After becoming Salesforce CTA you might have the feeling „what should I do/study next?“ And I had it as well – Vlocity, MuleSoft, AWS.
But it all felt somehow disconnected from users, cool things somewhere in the background. And then I noticed that Salesforce spent some money on Slack acquisition and made it my next goal.
At first I was like „do I really to focus on this chat tool, what is so special about it?“ I heard the Digital HQ statement and thought about it as another buzzword. But the more I studied the more I understood the future and why it might be interesting for Salesforce partners. And at PwC we started the serie „The Big Three“ to speak about different aspects of Slack. Perfect timing.
Where to study
While Salesforce has the Trailhead, Slack has the SlackCertified website, where you can get badges for free or pay for more formal course, which will prepare you for the certification.
At the moment, there are three certifications. And I would say it is pretty interesting how they define the persona and how it differs from my definition/view of what people should do.
This was the first certification I achieved and I still feel it is kind of weird. It focuses a lot on different licences/plans and what they will allow you to do.
- free – all messages will disappear after 90 days, no Salesforce Connect capabilities, possible to integrate with applications;
- Pro – full message history (after all Slack in an acronym for Searchable Log of All Communication and Knowledge), huddles and Salesforce Connect, can invite single-channel guests which are for free;
- Business+ – main reason is the possibility to automate user (de)provisioning;
- Enterprise Grid – obviously the enterprise features as data loss prevention or HIPAA compliant but also unlimited number of workspace, where people can work.
The second big part of the exam was the proper structure for channel names. Sounds like not a big deal, but if you have plenty channels it makes so much sense and some „ordnung“ should be established.
And the third part is how to use the platform. Salesforce Connect, huddles, install app, that there might be additional actions available for each message, shortcuts, global actions, you name it. Surprisingly a lot has been dedicated to emoticons and this is basically the first place/system which clearly says that answering with emoticons is more than enough, no reason for long text reply which doesn’t really add any value. Just thumbs-up/down or yes/no checkmarks.
And that was about it.
This certification came just before Christmas and I had the pleasure to be in the beta team. (Not) surprisingly it is mainly focused on the enterprise clients and the main thing you will learn is how to setup several workspaces, how to connect them, when to make cross-workspace channels. How to prepare for migration to Enterprise Grid, what we should ask client when designing the right structure, checklist for successful go-live and so on.
The one I passed as the last one and also the one I failed on first try. It is surprisingly colourful. Some super easy questions, some super technical one like which token can you use to achieve X or which API method should you use.
The greatest part about this exam was the learning, where I really saw the possibilities for Salesforce partners. It sounds funny at first, but this is the moment where you will understand the Digital HQ vision, the difference between deep and shallow work, etc.
I knew before this exam that you can integrate external app, but never saw a real reason for that. But hey, it can for example have a home page where it can show all the crucial details and statistics, show the message it sent you, all of that can be dynamic and respect logged-in user.
Or that the notification from your app doesn’t have to be just a text with a link, which will open your app, where the people will do what they want to do (obviously!), but that you can give them interactivity directly in Slack and there is no reason to switch context and slow down your productivity. And this was the „aha“ moment for me.
You can use those buttons/picklists to act on the message, but the message can also change its content based on what you did. Just imagine that the channel will clear/be marked with green checkboxes as the tickets will be solved in your ticketing system.
My head started to spin with ideas, what we can develop for each client, how much we can simplify their work. Which greatly enhance the knowledge you will get when passing the UX Designer or Strategy Designer certifications. There is a lot!
Speaking about Salesforce partners the big part is the integration with Salesforce. Alex Edelstein at CzechDreamin spoke about utilizing screen flows directly in Slack, we have Slack components in flows which can send message from flows to Slack and while I didn’t use them yet as the functionality didn’t really meet the requirements it looks really promising for the click not code approach. Obviously the connection from Slack to Salesforce is there already as well and while the „Link to record“ feature isn’t something extra, as it needs a lot of manual effort, the „Get me details about“ thing might be pretty handy. I also love the integration with CRM Analytics which I saw on video a while ago and more is coming. And thinking about the swarming feature for Service Cloud – still cannot imagine it in a big implementation (it terms of cleaning data after all is solved), but it might help a lot with the agility. And there is similar use case for Sales Cloud.
Another area where to dig deeper and test everything which is available.
Where to meet
Ok, Slack certified. Or maybe not yet. But you are definitely interested in learning more. Besides the Slack Certified website I already mentioned, where you can learn things on your own, there is also Slack Community, where you can join people with the same passion. There are not many of them in Europe, at the moment, but we are lucky enough to have one in Prague, so you might be able to meet the people in person as well.
The last thing to mention is the virtual Slack Community Forum, where you can post your question and someone from the community might help you. It probably isn’t as active as Success/Trailblazer community, but it doesn’t matter.
What is Slack for you?
It is time for the final question – what is Slack for you, how you use it and what future you predict for it? I’m interested to hear the answer, please post comment!