AppExchange All-Star: Justin Edelstein's App Picks

AppExchange
Salesforce customers are using apps to make work easier every day.  Given the power of apps it's only natural that some people develop a special fondness and become full-fledged app experts.  We call these folks "AppExchange All-Stars."

Please welcome Justin Edelstein (@JustEdelstein) to our AppExchange All-Star community.  Justin was one of the first 500 certified administrators and advanced administrators. He also boasts certifications for developer, and sales and service cloud consultant. He is a co-founder and the CIO of Arkus, Inc. a salesforce.com consulting partner. He has spoken at Dreamforce dating back to DF '08 and at Cloudforce events in NYC since before they were even called Cloudforce.

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As a consulting partner of salesforce.com I have to solve a variety of problems from all different types of businesses. From fortune 100 financial institutions to 5 person development teams at a nonprofit, I’ve found that the AppExchange has an app for almost every need. We are always looking for partner solutions on the AppExchange to augment and enhance our implementations for our clients as well as for use within our own instance. Here are a few that have made a difference for both Arkus and for our clients:

Cirrus Insight by Cirruspath, Inc

Cirrus_insightAt Arkus we are a Mac shop and a Gmail shop so when it comes to out of the box integration between our email client (Apple Mail) and Salesforce we don’t get as much love as PC users who leverage Outlook. This is where Cirrus Insight comes in. With Cirrus Insight we get the shiny Outlook side panel that was released in Winter ‘13 right there in context in our Gmail inbox. With this panel we get contextual data around the emails that we receive from Contacts. We can see recent activities, opportunities, and cases that are related to the Contact that sent us the email. We can also hover over other recipients of the email in the cc line of the email to see their contextual information. The fun doesn’t stop there, we additionally can use send and add buttons and quick create buttons to create Contacts or Leads from email recipients. With Cirrus Insight we Mac and Gmail users don’t feel left out of the email client integration party. Install is a breeze and you are up and running with the integration in about one minute flat.

The Permissioner by Arkus, Inc.

PermissionerNobody loves Permission Sets more than I do, ok, maybe @atorman, but it’s a close race. The ability to assign such granular permissions at a user level is something that I had been waiting years for. Last year when Permission Sets launched I was super excited until I had to start assigning them to users. I quickly realized that going from user to user and clicking edit on their related Permission Sets list was going to take a lot of time - especially if I wanted to assign a Permission Set to more than five users. In comes: The Permissioner. This app makes assigning and revoking Permissions Sets to a massive amount of users at one time extremely simple. A really clean search based user interface allows me to assign/revoke Permissions Sets so fast and at great scale.

ZapIt (Scan Entry) by Scout

ZapitWhether you handle inventory management or scan attendees’ badges at an event, creating records in Salesforce with Zapit is laser gun fast. ZapIt installs into Salesforce and allows users to shoot their barcode scanners at any barcodes, and create a record in Salesforce for any standard or custom object. Barcodes are actually a font type and most USB scanners act as keyboards, so it makes scanning IDs or QR codes super easy and has a variety of uses. Recently I used this product with a client to enable them to track attendance of their students at events. The team at Scout is also able to create custom logic to execute when a scan occurs, making ZapIt even more powerful.

Donation Split by Cloud for Good

Donation_splitI have been helping nonprofits optimize Salesforce.com for several years and over that time the Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP) - a set of packages taylored to fit the nonprofit business model - has come a long way. The features are pretty slick and with every release they roll out a new solution for a common nonprofit business process (i.e., schedule/write off payments, batch donation entry, etc).

While I’m a huge fan of the NPSP packages, I find that 95% of the organizations that I work with that use Salesforce for managing their fundraising and development have a requirement not yet met by any solutions in the NPSP - the need to track funding allocations (i.e., when a donation/grant gets committed, what program is the money going to).  Cloud for Good has built a pretty good app called Donation Split. It’s free, easy to install, and will meet the needs of most nonprofits looking to track their allocations. What I love: You can allocate donations to Fiscal Years and to Programs and then access that data via pre-built dashboards.  What I don’t love: You can only allocate to program and fiscal year and nothing beyond that. For example, if you are a national organization you might have the same program in multiple cities. You might want to allocate funds to the “Youth Services” program at the “Chicago” site for “FY12”. With Donation Split you are limited to two “buckets” and no more. You could do Chicago FY12, or Youth Services FY12, but not all three. Even with this limitation this product is a great free add-on to the NPSP to help fundraising teams more accurately report on their donation data.

Check out also some of our veteran AppExchange All-Stars:

Tal Frankfurt, Cloud for Good

Joel Purrier, Centerstance

Tracy Reid, Merx Networks Inc.