Posted by: eliz_beth | February 2, 2011

The long year… part 1

A year ago, my manager told me our VP of Sales had purchased new software and it was up to our team to administrate it.  Our team being me basically.  I wasn’t worried, I’d spent years supporting various applications including setting up IDs and other security work, so how hard could this be?  Especially if we’re just going to be doing “admin” work.

Oh yes, I laugh at myself now too.

The next week the consultant came in and started to go over what we would need to do as administrators.  I quickly realized we were in way more deep than some ID creation and password resets.  Our instance had rolled out and we had no one who knew anything about Salesforce.com (SFDC) except our consultant who had believed they’d passed the reigns to me and the brief training she’d done with our field team.

Next thing I knew everyone had questions and wanted changes and they were coming to me.

Awkward!!!  All I had to go on was my years in IT, a brief behind the scenes overview, and the training the field guys received.  Oh, and a copy of Salesforce.com for Dummies.  Tom Wong was my hero in those early days!  Pages 45-47 (3rd edition) are hardcoded in my brain for the rest of my life.  They are the instructions for Connector for Microsoft Outlook- which is what the reps were told to use.  I can write a novel on that particular topic alone.

A normal person would have been nervous or scared at this point.  I’ve never been exactly the definition of normal- I looked at our instance and started flipping through the book and for once, I really liked what I saw!  I could see the potential for our business in this system and then started seeing how we could use it further in our area.  I consider that the moment I was bit with the SFDC bug.  I told management that I could figure this out on my own or they could send me to a class where I’d at least know where to begin looking and what I was looking for afterwards.  They agreed and I was on the next plane to Austin for Admin 201.

By the way, if you get a chance to take Admin 201 from Chris Thompson with Astadia, DO IT.  He’s a great instructor and you’ll have a great week.

As much as I learned in that week, the best bit of advice I received was the simplest.  If at all possible, attend Dreamforce.

Best. Advice. EVER.

And I’ll tell you why in part 2…

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Responses

  1. A very insightful post, Elizabeth! You’ve done an awesome job of learning SFDC and implementing it in your company.

    My story is a bit similar, although I had been working with SFDC since 2003 as a user. In 2005, was pregnant with my 2nd child and needed a change from being in Sales, so I accepted a new position within my company as an assistant SFDC Admin. I was on maternity leave in 2006 from Feb – June, then back to work really learning SFDC. In May of 2007 my then-manager was let go from the company and I was thrust into the role of managing SFDC for my company. I was freaked out, let me tell you – I thought I did not know anything about SFDC. I knew more than I realized though, thank goodness, and continue to learn about SFDC, and have managed SFDC for Lionbridge since then.

    Yes – attend Dreamforce!

    Cheers,

    Cindy


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