6 Overdue Salesforce Enhancements to Help Nonprofits Do a Little Better (Part 3 of 3)

This is the third of a three-part post. You can also start from the beginning or check out Part 2.

#2 Free Knowledge Users for Nonprofits

Why? Knowledge is Power

Salesforce is withholding Knowledge. The Power of Us Program doesn’t give nonprofit users access to Knowledge. Notice I’m being very careful to capitalize. I want all Nonprofits to have Knowledge.

In fact, how about you go ahead and tweet:

“@sfdcfoundation @benioff Please give #PowerOfUs the #PowerOfKnowledge.”

I’ve been holding my breath on this one for a very long time. I was told “no” when I wanted Knowledge licenses for our users at a nonprofit that once employed me. Recently again, a client said “no new costs, we’ll use Solutions”. Granted, the costs aren’t that high for one-off-licenses, but if I hear “we’ll just use Solutions” again due to costs I may just scream. Knowledge is a far superior product, and the ability to manage revisions is critical to collaborative development.

Plus, ever tried to embed Solutions in a site? Probably went something like this: “This looks awful and isn’t working on our mobile site. Forget it. We’ll go back to the old FAQ, and we just won’t try to integrate Solutions into our support processes right now.” And voila, now we have the perfect recipe for stale and out-of-date help content.

Knowledge is one of Salesforce’s most powerful tools for communicating important who/what/where/when/how information to a community for support or education purposes.

If you’ve ever said “We all wear a lot of hats around here,” you known damn well that one or two licenses isn’t going to help a nonprofit staff manage their Knowledge articles together.

Every nonprofit user needs be able to create and publish Knowledge Articles. Please Captain Marc. Make it so.

#1 Data Export to Remote Cloud

Why: Nonprofit Duty of Care

I’ve experienced data loss in Amazon Web Services before. Total loss, not recoverable by Amazon Support, and they admitted it had nothing to do with me or the company I worked for. This was supposed to be the epitome of reliability. It was a miserable experience. It was a learning experience. The lesson? Don’t trust even the trustworthy with your critical data. At least not completely.

So with that in mind, I’d most like to see a secure cloud-to-cloud interface for copying weekly data exports, at a minimum, out of Salesforce datacenters automatically. While certainly it is pragmatic to download these yourself weekly, many organizations fall out of the habit, if they ever developed it at all.

While I’ve written our own backup system that grabs the weekly export for ours and our clients’ orgs using Salesforce APIs, that’s just not a practical option for everyone, and the existing backup services (I LOVE Backupify, but, alas $$$) are charging for something that Salesforce could and should provide natively, in my opinion.

In the unlikely case of a Salesforce instance catastrophe (not “oops, I deleted a record”, I mean, Salesforce is *really, really* down.), certainly Salesforce could restore your org, but they aren’t keeping a history, so if you ever have a user tell you they messed up a big account record two months ago, you’re out of luck without your own backup. What services would you pick? My top preferences for supported services would be secure Amazon s3/Glacier, SFTP/SCP, Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox.

There’s a good chance you have a list of your own. Post up in the comments and let’s see if we can get nonprofits some new capabilities.

See the other 6 Overdue Salesforce Enhancements to Help Nonprofits Do a Little Better:

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