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Lightning switch: do’s and don’ts for a successful transition

As you all know, Salesforce released its revamped interface a few years ago to enter a new product era. Until now, admins could choose to activate it or not, but Salesforce is increasingly enforcing its adoption. In October 2019, the switch will be automatic, although Classic should still be available. We wanted to share a few tips with you on how to take advantage of this transition.

Why to opt for Lightning

You might have read our past article on our client’s top 5 reasons for switching to Lightning. If not, take a look at it. On top of that, there are two fundamental aspects that you need to take into consideration.

Mobile first

If you are a Salesforce user, you probably know that the Salesforce mobile app is a key differentiator, and that its interface is very close to the Lightning version on a browser. At Salesforce, one of the key mottos is to be able to run a business from a mobile device, without any blockers or barriers. Web and mobile platforms are then seamlessly integrated and the user experience becomes easier and lighter from one device to another.


New releases

Salesforce is no longer updating the Classic interface, meaning that most of the R&D efforts are dedicated to Lightning and new features that are deployed will only be working with Lightning. 

Some vital steps

Technically speaking, activating Lightning is quick: enable a couple of options by ticking boxes, and that’s it! Nonetheless, ensuring a smooth transition requires a bit more care and preparation, especially if you have been using, tweaking, and customizing your Salesforce org for years. Salesforce’s Lightning assessment report is of good help, but only gives a high-level view / estimate on the situation of your platform. Here are a few additional steps that you should not miss.

Document (and question) your business processes 

To ensure a non-regressive transition, you first need to document your business processes and know exactly how the platform is used by the different teams. You will probably notice that there is a gap between the initial procedures and the way users have adopted the tool, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Keep in mind that planning the Lightning switch is a good way to bring several changes at once, and to streamline some existing processes that were implemented in the past and which may not be relevant anymore. This step will help you discover some hidden frustrations and underlying needs that should be taken care of.

Test your current business processes in Lightning and identify potential issues

Once you know what business processes are key, you can enable Lightning and test them in real conditions. What is working? What is not? What are the differences from a browsing perspective? You also need to decide if these changes and / or issues are critical and should be tackled with priority.

Getting to know Lightning features

In order to become familiar with Lightning, success is not only about testing. You also need to get more confident with all the features that are available and spend time reading release notes. Needless to say that you can also talk to your implementation partner that is used to helping clients through this path and that knows the Lightning-only features in and out.

Identify features that could bring added-value

Get inspired from brand new features that had never been part of the scope but that could be highly appreciated by the user. It is key to show them that Lightning is not a new interface only, but that it comes with a series of “quick wins” that will be real time-savers for the business. Dragging opportunities from one stage to another in a Kanban view, completing tasks in a single click without opening it, etc. The perception of the change management is always a ratio between effort and added-value, and bringing new, useful features on the table will be a good way to maximize adoption.


Identify features that could replace AppExchange solutions

Most of our Salesforce clients are using at least one AppExchange solutions that meet business requirements which cannot be covered out of the box. For instance, several solutions can be found to optimize calendar views in Salesforce Classic and to add extra capabilities. In Lightning, some new features can replace these third-party solutions that usually cost money, add complexity, and make maintenance more challenging.


Identify features that could replace custom code

If we go even further, some new features can also replace custom developments that you implemented to cover complex needs. In some organizations, branding is so important that clients requested that we completely reworked some pages to reflect the company’s corporate identity. Customizing theme and branding is something that is now out of the box and that does not require custom development anymore. 



Reducing the amount of custom code also helps reduce costs and complexity, while staying in line with best practices and further releases and evolutions.

Rework the code when relevant

For the custom features that cannot be decommissioned but that are not working properly, you will need to adapt the code and align it with the Lightning technologies, as well as with Salesforce’s requirements and expectations.

In a nutshell

Never forget to communicate internally - and in advance - about these upcoming changes and projects. Buy-in is critical and the Lightning switch is a perfect opportunity to boost adoption and give a second breath to your Salesforce platform. At Nexell we always believe in simplicity and try to stick to the standards as much as possible. Lightning is great, and we will help you get the most out of it.

Get in touch with us to find out more (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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Nexell GmbH, based in Switzerland & Germany is your Salesforce.com and Salesforce.org, Pardot and Fonteva partner.

Founded in 2002, we help our customers and non-profit organizations in the field of CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Our services, technologies and strategies culminates from years of experience with large and small firms, resulting in a set of best practices which are applied to all our projects, big and small, locally and internationally.

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