Introducing: Salesforce Communities @ Smith

Have you heard about Salesforce Community Cloud? There’s been a lot of chatter over the years here at Smith about the potential use cases and populations we might be able to roll out such a cool feature, but in case you’re new to the idea… According to their website, here it is in a nutshell:

Community Cloud is an online social platform that enables companies to connect customers, partners, and employees with each other and the data and records they need to get work done. This next-generation portal combines the real-time collaboration of Chatter with the ability to share any file, data, or record anywhere and on any mobile device.

Community Cloud allows you to streamline key business processes and extend them across offices and departments, and outward to customers and partners. So everyone in your business ecosystem can service customers more effectively, close deals faster, and get work done in real time.

That sounds great! Right? 

Let’s translate that sales pitch to a real-world example. I’ll start with a little story about how we ended up rolling out Salesforce Communities at Smith. 

CHAPTER 1: There was a need. It all started back in September when reps from our Career Service Department and Masters Program Office invited me (your little old Salesforce Admin to a meeting and laid it out all on the table….. the onboarding process for new students was fractured.

As students prepare to join the MBA program, they are inundated with multiple emails from both departments and asked to complete two checklists (which at the time were static PDF documents). Staff wanted to know when students were completing their checklist items, and have the ability to add new checklist items over time. 

CHAPTER 2: There was a resource who could help! <– not a sentence I get to write often! At that time, we had a Graduate student, Mayuresh, with a developer background from our iSchool wrapping up his summer internship with our Salesforce team, who was looking for an opportunity to work with a client on his master’s project. Introduce… the perfect storm.

CHAPTER 3: Mayuresh got to work in the Fall on gathering user requirements and working with our clients (the Career Services & MPO staff). By the Spring he had build our a dynamic and interactive checklist for students within a new community we started from scratch. 

CHAPTER 4: Now that our “baby” was born, we wanted to give it a name. I rounded up some of my MBA Graduate Assistants and locked them in my office for 1 hour until we came up with a name that works. Kudos to Pete for coming up with “OneSmith” to indicate that for the first time, students will have a ONE STOP SHOP for all Smith/Campus resources, checklists, etc. 

Here is a sneak peek at what our community looks like from the perspective of an incoming student:

This week, we hosted two 1.5 hr workshops made up of staff from each department and paired them up with current MBA students. We conducted some in-depth testing to make sure everything was working just right. 

We are really excited for this community pilot that will launch this summer with our incoming FT MBA population!

Hooray! 

-Your Salesforce Admin 

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