Performing the Salesforce Configuration and Customization
If a person decides to get a Salesforce solution for his/her business, he/she expects that it will meet the business requirements and needs in full. And to tell the truth, it is possible. The Salesforce platform is something that can provide business any functionality one might expect because it is configurable as well as customizable to a very high level. Many people believe that whether it comes to Salesforce configuration or Salesforce customization, these are the same things. However, these things are different. And here, we will check what the main differences are and how they are performed.
Configuration in Comparison to Customization: Main Differences
The statistics tell: more than 90% of the businesses during the Salesforce CRM development and customization have to deal with both customization and configuration. And the platform itself is designed to handle these things perfectly. When it comes to configuration, you deal with the items already available on the platform. You select whatever you need.
However, if you need to perform customization, you have to handle the code to make the solution work as it is required. If you have to move to customization, it means that the available resources are not enough.
And here, you can see some things that belong to one or another category.
We speak about Salesforce configuration, if you need to:
- Add more objects or fields;
- Add tabs;
- Add apps;
- Create new profiles;
- Create new permissions;
- Work with reports and workflows;
- Create email templates;
- Work with validation rules;
- Create page layouts or record types, as well as apps for AppExchange;
- Add some applications from AppExchange;
- Develop websites on the Customer 360 Platform.
And you are dealing with Salesforce customization, if you need to:
- Work with Apex classes or triggers;
- Work with Visualforce and its components;
- Use CSS to change how the pages look;
- Integrate the solution with the 3rd parties solutions;
- Create Lightning components
- Build low-code applications on Customer 360 Platform;
- Develop websites on Force.com.
What expertise is required for configuration and customization?
The Salesforce platform is vast and filled in with absolutely different capabilities, tutorials, documents, and so on. There are plenty of guides and instructions on how to perform the customization or configuration.
The configuration is less complicated, due to the availability of all the features & functions in the ecosystem. So, there should be fewer issues during the workflow of your team. For that, you need to understand clearly what one or another feature means and how to handle it. Further, you have to get acquainted with the expertise required to perform the Salesforce configuration, in particular, it may be performed by:
- Salesforce Administrator
- Community Cloud Consultant
- Sales Cloud Consultant
- Service Cloud Consultant
In contrast, Salesforce customization may be performed with Salesforce Platform Developer and Salesforce App Builder.
There are plenty of functions and resources available in the Salesforce platform, but if you have the right admin or developer to handle all of them, that are needed for your business? If not, or if you doubt, consider the expenses and the possible losses if configuration vs. customization of Salesforce goes wrong. If you doubt, look for a proper Salesforce implementation partner that will do it all for you.
Business needs and requirements determination
When you are implementing the Salesforce solution, you should be very clear about what exactly you need. The risk of overpaying is extremely high when you don't have a plan of the processes automation required to your particular business model, type, or industry. There is no need to mention that the solution would work with the same efficiency, so that's why experienced Salesforce consultancy is a must.
A knowledgeable Salesforce implementation partner will help you to determine what exactly you need. Yes, it looks like you need just everything at the start, but one of the main tasks of your Salesforce implementation company is to determine, together with you, of course, what are your current needs and what can be ignored at all. To do so, a reliable implementation partner asks a few core questions:
- Is it necessary or optional to change?
- How are the business processes performing without the need for change?
- What impact do you think it will have after the implementation has taken place?
- Have you got the KPI to accomplish with the successful implementation of the solution?
- Will the team perform without this change?
- How will it influence your company if this change is not implemented?
Of course, there will be many more things to ask besides these two questions, but these questions will help to determine the direction in which it is possible to move to determine the real business's needs.
Solution simplicity for end-users
Before you start, you should understand clearly: over-complicating the solution may, in the end, lead to many complications from the side of its customization, configuration, and, later, application. It concerns not only to staff with their training but to the use and functioning of the entire solution.
As well, there is one point to consider when implementing the Salesforce solution. Whenever a user sends a request, he/she should be able to get the correct response without overthinking how to ask. So, make sure your Salesforce admin or developer clearly understands how to do it. There are many filters, and your Salesforce implementation company should know how to use them. In contrast, your users don't understand how the Salesforce platform works, but they should enjoy the perfect experience.
Will the configuration satisfy your business requirements?
With customization, you are getting plenty of options. But to use them, you should clearly understand all the processes that exist in your business. Perform the in-depth analysis of all the processes, check the options provided by proper configuration. How can a process be transformed into something that you can handle much simpler?
After you define all the processes, you will see the gaps that need to be covered with Salesforce configuration or Salesforce customization.
Necessity of Customization
So, you have divided your business into processes that can be handled by configuration, and those that can be controlled by customization. Note please that if you haven't done it before, customizing anything might lead to mistakes that will not be forgiven by your business. First, learn the configurations; it is the right way to learn how to deal with the Salesforce solution.
And again, don't forget to ask yourself whether your business really needs it, only after that, move to the next configuration or even customization.
In the very end, you will find your reasons for performing the customizations. Here, we will list just the most commons ones, but this list is neither exhaustive nor mandatory, all depends on your business:
- Business processes that cannot be performed with workflows, process builder or validation rules;
- Lack of built-in features to calculate a necessary formula in standard reports;
- Users reject using the platform and continue working in spreadsheets;
- Standard UI isn't suitable for your team to manage the data;
- Integration with 3-rd party application required and AppExchange doesn't have a ready solution;
- A need to create a custom community template in Community Cloud;
- Default tools in Salesforce don't give the required functionality to finish implementation.
Of course, these are not all the things that make you want to configure or customize your solution. But whatever your reasons are, make sure you will be implementing everything with a knowledgeable and experienced enough Salesforce implementation partner. As well, if you consider the creation of Apex code or Apex triggers, decide if you can do it with your team or delegate it to a professional Salesforce implementation company.
Customization, as well as configuration, are the most essential and demanded if you want to cover all the business needs. For proper implementation, you should evaluate the available resources accurately and hire Salesforce experts if needed.