The Salesforce Weekly Awards – 2017

Welcome to 2018, and welcome to the first Salesforce Weekly post of this new year!

It’s traditional in early January to do a couple of things: set yourself a resolution for the new year, and look forward to make some predictions about what the next twelve months will bring.

Well, so far, your Salesforce Weekly writers are sticking quite nicely to our resolution to stay true to our name and bring you new content each and every week!

So that’s the resolution part covered. What about some predictions? Well, that will come. We’ll be back in the next couple of weeks with our look ahead at what we think is going to go down in the Salesforce world in 2018.

But, if an extremely rudimentary knowledge of Ancient Roman gods has taught me anything, it’s that January is named after Janus, who is usually depicted as having two faces, because as well as looking forward to the new year, he also looks back at what has passed.

And that’s what this week’s post is all about. A quick, sideways glance at 2017, in the form of the first (but hopefully not the last) edition of… The Salesforce Weekly Awards!

So let’s get right into it and take a look at this year’s winners…

Product Manager of the Year

Although we want to keep these awards a little tongue-in-cheek, we felt we had to kick off with at least a couple of serious ones. And so our Product Manager of the Year is… Marko Koosel!

To understand the reasons we gave this award to Marko, you just have to read our post on DF17’s True to the Core session. As well as delivering a number of useful updates this year, it’s clear that Marko and the rest of the Analytics team are hard at work on features which may just transform reporting in 2018. To call out just a couple, get ready for the ability to use field-to-field filters and to build row-level formulas in reports, without needing to use up a field on the object.

Product of the Year

While Marko is our PM of the year, we’re not going to give the coveted (maybe, let’s see!) award of Product of the Year to his Analytics team. Reporting is just too core to really be thought of as a product in its own right.

But, the product that does win this award is also full of excellent, knowledgeable, and dedicated PMs. And that product is… Field Service Lightning!

Now I appreciate that not everyone is familiar with FSL, but that’s another reason why I wanted to shine a light on it with this award. It’s a product that I have learned a lot on this year, and that learning journey has been made possible through some excellent training and ongoing support from people like Yaron Dror.

And this was no ordinary year for Field Service Lightning. It went from being a huge managed package built on top of a tiny amount of standard Salesforce objects, to more-or-less the complete opposite. A tonne of the FSL data model graduated to the platform, bringing things like Work Orders and Service Appointments to the core. And all that while maintaining a forward direction of product development, to keep on delivering new features to the less boring, non-data model-y part of the product.

Kudos too to SalesforceU (sorry, Trailhead) for bringing an FSL cert on-stream in 2017 too. If you get the chance to attend the two-day FSL on-site training, you’ll be almost ready for the exam – it’s a pretty friendly one.

Rebrand of the Year

Now, talking of certs, the slightly snarky Rebrand of the Year award goes to SalesforceU/Trailhead!

While we appreciate that everything has to be Trailhead (or Lightning, or Einstein) – and while yes it does make sense for your most prominent, free training provider and your main training and certification body to be one – this rebranding wasn’t totally without issue.

For now at least, the teams still feel very separate, though I’m sure that will improve as the rebranding/merger settles down. But at the moment, to give one example, we’re left with two Twitter handles – SalesforceU and Trailhead – both of which are branded and labelled Trailhead, even though they’re discrete profiles. A little confusing for now, but we think it’ll get there.

Fail of the Year

And if we’re going to admit to these awards being sprinkled with more than a little salt, then now seems a good idea to introduce the ‘winner’ of Fail of the Year… the Dreamforce talk submission forms which somehow managed to lose a whole bunch of DF17 presentation ideas.

The truth is we don’t know exactly what happened here – although we have an unconfirmed suspicion – and let’s be totally honest, you would be wrong to say that the quality of DF17 presentations suffered in any way from the issue.

But, it was a little annoying. Submit 9 talks, hear back on 6, no sign of 3 ever being received – this was a common scenario. And the worse part was that because the talk submissions never even made it to Salesforce, they had no way of tracking what was lost, and therefore minimal chance to troubleshoot the issue. But, they did hear about it, so let’s hope the forms for DF18 are a little more robust.

Disappearance of the Year

OK, on the subject of talks disappearing without trace, let’s move right on to the much-anticipated (probably) Disappearance of the Year, which goes to… The Winter ’18 Penguins!

Remember the good old days, when we were asked to cast our vote on which imaginative, well-designed image should be the chosen logo for the upcoming release? Back when those pictures were varied and wonderful?

Well, those days are no more. We still get to vote of course, and there will still be some seasonal aspect to the designs, but from now on those choices (every single one of them) are all going to be of those ‘loveable’ mascots.

But it’s the transition between those two eras which hurt the most. One moment, we were getting to know the friendly penguins who had been chosen by the community to be the faces of Winter ’18. And the next, those penguins had sunk without trace beneath their iceberg, replaced by the unelected Yeti Astro without even so much as a thank you or a goodbye.

#PrayForTheWinter18Penguins

Swag of the Year

Before the snark and negativity gets too much, let’s pause to appreciate the good things in life, through our next and final award.

Because all three of your Salesforce Weekly writers are as enthused, humbled, and appreciative as ever about the wonderful opportunities that working in this Salesforce ecosystem provides us. We get to work with innovative technology and use it to make a difference, and that’s big.

Plus, there are parties (sorry, events), and at those events, we often get to pick up some pretty nice swag. So it only felt right that we gave a little thanks by celebrating the Swag of the Year, which goes to… the MVPJs!

Yes, this year, you can keep your t-shirts, your backpacks, your coffee mugs, your pens, and your stickers. Because nothing makes you feel more appreciated, and quite frankly more relaxed in your surroundings, than some PJs. And if those happen to be Salesforce-branded PJs given to you at the DF17 MVP party, so much the better.

I’ll spare you the retina-burning image of seeing me modelling the garment (thank me later), but for those of you who haven’t managed to feast your eyes on the wonderous beauty of such a thing, here’s a little snap of two other MVPs enveloped in them.

Alright, that’s it from us for the first Salesforce Weekly Awards! Here’s to what 2017 brought us, and to what 2018 will deliver. We look forward to spending it with you, right here, each and every week.

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