Winter 18 Lightning Features for Higher Ed- Admission, OSS, Communities and Marketing

If you are a University using Salesforce and plan on making the move to lightning , Winter ’18 has come up with great features which you should leverage immediately.

Automatic text wrapping on your search results page.

If you are doing a search on lightning, with Winter ’18 you can easily resize column width and do word wrapping. This will reduce scrolling and will also display more data. This feature will become handy if you are performing a wild card search for your students and get more results based on a wild card search.

Save time

  1. Lead conversion

Leads are the least used feature in Higher Ed and should be used more. For those institutions using leads, Winter ’18 offers a much better lead conversion experience.

With the new, efficient conversion window, you can quickly:

  1. Create an account, contact, and opportunity from the lead data with a single click
  2. Update values provided from the lead for each new record
  3. Choose record types
  4. Relate the lead to existing account, contact, and opportunity records matched to the lead using your duplicate management rules
  5. View details of matched records
  6. Search more records related to the lead
  7. Create a follow-up task

These features appear in separate expandable sections for accounts, contacts, and opportunities. In one convenient location, your admission folks can convert leads however they wish.

2. Send mass email in Salesforce from your list.

Take your institution’s email outreach efforts to the next level. With Winter ’18, your marketing team and admission folks can send a one off email to your prospective students from the lists quickly. Admission folks can send an email to recipients on contact, lead, and person account lists without worrying about a Reply All response. Or, they can choose individual records on a list view. List email sends an individual email to each recipient instead of one email to the entire group. You can amp it up by using email templates and merge fields to customize each email.

3. Related list links on lightning similar to Classic

For those that are used to clicking on related list links on Classic, many had a nagging pain in lightning that they have to scroll to see the related list records. With Winter ’18, related list links are available on all record pages and show as links on your related lists. To enable this, you have to edit the page and add the related links component.

4. Duplicate management in person accounts

For Universities using person accounts, duplicate management is now available in Lightning! 😀

5. Show and hide fields or sections based on data on record pages.

This is the coolest feature of Winter ’18. You can now easily hide and show fields on your record detail pages with point and click. Think about showing or hiding student academic data only to advisors with point and click easily!!

6. Notify your admission team to follow up on your prospective students with reminders.

  1. When admission folks set reminders for their tasks, they don’t forget their to-dos. Regardless of whether your user is setting a deadline or a milestone check, reminders keep them on time. This change applies to Lightning Experience and all versions of the Salesforce1 mobile app.
  2. To enable task reminders for your reps, add the Reminder Set field to your Task page layouts. Put the field in the Task Detail section.
  3. To receive reminders, you must enable Universal Notification Service (UNS). UNS is used for notifications in the Lightning Experience or Salesforce1 notification bell, and is enabled by default.

7. Service cloud

  1. Track your case milestones easily

For institutions using service cloud as one stop center, Winter ’18 provides a milestone component which can track different milestones easily.

2. Track who views your articles on your communities

If you want to know which articles are mostly viewed by your students in communities, the only option before Winter ’18 was to rely google analytics. Now, there is event monitoring available using api.

This is a feature which not many folks know about. You can view these event logs by using workbench tool or downloading it in excel.  Please click here to read more about how to use this feature.

Community Features

  1. Engage with students easily

Winter ’18 now has an easy access screen where, as a community admin, you can easily engage with all community members on one screen.

2. Listen to specific chatter streams

If your community has a lot of groups, posts, and chatter notifications, students can now create chatter streams where they can select specific chatter posts and listen to them.

Your community members can combine multiple feeds in a stream to create a single point of access to related information. Combine feeds of top contributors or discussions concerning a particular product line. Create a stream that combines feeds from discussions, groups, topics, profiles, and all kinds of objects, like cases, opportunities, and accounts. No more jumping from feed-to-feed to figure out what people are saying. Each community member can create up to 100 streams.

3.  Integrate files from quip, box, google drive and Microsoft available

Your external files are vital content resources, so naturally you want access to them from your community. Previously only available in Salesforce Tabs + Visualforce communities, you can now access external files in your Lightning communities using Files Connect. Access files from Quip, Google Drive, SharePoint, Box, and OneDrive for Business.

Post external file references in the Chatter feed, browse them in Files home, select them from the file selector, and see external files in search results. External files are available only to authenticated community users. Unauthenticated guest users are unable to see or access your external files, even if your system is set up to authenticate users with a named principal.

To summarize, here are the top 3 features which add value to your Lightning Salesforce orgs.

  1. Dynamic templates which allow admins to show and hide fields with point and click instead of custom code.
  2. Text wrapping and email feature on list views to send emails easily.
  3. Community engagement and measure metrics on articles.

As always please feel free to post your comments below and let me know which feature among this would be your top rated feature? Please feel free to email me at for further questions.

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Author: buyan47

Hi there! My name is Buyan Thyagarajan. I am a Salesforce consultant specializing in Higher Education, Manufacturing and Marketing Automation. My blogs will help you to maximize your Salesforce CRM investments, prevent problems beforehand and make the right decisions. If you need to talk to me right away, you can email me at or call me at 302-438-4097

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