When Salesforce launched its all new Lightning Experience last year, it was big news. I’m sure that, like me, you’re a little anxious to give up the Classic user interface, but I’m finding Lightning to be an excellent experience so far, and it’s only getting better. With 90,000 customers already leveraging the Lightning Experience, it’s popular as well. Now Salesforce is leveraging the Lightning brand to launch its newest product packages, Lightning Editions.

Announced at the beginning of February, Lightning Editions are a wholly reimagined packaging of Sales and Service Cloud to offer customers more functionality and increased productivity with a relatively small increase in cost (which will, of course, help Salesforce increase its profits on its way to becoming the fourth largest software company in the world).

Here’s what’s new.

Sales Cloud Lightning Editions

Salesforce currently offers three main editions to their Sales Cloud: Professional, the much-beloved Enterprise, and Unlimited. Salesforce carries these names forward into the new editions, but what changes, aside from price, is functionality. Take a look.

sales cloud lightnening editions full

This screenshot, taken from the Salesforce FY17 Kickoff video, shows the super exciting new elements of the Sales Cloud Lightning Editions – most notably, the HUGE improvements to Professional edition. With the addition of Workflow automation, sales console, record types and unlimited tabs and apps, customers running the new Professional Edition will see a noticeable improvement in their Salesforce experience.

It was also mentioned, although not outlined in the above screenshot, that Salesforce now offers full Lead to Cash functionality with these editions thanks to the SteelBrick CPQ acquisition. What is not clear to me at this time is if the Steelbrick CPQ functionality will be wrapped into the price of the new editions or if this will remain an additional paid feature.

Enterprise Edition will now come with a partial sandbox and 25 developer sandboxes! For nearly every organization, this number of sandboxes should make every Salesforce Administrator happy!

Service Cloud Lightning Editions

While the Sales Cloud tends to overshadow the Service Cloud, the lovers of Service Cloud shouldn’t be upset about the new Sales Cloud editions because Service Cloud is going to be feeling the love as well.

Service Cloud Lightning Editions

With additional functionality starting in Professional Edition, each new Service Cloud edition will see an increase in functionality and overall value. In addition to the features above, Salesforce has hinted at a new Community Lightning Cloud which will include new Lightning Community Templates, Lightning Community Management, and integrated Live Agent for superior and streamlined customer support.

When To Expect Lightning Editions

Salesforce will be rolling the new editions out to customers starting Q2 2017. Customers will not need to change editions in order to receive the new editions and related features. From the Salesforce press release:

“These new editions are expected to be generally available in Q2 FY17 (quarter ending July 31, 2016). Existing Sales Cloud and Service Cloud customers will automatically receive the capabilities and features of the new Lightning Editions on a rolling schedule starting Q2 FY17. They will not need to change editions.”

What is not clear is if the rolling schedule will be part of the Summer ’16 release, or if it will coincide with customer contract renewals.

Based on this information, I am expecting to see a huge Summer ’16 release with a host of new features and an increase in Lightning Experience functionality.

If you want more information on the new Lightning Editions, you can read the press release, the official announcement on the Salesforce blog, or watch the full FY17 Kickoff event here.

Are you excited about the changes to the Salesforce Editions? Leave a comment below!

21 thoughts on “ Everything You Need to Know About the New Salesforce Lightning Editions ”

  1. Admin’s don’t have anything to say about a 20% price hike? I don’t believe it!

    Admin Hero serves a very useful function — I routinely read it along with another 5 to 10 other Salesforce related blogs — that focus on different parts of the Salesforce ‘eco-system’.

    In aggregate, they keep me up-to-date with Salesforce.

    What I don’t see from ANY of these blogs/communities (and it’s becoming a point of contention for me) is ANY kind of push-back to Salesforce.

    What the heck? Is Salesforce the perfect company?

    They just imposed (with Lightning) a very expensive upgrade requirement on all of their customers. Not only do customers have to invest in reconfiguring much of their existing org’s, but there will be new development expense, considerable retraining expense — and probably more expenses that I haven’t considered yet.

    NOTE: there are a lot of companies out there who are already struggling with Salesforce (likely because they don’t have a proper Admin) — this new upgrade may well be the ‘last straw’ for a lot of companies — this is when they ‘dump’ their Salesforce system.

    As far as I know, Lightning wasn’t something that customers were clamoring for. Lightning is something that Salesforce wanted.

    PLUS, now . . .

    Salesforce is announcing a 20% across the board price increase for their basic platform(s) — $150.00 per user per month for a single Enterprise Sales Cloud license. $1,800.00 per user per year!

    Even the most loyal & dedicated Salesforce customers, partners, advocates, integrators, consultants, etc. — have got to be deeply concerned about this — yet, the current Admin Hero post reads like a paid Salesforce ad.

    I’m mad as heck about this — and I find it difficult to believe that the 1,000’s of Admin’s reading this blog (the people with the most personally vested in the Salesforce system) — are not concerned that Salesforce is about to jack their prices up by 20%.

    Thoughts? Anybody?


    1. Agree with a lot of thoughts there, Brian. I didn’t see it noted – with the release of these Lightning editions, is Classic UI going away for good? I imagine some day it will, there is just too much missing from Lightning still for them to kill it all together, in my opinion.

      It’s true, the price increase is a bit obtuse. After using, administering, and recommending SFDC for nearly a decade, I’ve begun to explore other options. Their path to innovation is through acquisition, abandoning a lot of the factors that made Salesforce great in the beginning. A lot of other CRM companies are springing up without the added bells and whistles and features you pay for but never use. They do a real good job of getting folks to drink the kool-aid, I’m glad I’m not alone in my growing frustration with the company.

      Did Salesforce mention that with the roll-out of these new editions, will existing customers remain grandfathered in at their current price, or come renewal time will there be an unexpected jump in price?


      1. Hey Dan! Thanks for the comment. See my reply to Brian for some of my other thoughts on the Lightning Experience. In terms of being grandfathered, it’s unclear if there will be a grandfathering in of existing clients, or if all customers will eventually upgrade. There wasn’t an explicit mention about how these changes will impact current customers. My assumption is that they will want everyone to upgrade, but we’ll see how this plays out come Summer time when the new editions are made available. I wouldn’t put it past Salesforce to just up the price and expect companies to sign without question but we’ll have to see.


      2. I’m with you Dan (along with a LOT of other early SF adopters) — I drank the kool-aid for a long time — I was a big advocate for them.

        I suppose I still am, I recommend and support their service — but the relationship has really changed. A lot.

        “Growing frustration” is a nice way to put it — I’m honestly beginning to look for alternatives — but there aren’t any yet.


        1. You guys really ought to at least look at what Oracle is doing in cloud the past few years — Sales Cloud in particular. Oracle competed with Salesforce in multi-tenant early on (with CRM On Demand from Siebel) and decided that technology just wouldn’t scale to support the demands of future cloud users — particularly those that need a modern cloud platform. So they rearchitected and, though it may have taken longer than some like, the features and value delivered have passed Salesforce in many ways.


    2. Hey Brian, thanks for the comment. I don’t view Admin Hero as a platform to complain and cajole Salesforce to do anything in particular. That being said, most of the content on the site is positive towards Salesforce, but not without making mention of the downside. I could have left off the fact that there was a price increase for the new editions, but that wouldn’t allow anyone to make informed decisions or, complain if they felt the need.

      As it relates to the Lightning Experience, Salesforce has said time and time again that it’s optional for all customers. Yes, they are making a push for everyone to use it and for current customers to migrate, but they have also said repetedly that they are not forcing anyone to move. The new UI will not be applied to every inch of Salesforce for at least 18 months or more over the course of multiple release cycles. They have also said, on multiple occasions, that they have no plans to retire Salesforce Classic.

      I would be surprised if Salesforce EVER forced customers to use the new experience that wasn’t fully operational and without an extremely long notice period. I just don’t see how that would make any business sense.


    3. I agree with a lot of the points you make Brian, but have a slightly different take on some of them.

      Like you I read several blogs on Salesforce and at first I shared your surprise at what I perceived to be a lack critical analysis of Salesforce. However a lot / most of the bloggers are MVPs and /or rely on Salesforce for their income, so I shouldn’t have expected bloggers to publicly bite the hand that feeds them (maybe just a nibble every now and then would be enough).

      On the cost hikes. There has been a lot of online discussion for several years about the fact that Salesforce will have to either move prices upwards, or cut costs to improve margin. Therefore cost increases, whilst not welcome, are not a massive surprise. I was just waiting to see how SF justified the increase. Also would I would not expect my employers to pay the full increased cost at renewal.

      I think the question Dan raises around how these changes will be applied is key. I expect we will have a renewal discussion around licence volumes and discount at some point in the future and reach an agreement that we can both live with.


  2. Thanks for the run-down Brent. When I saw this from the webinar, my first reaction was that the majority of our EE customers will now fit into PE, thus saving them money (and generating many arguments as downgrades are not allowed. Curious if exceptions will be made).

    As for Lighting, I’m the only one I know actually using it every day, but I’m a fan. We set up an org for our new company, had a straight-forward sales process, so it was a good fit. With the exception of adding products to Opps (and getting account hierarchies, I just discovered), I pretty much stay in the new UI. I think this is just another overuse of the term “Lightning” though – will probably lead to confusion that only Lightning is supported.


    1. Tom, you have a point – new customers signing contracts could probably leverage the Professional Edition and get most of what they’re looking for. However, it looks like integrations will require Enterprise Edition which will probably still force most companies into Enterprise Edition. I heard at one point why you can’t downgrade without setting up a new org and migrating, but I don’t recall the rationale. PS – I like lightning too and am finding that I’m using it whenever possible.


  3. Thanks for the sharing of information Brent. I can see that Lightning is going to be the future of Salesforce Visual Force pages. I would like to stay pretty much in the new UI. The new features are also looking very interesting to me. And the best part if availability of more and more Sandboxes. But the only doubt that I have in my mind, still I think there are so many features not supported by Lightning? If Salesforce can make those features available before this global roll out that would be great. Otherwise it is always a problem you know


    1. Sudipta, they are working hard to get the entire platform updated with the new Lightning Experience, but it will take some time. You’ll see that with each new release, Salesforce will be launching a bunch of new Lightning Experience features with more of the platform experience making the transition and becoming available. I would say that it will take about 18 months or more before the entire platform has been converted.


  4. Brent, All,

    14+ years on the platform, I was customer 200 or thereabouts so I have some thoughts about Lightening. The upside of having modular objects and the ability to reimagine the Home Page and Other Object Page Layouts using the new UI seemed like a great idea when I first saw it but now that I have looked at the new UI in some detail I am underwhelmed with the overall”EXPERIENCE” plus the the price increases are a real disappointment too.

    User Adoption has always been the Achilles Heel of the CRM space even for Salesforce users. After all the hoopla, what SFDC or any CRM platform must do is provide a straight-ahead data base for managing client relationships: (Leads/Accounts/Contacts/Opps/Cases. All the fussing about the UI obscures the reality that we are in the business of collecting, adding, editing, and reporting on an array of known data types and information. We still must qualify and process leads. We need accurate and complete Account detail, we need well designed and executed sales engagement methodology and we we must have a number of integrated back-office systems to make the user experience tolerable.

    I’ve been in the SFA/CRM space 33 years and if Lightening represents the standing ovation of the UI evolution for SFDC then we have sorely missed the boat. I want the CRM to provide the Who/What/When/Where/How and Why as instantly as possible and for me Lightening requires I work especially hard to ferret out those details, especially if the Org in question has a rich supply of custom objects and fields.

    I love SFDC, I know Marc Benioff Parker Harris personally but there’s no way you run a company using an SFDC on an iPhone its a great soundbite but wholly impractical. For our firm and our clients I see now desire or interest in making the move from SFDC Classic to Lightening at least for now. Maybe I am not seeing the Big Picture the you do Brent but as SFDC Consultants and Admins we owe it to ourselves to not be bobbleheads and just say yes to whatever SFDC proposes.

    Net, net, I think the company needs to talk to a lot more people like me and our clients before they say Lightening is the uber experience everyone has been waiting for.



    Just read all of the comments and I’m excited about this dialog — mostly because it proves that I’m not just a grouchy old guy. There are others who think Salesforce many no longer be Totally Awesome.

    Even more compelling when executives running large ORGS start talking about potential topics for the renewal conversation.

    That’ll definitely get people’s attention . . .

    There are some smart marketing services vendors out there — making a move into the CRM space (Hubspot comes to mind) — especially important for those of us who believe that the “M” in CRM stands for MARKETING.


    1. Salesforce is not totally awesome. Anything but. They don’t care about their customers anymore and are only interested in increasing perpetual revenue. Just look at the idea exchange and you’ll find simple ideas that should have been implemented when first suggested 9+ years ago. The new Lightning Experience is horrible. It’s a mobile UI/UX on desktop that looks/feels clumsy and is missing too many important features from SF Classic (ie: no quotes?). There is a big opportunity for another company to come along and eat their lunch.


  6. There are a lot of Salesforce cheerleaders out there — and even after all I’ve been through with Salesforce and their people — I suppose I’m still one of them.

    . . . but that is changing because of recent developments. There are two reasons that I still promote Salesforce at every opportunity:

    1. I’m vested in them — I’ve trained & worked in the Salesforce system (and eco-system) for more than a decade now — and I’ve seen these systems deliver powerful business change and value;

    2. They have the best software — I can deliver more value at far less cost using Salesforce than any other system.

    With that said, there are several reasons I’m starting to have a change of heart about them:

    1. Their product offerings are overly complex & their pricing is too high (especially their new pricing). Customers often end up paying a great deal for capabilities that they don’t want, need or even understand. Salesforce doesn’t seem concerned;

    2. Salesforce makes their partners pay them for the privilege of being a partner — they become little more than commissioned sales reps for Salesforce;

    3. Salesforce has pretty much destroyed the concept of Customer Relationship Marketing — CRM, for most people today, means little more a type of software;

    4. Lightning is a mess — it wasn’t ready for market, but they launched it anyway (and I went to a ‘launch party’ — feeling kind of stupid for having done that);

    5. . . . and lately, I’ve seen their CEO speaking out in support of what I would term very “left” political ideas. While he’s welcome to his personal opinion (we all are) — he has alienated a lot of people in the process, people who have more conservative views of the world.

    There IS (in fact) a huge opportunity for a NEW COMPANY to enter the scene with new products & services — especially for Small & Mid-Sized Businesses (SMB’s) — and take Salesforce’s customers from them.

    I’ve come into contact 50 to 75 Salesforce customers over the last 3 to 4 years — because I offer FREE assessment services to smaller companies to help them leverage their technology investment. I’ve found that nearly half of these customers are considerably less than satisfied with the way they’re treated by Salesforce — and the prices they’re paying. They’re ready for a change.

    Salesforce is like a freight train right now — rolling fast, with a great deal of momentum. But they need to understand that, in this day & age, all of that can change very quickly.

    My point. Salesforce is still awesome in some ways. But they’re not awesome in a lot of other ways.



    1. Brian,

      Your comments about Marc’s willingness to use the bully pulpit for espousing States and Government officials to “Do The Right Thing” is something I greatly admire and encourage but that point aside I agree with some of your other points especially about SFDC costing too much.

      Our firm focuses on the SMB marketplace, these are firms who must watch their costs but still require the same robust solutions that larger firms are able to pay for. I’m unhappy with the price increases because it further places financial pressure on these clients without adding any meaningful value for it. And don’t get me started on Steelbrick CPQ Pricing, that has gone through the roof.

      I don’t see meaningful competition emerging that will provide the range of sophistication and flexibility that SFDC does, I’ve looked at what’s out there and so far am not impressed. I will say that Lightening is indeed a mess and further I hate the mobile UI but there are products like Squid that allow provide tools to create a UI experience that gives SFDC some much needed uplift in the UI department.

      There’s a lot that happens to a firm when they hit the Multi-Billion revenue mark, the overhead to sustain and maintain the company changes dramatically, we saw this happen with Siebel and I hope and pray SFDC doesn’t loose its connection with partners like us and most important the customers who put SFDC on the map to begin with.

      There is room for much improvement and I think your comments are indicative of the need to let the company know that larger and bigger is not necessarily a good thing. I’ve been in the SFDC ecosystem a long time and its provided a fantastic opportunity and livelihood but it is important for all of us to start pushing back when we see things are getting out of balance.


      1. Jeff,

        If we leave the political aspect out of this discussion — you and I are in agreement on just about everything.

        I (apparently) believe more in what the free market is capable of doing . . .

        I honestly believe that Salesforce could be looking at a new competitor, well funded, in the next 12 to 18 months. And if I see something that I like — in terms of mission statement, in terms of service & support offerings, pricing — I’ll be among the first to jump on that bandwagon.

        As for the far left political ideas that Benioff espouses — the idea that I am subsidizing his billionaire lifestyle and his pulpit — gives me real cause to stop and think, how do I distance myself from this.

        Thanks for your insight & input.



  7. >>They have the best software — I can deliver more value at far less cost using Salesforce than any other system.

    At best this is 2010/2012 thinking. Oracle, Microsoft, SAP — even Sugar for that matter — have advantages over SFDC today. That’s not saying SFDC doesn’t retain advantages over them, they do. But the situation is more complex than a blanket “SFDC delivers more value/cost than any other”. In core CRM, its not hard to find alternative solutions that deliver more value for the price than SFDC — particularly when one starts adding in the multiple apps SFDC requires to build out complete solutions for most customers. And SFDC doesn’t even play in many of the product areas an Oracle, Microsoft or SAP do. (Microsoft specifically targets SFDC with ‘low cost provider’ pricing while Oracle takes a ‘most complete feature set’ approach — both provide a great deal of value compared to SFDC.)

    I can certainly agree with #4. Which highlights another aspect of why #2 is no longer true. SFDC’s UX and architecture is 17 years old! SFDC is pushing the Lightning object model because they see the writing on the wall. The rule of thumb is high tech turns over every 10 years. Most believe the tech turnover in cloud is dropping toward 7 years. Even if you give SFDC bonus points for starting the movement (and you should) they are clearly behind the architectural 8-ball compared to Microsoft, Oracle and SAP (just to focus on the main competitors) who have all launched modern CRM cloud suites in the past 5 years.

    The new CRM cloud companies are already here. If you haven’t looked at Oracle or Microsoft lately you’re missing out. If the ‘big boys’ are not your cup of tea, there are lots of low cost SFDC challengers as well. There’s a reason SFDC is passing $8B revenue but still can’t turn a profit — they have a crowd nipping at their heels.

    I support most of your other comments — momentum, change, SFDC positives… The big barrier to change is ripping out an established, and likely reasonably successful, CRM business process and migrating to another. But for those that need it, there’s value (or as Mark likes to call it: positive transformation) to be found.


    1. Dan,

      When I say “I can deliver more value at far less cost” — it’s largely because of my first point — the fact that I’m vested & deeply experienced in this technology.

      I’m not a technology geek — I’m a functional consultant focused on Marketing, Sales & Service operations. I’m probably not qualified to say “they have the best software” (so I’m officially retracting that statement for more qualified people like you to discuss). For me, it’s more about what I’m productive working with.

      I will never recommend that a client ever embrace Microsoft technology — been there, done that.

      My problem with Salesforce, simplified, is that they’re starting to behave (with their SMB clientele) the same way Microsoft did back in the 90’s — and I won’t go down that road again. They nearly put me out of business . . .

      Oracle. I have no personal experience with — but the similarities between Ellison & Benioff are hard to ignore. I suspect Oracle is just too big — and they covet the enterprise end of the market too much to ever be genuinely interested in the SMB market.

      I’m waiting for a group of really smart executives to come out of companies like Google, Oracle, Salesforce, Mircosoft, etc (like Benioff did in the late 90’s) — and create a new company to do the things that their prior employers didn’t want to do.



  8. Thanks for the sharing of information Brent. The features of lightning are really interesting and they really have done a good job. We are one of the salesforce consultants and we are happy to provide the services for lightning too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.