Make the switch before Salesforce Lightning strikes

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Josh Bradley

Josh Bradley

Salesforce Classic is well and truly winding down - it’s been a long time coming, but the end really is nigh. Anyone who has purchased certain licenses from Salesforce after July 2018 will never have even had Classic enter their radar.

With every new Salesforce release, the future of Classic becomes more and more of a foregone conclusion, and it’s truly a great thing. Lightning is the future of Salesforce. It’s a collection of services, tools and innovative components that completely reinvent the Salesforce experience for users everywhere. Salesforce Classic hasn’t quite disappeared yet, but if you haven’t already made the switch then the hour is nigh.

Why now is the time to switch

In the words of Salesforce, Lightning is “completely new” in terms of what we’ve seen before from them and what they offer in ways to sell. Of course, this can be an intimidating prospect for clients who have been having a good experience with Classic.

Many of the most established Salesforce customers, which includes major clients, have a significant investment in Salesforce Classic. This means they have invested countless hours and lots of capital into obtaining third-party AppExchange applications, developing and tweaking profiles and custom settings, and writing their own unique code. This is not to mention that users and administrators have become very experienced and skilled in the use of the Classic interface.

Salesforce understands that these customers will have to make a significant effort to undergo the change, and support for Classic will be continuing for the foreseeable future. This won’t stop them from urging customers to make the switch as soon as possible, however. Since July 2018, new users for the essentials, Professional and Service Cloud options have only accessed the Lightning Experience. These organisations will only get end-user access to Classic by requesting a major exception from Salesforce Support - the focus is well and truly shifting onto the new version.

The benefits of switching to Lightning

There is no escaping the fact that the user interface for Salesforce Classic feels tired and clunky in comparison to other, more modern interfaces. It’s all about being dynamic and cutting-edge, and the Classic design just wasn’t hitting the mark anymore.

Any company that delivers a product with a substantial market share has to be realistic about the ravages of age. If such companies to give their product a substantial overhaul, a competitor will. Salesforce has been feeling that pressure for some time now, watching their most popular product show its age more and more. The problem is, making radical changes to a successful product risks seeing customers refuse to embrace the new version.

When Lightning first came onto the scene, some very significant features could still only be accessed in Classic. In the time since then, Lightning has slowly become the complete product, and the Winter 2019 release is a clear demonstration that Salesforce is shifting the spotlight entirely onto Lightning for the future. The Lightning-Classic connective feature has been built effectively, and Salesforce Classic is approaching its end.

Running side-by-side

The long-term benefits of making the change to Lightning will be difficult to deny for any organisations that take advantage of the intelligent and intuitive UI, along with the superb range of innovative tools and services. Though the transition may seem daunting in the short-term, it is worthwhile in the bigger picture.

Salesforce is doing all it can to make the transition as seamless as possible by running both versions in parallel. Small teams will be able to effectively flick a switch (after receiving the necessary training) and proceed anew. The task is more complicated for admins, however. With larger teams to work with, groups will need to be identified to make the transition as units, independently of one another, when the transition makes sense for business. As a Platinum Salesforce Partner, 4C can help both types of organisation make the change smoothly.

Running different versions of software in parallel can cause chaos if they get in each other’s way. The data and processes that need to span versions can have consequences, and it is likely that anyone running both versions will suffer in terms of productivity. Switching from one version to the other will slow operations down as software has to keep loading. Furthermore, it’s difficult to be equally competent in two substantially different UIs. You will develop habits that make you effortlessly productive in one version, but that will trip you up when using the other.

What happens if we don’t switch?

If you’re already heavily invested in Salesforce Classic, we’re not going to try and pretend that making the move over to Lightning will be a trivial process. Careful planning will be required, and it may be best for you to go through a period running both versions in tandem to ease the transition. This will cause its own complications, but ultimately it will afford you the maximum scope to move at your own pace and get everyone up to speed for the eventual switch to Lightning-only.

With the focus from Salesforce shifting over to Lightning, it’s important to start the transition process sooner rather than later. Whatever challenges you face, 4C will be on hand to support with the planning and implementation of everything you’ll need. The new features that are being developed for Lightning will enable your organisation to increase productivity and grow with ever-evolving industries, while sticking with Classic will mean missing out on innovative new features. Making the switch is not simple, but it’s a no-brainer.

To learn more about the power of Salesforce Lighting, and discover how 4C can help you upgrade, click here.

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