myTrailhead platform delights Salesforce partners at Dreamforce

While Trailhead was created in 2014 specifically to teach Salesforce skills in a gamified manner, myTrailhead, scheduled to be available in 2018, is envisioned as becoming a tool to impart all corporate learning.

SAN FRANCISCO — At Dreamforce here this week, Salesforce unveiled a variety of partner enablement efforts. For app-centric partners, Salesforce highlighted the newly-revamped AppExchange, with its personalized recommendations and intelligent search familiar to B2C site users. They announced Lightning Flow templates that embed business processes and flows were announced. Forthcoming Partner Accelerators — face time with Salesforce experts — were made public. So was extension of Salesforce’s internal Compass methodology to partners.

From discussions with partners, however, ChannelBuzz found that the most popular of the new initiatives appeared to be myTrailhead. Salesforce introduced Trailhead in 2014  —  a gamified online learning platform to learn Salesforce skills. A Trailhead expo occupied a large amount of floor space in the Moscone West facility, and was packed throughout the event. Now, with myTrailhead, Salesforce is extending this platform to enable companies to customize the learning environment with their own content and branding—from custom onboarding trails to company-specific enablement skills. It’s an extension of Salesforce’s interactive learning platform that Salesforce has been using internally, which will let organizations create their customized training with their own custom brand and custom content.

“What’s really important isn’t advancements in feature functionality,” said Philip Grosch, Toronto-based Partner and National Digital Services Leader at PwC Canada. “It’s the speed at which you can make customers come to market. For established companies, using cloud to change the way that they work is really hard.”

Grolsch said that while, generally, Salesforce is the easiest of the CRM platforms to facilitate customers being able to scale, myTrailhead will significantly improve the process.

“myTrailhead is an important innovation because it allows you to scale quickly, using the power of digital,” he stated. “It reimagines the way that you train people to become proficient.”

The idea behind myTrailhead is ambitious. It is intended to transform the corporate learning model, by providing organizations with a platform  tools needed for fully customized learning, that will replace everything else they used today, such as FAQs, slide decks and manuals.

“myTrailhead is so in line with how we think of enabling everybody,” said Chris Peacock, VP Marketing and Alliances, at Burnaby-based Salesforce partner Traction on Demand. “It is something that we could offer to satisfy both very large companies as well as smaller ones, because it makes Trailhead more and more accessible.”

The myTrailhead platform has several components. Trail Maker is the guided setup tool that lets companies create private learning content for their employees customized with their own brand in just a few clicks. This can be either from the large pre-curated library of public Trailhead content, or entirely new material that the companies create themselves. With Trail Mixer, managers can create custom learning paths called Trailmixes can be built, again, using a combination of public Trailhead  or external corporate content.

Trailhead Profile  provides a complete view of an employee’s skills and expertise, including Trailhead badges earned, points accumulated and skills learned, laid out in a way to provide managers with a  complete view of their skill set.  The Trail Tracker app provides gamified leaderboards to motivate employees and allow managers to assign and track personalized learning across their organization. Trail Checker rates and rewards learning by letting companies build interactive challenges designed to assess skills—including stand-and-deliver, quizzes and hands-on challenges.

Peacock noted that myTrailhead appears to be significantly more user-friendly than Trailhead was at its inception in 2014.

“It wasn’t as easy in the past,” he said. “It has evolved and improved, just like the Salesforce platform has.”

Martin Shaw, co-founder and partner at Toronto-area based Salesforce Partner Stratus360, noted that the real genius of myTrailhead is its ability to impart change management to customers.

“Change management is a very important element, that will often make or break a project,” he said. “myTrailhead is extremely interesting as a change management tool.”

myTrailhead is planned to be in pilot the first half of 2018, with general availability later in the year. Pricing will be announced at the time of general availability.