Drupal site publishers earned a reprieve when it was announced that the “end of life” for Drupal 7 has been extended from November 1, 2023 to January 5, 2025. There are many reasons that organizations are still running old code. This decision gives teams another year to migrate sites. The peak developer activity for the open-source Drupal content management system (CMS) was in the early days of Web 2.0 and versions 5 to 7 of the platform. Acquia management made a decision to abandon backward compatibility with the Drupal 8 release. This left many businesses stranded. Even worse, many companies who invested early in Drupal development with custom PHP solutions find their projects stuck maintaining legacy code that cannot be upgraded easily to new standards. Many modules and themes that provide functionality for D7 sites are not maintained or available. This document seeks to advise business and nonprofit organizations still running Drupal 7 on the best way forward. The good news is due to the new decision by the Drupal governing committee, developers will have another calendar year to work on building their code for website migrations.
Drupal 7 End of Life – What to Do?
1. Take Responsibility for Open Source Code
The lack of backward compatibility between D7 & D8 modules and themes led to open-source developer flight from the CMS community. Many programmers simply abandoned their modules and moved on to other projects. Drupal 8 introduced Twig & Symfony over the PHPtemplate system. One advantage of the PHPtemplate system is that it allowed coders to add functions to Drupal as requested by site owners or management without creating new modules. The general lack of documentation and inability to upgrade this type of code keeps many sites forced to run on D7. Similarly, there are thousands of D6-D7 modules that provided important functionality that were never upgraded to D8 versions. How websites that rely on outdated functionality can upgrade remains a major problem. Many themes need to be completely rewritten for the upgrade to occur. Acquia recommends that organizations take responsibility for older modules and themes to invest in the production of D8-compatible upgrades. The D8 to D10 update path is generally smooth, but the lack of availability of important modules from D7 is the biggest hindrance to project update goals.
2. Migrate Modules & Themes to Drupal 10
If your Drupal 7 site relies on modules or themes that are not compatible with D8 and have not been upgraded by Acquia, consider taking over maintainership for these projects and modernizing the code. Pumex developers specialize in debugging D7 theme problems and updating old modules. The extension of the End of Life date for Drupal 7 establishes a minimum runtime standard of PHP 5.5, whereas Drupal 10 already supports the features of PHP 8. Site owners with spaghetti code are locked into compatibility with older versions of PHP that are outdated with potential security issues. On a technical level, there are only two differences between Drupal 8.9 and 9.1, which have to do with dependencies and depreciated code. Once a module or theme has become compliant with the Drupal 9.x version standards, it will also be able to be published as compatible with the 10.x release. Making the update to a Drupal 10 site re-establishes your apps with PHP 8 runtime ability as well as many other new feature upgrades of the platform. JSON API & GraphQL options now allow Drupal to run as a headless CMS with React, Vue, Gatsby, and other modern frameworks for mobile apps. According to developer John Faber of Chapter Three, the Next-Drupal distro “allows us to create these frontends that are production-level frontends on a very lightweight React framework.” Drupal site owners should make a decision now on whether or not to adopt headless CMS architecture.
3. Standardize Functionality with New Solutions
IT departments must deal with cycles of hardware and software development that are industry standards. There have been significant advances in web development since Drupal 7 was a popular choice for publishers. When upgrading your D7 site, make sure to adopt the best of new practices. Running Drupal 8-10 websites as a decoupled or headless CMS option with React, Vue, Gatsby, and other frameworks allows legacy content to be refactored for native display across multiple device types. The JSON API and GraphQL options for Drupal are world-class and support enterprise scale. Still, many companies choose to migrate from Drupal 7 to WordPress or another decoupled CMS solution due to the ease of use in administration or access to more open-source plugins & themes. Pumex managers can help you decide and build a custom programming team for new solutions. Integrating a PHP-based CMS like Drupal with data analytics and machine learning for content recommendation involves adopting a micoservices approach vs. the traditional monolithic installation of code. Pumex helps Drupal site owners transition to API-first approaches for content delivery.
4. Build a Stable Production Site on Drupal 9
The minimum goal of a Drupal 7 upgrade should be a fully functioning Drupal 9 site running on the latest version of PHP 8. Drupal 9 sites and modules operate with near equivalency to D10. Acquia is now providing for backward compatibility between versions to avoid the problems of D7 upgrades. PHP 8 support in Drupal begins with version D 9.1. The database requirements are:
MySQL or Percona: Version 5.7.8 or greater
MariaDB: Version 10.3.7+ or higher
SQLite: Version 3.26 or above
Pumex engineers refactor legacy Drupal 7 code to make it consistent with the Drupal 9 runtime requirements. In instances where PHP code was written using the PHPtemplate system, we update and transition the code to new modules compatible with Drupal 8-10 as a required solution. With Drupal 7 theme updates, the standards for the templates used to display custom content types also need to change. Building a secure and fully functioning Drupal 9 website from the D7 upgrade is a prerequisite for introducing the new features of the D10 distribution meant for DXP usage. Views became a core Drupal CMS module with the D8 release. Since then, the use of Panels as a design tool has become depreciated. Drupal 7 publishers that relied extensively on Panels for landing pages and other displays will need to implement other solutions for the dynamic content. As the developer of the module states: “Panels is an API in Drupal 8. In order to use panels, you must use an implementing module. Currently, Page Manager and Panelizer implement panels.” Solutions like DXPR Builder are working with D9 and have been adopted widely by the NGO community. Pumex specializes in the unique requirements of NGOs, Healthcare, and Government groups. We assist NGOs to upgrade D7 with cloud compliance for HIPAA and GDPR standards.
5. Transition to Drupal 10 with Platform Compatibility
The Drupal 10 release includes major updates to the CKEditor, Symfony, and Twig components that are used to build Drupal themes. Drupal 10 is made to highlight the capacity of the CMS to function as a Digital Experience Platform (DXP). The main features are available on Acquia Cloud. Acquia Cloud is arguably the most advanced distribution of Drupal available to publishers, as it represents the fusion with Mautic marketing analytics for major brands with Drupal Commerce. Pantheon maintains the most development options for independent Drupal design teams. Both platforms focus on the maintenance of staging environments that can be used for testing Drupal 7 upgrades before going live with updates or new features. Acquia Cloud competes in enterprise markets with Adobe Experience Cloud and Salesforce Lightning frameworks. Acquia is promoting a Next.js starter kit for headless Drupal projects. Buytaert has described the solution as similar to the Faust.js framework developed by WP Engine. Pumex developers will support both monolithic and headless Drupal CMS development for DXP usage requirements.
6. Migrate D7 Sites to Other Platform Solutions
If your legacy Drupal 7 website is still running on shared hosting, it may be beneficial to upgrade to a VPS plan with more resources for the CMS. A shared plan will only allocate around 1 GB or less of RAM. Migrating to a VPS or VM platform with 4 GB RAM and multiple vCPUs will improve speeds. Google PageSpeed now depends on Core Web Vitals for a significant portion of the calculation of their PageRank algorithm. Drupal sites depend on web page caching for performance. It helps to find a web hosting provider with managed NGINX, Redis, and Varnish Cache admin support. The advantages of a managed cloud approach like Acquia’s are significant when compared to a developer-centric hosting platform like Pantheon. The cost of Acquia’s managed cloud services is targeted to enterprise brands with high rates of scalability and large catalogs of consumer products. Pumex works with organizations of all sizes to determine what level of cloud hosting and datacenter support is required for each project. We make suggestions for improvement of Drupal CMS performance based on datacenter hardware specifications, web caching, and CDN services. Most Drupal 7 upgrades will require the installation of a staging environment for the testing of new code and debugging issues for relaunch. While this can be done easily on a subdomain, we recommend to also upgrade the web server resources when relaunching sites for page speed.
Summary: Trust Pumex for Drupal 7 to 10 Upgrades
Are you prepared to take a significant step forward in shaping your digital presence? If your website currently operates on Drupal 7, you’re likely aware that it’s time to contemplate transitioning to a more robust and contemporary iteration of Drupal. The clock is ticking, with Drupal 7’s extended end-of-life deadline set for January 5, 2025, ushering in both promising opportunities and a series of challenges.
Within this blog post, we are here to serve as your trusted companion, guiding you through the essential Drupal 7 migration checklist. We comprehend that the notion of migrating a website can seem intimidating, but armed with the right approach and a meticulously crafted plan, the process can unfold with far greater ease than you might imagine. Whether you’re a business proprietor, a developer, or simply passionate about the digital landscape, this checklist will serve as a priceless resource, ensuring that your migration journey is a triumphant one.
Website Assessment and Pre-Migration Planning:
1. Conduct a Website Audit:
Begin by performing a comprehensive audit of your current Drupal 7 website. Identify all the components, including modules, themes, content types, and configurations. This audit will give you a clear picture of the complexity of the migration and help you prioritize critical tasks.
2. Identify Necessary Upgrades:
Check if the modules and themes used in your Drupal 7 website have compatible versions for Drupal 8, 9 or 10. If not, look for alternatives or consider custom development to replicate the functionality.
3. Assess Custom Code:
If you have custom code or contributed modules that are not available for Drupal 8, 9 or 10, evaluate the feasibility of updating or re-implementing the functionalities in the newer versions. Custom code may require more effort to adapt, so plan accordingly.
4. Estimate Migration Timeline and Resources:
Create a realistic timeline for the migration process, taking into account the complexity of your website and the availability of resources. Assign responsibilities to team members and communicate the plan to stakeholders.
5. Analyze User Behavior and Feedback:
Analyze user behavior on your current Drupal 7 website using tools like Google Analytics. Identify popular pages, frequently accessed content, and user feedback to inform your content strategy and ensure that essential elements are prioritized during migration.
6. Allocate Sufficient Resources:
Migrating to a new Drupal version requires time, effort, and resources. Allocate sufficient budget and team resources to avoid rushing the migration and ensure a thorough and successful transition.
7. Prepare a Data Migration Plan:
Create a detailed plan for data migration, including the transfer of users, user profiles, content, media files, and configurations. A well-thought-out data migration strategy reduces the risk of data loss and ensures a seamless transition.
8. Create a Rollback Plan:
Despite careful planning, unexpected issues can arise during migration. Prepare a rollback plan that outlines how to revert to the previous version in case of severe problems. This plan provides an added layer of security during the migration process.
9. Plan for Mobile Responsiveness:
Verify that your new Drupal version and theme are mobile-responsive. Mobile devices account for a significant portion of website traffic, so it’s crucial to deliver an optimal user experience on all devices.
10. Develop a Backup and Recovery Plan:
Design a comprehensive backup and recovery plan to safeguard your website’s data and configurations. Regularly back up your website data and ensure backups are accessible and secure. Before starting the migration, create a full backup of your Drupal 7 website, including files and the database. This ensures that you have a safety net in case any issues arise during the migration process.
11. Set Up Quality Assurance Processes:
Develop a quality assurance process to review the new Drupal version thoroughly before deploying it to the live website. Conduct multiple rounds of testing to catch any issues early on.
12. Create a Rollout Plan:
Plan the rollout of the new Drupal version in stages or phases, especially for larger websites or complex migrations. Gradual implementation can minimize disruptions and facilitate troubleshooting.
13. Create a Customization Strategy:
If your Drupal 7 website includes extensive customizations, strategize how to replicate or improve them on the new Drupal version. Customizations can enhance user experiences, so consider ways to incorporate them effectively.
14. Review Third-Party Integrations:
If your Drupal 7 website has integrations with third-party services or APIs, ensure that these integrations are compatible with your chosen Drupal version. Make necessary updates or find alternative solutions if needed.
15. Plan for Multilingual Content:
If your website supports multiple languages, plan the migration of multilingual content carefully. Ensure that translation modules and language settings are correctly configured in the new Drupal version.
16. Address Performance Bottlenecks:
Identify and address performance bottlenecks during the planning phase. Perform load testing to determine if your website can handle increased traffic and adjust server resources as needed.
17. Implement Content Freeze:
Establish a content freeze period during the migration to avoid changes to the live Drupal 7 website while the migration is in progress. This ensures that no new content is lost during the transition.
18. Plan for User Training and Onboarding:
Prepare training materials and conduct sessions for content editors, administrators, and other users who will work with the new Drupal version. Ensure they are familiar with the updated interface, features, and functionalities.
19. Evaluate Theme Compatibility:
If your current Drupal 7 website has a custom or contributed theme, assess its compatibility with the new Drupal version. Determine whether the theme can be upgraded, requires adjustments, or if it’s more practical to choose a new theme altogether.
20. Prepare for Downtime:
Depending on the size and complexity of your website, there might be some downtime during the migration process. Inform your users and stakeholders about the expected downtime and schedule the migration during low-traffic periods if possible.
21. Consider Multisite or Multilingual Migration:
If you manage multiple sites under a single Drupal installation or maintain multilingual websites, plan how to migrate and configure these sites in the new Drupal version. Implementing multisite or multilingual setups efficiently can save time and resources.
22. Address Database and Content Size:
For websites with substantial amounts of data, evaluate the database and content size to ensure that the new Drupal version can handle the volume efficiently.
Testing and Quality Assurance:
1. Test on a Staging Environment:
Set up a staging environment to test the migration process before applying changes to your live website. Conduct thorough testing to identify and fix any issues that may arise during the migration.
2. Test Cross-Browser Compatibility:
Test your new Drupal version across different browsers and devices to ensure consistent rendering and functionality. Cross-browser compatibility testing is crucial to deliver a seamless experience to users on various platforms.
3. Test Compatibility with Third-Party Services:
If your website relies on external services or APIs, such as payment gateways or marketing automation tools, ensure they are compatible with your new Drupal version. Test these integrations on your staging environment to ensure seamless functionality.
1. Update Documentation:
Document the entire migration process, including the steps taken, issues encountered, and solutions implemented. This documentation will be valuable for future reference and help streamline any future updates or migrations.
2. Communicate with Users:
Inform your website users and stakeholders about the upcoming migration and any potential downtime or changes in functionality. Keeping them informed will minimize surprises and ensure a positive user experience during and after the migration.
3. Review User Roles and Permissions:
Evaluate the user roles and permissions on your Drupal 7 website and plan how to replicate or improve them on the new version. This step is crucial, especially for websites with complex user access requirements.
4. Involve Stakeholders:
Engage stakeholders throughout the planning process, including content owners, department heads, and management. Their input and feedback are valuable for creating a migration plan that aligns with business goals.
1. Set Up Error Monitoring and Alerts:
Implement error monitoring and alert systems on the new Drupal version to detect and respond to any issues promptly. Proactive monitoring can help prevent potential disruptions.
2. Monitor Performance after Migration:
After migrating to the new Drupal version, closely monitor your website’s performance and user feedback. Address any post-migration issues promptly to ensure a smooth and stable experience for users.
3. Plan for Post-Migration Support:
Have a plan in place for post-migration support and maintenance. Be prepared to address any unforeseen issues and provide assistance to users and stakeholders as they adapt to the changes.
4. Monitor Performance after Migration:
After migrating to the new Drupal version, closely monitor your website’s performance and user feedback. Address any post-migration issues promptly to ensure a smooth and stable experience for users.
5. Monitor Server Performance:
Monitor server performance during the migration process to identify potential issues with server resources or configuration. Optimize server settings to ensure smooth operations after migration.
6. Plan for Post-Migration Testing:
Allocate time for post-migration testing to catch any issues that might not have surfaced during the initial testing phases. This phase ensures that the new Drupal version performs optimally in the live environment.
Website Performance and SEO
1. Prioritize Content Cleanup and SEO:
Take this opportunity to review and clean up your content. Remove outdated or irrelevant content, update and optimize images, and ensure that all content follows the latest SEO best practices including setting up proper 301 redirects for changed URLs update meta tags. This will not only streamline the migration process but also improve the overall user experience on your new Drupal version.
2. Implement Performance Optimization:
Use the migration process as an opportunity to optimize your website’s performance. Review and improve database queries, enable caching mechanisms, and utilize other performance optimization techniques to enhance website speed and responsiveness.
3. Optimize Media and Files:
Optimize media files, such as images and videos, to reduce their size and improve page loading speed. Use appropriate file formats and compression techniques while migrating media to the new version.
4. Review Content Types and Taxonomy:
Examine your existing content types and taxonomy structure in Drupal 7 and assess how they will be migrated to the new version. Ensure that the content types align with your content strategy and website goals for the future.
5. Prepare for Search Reindexing:
After migration, your website’s search functionality might require reindexing to ensure accurate and relevant search results. Plan for this process and communicate to users if there might be a temporary impact on search performance.
6. Set Up Analytics and Tracking:
Configure website analytics and tracking tools on the new Drupal version to monitor user behavior, track conversions, and measure the success of your website’s performance post-migration.
Legal & Compliance
1. Validate Legal and Compliance Requirements:
If your website has specific legal or compliance requirements, such as GDPR or accessibility regulations, ensure that the new Drupal version adheres to these standards.
2. Consider Accessibility Compliance:
Ensure that your new Drupal version adheres to accessibility guidelines, such as WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). Make necessary adjustments to guarantee your website is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.
Ask For Help
1. Engage with the Drupal Community:
Leverage the Drupal community for guidance and support during the migration. Participate in forums, attend meetups, and seek advice from experienced Drupal developers who have gone through similar migrations.
2. Consider Hiring Drupal Migration Experts:
If your migration involves complex customizations or you lack the necessary expertise in-house, consider hiring Drupal migration experts or agencies with a proven track record in successful migrations.
As we draw the curtain on our exploration of the essential Drupal 7 migration checklist, one key takeaway stands out: the extended end-of-life date for Drupal 7 has opened a doorway to a realm of innovation, function enhancement, and the fortification of our digital platforms. The steps laid out in this checklist aren’t just a roadmap for a technological update; they’re a powerful toolkit that empowers us with the knowledge and resources necessary to skillfully navigate this transition.
However, let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture. This journey is about more than mere technological shifts. It’s about shaping remarkable user experiences, streamlining content management, and ensuring our websites are ready to thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
What we do today lays the groundwork for our digital presence in the days, months, and even years ahead. The preparation we invest now has the potential to make our platforms resilient, adaptable, and competitive in the dynamic digital arena.
Salesforce CRM (Sales Cloud) is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform that allows businesses to manage their interactions with customers and prospects. It provides a centralized system for managing sales, customer service, marketing, and other business operations, with features such as lead and opportunity management, sales forecasting, customer support, and analytics. Salesforce CRM is highly customizable and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of different industries and business models. It is widely used by businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises, across a variety of industries. Because Salesforce is incredibly scalable and has incorporated many key business solutions in addition to Sales Cloud, it is perfectly suited to grow with companies as they move from small business towards the enterprise.
How is Salesforce different from other CRMs?
Salesforce differs from other CRMs in several ways:
Cloud-based: Salesforce is a cloud-based platform, which means that it can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. This makes it highly scalable and accessible, compared to on-premise CRMs that require local installation.
Customization: Salesforce is highly customizable, allowing businesses to create custom workflows, reports, and dashboards that fit their unique needs. This is in contrast to some other CRMs that may have limited customization options.
Integration: Salesforce integrates with a wide range of other applications and systems, such as email, social media, and marketing automation tools. This allows businesses to streamline their processes and gain a holistic view of their customers and prospects.
Mobile-friendly: Salesforce has a mobile app that enables users to access the platform from their mobile devices. This is especially important for sales and service teams that may need to access customer information while on the go.
Community: Salesforce has a large and active user community that shares knowledge, best practices, and resources. This community can be a valuable resource for businesses looking to get the most out of their CRM.
AppExchange: Salesforce has a large array of third party solutions in the AppExchange store which provide functionality above and beyond what businesses receive out of the box. Chances are high that if a business has additional needs outside of the Salesforce core capabilities, someone has already built it and made it an app you can add to Salesforce.
Overall, Salesforce’s combination of cloud-based technology, customization options, integration capabilities, mobile-friendliness, and community make it a popular choice for businesses of all sizes and industries.
Is Salesforce just a CRM tool?
No, Salesforce is not just a CRM tool. While Salesforce is primarily known for its CRM capabilities, it offers a wide range of other products and services that go beyond traditional CRM functionality.
For example, Salesforce offers solutions for marketing automation, e-commerce, community management, analytics, and more. These products can be integrated with Salesforce’s CRM platform to provide a more comprehensive solution for businesses.
Additionally, Salesforce has a robust app marketplace called the AppExchange, which offers a wide range of third-party applications that can be used to extend the platform’s capabilities even further.
Overall, Salesforce is a comprehensive cloud-based platform that can be customized to meet the needs of different industries and business models. While it is primarily known for its CRM capabilities, it offers a wide range of other products and services that can help businesses streamline their operations and improve their customer experience.
What is the list of features of Salesforce CRM?
Salesforce CRM offers a wide range of features designed to help businesses manage their sales, marketing, customer service, and other business processes. Some of the key features of Salesforce CRM include:
Lead and opportunity management
Account and contact management
Sales collaboration and automation
Marketing automation and campaign management
Email integration and tracking
Customer support and case management
Service level agreements (SLAs)
Reporting and analytics
Customizable dashboards and workflows
Collaboration and productivity tools
Integration with third-party applications and systems
AI-powered insights and recommendations
These are just some of the many features that Salesforce CRM offers. Depending on the specific needs of a business, they may utilize some or all of these features, as well as additional features available through the Salesforce AppExchange.
What type of CRM is Salesforce?
Salesforce is a cloud-based, multi-tenant CRM platform. It is designed to help businesses manage their customer relationships across sales, marketing, customer service, and other business operations.
As a cloud-based platform, Salesforce is accessed through a web browser or mobile app, and data is stored on servers maintained by Salesforce. This allows for easy scalability and accessibility, as well as automatic updates and maintenance.
As a multi-tenant platform, Salesforce allows multiple organizations to share the same infrastructure and resources, while maintaining their own data and security. This allows Salesforce to offer a cost-effective solution that can be customized to meet the specific needs of different businesses.
Overall, Salesforce is a highly flexible and customizable CRM platform that can be tailored to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes and industries.
What percentage of big companies use Salesforce?
Salesforce CRM is used by a large number of big companies. According to Salesforce’s website, more than 150,000 companies of all sizes and industries use Salesforce CRM, including many Fortune 500 companies.
While there is no exact percentage of big companies that use Salesforce, it is safe to say that a significant number of them do. Salesforce is particularly popular among large enterprises that require a scalable, customizable, and cloud-based CRM solution. This includes companies in a wide range of industries, such as financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and more.
Some examples of big companies that use Salesforce CRM include Coca-Cola, T-Mobile, American Express, Toyota, Home Depot, and Unilever, to name just a few.
What are the benefits of Salesforce CRM integration?
Integrating Salesforce CRM with other systems or applications can offer a wide range of benefits for businesses, including:
Increased efficiency: Integrating Salesforce with other systems can eliminate manual data entry and reduce the need for duplicate data entry, saving time and reducing errors.
Improved data accuracy: Integrating Salesforce with other systems can help ensure that data is consistent and accurate across all systems, leading to better decision-making.
Better customer insights: Integrating Salesforce with other systems can provide a more holistic view of customers and prospects, allowing businesses to better understand their needs and preferences.
Streamlined processes: Integrating Salesforce with other systems can automate processes and workflows, improving efficiency and reducing the risk of errors.
Cost savings: Integrating Salesforce with other systems can eliminate the need for separate systems and reduce the cost of maintaining multiple systems.
Improved collaboration: Integrating Salesforce with other systems can improve collaboration across teams and departments, leading to better communication and alignment.
Overall, integrating Salesforce CRM with other systems or applications can help businesses streamline their operations, improve data accuracy and insights, and ultimately provide a better customer experience.
What are services provided by Salesforce CRM?
Salesforce CRM provides a wide range of services designed to help businesses manage their customer relationships and improve their operations. Some of the key services provided by Salesforce CRM include:
Sales Cloud: A comprehensive sales management solution that helps businesses manage their sales processes, including lead and opportunity management, sales forecasting, collaboration and automation, and more.
Service Cloud: A customer service management solution that helps businesses provide personalized, responsive service across multiple channels, including phone, email, social media, and more.
Marketing Cloud: A marketing automation solution that helps businesses create and manage targeted campaigns across multiple channels, including email, mobile, social media, and advertising.
Commerce Cloud: An e-commerce solution that helps businesses create personalized, responsive online shopping experiences across web, mobile, and social channels.
Community Cloud: A solution that helps businesses build online communities where customers, partners, and employees can connect, collaborate, and share information.
Analytics Cloud: A solution that provides businesses with advanced analytics capabilities, including data visualization, predictive analytics, and machine learning.
AppExchange: An online marketplace where businesses can find and install third-party applications that extend the functionality of Salesforce CRM and integrate with other systems.
Salesforce CMS: A Content Management Solution (CMS) for websites built directly on the Salesforce platform. Leveraging the Salesforce CMS allows for fast and easy integration directly with your customer and other key data.
These are just some of the many services provided by Salesforce CRM. Depending on the specific needs of a business, they may utilize some or all of these services, as well as additional services available through the Salesforce AppExchange.
What is the best way to learn Salesforce CRM?
There are several ways to learn Salesforce CRM, depending on your learning style and level of experience. Here are a few options:
Trailhead: Salesforce’s free, interactive learning platform offers a wide range of guided learning paths and modules on various topics related to Salesforce CRM, including sales, marketing, service, and administration. Trailheadalso offers interactive challenges and hands-on exercises to help you apply what you’ve learned.
Salesforce certifications: Salesforce offers a variety of certifications for professionals who work with the Salesforce platform, including developers, administrators, architects, and consultants. Earning a certification requires passing an exam that tests your knowledge and skills related to a specific aspect of Salesforce CRM.
Online courses: There are many online courses available that cover various aspects of Salesforce CRM, ranging from beginner-level introductions to more advanced topics. Sites like Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight offer a wide range of courses that cater to different learning styles and preferences.
User groups and events: Salesforce has a large and active user community, with many local user groups and events where professionals can network, share knowledge, and learn from one another. Attending user groups and events can be a great way to connect with other Salesforce professionals and learn about best practices and new trends.
Ultimately, the best way to learn Salesforce CRM will depend on your individual needs and preferences. It may be helpful to try a few different learning methods to find what works best for you.
How effective is Salesforce CRM for small businesses?
Salesforce CRM can be an effective solution for small businesses, depending on their specific needs and resources. Here are a few factors to consider:
Customizability: Salesforce CRM is highly customizable, which means that businesses can tailor the platform to their specific needs and workflows. This can be especially beneficial for small businesses that have unique requirements that may not be met by off-the-shelf CRM solutions.
Scalability: Salesforce CRM is designed to grow and scale businesses, which means that small businesses can start with a basic plan and add functionality as they grow and their needs change.
Access to data: Salesforce CRM provides businesses with a central repository for customer data, which can be accessed by anyone in the organization with the appropriate permissions. This can be especially helpful for small businesses that have limited resources and need to maximize their efficiency.
Cost: While Salesforce CRM can be expensive, particularly for small businesses, there are a range of pricing options available, including plans designed to be cost effective for small businesses. Depending on the specific needs of a business, the cost of implementing Salesforce CRM may be outweighed by the benefits it provides. Expect to pay between $25 – $300 per user, per month. If you require API integrations you’ll have to pay an additional $25 per user per month or if your business has a need for a good amount of field customization you may need to go with a higher plan.
Overall, while Salesforce CRM may not be the best fit for every small business, it can be an effective solution for those that have specific needs that can be met by the platform and are willing to invest the time and resources necessary to implement and manage it effectively.
Is Salesforce a great tool for a small sales team?
Salesforce can be a great tool for a small sales team, as it provides a wide range of features and functionality designed to help businesses manage their sales processes more effectively. Here are a few reasons why Salesforce can be a good fit for small sales teams:
Centralized customer data: Salesforce provides businesses with a central repository for customer data, which can be accessed by anyone on the sales team with the appropriate permissions. This can help small sales teams stay organized and ensure that everyone has access to the information they need to close deals.
Automation: Salesforce includes a variety of automation tools, including lead and opportunity management, which can help small sales teams streamline their processes and focus their efforts on the most promising leads.
Collaboration: Salesforce includes collaboration features that allow team members to share information and work together more effectively. This can be especially helpful for small sales teams that may not have dedicated resources for marketing, customer service, or other functions.
Customizability: Salesforce is highly customizable, which means that small sales teams can tailor the platform to their specific needs and workflows. This can be especially beneficial for small businesses that have unique requirements that may not be met by off-the-shelf CRM solutions.
While there may be other CRM options available that are better suited to the specific needs of a small sales team, Salesforce can be an effective tool for businesses that are willing to invest the time and resources necessary to implement and manage it effectively.
Which is the best customer portal for Salesforce CRM?
Salesforce provides a range of customer portal options, depending on the specific needs of your business. Here are a few options to consider:
Salesforce Community Cloud: Community Cloud is a customer portal solution that allows businesses to create branded online communities where customers can interact with each other and with your business. Community Cloud includes a range of features, such as discussion forums, knowledge bases, and case management tools.
Salesforce Customer Portal: Customer Portal is a more traditional customer portal solution that allows businesses to provide customers with access to support resources and self-service options. Customer Portal includes features such as case management, knowledge bases, and online forums. (see user guide)
Salesforce Partner Community: Partner Communityis designed for businesses that work with channel partners, resellers, or distributors. Partner Community allows you to provide partners with access to sales and marketing materials, support resources, and collaboration tools.
The best customer portal for your Salesforce CRM will depend on the specific needs of your business and your customers. You may want to consider factors such as the types of support resources you need to provide, the level of collaboration you want to enable, and the branding and customization options available with each solution.
Which is better: Zoho or Salesforce?
Deciding between Zohoand Salesforce will depend on the specific needs and priorities of your business. Here are a few factors to consider:
Features: Salesforce offers a wider range of features and functionality than Zoho, particularly when it comes to enterprise-level capabilities such as advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, and integrations with other systems.
Customization: Both Salesforce and Zoho offer a high degree of customization, but Salesforce is considered more flexible and scalable, particularly for larger businesses with complex workflows and requirements.
Cost: Zoho is less expensive than Salesforce, particularly for businesses with smaller sales teams or less complex requirements. However, the total cost of ownership may vary depending on the specific features and functionality needed.
User experience: Zoho is generally considered to have a simpler and more intuitive user interface than Salesforce when it comes to configuring the platforms, which may make it a better option for businesses with less technical expertise or smaller teams. They are equivalent with ease of use for your common users. With this simplicity comes limitation, Salesforce just allows you to do more when it comes to growing your business.
Support: Both Salesforce and Zoho offer a range of support options, including online resources, forums, and customer service. However, Salesforce has a more robust support ecosystem, particularly for larger businesses with complex requirements.
The decision between Zoho and Salesforce will depend on a variety of factors, including your budget, your business needs, and your specific requirements for CRM functionality. It may be helpful to compare the features and pricing of each solution, user reviews and case studies, to make an informed decision. If budget is your biggest concern, then Zoho is a more affordable option, but that’s where the comparison ends. In every other measure, Salesforce is a superior platform to Zoho. If your business is looking for a platform that it can grow with, leverage a large support and app community for current and unknown future business needs, and provides the most bang for your buck, there’s no contest with Salesforce.
Is there any affordable alternative to Salesforce?
Yes, there are several affordable alternatives to Salesforce that may be suitable for businesses with smaller budgets or simpler requirements. Here are a few options to consider:
HubSpot CRM: HubSpot CRM is a free, cloud-based CRM solution that includes a range of features such as contact management, deal tracking, and sales pipeline management. HubSpot also offers a range of paid add-ons and integrations for businesses with more advanced requirements.
Zoho CRM: Zoho CRM is a cloud-based CRM solution that includes features such as contact management, lead scoring, and sales automation. Zoho offers a range ofpricing plans to suit businesses of different sizes and requirements.
Freshworks CRM: Freshworks CRM is a cloud-based CRM solution that includes features such as lead management, pipeline management, and contact management. Freshworks offers a range of pricing plans, including a free plan for businesses with up to 10 users.
Insightly: Insightly is a cloud-based CRM solution that includes features such as contact management, project management, and sales automation. Insightly offers a range ofpricing plans to suit businesses of different sizes and requirements.
Pipedrive: Pipedrive is a cloud-based CRM solution that includes features such as contact management, deal tracking, and sales automation. Pipedrive offers a range of pricing plans, including a free trial and a basic plan for businesses with simpler requirements.
SugarCRM: SugarCRM is a cloud-based CRM solution that includes features such as contact management, sales automation, and marketing automation. SugarCRM offers a range of pricing plans to suit businesses of different sizes and requirements.
Agile CRM: Agile CRM is a cloud-based CRM solution that includes features such as contact management, deal tracking, and sales automation. Agile CRM offers a range of pricing plans, including a free plan for businesses with up to 10 users.
Capsule CRM: Capsule CRM is a cloud-based CRM solution that includes features such as contact management, sales automation, and task management. Capsule CRM offers a range of pricing plans, including a free plan for businesses with up to 2 users.
Bitrix24: Bitrix24 is a cloud-based CRM solution that includes features such as contact management, project management, and sales automation. Bitrix24 offers a range of pricing plans, including a free plan for businesses with up to 12 users.
Again, we encourage you to analyze the specific needs and priorities of your business, as well as your budget and the features you require. It may be helpful to compare the features and pricing of each solution, user reviews and case studies, to make an informed decision.
Is Salesforce an ERP or CRM?
Salesforce is primarily a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, although it does offer some ERP (enterprise resource planning) capabilities such as inventory management, order management, and financial management through its various cloud-based products and solutions. However, its core functionality is focused on managing customer interactions, sales processes, and marketing campaigns, making it a leading CRM solution used by businesses of all sizes and industries.
Does Salesforce offer the best CRM?
Whether or not Salesforce offers the best CRM solution is subjective and depends on the specific needs and priorities of each business. Salesforce is a market leader in the CRM space and is known for its wide range of features and capabilities, as well as its strong ecosystem of third-party apps and integrations. However, there are many other CRM solutions available that may better suit the needs and budget of certain businesses. It’s important to carefully evaluate different CRM options based on factors such as functionality, ease of use, scalability, customer support, and cost, and to choose the solution that best fits your business requirements.
Why is Salesforce the ‘gold standard’ for CRM?
Salesforce is often referred to as the “gold standard” for CRM due to several reasons:
Comprehensive and Customizable: Salesforce offers a wide range of CRM features, including contact management, lead generation, sales automation, marketing automation, analytics, and customer service. It also offers a highly customizable platform that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each business.
Cloud-Based: Salesforce is a cloud-based platform, meaning that it can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. This makes it highly flexible and allows businesses to scale their CRM solution as their needs change.
Third-Party App Ecosystem: Salesforce has a vast ecosystem of third-party apps and integrations that can be used to extend the functionality of the platform. This allows businesses to integrate their CRM with other tools and systems they may be using, such as marketing automation or e-commerce platforms.
User-Friendly: Salesforce has a user-friendly interface and provides extensive training resources, making it easy for businesses to onboard their team members and get up and running quickly.
Strong Customer Support: Salesforce provides excellent customer support through a range of channels, including phone, email, and chat support, as well as an extensive knowledge base and online community.
Overall, Salesforce’s combination of comprehensive CRM features, cloud-based architecture, third-party app ecosystem, user-friendliness, and strong customer support have made it a leader in the CRM space and the “gold standard” for many businesses.
Who are Salesforces closest competitors?
Salesforce has several competitors in the CRM space, including:
Microsoft Dynamics 365: Microsoft’s cloud-based CRM platform that offers similar functionality to Salesforce, including sales automation, marketing automation, customer service, and analytics.
HubSpot CRM: A free, cloud-based CRM platform that is targeted towards small businesses and offers features such as contact management, lead generation, sales automation, and marketing automation.
Zoho CRM: A cloud-based CRM platform that offers similar features to Salesforce, including lead and contact management, sales automation, marketing automation, and customer service.
Oracle CRM: Oracle’s cloud-based CRM platform that offers a wide range of CRM features, including sales automation, marketing automation, customer service, and analytics.
SAP CRM: SAP’s CRM platform that offers a range of CRM features, including sales automation, marketing automation, and customer service.
Each of these competitors has its own strengths and weaknesses and may be a better fit for certain businesses depending on their specific needs and requirements.
Is it easy to learn Salesforce?
The ease of learning Salesforce depends on several factors, including the individual’s background and experience with technology, their familiarity with CRM concepts, and their learning style. However, Salesforce offers a variety of resources to help individuals learn the platform, including:
Trailhead: Salesforce’s free online learning platform, which provides interactive tutorials and modules for users to learn at their own pace.
Online Communities: Salesforce has a large and active online community of users and experts who share tips, advice, and best practices.
Training Courses: Salesforce offers a range of paid training courses, both online and in-person, for individuals and businesses looking for more structured and comprehensive training.
Documentation: Salesforce provides extensive documentation and user guides for each of its products, making it easy for users to find the information they need.
Overall, while there may be a learning curve for some individuals, Salesforce provides ample resources and support to help users learn the platform quickly and effectively. When it comes to learning Salesforce, there are several factors which an organization must consider, integration needs, customization requirements, which departments will use Salesforce, and the amount of support they will need. We have seen customers manage their Salesforce technical needs in several ways.
For smaller companies designating a Salesforce Super User: This person is usually a more technically focused individual that can learn the platform, perform the required basic admin functions, and support needs for the company.
For mid-size companies leveraging a Managed Support Provider (MSP) for Salesforce, an internal resource which has specialized in Salesforce Administration or Development, or a combination of both: Using an 3rd party MSP or combination of internal resources and external providers is a cost-effective way to manage your Salesforce support needs. Especially if the company finds they are experiencing a lot of surge support/enhancement requests. Having a MSP will allow the company to surge support as necessary without incurring all the expenses that come with a full-time employee.
For Enterprise organizations: Salesforce support will usually encompass a team of employees who specialize in Salesforce in addition to overflow support from a Salesforce MSP or Professional Services company.
How does Salesforce measure effectiveness?
Salesforce measures effectiveness through various metrics and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that are tailored to specific business goals and objectives. Some common metrics used to measure the effectiveness of Salesforce include:
Lead Conversion Rates: Measures the percentage of leads that are converted into paying customers.
Sales Pipeline Velocity: Measures the speed at which leads move through the sales process.
Customer Retention Rates: Measures the percentage of customers who continue to do business with the company over time.
Customer Satisfaction: Measures how satisfied customers are with the products or services they receive.
Revenue Growth: Measures overall revenue growth over a specific period.
Marketing ROI: Measures the return on investment for marketing campaigns.
Support Response Time: Measures how quickly customer support requests are resolved.
By tracking these metrics, Salesforce can assess the effectiveness of its products and services and make adjustments to improve performance and better meet the needs of its customers.
What types of companies utilize Salesforce’s CRM software?
Salesforce’s CRM software is utilized by companies of all sizes and industries. The platform’s versatility and scalability make it suitable for businesses ranging from small startups to large enterprises. Some examples of industries that commonly use Salesforce include:
Technology: Many tech companies use Salesforce to manage their sales and customer relationships, including software, hardware, and telecommunications companies.
Financial Services: Banks, insurance companies, and investment firms use Salesforce to manage their customer relationships, track leads, and analyze data.
Healthcare: Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare organizations use Salesforce to manage patient relationships, track patient data, and coordinate care.
Retail: Retail companies use Salesforce to manage customer data, track sales, and improve marketing efforts.
Manufacturing: Manufacturing companies use Salesforce to manage customer relationships, track leads, and analyze data related to production and sales.
These are just a few examples of types of companies that leverage Salesforce. Overall, any business that needs to manage customer relationships, track sales, and analyze data can benefit from utilizing Salesforce’s CRM software.
Can Salesforce CRM software be used for any industry?
Yes, Salesforce CRM software can be used for any industry. The platform is highly customizable and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of any business, regardless of industry or size. Salesforce’s CRM software is designed to help businesses manage customer relationships, track sales, and analyze data, which are needs that are common across all industries. Additionally, Salesforce offers industry-specific solutions and applications that can be integrated with its CRM software to provide even more specialized support. Some examples of industries that Salesforce serves include technology, financial services, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and more. Ultimately, the flexibility and versatility of Salesforce’s CRM software make it a viable option for any business seeking to improve its customer relationships and sales processes.
What is the best CRM: Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics?
There is no definitive answer to whether Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics is the best CRM, as both platforms have their strengths and weaknesses, and the choice depends on the specific needs of the business.
Salesforce is widely recognized as the market leader in CRM software, with a broad range of features and applications, extensive third-party integrations, and a large and active user community. It is also known for its cloud-based architecture, which allows users to access their data from anywhere and on any device. Salesforce’s CRM software is highly customizable and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of any business, regardless of industry or size.
Microsoft Dynamics, on the other hand, is a powerful and feature-rich CRM platform that is well-integrated with Microsoft’s other business applications, such as Office 365, Power BI, and SharePoint. It offers robust reporting and analytics capabilities, advanced marketing automation features, and an intuitive user interface. Microsoft Dynamics is also known for its scalability and flexibility, making it a suitable option for businesses of all sizes and industries.
The choice between Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics depends on the specific needs and priorities of the business, such as budget, customization requirements, integration needs, and user preferences. It is recommended to evaluate both platforms and compare their features, capabilities, and pricing before deciding.
How does Oracle CRM compare to Salesforce?
Oracle CRM and Salesforce are two of the leading CRM platforms in the market, and both have their strengths and weaknesses. Here are some comparisons:
Functionality: Both Oracle CRM and Salesforce offer a broad range of features, including sales automation, marketing automation, customer service, and analytics. However, Salesforce is known for its extensive third-party integrations, which allow users to connect to a wide range of applications and services, while Oracle CRM offers a more integrated suite of applications that are tightly coupled with Oracle’s other business applications.
Ease of use: Salesforce is known for its intuitive user interface and ease of use, while Oracle CRM has a steeper learning curve and may require more training for new users.
Customization: Both platforms offer high levels of customization, with Salesforce’s CRM software being highly customizable and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of any business, while Oracle CRM’s customization options are more limited but can be easier to manage.
Pricing: Salesforce’s pricing model is based on a per-user per-month subscription fee, while Oracle CRM’s pricing varies depending on the specific modules and features required.
Customer support: Both platforms offer robust customer support options, including documentation, training resources, and community forums, but Salesforce is known for its large and active user community.
Overall, both Oracle CRM and Salesforce are highly capable and can meet the needs of many businesses. The choice between the two will depend on the specific needs and priorities of the business.
Which is cheaper Salesforce CRM or MS Dynamics CRM?
When comparing the cost of Salesforce CRM and MS Dynamics CRM, it’s important to consider several factors, including the size of your business, the number of users, and the level of customization required.
Salesforce offers a variety of pricing plans depending on the size and needs of your business, ranging from $25 to $300 per user per month. Additionally, Salesforce charges an additional fee for add-ons and integrations.
On the other hand, Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers several pricing options, including a free version for up to 15 users and a range of paid plans ranging from $15 to $200 per user per month (see details). Microsoft Dynamics CRM also offers additional features, such as advanced reporting and analytics, for an additional fee.
Overall, the cost of Salesforce CRM is higher than that of MS Dynamics CRM. However, Salesforce is known for its robust feature set and customization options, ease of use, and is easier to implement. The choice between the two will depend on the specific needs and budget of your business.
The cost of Salesforce CRM and MS Dynamics CRM varies depending on the specific needs and requirements of the organization. Salesforce CRM is often considered more expensive than MS Dynamics CRM, particularly for small to medium-sized businesses. However, it is important to note that the cost of a CRM system should not be the sole factor in deciding. Other factors such as features, functionality, ease of use, and support should also be considered. Organizations should evaluate both Salesforce CRM and MS Dynamics CRM to determine which one offers the best value for their specific needs and budget.
The answer to whether Salesforce or Dynamics CRM is better depends on your specific needs and preferences. Both platforms are powerful CRM solutions with their own strengths and weaknesses. Here are some factors to consider:
Features: Both Salesforce and Dynamics CRM offer similar features, such as sales automation, customer service, marketing automation, and analytics. However, each platform has its unique features and capabilities. For example, Salesforce offers a more robust marketing automation suite, while Dynamics CRM has stronger integration with other Microsoft products.
Ease of use: Salesforce has a user-friendly interface and offers customizable dashboards and reports. Dynamics CRM is also easy to use, especially if you are already familiar with Microsoft products.
Pricing: Salesforce’s pricing is generally higher than Dynamics CRM, especially for larger organizations. However, Salesforce offers a wider range of pricing tiers and plans, including options for small businesses.
Integrations: Both platforms offer integration with third-party applications, but Salesforce has a more extensive ecosystem of integrations and apps.
Customer support: Both platforms offer customer support, but Salesforce’s support is considered better, with 24/7 phone and online support available.
The best choice for your business will depend on your specific needs, budget, and preferences. We recommend evaluating both platforms through free trials and demos to determine which one is the best fit for your organization.
How much does Salesforce cost?
Salesforce offers a variety of pricing options depending on the size and needs of your business. The most common pricing plans are:
Salesforce Essentials: This plan is designed for small businesses and includes basic CRM functionality such as contact and opportunity management. The cost is $25 per user per month.
Salesforce Professional: This plan includes more advanced features such as marketing automation and customizable dashboards. The cost is $75 per user per month.
Salesforce Enterprise: This plan is designed for larger businesses and includes more advanced sales and marketing automation features. The cost is $150 per user per month.
Salesforce Unlimited: This plan includes all the Enterprise plan features, plus unlimited support and customization options. The cost is $300 per user per month.
In addition to Salesforce’s core CRM offering, there are many other solutions which incur an additional cost which can include:
Salesforce also offers specialized editions for specific industries such as healthcare, financial services, and nonprofit organizations. The cost of these plans varies depending on the features and functionality included. It’s important to note that these prices are subject to change and may vary based on factors such as the number of users and the level of customization needed.
Is Salesforce a good CRM for freelancers or is it overkill?
Salesforce is a powerful and feature-rich CRM platform that is designed to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes. While it may be overkill for some freelancers who have limited client bases, it can still be a useful tool for managing client relationships and growing your business.
Salesforce offers a range of features that can benefit freelancers, including contact and lead management, opportunity tracking, and customizable reporting. It also offers integration with a wide range of third-party tools, such as email marketing and project management software, which can help freelancers streamline their workflow and increase productivity.
However, it is important to note that Salesforce can be expensive compared to other CRM options, especially if you only have a small number of clients. There may be more affordable and streamlined CRM solutions that are better suited to the needs of freelancers.
Whether Salesforce is a good CRM for freelancers depends on the size and complexity of their client base, their budget and specific business needs. It’s worth considering alternative CRM options and weighing each’s pros and cons before deciding.
What is Salesforce CRM app development?
Salesforce CRM app development refers to the process of creating custom applications that integrate with the Salesforce CRM platform. The Salesforce CRM platform is designed to be highly customizable and extensible, allowing businesses to tailor the platform to their specific needs and workflows.
Salesforce app development can be done using a range of tools and programming languages, including Apex, Visualforce, and Lightning Web Components. These tools allow developers to build custom functionality and user interfaces that integrate seamlessly with the Salesforce platform.
Salesforce app development can be used to create a wide range of custom applications, including:
Mobile apps for field sales teams, allowing them to access customer data and update records on the go.
Custom dashboards and reporting tools that provide insights into key performance metrics and business data.
Integration with third-party applications and services, such as email marketing platforms or project management tools.
Custom workflows and automation, allowing businesses to streamline their processes and improve efficiency.
Overall, Salesforce CRM app development is a powerful tool for businesses looking to extend the functionality of the Salesforce platform and improve their overall sales and marketing processes.
Why is Salesforce so difficult to use?
Salesforce is a powerful and feature-rich CRM platform that can take time and effort to learn and master. However, some users may find it difficult to use for a variety of reasons.
One reason is the complexity of the platform itself. Salesforce offers a wide range of features and customization options, which can be overwhelming for new users. Additionally, the platform is designed to be highly customizable, which means that users may need to spend time configuring the platform to meet their specific needs.
Another reason is the terminology used in Salesforce. The platform uses a unique vocabulary, which can be confusing for users who are not familiar with it. For example, terms such as “leads”, “opportunities”, and “accounts” may have different meanings in Salesforce compared to other CRM platforms.
Lastly, the learning curve for Salesforce can be steep, especially for users who are not familiar with CRM software or technology in general. However, Salesforce offers a range of resources and training materials, such as online tutorials and certifications, to help users learn about the platform and improve their skills.
Overall, while Salesforce may be difficult to use at first, it offers a powerful set of tools and features that can help businesses improve their sales and marketing processes. With time and effort, users can become proficient in using the platform and reap the benefits of its capabilities.
Why is Salesforce CRM so popular?
Salesforce CRM is popular for several reasons, including:
Customization and flexibility: Salesforce offers a wide range of customization options, allowing businesses to tailor the platform to their specific needs and workflows. This flexibility means that businesses can create a unique CRM solution that is optimized for their business processes.
Integration: Salesforce and its partners offer out-of-the-box integrations with a wide range of third-party applications and services, making it easy and often very fast for businesses to connect Salesforce with other tools they use. Even if the specific application or solution doesn’t have a pre-built Salesforce integration, organizations can leverage a robust set of Salesforce API’s to complete any type of data integration. The multitude of integration solutions allow businesses to streamline their workflows and improve their overall efficiency.
Scalability: Salesforce is designed to be scalable, making it suitable for businesses of all sizes. As a business grows, it can easily add more users and features to the platform without having to switch to a new CRM solution. Salesforce allows you to scale both deep and wide. From a CRM perspective Salesforce allows you to build deeply with workflows, integrations, configurations, and even custom development to meet the needs of your business. Salesforce also allows organizations to go wide, with a massive product line of complimentary solutions that will allow them to scale as requirements grow. From marketing, artificial intelligence and analytics to e-commerce and CMS solutions, Salesforce can scale to meet the needs of small business to Fortune 500 companies.
Analytics and Reporting: Salesforce offers powerful analytics and reporting tools, allowing businesses to gain insights into their sales and marketing performance. This data can help businesses make informed decisions about their strategies and improve their overall performance.
User-Friendly Interface: Salesforce has a user-friendly interface, making it easy for users to navigate the platform and access the features they need.
Cloud-Based and Secure: Salesforce is a cloud-based CRM, meaning that it is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. This makes it easy for sales teams to access customer data and collaborate on deals, even when they are not in the office.
Community and Support: Salesforce has a large community of users and a robust support network, including online forums, training materials, and customer support. This community allows users to share best practices, troubleshoot issues, and get help from other users and Salesforce experts.
Mobile App: Salesforce offers a mobile app that allows users to access the platform from their smartphones and tablets. This app enables sales teams to work on the go, access customer data, and update records from anywhere.
Security: Salesforce is known for its robust security features, including data encryption, user authentication, and access controls, and has a dedicated security team to continually monitor for suspicious security events. This level of security helps businesses protect their sensitive data and ensure compliance with industry regulations.
AI-Powered Insights: Salesforce offers AI-powered insights and recommendations that can help businesses make data-driven decisions. For example, Salesforce’s Einstein AI can analyze data and provide recommendations for the next best action to take with a particular customer.
Collaboration and Workflow: Salesforce allows for easy collaboration among team members by providing tools such as shared calendars, team collaboration features, and the ability to assign tasks to specific team members. This can help teams work together more efficiently and close deals faster.
Marketing Automation: Salesforce offers marketing automation features that allow businesses to automate repetitive marketing tasks, such as lead nurturing and email marketing. This can help businesses save time and resources while improving the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.
AppExchange: Salesforce’s AppExchange is an online marketplace that offers a wide range of third-party applications and integrations that can extend the functionality of Salesforce. This allows businesses to customize Salesforce even further and integrate it with other tools and services they use.
Data Management: Salesforce offers powerful data management features that allow businesses to store and organize customer data in a structured and easily accessible way. This can help businesses improve the accuracy of their data, avoid duplicate records, and reduce the risk of data loss.
Industry-Specific Solutions: Salesforce offers industry-specific solutions, such as healthcare, financial services, and retail, that are tailored to the unique needs of those industries. This can help businesses in those industries improve their workflows and processes and stay compliant with industry regulations.
Customer Support: Salesforce offers a range of customer support options, including phone support, email support, and a knowledge base. This can help businesses get quick and reliable support when they need it.
Sales Forecasting: Salesforce offers powerful sales forecasting features that can help businesses predict future sales and identify trends. This can help businesses make informed decisions about their sales strategies and allocate resources more effectively.
Reporting and Dashboards: Salesforce offers robust reporting and dashboard features that allow businesses to track key performance metrics, such as sales pipeline, revenue, and customer engagement. This data can help businesses identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions.
Training and Certification: Salesforce offers a range of training and certification programs that allow users to become certified Salesforce professionals. This can help businesses ensure that their employees have the skills and knowledge needed to make the most of the platform.
Nonprofit Solutions: Salesforce offers solutions specifically designed for nonprofits, including tools for donor management, volunteer tracking, and fundraising. This can help nonprofit organizations improve their operations and increase their impact.
Is Salesforce inappropriate for small companies?
Salesforce can be a valuable tool for small companies, but whether it is appropriate for a particular small business depends on several factors. Here are some things to consider:
Cost: Salesforce can be expensive, and small companies with limited budgets may struggle to justify the cost. However, Salesforce does offer a range of pricing options, including a free trial and more affordable options for small businesses.
Complexity: Salesforce is a powerful CRM platform with a wide range of features, but this can also make it complex and overwhelming for some small businesses. If a business has simple CRM needs, they may not need all the features Salesforce offers.
Integration: Salesforce is designed to integrate with a wide range of other business tools, which can be beneficial for small businesses that need to connect their CRM system to other systems they are already using.
Scalability: Salesforce is a scalable platform that can grow with a business as it expands, which can be beneficial for small companies that anticipate rapid growth.
Centralized Data: Salesforce offers a centralized location for all customer data, making it easy for small businesses to track customer interactions and gather insights to improve their customer service.
Automation: Salesforce offers a range of automation features, including lead capture, lead nurturing, and marketing automation, which can help small businesses save time and improve efficiency.
Collaboration: Salesforce makes it easy for teams to collaborate on customer data and workflows, which can improve communication and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Analytics: Salesforce offers powerful analytics and reporting features, allowing small businesses to track their performance and make data-driven decisions.
Customer Service: Salesforce offers a range of customer service tools, including case management and a customer self-service portal, which can help small businesses improve their customer service and support.
Flexibility: Salesforce offers a range of customization options, allowing small businesses to tailor the platform to their specific needs and workflows.
Third-Party Integrations: Salesforce offers a wide range of third-party integrations, allowing small businesses to connect their CRM system with other business tools they may already be using, such as email marketing software or accounting software.
Customer Segmentation: Salesforce allows small businesses to segment their customer data based on a wide range of criteria, such as location, industry, or buying behavior. This can help small businesses tailor their marketing and sales efforts to specific customer segments, increasing their chances of success.
Customizable Dashboards: Salesforce allows small businesses to create customized dashboards, giving them a quick overview of their key metrics and performance indicators.
Training and Support: Salesforce offers a range of training and support options, including online resources, webinars, and a user community, which can be especially helpful for small businesses that may not have an in-house IT team.
Overall, Salesforce can be a valuable tool for small businesses, but it’s important to carefully consider the specific needs of the business before investing in the platform. Small companies with simple CRM needs and limited budgets may benefit from exploring other CRM options, while those with more complex needs and a willingness to invest in their CRM system may find Salesforce to be a valuable investment.
Just how popular is Drupal these days? According to one recent study, Drupal provides the foundation for at least 14% of the top 10,000 most popular websites around the world. This is in addition to powering 1.2% of the top 10 million sites globally. When you also consider that it had a community of nearly 1.4 million people as of 2022, with over 120,000 of them actively contributing to its open-source framework, it is easy to see how Drupal has become something of a force to be reckoned with over the years.
That is also part of the reason it is so exciting that Drupal 10 has finally arrived. Released on December 15, 2022, it supplants the last major release of 8.9.20 that was released in December 2021 and will replace Drupal 9, which will meet its end-of-life in November 2023. But why is Drupal 10 so notable and is it worth the effort to upgrade your own system? The answers to questions like these and more require you to keep a few key things in mind.
What’s New in Drupal 10?
To say that Drupal 10 represents a major upgrade compared to what had come before it is, at this point, a bit of an understatement. All told, Drupal 10 offers several key features, including but not limited to ones like:
A new Claro administration theme has been made available, replacing the previous Seven theme.
There is a new Olivero default theme, replacing the previous Bartik theme.
Drupal 10 also introduces CKEditor 5, which promises to yield a better authoring experience across the board thanks to an interface that is optimized with modern editing techniques in mind. Note that this replaces CKEditor 4 entirely.
Theme Starterkit tools were added to help facilitate effective theme creation for as many people as possible.
Symfony 6 has been added under the hood, which replaces the previous Symfony 4 release.
PHP version 8.1 is now required to keep your Drupal system and anything you create with it as secure as possible.
In addition to new features, there have been many removals with this latest version of Drupal, although developers say much of this will not impact development. In terms of frontend dependency changes, for example, the public Backbone and Underscore core libraries have been eliminated. They are only for internal use moving forward.
There have also been a wide range of PHP dependencies removed, including certain versions of Diactoros, Laminas Feed, EasyRDF, and others.
To find out more about absolutely everything that has changed in this version of Drupal 10 (and to stay up to date with what will be added to minor releases in the coming weeks and months), view the Drupal.org release notes here.
Drupal 10 Migration Instructions
One of the most important things to understand about the Drupal 10 migration process is that, once deployed, you must keep up with minor core releases. Developers have stated that this is the best way to prepare for any major upgrade, but especially true which Drupal 10.
According to Drupal’s own website, upgrades to Drupal 10 are possible from Drupal 9.4 or later. To get started, you will want to use one of the available deprecations checking and correction tools to prepare for moving from one version of Drupal to the next. These will help you identify and address any deprecations that have occurred in your code base over time.
Then, if you are not currently running Drupal 9.4, you will need to follow that upgrade path first. There are several ways to go about this depending on which version you are coming from:
While it is recommended that you use the Composer to perform this migration, you can also do so manually if you so choose. This is for people who are unfamiliar with or uncomfortable with command lines and who are not interested in learning the finer workings of the Composer. This is also a way for someone without shell access to perform the upgrade.
Additional Considerations About Drupal 10
It is important to note that Drupal 10 was released at the same time as Drupal 9.5.0. While the latter release has most of the changes and features that the former does, it also maintains true backwards compatibility with certain previous versions. As a Drupal development company, we recommend that you always pick Drupal 10 if you have the option. It will help make sure that any new project you create today will always be compatible with future versions. However, there may be certain scenarios where this is impossible and if that is the case, Drupal 9.5.0 still represents a significant upgrade over its previous versions.
In the end, Drupal 10 continues its long tradition of delivering state-of-the-art capabilities including account registration and maintenance, RSS feeds, the ability to customize page layouts, system administration and much, much more. When you consider what a major leap forward Drupal 10 represents to what originally began as a straightforward open-source project all the way back in 2001, it truly is exciting to think about the possibilities that future releases will bring to us all.
As the world of Cybersecurity starts to become more complex and dynamic to levels never seen before, there is now paramount pressure that is placed upon the IT Security teams across Corporate America to increase their vigilance. It is not just from the standpoint of thwarting off the bad guys that are trying to break in, but it is also trying to predict what future variants could potentially look like down the horizon, so that lines of defenses can be beefed up accordingly.
But now, everybody has a stake in this proposition – all the way from the C-Suite to the administrative assistant. There was one group that has stayed relatively immune from falling under the microscopic eyes of Cybersecurity, but this is now no longer the case.
This group is the software development teams. Since folks started developing software their job has been to develop and compile the source code for the Web application that they have been tasked to create, and ship it off to the customer, under budget and on time.
Because of this, implementing security testing solutions has long been an issue which has remain largely ignored. As a result, Cyber-attackers are finding ways to covertly sneak into the backdoors that are left behind, and stay in for extended periods of time, very often going unnoticed.
Then once they feel comfortable in the environment they have infiltrated, they move in a lateral fashion, deploying malicious payloads along the way which even the traditional antivirus and antimalware packages cannot capture.
Or they could start a data exfiltration process, in which small bits of the PII (Personally Identifying Information) datasets are slowly extracted, once again going unnoticed. Because of recent attacks (most notably that of the Solar Winds hack), software developers are now feeling the heat to make sure that the source code they compile is secure in every aspect possible.
Thus, this is where the acronym “DevSecOps” is starting to come into play. It stands for “Development, Security, & Operations.” The primary goal of this is to introduce and deploy automated security mechanisms into the entire lifecycle of the software development process.
If security was ever a concern in the past, it was done at the very end, in a very haphazard fashion. One of the primary goals of DevSecOps is to introduce it at every level of development, so that each software module is thoroughly tested before moving onto the next one. Thus, the cascading effect of un-remediated vulnerabilities and gaps is greatly mitigated.
Another key strength of DevSecOps is that it integrates not only the software development teams, but also the IT Security and Operations teams as well into one cohesive unit. This brings an extra set of eyes to help make sure that the nothing in the security process gets overlooked.
In other words, the siloed approach is now fully eradicated, and it has now become a shared responsibility, which leads credence to the DevSecOps motto: “Software, Sooner, Safer.”
It is important to note that implementing a Cybersecurity mindset into your software development process is not something that can be deployed anywhere at any time. It must start early on, preferably even before the application project has even started.
But most importantly, this kind of thinking must be adopted by all the departments in your business. It is not just the IT Security team that has to believe in this framework, every employee must, because everybody has a key stake in keeping your business safe and secure.
But as it relates to DevSecOps, this proactive mindset must be formally acknowledged and embraced in the planning stages of the software development cycle. From there, it then transcends in a lateral fashion until the coding is all done, and the project is ready to hand off to the client. For purposes of this article, a hypothetical software development process can be represented as follows:
Defining the Requirements
Designing & Prototyping
The above can formally be called the “Secure Software Development Lifecycle,” or “S-SDLC” for short. Each step is reviewed as follows:
In this step, you have been assigned a project, and are in the process of assembling your software development together. This phase of the S-SDLC can be viewed as a macro one, as you are taking a holistic view of the kind of application that will be required and defining the overall objectives of what needs to get done.
But most importantly, you are acknowledging the fact that security is going to be a top issue here, and you are laying down the foundations as to how the system of checks and controls will evolve. But also, you are also figuring the roles that the Operations and IT Security team will play in the S-SDLC.
Defining the Requirements
Obviously in this phase, you are formally defining the needs and wants of the client in the project and mapping out the various software modules that will be needed to meet this objective. But also remember that this is the key stage in which you will formally address the types of security issues that you think could evolve as the development process evolves. It is particularly important that you take your time in this crucial phase, and this is one of the biggest areas in which you will need to involve the IT Security and Ops teams for their input.
This can also be referred to as the security forecasting stage. There will be issues of course that will come up of which your teams did not anticipate here. The goal here is to map out every what-if scenario that you can, so that any items of concern can be addressed quickly and efficiently. To help you in this process, there are various methodologies that are available, and the one that is most widely used is the Open Web Application Security Project, also known as “OWASP.” As its name implies, this is an open-source platform in which the public can get access to the latest Cyber threat variants that are out there, and which are also ranked according to their degree of severity.
The bottom line is that before you can move forward, all the teams must come to a common consensus of the potential vulnerabilities and threats that they need to be on the lookout for as the source code is being developed and compiled.
Design & Prototype
It at this phase that you will start to implement the security controls into the various software modules, paying attention to these top three design philosophies:
1) The Principle of Least Privilege:
This is the minimum rights, privileges, and permissions are established. In other words, end users will gain access to whatever they need to perform their daily job tasks, and nothing more than that. It is important that the source code be flexible and dynamic in this regard, as roles and titles do change among employees.
2) The Principle of Separation of Duties:
With this concept, you are never giving away total, 100% control to just any one employee. Rather, it takes a few individuals to complete one large task, in a sequential fashion, based upon the rights, permissions, and privileges that they have granted. The source code that is being developed needs to have this kind of functionality implemented.
3) The Principle of Minimizing the Attack Surface Area:
This simply means that that the source code which is being designed is clean and robust in nature, and most importantly it is not bloated in nature. For example, software developers like to use APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to keep up with the timelines that have been established in the Planning phase. But there can become an over-dependence on using more APIs than are necessary in this regard, which will make the overall application larger than what is necessary. What this translates into is that the Cyber-attacker now has a much larger attack surface to penetrate to spread their malicious payloads. But by having the source as “lean and mean” as possible, the attack surface greatly reduces in proportion.
As its name implies, this is the part of the S-SDLC in which the actual source code is compiled. The actual development process does not occur in just one huge chunk, but rather, it is done at the modular level, which was pre-established back in the Planning phase. As technology is rapid advancing at a rapid pace, so are the tools which are used to create the source code. In this regard, automation has become important, not only to keep the project moving along, but also to reduce the number of errors that could occur.
Automation can replace many of the mundane and repetitive tasks that are involved, even when it comes to the security perspective. Some examples of this include the following:
Continuous Integration: This is where the software developers submit each iteration of the source code that they have worked on into a central server and is combined into one unit. It is not just a one-time deal, it can occur several times a day, depending upon the scope and magnitude of the development project. From here, automated builds and testing can then take place, to track down any errors and vulnerabilities that exist in a very quick manner.
Automated Security Testing: This is where Penetration Testing comes into play. With this, the primary objective is to find and locate any hard-to-find gaps and remediate them quickly. There are many tools out there that can do this, such as Kali Linux or GitLab.
Secure Code Repositories: This is especially useful for the storing of API Libraries, as reviewed earlier. Here, automated testing tools can double check that any APIs to be used in the S-SDLC are free from any bugs and are updated with the latest patches and upgrades.
To ensure the greatest level security in a software development project, each software module should be tested thoroughly tested, both from the standpoint of Penetration Testing and Threat Hunting. However, this does not each module should be tested one at a time. This would simply take too much time to accomplish. Rather, the automated tools as described in the last subsection can be used to test these modules simultaneously, or in parallel. In the world of DevSecOps, this is technically known as “shifting left,” because you are starting the testing process at the very beginning stages, rather than waiting until the end.
This phase where the hand-off of the project to client actually occurs. In an ideal setting, the client should also test their new Web application for any weaknesses or backdoors that could have still been overlooked in the S-SDLC phases. But many times, they will not, because they simply assume all is good and fine. Therefore, a critical aspect of DevSecOps is to conduct one last Penetration Test before the application is released into the production environment. There really is no need to involve any Blue or Purple teams at this stage, simply the Red Team will suffice. Of course, anything out of the ordinary should be fixed on the spot.
Overall, this article has examined what DevSecOps is from a holistic point of view. But keep in mind, as it was reviewed before, there are three distinct groups involved, which to summarize are as follows:
The goal here is to bring in all the assets of these three groups so they work in one harmonious fashion to further enhance the overall Cyber posture of your organization. This in turn will lay the groundwork for creating the mindset security is everybody’s concern, all the way from the C-Suite down to the overnight cleaning crew.
There are many other aspects of DevSecOps, one of which is compliance control implementation. This will be examined in a future article.
Pumex Receives Award for One of Most Recognized Software Development Companies in Washington DC
At Pumex Computing, LLC, we provide our clients with the development solutions they need to build customized, process-driven, and end-to-end software solutions. We value our customers’ needs and prioritize the delivery of cost-effective and scalable solutions for their maximum benefit. Today, we’re happy to announce that we were recently recognized among the most reviewed developers on The Manifest!
For context, let’s revisit the beginning moments of Pumex Computing, LLC:
Our founders saw an opportunity to share their expertise and bring core values that the software development space was lacking. Antony Marceles, our CEO, and Christopher Scirpoli, our President, work together to fuse the mastery of their respective fields to bring better, more affordable, and scalable software solutions to our clients. Since then, we’ve always put an emphasis on strong communication and collaboration to craft high-quality products for our partners
A nonprofit organization engaged with us for a custom software development project. The purpose of our collaboration was to build a new networking portal that the client labeled as a “community connector” to improve networking efficiency during the pandemic. We developed the product using Salesforce and delivered the final build in June 2021. Upon launch, the client saw a 30% increase in user logins to utilize the new feature sets of the portal.
“Their involvement by leadership, consistent, thorough communications and the quality of development set Pumex apart.”
— Senior Director, Nonprofit Organization
The Manifest releases its newest lists of top companies, and we’re proud to be named among the most reviewed software developers in Washington DC! We would like to thank all of our partners, especially those who left their honest feedback about our work!
More and more philanthropic organizations are turning to .NET development for its ease increating apps which can manage donor engagement campaigns, promotional activities, and other nonprofit fundraising opportunities. Many charities are taking advantage of this technology by leveraging custom .NET tools and techniques, which provide multiple hidden benefits.
With this remarkable platform, nonprofits are streamlining traditionally manual processes regarding communications and interactions with the charity’s donor lists. And the organizations are also coordinating more efficiently between different groups of vendors, volunteer staff, and prospective donors that may or may not be involved in various fundraising efforts.
Benefits of .NET development for nonprofits
Thanks to its impressive ability to scale, the .NET platform is becoming increasingly popular for website development. If you’re a nonprofit organization looking to take your website to the next level, .NET development is a great option. Here are some of the benefits of using this extraordinary platform for your nonprofit website design:
Organizations utilizing .NET development strategies can expect to see a tremendous increase in overall administrative efficiency. .NET provides several features and tools that make website development more economical and user-friendly, including a well-designed, object-oriented programming model and a robust set of libraries. In addition, professional .NET developers take advantage of automatic memory management and Just-In-Time (JIT) compilation, which will further improve efficiency.
Another significant advantage of the .NET platform is its improved scalability. .NET websites can be easily scaled up or down to meet the constantly evolving needs of any organization. Furthermore, .NET technology makes it easy to add new features and functions to an existing website without affecting its overall stability.
Security is always a primary concern for nonprofit organizations. The most proficient consultants construct .NET websites using numerous security features often unavailable on other platforms, including built-in encryption, authentication, and authorization capabilities. Meanwhile, their .NET developers also take advantage of bonus security features built directly into the .NET Framework, such as the Code Access Security model.
Another benefit of .NET development is its reduced start-up and maintenance costs. .NET websites can be developed using free and open-source tools, which decreases development costs and helps the project stay on budget. In addition, developers can often reuse code and components, which reduces expenses even more.
The .Net platform also provides increased flexibility. .NET websites can be easily customized and tailored to the unique and specific requirements of any organization. Developers can also take advantage of several advanced features, such as master pages and user controls, which further improves the website’s flexibility.
For nonprofit organizations looking to take their websites to the next level, .NET technology is perhaps the best option on the market today. This innovative platform provides any number of benefits to improve your website’s efficiency, scalability, security, and flexibility. It also gives nonprofits significant cost savings over the short- and long-term.
.NET technology: 10 steps to successful nonprofit website design
The key to making a successful nonprofit website design is different than that of their commercial counterparts. The site’s visual aesthetic and included content must promote the organization’s mission statement while encouraging visitors to participate in this world-changing work.
Nonprofits that regularly engage in fundraising activities, like running marathons and hosting gala dinners, often have very different goals for their website than those providing direct services or campaigning for policy change. Regardless of the organization’s specific mission, these ten tips for optimal .NET development will help take the nonprofit website to the next level.
1. Keep Your Site’s Purpose Top-Of-Mind
When potential donors visit a not-for-profit site, they should be able to understand quickly and easily what the organization is trying to achieve. Keep the language on the website clear, concise, and free of unnecessary jargon. Include prominently placed calls-to-action (CTAs) that encourage visitors to “take action now,” whether it’s donating money, signing up for a newsletter, or attending an event.
2. Make It Easy to Donate
For many nonprofits, generating donations is a critical component of their website’s purpose. Include a prominently placed “donate” button on your site and make sure the donation process is quick, easy, and optimally secure. Our .NET developers can also create custom donation forms and integrations that make it even easier for visitors to donate.
3. Use Engaging Images and Videos
People are visual creatures. Make sure the website includes plenty of engaging images and videos that encourage emotional reactions from your prospective donors. These visuals should also promote the organization’s backstory and convey the impact of their work. Our .NET developers can even change or update these images and videos with just a few clicks of the mouse.
4. Optimize Your Site for Search Engines
Make sure your nonprofit website is optimized for search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. This strategy helps prospective donors locate the site online when searching for pertinent keywords related to the organization. For those nonprofits whose staff may lack expertise in Search Engine Optimization or SEO, partnering with a reputable .NET consultant with a proven track record of success will help you achieve results quickly and cost-effectively.
5. Hire professional .NET developers to create a custom CRM system
A custom CRM system will help you keep track of your donors, their contact information, and donation histories. These technologies allow you to better manage your professional relationships with donors while maximizing their financial contributions. Our .NET consultants create CRM systems or integrate your website with your existing CRM system. You can then create particular types of content to target different demographics of donors.
6. Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly
More and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to browse the internet—which is why it’s so important to make sure your site is mobile-friendly. .NET developers create responsive websites that look great on all devices, regardless of the varying sizes of their tiny screens.
7. Keep Your Site Fresh with Regular Updates++
Your website should be a living, breathing entity that regularly updates with fresh content. This strategy will keep visitors coming back to your site, and it will also help you rank higher in the search engines. Our .Net consultants can leverage industry leading CMS solutions like DNN or Kentico to make it easy to add and update your site’s content. This content could include blog posts, news articles, photos, videos, or anything else that helps tell your organization’s story.
8. Hire a professional nonprofit website design consultant
Working with a professional nonprofit website design consultant is essential when creating a charitable website. The most reputable .Net consultants have the experience and expertise necessary to build websites that are both user-friendly and visually appealing. They will also ensure that the site is optimally secure to protect the personal information of your donors.
9. Use .NET data analytics to create personalized donor profiles – and use these profiles for social selling.
.NET data analytics allows organizations to create personalized donor profiles and use these profiles for social selling. Keep track of your donors’ interactions with your brand on social media, their interests, and their donation histories. This strategy helps you better understand each donor and which content best appeals to them. You can then use this information to create targeted content and marketing campaigns to encourage them to donate.
10. Design an integrated website that tells your nonprofit’s story
Your website should be more than just a place for people to donate money. It should be an integrated platform that tells your nonprofit’s story and showcases the impact of your work. Our .NET developers will help you create a beautiful and practical website that will engage potential donors and convince them to support your cause.
What professional .NET developers offer nonprofits
Successful nonprofit fundraising requires a mix of strategy, creativity, and professionalism. To be maximally successful in charitable enterprises, you still need the ability to think like an entrepreneur while acting with compassion towards those who need help. Remember, there’s no limit on how much money can flow into your organization. Think Big!
.NET development is about as close to a silver bullet for contemporary nonprofits as one can get. Partner with a reputable .Net consultant that takes great pride in helping nonprofits increase their fundraising efforts by offering the following areas of expertise.
Comprehensive solutions: The most reputable .NET consultants build solutions, not just websites. When you partner with a professional .NET development team, you’re getting more than just a pretty website. These expert .NET developers work alongside you, step by step, to understand your goals and objectives—and then build a custom website solution that allows you to achieve them.
Forward-thinking scalability proficiency: Nonprofits often have limited resources. It’s essential to choose a development platform that will grow and expand along with your organization. Nonprofits using .NET technology can start small and add features and functionalities as their needs change. Compared to their competitors, the .NET platform is highly scalable.
A team of experts: The most sought-after .NET consultants are the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the industry. They are well-versed in standard business practices—and the ever-changing world of web development—while ensuring that your site always looks and functions at its best.
If you’re ready to take your charity’s website to the next level, professional nonprofit website design services by Pumex are the way to do it. For more information on how we can help you achieve your fundraising goals through expert .NET development, contact Pumex today.
Each mobile platform (Android, iOS, Windows Mobile) provides developers with their own development tools, customized SDK’s and design guidelines. iOS – Objective-C or Swift/iOS SDK Android – Java/Android SDK The main advantage of building a native application is the faster and more reliable performance that comes as a result of developing the application within a well-defined ecosystem. It also allows the developer to leverage all the functionality that physical devices within a platform offer – like the GPS, camera, accelerometer, etc. Native applications also do not mandate an internet connect to be present at all times (although specific functionality within the application could require an internet connection to function properly). On the other hand, building a native app is relatively time consuming and costs more since there needs to be separate development efforts to build the app for each platform you want the app to be available on. A native application is best recommended when developing applications that are performance and graphics heavy (games), or in the fairly unique situation where there is a need for heavy use of the phones native capabilities and the absolute highest level of performance is required, irrespective of the cost of development.
• What functionality do you intend to include as part of the application?
• What is the timeframe for developing the application?
• What is the budget allocated for developing the application?
Answering these questions helps our clients work hand-in-hand with Pumex to determine whether to move towards a native or hybrid platform and get their mobile concept developed, packaged, and ready for marketing.
As their reliance on social media for promotional campaigns and donor engagement steadily increases with each passing year, more and more philanthropic organizations are turning to the Salesforce platform to bolster their nonprofit fundraising. Custom Salesforce development helps charities take advantage of the latest marketing trends by providing tools to help track information and communicate more efficiently with charity members, coordinating organizations, and prospective donors. The ability to simplify traditionally manual processes through Salesforce applications and other custom solutions allows nonprofits to focus more on their core missions and less on tedious, time-consuming administrative tasks.
How Salesforce improves the efficiency of your nonprofit fundraising
Nonprofits who regularly engage in fundraising activities, like running marathons and hosting gala dinners, find the Salesforce platform especially beneficial. Salesforce provides tools to track donor information, record financial transactions, and automate workflows—all of which are integral to the success of any charity event. The platform’s ability to manage databases and create custom processes for marketing campaigns helps streamline records management and encourages better record-keeping overall.
Custom Salesforce solutions also allow organizations to simplify donor records further by integrating data from third-party sources, like legacy software platforms or nonprofit portals—effectively providing users access to more comprehensive information at their fingertips. These capabilities streamline workflows and provide staff members with the data they need to be more effective advocates for prospective donors and existing supporters. Here are seven easy ways that Salesforce development will optimize online fundraising for any nonprofit.
1. When asking for an email address, offer something of value in exchange.
It’s essential to make sure you are offering donors something of value when they are providing their contact information for your donation portal. Give them something that they will find appealing—whether it is an eBook, a toolkit, or even some kind of coupon. By providing valuable content in exchange for the email address, you create an incentive, which ensures that the person receiving the content will be more likely to donate by better understanding your mission.
2. Use Salesforce appointment scheduling to manage meetings with donors for nonprofit fundraising.
At a certain point, your organization will need to hold meetings with donors to garner support for specific projects or initiatives. Salesforce appointment scheduling is the perfect solution because it streamlines the entire process from start to finish. You can use Salesforce to collaborate with staff members who are involved in any aspect of project management, such as:
We discussed in our blog post, “5 things to Consider When Developing a Mobile App” how important it is to consistently update your Mobile App. Once your app is developed you’re going to need to perform regular upkeep to make sure your app is keeping up with new trends in mobile apps and therefore an enhanced user experience. Just like your business, your mobile app should always be evolving and growing. Discuss a maintenance plan with the development team. Be sure to incorporate this into your agreement before choosing a development team to work with. Maintenance and upkeep are almost as important as the initial build of your mobile app.
Arranging meeting times and locations that work best for everyone involved
Establishing specific objectives for discussion in the upcoming meeting.
Assigning future tasks to specific members or staffers once the meeting is over
Documenting what transpired during each meeting.
3. Use Salesforce management software capabilities in tandem with a CRM tool.
When managing a large donor community, many organizations improve overall efficiency by integrating CRM with certain Salesforce management tools used for nonprofit fundraising. In doing so, this enhanced functionality – which often includes Salesforce automation capabilities – ensures a seamless and consistent collection of information. Your staffers essentially only need to enter the data once instead of multiple times in numerous databases. Meanwhile, CRM software allows you to create forms from predefined templates, so staff members don’t need to waste valuable time creating custom questionnaires and surveys from scratch.
4. Use Salesforce automation workflows to track donor engagement levels on social media.
Social media is a great way to share information, but it’s also a great way to gauge which types of posts resonate most with your audience. With Salesforce marketing cloud features, nonprofits can easily track new “likes” and “shares” of social media posts made by the organization on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other platforms. The organization then adjusts its social media marketing campaigns, accordingly, based on which types of posts receive the most positive feedback from their followers.
5. Use Salesforce data analytics to create personalized donor profiles – and use these profiles for social selling.
The Salesforce platform allows for the creation of unique and customized donor profiles, which are especially useful for large organizations that have many donors or prospective donors on their marketing lists. Salesforce generates a complete profile from all the information you have on file for each member of your donor community, including contact details, donation history, favorite charity events, and more. By using this data, you then target your nonprofit fundraising efforts more effectively by creating custom lists for email blasts or newsletters based on specific criteria, such as:
Favorite charity events
Age, occupation, or other socioeconomic factors
You can then use these customized lists to implement specific social selling tactics, like contests or giveaways, that are more likely to attract that special kind of donor. The more personalized you can make your donor interactions, the more money you will raise.
6. Use Salesforce development solutions to build a brand-specific website for your organization.
With custom Salesforce development solutions in play, nonprofits make it easier for their staff members to build and maintain a branded website. It’s also easier to integrate the site with their CRM data on new donors, donation history, and contact information. Successful organizations then use this information, which often includes login credentials from any fundraising portal account, to tailor their marketing message further, based on each member’s profile. These state-of-the-art capabilities are invaluable when establishing authority within your industry while also boosting credibility among potential supporters or clients.
7. Salesforce builds donor-facing portals with personalized fundraising requests.
Whether it’s an annual pledge drive, a matching campaign, or a crowdfunding effort, your organization will need to communicate directly with your major donors about specific fundraising efforts that are either underway or in the works. By using Salesforce as a central platform for this type of communication, your organization will ensure the consistent collection and tracking of data across all channels – including email marketing campaigns – so that you always have a complete record of everything happening on your end.
Salesforce development: Even nonprofit fundraising can be highly competitive
Even in the world of philanthropic enterprises, the competition for those donation dollars can be brutal. To be successful in charitable fundraising, you still need to think, act, and execute like a business professional.
Salesforce provides a wealth of features and functionalities to improve the efficiency of your fundraising operations. By using the tips outlined above, you’ll save time and resources while simultaneously increasing in-house productivity. And before you know it, your newly implemented Salesforcenonprofit fundraising efforts will result in lots more donations coming your way in 2022 and beyond!
Within every company, there is an ecosystem of vendors which add value to the supply chain and provide services outside of the organization’s area of expertise or as an adjunct to their internal staff. This vendor supply chain is often invaluable and helps move the objectives of the organization forward. If you live in a vendor heavy organization, where outsourced projects cross paths, you’ve probably run into the headache of finger-pointing. When you are up against deadlines and you are managing multiple vendors with distinct project responsibilities that have dependencies on one another, it seems like an impossibility to avoid sometimes. Vendor finger pointing can be “tear your hair out” frustrating because at the end of the day, the project still needs to be completed and if timelines or budgets are being blown, the natural position for many is to try and deflect the blame.
What can be done?
The best way to manage vendor finger pointing is to handle it from the beginning before the project starts. Making sure you have well defined contractual engagements, a clear scope of work, and specific deliverables for each portion of the project, this will go a long way to solving these issues up front. Being able to go back to a document where someone signed on the dotted line is invaluable when disputes arise and trust me, disputes will arise in any project where there is a reliance across vendors. In circumstances where you were not able to accomplish the above, it becomes imperative to move onto Plan B. Which is to assess the gaps in your vendor management process to alleviate friction. The “just get it done” while easy to say, probably isn’t going to solve the root issue and often only ratchets up the pressure, which often just increases the deflective capacity of the vendors that are failing on their commitments.
Our experience tells us that there are a few places you can immediately look and solve issues:
Proper Vendor and Project Management
For large projects with multiple moving pieces that contain dependencies on one another, having a tactical, boots on the ground, Project Manager with the capability to make decisions is absolutely key. Your PM should have cross-project assignments and the authority, responsibility, and accountability for each project segment. If your PM doesn’t have the authority to make decisions, be held accountable for their decisions, and the responsibility for overall project success, then you are hamstringing them and hurting their ability to effectively manage the project.
For the very large projects, either having a PMO or following some kind of defined project management framework like SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework for the Enterprise) will be key to ensure your vendors are staying on track and managing those relationships.
In line with a good Project Manager, having a proper Business Analyst, whether provided by one of the vendors or internal to your staff will go a long way in ensuring project requirements and user stories are properly documented and communicated to the appropriate teams. But this is a function that can be handled by multiple roles and is a nice to have in comparison to the right project management.
Choosing a Lead Vendor
Usually, when the project isn’t going quite as planned, there will be a vendor that distinguishes themselves and continues to earn your trust. Don’t be afraid to rely heavily on that vendor, consolidate work, or give them a lead role in the production. These types of vendors have one goal, which is project completion. You will recognize them because they will take on leadership roles without being asked, they will attempt to help you manage the project more efficiently and try to help you deliver project areas that may be outside of their scope. When something goes wrong, these vendors come to you with facts and solutions, they don’t point fingers or allow emotions to cloud their judgment.
The best possible situation for a vendor you wish to take the lead would be to consolidate work to them. If they are succeeding, it’s because their internal processes and are sound, they have the right people in place on the team, and they are success oriented. If consolidating work isn’t a possibility, then consider placing them as the prime and arrange other vendors as subs on the contract. Finally, the last resort would be to hand them the project management responsibility and make them the gatekeeper for vendor activity. Put this vendor in a leadership role in the eyes of your other vendors and it will go a long way towards helping them, help you manage the overall project.
Unless the vendor knows the larger project is doomed to fail, they will be excited to take on this additional role. Often times, as an outsourced provider ourselves, we know that if the client handed more responsibility off to us, we could fix a lot of the issues they are facing in a project. The best vendors want to make their client happy, do good work, and deliver. Trust their track record and you will get the results you are looking for.
Pumex Computing is a technology consulting company. If you’re struggling with managing multiple vendors, we can help your organization take control of the project and get back on track. Check out everything we have to offer at https://www.pumex.com