Salesforce Administration Certification is really important
Always something new: Salesforce training and certifications at Capgemini
Sina works as a Senior Salesforce Consultant at the Capgemini location in Berlin and is involved in large implementation projects in various industries - but above all in the manufacturing and automotive sectors. She specializes in requirements engineering and solution design and leads the team at Capgemini that specializes in salesforce service and field service. She is therefore responsible for ensuring that employees receive further training for the Salesforce Service Cloud - and the ideal contact person when it comes to Salesforce certificates. In this interview, Sina gives an overview of Salesforce training and certifications at Capgemini.
Sina, what was your first point of contact with Salesforce? How did you come to work with the platform?
In 2014 I wanted to change my career. At the time, I was already working in the CRM and consulting area and looking for opportunities for further development. A former fellow student then made me aware of Salesforce. I acquired my first knowledge on the side - this is possible without additional costs or previous knowledge. Programming skills are usually not necessary either, because the platform works largely through pure configuration. I made contact with potential employers through this. I've been working as a Salesforce Consultant for six years now and I still enjoy the job a lot!
How important are official Salesforce certifications for the job of Salesforce specialist?
Very important! On the one hand, applicants can use it to prove their level of expertise in addition to practical experience - especially in Germany, references and certificates are taken into account in the application. On the other hand, it helps the employer to plan the new employees into the project according to their qualifications.
What else should experts in the field bring with them?
In addition to the professional certifications, it is of course also important to understand the business background of the customers in order to be able to advise them professionally with regard to their processes - be it for sales, service, marketing or e-commerce. I need to be able to figure out what the customer needs and then use my Salesforce knowledge to plan the implementation. But that is more likely to be learned in practice.
What are the most important Salesforce certifications?
There are now many different ones and there are more and more. The most important one is the administrator certification: as a basis it is essential for everything that follows. But the “App Builder” certificate is also one of the basics.
Then the question is in which area you want to specialize: Maybe in sales or service, marketing, commerce, analytics or architecture? In the area of “Sales and Service Processes” there are, for example, certifications for different roles such as “Sales Cloud Consultant”, “Service Cloud Consultant” or more specific ones for field service. But you could also specialize in consulting in the non-profit area, for example with a Salesforce certificate.
How often should Salesforce certificates be "refreshed"?
Learning never stops. As Salesforce specialists, we have to continuously educate ourselves to stay up to date. Salesforce publishes releases with new features three times a year and also requests regular refreshing of certificates - depending on the certification, you have to complete "release exams".
If you are passionate about working with Salesforce, you really enjoy dealing with it again and again and working through the detailed "Release Notes" on a regular basis - also to find new solutions for customer requirements and to introduce new functionalities. So it stays exciting!
Which conditions have to be met for certification?
There are no specific prerequisites to learn Salesforce. Anyone can sign up for Trailhead and learn Salesforce for free. As already mentioned, the administrator certification is the basis for all further specializations. I recommend completing these as part of IT projects with appropriate content in order to apply what you have learned directly in practice.
What's behind Salesforce Trailhead?
Trailhead is a digital university that Salesforce provides free of charge as an online platform: an interactive learning opportunity with strong gamification elements, so that learning is also fun. There are different modules put together in so-called “trail mixes”, which you can imagine like a learning playlist. Each module contains a quiz or a challenge in which you can configure hands-on. With each successfully completed module you collect badges.
With particularly extensive challenges you can earn “superbadges”, which you can definitely name on your CV. Trailhead also includes a publicly viewable user ranking - anyone who has achieved a new rank is also happy to share this via professional networks such as LinkedIn or in the community.
Salesforce training at Capgemini
What role does Trailhead play in everyday work at Capgemini?
We use it a lot, for example to fundamentally acquire new functionalities or to prepare for certain certifications with “trail mixes”. As the technical manager of our service team, I have designed various “trail mixes” myself, which are important for our work and keep us all on the same level of knowledge.
Which Salesforce certificates can you get at Capgemini?
Actually all of them! Every year, our employees discuss with their superiors how they would like to develop further, which certifications are useful and which they are personally interested in. In doing so, we of course also orientate ourselves on trends and the demands of our customers. At Capgemini, it is important to us that no one stands still - that would also be difficult with Salesforce - but instead learns continuously.
What is Salesforce training like at Capgemini?
All Salesforce specialists at Capgemini are part of a professional team, depending on their expertise, in which we also provide targeted training. Together we work our way through the "release notes" and are constantly learning to offer our customers state of the art solutions. We exchange best practices and introduce each other to new functionalities. As a Platinum Partner of Salesforce, we have access to numerous excellent training courses.
It is also important to jointly deepen topics on business processes in order to better understand the requirements of our customers and thus to be able to use Salesforce optimally. Of course, we also observe and anticipate trends, for example visiting the “Dreamforce” conference in San Francisco or webinars that provide an outlook on future developments.
How does a Salesforce certification work and how do you prepare for it?
In addition to the professional exchange, the preparation takes place largely through independent learning with trailhead, fast-track courses, webinars or through providers who offer trial exams. We also support each other among our colleagues and in our specialist teams.
The preparation time is very individual and depends on the complexity of the certification as well as personal previous experience. For example, you should plan three weeks to prepare for administrator certification. As soon as you feel well prepared, you register for the exam.
The exam takes place online or at a training center. You answer multiple-choice questions and immediately receive feedback on whether you have passed. Great care is taken to ensure that no one can use unauthorized aids in order not to question the quality of the certifications.
What role do Salesforce Partner Communities play at Capgemini?
As a Salesforce partner, we are part of this community and can offer our colleagues additional training opportunities, such as “partner learning camps”. One advantage are "Fast Path courses" that prepare for certification in just a few weeks.
In the Salesforce world, people help each other a lot and exchange ideas: In the lively community, Salesforce experts and users discuss and answer questions from one another. If you get stuck at one point, you will find answers here or you can ask the Salesforce managers directly in the Service Expert Community. A real benefit at Capgemini. Because the fun of learning and curiosity about new things should always be in the foreground.
Thank you for the interview, Sina.
Would you like to join Capgemini as a Salesforce specialist? You can find all vacancies in our job portal.
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