Wed, 25 January 2017
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re speaking with Shawna Wolverton, Senior Vice President of Product Management at Salesforce. Most recently Shawna has been leading the charge on Lightning. She currently runs the Lightning Experience teams as well as our process automation work group.
Join us as Shawna shares her inspiration for building out the idea of Lightning and how Lightning is now moving the code cliff for admins. We’ll also hear about some of the Lightning features Shawna is excited to see roll out for Spring 2017.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Shawna Wolverton.
Process builder has moved the code cliff.
Shawna has been with Salesforce for 13 years. “The bulk of that time has been working in Product and building cool stuff for admins,” she says.
When it comes to process builder and logic, Shawna says, “I’ve always been about moving the cliff and extending the runway when it comes to what admins can do with clicks instead of code. What we’ve been able to do with process builder is take the kinds of things you would have had to write Apex for, multi-step, workflow, criteria and actions and giving that power to admins in a whole new way.”
Lightning is eliminating code for common use cases.
So, how does Lightning help move the code cliff for admins? “Lightning is this idea of a new experience for sales and service users. It’s a new eco-system, a new platform and a new way of extending out what you can do with Salesforce,” says Shawna.
As she explains, “if you look at what you can do with a standard page in Lightning versus what you can do in Classic, the difference is astronomical. Similar to Process Builder, we’ve eliminated the need to write code for some very common use cases.”
Lightning helps customers and developers go faster.
The concept for Lightning was inspired by user feedback. Shawna says, “we were hearing that our user interface was really functional but needed some modernization. Then, there were all these requests to do more with the Page Out editor. But what we realized was that we were hamstrung technically. Lightning allows us to go faster when we do development and allows our customers to build things faster as well.”
“Building out components and assembling them into killer experiences has never been as easy as it is today,” says Shawna.
Lightning creates a bridge between admins and developers.
Some admins are still trying to wrap their head about Components. Shawna explains them in simple terms, “Components are building blocks of a page. When you think of a Classic Salesforce page you really only had two components: fields and related lists. In Lightning, you still have those fields and related lists, but now you can put all kinds of things on that page.”
As a Lightning feature, they’re building a bridge between admins and developers. “These components are built by developers, but they’re built specially, and with a model in mind, for admins,” says Shawna.
New features that are coming in Spring 2017.
There are some exciting Lightning releases on their way for Spring 2017. Shawna is excited about Flow, a component that allows you to display visual workflow as a component. How does it work? Shawna explains, “you can now put a flow right on a page. Imagine giving your users guidance on the kinds of things that need to be done on a page and then helping them walk through those tasks with a visual flow.”
“We think this can really dial up your Lightning implementation when you do decide to migrate,” Shawna says.
Shawna is also excited about Favorites. “You’ll see in the upper right-hand corner on any page that can be favorited, a little star. You can click on that, and then you have a running list of all your favorite records, dashboards, list-views, group pages. Anything you favorite you can go back to. This allows users to build their own navigation system in Lightning,” she says.
For more insights, make sure to follow Shawna on Twitter (@shawnawol)
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Fri, 13 January 2017
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re speaking with Megan Petersen, a Salesforce Senior Principal Success Manager from the Sydney office. Megan is passionate about customer success at Salesforce and has been extremely effective in creating her own role in the company and scaling the program in Australia while activating the community across eight different time zones. She’s here to share her journey at Salesforce and provide some tips on how admins can connect with their community to maximize their success.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Megan Petersen.
Customers want to connect with other customers.
“I started out as a Customer Success Manager in the Sydney office,” says Megan. She began with five accounts and has grown her department to over 50 accounts in the nine years she’s been with Salesforce. When she returned from maternity leave in her second year, she discussed the opportunity to create her own role. “I found when I was talking to our customers, that I was having the same conversations with them. That didn’t seem smart to me when it came to leveraging our customer base,” says Megan.
As Megan shares, “often I find our customers like connecting with other customers as much as they like connecting with us at Salesforce, because they can learn different things from people who are living it day in and day out, like themselves.”
Bringing the Awesome Admin message Down Under.
Inspired by the Admin keynote, Megan decided to help spread that message in Australia. “I loved the message. Given that I’ve talked to admins daily for the past nine years, it made so much sense to me that we had a team dedicated to the story around what our admins do and highlighting all of the excellent work they do every day,” says Megan.
“We have a really amazing community here in Australia. I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the past year trying to get immersed in the community. I’ve been a part of Salesforce for so long, but being part of the admin keynote opened my eyes to a lot of things that I wasn’t really paying attention to,” says Megan.
If you’re Down Under, you need to get down with Twitter.
“It’s phenomenal how many resources are out there to help you any given moment of the day. It’s not everyone’s thing to be part of Twitter, but if you’re not part of Twitter in the Salesforce community, you’re really missing out on a wealth of information and a connection with people,” Megan shares.
As Megan points out, “I don’t see a huge contingent of people in the APAC region — especially in Australia — being a part of Twitter. I’d love to see more people in our region getting into that medium and connecting with all of those global resources.”
Focus on fundamental, universal topics.
If an Admin in Australia was looking to grow that community, what topics or themes should they be writing about? Megan says, “There are universal, fundamental things. For example, everyone is in that transition to Lightning right now. That’s a big topic and seems like a very big mountain for some people to climb. I’d love to see more of the Lightning stuff come into the Down Under time zone.”
“We also have this awesome ‘Ask Salesforce Anything’ session that we run every week here. It’s like an open mic hour. We have experts from our team on that call, solution engineers, and VPs as well. You can literally call in and ask any question. It’s a great forum to connect with experts and other customers. You can get to all of that through the Success community,” says Megan.
The Success community is always there to support you.
Why should people join the success community? Megan says, “You shouldn’t have to email one single person to get an answer to a question. The success community is out there, available 24/7. You’re tapping into such a wealth of resources.”
“Apart from learning Salesforce stuff, I’ve seen so many amazing friendships come out of connecting in the community,” says Megan.
For more insights, make sure to follow Megan Petersen on Twitter (@MeganPTweets).
We want to get your suggestions for guests on the podcast, and we need your help! So tweet your guest suggestions, support, etc. to @SalesforceAdmns to help us get more Awesome Admins on the podcast.
Sun, 8 January 2017
Today on the Salesforce Admins podcast, we’re speaking to Umair llyas, a Senior Salesforce Consultant at Acumen. Umair did a fantastic presentation in December at Salesforce World Tour which was all about helping admins transition to Lightning. Along with having a great presentation, Umair works as a hands on mentor to help admins make the transition to Lightning, learn more, and do better at their job.
Join us as Umair shares his journey from the world of nonprofit and teaching to his role as a Senior Salesforce Consultant and admin mentor. We’ll learn Umair’s top tips for admins transitioning to Lightning and hear about some of his favorite Lightning features and capabilities.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Umair llyas.
Communication is key.
A former teacher who worked extensively in the nonprofit world, Umair didn’t start out in Salesforce. However, he’s used skills from his previous career to help mentor admins.
“Salesforce already provides a lot of great resources to help admins learn the system on their own. I like adding to that with soft skills that they can’t necessarily learn online,” says Umair.
As Umair points out, “Communication is one of the biggest things you should focus on. As an admin, you’re not the one using the system. Your users are using the system. If you’re not in constant communication with them, how do you know what’s best for them?”
Lightning isn’t just a user interface upgrade.
How should admins get started with Lightning? Umair says, “I start by helping the admin understand that Lightning isn’t just a user interface upgrade. It’s an entirely new user experience. The way you do things in Classic is not the same as the way as you would do things in Lightning.”
Secondly, admins should make use of the resources available to them. “There are plenty of lessons available to you on Trailhead to help you get Lightning ready,” says Umair. He also encourages admins to use Lightning Migration Assistant. “It’s an entirely different page within your set-up that walks you through everything you need to do to get ready for Lightning. One of those pieces is the Lightning Writing Assessment, this really cool report that shows you all the different items you need to touch upon before you can move into Lightning,” says Umair.
It’s all about change management.
“I’ve seen a lot of people I’ve worked with miss the ball on this,” says Umair. As he explains, “moving to Lightning is not as easy as flipping a switch. It involves communicating with your end users, knowing what’s possible in the system, figuring out how to equip your end users to use the system, providing support after you go on Lightning. It’s a journey that you have to take with your end users, clients, and customers.”
However, he says the result is worth it. “Yes, it’s daunting. We’re naturally afraid of things that look different and that we haven’t used. But at the end of the day it’s something that’s going to benefit your users,” says Umair.
The first step is hardest.
When it comes to learning Lightning, a lot of Salesforce admins don’t know where to start. Umair’s advice: “Just take one step forward and everything works itself out.”
“In the beginning, you’re not going to know everything, but that’s the fun,” says Umair.
For more insights, make sure to follow Umair llyas on Twitter (@UmairSF).
Tue, 3 January 2017
Today on the Salesforce Admins podcast, we’re speaking to Michael Lupino, the CRM manager for L’Oreal corporation. Michael is currently helping L’Oreal migrate from Classic to Lightning, while creating new apps and other amazing things within the tool. He’s here to share his experience and a few helpful tips for you to be successful with Lightning.
More on Michael’s session: Join us as Michael shares his journey with CRM and how he moved L’Oreal corporation from Classic to Lightning. From getting buy-in from users to designing new apps, we’ll learn how Michael managed this transition with the help of Trailhead and the Salesforce community.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Michael Lupino.
Use Trailhead to keep track of possible capabilities.
Michael got started with Lightning about a year and a half ago. “When we started to look at Lightning, we saw lots of positive benefits in being able to adopt the tools and build more modular, reusable applications that can serve a variety of purposes and reduce some of the code and technical debt of having some of the other tools in the platform previously,” he says.
So, how did he get started with the process? Michael says, “I found that Trailhead was a very excellent resource for keeping track of all of the possible capabilities, in addition to providing a roadmap to help figure out the art of the possible. Trailhead helped us develop ideas that could then translate to our business.”
Get buy-in from the users.
Michael says, “I was fortunate enough to build some new applications within the tool for our users to bring them into Salesforce. It allowed me to start from almost a clean slate, to gather requirements and to deliver something to suit those needs.”
Embrace the move from Salesforce One to the Napili Template.
Michael was also involved in moving a community that was built on Salesforce One to the Napili template. “Moving to that template has been incredibly powerful. Our users have a very large international participation, so we were able to provide a consistent look and feel that would mirror on a mobile device, a tablet, and a desktop. The brand was incredibly excited about this and continue to be excited about the possibilities of what they can do inside the community,” says Michael.
Don’t expect moving to Lightning to be an overnight process.
Moving to Lightning has been an ongoing process, and he’s learned a lot. As Michael explains, “A lot of planning went into the process. In some cases, we had to wait for Salesforce to catch up with the Lightning release, which they’ve done a tremendous job of doing. Because of that, we’ve been able to effectively determine which sets of users are the best ideal candidates to move.”
When it came to moving from Visual Force to Lightning, Michael says, “the very first thing I look at was: what skill set is needed to go from that journey in Visual Force to Lightning? Going through the material and attending a Salesforce University course provided a good framework for the types of skills that are needed.”
Stay up to date with blogs and webinars.
When asked what tips he’d have for admins looking to stay up to date on all things Salesforce, Michael says, “In addition to looking at the release notes and the changes that are happening, I found that the blogs, such as admin.salesforce.com, have been a good source of information. What I really love is the success community. Being able to read each other’s posts and comment has been a very exciting place. Joining webinars has been another great source.”
For more insights, make sure to follow Michael Lupino on Twitter (@mjlupino).