Spring is in the Air…Salesforce Spring ’15 that is. There are many exciting enhancements coming to the Salesforce platform in this new edition. Let’s jump into the best of the best coming out in Community Cloud as judged by our fellow 7Summits Sherpas! Community Management Console Evolved: At 7Summits our Community Managers live and breathe the Salesforce Community Management Console on a daily basis. We help our clients build this skill set as well. With the Spring ‘15 release, Salesforce has made some worthy improvements that greatly improve the life of a Community Manager. Centralized Setup and Administration: In the past, Community Managers had to jump between tabs to manage the different aspects of a community. Now Community Administration settings have been moved to Community Management, making it easier to set up and moderate the community from a single, central location. Streamlined Management of Topics: Topics within a community can take on a life of their own and require heavy moderation and administration to prevent duplicates from growing wild across your community. Salesforce will now provide the ability to create and merge Topics! This not only helps prevent topic proliferation, it also makes migration of content much easier from Topic to Topic, which in the past required a heavy human or technical lift. Console Management of Flagged Files: In the past, we needed to train our Community Managers to leave the Community Console and use tools like Workbench and others to find files flagged as inappropriate via SOQL queries. Now you can review and take action on the Flagged Files list within the Console itself. Updates to the Napili Self Service Templates: In Winter ‘15 Salesforce provided three great templates for self service, which showed the power and extensibility of the new Community Builder. With Spring ’15, Salesforce has added a handful of updates to the Napili template to make the experience much more meaningful. The Napili template is close to our hearts as it is a part of the 7Summits Salesforce Community Quickstart offering. Here are few of the updates that have us excited: Adding Captcha to creating Cases: This avoids the need for messy validation rules or triggers to prevent duplicates or spam. Enhanced user profiles: Now Community Members can see their Community Reputation and drive additional engagement using these Work.com-based tools within Communities. Attaching files to Questions: When Community Members ask questions in a Community, it is often difficult to convey the essence of those questions simply by typing text in a box. Giving your fellow Community Members some additional context in the form of a referenced file makes self-service all the more effective. This is a small update with profound impact. Display Trending and Related Topics to Community Users: Serving up the most relevant content, as defined by content that the Community Members themselves value, is a key benefit of the Community experience. In Spring ’15, the Trending Topics element allows users to view up to five of the most popular or active topics on your community’s home page. The Related Topics element displays on a topic detail page, and lists up to five topics that are closely associated with the topic being viewed. These small improvements “auto-curate” top content to reinforce value to the Community. Enhanced Wizard for Community Creation and Template Selection: As Salesforce provides additional Community Builder-based Templates for everyone to use, they’re adding capability such as using Salesforce Tabs + Visualforce as one of the options within the Wizard. Create a community from Setup by clicking “New Community” and the wizard prompts you to choose a template, and guides you through specifying your template’s properties. From Question to Case with Service Communities: Chatter Questions and Chatter Answers are great tools for self-service within a Community. But what if your question is not being answered in a satisfactory way? Salesforce has finally taken the process full circle. Right from a Question, a Community Manager can escalate a Question to a Case for faster and more formal resolution. The Social Customer Service Starter Pack: 7Summits’ Social Marketing Services team lives within tools like Radian6 for listening and insights. The power of Open Social channels like Twitter and Facebook are a critical part of building any Community. To date, in order to provide great Open Social service from Salesforce, you would need a tool like Radian6. But with the Social Customer Service Starter Pack, Salesforce has given customers the ability to see the power of Open Social channels from within Salesforce. One of the advantages of this new feature is that as you see the value of Open Social channels, you can easily upgrade to Radian6 to gain even deeper insights. We’re looking forward to what Spring has to offer! Want to learn more about the Spring ’15 release? Contact Tim Kocher, Vice President at 7Summits to help guide you on your way (insert link).