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It’s February and whether you have a valentine or not, we know you’ll have a great time at this month’s Salesforce User Group meeting. It will be held on February 16, 2011 from 8am-10am and we’d love to see you there! If you want the chance to collaborate, network, and share ideas with other salesforce users who are right here in the Atlanta area, then be sure to attend this Salesforce User Group meeting! It will be at Hub Atlanta which is at 1375 Spring St. (address and parking info). Catering (coffee, breakfast yummies) will be provided by Cafe Campesino Atlanta.  Please RSVP here

Monthly Agenda

  • 8-8:30am: Networking and breakfast (coffee, bagels, breakfast burritos, pastries)
  • 8:30-8:45am: Announcements
  • 8:45-9:15am: Salesforce Demo: Skoodat (B Corporation)
    Zach McElrath, Skoodat Developer, will show you how this B Corporation uses Salesforce’s Service Cloud and Collaboration Cloud! You’ll get a sense of how to use cases for client support and internal task tracking, as well as how a distributed team uses Chatter to make collaboration effective.
  • 9:15-9:45am: Salesforce Training: Spring ’11 Overview
    Spring ’11 is rolling out now! Get a glimpse at the cool new features now available in this presentation.
  • 9:45-10:00am: Networking and planning for future meetings

Logistics

Hub Atlanta is based at the junction of Midtown and Buckhead and a short distance from some of Atlanta’s most exciting sustainable projects. We are easily accessible at the intersection of Spring St. and 17th St., just south of the I-85/I-75 interchange. By public transit we are one block north of the Art Station Marta train stop.

Limited parking is available at The Hub. You can also part across the street at The Atlanta Ballet (lots of available parking).

Address: Hub Atlanta, 1375 Spring St., Atlanta, GA 30309

If you have any questions about this Salesforce User Group meeting, you can contact Christopher at cjj@ifpeople.net. We look forward to seeing you there!

Please RSVP here.

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If you’re a Salesforce customer, you know that Salesforce is a huge system. The reports and dashboards can help you get a handle on what’s going on in your database. In fact, it’s kind of the only way to wrap your head around it in a reasonable amount of time. Salesforce has a handy tool to help understand this called the Personal Account Reviews, which is a monthly email digest of a bunch of data about your org, how it is being used, and how it stacks up to your peers. Pretty sweet…especially if you’re a data junkie like many of us Salesforce addicts.

Well, sometime in the Fall I noticed I wasn’t getting those anymore. It occupied my brain for about as long as it took you to read that sentence…until a recent conversation about how the Salesforce Foundation characterizes the usage of the tool by its clients. The Foundation looks at a variety of factors, from login rates to number of custom objects, workflow rules and dashboards – all things you got in those handy emails! Hey…wait…what happened to those emails?!

I asked about it on the Answers community and found out two things:

  • They still worked for most customers (for profits)
  • They had stopped working for nonprofits / Foundation customers.

But the good news is – they’ll be back in February! Apparently there was a change in the way this setup worked for the customers of the Salesforce Foundation (nonprofits and B Corporations) that caused the emails to stop coming.

Glad they’ll be back soon! Keep up the good work at the Foundation! Thanks for helping roll out this system to nearly 10,000 nonprofits and counting!

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ifPeople is bringing in the new year with new ways technology can empower our local nonprofits!  We are organizing another Salesforce Nonprofit User Group meeting, which is on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 from 8am-10am and we’d love to see you there! If you want to the chance to collaborate, network, and share ideas with other salesforce users who are right here in the Atlanta area, then be sure to attend this Salesforce User Group meeting which will be held at The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta (address and parking info). Catering (coffee, breakfast yummies) will be provided by Cafe Campesino Atlanta.  Please RSVP here

The agenda is as follows:

8:00am-8:30am – Coffee and Networking

8:30am-8:45am – Announcements

8:45-9:15am – Dreamforce Panel

To highlight the excitement from December’s Dreamforce event, we will have a panel of highlights from participants at Dreamforce. The format will be “lightning talks” – 3 minute from each of several participants highlighting their favorite take-aways. If you attended Dreamforce and would like to share your highlights, please let us know (comment below or email us).

9:15-9:45am – Integrating Websites with Salesforce

The Atlanta User Group co-leader and ifPeople co-founder, Christopher Johnson, will demonstrate how the Open Source Content Management System Plone can be used to integrate a website with Salesforce in minutes! If you’re interested to get a sneak peak at the tools, see here and this webinar, and please join us for the followup hands on session when we put the knowledge into action (Sprint on Jan 24, event info here)!

9:45-10am: Q & A

We’ll discuss potential topics and presenters for future meetings.

If you have any questions about this Salesforce User Group meeting, you can contact Christopher at cjj@ifpeople.net. We look forward to seeing you there!

Please RSVP here.

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This month, Josh and I were in San Francisco for the 10th Dreamforce conference along with almost 30,000 other people! Salesforce has again done a great job at orchestrating the event and launching into a lot of innovation that will continue to drive cloud computing for the years to come. Here’s a brief recap of some of the significant events and news we noted:

  • More Clouds! Salesforce announced significant changes in it’s Cloud-focused strategy. In addition to the Sales Cloud, Support Cloud, Collaboration Cloud (Chatter) and Data Cloud (Jigsaw), Salesforce  announced “database.com”. Looks like a nice abstraction of the “platform” (force.com) and the database tools, which can now be leveraged by cloud developers on any platform. Pretty cool!
  • Chatter, chatter everywhere! To no great surprise, there was lots of focus on Chatter at this year’s event. After the announcement at last year’s conference, where the keynote got painfully long as we looked into the early days of Salesforce’s play in the collaboration space, this year there was some actual there there. The conference app leveraged Chatter heavily and got 14,000 people using it in what became a vital communications channel. The conference also had several sessions on effective use and there were even case studies on Chatter’s use. And to make sure this stuff gets out there everywhere, now there’s Chatter Free (free Chatter accounts for everyone in a company).
  • Platform tools get much-needed love! This is the part of the post that is pretty geek-centric but makes a world of difference to folks like ifPeople since our jobs get easier with these kind of improvements :). One major improvement in this area is ISVForce, which will give those of us making new applications on force.com better access to the cool stuff that made Salesforce unique (multi-tenancy, zero-down time upgrades, and declarative Visuralforce, among others). VMForce (Java-for-Salesforce) got some mainstreamed (if you can call a beta mainstream!) and new the new force: Siteforce (cool CMS-like tools in the works). While Siteforce still looks really green, I know there are lots of us who work in the web world (and do a lot of Salesforce integrations) that are looking forward to seeing what this one is going to bring.
  • Open source gets airtime (and acquisition)! A very pleasant surprise this year was the increased language around open source, opening the platform up (“100% Open”), and the latest acquisition, Heroku. Heroku is a Ruby on Rails cloud hosting service that promises to bring a lot of excitement in the world of application development that integrates with Salesforce.
  • Volunteerism, Nonprofit, and Green more integrated with the conference! This year, the volunteer event went throughout the conference (instead of being the day before), so attendees could stop by between sessions and help. Very cool. The Nonprofit/Salesforce Foundation crowd grew to over 1,200 people this year (up about 50% from last year) and we were glad to see several of our clients in attendance. Also, green got some more attention with a Sustainability corner in the Expo hall. Notable where the compostable packaging at meals and all the staff who helped sort the waste stream into recycleable, compostable, and landfill! Bill Clinton’s keynote brought attention to the seriousness of this side of the event too, by drawing attention to inequality, instability, and unsustainability as the three biggest issues facing humanity today (read more about his speech here).
  • Tons of content (not really something new…)! As always, there are too many sessions to choose from all the time, but luckily they were all recorded and are quickly being uploaded onto Youtube.
  • More parties than you can shake a stick at! I was relieved to see people dancing at the Gala this year (I was scared after my first Dreamforce when no one danced while the Black Crows played). In addition to the official parties, there were some stellar after-parties, including the Marketing Cloud party at the SF MOMA (sushi and modern art FTW!). Tip for partners – get some help on DJ selection to rock those amazing club venues next year!

That’s my download from the event thus far. What did I miss that you thought rocked?

(And a note from me…seems several things I was excited about last year are still in the news from this year’s wrap ups. See other Dreamforce reviews here, here, and here).

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If you want to the chance to collaborate, network, and share ideas with other salesforce users who are right here in the Atlanta area, then be sure to attend Atlanta’s next Salesforce User Group meeting Thursday, November 18, 2010 from 8-10am. The meeting will be held at The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. Catering (coffee, breakfast yummies) will be provided by Cafe Campesino Atlanta.  Please RSVP here

The agenda is as follows:

8:00am-8:30am – Coffee and Networking

8:30am-9:00am- Salesforce in Action at a Nonprofit

Jo Ann Lewis, Director, SalesForce.com Administration & Adoption, Points of Light Institute.  This session is a review of how Points of Light uses Saleforce.com to bill and track Affiliate Membership Due. Find out how to utilize SalesForce.com to keep track of you affiliates and subscriptions! Jo Ann has worked with SalesForce.com for many years.  She is a certified admin with a focus on process design & business analysis.  She joined Points of Light Institute in September after spending the majority of her career in the For-Profit world.

9:00-9:30am – Salesforce Reports Mini-Training

Mike Melnick, Principal, AskTwice presents on Getting Your Data Into Salesforce. Migrating a company’s datastores can be one of the most compelling ways to build user acceptance to a new system and one of the more valuable assets in running your business.  We will be discussing various methods for importing both system and user level data into Salesforce.com including data cleansing, importing into system objects, custom objects, and designing data exports to best fit your Salesforce implementation. Mike Melnick has over 30 years experience in system analysis and database design and in the past 15 years has been managing enterprise wide implementations on three continents and in 15 countries.  Currently he is the principal at AskTwice, a consulting firm offering expertise managing projects in Customer Relationship Management, Business Intelligence, and Healthcare IT.

9:30-10am: Q & A

We’ll discuss potential topics and presenters for future meetings.

If you have any questions about this Salesforce User Group meeting, you can contact Christopher at cjj at ifpeople.net. We look forward to seeing you there!

Please RSVP here.

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If you want to the chance to collaborate, network, and share ideas with other salesforce users who are right here in the Atlanta area, then be sure to attend Atlanta’s next Salesforce User Group meeting next Tuesday on October 12, 2010 from 8-10am. The meeting will be held at The Foundation Center for Greater Atlanta. Catering (coffee, snacks) will be provided by Cafe Campesino Atlanta. Please RSVP here

The agenda is as follows:

8:00am-8:30am – Coffee and Networking

8:30am-9:00am- Salesforce in Action at a Nonprofit

Anita Stinett, Director of Partnerships for the organization Heart For Africa.  Anita will conduct a demo that shows how her organization customized Salesforce to manage volunteers and donations abroad.

9:00-9:30am – Salesforce Reports Mini-Training

Marty Maxwell, Project Director at ifPeople, will give a brief training on how to use reports, one of the most powerful features in Salesforce.

9:30-10am: Q & A

We’ll discuss potential topics and presenters for future meetings.

If you have any questions about this Salesforce User Group meeting, you can contact Christopher at cjj at ifpeople.net. We look forward to seeing you there!

Please RSVP for this meeting here.

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NTEN’s National Technology Conference 2011 is gearing up for another robust showcase of all things tech in the nonprofit world. NTC 2011 will take place in Washington D.C. on March 17-19, 2011 and as always, will feature sessions from tech companies and organizations throughout the country who are chosen by you! It’s voting time again, and we would love for your support in the following sessions we proposed. We’re on a quest to share our knowledge and this is a great venue to reach many people and our session proposals for NTC range from strategy to innovations to downright fun!   Below are the sessions we have submitted. By following the link you will be able to give the session a ranking. More high ranks = more chance that it gets accepted!

  • Salesforce + CMS Integration Showdown: Plone, Drupal, and Joomla- With the rapid increase in Salesforce use by nonprofit organizations, integration has become vital. One question we often get is – what website tools integrate best with Salesforce? We’ve decided to bare all in a battle of the most common nonprofit Content Management Systems. We’ll feature the open source tools Plone, Drupal, and Joomla in a rapid-paced, information packed session to help you decide! It will be fun, exciting and concise!
  • Unleash Your Fundraising Potential: Marketing Automation for Nonprofits Is your fundraising success limited by the number of touches you can have with each potential donor? Learn to cultivate relationships to a transaction with marketing. Marketing automation is a way to convert more people to donors that can effectively grow your staff’s capacity (without adding to head count) while increasing your effectiveness. In this session we will introduce the importance of integrating marketing and fundraising and show how you can use marketing automation.
  • 25 Ways to Improve Your Communications Capacity.
    The shear quantity and frequency of communications that most organization seek to produce has increased dramatically. Whether its blogs, tweets, commenting, web site updates, collaborations, cross posting, press releases, or good old print brochures. To stay abreast your organization needs to maximize its capacity for communication. At a time when there is no way you are hiring additional staff, that means making the staff you have as efficient and effective as possible. This session introduces 25 ways to use your existing resources to make the most of your communications.
    Implementing new technology project is always a process of organizational change. But it doesn’t have to be painful! You can take the opportunity to improve your strategy and operations while increasing your teams capacity for learning and adaptation. This session will cover how to approach a technology project with the impact on the organization in mind, how to develop requirements in an inclusive way, and how to manage change within your organization as you implement the system.

Show your support by giving your voting for your favorite sessions!

If you have suggestions for other topics you’d like us to share on, please leave a comment!

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