Apttus is thrilled to feature its latest installment of the Salesforce MVP of the Month program, in which we spotlight the exceptional leaders of the Salesforce Ecosystem that have lent us their expertise, knowledge, and ongoing contributions, ensuring both our individual improvements and the betterment of the platform as a whole. It’s thanks to these individuals that our daily questions have been answered on the Success Community, difficult admin tasks have been made easier, and even empowered some of us to get certified.

For August, 2017, the Salesforce MVP of the Month is Rebe de la Paz. Unlike the “Accidental Admins” we hear so much about, Rebe got her start in late 2012 doing massive data migration and manipulations. Ouch! Without further delay, meet Rebe!

1.  How and when did you get started with the Salesforce ecosystem? What was your first role and initial reaction to the platform? I got started with the Salesforce ecosystem back in the fall of 2012, while in the role of Marketing Coordinator. I managed five different marketing campaigns through three different media: printed letters, email and flyers. In my role, we would attach the marketing to contacts manually in Sage ACT. About a month later there was a new system ready called “Salesforce”. I thought, “Hmmm…this is definitely a Facebook for work type of system.” My reaction was to go home and research what this “software” was all about. Mind you this was pre-Trailhead, so my sources were all over the internet.
2.   What is your favorite thing to do in Salesforce and why?   Using something new and making it work. In my context that means trying the latest “feature” or oftentimes a feature I had never used before. I have a passion for learning, so I am always looking for something new to learn. Salesforce updates thrice a year and I am never bored with attempting to learn as much as I can absorb.
3.   What is your (or your client’s) top pain point in Salesforce?  Reporting & Dashboards. There are so many cool features you can customize, yet with reporting there are limitations that are hard to battle when you have people reluctant to let go of Excel spreadsheets that tackle simple reporting visuals with ease. I enjoy the new features available in Lightning Dashboards and I am hopeful that Salesforce will deliver some really cool features for Report Builder in Lightning too.
4.   The AppExchange has thousands of apps. For custom things you (or your client) need, do you build or buy, and why?   It all depends on the context of the app need. Budget is usually the primary variable that dictates either my (or my client’s) need. I tend to perform my own regular vetting process that includes the following: price comparison vs. budget, out of the box functionality vs. customization of the app, time spent customizing app vs. building from scratch, managed support vs. unmanaged support, managed custom limitations vs. unmanaged custom flexibility (apex open, fields modifiable, etc.) and user ease. I created this process, while working as an admin under a very limited budget. Sometimes I found it was easier for me to build a custom feature, whereas other times I would use an app.
5.   Many Community members depend on MVPs to get their questions answered. Who do you turn to when you have a tough question that needs to be answered?  I depend on everyone. MVPs, colleagues, the community (this includes everyone I know and don’t know) and lately I have learned a lot from newbies I have introduced to the system. I learn different views and angles of the system that never gets old to me.

6.   What piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting a career in the Salesforce Ecosystem?  I give this advice to the Intro to Salesforce classes I teach as well as individuals I work who have decided to pursue a Salesforce career. Attend user group meetings/events (in-person if possible or virtually). The networks, friends and support I have received from the user group community is undefinable.

My participation within the community has provided me with not just a platform for my Salesforce career, but also so many other vital cornerstones. Such as answers to my questions (even the simple ones born out of my ignorance), empowering support (that extra push from people I now call soul sisters & brothers), a pat on the back (when things are not going well at work or home), opening doors to opportunities beyond my expectations (serving as a vehicle to get me involved in helping others) and I could go on infinitely.

This is the biggest piece of advice I can give to those starting out because it is what so many of us have done to get to where we are at now and it is what encompasses this amazing “thing” we call the Salesforce Ecosystem.

7.   We all know there is life outside Salesforce. What do you enjoy doing when you are off the platform?  I am a Salesforce-As-A-Lifestyle career lady. I spend my time not logged into the platform, planning how to log others onto the platform as well as into the Salesforce ecosystem through our non-profit PepUp Tech that I co-founded with four others.

I’ve said this before and I will say it continuously. We spend so much time solving problems to make money, why not spend time providing solutions to help our communities. This takes up a large portion of my time outside of the platform; however, I do have a family that I love and cherish with all my heart. My family time is even more special to me because I have filled my days with work and community work. I enjoy family time with my kids and my spouse. We spend a lot of time just sitting together talking about anything, spending time outside during the summer and my favorite is when we sit together at the dinner table eating a meal I have cooked. It’s the little things in life that I appreciate the most because I have experienced not being able to partake in such trivial moments due to having to work multiple jobs with long hours.

Follow Rebe on Twitter.

Wondering how Apttus can impact your business?

Download our 2017 Intelligent Quote-to-Cash Impact Study today!