Why is the Salesforce CRM implementation project unique for KSU and higher ed in general?
The CRM is an exciting implementation for KSU because it will help integrate our data across multiple business units. From Admissions to Alumni and across all campuses, a mature CRM will offer us a 360 degree view of our constituent engagement. Salesforce allows us to configure and create solutions for individual units on one integrated platform.
How is it unique / different from other systems you have developed in?
Previous solutions have traditionally been client-server based, but Salesforce is a SaaS web based environment. As a cloud platform and solution offering, Salesforce provides the infrastructure and allows us to focus on the solutions. These solutions may be configured within Salesforce’s built in tools, developed by partner vendors as a managed solution, or created in-house with custom Apex code on the Salesforce platform. In addition to the flexibility of a highly configurable and customizable offering, Salesforce, as a best in class system, will continue to enhance the infrastructure and CRM with cutting edge features like mobile, social, and data science technologies. This leaves us free to focus on how these progressive tools can advance the goals of individual units and the university as a whole.
What was your motivation to take and pass the Salesforce Administrator certification exam?
Completing the certification ensured that I have a comprehensive and accurate knowledge of Salesforce. This helps me guide stakeholders when considering all of the features and functionality available to them. Salesforce features and functionality advance quickly and it would be easy to lose touch of the most current tools and trends in the CRM. Maintaining an admin certification requires three release exams be taken per year (winter, spring, and summer), so it’s a great way to keep up with the latest innovations.
Any advice for others who are studying for the exam?
There is a variety of great material available to help you prepare for the exam. Trailhead (https://trailhead.salesforce.com/) guided learning is available for free to anyone. Within the first few lessons, you will create your own salesforce trial instance where you can practice and learn – that is hugely helpful. As a KSU Salesforce user, you also have access to Salesforce University where you can follow along with video tutorials and then practice in your own environment. I found the practice exams available online to be very helpful. Some are even broken down by topic to show you where you have weak areas, then you can go back to Salesforce documentation and review the information. One tip – watch out for outdated and incorrect online quizzes. Salesforce changes quickly, so if you see something in online material that seems incorrect, follow your instincts and look it up in the Salesforce documentation.