related to scale, information delivery and utilization.
When talking about any complicated system, it’s helpful to look at the problems they are intended to solve (the system objectives), where they break down in meeting those objectives, and solutions for those gaps.
We’ve heard a lot about Lightning and Thunder from Salesforce, and now we are going to talk about raw electricity and how we can apply some lessons from the electric industry to how we implement enterprise software.
When I discovered Gretchen Bakke’s book, The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future, the similarities between the problems of our aging electric grid and enterprise software roll outs were shocking (no pun intended).
First, let’s consider some eye opening facts about the electric grid.
When we talk to Sales Operations managers or IT teams in charge of rolling-out and supporting/improving the Salesforce platform for their companies, this is what we hear too often: yes, our users complain about the # of clicks, how it’s taking them too long to access and edit their data - but it works, they have a way to do it, and we have other bigger projects to focus on.
So there goes yet another year when end-users are the poor-children, left out of all the improvements happening. System integrations, company org mergers, marketing automation, dashboards and analytics for the Executives all take priority - all necessary, but why not squeeze in a quick win for the people who actually own and act on data in Salesforce everyday?Read More >
I just got back from the Atlanta Salesforce World Tour, where I helped man the AppBuddy booth. I got to answer all sorts of questions about GridBuddy and Salesforce in general, but more noteworthy is the fact that it was 9 hours of standing with no chairs and only an hour break. It was a little brutal, and reminded me just how out of shape I am.
It also reminded me of news I'd heard a few months back: that a number of health professionals and researchers have recently come forward to declare that "sitting is the new smoking". The amount of time you spend sitting per day has a direct impact on your health, especially as time goes on. In the short-term, the reduced time spent on your feet affects your weight and metabolism, and in the long-term, leads to complications that stem from those effects and even increases your odds of cancer.
So what can we do to help with this? Here are a few things that we, as Salesforce admins and professionals, should do to get our butts out of our chairs.
It's Thanksgiving week here in the US, and we Yanks are always looking for excuses to celebrate the holiday. We come up with things to be thankful for, and talk about it for days and days. So why not do the same for Salesforce, eh?
After all, we have our own little Salesforce world, and within it, there are movers and shakers, influencers and disruptors; they are the people that define our space and make it a better place. Without any further ado, these are the people that Salesforce admins should be thankful for, not just at Thanksgiving, but all year round. (And in no particular order.)
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So you're getting ready to implement Salesforce, or maybe you're in the process of getting it set up. Either way, your thoughts are most likely centered around one idea: making this expensive Salesforce thing work. Salesforce is awesome, and is likely to be one of the best things your company will do for itself in the long run, but one thing that it's not, is cheap. It's a significant investment, so you want to make sure that investment is worthwhile, and try to keep costs down where you can.
But it turns out that this is not necessarily best practice. There's a wide world of Salesforce out there, much larger than you may realize.Read More >