October 26, 2021

John Lange | Sr. Manager, Product Marketing

For years, Salesforce has warned its customers that Classic, the CRM’s foundation for over two decades, would eventually go away. Lightning, the replacement for Classic, is chock full of new features and capabilities. Even though Classic does not have a specific end-of-life date (yet), there are signs that Salesforce’s support for Classic is quickly fading. 

The future of Salesforce is the Lightning Experience. All new development in the Salesforce environment is on Lightning, so Classic users are missing out on the latest advancements. Understandably, companies often delay the transition to new software versions, such as Lightning, citing the possible hardships that a migration could cause users and customers.  

But companies can only run away from the inevitable for so long. Eventually, older software breaks down and becomes unusable.  

One non-profit organization recently turned to Spinnaker Support to help migrate from Salesforce Classic to Lightning. Here’s the story of how our managed services team helped them through a speedy and highly successful – transition, creating new reporting and engagement processes along the way.  

“Why aren’t these Salesforce apps working anymore?” 

The Downton Denver Partnership (DDP) provides community engagement and strategic planning services for the city of Denver, Colorado, USA. Due to their unique role in the community, they have a diverse set of stakeholders (e.g., citizens, businesses, and government). The complex nature of the DDP’s programs stressed its existing technological tools and processes as they grew quickly over the last decade. 

The DDP team primarily used Salesforce Classic to manage their stakeholder activities. They also relied on other non-integrated systems (e.g., event planning software) to manage their engagement programs, including Microsoft Excel.  

These separate systems made it difficult to have a single point of view for engagement tracking at an individual contact level across all DDP’s activities. The organization wanted to achieve a “Customer 360” view to improve internal reporting and increase the efficiency of how they connected with their members and the community. 

But then a more significant problem emerged.  

The organization experienced waning support for the Salesforce Classic ecosystem. Many of the Salesforce apps used by the DDP, such as Emma email marketing, were no longer supported on the Classic platform and failing. Some of their Salesforce integrations quit working. This disrupted their ability to efficiently manage their programs and serve the community. 

The lack of support for Classic and deteriorating systems made the migration to Salesforce Lightning a crucial project. Because the DDP did not have any inhouse certified Salesforce personnel they required external technical expertise to achieve their ambitious roadmap. 

The Spinnaker Support Solution 

The DDP selected Spinnaker Support based on its experience, Agile delivery approach, understanding of their environment, and the unique blend of project-based work and ongoing support. The project included data hygiene, a Lightning readiness audit, new processes to store contact data, and streamlining reporting with new dashboards – all tasks well within the capabilities of the Spinnaker Support team. 

The DDP Salesforce project team knew that transitioning to Lightning could create a difficult experience for their users if not carefully executed. Spinnaker Support therefore recommended a phased release approach to mitigate any change management pushback from the DDP team.  

The Spinnaker Support team developed a two-month timeline that would sequentially release the Lightning environment to six unique user groups (e.g., marketing, accounting, etc.). Spinnaker Support’s Agile delivery approach worked seamlessly with the DDP Lightning migration launch plan. 

The key project goals were to: 1) migrate all users from Salesforce Classic to Lightning, 2) provide a modern CRM environment that would support the growth of the organization, and 3) improve business processes using features available only in the Lightning Experience. The key project deliverables included: 

  • Agile delivery methodologies 
  • Incremental user group migration to the Lightning Experience 
  • Security improvements (custom domain and profiles) 
  • Onboarding, support, and training of all end users  
  • Data hygiene and reporting improvements 
  • New data collection processes 
  • Retirement of Salesforce Classic 

The Result: A Seamless Transition and New Functionality 

The phased approach from Spinnaker Support was completed on time and budget, to the great satisfaction of the DDP leadership. Not only did they achieve 100% end-user adoption to Lightning, but the outcomes included: 

  • A current and stable Salesforce environment that will scale 
  • Updated processes to utilize the latest Salesforce features 
  • Improved reporting and visualizations for the DDP’s diverse set of programs 
  • Elimination of inefficient manual reporting processes 
  • Improved goal setting based on organizational transparency 
  • A single view of all contact engagements throughout the organization 
  • A consolidated view of all accounts across multiple departments 

The DDP no longer experienced integration failures, and on a day-to-day basis the staff benefited from these process improvements: 

  • Real-time reporting metrics 
  • Integration with the Microsoft Outlook app to store contact data 
  • Consolidation of data entry processes 
  • Increased data hygiene and reporting accuracy 
  • Time savings from manual reporting processes 
  • 360-degree visibility on activities across business divisions 

Final Words of Thanks 

“I would 100% recommend Spinnaker Support. The model that Spinnaker Support offers, which is a mixture of project-based and ongoing support, is so valuable to us,” said LaPlaca. “Without that model, I’m not sure we would have been able to achieve our CRM goals. Kudos to Spinnaker Support!” – Brooke LaPlaca, Manager, Civic Leadership Programs, at the DDP. 

Read the entire case study to learn how Spinnaker Support quickly migrated the Downtown Denver Partnership from Salesforce Classic to Lightning and continues to deliver Salesforce improvements on a monthly schedule.