Busy Summer Yields a Fruitful Harvest of Lightning Bolts

Phil Nemeth

Four year Appirio veteran Phil Nemeth, Senior Business Analyst at Appirio Labs, has held a variety of roles, most of which were on the delivery side of the coin. He contributes a deep understanding of solution architecture and implementation across different cloud-based platforms — including Concur, Medallia, and Salesforce. Phil’s entering his second year in the Appirio Labs team, and looks forward to adding more Salesforce certifications to the four he’s already collected. 

As I look out my window to watch the leaves in my backyard change colors and gently make their descent to the ground, I can’t help but think to myself that all good things (like the warm and sunny summer months) do eventually come to an end. But before we pack away the sunscreen and fully embrace sweater weather, let’s hang on just a little while longer. Looking back, I feel proud of the fruitful harvest of Lightning Bolts produced as a result of a busy summer at Appirio Labs (formerly Solutions and Innovation). 

The Endless Summer

It’s widely known that every great house rests on a solid foundation, and that same logic holds true with Salesforce Lightning Bolt solutions. That’s why our Appirio Labs team went to such great lengths and spent countless hours (beginning in January of this year) to perform the necessary research and requirements gathering that would allow us to start building a handful of new Lightning Bolts as the summer months approached. 

As soon as the calendar flipped to May, the Appirio Labs team traded in their white coats, goggles, and beakers for hard hats and steel-toed shoes, as they began constructing onboarding Lightning Bolts for Retail and Financial Services and two new Bolt solutions for Higher Education

As the endless summer months intensified and these Bolt solutions began to take shape, the team began to shift their focus yet again, dedicating many hours to testing and fine-tuning each solution — until, finally, they were ready to make their big debut. 

Modern, Streamlined Onboarding Experiences

Two of the Lightning Bolt solutions researched, designed, and developed by Appirio Labs over the summer address the various onboarding challenges faced by retailers and financial services institutions. 

The first of these new Bolt solutions is the Vendor Onboarding Experience. This Lightning Bolt leverages the latest Salesforce process automation technology — Lightning Flow — to guide users through a modern and immersive onboarding experience, while simultaneously bringing clarity and simplicity to the process. Collaboration tools, such as the ability to create an onboarding team, enable vendors to expedite the time it takes to complete onboarding, and other features engage and connect at a moment’s notice. And an engaging, consumer-grade user interface allows vendors and retailers to see where they fall within the onboarding journey.

Second, we have the Customer Onboarding Experience, which modernizes the commercial banking customer experience. Built-in automation tools expedite the time it takes to complete the onboarding process, while built-in intelligence analyzes customer responses. This insight empowers banks to make precise product recommendations at the most opportune moment. Lightning Flow is again leveraged to guide users through an immersive onboarding experience, and a Customer Journey Dashboard provides the instant clarity needed to track customers and keep them moving forward through the process.

Together, both of these Bolt solutions provide the power and the means for retailers and financial services institutions to transform the way they onboard their new vendors and customers, respectively. 

And we’re proud to announce that our Vendor Onboarding Experience Bolt won the “Best Bolt with Lightning Flow” award at the Bolty Awards at Dreamforce 2018 in September. 

Cohesive, Engaging Higher Ed Experiences

But the award-winning results didn’t stop with our onboarding experience Bolts, as our Higher Education Student Experience Bolt brought home the “Best Bolt for Higher Education” award at the Bolty Awards at Dreamforce 2018 as well.

The Higher Ed Student Experience transforms the often disjointed and challenging journey to Graduation Day into a cohesive, consumer-grade digital experience that is unrivaled in today’s marketplace. Armed with the tools and resources needed to not only survive, but thrive, Students are able to clearly see their entire educational experience in one picture — from their academics and social media, to financials and campus events — all in one place.

Second, we have the Higher Ed Faculty Experience, which provides Faculty members with a consumer grade digital experience that is unmatched in today’s marketplace. Faculty members can build a personal brand and profile, while making impactful connections with Students, colleagues, and the public. A rich engagement layer provides Faculty with a single view of their workspace and seamless access to all systems, through the integrated app launcher.

Both of these state-of-the-art solutions were built in partnership with Georgetown University, as part of a Faculty360 and Hoya360 initiative, to transform the way their faculty and students engage with one another and the world at large. And now, both the Faculty Experience and Student Experience Bolts are available to the broader Higher Education ecosystem!

What Lies Ahead for Appirio Labs?

Now that we’ve taken the time to look back, reflect upon, and celebrate the busy summer and our fruitful harvest, it is time again to ask ourselves, “What’s next?”.

In our first two years, the Appirio Labs team has produced nine unique solutions, including the four solutions mentioned in this blog post. All of our solutions are available on the AppExchange today. In the coming months, you can expect to see several more new Appirio solutions rolled out to market. 

While I won’t volunteer too many (if any) intimate details of our planned project roadmap, or the top-secret research we’re currently conducting in The Lab, I’ll let you know that it is a very exciting time to be a part of the Appirio Labs team. I’m thrilled for our customers to see what we roll out next! Keep an eye on our Lightning Bolt page for information on new Bolt solutions.

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