Salesforce Admins Podcast

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Louise Lockie, Salesforce Consultant, and Trainer and 6x Salesforce MVP.

Join us as we talk about her amazing presentation from Dreamforce about how to embrace a permission-set-led security model in your org.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Louise Lockie.

Everything you need to know about Permission Sets

We last heard from Louise back in 2016, after she gave a presentation for Dreamforce ‘16. And sure enough, we’ve brought her back on the pod to give us an overview of her killer presentation this year: “Embracing a Permission Set Led Security Model.” 

As Louise points out, Salesforce recently made a very important announcement: that they are going to be sunsetting permissions on profiles sometime in the near future. “Whenever a change like that comes out, we know we need to help the community and the community needs to help each other to get through this change,” she says. Louise is a big fan of permissions for heping to manage security in her org, so she put together her talk to share how she’s approaching the upcoming changes.

An easier approach to permissions

In her talk, Louise will cover what at the moment has to stay on a profile, what she thinks will definitely stay on a profile even after the change, and what she recommends for a baseline standard profile in terms of managing security.

When you’ve got it properly deployed, permissions will make it so much easier to standardize things like your password policies, login hours, IP ranges, and more. From there, it’s simple to take advantage of permission set groups to build out what you need for each persona at your org.

Why it’s worth it to overhaul your permissions

Louise has been a big advocate for permission set groups since 2019 purely to save time and clicks, but it had always been something that was nice to have and not necessarily something that was absolutely essential. This new approach affords you more flexibility than building out one big permission set, allowing you to more easily share capabilities across roles and also adjust things quickly when the need arises.

If you have hundreds of profiles on your org, you now have the opportunity to really look at where the commonalities are and simplify things a great deal. “Map it all out, capture what permissions you’re giving out, and then see how you want to break those out,” Louise says, “with permission set groups being where you want to commonly give out those permissions together, knowing you can still give them out separately.”

Listen to the whole episode to learn more and, if you lead a User Group and want to bring this content to your people, Louise would be happy to get in touch about sharing her deck of even doing a virtual presentation, so don’t hesitate to reach out!

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Full show transcript

Gillian Bruce:
Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, where we talk about product, community, and careers to help you be an awesome admin. I'm your host today, Gillian Bruce, and we are coming at you with a Best of Dreamforce episode. I know that many listeners may not have been able to make it to Dreamforce, or even if you did, you didn't get to go to all the sessions that you wanted. So we've pulled some of the best sessions, in my opinion, to share with you on the podcast. So today joining us is Louise Lockie, who has put together an amazing presentation about how to embrace a permission set led security model. Now, Louise is a longtime rockstar in the Salesforce community. She was last on the podcast I think in 2016 as we were preparing for that Dreamforce, because she had another great presentation that she had put together for that. So Louise is joining us from across the pond. And so without further ado, let's welcome Louis back to the podcast.

Gillian Bruce:
Louise, welcome back to the podcast.

Louise Lockie:
Thanks, Gillian. It has been a long time, so I'm thrilled to be back.

Gillian Bruce:
Every six years we'll just keep having you back on the podcast. How about that?

Louise Lockie:
I'll hold you to that one. It's a date.

Gillian Bruce:
There we go. Well, I wanted to have you on the podcast today, Louise, because you have put together a great session for Dreamforce this year and I wanted to bring that to our listeners. So can you talk to us a little bit about an overview of your session?

Louise Lockie:
Sure, yeah, absolutely. And I'm really pleased to got selected for Dreamforce. It is called Embrace a Permission Set Led Security Model. How's that for a nice, long name? But it's actually one that I delivered at Midwest Streaming and it went down so well and I got so much great interaction with the audience there and the questions, and I know it's such a hot topic, so I am really pleased to be presenting it at Dreamforce this year in a breakout, which gives me lots of time to get into the detail.

Gillian Bruce:
So many details to get into, right? We're talking about security model and hey, permission sets are the future. So talk to us a little bit about some of the top things that you're going to be getting into in the session.

Louise Lockie:
Yeah, well I am going to be a reminding people that if they don't know, that Salesforce is going to be sun setting permissions on profiles. And that's a bit of a big announcement. Whenever a change that comes out, we know we need to help the community and the community need to help each other to get through this change. And I really did shout from the rooftops when this one was officially best practice, because I've been a massive fan of using permission sets instead of profiles. Let me correct that because we can't lose profiles, we can't get away from them completely, but I use them as the principle driving and the principle means of granting access in my org.

Louise Lockie:
So with that announcement coming from Salesforce that this is somewhere in the future, we don't know exactly when yet, I wanted to talk to fellow admins about how I approach making this change and preparing for this change so that they can do the same. So I talk about what, at the moment, has to stay on a profile because there are some things that aren't yet available on permission sets. What I envisage will stay on a profile, and as I'm a community member, I don't work for Salesforce, I can make those statements because I'm just saying, "This is what I think." Rather than, "This is what I know." And of course, it's a Dreamforce presentation. There'll be forward looking statements, safe harbors mentioned there.

Louise Lockie:
And what I then will talk about is that, once you've got your baseline profiles, and I talk about my recommendation of having, of course, the system admin profile because we need those keys to our org, we need to have all that access, and then having a standard profile for our users. And that is just to give those permissions, things like the password policies, like the maybe login hours that are going to stay on profiles, IP ranges.

Louise Lockie:
So that super, super basic level on a profile that all of your users get. And then you really utilize the permission sets and permission set groups to build out the persona-based access. And I talk about doing that sort of role persona-based for permission set and permission set groups. And then additionally features, because we all know that you can be almost the same persona, you can have two colleagues in one team, but one of them needs slightly different access because they've been given a special task or they are also managing an extra area, or maybe they wear more than one hat, like admins do, in that they need to actually have the permissions of both sets of personas or roles. So I work it through and talk about what I put on a profile and then some examples of how permission sets and permission set groups could be grouped together.

Gillian Bruce:
Wow. Okay. So this is great. I love... What I really like, Louise, about this, your approach, is that you're like, "Oh, I went through this and this is how I thought about it, so I'm going to share it with everyone." And you mentioned permission set groups, so can you just take a second and kind of break down when you would use a permission set group versus just a permission set?

Louise Lockie:
Well, when permission set groups first came out, of course I didn't have the knowledge at that time that this is what we were working to, basically profiles essentially being sidelined to almost go away. And so I used to say permission set groups have been saving admins clicks since 2019. Because at that time I was like, "Yeah, that saves us some time. But really?" It's a bit like the confetti. We all thought it was a bit fun, but was it the best use of time to create this feature? But now I've totally rethought it, because what you can do with your permission set groups is something like a persona. So a role based permission set group. But instead of building out one big permission set, which of course could end up looking almost like a profile, which feels like it defeats the object of this change, you can break it down into the different permission sets and use those for different parts of that role, that persona, that department, if you will.

Louise Lockie:
But of course the joy of that means each of those individual permission sets can be in multiple permission set groups. We can have A, B, and C together, and D, E and A together and so forth. Which is again, something I show in my presentation, use some real case examples of different departments and how different roles and how they can be added together. And knowing that the permission sets can be in more than one permission set group, users can have a permission set group and permissions. So you can still assign them individually. And I think that building block approach means that you've got complete flexibility, which is important because with that flexibility, you can actually give that granular access and you're not tempted to just give, "Oh, I'll give the whole department that access because that'll be easier." Which I do think happens with profiles.

Gillian Bruce:
Oh, absolutely. I remember, gosh, in my early days of learning our security model back 10, 12 years ago, I was always like, "Oh, so then why wouldn't you just give everybody this profile? Then you're covered?" And then it's like, "Oh no, no, wait, hold on. You're going to make a mess for yourself if you do that because then you're not going to be able to understand and kind of troubleshoot when you need to that easily." And from a Salesforce perspective, the product team has been talking about this kind of different change and different approach for a while. And I know that there's so many exciting announcements coming kind of in the roadmap about user access and permissions and how that's all modeling. Big shout out to Cheryl Feldman, who's now a product manager who manages a lot of these. She came in from the other side, right?

Louise Lockie:
Absolutely. She has done wonders, and I've been on a few sessions and calls with her about this and she knows I'm a massive fan of what she's doing, her and her team are doing. So she definitely will be getting shout outs at Dreamforce as well from me. And I'll be attending her sessions as well.

Gillian Bruce:
She's going to be a popular person again. So Louise, I would also like to know, what are some of the things that helped you understand these concepts as you were... You mentioned like, "Oh, I wasn't so sure about permission set groups when they first came out." You've been working in the ecosystem for a while, at least six years, right?

Louise Lockie:
True. And that's it.

Gillian Bruce:
So talk to us a little bit about what helped you understand these concepts. Because I would imagine for some new admins, it's not the most intuitive thing to grasp. So help us understand what helped you really get these concepts and put them to work for you in a really good ease... A way that helps.

Louise Lockie:
Yeah, no, you're absolutely right. They aren't the easiest. And I think the overall security model and data access model of Salesforce takes some understanding. And one of the hats I wear is actually, I teach the admin course, the five day admin course for Salesforce. And as you'd imagine, there's a big focus on this because it's a toughie, but once you know it, once you know the rules then it's so important. You've got the fundamentals of Salesforce down. And so you have to look at what's on a profile, what's on a permission set, have some examples. So what I've done in the presentation, and I do similar things when I'm teaching this as well because it helped me, is map it out. Do an audit of what permissions you are granting which users now, and then think about, well, where are the commonalities? What are the permissions or the org settings or the field level security that you need to give everyone?

Louise Lockie:
And then work for it in a granular way that way, because it is... The combinations can be almost endless. So the businesses that have got hundreds of profiles at the moment, now have got that opportunity to really compare them all and use some of the tools that are out there to compare the different profiles and work out, well, am I giving the right level of access? And use that as an opportunity to audit, use this process as an opportunity to audit what you're doing at the moment. And I think once you see the differences that you've got in your org, in your permissioning model, you can then work out, well, where do they sit? And where you've got the permission sets, go ahead, create those at a really granular level, because what that means is, it's so much more transparent because the name of the permission set is what it's doing.

Louise Lockie:
The description filled on profiles and permission sets is tiny. And I think that breaking it down like this, if though you may have to set it up, it will take a little bit of time working through the permissions, grouping them together and deciding that they're going on these permission sets, and then grouping those permission sets together into the groups. And for me, I'm a real data person. So that's what I would recommend because what would work for me is map it all out, capture what permissions you're giving out, and then see how you want to break those out. Thinking about permission sets being a small subset of permissions, permission set groups being where you want to commonly give out those permissions together, knowing you can still give them out separately. And I do mention muting permissions in the session. And again, it's one of those things that when it came out, I was like, "Oh, blimey, Salesforce. All the time we've been... Permissions is always granted."

Louise Lockie:
So I do a bit of work in Marketing Cloud as well, and they actually have it that has a deny permission, normal, core Salesforce doesn't. It's all about granting permissions. And then muting came along and I was like, "Oh, there we go. That's just set the cat amongst the pigeons, that's something different." But with permission set groups, again, it's one of those features, once you see it as part of the bigger picture, you can understand, okay, now that really adds value. That really adds value to my setup because I can create a permission set group, maybe have five different permissions, permission sets in it, and then just clone it and add a mute for a new version. And that can really give you that flexibility that is going to encourage you to use the principle of least privilege rather than the, I'll just give them all the same access, which is obviously... Well, every good admin should avoid at all costs.

Gillian Bruce:
Well, yeah, and it saves you time. Because, to your point, you don't have to recreate a perm set group every single time, if you got one that you know works and you just want to mute that one little part of it. So that's really helpful to think about that as part of the strategy. So Louise, do you have any idea how many Dreamforces this is going to be for you?

Louise Lockie:
I need to work... Remember this. So I think this... And do I count virtual or not? Because I went every year since 2015, and then obviously missed the hybrid one last year. So let's do the math, shall we? '15, '16, '17, '18, '19. So this will be my sixth in person, but obviously I did attend the virtual versions the last two years. So six or eight, depending on which [inaudible 00:14:32].

Gillian Bruce:
We'll count it as eight, we'll count it as eight. But that's awesome. Yeah. Okay. So as a veteran Dreamforce attendee, if anyone listening to the podcast has... Well, when they listen to this, they would've already been to Dreamforce. What are some of your tips for Dreamforce recovery?

Louise Lockie:
Oh, stay hydrated, for sure. So I'm hearing we're not getting a water bottle this year, so make sure you bring your own. I obviously travel across the Atlantic, so I definitely have at least a one water bottle, if not several.

Louise Lockie:
And I would say there's going to be lots of standing around, there's going to be some queuing, so use those opportunities to talk to the people in line. Make some new friends because you immediately have got something in common with them because you're going to the same session, you've got that interest. So when I go to Dreamforce, I don't tend to know a huge amount of people because it's mostly people more local. There's not that many of us Europeans that come over, so it's a great opportunity for me to meet new people. So I bet there'll be people out there that don't know everyone in the queue. It'll definitely be people that don't know anyone in the queue. So use that as an opportunity to make some new friends.

Gillian Bruce:
All right. So for listeners who maybe just attended Dreamforce, what are your tips for carrying the learnings and everything they got from Dreamforce? The connections forward.

Louise Lockie:
Oh yeah, because every day is a school day. We work in this space where there's so much to learn and we are encouraged to learn and we are all in that mindset, I believe. So there'll be some sessions that are available afterwards. It's not going to be all of them, I understand it. So that you have sometimes that cloning machine, you're going to be regretting not having it. So catch up on that content. There'll be new Trailhead modules coming out. Speakers will make their presentations available, I know that's a thing. And reach out to them. So if you are hearing this and you didn't go to my session at Dreamforce, get in touch with me on LinkedIn, Twitter, the Trailblazer community, and I'll send you my deck. If you lead a user group, I could always come and virtually deliver to you, deliver to your users as well. So I'd say do that for me, but do that for other presenters as well.

Gillian Bruce:
That's a great tip because I think a lot of folks be like, "Oh, I wasn't at Dreamforce," or "I missed that session and it's gone." No, I love that, Louise. It's great. Yeah, reach out to the speakers because you're right, you already did all this work to prepare this great presentation.

Louise Lockie:
Happy to share it with a wider audience, always. Everyone will be.

Gillian Bruce:
Exactly. Might as well amplify it. Well, Louise, thank you for all your hard work in preparing for this year's Dreamforce and sharing your knowledge with the community. It's amazing. It's one of the best things about the Salesforce community at large, is just the generosity and people like you who want to take what you learn and give back and help enable others. So thank you for all you do. And I look... Well, we're recording this before Dreamforce, so I look forward to seeing you at Dreamforce.

Louise Lockie:
Yes.

Gillian Bruce:
And we'll have you back on in another six years. How about that?

Louise Lockie:
As I say, it's a date. Get it in the diary.

Gillian Bruce:
Thank you so much, Louise.

Louise Lockie:
Thank you. Cheerio.

Gillian Bruce:
Well, always lovely to chat with Louise. Great to hear about how she thinks about that permission set model and how to use permission set groups, lots of good strategies and best practices there.

Gillian Bruce:
Now, if you want her session or any of her content, or you want her to come present at your user group, reach out to her. You can find her on Twitter, @louiselockie. You can also find her on the Trailblazer community on LinkedIn, put all those links in the show notes. And as always, if you want any information on how you can be an awesome admin, check out my favorite website, admin.salesforce.com. That's where you can find more blog, content, videos. You can find the admin skills kit, which I'm super passionate about. And stay tuned because we probably are going to turn some of these great Dreamforce sessions into content for our site as well.

Gillian Bruce:
So if you want to follow all of the awesome admin goodness on Twitter, as always, you can find us @salesforceadmns, no 'I'. Or #awesomeadmin. You can find myself @gilliankbruce. And you can find Mike Gerholt, my co-host with the most, @mikegerholt. I hope you have a great rest of your day. Thank you for listening, and I'll catch you next time in the cloud.

Gillian Bruce:
(Silence).

 




Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, Mike and Gillian are on to celebrate Admin Day at Dreamforce with a story about the origins of the Awesome Admin movement.

Join us as we talk about the teamup of the century, how “good stuff no fluff” and “for admins by admins” became mottos the Admin Relations Team lives by to this day, and why the community has been key from day 1.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Mike and Gillian.

Getting the team together

Our story begins with a certain handsome, intrepid Salesforce MVP—our hero, Mike Gerholdt didn’t know it, but he had a date with destiny. The year is 2013 and Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” is number one on the charts. Meanwhile, our other hero, Gillian Bruce, is working Technical Communications and taking meetings with people at Salesforce trying to figure out which direction to take her career. There are rumblings of doing something for “declarative developers” and Gillian is thinking to herself that the term sounds a lot like what the admins she communicates with do.

You see, our mild-mannered admin had an alter-ego. By day, a Salesforce MVP, but by night, he was known as the ButtonClick Admin, with a podcast and blog devoted to all the amazing things you could do in Salesforce without code. Back at Salesforce, Gillian was in a fateful meeting where an idea was floated: “What if we hire the ButtonClick Admin?”

The Admin team’s first Dreamforce

The team’s first Dreamforce together was an important part of the Awesome Admin mythos. With no overarching theme, they decided to go with superheroes for the admin area. There was Super De-Duper, the Mobile Avenger, and Doc Developer. And they had so much help from the community staffing the very first Admin area. They were a small-but-mighty team of three, so they really relied on the community to live up to the phrase, “for admins, by admins.”

They even had to do their own advertising for the first Admin Keynote, which wasn’t even supposed to be an official keynote. LeeAnne Rimel was at that time a standout member of the community who created all the demos for this DIY keynote. Today, she’s running the Admin Keynote at Dreamforce ‘22.

Listen to whole episode for behind-the-scenes stories on the demo that rocked the world, why they started working more closely with product teams, and why they always show setup. And whether you’re at Dreamforce or tuning in from home, happy Admin Day!

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Full show transcript

Gillian Bruce: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, where we talk about product, community, and careers to help you be an awesome admin. I'm Gillian Bruce and I am joined today by Mike Gerholdt. Hi, Mike.

Mike Gerholdt: Hey.

Gillian Bruce: And Mike, I have you on the podcast today because I wanted to do something a little bit fun given that today is the official Admin Day at Dreamforce. And so if you're at Dreamforce and you're listening to this, wow, nice multitasking. I'm impressed. If you are not physically at Dreamforce, my-oh-my. There's a lot for you to join in with us digitally. And I wanted to use this as a fun excuse to take a little trip down memory lane and tell the real story about the advent of the awesome admin movement, so to speak. So Mike, you really were the inspiration for a lot of this. And so I wanted to go way back. That's the way back machine and take us all the way back to actually 2013, which is when the kernel of this all began at Salesforce. Now, Mike, you were an MVP, not working at Salesforce. And how long had you been an MVP at that point?

Mike Gerholdt: I think I got awarded in the winter release. It was the Dreamforce that happened, I want to say in between Thanksgiving and Christmas one year. So, it was a super late Dreamforce.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. That's right. Sometimes, they're in November.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Because MVPs used to be awarded on releases. And so, I think it was the winter release that year. So, 2011 something. Yeah.

Gillian Bruce: Okay. Well, 2011. Okay.

Mike Gerholdt: Sometime.

Gillian Bruce: So 2011. So, you'd been an MVP for a couple of years. 2013 for me, I was doing a little internal career exploration at Salesforce, doing coffees to meet people, understand what their jobs were. And I happened to be connected to this woman named Sarah Franklin at the time who had just left Salesforce and come back to Salesforce. And I remember her talking to me and being excited about doing something for the declarative developers, the way that we do for traditional developers. And I was like, "Those sound like Salesforce admins to me because those are the people I communicate with all the time about technology changes in my role as a tech comms person. When we're notifying everyone about a release or a performance issue, those are the people I email all the time." And from there it was like, "Okay. Here we go. I know how to talk to admins. You want to do something for admins?" And in a few months, Mike, I remember Sarah telling me, "Yeah, I was in a conversation with Alexander Dayon," who at the time I think was I forget what exactly. He was a C-level-

Mike Gerholdt: He ran Service Cloud. Didn't he?

Gillian Bruce: That's right. Yeah. Service Cloud. And I think in a meeting, Sarah said that Mr. Alexander Dayon was like, "Let's hire the Button Click Admin." And that was you Mike because you, at that time, you would what? You had the blog, you had the podcast.

Mike Gerholdt: So, I started all of that. It was a kernel of an idea in 2009 where I started writing something called the Monday... I really meant it to be the Monday Morning Admin, like the Monday Morning Quarterback because of blog titles and Technorati and Google, that I ended up calling it the Monday AM Admin. And I started that on my personal blog and it got a little bit of traction. And then I was talking with a friend and he's like, "I think there's something bigger here. There's a bigger brand I should build."
And he said, "Well, what do you do?" And I was like, "I don't know. It's like mouse clicks. I'm just clicking buttons." And he's like, "Oh." And he pulls up his phone and he checks and buttonclickadmin.com was available. And that's where that started. 2010, I launched the blog. I had a Monday morning post, every morning, 10:00 AM Central. And it was basically a recap of all of the things I did wrong the previous week. And if I could redo the week over, what I would do, but none of it included code. Because there was so much stuff you could do in Salesforce without code. Like, page layouts. And at the time workflows and validation rules that I didn't need to write code. And I felt there was other people that probably were doing that too. So, Monday AM Admin is where that started.

Gillian Bruce: Well, and clearly you were right. Other people were doing the same thing because it took off.

Mike Gerholdt: Yep. So, I grew that for a while and then started a podcast because I dabbled in video, but YouTube wasn't YouTube yet. And I realized the biggest thing was going to Dreamforce and hearing stories and hearing people talk about their stories and listening to them and hearing their passion. And I thought, "Oh. Well, that's what a podcast could do," because when you distill it down into black and white, into written words, the blog post just wasn't getting it across as much. And so 2012, with Jared Miller who was also a fellow Salesforce MVP, I launched what was called the Button Click Admin Podcast. And that was every Thursday because I didn't want to take traction away from my Monday morning posts. So, twice a week. And then that gets you through 2013-ish.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. So then Alexander Dayon says, "Let's hire the Button Click Admin, Sarah." And then you got a call, I believe Mike.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.

Gillian Bruce: At some point.

Mike Gerholdt: So, as part of this was a unique time just in branding and in, I would call it the internet. Because at that time, and I'll preference that time as 2006 to 2015, you could 100% make a brand for yourself. You could have a blog, you could have a podcast, you could monetize those and you could do a lot of public speaking. And so, that's the evolution of where I took the blog to. It was essential hub for me to advertise my knowledge, do the podcast, distribute information and then also sell advertisements and then get speaking gigs. And that was a big thing in that, I would say nine years on the internet.
And part of doing that was being present at a conference called South by Southwest. And so, I was at South by Southwest in 2014 and hanging out at the blogger lounge, which is a thing you do just bunch of people, clicking keyboards, writing blogs, feeling self-important. And my phone rang. Mind you, the friend I was with had been ribbing me constantly like, "Oh. When's Salesforce going to hire you. They're never going to hire you, blah, blah, blah." And my phone rings and I looked down, it was San Francisco. And I think to myself, "Oh. He hired a friend to call, to play a prank."

Gillian Bruce: You're about to get punked.

Mike Gerholdt: I was literally about to get punked, yes. And so, it was super loud in the blogger lounge. I answer the call and it was in a broom closet across the hallway from the blogger lounge because there's no place to [inaudible]. And it was Sarah Franklin. She introduced herself and I 100% thought she was playing a joke on me because she told me she was starting this admin marketing team and was really interested in talking with me, but didn't know if I was looking for a job and I hung up on her.

Gillian Bruce: That's the best.

Mike Gerholdt: Yep.

Gillian Bruce: So, you hung up on Sarah?

Mike Gerholdt: That's the first crazy career thing I have done. She called back. Fast-forward to today. Thank God, I didn't hang up the second time.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Thank God you didn't hang up the second time because then you officially became part of the team and I think you were... What, it was Sarah and myself? And I think you were the next person to join because I don't think Leanne was-

Mike Gerholdt: Was, I was three.

Gillian Bruce: Developer of evangelism.

Mike Gerholdt: We were just a scrappy little team for, I mean, all the way through Dreamforce 2014.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Well, and I remember too, it was one of those funny... We did. We felt like a little scrappy startup because I remember Sarah being like, "Hey. Gillian, we should start a newsletter." I'm like, "Yeah, cool. So maybe we could just email the same list that I used to email about tech comms. Let me see if I can make that happen." I was like, "Thank goodness. I got a good relationship with the email team because they're going to let us send a newsletter out." And I remember it was originally going to be the Admin Roundup and we had a whole cowboy motif, I think-

Mike Gerholdt: Because why not?

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Well, thank goodness that didn't really hash out. But yeah. It was like, "Oh. Well, let's feature some community posts." And I think what was really special about that and was special about having you really help us create this is, it's always been by admins for admins. It's never been us creating that new content that we're trying to push out to the admin community. What we really started was, "Hey. We recognize that there's an admin community out there. We recognize that there are people doing this work. And as a company at Salesforce, we need to let them know that we see them and that we want to highlight the work that they're doing and elevate it, so the rest of the community can get something from it too." And that's something that I always just feel so fortunate to be a part of because it's really unique when you think about enablement or just marketing in general because it is really good stuff, no fluff. And that's the heart of what we do in the admin relations team, which I think is really special.

Mike Gerholdt: Well, I think it also aligns to really the culture of Salesforce admins. We find ways to scale. So, if you're at an organization... And I was at an organization, I was a solo admin for, I don't know how many users. It was in the hundreds, a lot. The way you scale is online, on social, in the trailblazer community, which was called something else at that time. And you asked questions. And so, it was very natural for our team to just follow that mantra. We couldn't scale. There was three of us and there was how many million admins. Obviously, we can't write enough content.

Gillian Bruce: No. But we rebranded Button Click Admin and it became admin.salesforce.com. So we had all your content.

Mike Gerholdt: Wisely so.

Gillian Bruce: And we relaunched the podcast and you invited me to be a co-host, which was terrifying, but it was so fun. And I can't believe it was that many years ago, Mike.

Mike Gerholdt: It was a long time ago. I remember that first podcast. Because there was the discussion of, "Okay. So I come over, obviously my cohost isn't a Salesforce employee. Do we do that? Is that a thing? Is that weird?" And then I remember Sarah was like, "Well, have you talked to Gillian about being co-host?" I was like, "No, does she want to co-host?" "I don't know." And I remember, "Well, so what do you do?" "Well, I don't know. You just talk when I don't talk."

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I remember feeling totally out of my element, but totally down and excited to try it. And I remember those first few episodes of recording and hearing my... I was terrified every episode. And you can tell when you hear them because you can hear me going...

Mike Gerholdt: Right. Well, I think, not to go down the podcast path. The hardest thing is people don't know how to necessarily carry a conversation. And the one thing that I learned starting the podcast is interesting podcasts are ones where the host has an idea of where things are going, but isn't committed to the outcome and is happy to let the guest guide the journey. And I remember reading about Larry King and CNN and The Art Of The Interview and the art of the interview is that it's not about you, the host. But it's about you asking the questions and being present in the moment to continue that conversation, to bring out the best in what your guest is talking about. I mean, those early episodes of the podcast, we probably didn't talk enough and then you talk too much, but you find that intermedium.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. And one of the things I've also always heard about podcasts or really about anything, it's all about the reps. It's about the practice and doing it. The more you do it, the better you get. And I mean, we've been doing this for a long time now, Mike. So, hopefully people still think it's good.

Mike Gerholdt: I know. You would think. But let's talk about the first Dreamforce because that was fun because we threw everything at the wall.

Gillian Bruce: And from the wall and hanging from the wall.

Mike Gerholdt: Yep.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. This was pre-Trailhead. So Trailhead was just a glimmer-

Mike Gerholdt: Trailhead actually launched at that Dreamforce, I think.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. And I think there was one-

Mike Gerholdt: Two.

Gillian Bruce: Three trails or something. It was-

Mike Gerholdt: I mean, it was huge. Massive back then.

Gillian Bruce: So, we had no overarching special Trailhead theme. So we decided, "Hey. Admins are superheroes. Let's make our whole area all about the different types of admin superheroes." Oh, man. We had so much fun coming up with all of those different superheroes, like Super D Duper, because that was the year that they finally introduced the de-duping feature from the IdeaExchange-

Mike Gerholdt: Duplicate management, yep.

Gillian Bruce: I just always call it de-duper.

Mike Gerholdt: I know because it's fun.

Gillian Bruce: And we had what? The Mobile Avenger and Doc Developer and-

Mike Gerholdt: Just all kinds.

Gillian Bruce: And we had them printed on huge banners and we hung them in the little atrium area on the second floor of Mosconea's as you come up the escalators and it was amazing. It was just-

Mike Gerholdt: It was so cool.

Gillian Bruce: Oh. It was so cool.

Mike Gerholdt: We also quickly learned why that atrium area was available for us to use.

Gillian Bruce: It was so hot.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. On the first day at 2:00, we're all standing there. "You're hot." "But this is really... I need to go." And you would just walk 10 feet out of that area. And it would be 20 degrees cooler.

Gillian Bruce: It was a whole greenhouse effect going on there.

Mike Gerholdt: It was.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Well, especially, when I was moving hundreds of boxes of T-shirts and swag around because that's what we did.

Mike Gerholdt: That's what we had budget for.

Gillian Bruce: And we had the first ever admin theater and we had our first ever admin zone. And again for admin by admin-

Mike Gerholdt: We had a little podcast booth. Don't forget we had that little podcast booth.

Gillian Bruce: We sure did. And that looked amazing, the whole on-air sign. Which you have in your house, I believe.

Mike Gerholdt: No. That's the following year. The big on air sign. I have some of those letters, yes. But thank God I don't have that whole booth because that would be massive.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. But again, back to for admins by admins, the only way that we were able to have an admin zone and provide that first ever home for admins at Dreamforce, is because the three of us could not staff at all. We had the entire community staffing those booths and it was all this ask the expert format. Which is now the heart of what we do and how we do any experience that we have. Whether it's at World Tour or at Dreamforce or a TDox. I mean, that is literally at the heart of how we treat all of these demo stations and experiences is that we have experts actually talking about how you can solve your problems and helping you troubleshoot.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, and people showed up. I think that's the biggest thing. We were all looking at each other like, "People are going to show up, right? And they're going to be excited for this?" And that in addition to the community stepping in, is really what drove success because everybody else at Salesforce looked at this team of three, four people, I think Leanne probably pitched in that year.

Gillian Bruce: I think Leanne was our first ever, "keynote."

Mike Gerholdt: She helped with the keynote. Oh, we should talk about that. But people showed up and when they showed up, they appreciated what we had and was willing to contribute more. And other areas caught wind of that vibe and they're like, "We need to package this stuff up." You're like, "Nope, it's ours."

Gillian Bruce: Yep. Well, we had superhero capes. We had bright blue awesome admin-pow T-shirts. I mean, it was pretty magical. And I remember we had to do a lot of advertising to get everyone to come to what we were calling a keynote, but wasn't officially recognized as a keynote with the first ever admin keynote. It was the basement of the Marriott.

Mike Gerholdt: Hilton Union Square.

Gillian Bruce: It was the Hilton, that's right.

Mike Gerholdt: Hilton Union Square.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. So that keynote is actually really amazing because talk about Leanne. Leanne was instrumental in creating all the demos for that keynote. And she's running the admin keynote today at Dreamforce '22 today as well. So that's an incredible journey, but yeah, we showed... I remember, that keynote was so fun. Sarah had just had a baby and Amelia was brand new and Sarah's like, "Yeah, no, I'm going to get on stage and we're going to rock this keynote."

Mike Gerholdt: Uh-huh. Like, two weeks rehearsal she had and just nothing. Just rocked it.

Gillian Bruce: And we'd never created a keynote like this before. This was all new to all of us. And then we featured a bunch of customers who we were going to recognize as awesome admins and give them capes. So I remember it was... Oh, god, Nick Lindberg and Dale Zigler-

Mike Gerholdt: Cheryl Feldman.

Gillian Bruce: Cheryl Feldman. Oh, gosh. There were a handful of them. They were amazing. And Cheryl Feldman won the first ever Awesome Admin Award that was presented to her by her VP at her current job. And it was our way of like, "Hey. This is a recognition of the amazing impact that an admin can have on the organization. And Salesforce is giving you the platform and trying to elevate that." And for those of you who don't know, that eventually evolved into what is now the Golden Hoodie.

Mike Gerholdt: And Gillian, I think one part that's always fun to talk about with that keynote is the mistake that actually changed the way a lot of teams demo Salesforce. And so, Dreamforce 2014 Process Builders, the brand new shiny thing. It's built on the Flow engine, but it makes sense. And everything you could do was totally declarative when you build a flow. Except, there was one random checkbox buried in set up that you had to check. And we rehearsed this to the nth degree. Off stage, was going to be one person sitting that would check the box so that everything just worked seamlessly in our demo. And then that didn't happen.
And it really caused all of us to pause and we probably could have moved forward. Now, thinking through the skill level of this team we would've just adjusted on the fly, walked people through. We probably would've had a backup. By the way, we didn't have a backup then, and moved on. But what happened? Leanne was like, "You know what? No, I'm going to show you what we've missed and we're actually going to do it. And then I'm going to show you." And I think it was really a little bit of Leanne wanted to prove the things she had built was legit.

Gillian Bruce: Yes. That we weren't showing stuff that was built fake. We wanted show the real deal. This is something you can do today.

Mike Gerholdt: So we went off-script. We showed setup and thunderous applause. There were executives in the back of the room that were like, "Oh, man. What are they doing?" And everybody reacted. And from there on, our mantra was we show set up. We show you the real-real. We'll show you how to set this thing up because there should be no mystery to how you configure some of this stuff. And that moment in time, had that not happened, that was a huge cultural moment for our team. And I think for the whole admin community.

Gillian Bruce: 100%, I mean, that sets the tone. It's the good stuff, no fluff. We're really going to show you how you can do this. Not just the theory of, "Look at what's possible." It's like, "Cool. We know what's possible. We're going to show you how you can actually make that happen." And that moment was amazing. That did, that really set the tone for a lot of how we presented technical content until today. So, hopefully we keep true to that.

Mike Gerholdt: We do.

Gillian Bruce: We do. And then from there, Mike, I mean, we were launched, I mean, Awesome Admin became a thing. Trailhead started developing... The first Trailhead content was developer and admin. We were in the core DNA of what Trailhead ended up becoming. And it went from just recognizing admins to then really celebrating and elevating what admins are and what they do. And as a team, we got to dig a little deeper into really getting in with the product teams and being advocates for admin and connecting product with the admin community. And true to the core has been a really important element of the admin community from the start. And that messaging continues to go through everything that we have done as well. IdeaExchange, really making sure that the product is thinking about the admin use case. And honestly, if you look today at Dreamforce, a lot of the new product innovations, they're mostly adminy.

Mike Gerholdt: Well, it's that, and I think that the really unique thing that this team and admins in the community and everyone listening gets to do is, you get to participate in the growth of this identity within the technology ecosystem. So, a developer in the early '70s, you could argue when Apple came out, is really what started to define that. It was probably, you could argue even earlier, but the stereotype and the persona for the most part had been molded throughout the '80s. And for sure, the '90s, by the time that the internet and technology computers and classrooms happened. This is our 1960s, 1970s moment. You go back in time through that 2012 period, we're defining this identity now as in real-time. So it's more than just us showcasing it at Dreamforce. I mean, Gillian, we fast-forward to 2022 now, we're actually saying, "Okay, as part of this identity, here are the core skills that you need to have."

Gillian Bruce: Yep. I mean, it's gone way beyond just focusing on the product, but we've learned a lot. We've gotten feedback from the community and the ecosystem at large about, "Hey. It takes more than just being able to know how to do the technology piece of it. It's that magic of... The admin is at the core of the business, connecting the technology and the business and the processes. And so, how do you do that? You can learn a lot of tech. We have Trailhead to help you learn all that, but there's more to it. And that's where the admin skills kit came out of the research that we were doing, and really honing in on, "What are those skills that help you be a super successful admin?" When you pair those with the technology skills, man, the sky's the limit.

Mike Gerholdt: I agree.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. What I love about rehashing the story and going back is understanding how core these values of good stuff, no fluff, for admins by admins, are to everything that we do today. Things that were important at the outset, we show set up. We use and tap into the knowledge of the community to help each other. I mean, that really has actually affected the rest of Salesforce too. If you start thinking about how things have shifted between Trailhead and focusing more on the individual trailblazers, a lot of what we've done as a team and what the community has done is now being really reflected in a huge way. And so, admins keep being awesome because you're what makes Salesforce special and it's really an honor to be a part of this community.

Mike Gerholdt: Absolutely.

Gillian Bruce: So then Mike, what's next? What are we going to do more for admins? What's the future look like?

Mike Gerholdt: Well, they should watch the Salesforce Admins Keynote at Dreamforce and find out.

Gillian Bruce: It's a great tip.

Mike Gerholdt: Which is also available on Salesforce Plus in case you weren't there in-person.

Gillian Bruce: Absolutely. And there will be lots available on Salesforce Plus, including our Release Readiness Live session. So if actually you're listening to this in the morning of Thursday, you can actually tune in live to the Release Readiness Live, the admin preview later today, which we are doing at Dreamforce with product managers. So, we're going to have an in-person experience and the regular virtual experience for Release Readiness live. And there's going to be some really amazing Admin sessions that are going to be available on Salesforce Plus on demand after Dreamforce.
And then also, stay tuned to the podcasts because we've got great Dreamforce presenters joining us on the podcast, doing a best of Dreamforce series. So stay tuned and keep contributing to the growth and the amazingness of the awesome admin movement. And as always, it's only what it is because of the work that you all are doing. And as always, if you want to learn more about anything else, everything will be on admin.salesforce.com or you can find more information about everything that we did at Dreamforce. You can find videos, you can find more podcasts and of course, great blogs. You can find myself on Twitter at GillianKBruce. You can find Mike on Twitter at MikeGerholdt. And we'll catch you next time in the cloud.



Direct download: The_Awesome_Admin_Story.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’re bringing on the Admin Relations Team to talk through the Admin Track at Dreamforce ‘22.

Join us as we talk about the Admin Meadow, the Admin Track, and what you can expect at Dreamforce!

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with the Admin Relations Team.

The Admin Meadow is your home away from home

First up, we have Lisa Dick, Director of Admin Marketing at Salesforce and the newest member on the Admin Relations Team. It’s her first Dreamforce, and she’s excited for everything they’ve planned for you. “The one thing I want everyone to feel when they walk into the space is feel like the Admin Meadow and the Admin Zone is really the home for admins,” she says.

Even better, sessions will be mapped to the tools in the Admin Skills Kit so you can focus in on the things you want to learn most. She especially wants to see you at the Admin Theater on Tuesday for Admin Karaoke, so pick out your best power ballad and don’t miss out. Finally, you can sign up on the Admin Meadow for a 1-on-1 consult to talk through the challenges you face with someone who has a ton of expertise.

What you can’t miss on the Admin Track

Next up, we brought on Jennifer Lee, this year’s Admin Track Leader, to talk about everything we have planned for you. “We’re going to be able to nerd out on all things Security, User Permissions, Flow Builder, Dev Ops, and even more,” she says. Be sure to take a listen to this part of the pod, as she highlights some of the standout events you won’t want to miss.

We also brought on LeeAnne Rimel to give us a sneak peek at the Admin Keynote. It’s a time we can all come together on the biggest stage to just talk about admins and best practices and changes that are coming for tools you use every day: Flow Builder, App Builder, Permissions, Deployment, and more. And, because it’s LeeAnne, you better believe there will be killer demos.

Release Readiness Live, IRL

Finally, we talked to Ella Marks to find out what she has planned for Release Readiness Live. We pick out the top highlights for the Winter ‘23 Release for Admins, and then open it up to questions from the audience for our product managers. And this year, it’s going to be in-person—the can’t-miss party that ends Dreamforce and sends you off with a ton of new information to take home to your org.

Don’t think you’ll have to miss everything if you can’t make it to Dreamforce in person. There’s tons of stuff to see and do on Salesforce+, so block off your schedule and tune in live. After the Admin Keynote, there will be a special after-show hosted by Gillian and a panel of admin experts to recap the highlights and give some post-game analysis. You’ll even be able to ask our product managers questions for Release Readiness Live later in the day.

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Full show transcript

Gillian Bruce: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins podcast, where we talk about product, community, and careers to help you be an awesome admin. I'm your host today, Gillian Bruce. Listeners, we are less than one week away from Dreamforce 2022. If you can believe it, this is the 20th Dreamforce. I know. It's crazy. I wanted to take today's episode to spend some time hearing from the incredible people on the Admin Relations team about what the admin experience at Dreamforce 2022 is going to be.
If you're joining us on site in San Francisco in just a few days, welcome. We're excited to host you. We will see you very soon. This is a great preparation episodes that you know exactly what to expect when you get here. If you're not able to physically join us on site here in San Francisco for Dreamforce this year, don't worry. A lot of the content that we're going to be covering is also about how you can participate with us digitally. This is truly going to be a hybrid event. We have two streaming channels, the entirety of Dreamforce on Salesforce, plus we also have some other special things happening live. You can definitely participate, even if you're not going to be here with us in San Francisco.
What I have lined up for today is a sequence of the incredible people on our team who are owning and designing and running really important pieces of the admin experience at Dreamforce. We're going to talk about the physical experience in Moscone West on that first floor, the Admin Meadow and Admin Theater with Lisa Dick, who is one of our amazing marketers on the team. Then we're going to talk to the one and only, Jennifer Lee, who is owning and running the Admin track this year. That's all the breakout and theater sessions that are mostly presented by you, the community. Then we're going to get into talking about the big shining star of every event, the Admin Keynote. Leanne Remmel, who has been the mastermind behind this year's Admin Keynote joins us to talk a little bit about what to expect for that.
Then we close it out with the bang, folks, because we have the one and only Ella Marks. I like to call her Stellar Marks, who is going to talk to us about how she is bringing release readiness live, our traditional online virtual experience of how to prepare you for the release. We're bringing that as into Dreamforce this year as an in person and virtual experience. It's going to be the closing party, the closing ceremony of all of Dreamforce. In fact, the Admin Keynote and the Admin Release Readiness preview are all happening exactly a week from the day that this podcast comes out, because it's all on Thursday. Thursday of Dreamforce is admin day.
Stay tuned. You're going to hear from each of these incredible people about what is happening with the admin experience at Dreamforce and how you can participate either in person or online. Let's kick it off by talking to Lisa about the Admin Meadow.
Lisa, welcome to the podcast.

Lisa Dick: Thank you. I'm glad to be here.

Gillian Bruce: I was going to say, first time on the podcast, right?

Lisa Dick: Very, very first time on the podcast.

Gillian Bruce: Oh, well welcome. It's about time we get you on the podcast because we need to introduce you to the listeners. Lisa, can you please introduce yourself and tell a little bit about what you do at Salesforce?

Lisa Dick: I would love to. Thank you. I joined Salesforce this year. I'm a little bit newer to the team, but I'm the director of Admin marketing on the Admin Relations team. This is my first Dreamforce ever. I am very excited for what we have planned.

Gillian Bruce: Okay. Then let's get into it because people are really pumped to know. I know a lot of people listening are going to be able to physically come to Dreamforce next week, which is really exciting. A lot of people are not, so we're going to cover both, but can you tell those who are coming to Dreamforce, what are they going to be able to expect once they arrive on site as an admin?

Lisa Dick: I am so glad you asked. I would describe the admin experience this year in one word, which is magical. I think we have so many fun things planned. We have so many little surprises planned here and there, but the one thing that I want everyone to really feel when they walk into this space is feel like the Admin Meadow and the admin zone is really the home for admin. We're going to have activations and sessions and things for people to keep coming back to, so that over the course of three days, there's going to be so many things that people can interact with and visit, and sign up for, that it really will, I think, feel like a true home and a place that our admins want to keep coming back to.

Gillian Bruce: They're going to want to hang out with us all the time in the Meadow and at the theater. Wait, I said theater. Tell us about the theater.

Lisa Dick: I would love to tell you about the theater. There's a couple of different pieces of the admin zone. One of them, as you mentioned, is the theater. We will have both 20 minute sessions in the theater and also 40 minute breakout sessions with a ton of different learning tracks. There are so many sessions. I would like to call out that all of our theater sessions have been mapped to the 14 skills from our admin skills kit so that when someone comes to a theater session, they'll have a better understanding of what session maps to all of those different skills to find the right sessions in the theater for the things that matter most to them and the things that they want to learn.

Gillian Bruce: Oh, I love that. I am very passionate about the Salesforce Admin Skills Kit. I love that we're pulling that in through all of our, both breakout and theater sessions, but I know that there's some special theater sessions that you've got lined up. Is there anything you're going to share with us?

Lisa Dick: I would love to share them with you. We have some really fun sessions. As most of our admins know, we always try to have some fun sessions mixed in with all of the amazing learning sessions. We're having what we are calling, the How I Solved It showdown, which will be at 1:30 every day. It'll feature participants coming up with real actual business challenges that they have come up with an automation to solve. I also want to add that one of our most fun theater sessions will be on Tuesday, which is admin karaoke. I hope that everybody comes out and either sings. If you're not okay singing, that's okay, but cheering on all of your fellow admins. We think it'll be a really great time.

Gillian Bruce: I will be in the cheering section, for sure. No one needs to hear me sing anything.

Lisa Dick: I do. I need to hear you sing everything.

Gillian Bruce: No, no, no, no, no. Okay. But there's more than just the theater. You mentioned that there's also the Admin Meadow. What are folks going to be able to experience in the Meadow?

Lisa Dick: That's right. There's a couple of different components to the Meadow. There's a ton of action happening. When I talk about coming back to the Meadow and it feeling like home, there will be enough things happening in the Meadow to bring everybody back over the three days. When you first walk into the Meadow, you'll of course be greeted at a welcome desk. There's a couple of things you can do there. You can obviously get some help, but there will also be folks that are signing admins up for a one-on-one consult. We will have those consult stations in the Meadow. Admins can sign up for a 20 minute consultation with a Salesforce expert to really get their own individual questions answered.
We know that our admins face a lot of challenges or unique situations, or things that they just want to talk through with someone who has a ton of expertise. Having those consultations will allow folks to do that. They can sign up for those at the welcome desk when they get on site. We will also have four different demo stations, which I'm really excited about. Our demo stations will be staffed by Salesforce experts. We are really, really excited this year to focus on four specific topics, which are user management, app building and automation, the Admin Skills Kit, which I also love, and then also a session for admin best practices. There's a lot of things happening at the demo booths. Those are, as folks know who have attended Dreamforce in the past, the demo booths, you can just walk up to. It's not something that you have to schedule.
The last thing that's really exciting happening in the Admin Meadow is our activation. Again, talking about the skills kit, we have heard so many wonderful stories about how admins are using the skills kit to really help explain what they do and define what they do and really tell their own story through the skills in the skills kit.
The great part about Dreamforce this year is we have turned the Admin Skills Kit into a digital activation. It's really bringing to life the skills and creating your own unique admin story. In the Meadow, we will have a way for our admins to walk up to an activation station and really use those 14 skills to tell their own story of who they are and then it'll be shareable. You can add it to your resume. You can share it across social. We're really excited for admins to really take the 14 skills and make it feel more unique to them.

Gillian Bruce: I love it. I have gotten some sneak peaks of this activation. I cannot wait to see it in action. It is really amazing way to, like you said, pull together the skills and make your own custom story. I think this is a great takeaway that everyone is going to love. Hey, especially if you're joining virtually, you're going to see people post these. You can create your own when you're at home. This is going to be a really cool thing that I'm sure we're going to carry beyond Dreamforce, as well, in some capacity, but there's a lot going on, Lisa. I love it.

Lisa Dick: It's a lot.

Gillian Bruce: Do you have any tips, maybe for folks who this is their first Dreamforce? This is your first Dreamforce, so you're in the same boat. What is your strategy when you're coming on site? What are you going to do first? How are you going to try and manage doing all of the things?

Lisa Dick: Yeah, it's a great question because there is a lot going on. I also recognize there's a lot happening outside of the Admin Meadow, but one of the cool things that our team creates, it's called the Admin Workbook. We will be sending that out and publishing it on Twitter the week before Dreamforce and really helping attendees plan those things out and figuring out the things that they really have to make sure they do before they leave the Dreamforce grounds. But I haven't planned mine out yet because I've been so deep in figuring out what the Meadow looks like, but I think my big piece of advice that I have heard from everybody on the team and some folks that have been at Salesforce for a while is to just walk around and take it all in. It's a large amount of space. There's a lot of people, but there's also so much to be able to just take it in and just really enjoy the experience of it because it's been so long since we've been together in such a large setting. Just take a moment to just recognize how exciting it is that we're all back. We're all together. We get this really unique space and opportunity to celebrate that.

Gillian Bruce: I love that. That's a great tip. Now, for those of people who maybe are not able to join us in person, what do you recommend for them to get a little taste, a little feeling of this admin magic?

Lisa Dick: Yeah, a couple of things. One, definitely log on to Salesforce plus and see some of the top hits for admins. The second is to follow us on social. In addition to having magic in the Meadow, we will, obviously, of course, our admin Twitter account is amazing. We'll have a couple of details of some fun things happening during the week, but also there's going to be a sweepstakes for folks on site and who follow our Twitter account. Yeah, I think that'll be a really helpful way to figure out what's happening both onsite and for the folks at home.

Gillian Bruce: I love that. I love that. Well, Lisa, I am excited for you to experience your first Dreamforce. I'm really, really looking forward to connecting you with a bunch of admins who are going to be onsite, which is going to be really fun. Everyone, come meet Lisa. She's going to be in the Admin Meadow pretty much the entire time, but we'll let you walk around a little bit, I promise.

Lisa Dick: I hope. Thank you.

Gillian Bruce: Lisa, thank you for all your hard work. We are so looking forward to seeing everything come to life next week. Yeah. Hey, let's get ready to Dreamforce, huh?

Lisa Dick: Let's get ready to Dreamforce. Absolutely.

Gillian Bruce: I cannot wait to see your faces as you walk into the Admin Meadow on Moscone West in just a few short days here. Lisa has been working hard. So fun to hear about some of the special surprises and magical moments that you are going to experience. Now we're going to keep it moving because we got a lot of great admin experience to talk about. Admin experienceness, I think that's a thing. Next, we're going to go to Jennifer Lee, who is the mastermind, and organizer, and proud owner of the admin track this year at Dreamforce to talk about all of the great theater and breakout sessions you can expect this year.
Jenn Lee, welcome back to the podcast.

Jennifer Lee: Thanks for having me Gillian.

Gillian Bruce: Well, I needed to get you on because we're getting ready for a little something called Dreamforce in just one week here, actually, if you're listening to this podcast. I wanted to get you on because you are managing the entire admin track at Dreamforce this year. Hands to you. That's an amazing feat. I wanted to get you on the podcast to talk a little bit about some of the amazing things happening in the admin track. Give us an overview as folks get ready to head to Dreamforce.

Jennifer Lee: All right. How much time do you have because I can go on and on about how amazing the line up is?

Gillian Bruce: Well, I know you can go on and on. Let's keep in sound bite for the podcast.

Jennifer Lee: All right. I am really super excited to be this year's track lead for the 20th Dreamforce admin track and to curate such a great lineup of breakout and theater sessions. We have a little bit for every admin out there, whether you're just starting out, you're intermediate, an advanced admin, and a wide variety of topics that can help you build on those 14 skills that you helped us identify in our skills kit. In fact, Brittany Gibson, if you've seen that awesome, great Quip doc that she put out there, the admin sessions by skills that list out all our sessions categorized by the related skills, that is something that you definitely need to get your hands on if you haven't seen it. Gillian, would we be able to include that as a link in the pod notes?

Gillian Bruce: Absolutely. It's going to be in the notes.

Jennifer Lee: Awesome. All right. In regards to speakers, we have Salesforce MVPs. We have community members. We also have Salesforce PMs, like Shell Feldman, Diana Jaffy, Antoine Kubot, just to name a few. They're going to share their latest and greatest with their respective products. We're going to be able to nerd out on all things, security, user permissions, flow builder, DevOps, and even more.

Gillian Bruce: I love nerding out. This is making me excited. Come to Dreamforce to nerd out.

Jennifer Lee: All right. I'm going to give you a teaser into some of their sessions. Okay, folks, bookmark these now. True to the core from feedback to features. Also, getting started with low code application building. The feature of user management for admins, and also rating effective and maintainable validation roles.

Gillian Bruce: It's quite a line, Jenn. There's a lot going on there.

Jennifer Lee: I know when I was a customer and I attended Dreamforce, I like to learn from the practitioners, the people who are out there doing the thing. I'm just going to highlight just a few sessions that, again, you want to bookmark. We're going to go through the fundamentals of formals, approach reporting like never before, deluxe report types. We're going to throw in some Salesforce automation with Slack. Then if you're looking to get into public speaking and speaking at events, we have a session called find your voice, tips for becoming a Salesforce speaker. There's also a session on the art of a Salesforce demo because we, as admins, need to present and share what we've built to our users. Learning that would be great. We also have dynamic forms, driving data, and user experience. Lastly, we have the London user group leaders presenting a theater session on how to become a skilled admin specialist. They'll go through various skills and what's involved in doing that and then tying that back to the skills kit.

Gillian Bruce: I love it. I love how you cover really a whole breadth between nerding out on products. You kind of career developmental, great content, and then just best practices as well. That's really awesome.

Jennifer Lee: And I'm excited for new faces. While we love our returning Dreamforce presenter veterans, we do have some new faces as well. There's app exchange strategies for Salesforce business analysts with Shira Tyson Griffin. I hope I said their name right. There's also step by step guide for transitioning all processes to flow with Chrissy Andrews and Kristen Blazer, and catch the release, how to manage major releases year round with [inaudible] Burke, who is our awesome release person, but also a former coworker of mine. She works at Manual Life Candy Weeks.

Gillian Bruce: I love that. That's great. Yeah, actually [inaudible] was on the podcast earlier sharing some of her great presentation that she put together about app exchange strategies for business analysts. Yeah, a whole bunch of first time Dreamforce presenters, which is always fun to get some new voices out there and amazing content. I've been able to jump on a couple of the dry runs for these sessions and wow. It is a rockstar lineup. It is going to be an amazing track.
Now, for those who maybe aren't able to attend in person, Jenm, how can they enjoy some of these great topics and great presentations?

Jennifer Lee: We have the opportunity to record three of our sessions from the admin track. Those will be available on Salesforce plus for a future viewing. They're the automate your business processes with Flow Builder. Ready, Click, Automate, Salesforce to the max with RPA. Lastly, Make the Move From Chain Sets to DevOps Center.

Gillian Bruce: Okay, those are three, obviously, very popular and very exciting sessions about really great product and innovations that everybody needs to know about. Again, Salesforce plus on demand after Dreamforce. You can get it all right there, as well as some other great stuff like our Admin Keynote, which we talked about on the podcast already. Of course, release readiness live will be available after Dreamforce, as well.
Jenn, this is your first time running an in-person Dreamforce as not a customer, as part of Salesforce. Tell me a little bit about how that change has gone for you. Not only are you now part of Salesforce running an in person Dreamforce, but you're owning all of admin track. Just tell me. How has that been?

Jennifer Lee: I just say it's been truly your honor to even be given this opportunity. I want to give props to [inaudible], you, and everyone on the team for being so supportive. It truly takes a village to do this. I'm just the conductor, but it truly takes the whole orchestra to get this thing together. It's been great going through and being on the other side, because I was a presenter and now I'm on the other side organizing it and going through the process of selection. That was really hard. We had so many great submissions and I only had so many slots. It was really hard going through that process. But then now, working through and doing the dry runs, I'm really getting excited by seeing the sessions. I really can't wait to get those in front of all our admins.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, absolutely. It's been really fun to see you bring that perspective to this process that Mike and I have done for gosh knows how many years at this point. It's great. You've done an amazing job. It's really fun to see it all come to life. Hey, I'm looking forward to seeing your face next week after the Dreamforce is going on and the sessions are happening and you're like, "Oh my gosh, this is the track that I put together. It's coming off amazing. All these people are getting such great value out of it."
Congratulations. Hey, everybody get ready to enjoy a amazing admin track next week. Jenn, we also didn't talk about the fact there are breakouts and there are theater sessions. Can you talk to us a little bit about that?

Jennifer Lee: Yes. Our breakouts will be 40 minutes in an enclosed room. Our theater sessions will be on the... The breakouts will be on the second floor of Moscone West. The theater sessions will be on the first floor of Moscone in the Admin Meadow. It will seat about 125 people in an open area. We're really excited to get the excitements of the crowd, the people walking around the Admin Meadow. Yeah, I'm really looking forward to all this.

Gillian Bruce: It's going to be vibrant. It's going to be fun. It's going to be an awesome admin party all around. Congratulations. Thank you for leading admin track this year. Folks, we're getting ready to see you at Dreamforce.

Jennifer Lee: Yay.

Gillian Bruce: Wow. So many amazing sessions, lots of brand new presenters, lots of veteran presenters. Thank you, Jennifer Lee, for shepherding this incredible admin track to come to life at Dreamforce. I hope you've bookmarked the sessions she mentioned and you're exploring on your own. Make sure you pop open that Salesforce plus window so that you don't miss out.
Now, we're moving on to the Admin Keynote. Leanne Remmel, who is the original Admin Keynote designer. If you all don't remember back in 2014 when we first had our first ever Admin Keynote, which we called it a keynote, even though it wasn't really deemed a keynote. Leanne designed all the demos for that, and in fact, created the whole entire brand of how we do admin demos by showing you how we use setup. Without further ado, let's get Leanne on the pod to talk about what you can expect in this year's amazing keynote. Leanne, welcome to the podcast.

Leanne Remmel: Hi Gillian. Thanks for having me.

Gillian Bruce: Well, I had to have you on, because we need to talk about something really important and really exciting happening at Dreamforce next week, the Admin Keynote. Can you tell us a little bit about what is going on for admins in the Keynote?

Leanne Remmel: I sure can. If you haven't been a dream first before, or if this is your first time tuning in, the Admin Keynote is really this time that we gather all together as admins. We share with you the latest and greatest in announcements, in tools for admins. We try to share and reinforce things we've learned from you over the previous year about the role of admins and how it's growing, and things you are all doing in your careers and at your companies. It's really... I'll be honest. It's one of my favorite Dreamforce events. It is really a time for us all to gather together in the big room. We're in the Moscone hall F in the big keynote room. We gather together and we just talk about admins for the entire time.
We spend time with you talking about what are those products and features coming that we want to make sure your hands on with? What are those business areas you should be building out? We'll be, first off, diving into the latest and greatest with your favorite products. We'll be including Flow Builder, Ad Builder, permissions, deployment. Those things that you're using every day as an admin, we're going to be talking about some of the right ways and best practices on how to use those tools. We're going to be hearing from product leadership. We're going to be talking about roadmap and exciting things that are coming or just released for those tools. I'm really excited for that. I love building out our product overviews and demos. It's a really fun part.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, and you've been... Leanne, you have also had a hand in helping with product demos for quite a while at Salesforce, and especially for the admin audience, which makes it extra special because these demos are really, as you said, tailored towards the admin experience. Along with what you just listed, what else is going on in the Admin Keynote?

Leanne Remmel: I love that question. I do love demos. I just still do. A quick aside, we really do build these demos. Every step of the way we're thinking, what is it that we want admins to see? What are those features, those best practices, those tools that are just, we really want admins to know about. We really want admins to see. You'll notice we really dive a lot deeper often into setup, into the builder experience. That's because these are truly tailored for you, both the products that we're covering and then how we show them in demos.
Gillian, I just love demos. I used to build demos all the time when I was a Salesforce admin. I built them in order to get budget and things like that for my projects and drive user adoption. My entire career, whether I was a customer, or at Salesforce, or tech support, I think demos are so important. They're so fun.

Gillian Bruce: Demo all the things.

Leanne Remmel: Demo all of the things. Gillian, you asked what else we're doing in Admin Keynote. There's two other areas I want to share that I'm really, really excited about. I told you how demos are so important and we're doing demos. Something that's really exciting that we're doing in the Admin Keynote this year for the first time is it's not just going to be Salesforce employees up their demoing. We're going to have our customers up on stage leading demos. We're going to have some of our admin trailblazers who have used some of these products, used some of these tools to build solutions for their companies. They're going to be on stage showing their build to you in a demo in the keynote. I am just so excited about that because, of course I love demoing. I love showing things. There is nothing better than seeing someone who has the same role as you, the same job as you, is maybe solving the same business problems as you, up there saying, "Here, let me show you how I solved this."
I think that's going to be such a fun and important element of the keynote. I'm so honored. We've got our admin trailblazers that are joining us, are just awesome members of the community, awesome admins through and through. I'm so thrilled that they're taking the time to share their solutions with us and with you, our admin audience. Those customer led demos are going to be really, really fun.

Gillian Bruce: That is really special. That is unique. I think that's the only time that any keynote has really done that. This is going to be a first time innovation that we're bringing to the Admin Keynote this year.

Leanne Remmel: I think I would say we're trailblazing.

Gillian Bruce: What? Boom! Mic drop. Love it, Leanne. Okay. You said there's three things. We talked about too. What is the third part of the Admin Keynote that you want to share today?

Leanne Remmel: Okay. The third thing that I'm really excited to talk about today, that will be so impactful for you, Salesforce admins, who are attending and viewing our Admin Keynote, Gillian and our team worked really hard over the last few years to learn more about the skills that make admin successful. It's called the Admin Skills Kit. It's on our site. It'll be in the show notes.
That skills kit that they worked hard to identify, what are those skills that help admins be successful in their roles? We launched the skills kit at TDX 22. That was in... What month was that? April 22, but we're not done. We launched it. We gave you that first iteration of an overview of all the tools and skills that you need to be successful as admin, that you should focus on building on. We had a wonderful blog series by our admin trailblazers sharing how they use those skills in their jobs and their careers, but we're not done yet.
At the Admin Keynote, we're going to have some really exciting announcements about this next phase of Admin Skills Kit, and new tools and new ways, building on the skills kit, that we are working to enable you as Salesforce admins to be successful in your roles. I'm really excited about... It's a culmination of a lot of hard work from the team and a lot of contributions and sharing and knowledge, sharing from admins, that we're working to combine into this product, this tool, for you, called the Admin Skills Kit that'll help you just crush it and be an awesome admin.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. It's like our own product roadmap. We're sharing everybody.

Leanne Remmel: It is. We get a do a roadmap. Yeah, we get to do a roadmap conversation. We're going to have some exciting roadmap announcements about Admin Skills Kit.

Gillian Bruce: I love it. I love it. Leanne, you did mention that the Admin Keynote is going to be in the big room this year, the same room that the mark main keynote is in. We need everybody who's coming to Dreamforce to join us. When is the keynote happening Leanne?

Leanne Remmel: Oh, that's a great question. It is in the big room. It's on Thursday at 9:00 AM. It's probably going to be your first session of the day. Maybe you can meet up with your admin buddies, go to Starbucks, go to your coffee shop, make your coffee at your hotel, whatever. Everyone can get their coffee, get their nice little morning walk in, make their way over to Dreamforce and come bright and shiny and early to the Admin Keynote and really start your day with us. I'll be honest. I love being on Thursday morning, because I think then we've had a couple of days to attend sessions, to attend other keynotes, to learn more about different areas that we're interested in. With Admin Keynote, we try to help you put a lot of that into context and set you up for successes.
You go back to your day job after Dreamforce and want to take all these learnings from Dreamforce and make your plan, your roadmap for what you do with those learnings. I love being on Thursday. I love being on Thursday morning, Thursday morning, hall F, 9:00 AM. Even if you're not a morning person, even if you're tired, I promise we will wake you up. It'll be a fun show. We will be bright and shiny. There'll be a very big element of fun. You're going to see some really faces and love and haven't seen in a while. It'll be a wonderful way to kick off Thursday.

Gillian Bruce: Well, Thursday is, Leanne, it's admin day at Dreamforce because not only do we start the day with the Admin Keynote, but we end the day with admin release readiness live, which is really exciting. The whole day is really focused on admins. It's a great way to end Dreamforce with the bang with a whole day dedicated truly to Salesforce admins. Yeah, we're looking forward to it. Leanne, as you mentioned, if you're in person, come to Hall F, but if you're not in person, people can watch it online, right?

Leanne Remmel: Yes. It will be on Salesforce plus at 9:00 AM Pacific on Thursday. Definitely tune in. And there'll be a little something special for people who are tuning in online. There's going to be an after show. There's going to be the Admin Keynote, and then we're going to be diving into our after show as well. Also, really starting this live will be on later in the day, as well, for everyone who's not attending in person. I love that really starting this live is happening later in the day, because I think also, we're going to be talking about some new products and some new features and some new tools in the keynote. At really starting this live, you have Q and A with the product managers. If you come up with questions during keynote or during other sessions the week, you can ask those questions during really starting this live. I'm really excited for admin day and for Dreamforce. I hope to see you all there.

Gillian Bruce: Excellent. Well, we'll be there.
All right folks. We are done. The keynote is incredible. You are going to want to tune in. It's exactly one week from today. You'll be able to view that live on Salesforce plus. Starting at 9:00 AM Pacific time on Salesforce plus. You are not going to want to miss it.
We have a brief after show that's going to happen right after the keynote that, yours truly, is hosting along with some incredible admin analysts. We've got Carmel James, familiar voice on the pod, and Cheryl Feldman, one of our amazing product leaders who are going to join me as the post game analysts for what happened in the Admin Keynote. You're only going to find that live on Salesforce plus, so make sure you tune in there. We've got some fun surprises in that little segment too.
All right. Now, to wrap out the admin experience at Dreamforce, we are going to talk to Ella Marks, who is innovating... Oh my gosh. This is such a cool innovation that she's bringing to life this year at Dreamforce. It is the first time that we're ever going to be doing release readiness live with an in-person audience. You heard it. We do release readiness live every release. It is one of the best ways to get up to speed with all of the features that you should know about as an admin hearing directly from product managers. Well, we're bringing that experience to the attendees at Dreamforce. We're doing it in a big keynote room. We're going to have the product managers there, live, answering questions. If you are tuning in virtually, nothing's going to change for you. It's the same way that you can tune into release readiness live. We're just going to have a live studio audience who's also going to be able to participate. Check that out. That's going to be at 3:00 PM Pacific time. You'll be able to stream that the way that you normally stream release readiness live. Get your questions ready. Ella, welcome back to the podcast.

Ella Marks: Hi Gillian. Thanks for having me.

Gillian Bruce: Oh, well I am having you because I want something very specific from you. First of all, before we get into it, can you remind the listeners who you are and what you do?

Ella Marks: Yeah, I'd love to. I am a senior marketing manager on the admin relations team. I have my hands in a lot of different things, but I'd say the biggest things that I focus on are admin website and our campaigns. Our release campaigns like Learn More, and some other campaigns that you may see across our social or our website.

Gillian Bruce: Yes, you do all of the very fun activating the community things, which is great. Speaking of which, we are giving everyone who's listening a little precursor to what they can expect at Dreamforce next week for both those attending in person and those attending online. Ella, you are owning a very exciting piece of this. Can you talk to us a little bit about release readiness live at Dreamforce?

Ella Marks: Yes. I would love to. Nothing gets me more excited for this year's Dreamforce than talking about the first ever, in person release readiness live. That's right. In person release readiness live.

Gillian Bruce: And the crowd goes wild!

Ella Marks: Insert cheering noises! It is so exciting because if you've seen release readiness live before, you know that every release we go through all those release highlights. There's tons of innovation out there with every single release. We pick out the top highlights for admins. Then we bring them to you in this release readiness live broadcast. We get to go through our demos and show you all these new innovations. Then the product managers take your questions about these new features during that broadcast. We're having all of that, but this time, there's also going to be this live in person component. Don't worry. If you're not joining us live in person, you will still be able to watch release readiness live the same way that you've watched it previously. You'll still be able to ask your questions, but it's just so exciting that we're going to have this new way to engage with the product managers and really be in that room. We're hoping to bring all of the awesome admin fun release energy to the session. I'm just so excited, if you can't tell.

Gillian Bruce: Well, it is something to get pretty pumped up about because not only is it the first in person release readiness live. This is kind of almost true to the core, but focused on the release, because we're going to have all those product managers there. Release readiness live is amazing because you get the PMs to join you on the broadcast and answer those questions live, but we're going to have all the PMs there. We're going to have rows of PMs to answer questions. If you've got a specific question that you've never really gotten an answer to feel free to bring it because we are going to be able to ask them... We. You will be able to ask them there in person. It's also the official closing party of all of Dreamforce and admin day. Ella, talk to us about how this party's going to go down.

Ella Marks: It's so exciting to be able to be that closing party because what it means is all week, you will have learned all of these new, amazing features. You may learn about Admin Skills. You'll learn about products. You'll have all of this learning. At the very end, you'll be able to keep those questions in the back of your mind that entire time, bring them to this session and go out learning all about the top new features. When you get home, they're right fresh in your mind, so you can immediately go start implementing these new features or playing around with them in a sandbox. This is just so exciting because you have that experience where you can have that closing party with us. We're going to make it fun. Don't worry. More to come on that.

Gillian Bruce: There'll be lots of fun.

Ella Marks: Lots of fun, but it'll be the last thing that you see at Dreamforce. You can take that, write your notes down, go home, and then immediately take action and start learning about some of these new features. I'm so excited. It's going to be the closing party, the can't miss last thing that you do at Dreamforce.

Gillian Bruce: Yes. Release readiness live to take it all home. To your point, what's great is that this is a good forcing function to get everybody ready for the winter 23 release. You'll be able to go right back to your work when you get back home on Monday or Tuesday, or if you're taking the week after Dreamforce off, which I know some people do. Good for you, but you'll be able to immediately go in, play within that pre-lease environment and make sure that you're starting to prepare your org for the new capabilities you want to take advantage of with winter 23.
Ella, one thing that I know that's different about this year is because we get to do it in person, we may not have as much time as we usually do to answer all of the questions. We will have time for Q and A, but what happens..? What are we doing for folks who maybe don't get their question answered live in this session?

Ella Marks: That is a great question, Gillian. It is something that we know everybody is going to be thinking about during this session. We will provide an opportunity to follow up on those questions that you've asked after Dreamforce. We're still working out some of those details. I will make sure that we share them with you as soon as we have them, but do not worry. Your opportunities to connect with these product managers and get your questions answered are not limited to this session. Do not fear. We will answer as many questions as we can live at Dreamforce from online and in the room. But if we don't get to your question, there will be additional opportunities to ask it. Just stay tuned.

Gillian Bruce: Well, and yeah, you'll know exactly which PM to harass on Twitter too. It'll be all good.

Ella Marks: We'll share their Twitter handles. You can ask them directly.

Gillian Bruce: This is so great, Ella. Now, I would love to just ask you, since this is the first time we're doing release readiness live in real life, IRL, what are some of the differences in putting together release readiness live for an in person and online experience versus just that online experience?

Ella Marks: That's a really good question. I think that when it comes to anything, that's going to be onsite, especially at Dreamforce. If you ever participated in a Dreamforce session before, or you have dreams of participating, it is such a different experience to be live in the room with people. You really want to make sure with a session like release readiness live, that we're considering both that in room audience and the experience for those folks, and the experience for folks who are going to be tuning in online.
One thing that we haven't really had to think about before, which is really fun, but we're thinking about this time is, we're showing some really exciting new features that we think you're going to be really excited about. We're having to think, do we need to pause for an audience reaction? That is something we've never had to think about before. Is anybody going to clap? When there's an announcement? Are we going to hear some rumblings in the audience? What is this going to look like? This is a totally new experience for us. It relates a little bit less to the content, but just that general atmosphere that we want to create with this experience is, it is real. It is live. We are engaging with you, but I don't know. I'm excited to see what it looks like, but it's definitely not something we've experienced in the studio or in the online little Brady bunch box before.

Gillian Bruce: Well, yeah, instead of relying on basically the other attendees in the Brady box bunch, just to show excitement over a feature, we're going to get real actual reactions that are audible from the audience, in addition to the normal online forever that happens, and the great gifts, like Squire I know we always posts the great gifts. But yeah. It's fun to bring both of those together. Amazing job, Ella, of bringing both that in person, that new in person experience together with the live existing experience. It's going to be really fun. It's like the first real deal, hybrid live content. Honestly, cause it's so interactive. I's going to be really fun to see that go down. Any tips for folks who are going to be attending in person or attending online to get the most out of the session?

Ella Marks: I think to get the most out of the session, I would just recommend having a way to take notes, whether it's your phone, or you are taking photos of the slides or of a demo, or making a note of a new feature that you might be excited about. You don't want to lose those moments of inspiration that you might get during a session like this that is so jam packed of features. Just make sure that you have an easy way to capture something that you might get excited about because we're going to show a lot.
If I can add one more, bring your questions. We're going to be sharing what we're covering before the event. If you have questions about automation, you have questions about DevOps center, or permissions and user access, you can think about those now. When the session starts, be ready to post those questions because we will be looking for them. Start thinking about those. Start thinking about what you'd want to ask to our amazing product managers. We can't wait to answer as many of them as we can.

Gillian Bruce: Bring all the questions. All of them.

Ella Marks: Yeah.

Gillian Bruce: All of them. Well, Ella, thank you for joining us on the podcast. Thank you so much for bringing IRL at DF 22, because I'm just going to list all the acronyms at once. I know we're all looking forward to this amazing closing party at Dreamforce. We cannot wait to see you there. Ella, it's going to be some admin magic.

Lisa Dick: I can't wait. See you all there.

Gillian Bruce: With that, everyone, I hope you are so pumped for next week. It is happening in just a few days. I cannot even believe it's the 20th Dreamforce. I don't even know what number Dreamforce this is for me. I think my first Dreamforce was 2010. Maybe it's my 12th Dreamforce. Yikes. Wow. Anyway, Dreamforce is a magical time. I hope you're able to join us. If you're not able to join us in person, please, please, please stay tuned to Salesforce plus, and you can stay up to date again with all things happening in the admin community by following #awesomeadmin on Twitter and Salesforce admins, no eye. I hope you all are pumped to have an incredible Dreamforce, whether you're joining us in San Francisco or you're joining us from your comfort of your own home. I cannot wait to see you. I cannot wait to hear from you. I cannot wait to see what you think of your admin experience at this year's 20th Dreamforce.
With that, have an amazing rest of your day. Safe travels. Have a great weekend. I'll catch you next time, in the cloud.



Direct download: The_Admin_Experience_at_Dreamforce_22.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Mary Tagler, Salesforce MVP and Salesforce Applications Manager at Relativity.

Join us as we talk about Mary’s upcoming presentation at Dreamforce, “The Fundamentals of Formulas.”

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Mary Tagler.

Best of Dreamforce

Not everyone can make it to Dreamforce this year and, even if you can, we know it’s impossible to catch everything. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. This month, we’re bringing the best speakers from the Admin Stage on the pod so you won’t miss a thing.

Formulas for the Rest of Us

Longtime listeners may remember Mary from way back in 2016. These days, she manages a team of admins for Chicago-based legal software company Relativity. Most importantly, she’s speaking at Dreamforce this year about the fundamentals of formulas. “I wanted to get down to the fundamentals, best practices, and the how-tos for people who just don’t know where to start,” she says.

Mary wants to point you towards the resources that are already out there to help set you up for success. There are a lot of ways to get help but the number of options can become overwhelming, so she wants to give you some pointers on how to help yourself. “One of the best resources—the bookmark I have on every machine I own—is the formulas and operators help document,” she says. And even better, it has examples for everything.

Why It Helps to Write Things Out on Paper

Mary also wants to help you understand where formulas are used and why you use them. She’ll talk through the most common types of functions and operators you use, writing out every exercise in plain language so you know how it works. “Even if you feel like walking away not knowing how to build the formula, you’re going to know how to write out that logic in a coherent way that anyone can digest.”

Finally, Mary will cover best practices. “Sometimes the way you write your formula sets you up for failure,” she says. She always hand writes her formulas following a specific format, underling ANDs and circling ORs. That helps her identify how she wrote the formula and find any logic gaps, and also gives her a way to run it by stakeholders to see if it’ll solve the business problem.

Asking For Help

One thing Mary did when she was starting to learn formulas was taking a look in the Answers Community. There are always a ton of questions there, and she figured a good way to hone her skills was to see if she could figure them out.

Even better, the Answers Community is still there for you no matter where you are in your journey. “Time formulas are my kryptonite,” Mary says, “and you will see me posting for help anytime I have to do something time-related.” And she’s giving a presentation about formulas at Dreamforce, so you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it!

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Full show transcript

Gillian Bruce: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast where we talk about product, community, and careers to help you be an awesome admin. I'm your host today, Gillian Bruce, and we are bringing you the best of Dreamforce. Listeners, we have picked some of the top sessions from the admin track at Dreamforce, both breakout sessions and theater, and we're bringing them to you here on the podcast because we know not everyone's going to be able to come to Dreamforce.
And even if you are coming to Dreamforce in person, there's zero likelihood that you're going to be able to hit every single session in the admin track. It's just physically impossible. You can't clone yourself. So wanted to make sure that I bring some of our top presentations and presenters on the podcast so you can hear more about what they're going to be sharing, learn a little bit more from what they're going to be teaching in their session, and just have a good time getting ready and getting that mindset of Dreamforce.
So without further ado, I want to introduce you to today, reintroduce you if you've been listening to the podcast for a long time. We have Mary Tagler who is going to be joining us today, and she's got a great session on the fundamentals of formulas that she's going to be presenting at Dreamforce.
And fun fact, she was last on the podcast I think back in like 2016 and it was right before she won an awesome admin award, which in those days wasn't even the golden hoodie yet, but now it has evolved to that. So without further ado, let's welcome Mary to the podcast. Mary, welcome back to the podcast.

Mary Tagler: Thanks for having me, Gillian.

Gillian Bruce: Well, we were talking, I think it's been a long time since we've had you on the podcast.

Mary Tagler: It has. It's been in excess of four years and at least one job ago.

Gillian Bruce: So, all right, so before we get into it, why don't you update us? What are you up to now? What are you doing these days?

Mary Tagler: Sure. I'm actually a manager these days and I manage a team of admins at Relativity. We're a legal software company based in Chicago.

Gillian Bruce: I like it managing a team of admins. All right, so clearly you've got a lot of awesome admin knowledge to share with everyone. Now, I wanted to have you on the podcast, Mary, because we are getting ready for a little something called Dreamforce here just in a few weeks. And I know you are presenting a session and I know several of our listeners are not going to be able to make it to your session, even if they make it to Dreamforce, because there's a zillion things going on. So I wanted to get you on the podcast to talk a little bit about what you are presenting and share some of these amazing takeaways that you're going to give your captive audience on site to some of our listeners here today.

Mary Tagler: Sure. So I'm going to be speaking at Dreamforce about the fundamentals of formulas. It's a topic that I hold near and dear. It's something that as an organizer of our Salesforce Saturday group, I really had looked for a way to build on that great presentation that Steve Mo does about formulas, but getting more basic, getting down to really the fundamentals, the best practices, and the how-tos for people who just don't even know where to start.
I spend a lot of my time either in the community or Ohana Slack, and I see a lot of folks come with questions where they're like, "I need to do X and I don't even know where to begin." And so my goal is to really start teaching folks how to map out what they need to do and then feel comfortable with the tools that are provided for them.

Gillian Bruce: I love that. I think that's so important. It's kind of like instead of just helping you troubleshoot every single issue, let's get some framework and some longer term strategy in place so that when these come up, you have a way to think about them and process them. And as someone who personally has always struggled with math, and then when I was trying to get the grasp on Salesforce formulas, I was like, "Oh no, here we go again." So I very much appreciate your work in this area to try and help people understand. So what are some of the things that you're going to cover in your session that's really kind of help people get that, that fundamental knowledge about how to use a formula and when to use it?

Mary Tagler: Sure. So we're going to start out, we're going to talk about some of the resources available to you, because there's a lot of resources out there both within and outside of Salesforce that'll help set you up for success. We're going to talk about where you use formula. So why are formulas even important? Because there are so many places in the system we use them and it's really important to understand like, "Why should I even use this skill?"
We're going to talk about best practices. Sometimes the way you write your formula actually sets you up for failure. My favorite thing to do is I write it out, I write it out for a couple reasons and I have very specific ways. I hand write it and I underline my ands and I circle my ors. And I do it for two reasons. One, it helps me identify how I'm writing the formula and any logic gaps. But the other thing is I can take what I wrote, type it up and share it with my business stakeholders and say, "Is this what you're asking for?" Versus giving them a formula and they're just going to look at me like I have two heads.

Gillian Bruce: Right. You're speaking a language they do not understand.

Mary Tagler: Exactly. And so I want to make sure that people feel like they have a support system in place to really get help. One of the best resources, the bookmark I have on every single machine I own is the formulas and operators help document. And I love it because it shows examples. And a lot of times people don't even get to that first step of knowing that exists and seeing how it's used in action.

Gillian Bruce: As I do remember in my early days of trying to figure out how to write my first formulas, finding that and being like, "Oh." It's like the decoder of trying to decode a secret language of the back of the cereal box for those of us who are older." Remember back in the day when these things existed.

Mary Tagler: Oh yeah.

Gillian Bruce: All right, so it's super helpful. So then, okay, so you got some resources down and what else are you going to share in trying to help people?

Mary Tagler: So then we're really going to jump into it and we're going to do a bunch of exercises. So what I've done is I've really taken a series of common but simple validation rules and formulas and automation examples and really broken them down. I'm going to talk about the most common types of functions and operators you're going to use, because there's a really long list. And frankly, there may be some you never use in your admin career, but there's going to be a number that you're probably going to use quite frequently.
And we're going to go through it. We're going to write out every exercise. So we're going to write it in plain language. So even if you feel like you walk away not knowing how to build the formula, you're going to walk away knowing how to write out that logic in a coherent way that anyone can digest it. Then we're going to go through the actual formula itself. And I've added some visualizations to help break down what we're doing in each spot.
And I really analogize formula building to creative writing in a way, because you're separating your clauses with punctuation, you have to close out all your parentheses. It's somewhat math based, but it's also somewhat very language based. And I think when you start thinking about it that way, it helps you put the pieces together.
We're going to do examples of where we might nest one function around another function. We'll wrap them together to do what we need to do or we'll do a nested if statement so that we can have more than two outcomes. So we're going to go through things like that that are practical everyday used case examples.

Gillian Bruce: Okay. So I want to go to the session, I'm like, [inaudible].

Mary Tagler: I hope you do.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, I will definitely put it on my calendar and do everything I can to make it. But what I really like about this Mary is though your approach is so ... it's very practical, but it's also really relatable. I love what you just said about, "Hey, yes there's some math to it, but it's also creative writing." It's the same like you have to use your creative brain to make these things work, because there's a zillion different ways you could write a formula to accomplish a couple different things. Right?

Mary Tagler: Exactly.

Gillian Bruce: So Mary, you said you manage a team of admins and I imagine this is probably something that you are helping your team of admins get a better grasp on. Can you talk to us a little bit more about how you've honed this skill with formulas and how you've come up with this content? You mentioned a little bit, but observations in the community, but take us a little deeper and tell us a little bit more about how you've gained this skill?

Mary Tagler: Sure. So I originally learned how to use formulas from a consultant that helped us implement Salesforce and really just tried to iterate on what I saw there. But then once I started getting involved in the community, what I did, which is something I recommend for a variety of skill sets, is I really started to look in the answers community and there are tons of formula based questions there.
And so then I kind of posed that as a challenge to myself like, "Can I figure that out? Can I apply that?" And that really helped me flex that muscle and strengthen that muscle where I really felt confident and comfortable writing formulas. I will also say though, I'm the first to admit, time formulas are my kryptonite. I absolutely hate time formulas and you'll see me posting for help anytime I have to do something time related.
So you can be strong in some areas and still weaker in others too and that's okay. With my team, I think I was lucky to join a team with a lot of senior folks already on it. So really having those formula skills in place. But I think where I've really focused in on is ensuring we're following best practices. I don't want to see people putting IDs in fields like, "Let's stop the hard coding, let's clean up things where we can." And we've really created that best practice mentality.
And as I work with some of our newer hires, we talk a lot about that where it's like as we have an opportunity to change the logic, let's take the opportunity to move it into best practices.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Because oh, hard coding. Gosh, I remember the first time I learned about hard coding and I was like, "I know this is bad. This just doesn't feel right. Let's not do this because yeah, it'll break all the time."

Mary Tagler: It will. And I analogize it to it's be a friend to your future self and your future and current teammates because nothing is more frustrating than getting to a formula somewhere and getting this idea and being like, "Where the heck does that go?" And then having to try and figure out what it is. And a lot of times it'll be something that's maybe obsolete because no one knew what that silly ID did.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, and now it's gone and so, oh well, you got to rebuild it again. Got it.

Mary Tagler: Yeah.

Gillian Bruce: So Mary, this I would imagine is not your first Dreamforce. Do you know how many Dreamforces you've been to?

Mary Tagler: The first Dreamforce I went to was in 2012. So including the years we were virtual, this will be my 10th Dreamforce.

Gillian Bruce: There you go.

Mary Tagler: Yeah.

Gillian Bruce: So yeah, my first Dreamforce I think was 2010. So we're about on the same page there. There you go.

Mary Tagler: Yeah.

Gillian Bruce: Since you are a veteran of the Dreamforce experience, do you have any top level tips for folks who may be getting ready to come to their first in-person Dreamforce?

Mary Tagler: So my tip, I don't know how popular it's going to be, is I would say don't obsess over the agenda. Go with the flow. I know the first couple years I went, I would try and bookmark and register for everything and obsess over my agenda. And after a few years in, I actually found it more impactful where I picked the things as they came. I looked every day and decided, "Hey, this sounds interesting." Or I heard the buzz from someone else that a session was going to be repeated and went there. So I would say, be flexible.

Gillian Bruce: That's great advice because yes, there's a lot of content and if you try and go back to back sessions all day, A, you're not going to be successful and B, you're just going to set yourself up to be frustrated.

Mary Tagler: Yeah. And to be frustrated to wear yourself out too early in the conference, it's not worth it. And the obvious one, comfortable shoes.

Gillian Bruce: Yes, comfortable shoes and comfortable, fun shoes. Yeah.

Mary Tagler: Yes.

Gillian Bruce: It's comfortable fun shoe game going on at Dreamforce. Awesome. Well Mary, thank you so much for joining us and thank you so much for putting together such a great presentation to share and help other people. And for those who aren't able to come in person, at least they got a little bit of your nuggets of wisdom here on the podcast. And hey, who knows, maybe we'll do some more to help further spread your message after Dreamforce, so.

Mary Tagler: Well, thanks. Thanks for having me and I hope to see you at my session.

Gillian Bruce: I will do everything I can to be there, nothing else. Will for sure see you at Dreamforce.

Mary Tagler: Sounds good.

Gillian Bruce: Well, thank you, Mary for taking time out of your Dreamforce preparation schedule to join us on the podcast and share so much great wisdom about formulas. To me, formulas is a weak spot and it always has been, but honestly, some of the things that Mary just shared are transformative and now I'm looking forward to putting them into practice so that I can be better with formulas. And if you are not going to be able to make her session at Dreamforce, don't worry, I am sure that we will be doing something with Mary in the future to get that great content to you.
So she had some great words of wisdom. It's about knowing how in the context of when to use formulas, thinking that more, not just of a math problem, but also as a creative process of how to put clauses and different phrases together and the idea of making it easy on yourself and following best practices like no hard coding people, just don't do it. It's just not. No, don't our hard code.
Anyway, so Mary was great. Really appreciate her coming on the podcast. If you want to follow Mary, you can find her on Twitter. She's got a great Twitter handle and it sounds really weird when you spell it out, but when you see it, it makes sense. It's @YramtSFDC. That's Tmary, backwards. You get that? Yeah.
Well, you can always stay up-to-date with everything happening in the admin community, especially Dreamforce related by following us on Twitter, @SalesforceAdmns, no I, or using #AwesomeAdmin. You can follow me @gilliankbruce and my co-host Mike Gerholdt, @MikeGerholdt.
With that, I hope you have a fantastic rest of your day. And if you're getting ready to come to Dreamforce, continue to get excited. If you're getting ready to tune in to Dreamforce via Salesforce Live, start bookmarking those sessions, check out the broadcast schedule. There is so much great content coming your way, and I'll catch you next time in the cloud.



Direct download: Best_of_Dreamforce__Fundamentals_of_Formulas_with_Mary_Tagler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Keizra Tyson-Griffin, Salesforce Business Analyst at Esor Consulting Group and a soon-to-be Dreamforce presenter.

Join us as we talk about her Dreamforce presentation about evaluating AppExchange apps as a Salesforce Business Analyst.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Keizra Tyson-Griffin.

Best of Dreamforce

With Dreamforce happening this month, we wanted to take a moment to bring some of that content directly to your ears. We know not everyone can make it and, even if you can, you might not be able to catch everything. So we’re bringing on the best speakers from the Admin Track to tell you what they’ve been cooking up.

There’s a First Time for Everything

It’s not only Keizra’s first time presenting at Dreamforce, it’ll be her first time attending as well—talk about jumping straight into the deep end. Her presentation will cover AppExchange strategies for Salesforce Business Analysts, and we wanted to bring her on the pod to give us a sneak preview of what she’s going to cover.

“I kept coming across clients who wanted to add an application to their org but there were tons of questions around [it] and they didn’t really understand how best to identify the best app for their org,” Keizra says. Instead of being distracted by bells and whistles, the key is to focus on your goals for your business and how an app can make them possible. Is a new app really aligned with your core business objectives, or does it just make you feel cool?

The Questions You Need to Ask About a New App

The most important thing you can do to start is to talk to your key stakeholders to understand where you are now and where you’re trying to go. You want to find out how each department would use a potential new app in their day-to-day activities. Most importantly, you need to know where each department is now and where they’d like to be in the future. Are there any other technologies that your potential app needs to integrate with? Will this app grow with your business or will you need to do something different in a year or two?

 

We also pick Keirzra’s brain about how she came to be a business analyst and what skills you need to get started in that career. “One of the excellent things about being a Salesforce Business Analyst is that you can pull from other careers that you’ve had,” she says, “if you’re an inquisitive person and you like understanding how things work and why, these are absolutely skills you can pull into your career.” 

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Full show transcript

Gillian Bruce: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, where we talk about product, community and careers to help you be an awesome admin. I'm your host today Gillian Bruce, and I am joined by an amazing brand new Dreamforce presenter, Keizra Tyson-Griffin. Now she has an amazing presentation about evaluating AppExchange apps as a Salesforce business analyst, which is useful for every single Salesforce admin out there. She's the first of a series that we're going to be doing where I'm calling the best of Dreamforce. So we're bringing some of the top presentations from the admin track both in the admin theater and breakout sessions to you listeners on the podcast. Because I fully realized that even if you're going to make it to Dreamforce, you're probably not going to make it to every single admin track session. If you do, I don't know how you're going to do it because that means you got to clone yourself and be in three places at the same time.
So I have been partnering with Jennifer Lee, who's owning the admin track this year and we have got some amazing presenters who are going to join us on the podcast and deliver right to you the presentations that they are sharing with attendees at Dreamforce. So without further ado, let's welcome Keizra to the podcast. Keizra, welcome to the podcast.

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: Hi, Gillian. Thank you so much for having me.

Gillian Bruce: Well, I am very happy that you are here because not only are we getting ready for Dreamforce here, everyone, whether you're joining virtually or in person, but this is also the first time that I've gotten to meet you because this is not only your first Dreamforce, but your first time presenting at Dreamforce, correct?

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: It is.

Gillian Bruce: Well, so that's really exciting and also a really big deal. Can you tell us a little bit about what you are putting together to share at Dreamforce?

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: Yes. So at Dreamforce this year, I'll be speaking on AppExchange strategies for Salesforce business analysts.

Gillian Bruce: Well, you said a few things that I know all admins care about right there in the title of that. So let's talk a little bit about kind of where you're coming from to talk about this. So can you introduce yourself a little bit to the listeners about who you are, what you do in the ecosystem and why this is a topic that you've chosen to focus on?

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: So my name again is Keizra Tyson-Griffin. I am a Salesforce business analyst at Esor Consulting Group, which is a bit wise company, and I've been a business analyst for a little over a year now. And the reason I selected this topic is because it absolutely matters. So I kept coming across clients who wanted to add an application to their org, but there were tons of questions they had around that application that they wanted to add and not really understanding how best to identify the right app for their org. Sometimes being distracted by shiny objects or all the bells and whistles and not really taking a good look at these are the goals for my business and these are the goals for my org, not only short term but long term. I mean just really trying to help them navigate that.

Gillian Bruce: I think that is such an important topic because as you said, you're getting distracted by shiny objects. I mean, we all do it. And a lot of times when you're looking at AppExchange, there are so many options out there and there are so many things that you're like, I want that because that looks like it's going to give me this and it's going to give me that. But it sounds like you're really kind of helping folks understand more about the why and how these things might fit in and you talked about kind of aligning to business goals. So can you talk to us a little bit more about breaking that down and how you come out, let's say, Hey, I want to find an app that helps me automate a certain part of my business. There's three different options out there. So how would you go about evaluating that and deciding which direction to go?

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: So one of the things I'll be talking about in my presentation is the discovery aspect of talking to those key stakeholders, and just really getting a sense of how each department will be using that app in their day to day, what their current state is versus their desired state, and then getting an understanding of the business goals, right? Where are we today? Where do we want to be short term? Where do we want to be in the long term?
And then also taking into consideration some of the other technologies, platforms and applications that they're using or integrating with their Salesforce org and how those applications might play with something that you're looking to implement from the AppExchange. And so just getting an understanding of those needs and those requirements, and then doing the research in the AppExchange based on what the client or the end-user has stated that they need, what applications actually meet those requirements that exist on the AppExchange today.

Gillian Bruce: All right. So I'm hearing a lot of probably the wheels turning that a lot of admins go through like, great, so I have this business unit that wants to use this specific AppExchange idea. I have this business unit who uses something that's kind of over here, but maybe similar, but maybe also have a different goal. How do you negotiate kind of working those issues out maybe with some competing interests within the same organization?

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: One of the things with a client that I worked with specifically is that they had to go through procurement to really vet that technology because they have a good understanding of what they've already purchased and what the purpose of those purchases were. And so they'll be able to help identify whether or not this application or these applications that you're recommending will actually work with what the organization is doing as a whole.

Gillian Bruce: Excellent. Now I know here you are in the business analysis space now being a business analyst is something we've talked a lot about especially when we talk about. It's one of the top skills from our Salesforce admin skills kit is the idea of being able to do business analysis as a Salesforce administrator. Can you talk to us a little bit about how you have kind of developed and honed that skill so that other people might be able to follow your footsteps?

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: So Tony V Martin has been on this show before. So I've learned a lot from her. Also, Tiffany Spencer, I've learned a lot from her as well. And then just one of the excellent things about being a Salesforce business analyst is that you can actually pull from other careers that you've had. If you are just a very inquisitive person and you like understanding how things work or understanding why people make the decisions that they make, these are absolutely skills that you can pull into your career as a business analyst. I think that you just have to have a natural curiosity about why people do the things that they do, why organizations are structured the way that they're structured and work the way that they work.
But then a more tactical thing that I would implement is documenting. Having a good understanding of what the client is giving you and then capturing that, whether it's in audio or video form, or just writing it out, really capturing that information that they're providing to you because then you can go back to that and then pull from that when you're making your decisions or when you want to refine those requirements and say, Hey, you said this, am I understanding this correctly? Or you said this, but it sparked my interest or curiosity in another way. So let me ask you this set of questions so that you can get that holistic picture.

Gillian Bruce: Well, you touched on a few things there. I mean, the idea of being curious and just asking questions, I think is something I found in every single, truly awesome admin that we've talked to, that I've met, is that it's so important because you actually have to want to know and learn things, right? [inaudible] to fake curiosity. And then the other thing you mentioned was the idea is you can bring this kind of business analysis skillset from previous roles and previous experiences. Can you maybe dive a little deeper on that? What kind of experiences were you maybe able to bring over from other industries or whatever other things that you've done and then transfer that skillset into really kind of this business analysis ability within the Salesforce context?

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: So my first job out of college actually I was a contracts negotiator for an aerospace and defense company. And so I was very heavily involved in proposal writing and working with different departments to pull that proposal together, get it back to the client for them to then look at it and then actually going through the different clauses and negotiating those clauses. And so I kind of tie that into going to the client and finding out what their needs are and then looking at those requirements and documenting what their needs are, what their future goals are, creating those user stories for them to make sure that we're actually building what it is that they desire to be built.
Then I also have a background in marketing. I have my master's degree in marketing. And so I'm very curious about the way consumers think. And so when Salesforce as a platform takes that 360 degree customer view, that really plays into what I do as a BA and understanding those short term long term goals, what the business is trying to accomplish overall, and how that could potentially feed into their different departments within the organization.

Gillian Bruce: Well, that's awesome. I mean, I love from looking and evaluating clauses of very complex contracts, which also by the way you said aerospace engineering was the...

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: Aerospace and defense.

Gillian Bruce: Aerospace and defense. That's pretty cool. And also I imagine super complex. And then at face value, you probably are like, how does that relate to Salesforce? But the way you just broke that down was really clear. And I think a lot of people that I talked to that are maybe struggling to figure out how do I transition from this at face value industry that has nothing to do with tech or Salesforce into Salesforce. I think the story you just told, made it really clear of a path to do that.
And then the other thing, your marketing experience, again, a lot of people probably don't immediately think like, I'm a marketer. So I'm going to be working in the Salesforce space. I mean, I'm a marketer in Salesforce in Salesforce, but I don't have a marketing degree. So I think it's really interesting how you explain those perspectives help you really become a great BA. I think that's really great. So thank you for sharing that.

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: No problem. I think a lot of people can get caught up in the technical aspect of it. And what I mean is as a contracts person, this is what I do. Or as a marketing person, I focus specifically on content. Well, a marketing person can focus on the customer journey. They can focus on the analytics and understanding what the analytics say to then inform business decisions. And so it's important to take a look at the whole and then be able to see the different paths that can come out of that whole.

Gillian Bruce: A hundred percent. Very well said. And look at you even bringing in some of the Salesforce corporate platform right there. Thank you Keizra. You're making me look good. So before we get towards the latter part of our conversation, I just want to talk about the fact that this is your first time going to Dreamforce and you're presenting at Dreamforce. How are you feeling about that?

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: So I am excited and nervous at the same time. I'm excited to just be able to go there and meet all the people that I'm going to meet that exist in the ecosystem today and have really built their careers in the ecosystem. And there's something to be said to you about people that have been going for 13, 15, the full 20 years, right? And then nervous because I submitted my topic and I was like, I'll submit, this is my first time, I probably won't get selected. And then I was selected. And so it's exciting but I'm also nervous.

Gillian Bruce: Well, you it's totally okay to be nervous, but I promise that we've got you and you're going to do an amazing job.

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: Yes. Everyone's been wonderful so far.

Gillian Bruce: Well, that's good. You'll really get to experience the online Trailblazer community love in person...

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: Yes.

Gillian Bruce: ... which will be really fine. Hey listeners, if there's anyone listening to this episode that is also going to be going to Dreamforce for your first time, make sure that you meet up with Keizra because Hey, you've got another first timer to connect with.

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: Yes.

Gillian Bruce: So, Keizra, before we totally wrap, I just wanted to give you an opportunity. So I'm sure there's a lot of people who are listening in the pod that aren't going to be able to come to Dreamforce, which is totally normal. It is a big deal to try and come to Dreamforce. What do you want to share with those folks? So maybe top takeaways that the in person people are going to get from your presentation that maybe the listeners can get right now.

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: So I would say when you are evaluating an app on the AppExchange to make sure that not only it meets the requirements that your end-users have laid out for you, but that also it's an application that is supported in terms of is this email support, chat support. Can you pick up the phone and call someone if you have any issues, when you integrate that you are able to test in a sandbox environment, you obviously don't want to test in production.

Gillian Bruce: No.

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: And that it's an application that's really going to grow with the business, right?. You don't want to integrate something that just isn't going to work for them in a year, two years down the line and you're back at square one. I would also say that you need to make sure that you review the system requirements of the application. And so for example, you'll want to make sure that your client has the appropriate Salesforce edition. You don't want to recommend an application for them that is not supported by the addition of Salesforce that they currently have.
And then I would say something that's key is that you want to make sure that you think about who is going to be responsible for maintaining that solution post implementation and how secure that application is. So Salesforce has its own set of security requirements for native applications. But if this is a third party application, there are going to be some other security concerns there. So you want to make sure that you keep that in mind.

Gillian Bruce: Great takeaways. Keizra, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast.

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: Thank you so much for having me.

Gillian Bruce: It's been great to get to know you a little. And I am very much looking forward to seeing you at Dreamforce. And I'm also very much looking forward to seeing your presentation and I'm sure lots of people are now going to want to connect with you and get more of Keizra. So be prepared.

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: Thank you so much, Gillian, for having me. I'm really looking forward to hearing the episode and then again, attending Dreamforce and presenting on this topic.

Gillian Bruce: Excellent. Well, I'll see you soon and I'm sure we'll have you back on the podcast in the future as well.

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: Awesome. I'm looking forward to it.

Gillian Bruce: Well, thank you so much, Keizra, for joining us on the podcast and taking time out of your busy Dreamforce prep to share some of your incredible insights and knowledge and your Dreamforce content to us on the podcast. Now, if you want to learn anything more about what we talked about today, especially if you want to learn anything more about being a great business analyst, make sure you check out admin.salesforce.com there's a whole section of the admin skills kit dedicated to business analysis. I'll also put some good links in the show notes for Trailhead content that'll help you with your business analysis skills and then some good AppExchange resources as well. And I hope that you all want to connect with Keizra who first time Dreamforce attendee, first time Dreamforce presenter. Obviously she's got a lot of great knowledge to share with the Trailblazer community. So connect with her. She's on Twitter @keizramakeba that's k-e-i-r-a-m-a-k-e-b-a. Again, we'll put the link in the show notes. You can find myself @gilliankbruce and you can find our other co-host Mike Gerholdt, @MikeGerholdt. And as always you can join all the awesome admin greatness online @SalesforceAdmns. No-i.
Now if you're coming to Dreamforce, I want to really remind you to check out all those great sessions that are already listed on the Dreamforce site. If you're not physically coming to Dreamforce, don't [inaudible]. We're going to have great content streaming to you on Salesforce plus. So there's going to be a lot of admin stuff on there. There's also going to be some great content available on demand after Dreamforce. So hope you have a great day. Thanks for listening this episode and I'll catch you next time in the cloud.




Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Keizra Tyson-Griffin, Salesforce Business Analyst at Esor Consulting Group and a soon-to-be Dreamforce presenter.

Join us as we talk about her Dreamforce presentation about evaluating AppExchange apps as a Salesforce Business Analyst.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Keizra Tyson-Griffin.

Best of Dreamforce

With Dreamforce happening this month, we wanted to take a moment to bring some of that content directly to your ears. We know not everyone can make it and, even if you can, you might not be able to catch everything. So we’re bringing on the best speakers from the Admin Track to tell you what they’ve been cooking up.

There’s a First Time for Everything

It’s not only Keizra’s first time presenting at Dreamforce, it’ll be her first time attending as well—talk about jumping straight into the deep end. Her presentation will cover AppExchange strategies for Salesforce Business Analysts, and we wanted to bring her on the pod to give us a sneak preview of what she’s going to cover.

“I kept coming across clients who wanted to add an application to their org but there were tons of questions around [it] and they didn’t really understand how best to identify the best app for their org,” Keizra says. Instead of being distracted by bells and whistles, the key is to focus on your goals for your business and how an app can make them possible. Is a new app really aligned with your core business objectives, or does it just make you feel cool?

The Questions You Need to Ask About a New App

The most important thing you can do to start is to talk to your key stakeholders to understand where you are now and where you’re trying to go. You want to find out how each department would use a potential new app in their day-to-day activities. Most importantly, you need to know where each department is now and where they’d like to be in the future. Are there any other technologies that your potential app needs to integrate with? Will this app grow with your business or will you need to do something different in a year or two?

 

We also pick Keirzra’s brain about how she came to be a business analyst and what skills you need to get started in that career. “One of the excellent things about being a Salesforce Business Analyst is that you can pull from other careers that you’ve had,” she says, “if you’re an inquisitive person and you like understanding how things work and why, these are absolutely skills you can pull into your career.” 

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Full show transcript

Gillian Bruce: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, where we talk about product, community and careers to help you be an awesome admin. I'm your host today Gillian Bruce, and I am joined by an amazing brand new Dreamforce presenter, Keizra Tyson-Griffin. Now she has an amazing presentation about evaluating AppExchange apps as a Salesforce business analyst, which is useful for every single Salesforce admin out there. She's the first of a series that we're going to be doing where I'm calling the best of Dreamforce. So we're bringing some of the top presentations from the admin track both in the admin theater and breakout sessions to you listeners on the podcast. Because I fully realized that even if you're going to make it to Dreamforce, you're probably not going to make it to every single admin track session. If you do, I don't know how you're going to do it because that means you got to clone yourself and be in three places at the same time.
So I have been partnering with Jennifer Lee, who's owning the admin track this year and we have got some amazing presenters who are going to join us on the podcast and deliver right to you the presentations that they are sharing with attendees at Dreamforce. So without further ado, let's welcome Keizra to the podcast. Keizra, welcome to the podcast.

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: Hi, Gillian. Thank you so much for having me.

Gillian Bruce: Well, I am very happy that you are here because not only are we getting ready for Dreamforce here, everyone, whether you're joining virtually or in person, but this is also the first time that I've gotten to meet you because this is not only your first Dreamforce, but your first time presenting at Dreamforce, correct?

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: It is.

Gillian Bruce: Well, so that's really exciting and also a really big deal. Can you tell us a little bit about what you are putting together to share at Dreamforce?

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: Yes. So at Dreamforce this year, I'll be speaking on AppExchange strategies for Salesforce business analysts.

Gillian Bruce: Well, you said a few things that I know all admins care about right there in the title of that. So let's talk a little bit about kind of where you're coming from to talk about this. So can you introduce yourself a little bit to the listeners about who you are, what you do in the ecosystem and why this is a topic that you've chosen to focus on?

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: So my name again is Keizra Tyson-Griffin. I am a Salesforce business analyst at Esor Consulting Group, which is a bit wise company, and I've been a business analyst for a little over a year now. And the reason I selected this topic is because it absolutely matters. So I kept coming across clients who wanted to add an application to their org, but there were tons of questions they had around that application that they wanted to add and not really understanding how best to identify the right app for their org. Sometimes being distracted by shiny objects or all the bells and whistles and not really taking a good look at these are the goals for my business and these are the goals for my org, not only short term but long term. I mean just really trying to help them navigate that.

Gillian Bruce: I think that is such an important topic because as you said, you're getting distracted by shiny objects. I mean, we all do it. And a lot of times when you're looking at AppExchange, there are so many options out there and there are so many things that you're like, I want that because that looks like it's going to give me this and it's going to give me that. But it sounds like you're really kind of helping folks understand more about the why and how these things might fit in and you talked about kind of aligning to business goals. So can you talk to us a little bit more about breaking that down and how you come out, let's say, Hey, I want to find an app that helps me automate a certain part of my business. There's three different options out there. So how would you go about evaluating that and deciding which direction to go?

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: So one of the things I'll be talking about in my presentation is the discovery aspect of talking to those key stakeholders, and just really getting a sense of how each department will be using that app in their day to day, what their current state is versus their desired state, and then getting an understanding of the business goals, right? Where are we today? Where do we want to be short term? Where do we want to be in the long term?
And then also taking into consideration some of the other technologies, platforms and applications that they're using or integrating with their Salesforce org and how those applications might play with something that you're looking to implement from the AppExchange. And so just getting an understanding of those needs and those requirements, and then doing the research in the AppExchange based on what the client or the end-user has stated that they need, what applications actually meet those requirements that exist on the AppExchange today.

Gillian Bruce: All right. So I'm hearing a lot of probably the wheels turning that a lot of admins go through like, great, so I have this business unit that wants to use this specific AppExchange idea. I have this business unit who uses something that's kind of over here, but maybe similar, but maybe also have a different goal. How do you negotiate kind of working those issues out maybe with some competing interests within the same organization?

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: One of the things with a client that I worked with specifically is that they had to go through procurement to really vet that technology because they have a good understanding of what they've already purchased and what the purpose of those purchases were. And so they'll be able to help identify whether or not this application or these applications that you're recommending will actually work with what the organization is doing as a whole.

Gillian Bruce: Excellent. Now I know here you are in the business analysis space now being a business analyst is something we've talked a lot about especially when we talk about. It's one of the top skills from our Salesforce admin skills kit is the idea of being able to do business analysis as a Salesforce administrator. Can you talk to us a little bit about how you have kind of developed and honed that skill so that other people might be able to follow your footsteps?

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: So Tony V Martin has been on this show before. So I've learned a lot from her. Also, Tiffany Spencer, I've learned a lot from her as well. And then just one of the excellent things about being a Salesforce business analyst is that you can actually pull from other careers that you've had. If you are just a very inquisitive person and you like understanding how things work or understanding why people make the decisions that they make, these are absolutely skills that you can pull into your career as a business analyst. I think that you just have to have a natural curiosity about why people do the things that they do, why organizations are structured the way that they're structured and work the way that they work.
But then a more tactical thing that I would implement is documenting. Having a good understanding of what the client is giving you and then capturing that, whether it's in audio or video form, or just writing it out, really capturing that information that they're providing to you because then you can go back to that and then pull from that when you're making your decisions or when you want to refine those requirements and say, Hey, you said this, am I understanding this correctly? Or you said this, but it sparked my interest or curiosity in another way. So let me ask you this set of questions so that you can get that holistic picture.

Gillian Bruce: Well, you touched on a few things there. I mean, the idea of being curious and just asking questions, I think is something I found in every single, truly awesome admin that we've talked to, that I've met, is that it's so important because you actually have to want to know and learn things, right? [inaudible] to fake curiosity. And then the other thing you mentioned was the idea is you can bring this kind of business analysis skillset from previous roles and previous experiences. Can you maybe dive a little deeper on that? What kind of experiences were you maybe able to bring over from other industries or whatever other things that you've done and then transfer that skillset into really kind of this business analysis ability within the Salesforce context?

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: So my first job out of college actually I was a contracts negotiator for an aerospace and defense company. And so I was very heavily involved in proposal writing and working with different departments to pull that proposal together, get it back to the client for them to then look at it and then actually going through the different clauses and negotiating those clauses. And so I kind of tie that into going to the client and finding out what their needs are and then looking at those requirements and documenting what their needs are, what their future goals are, creating those user stories for them to make sure that we're actually building what it is that they desire to be built.
Then I also have a background in marketing. I have my master's degree in marketing. And so I'm very curious about the way consumers think. And so when Salesforce as a platform takes that 360 degree customer view, that really plays into what I do as a BA and understanding those short term long term goals, what the business is trying to accomplish overall, and how that could potentially feed into their different departments within the organization.

Gillian Bruce: Well, that's awesome. I mean, I love from looking and evaluating clauses of very complex contracts, which also by the way you said aerospace engineering was the...

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: Aerospace and defense.

Gillian Bruce: Aerospace and defense. That's pretty cool. And also I imagine super complex. And then at face value, you probably are like, how does that relate to Salesforce? But the way you just broke that down was really clear. And I think a lot of people that I talked to that are maybe struggling to figure out how do I transition from this at face value industry that has nothing to do with tech or Salesforce into Salesforce. I think the story you just told, made it really clear of a path to do that.
And then the other thing, your marketing experience, again, a lot of people probably don't immediately think like, I'm a marketer. So I'm going to be working in the Salesforce space. I mean, I'm a marketer in Salesforce in Salesforce, but I don't have a marketing degree. So I think it's really interesting how you explain those perspectives help you really become a great BA. I think that's really great. So thank you for sharing that.

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: No problem. I think a lot of people can get caught up in the technical aspect of it. And what I mean is as a contracts person, this is what I do. Or as a marketing person, I focus specifically on content. Well, a marketing person can focus on the customer journey. They can focus on the analytics and understanding what the analytics say to then inform business decisions. And so it's important to take a look at the whole and then be able to see the different paths that can come out of that whole.

Gillian Bruce: A hundred percent. Very well said. And look at you even bringing in some of the Salesforce corporate platform right there. Thank you Keizra. You're making me look good. So before we get towards the latter part of our conversation, I just want to talk about the fact that this is your first time going to Dreamforce and you're presenting at Dreamforce. How are you feeling about that?

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: So I am excited and nervous at the same time. I'm excited to just be able to go there and meet all the people that I'm going to meet that exist in the ecosystem today and have really built their careers in the ecosystem. And there's something to be said to you about people that have been going for 13, 15, the full 20 years, right? And then nervous because I submitted my topic and I was like, I'll submit, this is my first time, I probably won't get selected. And then I was selected. And so it's exciting but I'm also nervous.

Gillian Bruce: Well, you it's totally okay to be nervous, but I promise that we've got you and you're going to do an amazing job.

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: Yes. Everyone's been wonderful so far.

Gillian Bruce: Well, that's good. You'll really get to experience the online Trailblazer community love in person...

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: Yes.

Gillian Bruce: ... which will be really fine. Hey listeners, if there's anyone listening to this episode that is also going to be going to Dreamforce for your first time, make sure that you meet up with Keizra because Hey, you've got another first timer to connect with.

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: Yes.

Gillian Bruce: So, Keizra, before we totally wrap, I just wanted to give you an opportunity. So I'm sure there's a lot of people who are listening in the pod that aren't going to be able to come to Dreamforce, which is totally normal. It is a big deal to try and come to Dreamforce. What do you want to share with those folks? So maybe top takeaways that the in person people are going to get from your presentation that maybe the listeners can get right now.

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: So I would say when you are evaluating an app on the AppExchange to make sure that not only it meets the requirements that your end-users have laid out for you, but that also it's an application that is supported in terms of is this email support, chat support. Can you pick up the phone and call someone if you have any issues, when you integrate that you are able to test in a sandbox environment, you obviously don't want to test in production.

Gillian Bruce: No.

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: And that it's an application that's really going to grow with the business, right?. You don't want to integrate something that just isn't going to work for them in a year, two years down the line and you're back at square one. I would also say that you need to make sure that you review the system requirements of the application. And so for example, you'll want to make sure that your client has the appropriate Salesforce edition. You don't want to recommend an application for them that is not supported by the addition of Salesforce that they currently have.
And then I would say something that's key is that you want to make sure that you think about who is going to be responsible for maintaining that solution post implementation and how secure that application is. So Salesforce has its own set of security requirements for native applications. But if this is a third party application, there are going to be some other security concerns there. So you want to make sure that you keep that in mind.

Gillian Bruce: Great takeaways. Keizra, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast.

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: Thank you so much for having me.

Gillian Bruce: It's been great to get to know you a little. And I am very much looking forward to seeing you at Dreamforce. And I'm also very much looking forward to seeing your presentation and I'm sure lots of people are now going to want to connect with you and get more of Keizra. So be prepared.

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: Thank you so much, Gillian, for having me. I'm really looking forward to hearing the episode and then again, attending Dreamforce and presenting on this topic.

Gillian Bruce: Excellent. Well, I'll see you soon and I'm sure we'll have you back on the podcast in the future as well.

Keizra Tyson-Gr...: Awesome. I'm looking forward to it.

Gillian Bruce: Well, thank you so much, Keizra, for joining us on the podcast and taking time out of your busy Dreamforce prep to share some of your incredible insights and knowledge and your Dreamforce content to us on the podcast. Now, if you want to learn anything more about what we talked about today, especially if you want to learn anything more about being a great business analyst, make sure you check out admin.salesforce.com there's a whole section of the admin skills kit dedicated to business analysis. I'll also put some good links in the show notes for Trailhead content that'll help you with your business analysis skills and then some good AppExchange resources as well. And I hope that you all want to connect with Keizra who first time Dreamforce attendee, first time Dreamforce presenter. Obviously she's got a lot of great knowledge to share with the Trailblazer community. So connect with her. She's on Twitter @keizramakeba that's k-e-i-r-a-m-a-k-e-b-a. Again, we'll put the link in the show notes. You can find myself @gilliankbruce and you can find our other co-host Mike Gerholdt, @MikeGerholdt. And as always you can join all the awesome admin greatness online @SalesforceAdmns. No-i.
Now if you're coming to Dreamforce, I want to really remind you to check out all those great sessions that are already listed on the Dreamforce site. If you're not physically coming to Dreamforce, don't [inaudible]. We're going to have great content streaming to you on Salesforce plus. So there's going to be a lot of admin stuff on there. There's also going to be some great content available on demand after Dreamforce. So hope you have a great day. Thanks for listening this episode and I'll catch you next time in the cloud.




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