VIP(s) Showcase - Meet Deepa Patel and Eric Dreshfield

2020 has been a memorable year for all of us. From the start of a global pandemic to the Black Lives Matter Movement and the election of a new president, there has been an abundance of change. With all that’s going on, we felt it necessary to bring you a special edition of our VIP Spotlight, which focuses on two incredible individuals who are working to facilitate meaningful conversations about social justice issues within corporate America through their new podcastUntold Stories – No Longer Untold.” 

We first met show hosts Deepa Patel and Eric Dreshfield the way all good Salesforce professionals meet, through the Salesforce ecosystem. Deepa is a Metazoa VIP, and is a consultant that utilizes Metazoa Snapshot for her clients. Eric is an all around Salesforce mover and shaker, whose initiatives Metazoa helps sponsor. 

Deepa has made a name for herself within the Salesforce ecosystem by starting the Salesforce Certification study group and writing her own book Beyond CRM Basics – An MVP Guide To Expand Your Knowledge And Grow Your Career. Eric is best known for launching Midwest Dreamin’ and starting the Southern Indiana Salesforce User Group, now called the Evansville Admin Group. Deepa and Eric have been Salesforce MVPs since 2012 and 2013 respectively, and both have spoken at Dreamforce multiple times. If they aren’t in your contacts list, these are two people you need to get to know…    

We recently sat down with Deepa and Eric to learn more about their stories, their new podcast and what prompted them to take up the fight for social justice; giving a voice to those who do not always have one.

Meet Deepa Patel and Eric Dreshfield  

In a world where Uganda-born women usually don’t dominate the Business and Technology Consulting, Project Management, and Software Sales professions, Deepa has had over thirty years of successful professional growth. All this despite some of the sexism, nepotism, ageism and workplace microaggression she has experienced.

Knowing she is not the only one that has faced these obstacles, Deepa was inspired to create a platform where others could safely and anonymously share their stories without fear of retaliation. Her hope is that having conversations about these issues will create more solutions, and help others remedy their own difficult situations.

When brainstorming ideas and potential partners for the podcast, Deepa could think of none other than Eric Dreshfield as the perfect compliment to be a part of

this passion project. Eric currently serves as Product Marketing Manager at ActiveCampaign, managing its relationship with Salesforce as a company and as a community. Eric has years of experience in business intelligence. 

Deepa, who moved to the United States from India 34 years ago, and Eric, living in Indiana since 1999, have been a part of the Salesforce ecosystem for more than ten years. At a Salesforce event in 2012, they instantly connected through their similar interest, and love of all things Salesforce. 

When Deepa called Eric to pitch the podcast idea, he was immediately in, without hesitation.. And so began the journey of Untold Stories – No Longer Untold.” 

While both Deepa and Eric have been guests on podcasts, neither had produced their own until now. As hardworking, committed individuals eager to make a difference, this did not inhibit them one bit.

“Our first podcast that we recorded, both of us failed miserably [. . .] we had too much written down, so we did it all again, scrapped all the notes, and just had a conversation, and it turned out great,” Eric said.

Many of the skills they have built up over time came into play for the project. As an artist, Deepa was able to take on the branding work using her photoshop skills. Eric was able to leverage his connections from organizing the first Midwest Dreamin’ to find sponsors, Midwest Dreamin’ and Metazoa being two of them.

After a little trial and error, the duo’s introductory podcast aired on November 14, 2020. It was a smashing success for a first run, and the next episode will air in the middle of December. The greatest takeaway from the podcast, to make change.

“If you want change, you have to bring awareness,” Deepa said. “We know that this exists, but no one wants to talk about it. If we can start this conversation and bring this awareness, like how the Black Lives Matter Movement started, this will create a desire for change, more than what is now. If the goal is to change, we must start with awareness. And if we can influence this, I feel like I’ve done something good for someone else.”

The podcast is not Deepa’s first rodeo as a social justice warrior, however, she has always been dedicated to helping the community and has worked for the non-profit organization, National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

This podcast’s topic hits home for Eric as well; he has a personal connection to diversity through his family of three daughters and two granddaughters. Eric also has a special connection to Project Night Night, an organization that provides childhood essentials to homeless children, and he supports this cause often.  

Deepa and Eric take pride in their partnership through this experience, and both have unequivocal passion for what is to come.

“This is not going to happen overnight [. . .] Eric and I will keep at it over and over again,” added Deepa.

Both show hosts describe the process as an incredible learning journey. Short-term goals for the podcast include engaging a bigger audience and finding annual sponsors. And, at some point, the show hosts would love to do a TED Talk. No matter what, for both individuals, the most important thing is to not give up.

“Who knows what tomorrow will be like; maybe we’ll be successful, maybe we won’t, but at least we have started the conversation for change,” said Eric.

Passionate and driven, these VIPs are the perfect team to take up the gauntlet and inspire change. We are rooting for you Deepa and Eric!

To support the movement for change, check out: https://nolongeruntold.com/ or stream on Apple or Google podcasts.

 


Meet NPSP Enthusiast Lorrie Scott

Many people feel nervous when making a big life change. If you have ever moved to a different place, started a family, or changed career paths, you may recall that feeling of butterflies in your stomach.

If you talk to Lorrie Scott about her mid-career change into the tech industry, you will find that her optimism, commitment, and determination override any nerves that come with big changes. 

Scott grew up outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After taking courses in various subjects at universities in Philadelphia, she launched her career in tech at an insurance company where she was responsible for configuring hardware and teaching employees of independent insurance offices nationwide how to use word processing and policy illustration software. Scott then moved into a software training and database operations role at a large law firm and then advanced to manage the Development technology and CRM systems at a large children’s hospital in Philadelphia. Scott later moved to be the head of client events at a law firm and then into marketing operations, where she furthered her technical skills on her own. 

“Sometimes, I would need to get something done and wouldn’t want to wait for the CRM team to do it, so I learned the back-end myself,” she said. 

Whenever Scott finds a moment of free time, she enjoys helping non-profit organizations, gardening, reading, watercolor painting, and other crafty projects. 

Recently, despite loving each of her jobs, Scott decided she wanted to transition her career back into tech to utilize the skills and knowledge that she has taught herself over the years. 

And that is when her daughter introduced her to a program called PepUp Tech, a 10-week long boot camp that teaches students the technical and soft skills needed to grow a career in the tech industry. The program aims to help underrepresented groups and give participants exposure to career options in the Salesforce ecosystem. 

Scott and her daughter went through the program together, working in the same group but from different households. They navigated through case studies and group projects to learn all of the things a Salesforce Admin needs to know while making many significant networking connections. Outside of learning new terminology, the most valuable part of the program was the encouraging employees and students Scott was surrounded by. 

“PepUp Tech’s team not only have technical skills, but are approachable, helpful, and always try to push you past where you think your limits are,” she said. 

As Scott became more acquainted with Salesforce, she fell in love with its culture, specifically how open and helpful the ecosystem is. For someone who values teamwork and congeniality, the Salesforce ecosystem has everything that Scott is looking for in a work environment.

Scott’s career goal is to find a position that combines portions of a Salesforce Admin and Business Analyst role. Despite Scott’s incredible hard work and determination, she has a great appreciation for PepUp Tech for giving her the confidence and technical skills she has today. 

“PepUp Tech definitely opened a whole new world of possibilities for me,” she said. 

Outside of spending time perfecting her watercolor painting skills, Scott continues putting her best foot forward in her career change journey. She has just officially become a Salesforce Essentials Advisor, where new and aspiring Admins connect with Salesforce Essentials customers to provide the additional assistance they need to set up Essentials for their businesses. She also assisted a local nonprofit in obtaining Salesforce licenses through the Power of Us program and customized their very own Salesforce org to eliminate their paper files and spreadsheets. Her next short-term goal is to obtain her Salesforce Admin Certification and then complete the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) Certification. Scott is looking forward to achieving these goals while following what one could say her motto is: “Close your eyes and jump in!” 

Lorrie Scott serves as an inspiration to all; a self-starter who does not let obstacles get in her way of changing careers back into tech. Go Lorrie!


Set Up Org Monitoring with Snapshot

As a salesforce Admin, there is no doubt you’ve heard about (or even lived through) horror stories associated with Orgs that had too many cooks in the kitchen. Too many undocumented changes without enough change notifications, which most likely resulted in people stepping on each other’s toes. Or, at the very least, laid the groundwork for an interesting discussion about compliance and change monitoring. 

We get it, sometimes a rapid change cycle is needed in order to meet the needs of the business enterprise. However, sacrificing change monitoring is never the answer. Fortunately, Metazoa Snapshot was designed specifically for this purpose. 

This short blog post will discuss some of the amazing features built into Metazoa Snapshot that will enable you to manage changes like a pro: Automated snapshots, Org monitoring and Org documentation reports.

Automated snapshots:

When you create a snapshot, also known as a metadata backup, you are downloading a picture of your Org’s schema and the metadata that make up its configuration. This offline, timestamped snapshot gives you the ability to visualize how the Org is structured at that very specific point in time. This backup also gives you the flexibility to see and compare the changes made to the Org over time. You can even compare the Org against other Orgs. 

Depending on the size of your Org, and your time availability, it might be prudent to schedule this process after business hours. Think 1:00 AM, when everyone is logged off the system. 

To facilitate that pre-dawn run (and to let you stay in bed when you don’t need to be at your computer), you can schedule an automated backup. You can even decide its frequency. Typical production snapshots are executed weekly, but can be daily or every 12 hours – in the cases of a rapid innovation and release cycles.

You can even rely on these backups to restore metadata. Picture bringing back yesterday’s class or last week’s validation rule, but that’s a topic for another discussion…

Org monitoring:

Another great thing about automated snapshots is that they send out “New Snapshot” events once completed. “Why should I care,” you ask? Because you can hook onto these New Snapshot events to run automated Time Series reports. A Time Series report compares snapshots taken for the same Org, helping you identify changes that were made over time. You can even export the changes made to Excel, HTML, PDF or CSV. Translation: Org monitoring and change notification! 

Imagine receiving a document over email that lists out changes made to your Profiles, Objects, Workflows, Apex Classes (and whatever else), along with who made those changes over the last “X” number of days. No more surprises, and more evidence-based conversations for your daily standup meetings.

Another wonderful thing about Time Series reports is that you can go back in time and document all the changes made to an Org over the last month, quarter or year for your auditor. You can showcase that  you know what you are doing by keeping track of Org changes, and the auditor can see it immediately in those reports. 

Org documentation:

To help complete the picture, along with Time Series reports, you can also create Org documentation. Snapshot helps you automatically generate a Data Dictionary for your Org. This Data Dictionary can help you see objects, the fields they are part of them, and their picklist values. And finally, to cap it all off, you can even see the details about where those objects and fields are being used. As your Org changes, this translates to automatic administrator reference and compliance documentation.

Let Snapshot take care of all the grunt work, so you can focus on what you do best – delivering innovation. 

If you need help setting up these reports, please click here.

For more detail, check out our Org Monitoring white paper.