Merivis Blog http://www.merivisblog.com Expert Technology Insight Fri, 30 Mar 2018 14:45:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 http://www.highenergy.no/?page=wp-content/uploads/2014/06/cropped-merivisbloglogovblack-32x32.png Merivis Blog http://www.merivisblog.com 32 32 69721781 Merivis and VetForce take on SXSW 2018! http://www.highenergy.no/?page=merivis-vetforce-take-sxsw-2018/ http://www.highenergy.no/?page=merivis-vetforce-take-sxsw-2018/#respond Mon, 26 Mar 2018 15:00:32 +0000 http://www.highenergy.no/?page=?p=2299 Authored by Stephanie Herrera, Nolan Melson and Hector Perez Merivis was at South by Southwest in full force this year. For the first year, both Merivis and Vetforce presented on a panel discussion (Transitioning Vets: From Battlefield to Tech Career) and we hosted a Merivis community mixer with all our friends and supporters in Austin.  Learn More »

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© David Brendan Hall

Authored by Stephanie Herrera, Nolan Melson and Hector Perez

Merivis was at South by Southwest in full force this year. For the first year, both Merivis and Vetforce presented on a panel discussion (Transitioning Vets: From Battlefield to Tech Career) and we hosted a Merivis community mixer with all our friends and supporters in Austin.  With another successful SXSW in the books, we wanted to share some of the highlights from Merivis and look back and take stock at this incredible opportunity to share our message with the tech, veteran and Austin community.

 

The Panel Discussion

© David Brendan Hall

 

Merivis had the honor of presenting at an official South by Southwest panel this year along with VetForce and a big thank you to Nolan Melson (Merivis Board of Directors) for spearheading the submission to get into SXSW. The panel was one of the first of the days of SXSW and held at the Austin’s brand new Fairmount Hotel between the convention center and Austin’s famed Rainey Street district.  The scope of our panel discussed best tactics and strategies for transitioning service members to implement when they are looking to break into the tech industry, along with best practices which companies can use in order to make cohesive and collaborative veteran communities within their own companies.

The panel discussion was moderated by Merivis’ own Kate Perez and she was joined on stage by Hector Perez (Merivis/Fidelity), Ann Weeby (Salesforce/VetForce) and Nolan Melson (Merivis/Cap Gemini). Each panelist discussed many topics related to some of the to transition and for the full session on our YouYube channel, check it out the session below.

 

Below are a few panel topics covered in the discussion and quotes from our panel.

  • What are some of the challenges you face with veterans moving into a tech career?  You need to be comfortable moving jobs and companies over a 20-30-year period vs the military” – Ann Weeby
  • What is a company gaining by hiring a veteran?  “…….when you are hiring a veteran you are getting a self motivated person, who will figure out what they need to know when they get into their new company” – Nolan Melson
  • Why did you start Merivis? “To help fill a huge gap we saw in the market place in which there was a high demand for Salesforce talent and this incredible talent pool of military veterans coming off the battlefield looking to enter the tech market career wise” – Hector Perez
  • Nolan best summarized anyone interested in getting started or involved in the technology career path perhaps in Salesforce or elsewhere “its important to be a self-starter and active in your endeavor and not just wait

 

The Merivis Community Mixer

Group pic at the Merivis Community Mixer!   © David Brendan Hall

 

Merivis Community Mixer © David Brendan Hall

When the panel discussion concluded at The Fairmount, many members of VetForce, Salesforce Saturday and the Austin Salesforce community joined forces for the Merivis Community mixer at beautiful Spanning offices in downtown Austin. A big thank you to Spanning for donating their space for our mixer, it is a great space and we appreciate it.  Representatives from Capgemini’s Veterans Employee Resource Group and North America Communications Team were in attendance to share how they work with veterans. The mixer was a celebration of trailblazers in the Salesforce community and the Merivis alumni to sit back, listen to some tunes and mingle. As some Merivis alumni were interviewed by our videographer, others enjoyed Torchy’s tacos and mimosas.  Hector spoke mid way through the mixer and thanked the Austin community and everyone involved in not only Merivis, but the supporting organizations such as VetForce, Cloud Co-op, Salesforce Saturday, Spanning, Cap Gemini, National Instruments and Accenture to name a few.

© David Brendan Hall

Chrissy from cohort 3 spoke about her experience in the Merivis cohort and the impact learning Salesforce has made on her life. Coincidently, Saturday March 10th also marked 20 years for Chrissy in the Army National Guard and her last day of Service. A big thank you and congratulations to Chrissy!

A final big thank you to Capgemini, Cloud Coop, Spanning and VetForce for making this event possible.

 

Inside Sound Ventures Party hosted by Salesforce

Nolan, Marc, Stephanie and Hector

We decided to let Hector, Stephanie and Nolan give their own take of this unique SXSW party which was the talk of SXSW the next day.

The Salesforce events team outdid themselves with the Sound Ventures event and we, the Austin Community could not be more grateful!! Marc Benioff, the real star for our community was so warm and welcoming to everyone that approached him, he gave us a memory none of us will ever forget! Salesforce walks the walk when they say, they put their customers first!”Stephanie Herrera

 

Guy Oseary and Ashton Kutcher
Saint Vincent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later that same evening at the Hotel Van Zandt many of us were invited to what became THE exclusive SXSW party of the weekend. This party was sponsored by Salesforce and Ashton Kutcher’s own Sound Venture. We were very thankful to have attended and even to meet Marc Benioff and talk a little about AI and Vetforce as the Austin skyline gleamed in the distance.  As acclaimed Texas artist Saint Vincent played, the room filled up with tech royalty and the energy in the room elevated to that of insanity when Elon Musk walked in.  Here we were, with tech billionaires, entrepreneurs, all you would need is Spike Lee…..oh yeah, he showed up as well! The crowd was intimate and it allowed for great conversations as Snoop Dogg took the stage and sent the room into a frenzy. As the party came to a close, we know for Merivis and VetForce, this was a great day. Not only were we able to get the message out about what veterans CAN do in technology careers, but even got to hob nob with a few celebs even if just for an evening.” – Hector Perez

You know that you’re in the right party when as soon as you walk in you see Marc Benioff, Ashton Kutcher, and “Steve” from Stranger Things just casually hanging out with other guests.  The night was going off without a hitch as Snoop Dogg sang some of the 90’s classics, bringing intense feelings of nostalgia from my childhood.  It was also great that Stephanie and I had the opportunity to speak with Ashton about Merivis Foundation, and his thoughts on investing in veteran founded tech startups in Ashton and my home state of Iowa.   We were also truly grateful to have a conversation with Marc Benioff highlighting the passion that we have to empower veterans through Salesforce at Merivis Foundation.  Just when we couldn’t think the night could get any better, the game changed when Elon Musk came in to hangout at Marc and Asthon’s table to take in the vibes.  Looking back, the Sound Ventures Party was the best SXSW party that I have ever been to and one of the best of my entire life.  Thank you to the Salesforce / Vetforce team who made our attendance possible.”  Nolan Melson

 

Salesforce Trailblazer Party

Later that week during SXSW, Salesforce had a local Trailbalzer party in east Austin.  Marc Benioff and his salesforce events team threw another great event for the Austin Salesforce Community with the Trailblazer Community Happy Hour at Volcom Garden! Erica Kuhl, the VP of Community for Salesforce even made a special trip to Austin for the event!

The Trailhead party was a great relaxed event to engage with people in the Salesforce community in Austin, and also network with folks outside of the community who were just there to experience the Ohana first hand.

 

 

 

 

 

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Merivis and Vetforce at SXSW 2018! http://www.highenergy.no/?page=merivis-vetforce-sxsw-2018/ Sun, 25 Feb 2018 16:09:08 +0000 http://www.highenergy.no/?page=?p=2279 It’s that time of year again!  We all love the free BBQ events, tech startup happy hours, and corporate sponsored concerts with Grammy award winning artists performing at your local Austin dive bar, however, more importantly SXSW Interactive brings some of the world’s biggest thought leaders across multiple industries and sectors. The Merivis Foundation is so excited Learn More »

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It’s that time of year again!  We all love the free BBQ events, tech startup happy hours, and corporate sponsored concerts with Grammy award winning artists performing at your local Austin dive bar, however, more importantly SXSW Interactive brings some of the world’s biggest thought leaders across multiple industries and sectors.

The Merivis Foundation is so excited to share our message in our SXSW panel on Saturday, March 10th 9:30AM-10:30AM, Transitioning Vets: From Battlefield to Tech Career.  Our panel features a mixture of veteran experiences featuring:

  • Hector Perez – Merivis founder and Board President, VP of CRM and Engineering at Fidelity Investments, Air Force veteran
  • Ann Weeby – Director of Salesforce’s “Vetforce” military initiative, Army veteran
  • Nolan Melson – Merivis Board Member, IT consultant and Veterans ERG North America Co-Lead at Capgemini, Army veteran
  • Kate Perez – Merivis co-founder and Advisory Council member, marketing professional, non-profit leader and veteran spouse

Over the past few years, our experiences through Merivis Foundation and Vetforce in training veterans and military spouses in Salesforce, and helping them find careers in IT, has allowed for us to have a “boots on the ground” perspective in this mission.  We take pride in having helped our Merivis alumni veterans transition from $9 an hour manual labor jobs, to $92,000 a year Salesforce Consultant careers.  Furthermore, we look forward to sharing our best practices and lessons learned and we hope to gain valuable insights from the audience as well.

Together, our diverse panel brings a mixture of perspectives and ideas in discussing veteran transition and careers in the cloud based IT ecosystem.  We will also discuss the challenges that veterans face, resources available and job opportunities for veterans transitioning to cloud careers.

Visit our Registration link for SXSW 2018 Badge Holders to sign up for our panel, and stay turned for a Salesforce Community Mixer hosted by Merivis Foundation and Vetforce. See you there!

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Alumni Spotlight: Sheldon Simmons http://www.highenergy.no/?page=alumni-spotlight-sheldon-simmons/ Thu, 25 Jan 2018 12:10:07 +0000 http://www.highenergy.no/?page=?p=2254 Sheldon was in the Merivis Foundation’s inaugural cohort 1 back in the Fall of 2015. Since then Sheldon has stayed the course, become Salesforce certified and has been an example of whats possible when you connect the dots of Salesforce, the community and drive. We are proud of you Sheldon and thanks for sharing your Learn More »

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Sheldon was in the Merivis Foundation’s inaugural cohort 1 back in the Fall of 2015. Since then Sheldon has stayed the course, become Salesforce certified and has been an example of whats possible when you connect the dots of Salesforce, the community and drive. We are proud of you Sheldon and thanks for sharing your story belowHector Perez

 

Sheldon meeting Salesforce cofounder Parker Harris with fellow Merivis alumni Yann and Ken

My name is Sheldon Simmons. I served eight years in the Navy as an Aviation Boatswain Mate. Before the Merivis Foundation, I didn’t have much experience dealing with computers or anything IT related. While in the Navy, when I wasn’t working on the flight deck, I would read magazines about jobs in the civilian sector. I would always read that IT was one of the fastest growing jobs and also one of the best paying. I was convinced that I needed to pursue a career in IT once my military enlistment was complete. Upon separation from the Navy, I end up working low skill jobs that didn’t pay much. At that time I didn’t have the skills I needed to acquire a higher paying job I desired. My rank didn’t matter in the civilian world and I had to start from the bottom. Long hours and low pay, was the norm for a few years. However, during this time I never lost sight of what I wanted and needed to accomplish. I decided to use this difficult time in my life as inspiration. The struggle I was enduring ended up being a blessing in disguise.

I had become fully aware of the career and life I didn’t want for myself and I needed a change I was working long hours but managed to take a Java coding class in the evening. This class would end up being the hardest class I’ve ever taken in my life. For at least four weeks I was completely lost. The class was full of student who had prior coding knowledge or worked at a job where they wrote code daily. Once again I was starting at the bottom but I was determined to learn and complete the course. About 25 students started the course, however when it finished a year later, myself and another student were the only ones left and presented our project. Once I finished my presentation, a counselor pulled me aside and ask if I had ever heard of Salesforce. I told her that I had never heard of Salesforce, and I didn’t want to sell anything to anybody and I needed a job working in tech.  She told me I would be perfect for the Merivis Foundation, which partners with VetForce.

Paying it forward. Sheldon speaking about his experience to fellow vets in Merivis cohort 4

Next the counselor put me in contact with Hector Perez and at the time I was skeptical about any opportunities that seemed too good to be true. I had spent the last few years working jobs that would promise things, only to end up being laid off later. I met Hector for coffee one afternoon and he told me about the Merivis and how their goal was to help veterans pursue careers within the Salesforce job market. He asked me if I would like to be a part of their next cohort. I was ecstatic! I knew this was the opportunity I had been looking for and it had finally arrived. The cohort classes were four weeks long with three weeks online and one week on site in Austin. I had started a new job the third week of class working nights. The onsite class started at eight in the morning. I left work at seven, leaving me with less than hour to sleep before class and was in a dilemma, but powered through. Once again hardships hand had to push me forward. I knew that if I could make it through the cohort, I would never have to work a low paying job again. I knew the cohort would teach me the skills I needed to compete in the workforce and it was all or nothing. So, for that last week of class I slept in my car for about 45 minutes, went to class and then went to work. I was extremely tired and wanted to give up. But knowing that I had a chance to secure my future financially, I felt sleep could wait. The training was great and I finished the cohort. I obtained my certification and I currently work as a Salesforce Consultant. We were fortunate to have Mandy Kelly be our instructor during the in classroom training, she did a great job helping us veterans just learning Salesforce.

There is a lot of short hours and high pay now. Don’t judge me, I deserve it! I owe all my success to the Merivis Foundation and everyone involved. I can honestly say that Merivis has changed my life by helping me secure the job I wanted. I will never forget everything Merivis has done for me and other Veterans like myself.

Thank You, Thank you, Thank you!

Sheldon Simmons

 

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Merivis at Dreamforce 2017! http://www.highenergy.no/?page=merivis-dreamforce-2017/ Mon, 20 Nov 2017 19:48:03 +0000 http://www.highenergy.no/?page=?p=2204 Earlier this month over 170,000 people descended onto San Francisco for the annual pilgrimage called Dreamforce.  Over time, this Dreamforce has taken a life of its own and is always is a great opportunity to reconnect with friends, colleagues and be inspired by the Salesforce non-profit community. The Merivis Foundation was fortunate to be a Learn More »

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Earlier this month over 170,000 people descended onto San Francisco for the annual pilgrimage called Dreamforce.  Over time, this Dreamforce has taken a life of its own and is always is a great opportunity to reconnect with friends, colleagues and be inspired by the Salesforce non-profit community. The Merivis Foundation was fortunate to be a big part of the VetForce crew which were invited to attend the event. We had nine of our veterans from cohorts 1-3 from Merivis attend and and take it all it (cohort 4 was still on class).  The blog below captures a few of the highlights from Dreamforce for Merivis.

Dreamforce Eve

Dreamforce started for the veterans with orientation Sunday evening. There veterans were briefed on what to expect and procured some really cool swag for the week. In addition, veterans were asked to complete this trail entitled “Military Veteran Recruitment Strategy”, which we all did.

 

Monday

The first full day of Dreamforce started with a flurry.  On this day, veterans had the opportunity to attend hands on Salesforce training for key areas of the platform to sharpen their skills. Many veterans had the opportunity to attend an employer networking event at Camp Innovation on the Dreamforce campus. This allowed many to sharpen their networking skills, while learning what employers are looking for in regards to Salesforce talent.  The highlight for veterans this day was watching Donald Bohrisch on stage at the Partner Keynote and get a standing ovation from the crowd. Donald went through the VetForce program and Salesforce training back in 2014 and has not looked back. Currently he is employed at Deloitte Digital and shared his journey of going through the VetForce program.  That same day Merivis cohort 3 grad Juliet was interviewed at the Admins Panel stage and she was joined by fellow board member Stephanie Herrera also talking about PepUp Tech. Later that day, Merivis’ board member and Salesforce MVP Stephanie Herrera had the spotlight during the main keynote with Marc Benioff! We are so proud to have Stephanie on the board and you should definitely check out her inspiring story.

Tuesday

As daylight broke and day 2 began the veterans had another full day packed of events. Some veterans went to see Michelle Obama speak, while others had the opportunity to explore the Dreamforce campground.  In addition, each veteran had the opportunity to talk to a career coach and sharpen their skills. As the day winded down, the festivities of Dreamfest took over. Many veterans took the opportunity to hike over to AT&T park and check out Lenny Kravitz and Alicia Keys.  It was surreal to be in a baseball stadium and enjoy a great show with ALL the food and drinks for free.  Many of us we astonished and thankful to be a part of this experience.

 

Wednesday 

The morning approached with weary eyes from the night before, but attending Lisa Jaster’s morning session entitled “Dreamtalk: Never Quit” was just what everyone needed.  All VetForce members had the privilege to hear Lisa talk about her journey as one of the first two female Army Rangers to have completed the training.  Lisa talked about her journey and that its not really about gender equality but people equality and the potential of that person.

 

The veterans wrapped up Wednesday with a VetForce Rally and happy hour at one of Salesforce offices in San Francisco and it was awesome!  We heard many inspiring stories about what veterans are doing with their Salesforce training including Sheldon Simmons from Merivis cohort 1.

 

Conclusion

Salesforce leadership was out and in big support of VetForce and Merivis.

Parker Harris with Merivis Cohort 1 grads Yann, Ken and Sheldon
Tony Prophet and Hector Perez
Hector Perez, Keith Block and Aniz (cohort 3)

 

As Dreamforce came to an end Thursday, the veterans wrapped up with a few last sessions and really looked forward to catching up on much needed rest.  We leave you with some quotes from \Merivis alumni who attended Dreamforce ’17:

This was an incredible opportunity for me, as a transitioning Army Officer, to engage with the leaders of the future and learn how I can be involved in transforming the world for the better.” – Dennis Kelly

Dreamforce 2017 was an incredible conference…so many great elements and things to do at this BIG EVENT…I’m still recovering! We had a fun and amazing group of military, veterans and spouses with our Merivis team along with all the other great folks from Vetforce. Many thanks to Hector, Ann Weeby, Jason Noma along with all the support team from both Merivis and Vetforce for making this a memorable and worthwhile experience!” – Glenn Goodwin

Dreamforce 2017 was an awesome experience, i have learnt so much in this big event, meta lot of great people and I had a lot of fun with all the Verforce members and Merivis team. I will never forget this experience. It was a great opportunity to be part of this excellent conference. I want to Thank all the Merivis Board member for all their support and Special thanks to Hector, you are amazing. All the Vetforce members for supporting the Veterans and spouses, Ann, Cory and Jason thank you so much guys for this great Opportunity “ – Juliet Coulanges-Pierre

This is my first dreamforce. I could not do this if I did not find Merivis Foundation and get in to the Salesforce Ecosystem. Thanks to Hector Perez for supporting the veterans at Texas with the training and getting them ready for job market. Thank you Vetforce for giving us the necessary platform for the training and certifications, and last but not the least, for helping us getting into Dreamforce 2017 and arranging the events geared towards the veterans. This is a life changing opportunity to me as all this kind endeavors led me to land a job as a Salesforce Business Analyst. Moving forward, I know Vetforce and Merivis is working hard to getting more veterans employed in the Salesforce Platform. Please let us know if we can contribute anyway to keep the torch up and finish the circle.” – Anis Khan

An amazing experience… Dreamforce is your ultimate rock show circus playground. Discover and learn new skills, reunite with friends, meet many inspiring Heroes and Trailblazers, and enjoy one of the most exciting weeks of your life.” –  Cory Hinrichs

Dreamforce 2017 was filled with great moments, both personally and professionally. I was able to connect with many others who are Veterans and pursuing a career in the Salesforce ecosystem, while learning about current functionality, possible future functionalities, and what it means to give back to our community. The amount of learning that I’ve had the opportunity soak in was second only to the amount of motivation I felt on my way back home (and still have now).” – Yann Germain-Tardieu

 

 

 

 

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Merivis Foundation Cohort 4 Presented by Accenture http://www.highenergy.no/?page=merivis-foundation-cohort-4-presented-accenture/ Sat, 21 Oct 2017 23:43:11 +0000 http://www.highenergy.no/?page=?p=2197   Accenture first partnered with Merivis in 2016 and is now the proud sponsor of our fourth Cohort for Fall 2017.  Amy Flamenbaum, our guest Blogger, is a Merivis Foundation board member and Senior Manager at Accenture. Accenture prides itself on leadership, discipline, management, and partnership. It’s no coincidence that our organization, right up to Learn More »

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Accenture first partnered with Merivis in 2016 and is now the proud sponsor of our fourth Cohort for Fall 2017.  Amy Flamenbaum, our guest Blogger, is a Merivis Foundation board member and Senior Manager at Accenture.

Accenture prides itself on leadership, discipline, management, and partnership. It’s no coincidence that our organization, right up to our CEO, is personally committed to bringing women, men, and spouses transitioning from the military on to the Accenture team. Experience tells us that our organizations (Accenture and the US Military) have a lot in common – as we seek to deliver and excel by these same values.

Selecting Merivis as an Accenture Grant Recipient was a natural fit. To begin, we are a company with a strong post-military community. Every day we learn and benefit from the vision, skills, work ethic, and whatever-it-takes spirit of our veteran employees. We recognize how well these character foundations paired with technology expertise are exactly what our clients need. Merivis has a similar mission – to pair in-demand cloud technology skills with these same characteristics.  

Accenture is a company committed to hiring 5,000 veterans and military spouses by 2020. We also see growing demand for our Cloud First Salesforce services. We believe Salesforce trained veterans give us the best of all worlds and Merivis is producing candidates who fit that bill.

In 2016, Accenture sponsored the first McEvoy Kennedy Walk as a fundraiser for Merivis. Volunteers from the Capital Area Young Marines teamed up with Accenture employees, family, and friends and walked for more than 385 collective miles. The walk generated more than $2,500 in donations to Merivis.

That initial fundraiser helped us run Cohort 3, our Spring 2017 5-week class. We had so much fun exceeding our goal the first time, Accenture is planning our second annual event – a 5-mile walk/run the afternoon of Veterans day, November 11, 2017. The walk will be in Zilker park – email amy.flamenbaum@accenture.com for more details.

For our 4th cohort, Accenture’s Community Outreach grant will enable us to bring in a live, and certified Salesforce instructor to offer a week long classroom training course to our participants. Many of our previous participants cite this as the most valuable week of the course. Bringing folks together around this training opportunity allows our cohort to build their network, we offer headshots, personal branding sessions, discussions with alumni, and access to seasoned Salesforce professionals. Our instructor also runs an Admin 201 exam prep session to help our participants achieve that Certification badge of honor.   

Bottom line, Accenture and Merivis recognize the potential in cloud technologies as well as our veteran community. Pairing our countries finest with one of the most innovative technologies in the world is truly a perfect fit.

About Accenture: Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 425,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com

 

 

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Cohort IV is coming October 2017! http://www.highenergy.no/?page=cohort-iv-coming-october-2017/ Thu, 10 Aug 2017 16:03:32 +0000 http://www.highenergy.no/?page=?p=2188     It’s been a busy few weeks over at the Merivis Foundation. Between SXSW panelpicker, planning for Dreamforce 2017 and most importantly, the launch of our next Salesforce training program starting this fall! Since starting the organization two years ago the program has evolved so we wanted to provide a quick overview of what Learn More »

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It’s been a busy few weeks over at the Merivis Foundation. Between SXSW panelpicker, planning for Dreamforce 2017 and most importantly, the launch of our next Salesforce training program starting this fall! Since starting the organization two years ago the program has evolved so we wanted to provide a quick overview of what this means for applicants and how you can help – Supporting our veterans in their transition to IT careers has always been our focus but as the saying goes “it takes a village”. We’ve outlined below a quick overview of the program, important details and next steps. Applications are currently open for military veterans and spouses of veterans or active duty military. Visit the link below to apply and you’ll be contacted for an interview.

 

Apply Online: www.merivisfoundation.org/apply

Application Deadline: Friday, September 8th. 2017

Program Timeline:

Weeks 1, 2 and 3 – Oct 2nd – 20th

  • 2-3 hours per day of self-paced online training modules
  • Practice exercises
  • Office hours held in support of the participants.

Week 4 – Oct 23-27 – In classroom Admin 201 training at National Instruments in Austin, Texas

Week 5 – Oct 30 – Nov 3rd – Virtual class CRT 101 exam prep and wrap up

 

Class Fee: $150 program fee, of which $100 will be refunded if you’re certified within four weeks of the class end date.

 

Supplemental Training

We know that job transition is not only about the technical training. Merivis Foundation offers supplementary instruction in networking, personal branding, resume assistance, how to leverage your military experience in the job search and navigating the Salesforce community as sessions during our program. We also host an exclusive networking event with Austin-area recruiters and Salesforce leaders to help you in creating relationships in this new field. Finally, new headshots help you round out your online presence and mock interviews to get acquainted with the job search process.

 

What you’ll gain from the Merivis Foundation program

With the growth of the Salesforce platform and as the industry leader in cloud CRM technology, there is a growing demand for Salesforce administrators all over the world. This program teaches you the basics of Salesforce platform from the ground up, with no need for previous IT or technical experience. As your military service wraps up and you explore next steps in your career, we combine the opportunity to join a growing team of Salesforce professionals with the technical skills and job readiness support you need for a smooth transition. Merivis Foundation graduates have gone on to positions at BMC Software, Dell, Google, Capgemini, and the Texas Veterans Commission to name a few.

 

What our Alumni are saying…

“Merivis is an amazing organization, I was honored to be part of the Salesforce training. It was incredible. I highly recommend them. Thank you Merivis for helping our military, Veterans and spouses.” – Julie Segnaluoc, Cohort III

 

“This is an awesome organization helping our military, military spouses and veterans to get incredible training in Salesforce. They do great work and I highly recommend them.” –
Glenn R Goodwin, Cohort III

 

Interested in helping us spread the word? If you’re a VSO or support organization please share this post with your audience and social media followers, if you want to provide even more help contact us about partner resources for your communications. Are you an alumni, volunteer or community supporter of the Merivis Foundation? Share this with your friends and colleagues that would be a great candidate for our program. Special thanks to Accenture for serving as program sponsor for Cohort IV and making it possible to offer this in support of our military veterans. For additional details and information visit us at www.merivisfoundation.org.

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Alumni Spotlight: Glenn Goodwin http://www.highenergy.no/?page=alumni-spotlight-glenn-goodwin/ Wed, 26 Jul 2017 12:01:12 +0000 http://www.highenergy.no/?page=?p=2182 Glenn is a U.S. Army veteran and member of the Merivis Foundation Cohort III Salesforce training program. He is currently a Salesforce System Admin for a small energy company, Elect Energy based in Plano, Texas. Through the Merivis Foundation in partnership with Vetforce, I have recently gone through the Salesforce Admin 201 training program in Learn More »

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Glenn is a U.S. Army veteran and member of the Merivis Foundation Cohort III Salesforce training program. He is currently a Salesforce System Admin for a small energy company, Elect Energy based in Plano, Texas.

Through the Merivis Foundation in partnership with Vetforce, I have recently gone through the Salesforce Admin 201 training program in Austin, Texas.  As a Vietnam veteran, I was thrilled to have discovered the amazing opportunity these two excellent organizations provide to military veterans.  Thanks to Vetforce, the Merivis Foundation and most of all, Salesforce for recognizing these extraordinary individuals who gave so much to our country.  We certainly appreciate it.

I applied for the Merivis Foundation’s Salesforce training program in the spring of 2017. With the extensive capabilities of Salesforce, it was important for me to learn about this extensive CRM platform to be effective in my role at my company.  We needed to organize our customer database, track & convert leads to create more business and provide our clients & prospects with information about the ongoing information specific to the energy business.  I knew all of these and more could be addressed with Salesforce but only if I knew how to use the capabilities available on the platform. As I went through the well laid out, efficient and comprehensive training, this program was clear this would be very challenging for me.  The depth of the Salesforce platform with all the pieces and parts was extensive and sometimes overwhelming but I persevered.  Having never graduated from college, this course and subsequent certification test was something I hadn’t experienced in several decades so it was tough.  After completing the course which included a substantive, multiple hour certification prep call with our entire cohort (which was extremely helpful in prepping for the test), I passed the certification test my second attempt!

I want to give a major shout out to Jason Noma and all the Vetforce team who offer this opportunity to veterans.  They do an awesome job!  And the great group at the Merivis Foundation who run the programming as a 501c3 nonprofit, including Hector and Kate Perez, Joe Castro, our instructor Dan Goldston as well as the rest of their incredible team. They have put together a sharp, comprehensive training program preparing each of us to take the certification test and more importantly, to be an effective Salesforce team member.  Their attention to detail, the inclusion of volunteer coaches (mine was Svatka Simpson…she was incredible and so supportive) assigned to each of our 19 students in our cohort, the networking with potential employers, providing new headshots; along with LinkedIn, resume, networking & job interview coaching was an incredible and valuable experience.

I feel it is important to share my perspective on the level of difficulty of the training and particularly the certification test itself.  It was, without question, the most demanding training and test I have ever taken.  I realize the Salesforce certification team makes it that way by design.  The training and certification tests must be difficult to maintain the level of excellence and support the Salesforce brand and most of all, support your customers.  Salesforce has a significant responsibility to build and create efficiencies for each company they work with and each team member must be ready and able to consistently deliver successful solutions to its customers.  Regarding the certification test… If this test was easy, you run the risk of having an inefficient team delivering problematic results. Obviously, maintaining that level of quality is why Salesforce has become the respected and successful international brand it is today.

As a 68-year old who never stops working and more importantly, is always looking to learn about exciting and new technologies that create opportunities in the workforce, I found the depth of the Salesforce platform very powerful because of its many facets and capabilities.  In addition, the awesome, encouraging and friendly team members are always ready to help.  Overall, this experience has been quite inspiring.

Thank you again for this opportunity to learn, engage and be a part of the Salesforce network.

Interested in sharing Glenn’s experience? Apply to be a part of the Merivis Foundation Cohort IV Salesforce training program. Learn more or visit www.merivisfoundation.org/apply to get started.

 

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Merivis Grads Get to Experience TrailheaDX http://www.highenergy.no/?page=merivis-grads-get-to-experience-trailheadx/ Thu, 13 Jul 2017 02:17:10 +0000 http://www.highenergy.no/?page=?p=2164 Merivis Grads Get to Experience TrailheaDX! This blog post was written by Merivis cohort II grad Chrissy Wojtewicz who recently attended TrailheaDX in San Francisco with fellow grads Yann and Sheldon. Attending TrailheaDX, two words come to mind: the first is ‘whirlwind’, the second is ‘blessed’. I got a call that along with Yann and Sheldon, Learn More »

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Merivis Grads Get to Experience TrailheaDX! This blog post was written by Merivis cohort II grad Chrissy Wojtewicz who recently attended TrailheaDX in San Francisco with fellow grads Yann and Sheldon.

Attending TrailheaDX, two words come to mind: the first is ‘whirlwind’, the second is ‘blessed’. I got a call that along with Yann and Sheldon, I’d been considered to attend TrailheaDX as a guest of VetForce by way of my success as a Merivis grad. Sheldon and I flew out of Austin and Surprise! We met Stephanie in the airport. Stephanie is a Merivis board member and also a Salesforce MVP. She is everywhere, more on that later.

Sheldon, Chrissy and Yann at the keynote for TrailheaDX

The whirlwind begins. Sheldon and I checked into our hotel rooms and right away we started meeting other VetForce grads who are currently working in the ecosystem. I had never met these people in my life and talking to them was as easy as breathing. Not only do we share the same profession, we are also veterans or mil-spouses. Later that day, some of us went on a tour of the Salesforce towers with Ann Weeby. That night we attended the Equality Mixer, comprised of all the minority groups in Salesforce. Bold Force, LatinoForce, Ability Force, OutForce, and so on were there with us. A packed house full of amazing people, welcoming and willing to share their experiences. We met Jason Noma who gave us the coolest VetForce swag. My favorite is the coveted Trailhead hoodie!

The next day VetForce was honored with front row seats at the TrailheaDX keynote address. Yann proudly wore his Merivis shirt for close-ups. Remember Stephanie? I heard her name at least three times in the keynote. When she was up on stage, all of us Merivis folks made sure to cheer for her.  We got free reign of the conference after that to learn, explore and trail blaze. As the day progressed we attended Donald Bohrisch’s hiring mixer before we landed at the TrailheaDX happy hour, hosted by VetForce and Trailhead. This happy hour was very special because Ann and Jason dedicated the whole space for us to network. I got to meet people such as Mary Scotton and Tony Prophet, other VetForce members and several trailblazers in the Ohana. Everyone we met were amazing successful people, who didn’t mind sharing their ups and downs in their own careers. Knowing that I was part of such an amazing company with amazing values was a real honor.

Stephanie and Yann with VetForce program director Ann Weeby

Blessings. While absorbing this whole process I couldn’t help but look at everything we were experiencing and think to myself how blessed we all were. I was very proud of being a representative of the Merivis Foundation while attending TrailheaDX. Jason and Ann were extremely friendly and helpful from day one. To think that not long ago we were just cohort members. Now we are here representing the Merivis Foundation and VetForce as a success story that veterans can look to as inspiration. Wow, how humbling. Sheldon said he now wants to train to be a developer.

Thank you Merivis, Vetforce, and Salesforce for making these opportunities available for veterans like us. It felt great experiencing that military family feeling again. We flew home with a reinvigorated passion to achieve more, and a drive to continually learn and make you proud.

 – Chrissy Wojtewicz

 

A few comments from Sheldon Simmons about TrailheaDX

Yann and Sheldon arriving at TrailheaDX!

“Attending TrailheaDX has increased my desire to become a Salesforce Developer. I was very proud of being a representative of the Merivis Foundation while attending TrailheaDX. Jason and Ann were extremely friendly and helpful from day one. Everyone I met at TrailheaDX where amazing successful people, who didn’t mind sharing their ups and downs in their own careers. Knowing that I was apart of such an amazing company with amazing values was a real honor. The last time I felt that kind of sense of belonging was in the military. It felt great experiencing that feeling again. Thank you Merivis, Vetforce, and Salesforce for making these opportunities available for veterans like myself.”

– Sheldon Simmons

 

 

 

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Military Innovation Aligning to Salesforce Delivery http://www.highenergy.no/?page=military-innovation-salesforce/ Tue, 13 Jun 2017 00:07:00 +0000 http://www.highenergy.no/?page=?p=2150 Recently, I finished reading General Stanley McChrystal’s book entitled “Team of Teams” which outlines a massive strategic change in how the U.S. Special Forces operates overseas. These changes reflect much of what is happening in the software development world today and within many teams working on Salesforce delivery teams. McChrystal outlines how working in smaller, nimble teams Learn More »

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Recently, I finished reading General Stanley McChrystal’s book entitled “Team of Teams” which outlines a massive strategic change in how the U.S. Special Forces operates overseas. These changes reflect much of what is happening in the software development world today and within many teams working on Salesforce delivery teams. McChrystal outlines how working in smaller, nimble teams helps accomplish the mission while being adaptive in an ever rapidly changing environment.  While reading this book, I saw parallels to what is being done at many companies who are deploying and delivering new Salesforce functionality. Many companies, no matter the industry, are taking the leap of faith to combine both business and technical resources into combined scrums teams. As these type of new teams form, understand that it can take some time to get this structure going, but its definitely worth it.  With this blog, I want to share my thoughts on McChrystal’s book and how a military innovation in team work connects to what is happening in many companies delivering Salesforce across the industry and how successful teams play a critical role.

Military Innovation Aligning to Salesforce Delivery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working in the Past

     In Team of Teams, McChrystal describes the ‘war on terror’ in 2004 and how the military was built for large wars with big command and control teams. However, in this new war McChrystal describes the enemy was in fact small, nimble and could move faster than the larger US Special Forces. Much like the ‘waterfall’ project methodology, the US military’s large command and control way of operating was no longer working for the new and changing landscape. Decisions needed to be made by those closer to the ground and in a quick manner.  In my previous experience, both at Dell and at Salesforce (the company), when technology operated in a command and control or waterfall approach the ability to react to change in the environment was slow, painful and was fraught with risk. What McChrystal outlines in his book is the need to evolve tactics to address a new and rapidly changing environment.  This narrative is what is playing out in our Salesforce delivery space and something I see happening each day when I talk to my peers in the industry – both locally and nationally.

 

Small Teams

McChrystal writes about the need for smaller, nimbler teams to get the mission accomplished and walks the reader through how this is done in the midst of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. I would agree fighting a foreign enemy is quite different than delivering value based platforms such as Salesforce, the tactics are very similar in nature.  One of the hallmarks of getting things done is to break out the work and teams into digestible chunks. Whether you are on the battlefield or developing configuration steps in Salesforce, you need to look for small clear victories and build off of this, all the while gaining from lessons learned.  The book also states the simple fact that our world is more complex and less predictable – despite our increased abilities to track and measure many variables and inputs.  It is human nature to want to measure and access each detail before we execute but to get effective work or your mission done, you must move quickly and adapt.  Check out this image from the book which really calls out what Team of Teams typically look like.

Military Innovation Aligning to Salesforce Delivery

 

 

Trust

A team fused by trust and purpose is much more potent. Such a group can improvise a coordinated response to dynamic, real-time developments” – General Stanley McChrystal

 

When a team has purpose and a goal, they are empowered to deliver incredible results. The old way of working team members relied on orders; but teamwork is a process of re-evaluation, negotiation and adjustment. Team players are constantly sending messages to and taking cues from their team and those teammates must be able to read each other’s move and intent. When working in an agile environment as we do in PI, the team begins to bond, trusts each other and shares a common approach and purpose in how work gets done.

When we look across the teams in PI and in particular CRM, we must build trust amongst our team and our extended partners within the Fidelity eco-system. As McChrystal continues to point out “Without this trust, the Navy SEALS would be a collection of fit soldiers.”  Of course most of us are not the Navy Seals, but if our teams do not have a baseline level of trust within the team, we are simply a collection of educated, smart and technically certified professions. Harvard Business School teams expert Amy Edmondson explains “Great teams consists of individuals who have learned to trust each other. Over time they have discovered each others strengths and weaknesses, enabling them to play a coordinated whole

 

Spaces

The ‘space’ regardless of if it’s on the battlefield or the office can impact your team and how work gets done.  McChrystal highlights vividly when they arrived in Iraq one of the first things they did was to occupy an old gutted airplane hanger and opened up the Task Force command center much like the open cube floor plan we have at Fidelity. The commander, McChrystal and his team all operated out of a ‘bull-pen’ – to ensure they were the center of what the team was doing.  In addition, communications were open and information flowed quickly to everyone in order to allow them to make team decisions. Anyone in the room – regardless of their position in the org chart’s silos and tiers – could glance up the screens and know instantly what major factors were affecting the mission at that moment.

     An open layout and open conversation allow everyone to be on the same page and understand the mission. When it makes sense, it’s always better to have the team together and in the open no matter the rank or position.  Another point worth noting was how McChrystal would bring in other members of teams that in the past would not ever be considered. They would embed members of the CIA, NSA and embassy staff with their teams which had never been done before. This was a tough sell and initially didn’t seem to work, however as these dependent teams became more embedded and time elapsed, trust was gained and work began to get done faster and with more accuracy.

In my professional experience, I see trust being earned within several scrum teams I have worked with and observed. It’s never easy and to be honest, we know it takes time to change momentum, but once you get started you should see small, quick victories within these new teams which perhaps you could have only dreamed about previously. In the end, teams cannot continue to work in silo’s, you must have a competitive notion of different groups and individuals working together with a single shared vision.

 

Final Thoughts

As you think about the journey at your company and what we hope to accomplish, teams (no matter the org) have to understand the larger mission and goal to ensure we are all aligned. It’s not enough just to align our resources, we have to empower our resources with decision making authority.   Whether on a scrum or a Navy Seal team, you must grasp the overall goal and arc of the mission.  Only when each of the scrum team members aligns to the larger Fidelity’s strategic vision, can we evaluate risks real-time and know how to react to our teammate to build stronger teams.  Purpose and mission affirms trust and trust affirms purpose and together they forge individuals into a working team.

– Hector Perez Jr.

 

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Sponsor Spotlight: Capgemni Veterans Employee Resource Group http://www.highenergy.no/?page=capgemni-veterans/ Fri, 19 May 2017 17:49:34 +0000 http://www.highenergy.no/?page=?p=2141 Merivis Foundation programs are supported entirely by individual and corporate donations; because of that we’re proud to have the support of Capgemni as our program sponsor for Cohort III. Our guest blog written by Nolan Melson, Merivis Foundation board member and senior consultant at Capgemni shares more about their commitment to supporting and hiring military Learn More »

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Merivis Foundation

Merivis Foundation programs are supported entirely by individual and corporate donations; because of that we’re proud to have the support of Capgemni as our program sponsor for Cohort III. Our guest blog written by Nolan Melson, Merivis Foundation board member and senior consultant at Capgemni shares more about their commitment to supporting and hiring military veterans.

The Capgemini Veterans Employee Resource Group (VERG) is honored to sponsor the Merivis Foundation’s third Salesforce Administration cohort.  At Capgemini, we pride ourselves on being a global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing services, which include Salesforce.  At the VERG, our mission is to encourage and assist Veterans in pursuing and building careers in various fields at Capgemini while employing the skills, experience, talent and dedication they bring, as well as providing opportunities to the families of Veterans as a tribute to their service.

When we were developing our VERG 2017 Plan, we thought about how we could truly make an impact in the Veteran community.  Therefore, we ultimately chose to sponsor this Merivis cohort because the Merivis mission directly aligns with our own, we have a growing need for certified Salesforce professionals at Capgemini, and we personally know how life changing it can be to be trained and mentored as a certified Salesforce Administrator.

Since the first Merivis cohort, we have had a great time mentoring previous Merivis graduates like Marine Corps Veteran and Capgemini Salesforce Consultant, Ken Nuehs.  The majority of the VERG members are Veterans, therefore it is extremely rewarding to be on the other side of the table, helping fellow Veterans and spouses with their transition to the tech industry.  As many of us can attest, our Nation’s Veterans deserve rewarding careers, not just jobs, and we are confident that our work with Merivis is helping equip Veterans and spouses with the necessary tools in order find those fulfilling careers in the tech industry.  Furthermore, we are truly grateful to have the opportunity to help train and mentor our Nation’s Veterans and their spouses, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Merivis Foundation for many cohorts to come.

 

About Capgemini: A global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing services, we work hand-in-hand with our clients to create and deliver business and technology solutions that fit their needs and drive the results they want.

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