Salesforce Lightning Migration Q&A

Recently a Consultant from our Salesforce Practice sat down with Michael DeGeeter to discuss Salesforce Lightning Migrations. They took the time to dive into Salesforce Lightning and the process of migrating from Salesforce Classic to Salesforce Lightning. If you missed the livestream, here is the full transcript from the Salesforce Lightning Migration Q&A.

Q. So there are two versions of Salesforce. What are they?

A. Salesforce has two different interfaces: Salesforce Classic and Salesforce Lightning. If you are fairly new to Salesforce and have been on the platform for the last couple years, you most likely know Salesforce Lightning. For those that have been around longer, they probably at least know the name Salesforce Classic, and might even still be using it.

Salesforce Classic
For the Salesforce veterans out there, they are familiar with the outdated UI that is text centric and has a big share of unused space and scarce graphical elements. Salesforce Classic comes with some limitations when it comes to Standard Object features like Kanban view, activity timeline, path, notes and more. It also leaves a lot of the new Einstein technology out of the picture.

Salesforce Lightning
If you are familiar with both Classic and Lightning, you know that Lightning pretty much blows classic out of the water. The design alone convinces enough people to switch with a modern-looking interface and a ton of drag and drop interactive features that are loved by both Admins and Business users. Lightning is designed for business users who are not very technical, so the design is extremely intuitive.

Q. You mentioned Salesforce Classic and Lightning? How old is Salesforce Lightning?

A. Salesforce Lightning was originally announced at DreamForce back in 2014, but it officially rolled out in 2016. It had some problems at first, but Salesforce has put in the time and effort to make Salesforce Lightning perform great and look amazing.

Q. How much is Salesforce Lightning?

A. Lightning adds no additional cost to your Salesforce licenses for all orgs with supported editions and user licenses. This means that for no additional licensing cost, orgs are missing out on the exciting innovations Salesforce is bringing to their platforms if they are using Classic.

Q. How do you get Salesforce Lightning?

A. This can be kind of a tricky question. At the start of 2020, Salesforce began to turn on Lightning Experience on a rolling basis. This basically means they are giving the Lightning Experience to everyone, but that does not mean it will just be turned on. In order for a user to actually access the Lightning Experience, they have to have the Lightning Experience User Permission. When this is enabled for a profile, that user will have the ability to toggle back and forth between Classic and Lightning.

Q. It kind of sounds like Salesforce is making everyone make the push to Lightning. Is this the case?

A. I would say that answer lies somewhere between yes and no. If your organization wants to continue using Salesforce Classic, Salesforce is perfectly okay with that. At least on the surface. I think they are almost slowly nudging organizations to use Lightning and I can see why. Salesforce has stopped adding new features to Salesforce Classic, so that means even though there are at least three new updates to everyone’s system a year, those organizations using Salesforce Classic most likely do not receive of benefits of any new features being added.

Q. Why is this happening?

A. Simply put, Salesforce Lightning is the future of the Salesforce platform, and moving forward, all innovations will be in Lightning Experience. It is more than just a UI change; it’s a brand-new framework.

Q. Can organizations just turn on Lightning for their users and they are good to go?

A. If they are brand new to Salesforce, yes, I highly recommend rolling out your org in Lightning. If your organization has been using Salesforce Classic, that is a trickier question. In most cases, if your organization is currently using Salesforce Classic, they must go through a Lightning Migration.

Q. Could you give some more insight into what a Lightning migration is?

A. A Lightning migration is basically a process that an organization has to go through to introduce Salesforce Lightning into their organization. If you just decided to assign the permissions and flip the switch, this could lead to devastating consequences. There are features that might no longer work, users might fall out of love with Salesforce because it’s not what they are used to, JavaScript Buttons will no longer work, the list can go on. Since it is a whole new framework, a lot of what is available and works in Classic has been reimagined and redesigned in Lightning.

Q. How does a Lightning migration usually work? How can organizations be ready for the migration?

A. Everyone has a unique Salesforce to their organization; no two environments are the same. Some are heavily customized, and some are simple. This means that organizations will have a different experience rolling out Lightning. The first thing I would recommend would be to run the Lightning Experience Readiness Check in your environment you want to switch. This can be found in the setup menu. This tool produces a report that shows which of your users will benefit right away and how to adjust your implementation for Lightning Experience. You might find in the report that most features you are using work just fine in Lightning Experience, while others might find they have some work to do.

Q. For many people, their Salesforce Classic might work fine for them. What would you tell these organizations?

A. I would say research the differences. You will find many reports out there that show how much more productive their users will be on Lightning and how much value it can bring to an organization. This is not just about new features. A lightning migration can be a time where an organization can recharge their team and get everyone excited about Salesforce again.

If organizations have been using Salesforce Classic for a long time, their users might think of the tool as boring and robotic, especially with the outdated and boring user interface. Salesforce Lightning is all about productivity and the business user. Organizations can also turn internally to reassess their needs and refine their business processes. This is a great time to find out your pain points and improve your processes and how you use Salesforce.

Q. Is a Lightning migration hard?

A. I would not exactly call it hard, but it can easily become frustrating. I definitely would seek a Salesforce expert to take some time and evaluate their Salesforce org and to see how it is currently being used, as well as how it can be improved on with the Lightning platform.

In short, no, it does not have to be hard. If rolled out the right way, a Salesforce Lightning migration can be a fun and exciting time in an organization. This means everyone has to buy in and see the value in Salesforce. You want to treat a Lightning migration as a project where you outline your goals, design your transition, build out your Lightning experience, test it, introduce and train users, refine it, and launch it to your organization

Q. How long does a migration take?

A. If done right, a migration does not need to take long. I would say generally around 6-10 weeks, but this depends on the organization being migrated and how that organization goes about it. If they consult experts, if they choose to refine their business processes, if they get their team bought in on Lightning, the migration timeline can vary.

Q. So tell me, what are your favorite things in Lightning?

A. When I first started my Salesforce journey, I started in Salesforce Classic. I was a Salesforce newbie just trying to learn the system, and it felt hard. It was not excited to use; it did not look that great, and it was clunky. Granted I was new to the system, but it took me forever to actually learn how to use it and where to find things. I must say it was not intuitive at all.

The great thing about both Classic and Lightning is the information that Salesforce holds about customers. Everything can be in pretty much one system, but when I was in Classic, I felt like I could never find anything. This might be because I never really used the old on-premise legacy systems of the 90s and 2000s, and I was used to iPhone apps and modern webpages. When I went to an organization that was using Lightning, it felt like a remodeled house. The design was beautiful and intuitive, I was quickly able to find everything I was looking for, and it just felt more comfortable to use. When I transitioned to being a backend user, I thought the same thing. It was much more intuitive to use the new setup menu and work on configuration and development items. I definitely noticed the difference right away.

Q. Any last advice?

A. Try it out. Lightning has no additional cost. You can go to Salesforce trailhead or spin up your own development org and get a feel for it yourself. Play around with it and compare the two. Or in your own environment, assign yourself the Lightning Experience User Permission and switch back and forth between Classic and Lightning to see the difference. If you do the latter, just remember you have not fully transitioned to Lightning, so some features might not work as expected. But I think going in and trying for yourself, you will be able to see the improvement.

This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. In addition, this publication may contain certain content generated by an artificial intelligence (AI) language model. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.

About the Author