Wed, 24 June 2020
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’re talking with Niket Trivedi, the Product Manager for Salesforce Optimizer at Salesforce. We find out what’s new for Salesforce Optimizer in Summer 20, and it turns out there’s a lot going on.
Join us as we talk about what went into converting a PDF report into an app, how you can use Optimizer to get on the same page with leadership, and what the future looks like.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Niket Trivedi.
From a PDF to an app in Summer 20.
Some admins out there might remember their first introduction to Optimizer as report that got put into their docs and emailed to them. We’ve come a long way since then, and the Summer 20 release is set to change the game. “We are relaunching Optimizer as a Lightning app,” Niket says, “I’m looking forward to all the great feedback we’ll get from admins and the value they can get out of these recommendations that were previously in a PDF report and now are in a brand-new dashboard interactive format.”
“We don’t want to read a 100-page document to get to something that we want to act on,” Niket says, “we wanted to give something to admins where they’re spending less time scrolling through the report and more time fixing things in the org.” The Lightning app brings all of Optimizer’s recommendations out of the PDF and into the core where you can work with it, letting you jump to the relevant page straight from the app. “Your transition from the Optimizer app to the rest of your org is very seamless,” Niket says, “you’re not spending time doing an offline analysis and going back and forth.”
How Optimizer helps you set your goals.
Optimizer has almost fifty different recommendations. In other words, there’s almost certainly more than a few things you can work on. “What we’ve done is prioritize that list in the order of where you need the most attention,” Viket says, “the list, when the dashboard loads for the first time, is pre-sorted by how many immediate actions are needed for each of those items.” Their goal is to make it easier for you to attack Optimizer’s recommendations and whip your org into shape.
At the minimum, Viket recommends running Optimizer at least once every release, “but I don’t’ think I’ve seen any admin just doing the minimum,” he says. Instead, he recommends that you run the app every time you release something new. Any new development you do can create new issues, which is exactly what Optimizer is here to help you iron out. It doesn’t cost you anything to run, so you can even consider running it every two weeks or once a month.
Using Optimizer to win over stakeholders.
Sharing is caring, and Optimizer reports are best shared with anyone who needs to make a decision that affects your org. Viket recommends using the app to set your priorities and pointing to the report to explain why. “Sharing the data with those team members may be helpful so that they understand what you are busy with and how you are adding value and making your end-user experience as efficient and productive as possible,” Niket says.
Optimizer is especially useful in the common scenario where you’re coming into an already-existing org. “In a lot of the cases, admins have no one to tell them why certain things are the way they are, and they are so scared to make a change because they don’t know if something is going to break,” Niket says. “This is the tool, it’s like a Swiss Army knife,” he says, “it does hundreds of things for you and helps you uncover and discover those things.”
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Full Show Transcript
Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, where we talk about product, community, and career to help you become an awesome admin. I'm Mike Gerholdt and joining me today is Niket Trivedi, TM for Salesforce Optimizer, to talk about what's new in Salesforce Optimizer, and there's a lot in summer '20. So Niket, welcome to the podcast.
Niket Trivedi: Thanks, Mike, and thanks for having me.
Mike Gerholdt: Niket, I think you've also now been on Release Readiness live and you're on the podcast, so there must be a lot going on with Salesforce Optimizer. But before we get to that, let's talk about your journey to Salesforce. How did you come to Salesforce and what are some of the things that you've worked on since you've been here?
Niket Trivedi: Thanks, Mike, for the introduction and I would like to give a little bit of background. So Salesforce has been in my career path since the last almost close to two years. I have been in product management roles for most of my career. I started my career as an engineer, but quickly pivoted into product management. I've been in mostly consumer type of products like e-commerce and worked for a couple of startups, but I realized that enterprise product is something which I really want to get my hands on. And that's what really attracted me to Salesforce. Salesforce is one of the best companies in the enterprise SIP space. It's growing fast, and it's great culture. And that's what really brought me to Salesforce.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, so would I. We were talking before I press record about how for, I don't know, eight, 10 years now I've wanted everything that's in Optimizer that I'm seeing now in summer '20. But I think probably the first introduction that admins got to Optimizer was as a report that got put into their docs and I think emailed to them. And that's the first version that we saw. Am I correct? You're you're shaking your head yes.
Niket Trivedi: That's absolutely correct. Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: And that was pretty helpful. I mean, I enjoyed printing things off and sharing them with my executives and talking through things, but it wasn't as actionable, I think, as what we're going to see now in summer '20. So let me tee you up for what is the great summer '20 Salesforce Optimizer release?
Niket Trivedi: Yes. So Summer '20 Optimizer release is all about making optimized recommendations even more reachable and actionable, as you said, to our customers, to our admins. And what we are doing is we are launching, in a sense, Optimizer as a Lightning app, which is awesome. I think it's a big, big deal. I feel very happy and proud of what the team has done to bring it to the point where we are right now. But at the same time, I'm really looking forward to all the great feedback that we'll get from admins and the value they can get out of these recommendations that were previously in a PDF report and now you can consume it in a brand new interactive dashboard format, like a Lightning app.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. And we saw part of that in the admin keynote at Dreamforce this last year. And I remember thinking to myself, holy cow, when we walked through that demo, it was so incredibly useful. You have list views now of everything and you can sort and resort, and you're not scrolling through a PDF. Bring me on that journey. What did your team think through when they're looking at how do we take this page and essentially make it actionable?
Niket Trivedi: Those are exactly the challenges that you described are very obvious. If you think about any offline report that you're reading, I mean, it may have great information, but in this day and age where we are all so hooked up to screens and we want to be more and more efficient, we want the exact action that we need for the next five minutes, or we don't want to read a hundred page document to get to something that we want to act on. And that was the impetus for Optimizer Lightning app. We wanted to give something to admins where they are spending less time scrolling through the report and more time fixing things in the org.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, I think you're teasing it out. So tell me more. I remember what Optimizer was as a PDF, but now as an app, what am I going to see? What are some of the things that I can begin to report on or look at in this app?
Niket Trivedi: Yeah. So in this first version, what we have tried to make sure that we bring the value of all the recommendations that were existing in the PDF report. So we had about 50 plus different recommendations that come out of the PDF report. So we wanted to make sure that we get as close to those recommendations and not lose the value of those. That was the focus in this release and bring it as close to at par with the PDF so that admins can start trying the Lightning app and rely less on the PDF report, but also focus on bringing all the great resources, like you have any help content, for example, if you have any resources, if you have access to any accelerator programs. All of that was made available right in the same page for the recommendation that you're viewing.
Mike Gerholdt: Wow. So it's a lot more intuitive is what I hear. When I read the recommendation, I click the link, I'm taken to that part of setup, right?
Niket Trivedi: Correct.
Mike Gerholdt: Where I can actually take action on it and then go right back into Optimizer, as opposed to reading the PDF and then having to figure out where to configure that in the org.
Niket Trivedi: That's very true.
Mike Gerholdt: So what are some things that as an admin the first time I jumped into Optimizer I should maybe prioritize looking at if I didn't run the PDF before?
Niket Trivedi: That's a good question. So as I said, Optimizer has close to 50 different recommendations. And depending on your org, you may or may not have issues in all areas, but you definitely have something that you want to act on. And what we have done is prioritize that list in the order of where you need the most attention. So that list, then the dashboard loads first time after the first scan is over, it is presorted by how immediate actions are needed for each of those items. So that top of the list will show you everything where it requires your immediate attention, and then there are items that are less attention, and then there are items that just require a review, and then there's a whole set of things that maybe working excellently fine in your org and you don't need to change anything.
Mike Gerholdt: So this really helps me prioritize where to put my attention in my org, in addition to rolling out new functionality is what I hear.
Niket Trivedi: Yeah. That's correct. I think, again, it depends how often you have run Optimizer in the past. And if you have not, like when you run it for the first time, you might be discovering things that you have not realized probably have been lurking in your org and you have those options now to go and investigate them further, at least we have brought it to your attention. And of course, it's easy for you. The first step is done. Now you can take the next few steps to go and find it and fix it.
Mike Gerholdt: I think that brings up a good question. So how often should I look at Optimizer based on what I'm working on? Do I run this every day? Do I look it at once a month?
Niket Trivedi: It really depends on your needs. At a very minimum, if you have an org that you're not doing a lot on, I would recommend running it at least once every major release. That's the minimum I would say, but I don't think I've seen any admin just doing the minimum. I think every org is pretty busy when people have a busy org with scaling issues and things they are building as applications over time. I think the other set of recommendation is every time you release something new, like a new application or making any major changes, you definitely should run Optimizer and see if there are new issues that will pop up as part of this new application development that you have done. So yes, as often as you need. At a minimum, run it with every major release, with every new application development.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, I like that. You can set yourself a calendar reminder.
Niket Trivedi: Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: Grab lunch. Run Optimizer. Scroll through your results. It's like getting a monthly report card.
Niket Trivedi: Exactly. Your TPS report.
Mike Gerholdt: Touche. Good job with that one. Speaking of TPS reports, who should we share the Optimizer reports with? As an admin, I've run this. I've looked at it. What should my next steps be?
Niket Trivedi: So again, every org is different. The structure of how people reporting to each other is different, so I'm not going to make a specific recommendation, but I'm going to speak broadly. Whosoever cares to look at the results and are trying to make a decision based on the results. So for example, let's say you have a really active and growing org and you have file storage limits that are getting consumed like anything, and you need to go for bigger limits. Now, bigger limits might require you to go to Salesforce and ask for like an upgrade, or there could be other areas in your org that might require upgrade. So that might require you to have some budget approvals. There are certain things you can probably do on your own.
Mike Gerholdt: I love that. You can proactively have career conversations around how you're improving the performance of everyone at the organization just by running Optimizer. And I'm also thinking if you're a new Salesforce admin coming onboard to an organization maybe that already has an org, this is a great way to kind of get a snapshot on here's what I'm looking at moment in time from day one as I get started and it can help me prioritize as well.
Niket Trivedi: Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: I would be curious, you mentioned in the beginning that you've done a lot of product management. You were in engineering. I love to kind of get one layer deeper. I'd love to know what was a fun part of moving optimizer from PDF to this app that kind of was really exciting for you in this.
Niket Trivedi: Yes. There are a lot of fun things and things that we discovered that we ourselves weren't aware of. PDF report itself has been well adopted. It's like peeling an onion. When you have a product that's been around for a few years and you're trying to totally redefine it, I think it just uncovers a lot of things for the team. Even the engineers who probably worked on the very first version of the report are nowhere around here. They probably moved on to other projects. So we uncovered a lot of things that we ourselves as team we were not aware of, "Oh, this is how it works?" So it was learning. It was fun. It was like, wow. It was kudos to the original team that did this work. And in some cases, you're like, okay, why did they do this? And we're trying to do archeology.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I could envision that, much like redoing a house. Once you pull the dry wall off, you question why somebody would do that. Of course, to them, it was completely logical. Well, this was very cool. I will be sure to include in the show notes a link to the release notes for the part of Optimizer because I was reading through them the other day. I cannot tell you how excited I am for this and the amount of possibility it brings for admins to have those positive career conversations with their executive sponsors, with their stakeholders around this.
Niket Trivedi: Yeah, absolutely. And I think you did mention that so-called use case where almost every admin has gone through in their life, which is they take over a new organization and there you go. They are clueless, like what's going on? And they have to get rammed up pretty quickly. And a lot of the cases, they had no one to tell them or help out why certain things are the way they are, and they are so scared to make a change because they don't know if something is going to break. And this is the tool, it's like a Swiss Army Knife. It does hundreds of things for you and helps you uncover or discover those things. It's like an X-ray, if you will go into the inside under the hood and help you find those issues.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. That's a great analogy, and it's an X-ray that'll only get better in time. Now that we have this Lightening app in our orgs, I am envisioning there's going to be new releases to it come winter, come spring '22, I think if I'm doing the math right. Summer '22. It's even more things that that can help admin. I'm very excited. So thank you to your team and everyone who worked on this new... I cannot tell you how exciting this is going to be just to have that next level of insight and prioritization. It's something I've looked forward to. So appreciate it.
Wed, 17 June 2020
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we bring on Tim Dubois, the Product Manager for In-App Guidance at Salesforce. We learn how admins can take advantage of this cool feature and some best practices for creating these cool prompts.
Join us as we talk about best processes for floating prompts versus docked prompts, how to add the information your users need, and the metrics you need to look at for user engagement.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Tim Dubois.
New In-App Guidance features for Summer 2020.
“In-App Guidance is the ability for an admin to create in-app learning where it makes the most sense for the users,” Tim says, “where they’re going to get the best context and be able to do that little bit of learning right in place.” It’s built into the platform itself with no coding via Lightning and lets you be right there with users to draw their attention to the right thing at the right time.
If you’re making a change with App Builder, In-App Guidance lets you show your users what’s changed and where there are new fields. At the same time, when you’re onboarding new users, you can use this feature to help show them around. In Summer 2020, we’re adding multi-step prompts to create a Walkthrough for more complicated processes to traverse multiple pages or even guide users across multiple apps.
Pacing your prompts.
While In-App Guidance is a powerful tool at your disposal, it’s definitely possible to overuse the feature. “You have to think about it from the user’s perspective,” Tim says, “you definitely want to make sure you tease these out at a rate that’s not going to overwhelm them because the last thing we want is burnout.” If you think about popups on the web, it’s definitely easy to understand what overstimulation looks like.
There are controls in In-App Guidance that makes everything a lot easier, letting you decide how many times you show prompts to your users. There are also a few different types of prompts that can help you display information in the best way for people to take it in, so choose wisely.
Metrics to help you make an impact.
When you’re trying to get buy-in from your stakeholders, you can rely on In-App Guidance’s built-in user engagement metrics to give you an idea of how you’re doing. You can better understand how many people saw your prompt versus how many people clicked on the action, which gives you the ability to tweak things and make sure you’ve got it right.
One customer used permissions for country to have different prompts show up in different languages, and the design allows for a lot of flexibility and creativity in terms of how you employ it. These days, In-App Guidance uses the Translation Workbench to make sure prompts show up in whichever language the user has set up, including the URLs for any videos you’ve included. We’re super excited to hear about you get up to when you get your hands on these exciting new features, so reach out and let us know.
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Full Show Transcript
Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, where we talk about product, community, and career to help you become an awesome admin. I'm Mike Gerholdt. And joining me today is Tim Dubois, the product manager for In-App Guidance. Man, is this thing cool, let me tell you. So we're going to talk about how admins can utilize In-App Guidance, some of the best practices for creating those cool prompts, and a whole bunch more. I promise you is such fun episode. I wish I had In-App Guidance for the episode, but we don't. We have Tim, so let's get Tim on the pod.
Tim Dubois: Thank you, Mike.
Mike Gerholdt: Let's get started with how you got started at Salesforce. So where did you come from? And now you're building this amazing In-App Guidance in Salesforce?
Tim Dubois: Yeah, thanks. I've been at Salesforce for what? About a year and three quarters, I guess, at this point. I've been a product manager in the software industry for a really long time in the area, coming from another big company. And I was looking for a company that was doing exciting things, doing some things that were getting back to the community, and also very importantly, company that was making products that people like to use, people were excited about. And Salesforce certainly fit that bill, and I was very lucky and excited to get an offer here. And I have been happy ever since. I've been working on some really, really cool things since I've been here and it just gets more exciting every day
Mike Gerholdt: I would agree 100%. So I'm a huge fan of In-App Guidance. I got to talk about in the Admin Keynote at Dreamforce last year. But let's kick off conversation there with In-App Guidance. If some admin has never heard of it before, what's your elevator pitch on In-App Guidance?
Tim Dubois: Oh gosh, yes, the elevator pitch. So In-App Guidance it's really... Think about it as the ability for an admin, especially, to create in-app learning where it makes the most sense for the users, where they're going to get the best context and be able to do that little bit of learning very quickly, right in place. And that really is what makes the most impact, and it's easier to digest that bit of guidance very quickly and help those users get on the way.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, absolutely. I like to think of it as if you could just be there with your users and be adding a little sticky note or a little nudge to them being like, "I really need you to look over here, or could you really look at this? I just added this. Please just pay attention here. Real quick, kind of a popup."
Tim Dubois: That's so true. Yeah. It's good to look at it.
Mike Gerholdt: So I'm looking at In-App Guidance and thinking to myself, maybe I've been admin for a while, should I only add In-App Guidance to the new apps or some of the new pages that I'm rolling out?
Tim Dubois: It really it depends. It depends on the use case. So In-App Guidance fits so many different use cases and we keep coming up with more. I keep hearing different ones from customers that I add to the list. But there's that typical scenario of, "I just made a change with that builder on the page. I added a new field, and I want to let people know about it. So, hey, let's add a prompt that highlight that, 'Hey, check out the new field. It needs this, or there's a new business process. It means that.'"
Mike Gerholdt: You're teasing it out for me, so I have to ask. Let's talk about walkthroughs because I saw it in the release notes. I think it's amazing, but let's help bring our admins in and show them the amazing cake of walkthroughs that we have.
Tim Dubois: And I guess I let the cat out of the bag. Yes, this summer's release, we are really happy and excited to announce that walkthroughs or the multi-step prompts are coming along in the release. And we're taking the single prompts that we've already had for the last few releases, and we're allowing you to string those together to create a walkthrough. So these are great scenarios for more complicated processes that you want to highlight, or just if you want to onboard users to many places throughout the UI, you can create a walkthrough that traverses anywhere within a page, but also across pages or even across the apps.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. And especially thinking now when Salesforce admins are working from their home and they're having to have more video calls, these walkthroughs are essentially how you can be there for all of your users when they need your help, because you're not when they're going to update an account or log a call based on a sales call. You can't be there all the time, but the walkthrough can be there to help guide them, especially if there's a sales process or a major change, right?
Tim Dubois: Oh, absolutely. That's a great way to just handhold those users to get them through the process.
Mike Gerholdt: So is it possible for me as an admin to maybe create too much In-App Guidance?
Tim Dubois: Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: Can I put too much frosting on the cake? That's the question I have.
Tim Dubois: You absolutely can put too much frosting on the cake. You have to think about it from the user's perspective. And it might get interesting sometimes when you have to think about where all these walkthroughs or prompts are going to end up, what's the set of users. But you definitely want to make sure you tease these out at a rate that's not going to overwhelm the users because the last thing that we want is burnout from the users. Because suddenly, we're all going to do that and get plenty of those popups that happen on the web all the time. And it quickly becomes to the point where you just close it before we even read it and we don't want that to happen. So I think it makes a lot of sense to put a lot of thought into the guidance that you create and make sure you don't overdo it.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, absolutely. I love that you bring that up because the floating prompt can be somewhere right in there, their line of sight, as opposed to that docked prompt, I've seen it with videos in it, which was actually the question I had for you. We also, now I saw this in the release notes too. We have In-App Guidance builder.
Tim Dubois: Well, yeah. The In-App guidance builder is our new... This summer, we have the new offering UI. We had to redo things to create walkthroughs. And so we're using the new builder framework, which is really exciting. And the way the new builder works is, the builder is sort of around the outside of our UI and the UI is on the canvas on the middle part running. So you simply just navigate around to the UI you want and choose where you want to offer the prompts. So again, we make it very simple, all done with clicks. You don't have to worry about which page you're on, because whenever you say, if that's what the prompt is going to show up. So it's really, really easy to use.
Mike Gerholdt: I love that. I just remember thinking back to the days when I would customize the homepage and use like an HTML widget as "Please, please do this," when you first look.
Tim Dubois: What we're trying to do is give you some user engagement metrics right up front on the side of page where you see the prompts that walkthrough is listed. And again, it gives you an idea at a high level, how am I doing? Does anybody care? Because if both the single prompts or the walkthroughs have an action button or action link that we're measuring to see if the user actually clicked on it. So the very last step of the walkthrough or the prompt itself will have that action button. And the completes gives you an idea of all the users that saw that particular bit of guidance, did they actually click on that action? Or how successful are you of getting them to go check out that link, whether it's a Trailhead or whatever it might be.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I would love to go back in time and see what metrics some of those prompts would be. And I think it would be very insightful to let you know, like if people are taking action on something, if you just need to re author that prompt, if it's maybe a picture or a video that would help really drive that home to them, I'd be curious, our community is very creative. Have they shared with you any of interesting prompts or In-App Guidance that they've created, that really caught your eye?
Tim Dubois: Yes. I've seen a fair number of different ones. I've seen everything from just having a simple prompt that shows one time to give an announcement, "Hey, get ready for tax season," et cetera, et cetera, to rolling out brand new custom apps and having multiple prompts. Really, before this was very first version we had, we did not have translation available yet. And the customer actually used permissions per country to have different prompts show up in different languages and so on. So it was some really unique ways around using our system. But yeah, that's why as I talk to customers, I get new use cases almost every day. It's fun.
Mike Gerholdt: That does make me think of something that hadn't really come across my radar is a multinational org. If you're say, a US based company, but you also have offices in Germany and France. Do you have to author prompts in each language? Or is it set to the org's translation?
Tim Dubois: No, it's actually the latter. So we're fully utilizing the translation workbench now. You create your prompt in English, for example, you go to translation workbench, you can translate to all the different languages, then Salesforce supports, and that's it. You're good to go. So user sets their language to say German, then those prompts should show up in German and it actually includes even the URL to the video. So if you have different videos for different languages, which of course you'd want to, if there's audio, then you can also update that as well, so you can have the different videos of the different languages play.
Mike Gerholdt: Holy cow. Okay. Well, this is exciting stuff. I love it when we have In-App Guidance and when we rolled out toolbar, I just thought that was just like next level stuff. Things that I've always wanted, that I always felt like everybody that knew how to write code was getting and the rest of us weren't. I want this cool stuff too. And now it's available. So thanks for doing that. And I can't wait to see what's new in Winter 21 for In-App Guidance. It's going to be right around the corner.
Tim Dubois: Oh yeah. It's fun for us because we're living in that right now. We're in the middle of building that. So it's some fun stuff coming.
Mike Gerholdt: Cognitive dissonance being warm while you're building stuff for the winter. I always think of it like the marketers that have to get the holiday catalog ready. At some point somebody's probably decorating a tree or a wreath or a holiday scene in June and flip flops, like, "Okay, I need everybody in the scene to act cold."