Salesforce Lightning Adoption: Getting Ready for the Big Leap

5 July 2018 Salesforce

With Salesforce platform evolving by leaps and bounds, onу may have a hard time keeping abreast of what is going on in the Salesforce landscape and all those continuous innovations, new products and technologies Salesforce decision-makers are offering in droves. Hands down, one of the landmark improvements Salesforce has introduced so far is the revamped Salesforce UI – Lightning Experience – that has made a big splash with Salesforce community since the updated UI was released in Winter ’16.

Being positioned as a point-and-click, highly-intuitive, and flexible framework, optimized for better performance and the fastest speed possible, and now allowing its users to build and integrate their own components, the Salesforce Lightning platform seems to be a powerful game changer for businesses large and small, some sort of a silver bullet capable of solving all of your business problems. Sounds good, indeed.

Yet, a lot of enterprises are still teetering on the edge of the Lightning transition, confused whether to jump on board or hold fire. The thing is, migrating to Salesforce Lightning is a painstaking process that comes with a set of challenges and limitations.

Hence, it’s not that simple.

Here is why.

Hitting the Roadblocks

There are a number of factors that can inhibit your Salesforce Lighting migration process. The biggest roadblocks users might hit are as follows:

Resistance to Change

Salesforce Classic UI has been around for quite a while, and its users have grown so accustomed to this edition and a certain way of doing things, that the transition to Lightning would mean the hassle of learning the system from scratch, given it’s embedded with a set of completely new features. Hence, providing users with Salesforce Lightning Experience training to promote user adoption throughout the whole organization seems to be a good option. That way, you need a consultant that will walk your users through the system, which won’t come cheap for a company given prohibitive consulting hourly rates.

With so much time, efforts, and money invested in Classic learning and implementation, adopting and getting used to a new system may come out to be a huge undertaking for users and stakeholders alike.

Missing Functionality

Salesforce Lightning falls short of some core features and functions that users got used to in Salesforce Classic, while some of those supported features don’t have full parity with what’s available in Salesforce Classic. The list of missing features is getting shorter with each release. Yet, the problem still exists and it may take a long time before the replacement feature is introduced in the next release, which may be a rather daunting experience if this functionality is critical to your business needs right now.

You may say there is always an option to work around the shortfalls. May be. However, in some cases that is NOT an option at all. Workarounds always involve investments, meaning you may end up paying heavily in the long run.

Or you can always opt for a middle ground switching back and forth between both editions. But it’s only up to you to decide whether this trade-off is worth the money and efforts you will put in Lightning implementation.

Third-party Packages Incompatibility

Some of the third-party apps installed from AppExchange are not Lightning-ready as well. For example, third-party call-center and survey packages that integrate with Salesforce aren’t working in Lightning Experience. This may also translate into a big hassle, since making packages compatible with Lightning requires a complete reinstallation of the package and total overhaul of processes.

Limited Support for Customizations

If your company has spent a lot of time and resources customizing Salesforce Classic, it will take much effort to migrate existing customizations like custom JavaScript buttons, Visualforce pages and objects to the updated edition, given that Lightning Experience does not support all Classic custom elements. To that end, you’ll have to find a workaround solution to ensure the customizations won’t be lost in transition, which again will take time and resources.

Inability to Understand the ROI

One more frustration that can also add to the complexity of migrating to Lightning is inability to grasp the solid financial sense of the transition. Said differently, sometimes decision-makers and executives aren’t able to figure out whether the outcome will pay off the cost of the transition, they don’t see the true value and benefits this changeover can deliver to their business and how their system would evolve with this switch.

Hands down, this is by no means an exhaustive list of all potential challenges to change implementation. Yet, developing a clear vision of all key roadblocks and potential pain points users may encounter on their way to Lightning Experience is the first step in gaining a true understanding of whether your organization is LEX ready.

The Human Touch is Still Important

Prior to embarking on the Lightning migration venture, it’s imperative that businesses know what is available in Lightning and have a pretty clear understanding of what their users need. It is no less important to have a good business case for initiating the Lightning migration – simply seeking “a prettier web design” is far from being smart reasoning for making such a giant leap. In some particular cases, sticking to the Classic edition of the core platform might emerge as a smarter and more suitable solution, since the friction of migration can outweigh the estimated benefits manifold. That way, before taking this landmark decision, it’s critical that you check your Lightning Experience readiness.

To assist you on your migration journey, Salesforce offers a number of tools designed to help you understand whether your system is transition-ready, and if it really is – make the whole process smooth and less painstaking. Thus, you can run the Lightning Experience Readiness Check and the Visualforce Check within Classic, with the former revealing some configuration issues and potential unforeseen bugs, while the latter discloses problems related to Visualforce pages and components. Upon completion, you are supposed to get a personalized Readiness Report that gives users in-depth insight into

• what features aren’t supported in Lightning,

• what features aren’t supported in Lightning,

• which key features and customizations are ready for Lightning Experience and which are not,

• how many users are working with the feature in Salesforce Classic,

• which pages need changing before proceeding with Lightning rollout, and

• what’s more important, what you need to fix to get ready for the Lightning transition.

Along with that, it allows users to get a behind-the-scenes peek at predictions and even estimates, such as estimates on the efforts it might take to manage Lightning feature gaps. Basically, Salesforce really has done a great job in this regard.

Yet, Readiness Check is not capable of estimating all of your features and customizations, as well as it can’t identify all of the unsupported features and customizations in Lightning Experience. The point is that all readiness check tools are robots that will never outperform humans. They pose and answer direct questions, and are unable to ask you what’s laid the groundwork for making the shift or what you want Lightning to do that Classic can’t offer. That way, a detailed readiness assessment performed by a Salesforce professional will always be a hundred times better than assessment from a robot.

Get Ready with a Comprehensive Audit Conducted by VRP Consulting

If Salesforce Classic doesn’t cater to the needs of your organization, odds are migrating to Lightning Experience won’t throw a lifeline to your company. The thing is, sometimes businesses that face issues and challenges in the Classic edition, mistakenly assume that transition to Lightning will resolve all their problems for good, and thereby run the risk of moving those issues to Lightning once they’ve decided on the switch. An in-depth custom audit performed by VRP Consulting specialists is a game-changer in this regard, since it won’t allow migrating pain points from Classic to Lightning.

Drilling down to specifics, any Salesforce Lightning audit conducted by VRP Consulting comprises 4 stages.

Salesforce Lightning Adoption

1. Technical Foundation.

This is the basic and the most fundamental layer that paves the way to a strategic and successful Lightning transition as well as its seamless adoption and future scalability of the system. At this level our overriding priority is to analyze the overall performance of the system and identify key performance issues. What’s more, we are always set to go the extra mile to figure out what could potentially go haywire and crash in the long haul.

2. Lightning Consistency.

Given that all internal processes make a parallel transition as well, the key responsibility at this stage is to analyze whether the current workflows, processes and configurations are consistent with how things will work in Lightning. To that end, the next thing we do is we walk hand-in-hand with a sales agent or manager through the workflow until they complete their daily tasks entirely. This on-the-job experience helps us to figure out what it would take us and them to adapt their workflow to Lightning. Along with that, we do our best to come up with an ultimate workaround solution if some pages or features don’t work in Lightning. As is the case with the workflow analysis, we are sitting next to the user, test the workaround functionality and fine-tune the processes right away until the end user gets completely satisfied with the way things work now.

3. Lightning Business Cases.

At this stage we collaborate with all teams and departments involved and ask them about their workflows and processes to find out what features are critical to their daily operations. The information we get from Salesforce Classic users helps us perform a feature gap analysis, as well as come to grips with how each team within the organization utilizes features in Salesforce Classic and how they orchestrate all their activities. Based on the current Salesforce usage, we put together a list of new features that have to be embedded into Lightning, estimate them and outline the concerted efforts and timeframe it might take to roll out Lightning Experience.

4. Lightning Improvements.

The last but not the least. Once Lightning has been rolled out, we encourage users to test out new features and processes, and provide critical feedback on whether the new functionality is up to par and fits the unique needs of each user group, which allows us to introduce necessary changes and improvements based on the user experience.

Take-Home Message

Though Salesforce doesn’t nudge customers into making the move, they declared new developments and releases will be done for Salesforce Lightning alone. Hence, it is up to your organization to decide whether now is the time to take the plunge into Salesforce Lightning. Even if you feel the transition is a huge endeavor to take on so far and make a firm decision to put it into cold storage, you’d better start preparing for it well in advance to make it easier for everyone to embrace the changeover when your time comes. Sooner or later it inevitably will.

There is one more mission-critical thing that businesses must understand: migration to Lightning is not a single-step implementation that happens overnight. Rather, this is an iterative process with new features being added on an ongoing basis.

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