The Benefits and Challenges to Consider Before Migrating to Salesforce Lightning

By Eyal Filiba

AllCloud Blog: Cloud Insights and Innovation

Salesforce’s Lightning Experience (LEX) promises to be the future of CRM and come with a set of top of the line innovative configuration abilities and an unprecedented level of user experience that any organization would greatly benefit from.

But if it’s such a big improvement, why haven’t all companies switched over since its release in 2016? Let’s briefly learn how one business, Natural Intelligence (NI), made a successful switch to Lightning.

A few months ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Orly Ganor, Director of Business Operations at NI, during a Webinar I broadcasted for AllCloud. Orly and NI have been working with AllCloud on integrating Salesforce solutions for more than 4 years, so I was curious to understand not only their transition process, but also how AllCloud as in an integrator supported this custom project.

To put it simply, Orly knew that moving to Lightning Experience would significantly benefit NI with its new interface; it was paramount to make sure that the transition would be smooth without disrupting the essential day-to-day business procedures of her users.

So, how did they prioritize when to migrate to Salesforce Lightning and how can you ensure a smooth transition for your company?

  1. Get familiar with Lightning Experience benefits
  2. Understand the challenges & solutions that may be right for you
  3. Plan, decide and execute

Get familiar with Lightning Experience benefits

There were two overarching reasons that convinced Orly to transition Natural Intelligence to Lightning Experience:

  1. A more modern user interface
  2. Exclusive new features

What makes Lightning Experience more modern?
Salesforce has designed the LEX UI according to the highest design standards. It’s more intuitive and gives the end users a 360° view of their workflow, providing the data they need faster and with less clicks. With simple customized configuration, important information is put front and center, while less-demanded information is thoughtfully placed for easy access.

What is new and exclusive to Lightning Experience?
Lightning is said to be the “Future of CRM” and Salesforce has indicated that they will be leaving Salesforce Classic behind, eventually only releasing updates for LEX. In their Winter ‘19 update release, only half of the new features worked on both systems, making it clear that companies need to migrate or be left behind.

Most people familiar with CRM know that Salesforce’s main advantage is flexibility. An organization can adapt the CRM to match its business process rather than compromise its business process to match the CRM.

LEX takes this a step further with configuration and development tools for faster and more cost-effective methods to answer business needs. There is a new ecosystem of Lightning-ready apps on Salesforce AppExchange, for example, Lightning components which can host out-of-the-box functionality, partner’s applications, or in-house development. Another feature that can only be found in LEX is the Lightning App Builder which allows user-friendly drag-and-drop development and the ability to create a customized page view.

Understand the challenges and solutions that may be right for you 

One might think that switching from Salesforce Classic to LEX would be as easy as toggling on the improved interface, but the scale of migrating to LEX can range from a few clicks to a complex project.

In general, the more your Salesforce org consists of visual customizations like custom buttons, tabs, customized page layouts, and visualforce pages, the more likely you are to have some issues to sort out. However, the challenges specifically lie in areas in which functions are not yet available in LEX, or where they will never be available. Some third-party applications will need version updating or will need to be replaced with a Lightning-supported alternative. For these cases, experience in proven, cost-effective solutions is key for a smooth transition.

How do you ensure all challenges have been identified? 
Since the challenges are often related to commonly used functions, on top of running theSalesforce Migration to Lightning Readiness Report, you should run a thorough test of all of your business flows in Sandbox and write down the gaps as they arise. After that, users can compile a consolidated list of final gaps. This is exactly what Orly did, right after consulting with Osant Levy, EVP customer success at AllCloud.

Natural Intelligence’s major challenge and how AllCloud supported them
In NI’s case, one of the challenges was the missing functionality of Enhanced Related List capabilities, especially the surprising limit of only 4 columns in a related list section which disabled users from visualizing key data points on their accounts at first glance. To overcome this gap, NI tested a few optional solutions, from simple field configuration to installing a third-party application and also to re-use a homegrown functionality developed by AllCloud. The third-party application helped to some extent, but ultimately the re-used functionality with some adjustment provided the accurate solution. It’s important to note that this gap has recently been resolved by Salesforce as a part of the latest Summer ‘19 version release.

Two more challenges that were not relevant for NI but are for many other Israel-based companies and should be taken into consideration are users’ readiness to adopt a less familiar user experience and its new compatibility with right-to-left languages.

Plan, decide and execute

Once you have understood the benefits, gaps and challenges – it’s now time to plan and decide when and how to execute your project. Each organization is unique so it’s highly recommended to at least consult with an experienced Salesforce professional before moving forward. Right planning, identifying all the gaps, choosing cost-effective solutions and an accurate roll-out timeline are the essential for guaranteeing a smooth transition.

AllCloud specializes in helping organizations implement and fully utilize Salesforce and has proven methodology to migrate organizations to LEX. We minimized the challenges of transitioning and set Natural Intelligence up to enjoy the maximum benefits of LEX right away.

I recently spoke with Orly to check in on how everything was working. She and her team are  pleased with the new experience and have recognized the benefits of their new UI. For example, they now use the ability to create guided workflows that highlight important fields and actions at every stage of the opportunity lifecycle through the LEX Path capability. In addition to being able to customize their business processes quicker, the intuitive UI makes it easier for the end users to adopt those processes. This is making the entire company more agile and innovative. These are benefits she just couldn’t get with Salesforce Classic.

Starting with a basic Lightning Readiness Report, AllCloud helped Orly identify what was liable to break and develop solutions to problems before they happened. Natural Intelligence was able to smoothly transition to LEX and now works more efficiently because of it.

To map out your Lightning migration, contact an AllCloud Salesforce expert.

Eyal Filiba

Read more posts by Eyal Filiba