Hitting the road with your Google Drive is getting easier and easier and here are a bunch of applications to help access, edit and share for the iPad and iPhone.
While you can start your journey down the road of mobile Google Drive usage without two factor authentication, that would be unwise. While being challenged for a second factor occasionally while using Google Drive might seem like a hassle, protecting your data is worth it. To that end, for any of these apps you should have the Authenticator application close at hand.
Google's own Drive application, Google Drive, has come a long way since it was born over a year ago, now with some nice functionality like offline access which allows you to view things while not connected to the internet. Google Drive does have some quirks though, like crashing a lot and putting you in a edit or view mode which can be a little strange to navigate. It also doesn't support tables in Docs or provide an extra passcode for security which are major misses.
This once pay application was bought by Google and is now offered free to Google Apps users. It allows you to connect up to your Google Drive account and access documents, although always opening them in other applications after downloading them. The benefit for Quickoffice is that it can view/create non-Google (gasp) Office documents like Powerpoint and Excel which is great when you get one of them in email on your mobile device. The Google Docs functionality is pretty limited as it Quickoffice wants to open them in other applications which means it isn't a very stand-alone.
Another entry in the third party race, GoDocs, is a paid application that uses synchronizing to be able to access all of the Google documents such as Sheets, Docs, Slides, etc. Once you click on a document to view it, it downloads to your device where GoDocs gives you a lot of options to share, edit or open in another application. It does allow for editing of Google Docs in the application and supports tables so beats out Google Drive in that area. It also can be set up with a passcode to get into the application which provides an extra layer of security.
The most highly rated mobile application in iTunes, GDrive is more of a viewer than the others but excels at allowing for connection to many different document services such as Skydrive and Dropbox. It is the best when it comes to accessing and displaying the documents as it is fairly fast with a nice navigation and full screen mode. It too has a passcode feature to keep others prying and can access your mobile photos for uploading as well. If it had an edit mode for Google Docs it might trounce the others.
In the end none of these applications are the magic bullet or dominates in features and functionality over the others. All have good use cases and make life on the road with Google Drive just a little easier than using mobile Chrome or Safari which are pretty limited. The good news is that since three out of the four of them are free, there is no excuse not to download and try them out. While I keep all four handy on my iPad I find myself going back to Google Drive more and more as it looks like it is headed in the right direction.
QuickBooks is a commonly utilized accounting tool for many small to medium size companies. For those also using Salesforce.com for their CRM tool the question becomes; how do you sync these two so sales data connects with accounting data for better business decisions and processes? There are several applications that solve this problem. In general they sync standard objects data between the two tools (accounts, contact, opportunities, products, and more). They enable the ability to generate documents like invoices, receipts, estimates, etc. Here are several applications I’ve found on the AppExchange.
- AppExchange Rating - 3.4 out of 5, 42 reviews
- Salesforce Editions: Group, Professional, Enterprise, Performance
- Quickbooks versions: QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise only
- Pricing: Ranges from $25-$65/month per company.
- Provider: Intuit, Inc.
Intuit is the maker of Quickbooks so it makes sense they have an application solution to sync up Salesforce with QuickBooks. You only need to enter data in one place and it’s updated in the other after, what they claim, is a simple step-by-step instruction for a one time setup and sync which is configurable. You can create transactions in Quickbooks utilizing data from Salesforce (estimate, etc…) and likewise view Quickbook data inside Salesforce records (open balance, estimates, etc…). The downside is that currently this application doesn’t support custom objects. Reviews on the AppExchange seem all over the place but in general it seems Intuit get’s good accolades for customer service. Telling me that perhaps the initial setup maybe isn’t so simple?
- AppExchange Rating - 4.6 out of 5, 91 reviews
- Salesforce Editions: Professional, Enterprise, Unlimited,Developer, Performance
- Quickbooks versions: Online and all desktop versions 2008 and up
- Pricing: Free option with limited features then goes all the way up to $1500/year
- Provider: Avankia, LLC.
This application has a pre-built field map along with flexible mapping and configuration capability. It also has an automatic online update so you never have to manually upgrade the application, which is kind of nice. Another thing it boasts is integration beyond standard objects for custom objects to do things like Timesheet and Expense Integration, Accounts Receivable/Payable, and more. Reviews on the AppExchange are for the most part very favorable. It does appear that the initial setup isn’t maybe as simple as Intuit’s solution suggests (they do have an integration document available), but overall people seem happy with the level of support they receive from Avankia.
- AppExchange Rating - 4.4 out of 5, 25 reviews
- Salesforce Editions: Professional, Enterprise, Unlimited,Performance
- Quickbooks versions: Online and all desktop versions 2009 and up
- Pricing: from $999 up to $1499
- Provider: Integration Technologies, Inc.
Integration Technologies states they have an InterWeave ‘Smart Solution’ for configuring Salesforce and QuickBooks integration; for both custom and standard objects. They have several versions of these pre-built Smart Solutions available depending on what the business needs are. Even though these are pre-built they do allow custom configuration as well. I think maybe these are starting points for what you’d need integrated between the two tools.
- AppExchange Rating - 5 out of 5, 3 reviews
- Salesforce Editions: Group, Professional, Enterprise, Unlimited,Developer, Performance
- Quickbooks versions: QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop: Pro, Premier, Enterprise U.S. Editions,
- 2009 and newer
- Pricing: $649/year, $495/year for non-profits
- Provider: Propelware
Autofy appears on the surface to handle the basic sync needs between Salesforce and Outlook however they do support custom fields, objects, modules, SQL queries and more, so integration with QuickBooks won't leave any gaps. They only have 3 reviews but all are very favorable. It sounds like they are a small company but could be gaining ground as the choice application in the future.
Where some of these applications try to separate themselves (at least on the surface) as a customized solution, ease of integration, or simplistic user experience, they all in general do the same thing; sync data across the tools, creating greater visibility between accounting and sales thereby reducing the need for double entry. It seems some may handle more complex business needs than others though. If you’re in the market, I’d suggest you first identify all your syncing needs to reach business objectives. Then talk to these companies, walk them through your goals, and read the reviews before landing on which solution will work best for you.
We at Arkus have had that problem solved for a few years now with The Permissioner. Let’s take a look at a quick comparison between the two ways to mass assign and revoke Permission Sets.
The Permissioner dramatically reduces the time involved with assigning and revoking permission sets assignments to multiple users. Using a simple interface, administrators can select one or more permission sets to assign to one or more users at a time up to 1,000 assignments. Once the action is completed an email gets sent with all the results to the user who submitted the request to assign or revoke the permission set(s).
Native Mass Assign and Revoke
From any permission set page, you can assign the permission set to one or more users. In addition from any permission set page, you can revoke the permission set from one or more users. Just like The Permissioner you can do up to 1,000 assignments at a time. The native tool leverages already existing User List Views to get to the users that you’d like to assign or revoke a permission set from/to. This is a bit different then the approach that’s taken with the Permissioner where you can query across a variety of different data ranging from profile to role or even public group without having to build list views in advance. The advantage here is leveraging already existing list views and quick access directly from the permission set.
** Note that the following screenshot of the functionality is from a Dreamforce presentation and not from a pre-release org because my pre-release org was on Professional Edition and didn’t have permission sets enabled.
As you can see there are now a few different ways to mass assign and revoke Permission Sets. Obviously I’m biased and would recommend continuing to use The Permissioner. In reality The Permissioner is a power tool for admins with large orgs or complex Role Hierarchies and lots of Public Groups. The native tool is great for quick assignments using pre-existing list views and also for those orgs that won’t allow AppExchange apps to be installed into them (yes, these exist).
Spring 14 introduces features that are providing even better real time support, giving support staff more efficient ways to find and access relevant information and allowing customers to have solutions right at their fingertips. Here are some of the the highlights of a few of these new features that really stood out to me.
Agents have had to juggle capturing customer issues, finding relevant and timely solutions, and tracking all aspects of the calls. Case feeds have provided a great way to streamline this process and with this Spring 14 release there will be more tools to even better streamline their workflow.
- Drag and Drop Attachment in the Case Feed Email Publisher
- Resizable Message Pane in the Case Feed Email Publisher
- Add Custom Components to the Case Feed (ie. using a Visualforce page as a map component to locate a customer)
- Automatically Associate Outgoing Emails to Contacts
- Topics List Available as a Case Feed Sidebar Tool
These features will definitely reduce the amount of time it takes to work by allowing you to easily add attachments and have the flexibility of controlling how much information you are seeing within a message. They also provide quicker ways to access information, minimize steps by adding automation, and provide functionality to help better meet customer needs.
Salesforce Knowledge has been a great way to provide and access certified information. Users are able to easily create and manage the articles as well as find and view them quickly. Customers and Partners can get access to this information through Customer and Partner portals. With the Spring release, there is a very exciting new feature called Knowledge One Widget that can be plugged right into the Salesforce Console for Service. This widget allows you to see the Knowledge features as part of that same user friendly interface in the console. So you can search, create and send articles without ever leaving the case itself. With this widget, published articles can be attached in just one click to a case and articles can be shared as a URL and emailed as PDF.
Salesforce Console for Service Enhancements
The Salesforce Console for Service is a great app that allows agents to manage cases and provide quality customer support. The console has been designed to have as much information at your fingertips as possible so that you can easy and quickly resolve issues. With this Spring release, the console will provide even more features to make life that much easier for you as the agent. Portions of the console can actually be moved with the Multi-Monitor Support feature. You will be able to literally move items (ie. tabs, custom components) to any part of your screen. This will give you more flexibility in how to layout information you need to support a customer.
There are so many great Service Cloud features coming our way. I really just touched on a few. These Case Feeds, Service Console, Knowledge and the many other Service Cloud features are really going to help improve how we relate to and work with our customers.
As mentioned in our Rapid Reaction Blog, Spring 14 is upon us with 320 pages of Salesforce goodness. In part 2 of our series of the Salesforce Spring 14 release review, we dive into the world of the Sales Cloud. As done with every release, here are three features every sales team should be excited about and why.
Salesforce1 was released to the community at Dreamforce 2013 and is a must mention for this post. For those who don’t know, Salesforce1 at it’s basic level brings all your apps, actions, notifications and customizations to your mobile device in an easy to use interface. It had an instantaneous impact in my world from the get go. While at Dreamforce I had a request to regenerate a statement of work and instead of having to find a place to open my MacBook and an internet connection, I was able to quickly go to Salesforce1 to generate the statement of work leveraging conga composer and resend it with only a couple of touches. Pretty cool. Further, Salesforce didn’t skip this release to add more functionality. There are over 15 enhancements like the canned “running late” message you can send to clients or the ability to make a call, log a call or send an email to a Lead. If you haven’t gotten the app yet, I highly suggest you do. It will save you time in whatever type of sales organization you are in.
Repeat Tasks on a Flexible Schedule
I know this one was mentioned in the Rapid Reaction Blog but as a sales person this had to be mentioned and is a great new feature for anyone using Tasks. I live in Salesforce Tasks to manage all of my followups and activities around Leads and Opportunities and this is a big time saver. Now instead of having to create a followup task almost every time I complete one, I can quickly create a recurring task only once. You can set it for how many times to recur and also for the period of time in between each one. It will be interesting to see all the triggers you will be able to use. Considering how many tasks I in particular create on a weekly basis, this will save a lot of time!
A new object has been added to Salesforce called Orders. As defined by Salesforce “An order is an agreement between a company and a customer to provision services or deliver products with a known quantity, price, and time.” From what I can tell so far, this object is best used once a contract is already in place or if the sale is a single transaction without being part of an opportunity sales cycle like in a retail store. For example, if you have a clothing store, clients come to you with the clothes they want to buy. With Orders, you can quickly go the Account and create the sales order leveraging products and a price book. It will be interesting to see where this goes. I am guessing it might be a play at penetrating further into the B2C market.
There are many enhancements in Spring ‘14 and I would recommend you take a look at our rapid reaction blog as well as skim through the release notes to see if anything else catches your attention. If you would like to discuss further tweet at me at www.twitter.com/Salvatoriello or comment below.