Oktana Calendar: Manage your Events in Salesforce

How we experience time is one of the most visible changes brought by the pandemic. New resources and tools require us to adjust to more agile ways to collaborate and do business. That’s why we created Oktana Calendar, our latest Lightning web component that helps you manage your events and meetings without leaving Salesforce. 

Think of the business meetings we all used to have before the pandemic. Decision-makers moving around the city to meet their peers in a corporate meeting room. Leaders would sit down around a table with a presentation (in most cases) to support their speeches. Business cards for appropriate introductions and handshakes to close deals. All of that is gone, but don’t be discouraged. Even if we miss the on-site conversations and meetings, there is a potential advantage we can leverage in remote work. Let me introduce you to Oktana Calendar, our digital solution to enhance time management across your team.

Oktana Calendar

Oktana Calendar is simple to install and embed

As with all of our Lightning web components, Oktana Calendar is simple to install. Just go to the AppExchange and follow three steps. Once installed in your org, the embedding process is also easy to do. As a stand-alone component, you can embed Oktana Calendar on any home page or app page. Just go to the Lightning App Builder, drag the component, and drop it where you need it. Simplicity and flexibility are part of this component. 

Better layout, more flexibility

“As a Lightning web component, Oktana Calendar can be added to any home page in Salesforce. Also, Oktana Calendar offers different views. Users can change from one to another according to their needs with one click”

Fernanda Bacino – QA team @ Oktana Uruguay

Oktana Calendar lets you take your team beyond the default calendar component in Salesforce by giving you more flexibility. Your team will be able to have a standard calendar view arranged by month, week, or day. If you feel more comfortable with an agenda view, Oktana Calendar also supports a list view of your meetings. Your team will be able to track their meetings and events in Salesforce, which will be certainly reflected in your company revenue report.

Oktana Calendar

Manage your events

Your events, your rules. You control the way you want to see them and the way you want to organize yourself. As we mentioned before, Oktana Calendar can be set monthly, weekly, or as a list of meetings. It’s up to you. You can organize your events with color-coding as you can with other external calendaring apps. The most important details are also supported: Start date and time, end date and time, location, and of course a brief description to have a general context. For those who are busy, we highly recommend setting notifications to never miss an event.

“Oktana Calendar allows you to set notifications in your org to track your events and users can customize color tags to arrange their events the way they feel more comfortable. I think both features leverage the built-in Calendar component of Salesforce”

Salvador Cáceres – Developer @ Oktana Peru

Time management is crucial in this “new normal” and having the ability to manage your meetings from the same platform you’re already using gives you an advantage you definitely want to take. Install Oktana Calendar for free and give your team an intuitive and flexible resource to manage their business meetings and be more efficient.  

Oktana YouTube: Embed & Share Videos in Salesforce

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. That’s why we are proud to announce Oktana YouTube, our newest Lightning Web Component for Salesforce

Videos can be a strategic ally when it comes to communicating complex and important messages. Think about training the team on that new app you just purchased to increase sales productivity or that anniversary message from the CEO that cheers everyone up. Both are messages that need to be understood clearly and that have a greater impact when they feel more personal. Oktana YouTube makes your life easier by creating a place in your Salesforce org to embed and share YouTube videos to communicate with your team. 

Oktana YouTube

No code needed: Oktana YouTube is all about simplicity

Oktana Youtube is based on the Lightning Web Component technology. It is easy for Salesforce admins to install it from the AppExchange and to enable it on any Salesforce page. Drag and drop the component and you will be all set.

Alexis Mamani – Developer @Oktana Peru

Simplicity is at the core of Lightning Web Components and Oktana YouTube is no exception. Installing it from the AppExchange takes three (3!) clicks. Once the component is installed, you just enable it on the Salesforce page of your preference. The Lightning App Builder makes this easy for you. Drag the component and drop it wherever you prefer. As you can see, no coding skills are required to add Oktana YouTube to your org.

Admins have full control

As an admin, you get to decide whether to embed a corporate video for all of your users, or let them decide what to watch according to their needs. That’s up to you. If you need them to watch a specific video (let’s say a tutorial, a demo, or a message from the team lead), paste the YouTube ID in and you are all set. If you prefer them to be able to search, just leave the YouTube ID blank.

Oktana YouTube means flexible layout

As you create a new page in Salesforce, you also decide where to place your components. We recommend the upper right corner as the best spot, but you can move it according to your needs. Oktana YouTube also allows you to adjust the title and the height to fit your expectations. Good enough? You get the same flexibility in desktop and mobile. It doesn’t matter where you are, you can always watch your embedded videos. 

Oktana YouTube

Search videos

As Salesforce admin, you can allow your users to search YouTube videos from within your org. How does this work? Exactly as YouTube does. Enter keywords and the Lightning Web Component will retrieve related videos. Every user has their own viewing history stored, making it easier to locate previously watched videos. And you can always clear your search history with a simple click. 

Oktana YouTube is useful for everyone because it provides YouTube functionality in an intuitive way. If the admin allows it, users can visualize, share, and search any video they need. Anyone can use Oktana YouTube with other components in the same panel/screen. This way, users can access important videos without leaving Salesforce. 

Juan Chacón – QA Analyst @ Oktana Peru

All of this functionality makes Oktana YouTube a useful component you should definitely try. We leverage the YouTube API to embed and share tutorials, demos, or any other important message to your team right in your org. 

Install Oktana YouTube and give yourself another channel for your internal communication strategy. At Oktana, we care about your efficiency and experience in Salesforce, so if you think this is a good match for your company, install the Oktana YouTube Lightning Web Component for free from the AppExchange.

We create Salesforce products, check them out.

Oktana YouTube

Communication Compliance: The Benefits of Salesforce Chatter

Even though the concept of compliance was born in the financial field, it is now a consideration across numerous industries and has impacted many aspects of our lives. Communication is, of course, a common need across the board. The way we communicate in our companies impacts our ability to meet compliance standards. We apply this mindset when working with all of our customers, like this spirits distributor that needed to create a platform to break barriers and enable their 18,000 employees to collaborate more effectively. 

Managing conversations properly (and the data those conversations produce), is as important as the compliance standards involved in those processes. If you are a Salesforce partner or use Salesforce in your company, you are one step ahead. With a secure platform, you can enhance your internal and external communication strategy and then, meet your compliance standards. Marc Benioff, CEO, and Chairman of Salesforce says: 

“Customers trust us to make them successful, deliver unwavering security, reliability, performance and compliance.” 

Compliance and trust through messaging

Notice that Marc Benioff includes Compliance in his perspective on how to conduct business and approach customers. Trust is Salesforce’s number one value. This vision ensures two crucial benefits for any business. First, every product designed by Salesforce is intended to create reliable relations with customers. It’s not only about sales, it’s about relationships. And second, all of your data is stored and archived safely, so you can access it any time for compliance purposes. 

Chatter, the Salesforce messaging platform for business, also follows compliance regulations to ensure your data and activity are safe. According to Bloomberg Vault, Chatter is also a social media platform, so “it is subject to the same set of regulatory requirements as any other form of social media”. We have helped many customers enhance their communication platforms; these experiences have taught us many good practices to communicate and comply efficiently. 

1. Keep all your data archived in Salesforce

First, what is the golden rule we need to take into consideration? Archive everything! Make sure you archive all your conversations or posts in your org. It is recommended you preserve this data for e-discovery purposes for a period of time defined by various retention requirements. Some day, you may be required to hand over this information for corporate internal audits or even legal or governmental requests. For more information about this, you may want to go over our other article as a starting point: Financial Compliance: Which Agencies?.

2. Make Chatter part of everything

Also remember, as you are using Chatter, you are creating or linking many items related to confidential information such as records, accounts, cases, and more. This information already lives in your Salesforce org, so you’re not moving data to external systems. With everything connected, Chatter and Salesforce remain the center of your workflow, helping you manage compliance more consistently.

3. Involve every employee

Compliance in communication involves employees. Why? Hackers are targeting them. Make sure you train your employees to move all important conversations to Chatter. Email opens the possibility that an employee may respond to a phishing attack, exposing protected data. If you maintain all-important internal conversations in Chatter, you are better able to ensure their safety. You can see in this article why you should be interested in maintaining your employees as security allies.

4. Choose the best team messaging tool

At Oktana, we are committed to compliance and we took it seriously when we built Tok. Tok is a real-time messaging app that boosts Chatter capabilities while also encouraging a great company culture with casual conversation. Because Tok leverages Chatter as its base, it takes advantage of the Salesforce platform to better enable your company to meet compliance standards. While collaborating, you can be confident any data shared on Tok is stored safely according to the compliance standards you’ve set for your Salesforce org. 

So, let trust lead the path to better compliance practices and communication management across your company. Remember, the online world brings many resources to make businesses go faster. However, it has also become a common target for cyber attacks. Take the time to set a strong compliance strategy and keep updated on the regulations that impact your business.

Tok 30 day trial Financial Compliance
Communication Compliance - Tok

Financial Compliance: which agencies?

As we mentioned in our previous article, Financial Compliance: Which Regulations must be considered? compliance was born in the financial sector to minimize risk related to crime, cybersecurity, and data safety. Then, what compliance agencies relate to your business? There are several organizations that regulate standards based on the types of data and procedures your business has in place. Because we frequently help companies in the financial industry integrate with Salesforce, we are familiar with many of the considerations under which they must operate.

US Financial Compliance Agencies

US law is very clear on financial regulations. Companies and entrepreneurs need to understand these standards and ensure their business meets any relevant requirements. It’s not an easy job, but it’s a task that must be done. Here are four of the more important agencies you will need to collaborate with to meet some of your compliance requirements:  

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC):

Firstly, the SEC was created in 1934 as an answer to the financial crisis of 1929. Its main duty is to regulate the stock market. The SEC requires public corporations to register their stock sales so they can identify stockholders. This procedure increases trust in investors in an environment where transparency is the bedrock. 

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC):

In 1933, the Glass-Steagall Act created the FDIC to insure consumer deposits and to increase trust in the financial sector in the aftermath of the Great Depression. Deposits from banks that are insured by the FDIC are covered in case of bankruptcy, protecting consumer cash. The FDIC also closely examines bank activities to ensure they are behaving as federal norms require.

Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC):

The FFIEC is an agency that establishes guidelines and norms for financial institutions that directly impact their compliance policies. Where can any company review these guidelines? The FFIEC IT Examination Handbook is your bible. Divided into 11 booklets, it has all that you need for compliance-driven management.

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN):

This organization is an important network to investigate individuals related to financial crimes like money laundering or financing of terrorism. Its regulations require financial institutions to provide information for any investigated individual. As you might imagine, these procedures are confidential so demand careful collaboration and expertise from the financial institutions when managing this highly sensitive data.

Other useful resources

Selecting and implementing the correct set of standards can be difficult but ignoring compliance altogether will create issues you can avoid. If you are now aware of it, you may want to delegate someone in your company to manage the compliance requirements. This worker will have to collaborate with the necessary public agencies directly or a private auditing agency to help bring you into compliance. 

Here are some websites that may help you think about the considerations impacting your company: 

  • SecurIT: This portal groups regulations according to each industry. This is very helpful information since you will be able to know which compliance standards you should, at a minimum, consider for your business. 
  • TCDI: This blog emphasizes the importance of compliance and cybersecurity. There is also an extensive list of organizations that regulate compliance. All of these might be enough for a general overview.  

All of these standards demand good data storage strategies. There is no way to succeed at complying with the agencies if your company is not able to store and report data. If you are a Salesforce customer, congratulations! You are on a great platform to keep your customer data safe. If not, we’ve helped financial services and fintech customers integrate with Salesforce, always mindful of their compliance requirements. In fact, while many of our resources are nearshore, we opened an onshore office in 2020 to help us meet the compliance needs of these customers.

Finally, your internal communications are just as important as your customer data, and subject to compliance regulations. If you need to keep all your employee messages archived in a trusted platform, like your Salesforce org, Tok can be a good choice for you and your team.

Tok 30 day trial Financial Compliance
Communication Compliance - Tok
Communication Compliance – Tok

Manage API Users with MuleSoft Anypoint API Community Manager

Oktana is one of the first Salesforce consulting partners to work on MuleSoft Anypoint API Community Manager (“MuleSoft ACM”) integration projects. We are one of the few with experience on MuleSoft ACM. Our team is currently working on six different implementation projects having completed more than five already. These MuleSoft ACM integration projects have been across a wide range of industries. Such as aviation, financial services, healthcare, interior design, and high tech.

Why MuleSoft Anypoint Platform™?

Many organizations turn to the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform. Because it provides the tools to develop, deploy, manage and secure the APIs that help them run and extend their businesses.

Digital transformation in any industry brings challenges. How do you regulate and manage access to APIs while providing clear and open information to your developer community on usage? Security is exceptionally important. For example, when you’re creating a new digital ecosystem, you want third-party developers working with your systems to also be able to develop rapidly and effectively.  

Organizations that need to scale their network of partners and customers through expanded communities can now leverage MuleSoft ACM. Which essentially provides MuleSoft customers with the ability to manage their API users in a community. The community is based on the Salesforce Experience Cloud (previously known as Community Cloud). This enables them to improve communication and provide more context to their API users. Managing access and security and also providing detailed information on API usage is essential when exposing core information related to customers, accounts, transactions, payments, and credit cards. 

The length of each of these projects has varied based on the complexity of the organization’s requirements but generally takes 4-6 weeks. Obviously, it can take more time based on the number of customizations required. Customizations can include custom signup and approval processes, custom objects, special security and permissions configurations, and enabling custom domains. 

Aviation

The work done to integrate MuleSoft ACM for our aviation industry partner was complex. It required creating and integrating external objects. That had to then be shown in permanent categories in the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform ecosystem. Our team was able to integrate these external objects using Apex. 

Healthcare

Our partner, a healthcare provider, required a unique process for user approvals. They needed to add an additional step for the usage of specific APIs and the method by which API keys are distributed. MuleSoft provides solutions specifically for healthcare. Designed to streamline manual processes, enable cross-collaboration, and unlock healthcare data in a secure, reliable manner.

Financial

For this specific project, our team started with the implementation of MuleSoft ACM. Installation and configuration were followed by significant work managing additional security requirements. To allow efficient management of access to the APIs, we created a new self-service registration service for developer partners. The team use Apex, Aura Components, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS to create the registration service. Ensuring developer partners have managed registrations allows our customers to personalize partner pages and create a fully branded experience. MuleSoft ACM is able to leverage the Salesforce Content Management System (CMS). It publishes materials for each API, like documentation and marketing information. Also, MuleSoft allows them to manage access and provides developers the ability to test APIs without code.

Certainly, companies looking to improve how they manage their APIs will find MuleSoft has solutions specifically targeted to eight different industries. Financial Services, Government, Healthcare, Higher Education, Insurance, Manufacturing, Media & Telecom, and Retail. But, companies from other industries, like our Aviation partner, can also successfully leverage the platform to accelerate development. If you have an API strategy firmly established on the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform. It will be easier to enable developers (internally and externally) to use your APIs responsibly.

Read more about our MuleSoft Anypoint API Community Manager customers and other past projects.

How to optimize collaboration for remote teams

We all take collaboration seriously. We work together in our offices, for school, with our families, and with our friends. Collaboration isn’t new to any of us. We’re all coordinating things so we can achieve goals together, as a team. The portal opensorce.com defines collaboration success as:

“The success of any collaboration rests on how well the collaborators negotiate their needs to create the shared objective, and then how well they cooperate and coordinate their resources to execute a plan to reach their goals.”

Heidi Hess von Ludewig

For many of us, the global pandemic has abruptly shifted how we collaborate. With most of us working remotely, you can’t easily stop by your coworker’s desk anymore. The good news is, the basics of collaboration remain the same. There are some changes you can make so you and your teammates can stay productive and keep workflows as lean and effective as they were before. Some companies, like us here at Oktana, have been collaborating both physically and virtually for years and we have learned some tips that may be of use to you.

1. It begins with onboarding

The first touchpoint has never been as important as it is today. A proper onboarding process will determine how conscientious your new co-workers and employees will be about how collaboration works for your company. If you are a team leader who is acquiring new talent, make sure they’re clear on which goals they need to pursue and how they will assist your overall team. Partner with Human Resources to establish this process. Objectives, tools, software, and brand guidelines are some of the topics you should consider. Make sure your talent gets to know the team and key partners. That will make it easier for them to collaborate effectively. Bryn W. shares his perspective:

“I think a big part of optimizing collaboration in remote teams is making sure that everyone in the team feels comfortable approaching one another. It’s important to let people know when you need help. If people are too afraid to ask for help, then they will remain stuck on something and slow the team down as a result. Introducing teammates to one another through social events, Meet the Teams, group conversations, etc. can go a long way to making new members feel comfortable.”

Bryn W. Staff Software Engineer at Oktana US

2. Sharing data is a must

Data comes from everywhere, especially nowadays when we are all connected around the globe. Companies create their own data, which is stored with high security and compliance levels. One detail we sometimes forget or take for granted is that data needs to be shared with everyone on the team. As remote workers, most of our data is stored in the cloud, making it much easier to grant access to anything your team needs. The easier it is for them to find relevant information, the more prepared they are to collaborate with you and others. Don’t miss this opportunity. The next time you work on a new dashboard, find a cutting-edge marketing article or create a new code, remember to share it with your team.

3. Adjust your process

You’ve been working for years. That expertise has turned you into a very talented professional and proof of it is in your process. You know, the way you get that work done. Everything was looking good, but then, the pandemic decided to take many of us out of our comfort zones. How do you adjust? Update your processes to reflect the new “normal.” People are working from home, so your meeting room is now replaced by video conferences and your partners are no longer just two steps away. It’s time to show your innovation skills and expertise. Schedule some time for your team to give thought to how you need to adjust to accomplish your goals and deliver the same (or more) value with the resources they have. Change won’t happen overnight though, so the sooner you take action, the better things will be for you and your team.

4. Communicate in real-time

Last but not least: communication is more important than ever. How do you collaborate while working remotely if you are not able to enjoy real-time communication just like you used to at the office? The answer is simple: speak digitally! There are so many messaging platforms that allow you to connect with your teammates. Take the time to find one that meets your needs. As a Salesforce partner, we use Tok for many reasons. We built it on the Salesforce platform (with their APIs) to give us the same level of data security as our Salesforce org. Tok helps us build culture, and most importantly for our team, it connects us to anyone in the company.

So keep collaborating across your company and adjusting to the new dynamic. At Oktana we’ve learned to balance the best from working remotely and onsite, so our productivity doesn’t decrease. If you like this article and want to dive into the Salesforce approach, Trailhead is the place! You can start with this module about Virtual Collaboration. If you want to learn more about our Tok app, we invite you to visit our website.

Collaboration - Tok Oktana
Collaboration - Tok Oktana

Salesforce Classic vs Lightning: More than a pretty interface

When we first published “Lightning Experience vs. Salesforce Classic: Is the Lightning Experience Revolutionizing Salesforce?”. Over two years ago there were many features missing from the Salesforce Lightning Experience. Making the conversation about the UI and what was missing. Certainly, over the last two years, Salesforce has significantly closed those gaps. Now, only discussing the Lightning UI misses many of the benefits it has introduced. 

User Experience

Often the most controversial part of any redesign, the user experience in Lightning is significantly different than Classic. It’s common for users of a product to resist changes to their experience. Lightning brings benefits for those that do. Whether your users are selling, helping, collaborating, or marketing, there are improvements to help them get their work done faster. Salesforce worked to simplify the user experience and create more efficient navigation. That allows you to not only change records quickly but change applications.

Significant work has gone into refreshing record layouts, dashboards, and report views. When Lightning was first introduced, admins and users were finding themselves having to switch back to Classic for specific tasks. Now that happens far less often. With the Lightning App Builder, it’s easy for admins to create new custom page layouts. The benefits aren’t limited to administrators. Here are a few areas the experience has improved.

 Salesforce Lightning Experience

  • Home 

Salesforce has transformed the way you start your day by adding an intelligent Home page. Sales reps can monitor their performance to goal and get insights on their key accounts, with an assistant providing the complete list of things to do. Admins can use the Lightning App Builder to create custom Home pages.

  • Opportunity Workspace

The new design allows you to help your sales reps work their deals faster. Lightning enables you to showcase key record details in the new highlights panel at the top of the page. Also, get key coaching details with a customizable Path to support your sales process. And, see a wealth of related information on hover using a quick view.

  • Accounts and Contacts

Lightning has optimized the layout for accounts and contacts, organizing the content by their primary use case: reference. Your sales team can locate important data efficiently, get the latest news for your customers, work smarter, keeping the data clean with field-level duplicate matching, among other functions.

  • Reports and Dashboards

Now users can create their filters while viewing a report. Also, if you already have reports from Salesforce Classic, the transition is very easy, because the reports are automatically viewable in the new interface.

Architecture 

Meanwhile, when someone says Lightning, it’s common for people to think just about the new user experience. Wrong, Lightning brings even more. Lightning as a platform has improved the experience for users, administrators, and developers. With new frameworks, Salesforce has made it significantly easier to create new pages and applications and made data access easier to manage. 

The new Lightning architecture takes advantage of modern web stacks that are now more standards-based, with Lightning Web Components providing a layer of specialized Salesforce services. You no longer need a proprietary component model, proprietary language extensions, proprietary modules, etc. For example, there are many significant benefits such as:

  • Common component model
  • Common programming model
  • Transferable skills and easier-to-find / easier-to-ramp-up developers
  • Interoperable components
  • Better performance because core features are implemented natively in web engines instead of in JavaScript in framework abstractions

Development 

Developing in Lightning requires a mind shift, but opens doors. Salesforce Classic was built around a page-centric model, while Lightning is based on an app-centric one. Basically, now that Classic Visualforce is only one (older) option, it’s possible to build web applications that are mobile-ready and run natively in browsers, even faster. Furthermore, the new lightning component architecture gives you two programming models: the Lightning Web Components model and the original Aura Components model. 

in addition, if you are currently developing Lightning components with the Aura programming model, you can continue to do so. Both can coexist and interoperate. But, in the future, we recommend you consider migrating your Aura Components to Lightning Web Components. Start with the components that would benefit the most from the performance benefits of Lightning Web Components.

“Lightning offers us the opportunity to use Lightning Web Components, these allow us to perform faster tasks with custom components, which can be used in different pages with just a drag and drop. It has great compatibility with different browsers which allows us to work without problems on desktop and mobile devices.”

Alexis M, Developer

“With Lightning Web Components I have been capable to develop reactivity, responsive and scalable solutions, thanks to its state-of-the-art web architecture that integrates features like Lightning Design System and MCCV model, leading to smoother development and a more comfortable user experience.”

Christian R, Developer

Check out one of our latest workshops. Mateo H, developer, shares one of the latest components our team has been working on:

If you want to discover more about Salesforce Lightning, we recommend you check out this module on Trailhead. That is to say, if you want to go deep into the main differences check out the Salesforce help page: Compare Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic

Our team has also worked with different organizations and their projects. We are Salesforce platform experts and we offer custom development to help you build your platform and solve the right problems. If you want to know more about our work, go check out our latest success stories.

Innovation, an important tool for boosting business

The concept of innovation gained popularity in the business world in recent years. If you’re a business person or an entrepreneur who regularly follows talks, events, workshops, or internet content for getting some inspiration; you may be inspired by this idea. But what does innovation mean? Well, Michelle Greenwald, a Forbes contributor, mentioned that “Innovation is one of the most bandied about terms in global business today, but exactly what it means can be nebulous.”

We agree. Innovation is about approaching things in a different way. However, since disruption is part of this concept, every company or human can incorporate innovation into their real environment. Does it make things more difficult? Taking an innovative approach may be challenging initially, but it can be an advantage for growing your business.   

We also innovate the Oktana way. We like doing things differently. We apply innovation for our customers (such as the offline app we built for an energy company) and we innovate every time we release a new version of Tok. Coming up with new strategies, writing code, and taking actions are part of our daily work and they’re integrated into every single level of our company. Here are some strategies to boost your innovation.

1. It’s not about perfection

If you are looking for perfection, we’re sorry to say this approach may not be right for you. At Oktana, we prefer taking the path less traveled so we can get different results and solutions. We understand that sometimes it’s about the minimum viable product, or as some call it, the “minimum lovable product”. In these situations, we know it’s about delivering the best product possible within the project’s constraints, not delivering perfection. Even when we deliver an amazing product and our customers are satisfied, we know there is always a different way it could have been approached. The next step is about exploring those possibilities. That’s why we are constantly working on new lightning web components, new versions of our digital products, and hunting for new and challenging projects. If you want to innovate, don’t aim for perfection. Aim for disruption.

2. Face your assumptions

Do you remember René Descartes? Yes, that French philosopher who has influenced the world since the sixteenth century and who has placed doubts in the middle of his thinking. We are not asking you to doubt everything, but we do recommend you determine if all of your assumptions are still useful. Why? We all have ideas that we take for granted. Ideas are so entrenched in our minds that they tend to shape the way we approach things, and that’s not always a good practice. (Remember when remote work was not a “good idea” for many companies, then a pandemic showed us what was possible?). Take the time to question your assumptions. Compare them to the current situation. If you feel they really don’t make sense then it’s time to innovate! 

3. Innovation is for doers.

Creativity is an important stage of innovation, but what happens if we don’t stop thinking? All of our great ideas stay in our minds and never come to life. That’s why innovation is for doers, for people who dare to take action after a planning process. If you are having trouble bringing your ideas to life, don’t worry. It happens to everyone and we believe it’s part of the innovation process. What do we recommend? Write your ideas on paper, share them with your teammates, and ask for feedback. All of these actions are small steps but your ideas are now living outside of your mind. After this first step, congratulate yourself and start planning. Your idea will grow until you have a great product in your hands.

4. Mistakes are part of innovation

What would the world be like without mistakes? Failures are probably one of the best teachers humans may have. If you fail in your attempt at creating a new product, then you have another opportunity to do it. More importantly, you now have a better understanding of what you are doing. Don’t get us wrong. Mistakes on their own don’t deliver value, it’s your attitude that really matters and how you use your personal experience to enhance your solutions. Noah, one of our engineers in the US, shares a very interesting perspective: 


“For me, innovation means changing the norm for the better. A change is not automatically positive or negative. If a change is made but the overall outcome is negative, that’s fine because the change does not have to be permanent. You can roll-back the changes until you find something that works well. Innovation is trial and error a lot of the time. Because of that, innovation does not always mean improvement. But innovation paves the path for improvement.”

Noah B. Engineer at Oktana US

As Salesforce partners, we learn a lot from our customers and the projects we deliver. These recommendations are just a part of it. We encourage you to share them with your team so you can all have the same mindset. Also, if you want to innovate the Salesforce way, here are a couple of trails that might be worth reading: Innovate the Salesforce way and Innovation Customer Discovery. Now, sharpen your mind and use innovation in every level of your projects.

Innovation Tok
Innovation Tok - Oktana Team

Multitasking: the key to fast-paced businesses success

In a world where changes take place at record speed, multitasking is a skill everyone should nurture. Imagine the world during the second half of the previous century. How did we communicate or work? Do you remember pen-pals, faxes, pagers? (I know you do). And the most important fact: How quickly were we able to connect with others in our jobs? It seems we used to take our time to get projects done, but let’s be honest, that is no longer a possibility. 

We, as a tech company, understand this phenomenon from experience. As the world moves on, we feel a lack of time to get our projects done. The more connected we are, the bigger our workload gets. But don’t stress out. We want to share with you some strategies our team always takes into account to deal with simultaneous tasks and still deliver excellent results. So, if you need an extra perspective to manage your assignments, have a seat, and enjoy these tips: 

1. Multitasking is about getting to know yourself

This is an inner journey and also the very first step. If you are not aware of your capabilities, limits, and expectations; your experience at work may become frustrating. It doesn’t matter at what point in your career you are, always take some time to identify your strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge will help you manage your goals, save you a lot of time, and avoid unreal expectations. Experiences and capabilities also give you the opportunity to leverage other kinds of resources like money, time, people, social networks, laws, and even technology. We know you can’t fully control them, but by using your skills wisely, you can maximize the benefits from them. 

2. Identify your partners

As we mentioned before, people are a great source of value. Sometimes, the answer you need is in your co-workers’ mind and you haven’t even noticed. Do you work in teams? We bet you do. You and your colleagues have different professional backgrounds that may be of great help to each other to achieve complex assignments. Identify who may be your key partners and work together. We encourage our team to exchange knowledge and collaborate across the company through our channels. Even now that we are working remotely we always use Tok to quickly connect:

“[Tok] makes things easier when it comes to looking for the right teammate in the company as we all are on the same platform. Besides, I can quickly create Groups with the members of a team” 

Joaquin G. – Dev team at Oktana Uruguay

3. Start small to build a productive routine

Okay. You know yourself and you know your teammates. Now, you notice your workload is getting larger and larger, and you don’t know what to do. Here you need to stay relaxed. It’s time to train your mind and body for multitasking and an efficient work shift. There is a simple way to get used to it: start small. Group tasks that are easy to handle for you and try to accomplish them simultaneously. Track your time and strive to get them done faster. This will help increase your productivity progressively. When you feel that everything starts getting more lean and seamless, congratulations: you have a smart routine sized for your needs! 

4. Multitasking and collaboration are linked

Now that you have a routine and you are aware of your resources, you are ready to collaborate efficiently. And by “collaborate” we mean getting and giving the best from you and anyone on the team. If you strive for the same goal with your department and your company, your workload will decrease and you will see your projects getting done faster. If you are leading a team, teach your members that collaboration is key and provide them channels for real-time collaboration. (And you may also be interested in  Leadership: How to manage your team the best way.) Dana, from Perú, tells us how it’s done at Oktana:  

My work demands I talk with many co-workers on a daily basis and Tok provides me a unique chat platform where I can find them even if they are working abroad. Channels are great when I am involved in many projects and have to collaborate with many people at the same time. 

Dana S. – Human Resources at Oktana Perú

These are just some strategies we use at Oktana. Spread that mindset to your co-workers and it will impact your work. For more reading material you can also take a look at this Salesforce Trailhead module about Personal Productivity. As you apply everything you have learned today in your work, you will figure out new ways to multitask efficiently. When that happens, come back and share your ideas with us. Have a good one!

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