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Migrating from a portal to a community #3 — Test, launch, enhance

by Chris Gardner

We’ve covered planning a framework for migrating to a community and navigating the build phase of your community. Now, it’s time for the final, scary step: go-live and enhancements. In this final installment, we’ll discuss testing and launching your build.

With the build phase of your migration complete, it’s time to finalize your launch plans and begin testing. Hopefully, you’ve already made your users aware of the pending changes. Effective communication is important to ensure your users know what to expect and to generate excitement about your new community.

Test

It’s time to begin working with some power users to test your new community. Their feedback will be crucial to a successful community transition. Use their feedback to make decisions on features and updates to be implemented before launch. They can also help you discover potential bugs.

You may choose not to incorporate some feedback items in the initial launch. A phased rollout strategy will allow you to postpone some enhancements. One of the powerful benefits of the Community Cloud platform is the ability to rapidly release new features.

Launch

Keep your users informed as your launch date approaches. Get them excited about the new look and feel, new features, and new possibilities in the community. If you are keeping your existing portal live, you can soften the potential impact to your users by letting them know how long the existing portal will remain open. A relatively short window will encourage the adoption of your new platform.

When launching a new portal, it’s important to review the email templates that will welcome users to the new community. The standard templates are a good starting point, but take the time to brand them and customize your message to help users understand the benefits of the new community. As long as you haven’t disabled the feature, all users in the new community will receive your welcome email.

Finally, make yourself available during and immediately following the launch to provide support to the new community. Be prepared to walk users through the change, address issues, or handle calls.

Enhance

Congratulations! You have successfully launched your new community! So you’re done, right? Nice as that would be, there is still work to be done in monitoring adoption and planning future enhancements.

As part of a new community, Salesforce provides a Community Management package to help monitor important community metrics. This is where you can understand the adoption and usage of your new community. This data will drive decisions around future enhancements.

While the process of migrating from a portal to a community can be involved, it’s also an opportunity to revisit and enhance your users’ experiences. Investing the time to plan enhancements and build a user-friendly community will help ensure a successful rollout. If you’re considering a migration, or have already begun the process, don’t hesitate to reach out to Simplus for help. We’re Salesforce Community Cloud experts. We pride ourselves on our customer satisfaction and look forward to helping you.

Chris Gardner

Chris is a Salesforce Consultant and Developer with Simplus. He is an experienced leader with a focus on implementation, best practice consulting, and marketing. Chris has over ten years of experience in consulting for small to large businesses. He fosters healthy client relationships from initial engagement through handoff. Chris is skilled in turning client requirements into actionable system designs and following best practices to implement and optimize Salesforce solutions.

chrisg@simplus.com

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