Spring 17 features for HigherEducation

If you are a university using salesforce , the latest spring 17 release brings a bunch of features which would help your university a lot. Since reviewing  the release notes could be overwhelming, I made it easy for you by categorizing the features into 3 categories namely time saving features, prevent problems and more capability.

Prevent problems

If you are sending emails within salesforce and sending attachments, the files can be sent as attachments or as content delivery links. Previously, files were sent as content delivery links only when the total size of all attached files exceeds 3 MB. Now you can choose from a few different options.

You can keep the default setting of emailing files as links only if the total size exceeds 3 MB, or choose one of two new options:

  • Always send files as links
  • Send files as links only when the total size of all attached files exceeds the maximum supported by most email servers

The new settings provide more flexibility and control over how files are sent and what the experience is on the receiving end. See Email Files as Attachments or Links: You Decide for more information.

2. Web-to-Lead: reCAPTCHA Web Form Validation ( prevent spammers by enabling captcha)
Most of higher ed univeristies use web to lead forms to capture prospective students RFI requests and get frustrated with a lot of spams as leads and contacts. Now there is a reCAPTCHA widget which requires students to select a checkbox before they can submit an inquiry on your course. This would prevent a lot of spam leads and contacts.

3. Cloud Scheduler is Being Retired (This feature is being retired now)
Cloud Scheduler began phased retirement in Winter ‘17. This change applies to Salesforce Classic only.

4. It’s Time to Update Your Pre-Winter ’16 Template 
If you are using student, alumni or faculty communities, effective Spring ’17,  Koa, Kokua, or Customer Service (Napili) template versions that are earlier than Winter ’16 will not be supported.

5. Prevent problems on picklists with integration with banner and other student information systems.

Prior to spring 17, when you change the value of picklists on contacts like status fields, courses , your integration with banner and other student information systems will have to be changed. This was painful as marketing departments change picklist values on salesforce without telling IT and IT guys have to spend sleepless nights fixing code or ETL packages to make it work. Now there is a new api field for every picklist and so as long as you have users not changing api values, integrations will work as a charm. Please check screen shot below.

More capability

  1. If you are using contacts with multiple accounts feature, Spring 17  has  made it better still.  Now there is support to person account support, custom actions, process builder and workflow support, and more.
  2. Harness the Power of Visualforce in Template-Based Communities template?

If you would like to enjoy the benefits and enhancements available in a Lightning-based community but still continue to use your Visualforce customization’s? If your community uses Napili template, then your Visualforce pages, actions, buttons, links, and canvas apps will work .

  1. Prioritize Your Leads with Predictive Lead Scoring and Lead Insights
    If you use leads in your university or contacts, automatic lead scoring is enabled using Einstein. Your recruiters can prioritize leads by lead score and determine which fields influence each lead score most. Keep in mind this is a paid feature and you need to talk to your account rep further on this.
  1. See How Often a Topic Is Followed and Used for your student, alumni and faculty communities, members can now see various metrics around topics usage: The number of posts using the topics, the number of articles associated with the topics, how often a topic has been used in the past 60 days, and how many followers it has. With this information at their fingertips, community members know whether a topic is as fresh as a daisy or as stale as a week-old baguette. Admins can also use these metrics to feature certain topics in their communities or consolidate similar topics based on usage. The Trending Topic and Related Topic components can now also include a metric showing how many people are using topics
  1. Get More Granular Information with Improved Search Reporting ( Good feature to fine tune the content on search)We now count every time Salesforce fetches results. Search reports show which search terms produced no results in the community and which ones did. Admins can also see the average number of results per search term and which searches were confined to a specific subset of records. Previously, search queries were counted every time a user entered a search query and pressed Enter, clicked Search, or selected a search option in autocomplete results. This would help your community moderators to fine tune content to fit the searches done by students. 

Save Time

  1. Get a Head Start with Preconfigured Moderation Rules

Moderators in communities  work hard to keep your community free of inappropriate posts and spam. Now there is  moderation rules! Simply turn on the rules and you have a prepped ally against malicious content. Set up and ready to go, these moderation rules block, flag, and replace blacklisted keywords and freeze members who don’t follow the rules. Are these rules not exactly what you are looking for? No worries. You can customize these rules to fit your community’s needs and add or remove terms from the list of blocked keywords. This would help a lot in moderating content from students and avoid inappropriate behavior automatically.

If you feel there is any feature which i missed , please feel free to post your comments below on this post. As always for any questions, feel free to email me at buyan@eigenx.com for further questions.