The Silverline BlogExpert Salesforce tips & tricks, articles and musings. Sprinkled with fun.

3 Steps Towards Preparing for a Provider Rating System



There has been a lot of dialogue lately regarding CMS’s potential expansion of a star rating system to providers. Not surprisingly, it is being rather heavily opposed. The difficulty with such a system whether a star, or any other indicator, is ensuring the rating actually measures what it is intended too. Further, does the rating actually add value to the audience, or audiences, in which it is intended to be consumed.

I’ve always been a big proponent of sharing lessons learned and best practices across industries and this may be another one of those times to learn from prior experiences.

Teachers don’t love ratings either.
The US education system recently went through a revamp with the implementation of common core standards (adopted by most states). These standards were established “to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life, regardless of where they live.”1 This adoption also seemed to trigger the formalization, or at least place a greater emphasis on Teacher ratings as well. Once again, like Providers, Teachers were not too fond of this new approach.

Two industries where the impact of a “good” or “bad” professional can have rather significant consequences on the consumer – a patient and a student (lets not debate the comparison). With Teachers, it is now being argued that the standards must go through a few cycles of implementation and that there is not a direct relationship between student progression and teacher ratings given the lack of coordination.

There are very few industries where we have successfully implemented a consumer facing rating system that is consistent and standard, yet appeases all parties involved.

Why is this the case?

Silverline's Picks for the Top 6 Technical Sessions at Dreamforce 2014

Silverline News


Silverline’s Team of Technical Architects working on a Hackathon project at Dreamforce 2014

In less than 2 weeks 100K+ people will descend on San Francisco for Dreamforce 2014. The conference is not only a chance to network with peers, it’s also an amazing opportunity to learn from Salesforce experts. Whether you’re attending the event or planning on catching a session on the Dreamforce YouTube channel, here are Silverline’s picks for the best Technical Sessions you shouldn’t miss at Dreamforce 2014.

How to get the most out of Dreamforce for Healthcare



If you are an active member of the Salesforce community, or even passive in this case, you know about Dreamforce. The annual event in San Francisco in which more than 100,000 people come together to discuss, hack, share, present, develop all things Salesforce. There might also be that big concert that attracts a few people as well.

This is truly the pinnacle of a technology focused conference that sets the tone for Salesforce, its partners, and its users for the coming year. Truly exciting for me this year is the enhanced focus on Healthcare and Life sciences.


My Summer Sales Internship at Silverline

Silverline News

I had an amazing and life changing last few months because I was fortunate enough to have an internship with the Sales Team at Silverline. Normally, the first day at any new job is stressful, but my experience at Silverline was just the opposite. Upon walking in and spending a little time at this wonderful company I realized that this was not just a company, but a family.

4 Things “I Wish I Knew Earlier” for a Branded Salesforce Community


Salesforce Communities

Salesforce has given its customers a great deal of functionality with their Communities offerings. It brings external customers and partners into business process with some easy-to-use out of the box functionality. While out of box functionality is always nice to have, it’s also comforting to have the ability to build a fully custom, branded Community using Visualforce. I’d like to share four things I wish I knew before my first implementation of a Salesforce Customer Community. They deal with funky email patterns, how licensing can impact design, and some best practices for the technical team implementing the Community.

1. (Publishing a Community === Tremendous Email Capabilities)

There is a very important note about the functionality that is attached to “enabling” profiles for a community. Both partner and customer communities have the ability to select profiles that can use the Community (see image 1 below); What you should know is that every time you add a new profile to a community, the welcome email that is setup for the Community will be sent to users in that profile. If you accidentally add an internal user profile, expect that all of those internal users will get the welcome email; which can be nice, or very, very annoying based on the timing of when you’re trying to add users. It is very normal to consider (and adjust) who can use the community before finalizing the welcome email – so be careful!

Use Case for Apex Managed Sharing: Wealth Management

Financial Services

Sharing and record access can be a tricky concept in Salesforce, and with Apex Managed Sharing as an option, it becomes even more complex and options are nearly limitless. So when and why would a system admin or developer leverage this functionality? There are cases where the flexibility of the platform’s declarative options are simply not flexible enough to meet business requirements, and this occurs in a variety of ways:

  • Logic needs to look across multiple objects for “criteria-based” sharing

  • Logic needs to look at record owner, and then use a complex approach to sharing the record

  • Business leverages ad hoc teams, and these drive record access on custom objects

  • Entitlements are managed externally to Salesforce, and Salesforce must inherit these changes

Silverline Wins App Mavericks DemoJam SmackDown with The WaterCooler

Silverline Apps


Last week, Silverline was one of 9 AppExchange partners challenged to demonstrate why our app, The WaterCooler, was sexy. Never ones to shy away from a challenge, our team gladly accepted. 

During the inaugural event, dubbed the App Mavericks DemoJam SmackDown, over 70 members of the MVP and Success Community watched Silverline’s VP of Product, Scott Thomas, create a social intranet homepage in less than 5 minutes. He didn’t even break a sweat – the app is truly easy to configure. The audience of Salesforce experts was impressed. The WaterCooler earned the championship title.

Turning Intranets Social for Healthcare



One of the many complexities of Healthcare is balancing priorities to achieve business goals.  How to treat patients as patients, not customers? How to meet technical, business, and clinical needs all at the same time? How to achieve provider and patient engagement? How to deliver a higher quality of care at a lower cost? The list goes on.

Regardless of corporate priorities, resources at healthcare organizations have to balance their own responsibilities as well. The most successful organizations (or at least those in high-demand) seek to provide applications, services, and products to its employees that help them more efficiently operate in the business environment and drive higher engagement. There are many models, but some of the most successful embed “social” into daily operations.

How? Enter the social intranet.

Salesforce and Informatica Webinar: Driving Value at Hilliard Lyons

Financial Services

Strengthening client relationships is on everyone’s minds these days. But how?

With several different investment products out there, it can be quite confusing to the average investor on what’s best for them. Firms that cater to their clients in a timely manner are the ones most likely to win a bigger book of business. But getting deeper customer insights is often hampered by the inability to integrate systems together.

In order to maintain an advantage in the highly competitive Wealth Management market, many leading-edge organizations are investing in cloud platforms that give them scalability to offer better tools, apps, and services. These platforms facilitate rapid deployment of customer-facing apps that are mobile and device agnostic with decreased infrastructure costs.

DealerTrack Success Story

Client News

Re-engineering business processes through automation.


Established in 2001, Dealertrack and its web-based software solutions and services enhance efficiency and profitability for all major segments of the automotive retail industry, including dealers, lenders, OEMs, third-party retailers, agents, and aftermarket providers.

Dealertrack operates the largest online credit application network in North America. In addition, Dealertrack’s award-winning solution set for dealers is the industry’s most comprehensive including a Dealer Management System (DMS); Inventory, Sales/F&I, and Digital Marketing; a web-based network for arranging vehicle transportation and shipping; electronic motor vehicle registration and titling applications; paper title storage; and digital document services.


Dealertrack originally implemented over 10 years ago, and has grown substantially over the years through multiple acquisitions. Integrating the employees, products, services, operations, systems, and processes of acquired companies resulted in disjointed data and complex processes. In addition, employees submitted requests to admins who made changes without a clear vision across the organization.

Dealertrack’s agents were using up-to four separate systems to perform a single phone call, and their knowledge base and wiki were not integrated into Salesforce. Customer Service reps also had limited ability to see customer specific alerts and it took excessive clicks in order to find information necessary to work a case.

Dealertrack needed a standardized process to easily acquire and integrate new companies, product lines, and sales people into while tightly integrating with their SAP, Production environment, and IVR systems.

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