The Power of Pledge 1%, Serving Our Community During the COVID-19 Crisis

Pledge 1% is a philanthropic movement where companies donate 1% of their equity, time, product, or profit to non-profit organizations or causes of their choice to make an impact on their local communities. Salesforce, Atlassian, Rally for Impact, and Tides have spearheaded the Pledge 1% movement to accelerate their shared vision around integrating philanthropy into businesses around the world. Being a Salesforce Silver consulting partner, Brite Systems has pledged to give 1% of our profit to benefit the Indianapolis community where we are headquartered.

By pledging 1% along with Salesforce, Brite Systems has formalized our giving back program and we have joined the 100,000 members in 100 countries worldwide. CEO of Brite Systems, Jay Fernando, says, “We are passionate about giving back! Serving our community is built into our organizational DNA and we consider it a privilege to make a local impact through our pledge.” The Pledge 1% initiative has ignited almost half a billion dollars of charitable giving around the world. More than 87% of Salesforce customers also believe that corporations should place equal weight on their businesses as they do with supporting their local communities.

As the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread in the United States and Marion County was identified as a “hot spot”, Brite Systems was one of the pioneers taking action and serving our community while local and state governments were still mobilizing to help at-risk communities. Brite Systems developed an online portal for Marion County residents who were over 60 years old, pregnant, with prior health conditions, and those diagnosed with COVID-19 and in self-quarantine. Qualifying individuals could place an order for groceries and have them delivered to their home free of charge – all costs sponsored by Brite Systems.

The recipients of these services were highly appreciative of our efforts, one of them saying, “I am very grateful for your services during this uncertain time.” State agencies and a large local food bank also showed appreciation for Brite Systems while they were navigating the logistics of providing goods to people. Through the efforts of Brite Systems, more than 160 families in Marion County were supported.

Brite Systems went above and beyond the Pledge 1% commitment and donated nearly 5% of our annual profit to charitable causes this year. At Brite Systems, we place a high priority on being involved in the community and serving others, especially vulnerable populations. Being part of our team means making a real difference for those around us.

Looking for a workplace culture that values social impact? See our open positions and join our team today! Is your business interested in making a pledge? Learn more.

5 Reasons to Love Salesforce Dataloader

In today’s world of bits, bites, apps, and users, information is the currency. It’s what makes our digital world move. This information needs to be manipulated with care and concern to make sure that it exists where it’s supposed to and the way it’s supposed to. When it comes to Salesforce, one of the best ways to handle and move information is with Dataloader. Dataloader is a web-based tool to import and export records. At its maximum, dataloader can handle 5 million records in one operation.

In my role as a Support Analyst for Brite Systems, Dataloader has become my weapon of frequency and choice. It was the key to acclimating to my role and as a result, I must share my appreciation for the tool. For the sake of not boring you to death with a bunch of technical jargon and details, here are my top five reasons why I love Dataloader.

  1. The user interface is easy to use.

    I know that reads a little funny, but it’s true. How many times have you opened an application that you were told is user friendly to take one look at the interface and think, “Is this actual Javascript or something?” No such thoughts with Dataloader! What you see is what you get and it’s self-explanatory. You want to insert information, press the insert button. You want to update, upsert, delete and so on, just click the respective buttons and badda bing, you’re off.

  2. Mapping fields is easy.

    When mapping fields, you simply need to know where you want the information to go in your system and match those respective API’s with the column names on your .csv file.

  3. Tracking errors and successes in transactions is automatic.

    Once a job is done, Dataloader automatically creates success and error reports. If there are errors, the report will tell you where they are and what they are. This makes fixing any problems very easy. The reports can also be effortlessly exported as .csv files for your own record keeping purposes.

  4. Dataloader is in the cloud.

    Yep that’s right, it’s in the cloud so no downloads or security keys required. You just have to log in using your Salesforce org credentials.

  5. It can handle a large amount of records.

    Every week I handle hundreds if not thousands of records depending on the time of the month, and most often it is done in one off instances. As I mentioned above, Dataloader can handle a maximum of 5 million records at one time. Now, I don’t come anywhere close to that, but when I do have to handle upwards of five hundred to six hundred records at once it’s not a problem at all. None of my records have been lost, unless I’ve pointed them in the wrong direction, or run away like a small dog turned loose in the dog park.

    For handling your uploads, downloads, and other information or record movement in Salesforce, Dataloader is the way to go. It’s easy, intuitive and friendly enough that even the most novice of drivers could handle its navigation. In the case that you’d like to put a strategic consulting partner in the driver’s seat, contact our team for support from experts.

What You Should Know About Cloud Storage and Keeping Your Data Secure

Over one billion gigabytes of data are stored in the cloud networks worldwide. Processing and storing data in the cloud has revolutionized the IT world and is both an efficient and cost-friendly way to store data. There are two types of clouds: private clouds and public clouds.

A private cloud is an organization’s own cloud that contains only their compute infrastructure and data. On the other hand, a public cloud is a cloud that is shared by multiple different organizations, also known as a multitenancy. In a multitenant architecture, tenants share infrastructure resources such as their web server, application services, middleware, their database, and compute resources. Even though the resources are shared, the tenant-specific data is accessible only to that particular tenant.

You could think of private cloud as owning your own home, while public cloud is like living in an apartment complex. When living in an apartment, you may share resources such as water, electricity, etc. However, your unit (or data) is secure and only accessible to you. In this post, we’ll be talking about how/where the data is stored, how the data is secured, ways that this data can be breached, and how to mitigate your risk.

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about cloud storage is where all of this data is stored. Cloud data is stored in data centers that can be virtually anywhere in the world. Most cloud storage service providers offer storage on a pay-per-use-basis, so you would pay for each gigabyte of data per month. The user can connect to the database server via the internet and manually or automatically send files over. All of this data can be accessed through a web-based interface.

At this point, you may be thinking, how do organizations know that their data is safe? Cloud providers use authentication, access control, encryption, and built-in firewalls to keep your data safe at the most basic level. Authentication is the type of security that is used on most websites and devices such as passwords and security questions. Access control restricts access to the data if you are using an unknown, unauthorized, or public device. You can test these security measures by engaging with a cybersecurity professional who can validate and assess security measures and provide additional extra security measures. Encryption is one of the strongest ways to secure your data by using algorithms to scramble the data so it can be accessed only by the users who are authorized to access the data. The built-in firewalls make sure that those who are not authorized are not able to access your cloud infrastructure.

Sharding is another way of securing data where it is split into chunks and encrypted on its own, meaning if the code was to be decrypted then they would only find the data in blocks, rather than all of it. Some cloud providers only let you preview the content instead of downloading the data, so that it is more secure to share. Highly regulated organizations are also starting to use the hybrid approach in which they keep sensitive data in a private cloud and the rest of their data in a public cloud.

However, this does not mean your data is 100% safe. It is not impossible for cybercriminals to get into these files by guessing security questions or bypassing passwords. Your data could also at any point get wiped out, lost, or stolen. The data is stored on servers and systems that are not yours meaning you don’t have control over them. As a solution to this, some cloud providers are starting to let the users choose their own encryption keys, so no one from the provider’s side has access to your data.

The good news is there are many more solutions for improved data security! You have options such as backing up your data locally, engaging with cloud service providers that offer local encryption of data, implementing multi-factor authentication and protecting the computer systems that access your cloud resources by implementing anti-virus and anti-spy security controls. Overall, with cloud storage the positives outweigh the negatives. With governance and adoption of the right risk-mitigating strategy offered by companies such as Brite Systems, you can select the ideal cloud service (Public, Private, or Hybrid) and secure your data safely. If you’d like to explore your options for cloud security solutions, consult with our cloud experts today.

Coming to the Cloud

Without a doubt, everyone has been affected by COVID-19 in some way. Whether you have lost your dream job or have been forced to use screen shares for your daily activities with coworkers, our lives have changed. We have adapted by shrinking monthly personal and professional budgets and doing a massive amount of yard/housework, but we are in this together!

As state and local governments begin the staged reopening rollouts, it is vital that those who have been able to stay open look strongly at how we continue to protect our employees. Business leaders can ask themselves questions like “How has my team preformed?”, “What gaps can we address?”, and “Did we actually become closer?”

Here at Brite Systems, there is one gap that has become overwhelming apparent to us. Not all businesses have the capability to perform or monitor everyday duties due to the limitations of their current platforms. As someone that has spent the last 10 years of my career leveraging the use of technology, I was a bit thrown off by learning this information. How does a sales manager know if his or her team is staying on top of their activities if they still are using an “off prem” CRM solution? How can they collaborate efficiently on documents (RFI’s, RFP’s, SOW’s, Contracts, etc.)? The reality is they either can’t know and can’t collaborate, or they are required to circulate countless emails.

Some companies are still leveraging a VPN solution, and that may work for certain businesses. Alternatively, many other companies along with Brite Systems believe that cloud computing technologies will be leveraged even more in the coming years than they already are currently. I have been impressed with the speed of growth with tools like Zoom, Join.me, Google Hangouts and other platforms that have seemingly taken over the world in the last few months. We are confident that cloud innovation for CRM, Marketing Automation, and Cybersecurity will be the next adoption trend bringing companies closer together at a rapid rate.

As a cloud service provider, Brite Systems partners with our customers to identify and deliver the ideal cloud solution to maximize business value. If you or your organization would like to have a conversation around the different ways cloud technologies can better prepare you for the changing landscape at all levels of your business, connect with our team of experts today.

4 Salesforce API Enhancements Released in Spring 2020

In Salesforce’s 2020 Spring Update, there are several major new Application Programming Interface (API) enhancements. API is a piece of software that allows two software intermediaries to connect. APIs define what kind of calls and requests can be made between software systems, define data formats, and which conventions to follow, essentially specifying how two different software systems can communicate and interact with each other. Using an API allows users to deliver solutions rapidly by sharing and exchanging information seamlessly.

There are many software systems and applications that can be connected with Salesforce using APIs. For instance, Salesforce integrates seamlessly with Jira, Zoom, SAP, Peoplesoft, Quickbooks, Moodle, Workday, and Eventbrite to name a few software applications.

1. Increased Daily Salesforce API Call Limit

The recent Salesforce Update has increased the daily Salesforce API call limit from 15,000 API call requests per day to 100,000 API call requests per day. In addition, the daily maximum cap of 1,000,000 API requests per day has been removed, allowing your org to exceed the daily limit without being flagged or blocked by Salesforce. Furthermore, with the new usage-based entitlement, a limited Salesforce resource that your organization can use on a periodic basis, the org user can view how many API requests have been built up over the last 30 days.

2. New Beta Version of MetadataComponentDependency

Another important API Spring Update is the beta version of the MetadataComponentDependency Queries in Production and Sandbox Orgs. By using these Queries, users can view dependency relationships between metadata in their orgs. Finding these dependencies allows users to break the metadata into packages and parts, and then determine whether the metadata is safe to delete.

3. Ease of Locating Object Documentation

The recent Spring Update has also made finding Salesforce object documentation easier. The key advantage of this feature is that it removes repetitive object documentation and groups related objects together so that users can find what they are looking for in a simpler manner.

4. Increased Relevancy of Symbol Table

In addition, the Salesforce Symbol Table no longer includes non-global implementation details for managed packages. This update confirms that the Symbol Table does not show more information than what is required for the managed packages. This feature will save you time, as less code is required.

The Salesforce 2020 Spring Update’s API enhancements allow users to make more API calls daily, view the number of API requests in the past 30 days, Queries to view dependency relationships between metadata in orgs, and a Symbol Table that shows only specific information related to managed packages. Overall the Spring Updates yield a better user experience for organizations that use Salesforce to expand their capabilities by integrating with other external systems and applications through APIs.

Brite Systems, a certified Salesforce Silver Partner, has expertise in implementing Salesforce APIs for several software systems and clients. Need assistance with your API implementation and leveraging the recent update? Connect with our Salesforce team today.

So Many Channels For Customers?!

As a major aspect of the Salesforce Spring 2020 update, Salesforce now offers a channel menu which is a customized and simple path for B2C and B2B customers to communicate through several channels. When the channel menu is integrated into an external-facing B2C or B2B website, the customer has all channels in front of them, letting them pick which channel they want to utilize to communicate. Customers can click on their desired channels of communication and are then taken right into a discussion with a live agent or chatbot. If the customer needs further assistance, they are redirected to a more specialized live agent who has all of the customer’s information and data allowing the conversation to flow seamlessly. Integrating Salesforce’s new channel menu on your customer-facing website spares customers the time that they would spend looking for a “contact us” page, allowing the company and customer to connect quickly. With the utilization of the channel menu that is incorporated in the Salesforce platform, agencies are able to provide increasingly customized interactions with their customers.

In this manner, customers can engage with companies through their preferred communication channels, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, SMS text messaging, phone calls, or WeChat. They can return on a later date to their preferred channel and view the conversation at any time. Another advantage of having a Salesforce channel menu is that the user can go back in a week, a month, or maybe even a year later and resume the conversation with the chatbot or live agent regarding their current point of interest using their personal apps. Customers can appreciate having the option to utilize mobile applications they are familiar with as a chatbot typically works better on computers. Using a Salesforce channel menu will most importantly show the customers that the company cares about its customer’s interaction and wants to make the customer experience their priority by letting the user choose their own channel of communication.

Looking for a partner to help quickly improve your customer experience with Salesforce? Let’s get in touch.