Platinum Salesforce Partner System Partners worked in collaboration with Salesforce last month to help us kick off a new exciting community initiative. This joint initiative is the very first “Ask a Salesforce Partner” live Twitter Chat.

Three Senior System Partners (@SystemPartners) Consultants - Chrisopher Nugent (@cnugent), Boris Bachovski (@bachovski) and Linus Andersson (@linusfdc) - all took some time out of their busy days to answer random Salesforce Questions posted to the #SalesforceExpert hashtag - in real time! The questions were as interesting as they were diverse. The answered questions provide a quick “how to” of some aspects of Salesforce development challenges. Here were eight of the best:

1. David (@TheKasual) asked if there was a way to stop having subtotals in Salesforce Reports. Chrisopher Nugent quickly replied that to his knowledge there was not, however there was an idea on the Salesforce Success Community that could use some more votes. We think it probably got some more!

2. A much broader question came from Grant Pattison (@Grant_Pattison) who wanted to know if there were some best practices for large enterprises when it comes to data integration into Salesforce? This is no doubt a question many others have. Once again Chrisopher Nugent helpfully replied to say that Salesforce Admins should first “prove it out with [your] dataloader; as your requirements increase in complexity.” He also recommended Grant look at Master Data Management (MDM).

3. In a return to a very specific problem, Justin Nyss (@JustinNyss) asked " Process Builder using Person Accounts, should Contact fields be selected from the Account or Contact object?" System Partners' Boris Bachovski knowledgeably replied "Person Account is a 'special' object that merges oth Contact and Account fields, you can do it from either."

4. Cleverly using the opportunity to address a specific issue her own banking organisation faced, Fiona Rebbechi‏ (@FionaRebbechi) asked “How can Westpac improve collaboration with our network of mortgage brokers using salesforce?” In reply, Chrisopher Nugent suggested that Westpac look at using Salesforce Communities  to enable brokers to collaborate on loan approval requests. We agree that this is certainly something other companies can explore too.

5. Jessica Nugent (@jessnuge90) asked the panel how she could load in existing data from another CRM or even other systems - always a key objective of new adopters of Salesforce technology to save them starting from scratch. Linus Andersson was able to point Jessica to the Jitterbit Cloud Data Loader - a free tool downloadable from the Salesforce AppExchange, which he describes as easy to use. 

6. Again in the realm of the specific query, Errol Kruger (@ErrolKruger) asked “which tools enable quick 'conversion' or reuse of native Salesforce CRM as a custom instance?” In reply Chrisopher Nugent was able to point Errol to Enterprise UI tool Skuidify.

7. One question that really tested the team was from Glenn Elliott (@glennelliott72) founder of PractiFI. He asked if User Provisioning Requests could be used to pre-connect a group of users to a connected app. Once again, it was Christopher who found the answer and was able to point Glenn to an important entry in the release notes for the Summer '15 release.

8. In another interesting question that other users can certainly learn from, Kate Calder (@KateACalder) of Education player DeakinPrime asked to what extent Salesforce1 could be customised to better suit the needs of her organisation’s mobile teams.  First of all, Boris replied that “For further customisations you'll probably need a custom built mobile app integrated with your organisation,” and then added, “it can be customised to a certain extent with the ‘Offline Access’ functionality”.

Boris also pointed Kate to this online resource. But in a great example of how the community can all chip in to help, @SalesforceAPAC also pointed Kate to see a simple demo of Salesforce1 mobile app.

Then sadly the clock ran out on this first ANZ experiment in social debate on social support. Tune in at #SalesforceExpert for the next Ask a Salesforce Partner Twitter Chat on August 27 at 12pm to answer more of your Salesforce questions - look out for our reminders on @SalesforceAPAC. As you can see, its really good fun!

In the mean time if you'd like to have some more information about which CRM solution is right for your business, click on the banner image below to download a Salesforce eBook.