After years of testing and slow adoption Lightning has officially struck. The Lightning experience, which offers a newly designed platform that provides a more user-friendly experience and over 25 new features, has been named the next generation of Salesforce.

In the last year, Salesforce has been making a strong push to make Lightning its primary platform, offering less and less upgrades on Classic and leaving behind a lot of bug fixes and inefficient reporting methods. As more and more features are getting full support with Lightning in 2018, it will be essential for your company to evaluate making the switch in the coming months as it becomes the default Salesforce user experience.

As an Associate at TwentyPine, the switch to Lightning has come up frequently when speaking with clients, so, I wanted to provide the answers to common questions that will help get you up to speed. My hope is that this can help you decide what your organization should do, and give you a better understanding of what you need to make the transition.

What is Lightning Experience?

Lightning was created to enable organizations to increase productivity, build applications faster, and work smarter. Visually the interface is more modern, and navigating the platform has been redesigned in an efforts to help your sales reps see opportunities and deals clearly and in order to close faster.

Lightning renders nearly every feature that Classic does, in addition to a multitude of new ones.  The most notable difference is the dynamic interface that Lightning offers. The very responsive platform no longer requires you to refresh pages to save and update data, and tasks can be assigned and completed in a more intuitive way.

The most talked about new features include a redesigned sales-process-based Opportunity workspace that allows you to see all information related to opportunities on one page. In addition,  the Kanban Board is a very popular additional feature and it is a great example of the user friendliness of Lightning, as you can drag and drop an opportunity from stage to stage, and see the value of each opportunity.

Why should my organization switch to Lightning from Classic?

As mentioned earlier, Classic is becoming an antiquated system with weaker reporting methods and bugs that as of March 2018 Salesforce will no longer fix as they focus resources on Lightning. It is our recommendation that if you are heavily utilizing Classic⎯especially for a sales organization⎯that you make the switch in order to get the most value out of the tools that Salesforce can offer. Plus, without bugs being fixed regularly your system will encounter a variety of issues that will hinder your organization to do their job , cost them valuable time, and you will need to find a resource to help you fix bugs outside of typical SFDC support.

The decision is ultimately up to you, but a great way to determine how you will be affected by not switching is to take a look at the Salesforce Trailblazer Community. This link will take you straight to blog that compares Classic and Lightning by which features each platform has in a neatly laid out, side-by-side comparison.

How will I know my company is ready to switch to Lightning?

Salesforce provides a simple three-step process that your organization’s Administrator can complete in minutes to know if your organization is ready to make the transition.

  • Step One: Log into your Salesforce org, go to your SetUp.  Under the search bar in the left hand nav, click on the option entitled “Lightning Experience.”
  • Step Two: In the Migration Assistant, look for the title “Evaluate if Lightning Experience Is Right for Your Org,” and look for the topic entitled “Check Your Lightning Experience Readiness.”  Next to this topic, you’ll see a link for “Evaluate.” Click it!
  • Step Three: You will receive a readiness report that details how prepared the different features in your system are for Lightning as well as tips on how you can improve them. The features are simply labeled “The Good Stuff,” “Needs Some Attention,” and “Not Quite Ready” to help you intuitively understand your platform’s needs, before you make the transition.

Once you know what your organization needs to make the move to Lightning, you’ll be in position to implement a CRM platform that is both more powerful and more user-friendly.

Another great resource to better understand the evaluation can be found here: Check Your Lightning Experience Readiness

Will my organization need new talent when we adopt Lightning?

Most likely, you will.

Developers and Administrators who understand Lightning have become so valuable in the last year  and a half since the new platform took off. You’ll want Developers who are quite familiar with JavaScript, because coding for Lightning is much more complicated and demanding than it is for Classic. This may mean searching for new talent, since many Classic developers whose primary experience is with Apex and Visualforce dislike working with Lightning.

However, there are also a number of conferences you may want to consider sending your Admins and developers too, not to mention the dozens of conversations posted online that can be used as a resource. Invest in your admin’s education to get up and running, and comfortable on lightning as much as possible.

What should my organization do next?

Once you have identified that your instance is ready to upgrade to Lightning you are well on your way. It can be daunting when considering the system updates and personnel changes you may have to make but luckily TwentyPine is here to help.

Think you need a Lightning developer? Give us a call.