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Salesforce recently released it’s anticipated Lightning Experience which is arguably the biggest release/update to the product in company history. The release completely changes the user experience and the foundation of the visual framework for Salesforce. If you aren’t familiar with the Lightning Experience, click here for a great overview.

With all the hype and anticipation, many of our clients are wondering when/if they should enable the new features. First of all, the good news is that you don’t have to enable it and you can switch back and forth between the Lightning Experience and Classic user interface. The bad news is that the current release of the Lightning Experience is only really designed for sales reps who use Salesforce for basic opportunity management. While the Lightning Experience works great for opportunity management, it doesn’t work well for a customized version of Salesforce. If you’re only using Salesforce for the basic CRM features, you’re not really utilizing the real power of Salesforce. The power of Salesforce is that you can easily customize it to match your business and your key processes. You don’t want to use Saleforce out of the box – it’s too complicated and doesn’t match your business. Likewise, Salesforce can (and should) manage more than your sales processes. It should manage your entire business and your complete customer life cycle.

Here are some key observations from the current release of the Lightning Experience that you can use to decide if you want to enable it:

  • As mentioned, you are extremely limited in what you can customize. Being able to customize Salesforce is one of the most powerful features you need.
  • You can’t change the left navigation sidebar which means you can’t easily access your custom objects, VisualForce pages, etc.
  • The user experience has changed drastically.  Most users will be initially frustrated if they are used to the Classic user experience.
  • You can’t customize the Lightning components on page layouts.  You can only customize the basic fields.
  • You can’t just double click and change a value in Lightning – you have to click on Edit.  The ability to edit fields without clicking on the “Edit” button in the Classic user interface is a feature many will miss within Lightning.
  • The new dashboards and reports are really nice. However, once you convert to a Lightning/Wave dashboard, the dashboard may not render correctly in the Classic user interface.
  • Buttons on layouts don’t show up in Lightning (you must use Actions).  You’ll want to convert all of your custom Buttons into Actions.

The Lightning Experience is here to stay and it’s going to be great.  However, wait until the next release to turn it on for your users.  The current release doesn’t have enough customization features available for you to make use of it right now.  Stay tuned as the customization features you want and need are coming soon.

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