Saving 75% of deployment time with Gearset
Since first implementing Salesforce at the end of 2017, the UCLA Business and Finance Solutions team has been developing customizations for a whole range of departments across the campus. The plan is for Salesforce to become one of the organization’s primary back-office tools and a strategic application for the entire university. We caught up with Joseph Zabaglo, IT Manager, and Vijay Aswani, Salesforce Technical Lead, to find out how Gearset is helping with this transformation.
Vijay’s busy team of three are responsible for managing an end-to-end Salesforce process. They work on everything from building, designing, testing, architecting and deploying solutions to two main production orgs. Whether it’s for HR, Tax, Legal, Treasury, Real Estate, General Accounting or Global Operations, it’s down to Vijay and his team to make sure the necessary Salesforce-driven solutions are implemented.
Before Gearset, confidence levels in deployments were very low
With a large backlog of projects to implement, the team was struggling with deployments. Vijay had identified a critical need:
Issues with change sets were slowing down the team’s ability to progress new work items from a partial sandbox, to a full sandbox and on to production. There was a lot of manual preparation work before each deployment - tracking changes and figuring out what to include in each change set, as Vijay explains:
Knowing what to include wasn’t the only challenge, knowing what to exclude was also tricky:
During development, you have all these awesome ideas that you think will work in a certain way. Sometimes those ideas don’t pan out, but, hey, who goes and deletes them, right? We just kept on building: we’d build this, we’d build that, and put all that stuff in there.
The team also had an issue around bugs and errors being shipped to production. This resulted in features being broken and yet more time spent on fixing releases:
Impressed with Gearset from the get-go
Vijay had seen a demo of Gearset at Dreamforce and was starting to think about adding version control to the team’s process. From the start, he was impressed by Gearset’s unique metadata comparisons because it tells you the lines that have changed:
The team had evaluated another third-party tool but, compared to Gearset, it still seemed much closer to what they’d experienced with change sets because it didn’t tell them exactly what they needed to deploy:
Gearset gives you a process you can trust
Vijay is very happy with Gearset and sees the overall benefits in terms of his team having confidence in the deployment process:
The tool has helped the team save up to 75% of their deployment time. Vijay himself spends less time reviewing his team’s work and now feels confident about allocating tasks to others:
As well as knowing exactly what’s going to be deployed, Vijay and the team benefit from Gearset’s problem analyzers, which flag up and resolve more than 60 common deployment issues to make sure deployments succeed. The team will also consider implementing version control, as Vijay hopes to generate more time-savings from Gearset’s CI capabilities at some point in future if the team expands. Following a recent Salesforce outage, Vijay is keenly aware of the need to have a complete backup solution in place.
Recommending Gearset for better Salesforce ROI
Gearset is helping the team at UCLA deliver more value to end users, save time on deployments and prevent errors in production. As Vijay explains, this translates into benefits for the team’s internal customers:
I told my manager that, instead of two weeks, I will take a week or less using Gearset. And if you save two weeks, even the customers get that we can do things faster, so we can add more value to what we are building.
For Vijay, Gearset is the tool to use for deployments, especially if you’re unsure about the deployment process. And he would absolutely recommend Gearset to other Salesforce teams: