What’s Hot in Salesforce? With Phil Walton

When two-time Salesforce MVP, consultant and blogger Phil Walton began using Salesforce, there were few events, no Answers forum and no Trailhead, so he taught himself from the Help information online, training notes – and a whole lot of trial and error.

As time went on, Phil wanted to share his experience with others, so he founded the North England User Group, answered many questions on the Answers forum and began sharing Salesforce tips on his Phil Walton Salesforce Consultancy blog.

We caught up with Phil to ask him where his blog is going next – and what he’s currently studying to expand his Salesforce knowledge.

Q: Briefly describe your history with Salesforce.
A: I started using Salesforce back in 2004, for a company I was working with in Manchester (England). With our old system it took two guys a full day to make some simple layout changes, so we wanted something new. Someone mentioned this “CRM website,” (Salesforce) so we thought we would give it a try. Very quickly, I was able to make those same changes in a matter of minutes.

About a year later I went solo, the clients got bigger and the challenges got tougher, but Salesforce was always up to the job.

Now my company is made up of 12 people in four continents. We can work on bigger projects still and cover all of the massive range of products and functionalities in the Salesforce ecosystem.

I was made a Salesforce MVP in December 2013. It is such an honor and great experience to spend time with such a passionate, clever, loud, genuine, helpful bunch of people. I can’t wait until we all get together again, and hopefully with some new members of the MVP family.

Q: What are you currently working on or learning about/pursuing with Salesforce?
A: For a start, it’s exam time! Every certified professional has to keep up with their release exams, and I am the same, so I will be doing those imminently. I would recommend everyone serious about Salesforce to get certified.

But also there is so much to play with in the Winter ’16 release, which should keep me occupied for a while. With Salesforce, you must keep on learning; never rest on what you think you know.

Q: What do you think or hope is next for your Salesforce journey?
A: 2016 should be a great year, I am so excited about expanding my business as a Salesforce Partner, and working on some great new projects.

I want to expand my new London Business User Group, and maybe help launch a new user group.

But the most exciting prospect is building the #baldforce group to raise more funds for some great kids’ charities. We launched our first event at Dreamforce in September, and next year I hope to plan events around the world. Other MVPs and I had a great time doing this and were so happy that people joined in, and I believe we are up to the challenge of continuing onward.

Phil Walton collects art, like this Gilbert & George painting in his office.

Phil Walton collects art, like this Gilbert & George painting in his office.

Q: Briefly describe your “day job” work environment.
A:
The great thing about the modern office is that really it is wherever you are, wherever your laptop is, wherever your phone is, wherever you have Wi-Fi.

I have an office at home in Manchester, and I have an office in London.

Q: Name one thing on your physical desk that’s interesting, inspiring or meaningful and why.
A: I have lots of techie stuff, lots of Salesforce swag and my MVP plaques, but what most people don’t know is that I am also a collector of artwork. I have a few pretty cool pieces, and one that I really like is a signed Gilbert &  George piece I picked up in Berlin in 2007 that’s hanging on my office wall.

What’s Hot in Salesforce? is an occasional blog series that asks Salesforce MVPs and employees to tell us about their role with Salesforce and what they hope to achieve next.

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