Last year we unveiled Salesforce Lightning to our customers and the world. But just in case you’re not sure what all the buzz is about, we’re here to help.

Think of Lightning as the future of our technology. The Lightning Experience is a beautiful, modern, customizable user experience that’s consistent across products and devices. The Lightning Platform enables you to build apps and customizations fast for desktops and mobile devices using powerful drag and drop tools. And the Lightning Ecosystem is the #1 Enterprise apps ecosystem with 3rd party components for better customization and app building.

On a fundamental level, Lightning is designed to help you build apps faster, find insights quickly, customize your experience to the most relevant information for your job, and have a connected experience everywhere.

Here are the five most important things you need to know about Lightning and how it helps you become more successful.

1. Lightning connects Salesforce products with one powerful platform

We’re living in a super-connected world, yet too many experiences are disconnected. Siloed information, multiple development environments, and disconnected apps all contribute to fragmented, unsatisfying user experiences that today’s customers won’t accept for long. Lightning connects Salesforce products with one powerful platform, creating a single, connected experience for every user.

Bottom line: You’re able to deliver seamless user experiences across your business.

2. It’s all about speed

In today’s always-on digital world, business success is all about speed — swifter app development times, speeding up how you operate, and being able to go to market quickly. All of that unconnected data and siloed information is slowing you down, contributing to disjointed customer experiences. But not anymore. Lightning is the fastest way to build apps and connect to customers. The Lightning Platform enables your users to build apps and customize them fast with drop and drag components. By quickly delivering customized, connected apps, your sales, marketing, and service teams work more efficiently to collaborate and make customers happy.

Bottom line: You can run your business faster by building robust, customized apps that your employees and customers will love.

3. It’s a fully optimized mobile experience

Lightning was designed from the ground up with a mobile-optimized UI. Its framework was first developed for the Salesforce1 Mobile App and formed the basis of Salesforce’s reimagined desktop experience. What that means is that mobile users can truly run their business from anywhere, anytime — even offline, and then sync whenever they are connected again. From sales analytics to field service, it’s all there at your fingertips.

Bottom line: You can literally run your business from anywhere, on any device.

4. Lightning empowers you to work smarter

It used to be that analytics was an ivory-tower tool, accessible to IT and the data scientists who produced reports for leadership to make business decisions. If anyone else wanted information to inform their decisions, they would have to submit a request; information was delivered slowly and secondhand. Analytics shouldn’t be a complex or mysterious thing that’s only accessible to a handful of people in your organization. It’s also not just a tool for making post-hoc decisions anymore, but for gaining real-time insights when you need them. Lightning helps you find insights quickly through embedded analytics and notifications. By having analytics available natively in Salesforce, your employees don’t need to waste time switching in and out of separate programs — they’re gaining insights in the tools they’re using every day.

Bottom line: Having analytics available where you already work gives you the advantage of making more informed decisions, exactly when you need them.

5. It’s designed to help you work the way you want

For a long time, sales and service organizations had to tailor the way they worked to match the system they were using, when it should have been the other way around. Technology should make your life easier, by working the way you work, not forcing you to conform to the way someone else thinks you should work. Lightning was designed so that anyone at anytime can customize their CRM, ensuring that no matter the business process, Salesforce allows its users to be more effective and successful.

Bottom line: You can customize Salesforce Lightning for every role to fit your unique business needs, in a flash.

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