Salesforce Admins Podcast

For this episode of the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’re bringing you another monthly retro. We highlight the standout blog posts, videos, and all the other great Salesforce content from February.

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

Blog highlights from February

Mike points us to a thorough overview of everything you need to know about the upcoming MFA requirements coming in 2022. As we’re seeing cybercrime and data breaches continue to rise, we want to help you take steps to protect your org and secure your data, and there are a lot of resources to get you started. Gillian points out a post by friend of the pod and Awesome Admin Sarah Pilzer, which shares how her training as a marine biologist informs her current career as a Salesforce admin.

Podcast highlights from February

We squeezed a lot into a short month on the pod. Gillian had an opportunity to sit down with one of her favorite people in the Salesforce ecosystem, Megan Peterson, to talk about her new show, Trailhead News, and hear all her tips for creating engaging video content. Mike, meanwhile, wanted to highlight his conversation with Lizz Hellinga about her stint with the Admin team and a sneak peek of what’s coming down the pipeline.

Video highlights from February

Gillian was busy cranking out a “pilot season” of videos for the Admin Youtube Channel. We’ve got the 2-minute “No Silly Questions” series where experts answer anything you want to know. If you have a question, send us a video!


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

This week on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’ve got Megan Peterson, a Trailhead Evangelist based in Sydney Australia. We’ll learn about Trailhead News, a new way to keep up with everything going on with the Trailhead platform.

Join us as we talk about how Megan started Trailhead News, her tips for creating a great online event, and what’s coming up with Trailhead events.

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

Trailhead News.

With the changes that have come in 2020, Megan came up with an idea to do a news show to take advantage of the new Trailhead Live platform. “We’ve got our Trailhead Newsletter that goes out, but we don’t really have a way to tell everyone everything that Trailhead does,” she says. So every two weeks, she puts out a new episode to keep everyone in the loop.

Trailhead has so much going on beneath the surface, and Trailhead News is here to help you make sure you don’t miss anything. Megan talks to people behind the scenes to get the full story, and you can get started with a simple Trailmix that gives you links to everything mentioned on the show.

How to get started with online events.

Organizing something new in a changed landscape has taught Megan some important lessons about what works and what doesn’t in a digital format. “I think people get a little stuck on trying to make what would’ve been a face-to-face event a virtual event, but trying to do it the same way,” she says, “shake that off and think about why you’re doing this event. What’s different about it?”

Megan recommends taking the time to picture what your online event will look like, and start from there. Make sure you have a niche: some kind of unique audience or reason for what you’re doing. And, of course, there are the practical considerations: how are you going to record it? How are you going to edit it? Where are you going to share it?

Why you don’t need a big budget to make a great event.

One big difference between digital and in-person is that you need to change it up frequently. “We would’ve sat through a 20 or 30-minute presentation from a single person in the Admin Theater,” Megan says, “the propensity to sit and listen for a long amount of time is getting shorter and shorter.”

It might be changing your voice, having another person come in, or even just giving your viewers a quick visual break. “You can do this on a zero budget, and if you’ve got budget you can make it a little bit more polished,” Megan says, “but there is definitely ways you can make it creative, different, interesting, and natural for yourself.” And one thing she’s seen time and again with guests is that you’re better than you think you are—be yourself and trust that if what you have to say is important to you, it’ll be engaging to an audience.

Listen to the full episode for some more great tips from Megan about online events, and don’t miss the ANZ Salesforce Live event coming up on March 24th.



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Full Show Transcript

Gillian Bruce: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins podcast, where we talk about product, community, and career to help you be an awesome admin. This week, we are diving into the very important world of Trailhead and Trailhead News with Megan Petersen, Trailhead evangelist based in Sydney, Australia. One of my favorite people from down under.
In this episode, you'll hear all about Trailhead News and get some tips and advice for your content delivery in this virtual world. So without further ado, let's welcome Megan to the podcast. Megan, welcome to the podcast.

Megan Petersen: Woowoo. I'm so excited to be back on the Admin podcast with you, Gillian. Thank you for having me.

Gillian Bruce: Oh, it's always great to have your voice on the awesome Admin airwaves here. I wanted to check in with you. It's been a while. I know you've been up to a lot of amazing things and one of the things I wanted to start with is Trailhead News. Can you talk to us a little bit about what Trailhead News is?

Megan Petersen: I sure can. So I came up with this idea to do this fun little news show back in 2020, when we were all unable to leave our houses. I thought, why not take advantage of this great platform in Trailhead Live that had just been announced at the Dreamforce just before.
And we've got our Trailhead newsletter that goes out, but we don't really have a way to tell everyone everything that Trailhead does. I don't think people understand that Trailhead's beyond It's our Trailhead Academy, all the certifications, all our wonderful classes, all our instructors. It's admins, it's devs.
There's so much that goes into the word Trailhead when you say it. So, the idea behind starting Trailhead News was giving us a way to talk about end-to-end what we're doing with Trailhead and keeping it fun and topical. There's so much that we're talking about all the time.
At first, I thought, "I hope we have enough to talk about on every show," but I soon found out that every two weeks or so, I could definitely have some top Trailhead News. Came up with some fun segments. A fond memory is the Behind the Hoodies that we did with Steve Molis and Nana Gregg. That was a fun little segment taking a, this is your life look at their Salesforce careers. And then we always do an interview as well and pepper a lot of fun in between.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, you've got some star-studded cameos that happen. I think you've done some with Parker Harris, our co-founder. As you mentioned, some of our rock MVPs in the community. And it's a really fun way to get a taste of how we like to keep Trailhead weird. But also as you said, the incredible amount of things that are involved with the idea of Trailhead, it's not just the Trailhead product, but it's the community, it's all the activities around it. And it's pretty awesome.

Megan Petersen: Yeah. Talking to Parker, I do have a lot of admiration for Parker. So that was an amazing moment to be able to interview him on the last episode last year. And we had the wonderful Sarah Franklin is now our CMO. Heather Conklin. Yeah.
If you haven't checked out Trailhead News, there's a very simple little trail mix where you can find links to everything that's mentioned on the show and all the previous episodes as well. And Gillian can share that in all the notes.

Gillian Bruce: It will be in the show notes. Absolutely. And you forgot to mention the fun themes and costumes that sometimes you and your guests don on Trailhead News, which make it even more exciting and surprising.

Megan Petersen: I think I just try and put myself in the shoes of someone that is choosing to spend some time looking at more screen. And I think, "What could make this just a little bit more entertaining than just sitting and talking to someone?"
So yes, we had our awesome 80s themed episode. We had our Halloween spooktacular. I think I went well overboard on the spooky puns in that one, but it was very fun. Had a lot of community faces in that episode as well.
It's just, if I'm going to sit there for 20, 30 minutes and watch an episode, I want to find a reason to smile and there's always good little hidden Easter eggs in every episode to make sure that you get a laugh. And information.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. You want to be entertained and informed at the same time. And there you go.

Megan Petersen: Indeed. Indeed.

Gillian Bruce: So, speaking of that, I would love to hear a little bit more about some of the things you've learned doing Trailhead News. Now, while you are in Australia and you have at least somewhat of a normal life that has returned.

Megan Petersen: We're very lucky. Yes.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Not everybody else, especially I'm thinking of me here in San Francisco. We're still on lockdown. I think I've been on lockdown for a year now, it feels like. But a lot of us admins and otherwise, we're still trying to figure out how to engage virtually. Right.
We're all stuck at screens, as you mentioned, the last thing a lot of people want to do is watch something else on the screen. So, what are some things that you've learned from doing Trailhead News and doing other virtual experiences over the past year, that might be useful for admins as they're trying to figure out how to either engage with their users or engage with other people in the community?

Megan Petersen: Yeah. Lots actually. It's been a really good learning experience to try and... So I actually do write, produce, film, edit, the whole thing by myself. So there is a lot that goes into doing that. So if you are looking to create your own virtual event, you're going to have to dust off a few possible new skills.
So, it's been a learning curve. When I look at some of the earlier episodes, I go, "Oh, you hadn't learned how to do that then, yet. I see you do that better now with your editing." Or even I had to get a nice microphone. At first, I was like, "It's fine. They can hear my voice." And now I had to get a special Yeti microphone, which makes me sound a little bit better. So you hone the craft.
But luckily enough, I'm actually in the process of writing a badge, that's coming out onto Trailhead, talking about this virtual event production. Hopefully it'll come out in the next few months, but it'll be all around virtual events.
And one of the first things that I do is sit there. If you're trying to replicate something that would have been something in-person for example. So we're going back two years, let's say, when face-to-face events were normal.

Gillian Bruce: The olden days.

Megan Petersen: The olden days. Yes. Back before 2020. And I think people get a little stuck in thinking about trying to make what would have been a face-to-face event, a virtual event, but trying to do it the same way. So I want to say, shake that off and think about why you're doing this event. So what's different about it?
So when I said Trailhead News, it was about talking about everything that Trailhead is doing at that point in time and bringing a bit of fun. No one else was doing that. So that's my little niche reason to be creating it. So think about why you're doing this event. What is the hole you're plugging? What's the message you're trying to deliver?
And then I always say, if you could just shut your eyes, you need to see it. So try and see what you think this event is going to look like visually in your head. It might not be super clear, but usually I get some early idea. I've got a document where, in the middle of the day, I'll suddenly get some random idea.
I've always wanted to do a slow motion walk. And so I was like, I'm going to do that one day on Trailhead News. So watch out for that one day, I'll do a slow motion walk because I've seen the movies. I'm like, "God, it'd be so cool. Do a slow motion walk." And I can do that on Trailhead News. It's one of the fun little nuggets I'll weave in.
But close your eyes, visualize what you see on the screen and start from there. And there's a lot of things that are going to go into crafting that vision. But you want to make sure you have some kind of niche, some kind of unique audience, or reason, or message that you're bringing to the listeners, to the watchers.
And then there's a lot of factors, like how are you going to record it? How are you going to edit it if you need to edit it? Where are you going to let people see it? Where are you going to share it? So there's those kind of logistical, operational elements. But then if you're the one person that's bringing it all together, you also have to make it creative.
And if I've learnt anything, you need to change it up really frequently. So, I think whereas we would have sat through a 20 minute, 30 minute presentation of a single person, if we're sitting say at the admin theater or the admin meadow back at Dreamforce. Sitting there and listening in-person, that was fine. But doing that in a visual digital way, is just not the same these days.
And I think the propensity to sit and listen for a long amount of time, is getting shorter and shorter. So, think of ways to change it up. Sometimes that might be changing even just your voice, changing a quick visual break, having another person's voice come in. There's little things that you just want to keep it interesting. Keep it engaging. And there's a lot of planning that does need to go into it as well, Gillian.

Gillian Bruce: Yes. Well, yes. I have been privy to the planning, at least part of the planning that you go through to put Trailhead News together. And it's quite impressive.

Megan Petersen: Well, you were my first interview on Trailhead News.

Gillian Bruce: I know. It was amazing. You helped me learn things about Zoom I didn't even know I could do. It was great. But I think one of the things that you touched on that I think is really relevant is, this is a one woman production, so to speak. And so, a lot of the things that you've learned... I mean, hey, not everyone is going to probably beef up the editing skills quite as much as you have. But if you're recording a video or something that you're trying to maybe just deliver a training to your users, I think a lot of the tips and the things that you have learned are very helpful.
I mean, you mentioned things like just changing up your voice, changing up the visuals. Hey, instead of thinking of it as a 30 minute meeting or a 30 minute presentation, how do you mix it up and keep it engaging? And I think that's one of the things that I have noticed quite a bit in our screen fatigue. There are industries completely devoted to entertainment that have cracked the code on some of this. But there's some easy things that we can take from that to help create content that is more engaging, albeit still on a screen.
I think for any, hey, maybe you've got a video you want to send to your five users for them to watch, you can still take a lot of these tips. I mean, like you said, even just adjusting the microphone, maybe you don't have to buy a fancy microphone.

Megan Petersen: No. You do not have to. You can do this on a zero budget and if you've got budget, then it's just going to make it that little bit more polished. But start small, like you say, if this is about sharing some training with your users.
And humor might not be your strong suit, but you can still make it engaging. I obviously like to put puns in there and put jokes in there and that feels natural to me. But humor's not everybody's strong suit, but there is definitely ways you can still make it creative, different, interesting, and natural for yourself.
And I do just want to say, I've had to record with a lot of people and I've asked a lot of people to do videos for me. And often I'll ask someone and they'll email me and they'll go, "This is just terrible. I hope there's something usable. I'm sorry. I tried. I hate looking at myself on camera."
This happened yesterday to me, someone sent me a video. And I watched it for five seconds and they looked happy, engaged, connected with the camera. They were talking with confidence. And I have no idea what they were thinking in their mind when they said that to me.
So, I think it's that, if you think you're going to fail, you're going to fail. But if you go in as confident as you can, make connection with the camera, try not to read a script. We used to be able to do that when we're up on stage.
Making eye contact with the camera is a simple... If you do nothing else, looking at the camera is going to connect with your audience better than you looking down constantly or reading off a screen. So just talk from the heart, talk from experience, connect with the camera and be confident. Trust me. You're better than you think you are if you're doubting yourself, for sure.

Gillian Bruce: I think that's a great message. Basically, what you're saying is be authentic.

Megan Petersen: Yes.

Gillian Bruce: And I think any viewer can always tell if the person on the screen is being authentic or not.

Megan Petersen: 100%.

Gillian Bruce: I know a lot of admins, we may struggle with feeling like maybe a little imposter syndrome or whatnot, but hey, if you've got something that you think is important enough to share, you got it.

Megan Petersen: Yes.

Gillian Bruce: You know it.

Megan Petersen: That's what I always say. I'm like, "I want to tell your story, but if I don't know your story, I can't tell someone that you have an awesome story." We had some Aussies on the podcast at the end of last year, which was fantastic because I've seen them at our Trailblazer community group meetings, or I've heard it through the grapevine that they're doing an amazing presentation at their companies.
So, speak up. Even if you come to us directly in a little moment of confidence, let us know. We'd love to showcase anything amazing that our whole ecosystem is doing.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, absolutely. Well, speaking of that, this is a great segue. Thank you for that.

Megan Petersen: Cool. Yeah.

Gillian Bruce: We've got a little... Speaking of virtual events, we have one coming up pretty soon here. It's the ANZ Salesforce Live event.

Megan Petersen: Correct.

Gillian Bruce: Can you talk to us a little bit more about that?

Megan Petersen: I can, it's going to be amazing. So this is our first big event here in ANZ. If you don't know what ANZ means, it stands for Australia and New Zealand. Where I am from, I'm in Sydney, Australia. And it's going to be on March 24th, which is a Wednesday here, which would be a Tuesday, Pacific Time.
You're more than welcome to join in if you're anywhere in the world. Just because it's in Australia, New Zealand doesn't mean that you can't tune in and hear what we're going to put together. And there's going to be some amazing Trailhead content coming to that event.
We're going to do a special Trailhead News actually, coming to you live from Salesforce Live ANZ, which is a first for me. So, figuring out how that's going to work and look, and sound, and be entertaining for those that are watching. And we might even have some admin and developer sessions coming down for our audiences. Maybe a bit of community involvement, would you say Gillian?

Gillian Bruce: I would say, yes. I think we've got some community faces that will be a welcome addition to the event. And I think will be really fun. It's one of the things I think we all missed a lot last year, was we did the best we could to pivot and deliver great content to the global Salesforce community.
One thing that was missing that we typically have at every single in-person event, was the chance for Trailblazer community members to present and share. Hey, we're figuring out a way to do it this time. So it's very exciting.

Megan Petersen: It's exciting. It was very important. It's what we did last year, actually for a world tour Sydney last year. This is when everything was starting to lockdown. If you go back a year ago, we had very short notice to turn around this huge digital event a year ago.
And that's where the idea for Trailhead News actually originally came from, because we did the whole thing like a news program back then. So we definitely want to bring some of those vibes into this year. We won't do eight and a half hours of content like we did last year. I won't do that to you. It'll be a little bit less.

Gillian Bruce: That was a lot of content. It was a lot of content.

Megan Petersen: You tell me now that I had to turn around eight and a half hours of content in 10 days. I still don't quite know how that happened, but it's amazing. Yeah.

Gillian Bruce: I don't think you slept. Right.

Megan Petersen: No, not really. Not really.

Gillian Bruce: Well, that's really... So it's March 24th. And as you said, anyone can tune in, but it is intended for the... I love saying ANZ because we don't say Zed here in the United States, we say Z. So it sounds more authentic.

Megan Petersen: Ah. Oh, Zed. Right. I got you.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah.

Megan Petersen: We can bust out the old Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, if you want to, Gillian.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Do it, do it. I love it.

Megan Petersen: Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. Then you say, "Oi, Oi, Oi."

Gillian Bruce: Oi, Oi, Oi. Yeah. I remember. Come on. I've been there a couple of times.

Megan Petersen: Yes. Okay. Okay. All right. Yeah, there's a whole chant. I won't take up too much time doing the whole chant. Aussies know what we're doing here.

Gillian Bruce: This has been awesome. Thank you so much for joining us on the podcast. I will keep the Trailhead News awesomeness going. And I'm looking forward to sharing that great virtual event preparation badge that you're working on at Trailhead with the admin community. So, as soon as you've got it ready, I will happily share it out. And reminder to everyone to check out the event of March 24th, to tune in. Yeah. Any other parting words of advice you'd love to share with our admin community?

Megan Petersen: Be awesome. Keep putting yourself out there. Be positive and be authentic.

Gillian Bruce: Love it. Thank you so much for joining us and we'll talk to you again soon.

Megan Petersen: Bye.

Gillian Bruce: Always wonderful to catch up with one of my favorite Aussies. Thanks so much, Megan, for joining us on the podcast. Now, for some of my takeaways from our conversation to help you as an awesome admin. Number one, when you are thinking about creating content to deliver in this virtual environment, really think about how to keep your users engaged. Take a minute and envision what will keep your viewers wanting to look at what you're doing.
So mix it up, have some new visuals, bring in some other voices. And you don't have to spend a bunch of money on fancy equipment. You can use the equipment that you have. Some tips that I've even just learned from podcasting is just make sure you got a microphone that's close to your mouth. So don't just use the microphone that's on your laptop or your computer. If you've got headphones that have a little mic attached to them, plugging them into your phone, that will even just make a big enough difference.
And be authentic. Megan really pointed out how you can tell if someone's just reading to a camera and not connecting. And that is not engaging. We've all watched those. So, look at the camera. Speak from your heart and your mind. You know this content. Whatever you're presenting, clearly you know it enough to feel that it's important. So, just trust yourself. Have a conversation with the camera. It's much easier to keep people engaged by doing that than otherwise.
Also, stay tuned for Trailhead News. We've got the next is coming out on February 23rd. So just next week after this podcast drops. And you can find all of the Trailhead News episodes at the link in the show notes. And tune in for the March 24th ANZ Australia, New Zealand Salesforce Live event. The link again, is in the show notes so that you can register for that. You don't want to miss it. It will be really, really awesome.
So, if you want to learn about all things Salesforce Admin, as always, you can go to to find more resources. And a reminder, if you love what you hear, be sure to pop on over to iTunes and give us a review. We promise, we definitely read them all. Mike and I love reading them. Well, most of them. No, I'm kidding. We love reading all of them. So please continue to give us some reviews.
You can also stay up to date with us on all things Admins on social, @SalesforceAdmns, no I, on Twitter. You can find our guest today, Megan Petersen on Twitter, @MeganPTweets. I'm on Twitter, @gilliankbruce. And my cohost, the amazing Mike Gerholdt, is @MikeGerholdt. With that, we hope you have a great day and we'll catch you next time in the cloud.

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

This is the Salesforce Admins Podcast! A show for Salesforce Admins where we talk about Product, Community, and Career to help you become an awesome admin!
We are Salesforce Admins just like you, and we have a ton of experience on the Salesforce platform. We love learning about all the new features and capabilities that enable us, as Admins, to do awesome things with Salesforce to transform our organizations, communities, and careers. Every week on the podcast we talk to product managers at Salesforce about what they are building and to Salesforce Admins just like you about the problems they are solving, giving you tips and advice on how to be an Awesome Admin.

What you said about us

As a current job seeker in the Salesforce Ecosystem I am really encouraged by these podcasts. As my goal is to remain revelant and plugged-in the knowledge shared by Admins and others is invaluable to gaining confidence and skills. By building knowlege via Trailhead badges and then demonstrating undersramding & assessment of those skills by conquering the Superbadges I am inspired to keep going and constantly learn more each and every day. Keep up the Great Work! – Chad Kleve

I’m so glad that I stumbled upon this podcast! As a new “Accidental Admin" all things salesforce can be quite intimidating! There is so much to learn but this podcast helps me stay on top of the important things to look out for and newest features to check out. I also LOVE that it is not a boring stuffy podcast! I find myself learning, laughing and sometimes crying (happy tears) while listening to the episodes on my daily walks. – TrishainOmaha

I love listening to this podcast in the mornings when I’m getting ready for work. Each episode contains something new that I didn’t know about salesforce, and a new view on someone’s journey into the salesforce ecosystem. Loved the accessibility series on making your orgs more user friendly for everyone. – ibbyanne

You can find our show on iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud, and Spotify or by searching "Salesforce'' wherever you enjoy listening to podcasts. And, you can find even more great content at

Direct download: SFA_560.1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST

On this episode of the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we hear from Mat Hamlin, Senior Director of Product Management at Salesforce. We’ll dive into multi-factor authentication (MFA), and why all Salesforce users will be using it by February 1st, 2022.

Join us as we talk about multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, tracking and adoption, and a little bit about barbeque.

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

How should you manage MFA in your org?

So should you use an existing single sign-on (SSO) implementation or roll out a standalone MFA? “As a general rule,” Mat says, “if your organization does have a centrally-managed single sign-on solution that can or does support multi-factor authentication for its login processes, that’s the recommended solution.” Your internal IT department already thinks about managing identity and security risks all day long, so letting them have control over your authentication and verification processes helps them centralize and apply policies.

For some organizations, however, it might make more sense for you as the Salesforce admin to manage MFA on the platform. You can even configure it to handle all of your Salesforce products in one place: Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and more. Think about it as a great excuse to start a conversation with your IT folks about what works best for your org.

A helping hand to monitor adoption and more.

There are also some great tools to monitor adoption and general usage baked-in to Salesforce. You can generate reports with the login history fields to get a picture of what’s going on. There’s also the new Security Command Center feature to help you keep track, and there will be even more login metrics coming in Spring ‘21with the Lightning Usage App.

MFA Assistant will be with you every step of the way, giving you suggestions and references to make things simple. That said, MFA will add a step to the login process. “As administrators, as you start rolling out MFA, it’s good to be very communicative about the process but also the reasons,” Mat says. You want to explain why it’s so important to reduce the risk of data loss and protect your organization.

Finally, it’s helpful to show your users exactly what the changes to their login process look like. “Fear of the unknown can cause people to be anxious,” Mat says, but if you can show them how easy it is and what to expect you’ll find a lot more success. As you’re showing them, make sure to emphasize that you’ll be there to support them whenever they need help.



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

On this episode of the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’re talking to Lizz Hellinga, Salesforce MVP and change enabler. We’ll go over everything she’s looking forward to that’ll help us help users.

Join us as we talk about how the platform has evolved with automation and assistance, all the new setup guides and assistants that make things easier, and why you should start playing with Tableau.

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

Looking behind the curtain

Lizz has recently pinch-hit for LeeAnne on the Admin team at Salesforce, and getting a look behind the curtain has given her a lot of insights into what’s coming up and what admins should pay attention to in the new year. “When you think about some of the new things with In-App Guidance, In-App Learning, Notification Builder, Dynamic Forms,” she says, “all that is to help admins increase adoption and help their endusers do what they need to do when they need to do it.”

For Lizz, the new MFA assistant coming out in Spring ‘21 is especially exciting because it helps you focus by giving you a ready-to-go adoption checklist. The bottom line is that you can add the guidance and extra help you need right where your users need it the most. “I remember when I had to do my first implementation, and I created all of these little working guides to help people when we launched,” she says, “and then I realized they would be stale after just a few weeks or months, depending on how much change we added to the platform.” Now you can add a single prompt to keep people up to date, helping your users actually focus on how to use the platform rather than worrying about how to work it.

Why you should get started with Tableau

Lizz worked with pod regular John Demby and his team on Tableau video content, and she got an insider’s perspective on just how easy it is to incorporate into your org. The biggest thing she learned is that you should just get started trying it out—there are data sets already there to play around with, and sample dashboards so you can see how everything works. “Don’t be afraid, just hop right in,” Lizz says, “Tableau can combine data streams for your organization to give better insights but you just have to start doing it.”

For next year, Lizz wants to learn a lot more about MuleSoft Connector. “Admins work on multiple features at one time, we toggle between different features, and we’re constantly using them to enable our end users and enable successful processes,” she says. She’s also psyched about Service Setup, which makes it so much easier to get acquainted with Service Cloud.


Admin Preview Live - Release Readiness Live, Spring '21

Spring 21 Release Highlights 


Lizz: @LizzHellinga

Salesforce Admins: @SalesforceAdmns 

Gillian: @GillianKBruce

Mike: @MikeGerholdt

Full Transcript

Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins podcast, where we talk about product, community, and career to help you become an awesome admin. This week we're talking with Lizz Hellinga, Salesforce MVP and change enabler. In this episode, you'll hear from Lizz about the fun stuff that she worked on. The exciting new opportunities for admins. And the features she is most excited to learn more about this year. So with that, let's get Lizz on the pod.
So Lizz, welcome to the podcast.

Lizz Hellinga: Thank you so much for inviting me. I'm thrilled to be here.

Mike Gerholdt: Lizz, you did a ton with our admin team over the last, I will say, it's specifically 249 days, coming on to help us out while LeeAnne was on parental leave. And we wanted to have you on the pod to help send forth admins and give them some wisdom that you gained and insights that you have on where they're going and things they should pay attention to. That's kind of how I'm kicking off our discussion.

Lizz Hellinga: Great. It's been such an adventure to support all of you over the last... How many days was it? 259.

Mike Gerholdt: 49, but-

Lizz Hellinga: 49 days.

Mike Gerholdt: ... maybe feels longer. We have a pandemic going on.

Gillian Bruce: And Salesforce years, it's like dog years, right.

Mike Gerholdt: Yes.

Lizz Hellinga: Right. It was truly an incredible opportunity. And I think before we really get started into what I've learned, I just would love to give a shout out to all of you on the admin team, what you do every day to support and promote admins. To be on the inside and see how you always have admins at the forefront is incredible to know. And I just want others to know that as well, how thoughtful you all are and how they're always top of mind.

Mike Gerholdt: Well, thank you very much.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Thank you. I mean, Lizz, thank you for all the work that you've done for us because I don't know how we would have gotten by without that. So kind of back at you. I would love to know Lizz, Hey you got to work on a lot of things this year. You probably learned a lot that you didn't expect to learn. What are some of your kind of top insights for admins based on kind of where you've seen the platform evolve over the last year and kind of things that admin should be looking at and paying attention to these days?

Lizz Hellinga: What I'm thrilled to see is how the platform is evolving to help admins manage and support adoption within their orgs. When you think about some of the new things with In-App Guidance, In-App Learning, Notification Builder, Dynamic Forms, all that is to help admins increase adoption and help their end-users do what they need to do when they need to do it. And when I think about, for me, my personal perspective, I love change management. It's one of the things I love to talk about with others, looking at the new MFA Assistant that's coming out in spring '21 and how it even has change management components built into it. So that admins have this great, ready to go checklist to help them help their end-users adopt change.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, I would say I love how getting started everything feels now. Before, a lot of the tools came out, and it was, "We'll figure out how to make it go." And now, with MFA and we saw in spring '21 was Service Cloud Setup and Macros Builder, everything has that kind of coaching component to it. I think of it akin to all of the apps that we have on our phones now that let us stream information. There's almost like a walkthrough of everything.

Lizz Hellinga: Exactly. And the thing too is that it saves admin's time so they can focus on enabling business processes and efficiencies because they can start to add that adoption right inside the app and support their end-users. When you think about In-App Learning and In-App Guidance walking their end-users through processes. But then also with dynamic forums. Having them just fill out what they need to fill out correctly at the right moment. It's just incredible how it can support the end-users.

Gillian Bruce: Well, and Lizz, I'd like to maybe... you've been working in the Salesforce ecosystem for a while. You've been an MVP for a while. I mean, I'd love to, maybe, hear a little bit of your perspective of the evolution, right, because a lot of the things you described are kind of new within the last year. Do you see kind of the admins' day-to-day functions shifting a little bit as the platform has evolved?

Lizz Hellinga: A hundred percent. I remember when I had to do my first implementation and I created all of these little [inaudible] guides to help people when we launched. And I did all these end-user trainings to just help them be able to use the platform correctly. And then I realized quickly, "Oh, these are a little bit stale after just a few weeks sometimes or months," depending on how much change we add in to the platform. But now, I mean, you can deliver information with just a single prompt to let people know, "Oh, Hey, we added this picklist value, or now you can do this," all within the app. Saving the admins time. Saving them phone time, response time. It's incredible.
And ultimately what that means is that they can really focus on creating real change with the platform, deeply analyzing some of the processes that need improvement, collaborating with their stakeholders to understand how they can improve it and what needs to be done. Yes. I mean, I can't wait to launch a new org with the new... Oh my gosh, what is the name of it? Admin guide, guidance center for admins. That's incredible. And based on your skill set, it will evolve the information to what your experience is. So even tenured admins can learn something from it.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. And speaking of launching new and kind of reaching out to stakeholders. One of the projects that you worked on a lot was working with the Tableau team and specifically John Denby, who if you didn't watch any of the Trailblazers Innovate or DreamTX or TrailheadTX stuff that we put out. He put out some amazing video content that you helped him with on Tableau. I'd love to get kind of your perspective on what admins can do this year with Tableau.

Lizz Hellinga: Oh, Tableau, that was just such a fun opportunity to work with John and to collaborate with him and how admins can use Tableau. I think the biggest thing that admins can do is just try it out. You have data that you can work with on it. Don't be afraid, just hop right in. There's datasets that you can download to play around with it that you can do a trial org. All of that can help you start to see how Tableau can combine data streams for your organization to get better insights, but we just have to start doing it. I think that's my biggest piece of advice. Don't wait. Just start trying it out.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I mean, we've got so much coming all the time that if you wait, you'll kind of be behind the curve a little bit, right.

Lizz Hellinga: And then there's also some sample dashboards too that are available so that you can easily use those and play around with them and tweak them for your needs. So similar to how you would download dashboards from the app exchange for reports and dashboards within the app.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, that's a great resource. And there's so many. I mean, I just remember when we had John on the podcast to talk about Tableau, and literally while we were talking to him, he was talking to us about all of the publicly available Tableau dashboards that people have built. And I went down so many rabbit holes. I was just floored. So yeah, there's a ton of great resources that are out there for anyone, even if you're not a Salesforce Admin, but you wanted to play with Tableau. There are ways that you can kind of start getting involved. But great perspective there, Lizz.

Mike Gerholdt: For DreamTX, we kind of threw something fun out there of how do we stitch together a whole bunch of features that we normally show, I'll say, a la carte, and put them in one episode. And that was a fun episode. You got to work with SE Platform Judy Fang, who's also based in Australia. I say, also, because we had a lot of guests from Australia on the pod recently. But I'd love to know your perspective on that. And some of those features that for sure you want to invest further in in this year.

Lizz Hellinga: Wow. I want to learn a lot more about MuleSoft Connector. I think that will be a powerful tool in the Admins Toolkit. You know what was so interesting to me about working on that presentation with Judy was admins do that. We do work on multiple features at one time in the short amount of span in that 20 minutes. We're toggling between different features, and we're constantly using them to enable our end users and enable successful processes. But Service Setup is a new thing that I think, especially for me I haven't had a ton of exposure to Service Cloud and then having something like Service Setup where I get it off the ground and running quickly using industry best practices. It was probably the highlight of that session for me.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I mean, Service Cloud has given us so many great things like I mean the Console View, Macros. There's so many great things that originated in Service Cloud that now bleed over into all of the platform that are just so incredible. I mean, I remember the first time I built a Console app, and I was like, "Oh, this is amazing." And so I think it's really great to kind of get that exposure from different parts of the platform, because then you realize, "Oh, I could use this in this way. I can use that in this way." Lizz, one of the things I would really, really love to know, especially since you have... you've got the perspective on being on the inside, so to speak, and being on the outside. I would really like to know what are the things that you see are most valuable for admins in terms of types of messaging or content. Knowing kind of how we come up with stuff and knowing how the community responds. What are some things that you think are maybe the most impactful and most powerful?

Lizz Hellinga: In terms of the admins? What content is out there and available for them?

Gillian Bruce: Yeah.

Lizz Hellinga: I guess, for me. I had always been impressed with Release Readiness and pulling them all together. For the admins I think it's just such a great way for them to attend some of the... watch some of those videos, read some of the blogs and then go back to their orgs and their teams and their leaders talk about how these changes could benefit and impact their team in their instance. And how they can best use it to meet their business objectives. It's a way for them to be proactive. I think about even just In-App Learning that's coming out in spring '21, being able to say, "Hey, we can now easily assign Trailhead modules through In-App Learning right in the panel so that they can take it right from there."
And they get to be proactive and sharing that information with their company and seeing change happen as a result of it. So to me, the Release Readiness is some of the best content out there. But also just the quick, and I'm a little biased because I did some of the Did You Know videos. The short ways to see how to do something, how to accomplish something that may be new to you or that you hadn't tried. I don't know. I love all the content. The podcasts are great. I love hearing from other individuals in the industry and what they're doing, and how they're solving problems. Oh, the Essential Habits. I don't know. It's like asking me to pick a favorite child. Sorry. There's just too much. But if I had one thing to focus on as a new admin, it would be the Essential Habits and Release Readiness Live and all that goes with it.

Mike Gerholdt: Wow. Well, that was literally where I was trying to think of what I would ask you is, you've got so much experience in the ecosystem that where would you spend your time? I would also expand on your answer and love to know from you because there's a lot of ways and information to learn. Where do you spend your time in terms of community engagement?

Lizz Hellinga: Oh, the one thing that has been we're all missing, right, all of the in-person events. But one of the neatest things is to be able to attend community events virtually. I've attended some in Boston, in St. Louis, in Texas. I've attended Salesforce Saturdays virtually. It's been a wonderful way to connect with people. And I've made friendships this year that I would never have made because I attended things virtually. So that's where I try to spend some time because I always have questions. What admin doesn't have questions. And when they're working on their org or working in another org. The peer group out there has so much support. You put it on Twitter. There's even a informal OhanaSlack put in the Trailblazer community. Someone will answer your question.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I think that's really a good plan Lizz because I think one of the challenges... I mean, gosh, we all miss going to events, right. We all miss meeting new people. And shout out to you because you've been a great advocate of this. For me especially is, taking the time to reach out to new folks and make new connections. Hey, a video call is still a connection. Getting to know a new person. And I think you exemplify kind of what that is. Is to continue to reach out and connect with folks. And it's something this year that I have placed new value on is asking people, "Hey, do you have someone I should talk to because I will reach out to them, and I will make new friends on a video call." So I think that's really important, especially given the way that we're all working these days.

Lizz Hellinga: Well, and just you miss out on things when you're not in person. So I think everybody now is being more thoughtful about how we do connect with other people and how we can connect to others together. Like, "Oh, you should know, this person, right. Have you met with them?" I see that happening more and more, especially over the last four to five months.

Mike Gerholdt: Absolutely. Well, Lizz, I want to thank you for taking time out to be on the pod and for producing some amazing video content for admins on the YouTube channel and really helping the team out this last year.

Lizz Hellinga: It's been incredible. You all are wonderful. I love how you keep the awesome admin at the forefront of everything that you do. And I know with the content that you deliver, it's such high quality, [inaudible] it's geared to help people be successful. And I think that's what really matters to individuals that come to the blog or they listen to the podcast. It's really helping people find their path to success.

Gillian Bruce: Well, Lizz, thank you for helping us help other people find their paths to success. The content that you delivered is definitely going to resonate for a lot of people for a while, and thanks for your contributions. And also, thank you for being such a great representative of the awesome admin community.

Lizz Hellinga: Thank you.

Gillian Bruce: Well, a huge thanks to Lizz for taking the time to chat with us on the podcast. So great to be able to recap some of the amazing things she did this year and some things she's excited about coming up for all of us admins. So first, my top three takeaways for our conversation with Lizz is number one, Hey, the platform has evolved quite a bit. And in fact, it's kind of changing the role of the Salesforce admin. Enabling us to do some more strategic, some more complex things because there is so much automation and assistance built into these features now on the platform. Stuff that you would normally spend hours, maybe even days doing couple of years ago, you don't have to do that anymore. So it was pretty exciting to get that perspective. Also, pay attention to all of the new setup guides and assistance that are available for admins. There are so many admin tools.
And Lizz talked about a few of them here in the podcast, but I mean, it's a continuation of that first point, right. It's how much the platform has evolved to make our jobs easier because our job is to make users happy. And so all of these features are making it a lot easier for us to achieve that goal. And then, finally, step in and start playing with Tableau. I mean, Lizz had a really great opportunity to work closely with the Tableau team this year. And we learned a ton, and the Tableau team is very passionate about enabling admins to use the super-powerful Tableau tools. So, listen to Lizz. Go play with Tableau, get started, lots of resources there.
If you want to learn a little bit more about any of the stuff from this podcast or about anything Salesforce Admin related, go to, my favorite website, to find more resources. You can also stay up to date with us on social for all things admins. We are @SalesforceAdmns, no i, on Twitter. You can follow our guest Lizz Hellinga on Twitter @Lizz L-I-Z-Z Hellinga. I'm on Twitter @GillianKBruce. And Mike my amazing cohost is on Twitter @MikeGerholdt. So with that, I hope you enjoyed this episode and we'll catch you next time in the cloud.

This week on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’ve got the first monthly retro of 2021. We’ll cover standout blog posts, videos, and all the other great Salesforce content from January.

Join us as we talk about the must-see content from January and listen to Mike and Gillian quiz each other on our new quiz show: Which Happened First?.

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

Blog Highlights from January

Gillian is hooked on Marc Baizman’s “How I Solved This” series, and this month’s article is a fun story about how to use emojis to highlight key pieces of data in your org. Mike’s must-read blog post from January covers some exciting new things on the product roadmap that bring us some much-asked-for features.

Podcast Highlights from January

We had a lot going on with the pod this month. Gillian traveled across the globe—virtually—to speak to Preena Johansen. She’s an Einstein Analytics Consultant at Telstra, the biggest telecommunications company in Australia, and she had a lot to share about using Einstein Analytics and Tableau at such a large organization. Mike and Gillian also talked to Woodson Martin, the EVP and GM for Salesforce AppExchange, who started out as a Salesforce admin himself.

Video Highlights from January

Gillian has been hooked on the “Essential Habits for Salesforce Admins Marathon,” which helps you build a solid foundation for all of the things you need to know to be an awesome admin. “It’s a great way to kick off the year if you’re wanting to set some goals and priorities to improve some things for your organization or how you administer Salesforce,” Gillian says.

Listen to the full episode to hear the first edition of the exciting new game show, Which Happened First?.



Full Show Transcript

Gillian Bruce: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins podcast, the first monthly retro for 2021. Oh, we're finally out of 2020. Hurray. I'm your host, Gillian Bruce, and in this episode we will review the top product, community, and careers content from the entire month of January. And to help me out, I am joined by the one and only Mike Gerholdt.

Mike Gerholdt: Hello. I made it to 2021 too. The first version of 2020, for a second.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, sure. The 21st year of the 2000s? I don't know.

Mike Gerholdt: There's no 2020 loser. There's only winning 2021.

Gillian Bruce: Can only get better. Can only get better. So, Mike, we had a lot going on this month, kicked it off with a bang, the new year. We had some blogs happening.

Mike Gerholdt: We did, and we did Essential Habits marathon on January 20th. So shout out to Mark Baizman for hanging around ye olde chat and chatting with all of our Salesforce admins on that marathon. You can binge watch Essential Habits.

Gillian Bruce: I mean, I think I binge watch everything I can on every other platform. Now I'm going to binge watch all of Trailhead live content. It'll be great. But the Essential Habits series...

Mike Gerholdt: Cheaper than anything else, right?

Gillian Bruce: It's true. Yeah, you don't need a special app for that. But the Essential Habits series is pretty awesome. It's also a great way to kick off the year if you're wanting to set some goals and priorities to improve some stuff for your organization or just how you administer Salesforce. It's some really great resources there.

Mike Gerholdt: Love it.

Gillian Bruce: Love it.

Mike Gerholdt: So must read blog for January. Gillian, what was your must read blog for January?

Gillian Bruce: Well, I'm a big fan of the How I Solved This series that Mark Baizman has been putting together on the blog. And I love it because it's always featuring what a customer has done to solve a specific problem. So this one's pretty cool, because guess what, it has emoji in it, and I love emoji. So this is How I Solve This: Easy Image Flags With Emoji by Michael Kolodner. It's pretty dang cool. If you are looking for a really interesting way to make your data pop on the screen, you can use emoji for that and he shows you how he did it step-by-step. Just imagine, you're in this list view and you would love to see very quickly which things are green or yellow or happy or sad. You can plug in some emojis there. It's pretty awesome.

Mike Gerholdt: We use emojis in the org that we make the podcast with. Makes it easy to find the episode.

Gillian Bruce: Sure do I. Hey, if I had it my way, there would only be emojis. Screw those letters. I communicate solely in emojis.

Mike Gerholdt: Which episode are you at? I'm at the dog cat left foot shoe up arrow episode. Awesome. Okay.

Gillian Bruce: Mike, what was your most read blog from January?

Mike Gerholdt: So this one came out in January 18. It's the Three New Ideas on the Product Roadmap post. And I picked it mostly because it's three, not new ideas, but three ideas that just make me feel warm and cozy inside. The first one is field history tracking for tasks and events. I won't say how old it is, but oh my goodness am I glad that this is out because I have been asked for this since I was an admin back in my wee early days, and I know that admins all over have wanted field history tracking for tasks. So that made me happy. And then just the old man in me loved the analytics winner, which is the ability to print dashboards, because we all got executives, stakeholders that don't log in Salesforce. I mean, they log in all the time and they totally never ask you to print a dashboard. Never-

Gillian Bruce: Never. Never.

Mike Gerholdt: Have I tried to print a dashboard in my life. And we can do that now. So what's old is new again. And then the third one, custom fields for dashboard gauge values, just like, yes, thank you. Amazing that we can put in exactly what the field is for the value, as opposed to what my Thursday used to be, which was readjusting gauge values.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I mean, those are just... These are the things that make admins happy. Just to save us some time, make our lives easier. It's really exciting to see that these are going to happen. So huge shout out to everybody who voted on them because that's how they happen.

Mike Gerholdt: Absolutely. Yeah. So go back and read that post, check it out. You can see there's some really great screenshots in it. It made me happy.

Gillian Bruce: We like happiness. I mean, we're talking about emojis and all kinds of good product roadmappy things. Happy start to 2021. We also had some happiness for your ears in 2021 this year.

Mike Gerholdt: We did a podcast.

Gillian Bruce: We did quite a few. Quite a few.

Mike Gerholdt: What was your must listen?

Gillian Bruce: Well, I had the opportunity to transport as much as you can these days to the other side of the world, and I had a really wonderful chat with Preena Johansen, who is an Einstein Analytics specialist at Telstra, which is a huge, probably the biggest communications company in Australia. And she's talking to me from Brisbane where it's nice and hot, and she's going to go hang out by her pool and have a nice cocktail. And I am sitting in my basement with the heater on full blast because it's cold here in San Francisco. So it was great chatting with her. She had some really, really great insights about how she works at such a huge organization using Einstein Analytics and Tableau, and really what that specialization looks and how admins can really benefit from thinking about using some of those same approaches and strategies. So that was really fun. But Mike, I think we had another podcast that both you and I were pretty excited too.

Mike Gerholdt: I did, and I also offered up, it could be your favorite podcast too. So we talked with the very important Woodson martin, who is the EVP and GM for Salesforce AppExchange. What a fun pod, if you haven't picked this up. I won't spoil it for you, but Gillian, just to highlight one part of the podcast where Woodson said, "Behind every successful Salesforce project, there's an admin who's sweated the details, really invested to understand their users, what people are trying to accomplish, see beyond what may be executive objections, and tune into the users and the jobs they need to get done every day and the circumstances in which they need to get those jobs done." And I just was so... I need a moment of silence after that.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I mean, what a way to fire up the awesome admin community in the new year, because Woodson dropped not only that, but he also dropped that he is a former admin. That's how he started with Salesforce, which is pretty awesome. I always love learning about super senior exacts who started as Salesforce admin. So he's got admin in his heart and fantastic podcast, really fun interview. I highly encourage everyone to listen to it if you have not already.

Mike Gerholdt: Yes. I mean, at some point, it being January and all, at some point we will have interviewed someone who will be president of the United States that was a Salesforce admin. I have to believe that, right?

Gillian Bruce: I love that. All right. Let's put that out there. Just put that out there.

Mike Gerholdt: It was great that Woodson... What he does, and literally I was just in AppExchange tweaking something for an app for a video I'm going to shoot for you, Gillian, so the admin AppExchange, it's Batman and Robin. Peanut butter and jelly.

Gillian Bruce: Totally. Peas and carrots. I love it.

Mike Gerholdt: Peas and carrots. Right.

Gillian Bruce: Well, that was a lot of great content that we had, Mike. I still want to keep this fun vibe going for the beginning of 2021. What else you got?

Mike Gerholdt: Well, I think we kicked off talking about video so we can end this portion talking about video. I don't know if you had a must-watch video for January that you enjoyed?

Gillian Bruce: I mean, I was enjoying the Essential Habits marathon, so those deep dives that Mark put together are pretty amazing and help with all of the things you need to know to be an awesome admin. So it's a good go-to, it's a solid foundation and a great... Like I said, great way to kick off the year.

Mike Gerholdt: Yep. I concur. I thought that was the must watch videos for us in January. So then the fun thing, if you listen to the December pod, we wrapped up December and all the topics of what we enjoyed or binge watched. I thought it'd be fun to start January off with, "Hey, which happened first?"
So, because January being the first month of the year, so Gillian, I put some questions together for you and it looks you put some questions together for me and-

Gillian Bruce: Yes I did.

Mike Gerholdt: And at home participation is encouraged, so we will give you a few seconds to think about it and just randomly shout out your answer.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, make sure you shout it really loud so people around you get really confused.

Mike Gerholdt: Absolutely, yes, because it it'll be fantastic. Or you could put a little Twitter video together of us answering. I would enjoy that. That would make me happy. Okay, so Gillian, I have three questions for you, all of which are, I want to know what you think which happened first, and of course I got to queue up the answers here. Okay. So Gillian, which happened first, the AppExchange or Visualforce.

Gillian Bruce: I think I'm going to say Visualforce.

Mike Gerholdt: That's what I thought.

Gillian Bruce: But it's not right?

Mike Gerholdt: However, bonk, you're incorrect. AppExchange launched in 2005, and the development of Apex Visualforce and more happened in 2006.

Gillian Bruce: Wow, okay.

Mike Gerholdt: It's close, but AppExchange came first. What a great segue from the Woodson Martin podcast, by the way. It's a great podcast.

Gillian Bruce: Seriously, yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: Okay, Gillian, second question. Chance to redeem yourself, which happened first, Dreamforce or the Salesforce IPO?

Gillian Bruce: Well I just missed one of these as an employee by about a year or two, so I know for sure Dreamforce happened first.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, I was... Let's see, I'm scrolling through just to double check your answer, because you'd think I put the answer inside of the doc, but I didn't. But I was shocked to find that Dreamforce happened in 2003, and that was actually what helped launch the IPO.

Gillian Bruce: Yep. And I remember the IPO, I think, was 2008, I believe, which was-

Mike Gerholdt: [inaudible] after.

Gillian Bruce: Two years after I started at Salesforce, so I just missed that two years before I started.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh, 2004.

Gillian Bruce: Oh, it's 2004, then nevermind. I missed it by way more than what I thought. So nevermind. I still got the answer right.

Mike Gerholdt: Dreamforce annual convention was held at the Westin Hotel in San Francisco in 2003, and then coming off that had 8,700 customers and numerous potential investors. Salesforce held an initial public offering in 2004.

Gillian Bruce: There you go.

Mike Gerholdt: The company's day one stock price stood at 17.25. I'm getting that from, so public information. $17. Oof. Here we go. All right, so then ending on a fun note, because we love musicians and I think one of these is your favorite band, which happened first, Red Hot Chili Peppers or Metallica playing at Dreamforce?

Gillian Bruce: Such great memories. Such great memories. Again-

Mike Gerholdt: I will say the first time Metallica played at Dreamforce.

Gillian Bruce: Right, before they became the house band. I very vividly remember this moment in the basement at... Well, the basement. In the big hall at Moscone, And it was for sure, my man James and Metallica rocking the house with the worst acoustics possible. But I didn't care, because I was in the front row and I was making eye contact with James Hetfield and I was in heaven. It was one of my best experiences ever.

Mike Gerholdt: Ding, ding, ding, ding. So you went two out of three. Metallica played Dreamforce 9 in 2011, and Red Hot Chili Peppers played Dreamforce 10 in 2012. That was in front of-

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, the Chili Peppers, they were in the front of city hall with the cool light show on the facade of city hall. It was pretty awesome. I miss concerts.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, it was fun going through looking at the concerts, but I was like, "Oh, some of these are too obvious." Except for Foo Fighters. I had no idea that Foo Fighters played in '08 and in 2015. They were the first returning band. So for those of you quiz [crosstalk 00:15:40]-

Gillian Bruce: Salesforce trivia. This is a bevy Salesforce trivia. Okay, Mike, I-

Mike Gerholdt: Here we go.

Gillian Bruce: I've got some for you. You ready?

Mike Gerholdt: Boy, I got to run the board.

Gillian Bruce: You sure do. You sure do. Which happened first, Astro or Cody used as a release logo?

Mike Gerholdt: This is hard. I feel like... I feel like I want to say Astro, but no. Okay, I'm going to go Astro because I think we didn't have a cartoon release version of Cody soon enough.

Gillian Bruce: Well, you are correct, sir. But so close between the two of them because Yeti Astro first appeared for the winter 18 release, followed by a Cody watering his bonsai plant for spring 18. And then a Cody was the release logo again for summer 18. So we have quite a Cody celebration there for two releases in a row.

Mike Gerholdt: A Cody parade. I was only going off the fact that we had that one scary bear costume Cody for a while.

Gillian Bruce: That's right. Just a random person walking around in a very realistic bear costume. That was Cody,

Mike Gerholdt: Just bear hugging executives in keynotes. It was wonderful.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, you get in the elevator and you're like, "Oh, okay, hi."

Mike Gerholdt: "Oh hey, this is happening."

Gillian Bruce: Oh man. There were so many fun release logo questions I could have asked, but I thought that was the least challenging of them all.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh, we could do a whole show on release logos.

Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I got a lot of release logo trivia. Anyway, that's another show. Next question. Which happened first, the headquarters of Salesforce at Rincon Center or at One Landmark in San Francisco?

Mike Gerholdt: Man, this one's even harder. One Landmark is what I know, but I feel like, from that video, was it Dreamforce 2019 that they put together the history of Salesforce? I feel like there was a picture of maybe Parker in Rincon before One Landmark. So I'm going to go Rincon Center.

Gillian Bruce: Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. You are correct. That is a fun... It's a really tricky trivia question because the first headquarters that was not in the Telegraph Hill apartment where Benioff and Parker were hanging out was in Rincon Center, but they quickly then vacated for a larger space at One Landmark. And then we were at One Landmark for many years before coming back and expanding back into Rincon Center. So we did a little hopscotch there.

Mike Gerholdt: Sure. One Landmark was the first time I'd been to Salesforce headquarters.

Gillian Bruce: Now we have a tower. a couple of them. Okay, my last what happened first question, Mike, is also an office related question. What happened first? Which location was the first non-US Salesforce office? Was it Tokyo or London?

Mike Gerholdt: This one I have a little experience with, in that I know we opened the London office after I joined Salesforce. So I have to believe that the Tokyo office happened before that. So I'll go Tokyo office.

Gillian Bruce: Congratulations, you are correct, sir. But I thought I was going to trip you up because in fact it was 2001 where we opened the first offices outside of San Francisco, and that was Dublin and Tokyo.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh, I had no idea. I knew it would be early, because I remember as a customer seeing the Chatter use case with Toyota. I had to have believed that we would have had a Tokyo office or something. That was what I was going with.

Gillian Bruce: So there you go. So you got all of them right.

Mike Gerholdt: Ding ding, I ran the board.

Gillian Bruce: Three out of three. Mike Gerholdt, you are the winner of What Happened First?

Mike Gerholdt: And by winning, I don't know, you don't get anything, there's no prizes. It's all [inaudible 00:20:37].

Gillian Bruce: It's pride. You get pride as your price.

Mike Gerholdt: One million Schrute bucks for you.

Gillian Bruce: I'll send those in the mail right now.

Mike Gerholdt: Redeemable nowhere. Awesome. Well, this is fun. I think we had a really great kickoff to 2021, Gillian. If you're listening to this podcast, I would love to hear what your answers you thought would be right. So tweet them, send us a video. That would make my Twitter timeline super fun and enjoyable.

Gillian Bruce: Or submit some more Salesforce trivia questions. Those are always good.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh yeah, that would be super fun. Taking questions from the listeners to answer. Yes. I'm also really afraid what they're going to ask, but that's okay. What happened first? I don't know. We'll find out. If you want to learn more about all things that we just talked about in today's episode, please go to to find the links and many, many, many more resources. You can stay up to date with us on social for all things admins. We are @SalesforceAdmns, no i, on Twitter. I'm on Twitter @MikeGerholdt, and Gillian is @GillianKBruce. So with that, stay safe, stay awesome, and stay tuned for the next episode. We will see you in the cloud. This is all I could find. Kind of fun, huh, that one?

Gillian Bruce: Yeah, I feel I'm getting ready to start a Jazzercise class or something.

Mike Gerholdt: Okay everybody, it's Peleton riding time. Okay, we'll get rid of that. I have no idea. Some of these buttons... Oh, there we go.

Gillian Bruce: That's a good one.

Mike Gerholdt: Awesome.

Gillian Bruce: Score.

Direct download: January_Monthly_Retro_with_Gillian_and_Mike.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am PST

This week on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’re sitting down with Ruchi Kumar, Product Management Senior Manager on the Core Service Team of Service Cloud at Salesforce. We’ll cover what’s new in Spring 21 for Admins with Service Setup Assistant and Macros Builder.


Join us as we talk about everything she’s working on for Spring ‘21 and how you can get involved.


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


New features for Setup Assistant.


The Core Service Team that Ruchi is in charge of the “bread and butter” of Service Cloud: Service Consoles, Quick Text, Macros, Knowledge, and more. Ruchi’s team, in particular, is in charge of improving the setup experience and making the admin experience better so they can discover and adopt new features.


In Spring ‘21, there are a ton of improvements coming to Setup Assistant. “If you think of your journey as an admin, the power of the platform of Service Cloud and Salesforce is supermassive, but sometimes you just want to have a prescriptive out-of-the-box experience so that you can get ready right away with your new app and let your team focus on what they do best,” Ruchi says. It sets up a new Service App for you preconfigured with the best productivity tools so you can get going as soon as possible, drawing on all the knowledge of best practices Salesforce has.


The power of Macro Builder.


Ruchi’s other team works on productivity tools, especially macros. “It really cuts down time and creates instructions so agents can automatically perform routine tasks such as closing a case or sending an email,” she says, “you just need to write the instructions for the macro and they just hit a button.” Macro Builder is a Lightning tool that makes creating macros a point-and-click affair. Just highlight the component and choose the actions you need to happen.


In Spring ‘21, you can switch between tabs to create a more complex macro for your complex page layout where you can run more multi-steps and navigate easily between pages. “Any way we can make macros easier to build makes them easier to implement, and helps you deliver faster resolution times to make your agents and customers happier,” Ruchi says.


Most importantly, Ruchi and her team want to hear your feedback about how they can improve on the admin experience. Consider this your invitation to the Service Admin Advisory board to be a part of creating and coming up with the next set of admin features.




Love our podcasts?

Subscribe today or review us on iTunes!

Direct download: New_Spring_21_Feature__Service_Cloud_Macros_with_Ruchi_Kumar.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:05am PST

For this episode of the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’ve got Grace Li, Product Manager for Admin Home, In-App Learning, and Guidance Center at Salesforce. She’ll fill us in on everything new in Spring 21 or Guidance Center and In-App Learning, and be sure to check out January’s Release Readiness broadcast for even more info.

Join us as we talk about the powerful new features you can use in Spring ‘21, and what’s in store for the future.

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

The keys to a successful project.

“We’ve been hearing from admins that they really want to know more from Salesforce, they want guidance, they want to know best practices and they just really want to know how to set their org up for success,” Grace says. In-App Guidance takes all of the knowledge we’ve gathered talking to customers all over the world and puts it right in front of you.

If you’re spinning up a new org and you want to follow best practices, you’re going to see a new thing called Guidance Center. It’ll give you a checklist of all the things Salesforce thinks will be helpful for you as you’re setting up your new org. It’ll tailor itself according to your level of experience, so whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned veteran, you’ll get some timely advice and a spotlight on features you’ll want to play around with as you get everything configured.

Coming up in the future, Grace and her team are looking to broaden the scenarios where In-App Guidance can play a role. For example, to help you prepare for an upcoming release and get a handle on new features.

Learning has always been an important part of being a Salesforce admin, and In-App Learning kicks it up a notch. “We’re bringing that fun Trailhead experience right inside the application where you’re doing your work,” Grace says, and this can also help you train your users by putting the right training in the right place.

You can also assign Trailhead modules to specific users in your org, so if you have someone who needs to review something they can simply open their panel to see what you’ve put in there for them. You can also give business leaders the opportunity to customize what shows up for their team without needing admin privileges, so they can take the lead on training and coordinating their team.



Direct download: New_Spring_21_Feature__In-App_Learning_with_Grace_Li.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST

In this week's special bonus episode of the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’re joined by Woodson Martin, EVP and GM, Salesforce AppExchange. He shares some amazing success stories of Salesforce customers that have made transformative adaptations over the past year.

Join us as we talk about why a balance of speed and preparation is the key to any successful project, how to practice presenting to stakeholders, and why it’s important to make the case for why what you want to do is better than the alternatives.

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

The keys to a successful project

Woodson runs the AppExchange on Salesforce, delivering over 5,000 applications that help you get a head start on your projects or deliver new functionality for your users tightly integrated into Salesforce and ready to go. “If I look at the history over the last 20 years of all the Salesforce projects that I’ve been part of, really successful ones share this careful blend of speed and preparation,” he says.

For speed, if you’re leading a new project or upgrade or anything else, really focus on that question of what is your Minimum Viable Product? What is the simplest set of functionality you need to deliver in order to learn what your users really need, and how do you set yourself up to iterate on that? We use the Agile methodology at Salesforce and it’s really based on this core principle of deliver early and deliver often, and the AppExchange can help you do that by speeding up your ability to deliver.

If you’re looking to implement something new from the AppExchange, you’ll need to get leadership to buy in. And as an executive, we wanted to know if Woodson had any advice for how to convince stakeholders to go with your plan: “I want confidence that a presenter knows the subject matter, has done the homework, really understands the problem, and is bring well-defined alternatives forward,” he says. In other words, it’s not just about what you want to do but why it’s better than the other options on the table; including doing nothing.

An admin at heart

“One of the incredible things about the Admin community at Salesforce and with our customers is just how amazing that group of experts has been this year at adapting to such incredible, disruptive change,” Woodson says, “we have seen so many of our customers take giant leaps forward in digital transformation, digitizing their business, automating process, and going virtual.” There are so many great stories from the past year that team created a dedicated page on the AppExchange website just to put them all in one place.

Woodson actually started his Salesforce career as an admin, and he sees them as a crucial component in customer success. “Behind every successful Salesforce project there is an admin who has sweated the details, really invested to understand their users, what people are trying to accomplish, looked beyond executive objectives, and tuned into the users and the jobs they need to get done every day, and then customized or built what users need to make their businesses successful,” he says. “Salesforce doesn’t magically happen in companies—all of our success is tied to the work of the admin community.”




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.

Mike Gerholdt:
And I'm Mike Gerholdt.

Gillian Bruce:
And today we have a very special guest joining us. We have EVP and GM of AppExchange here at Salesforce, Woodson Martin, joining us to talk about presenting to executives, awesome admin AppExchange magic, all kinds of good stuff. So without further ado, let's get Woodson on the podcast.

Mike Gerholdt:
Woodson, welcome to the podcast.

Woodson Martin:
Thank you. It's great to be here.

Mike Gerholdt:
For those that haven't met you or seen you on any of our stages, can you tell us what you do at Salesforce?

Woodson Martin:
Sure. I run the AppExchange at Salesforce, which if you don't know about it is the world's leading marketplace for enterprise cloud apps. And we have more than 5,000 applications there that our customers use to get a headstart on their projects or deliver functionality for their users, all tightly integrated into Salesforce and ready to roll.

Mike Gerholdt:
Yeah, absolutely. I love the AppExchange. Helped me in my many years of being a Salesforce admin.

Woodson Martin:
Yeah. Great. Me too.

Mike Gerholdt:
For admins that are looking to get started, it's New Year. Let's ramp our org quickly or maybe a migration or a new project, what would you suggest?

Woodson Martin:
Yeah, well, I would say that if I look at the history over the last 20 years of all the Salesforce projects that I've been part of, or watched closely, they all share ... The most successful ones share this careful blend of speed and preparation. And so I think of those two words a lot.

Woodson Martin:
And for speed, I think it's all about taking a flexible, agile approach. And I think it's just really important if you're leading one of these projects or you're diving into a new project or an upgrade or anything else, to really focus on this question of what's my minimum viable product, what's the simplest set of functionality that I need to deliver so that I can learn what my users really need so that they can embrace my app and make the whole project a success and then quickly iterate on that.

Woodson Martin:
So to me, that's just one of the most important things is focusing on speed. And I'd say, if anybody listening hasn't studied up on Agile or Lean methodology, it's a really good place to start and inspire you for how to tackle new projects in the new year.

Gillian Bruce:
That's a great recommendation, Woodson. I mean, we use that here at Salesforce. That's how we are able to do what we do and put that out there. I know many, many partners in the AppExchange, if not all, probably use some version of that as well, correct?

Woodson Martin:
I think that's probably true. Certainly the most accomplished do. And I think while it's a great methodology for delivering product, it also works really well for projects. And for our own internal projects, we use Agile methodology. And it's really based on this core principle of deliver early, deliver often.

Woodson Martin:
Don't give yourself such long runways in your laboratory where you're working on getting things ready, but nobody sees them. It's really much more effective if you can deliver early, deliver often and respond to the needs of your user community quickly. And they can feel that there's this pace of innovation happening and that their needs are being met.

Gillian Bruce:
Yeah, I think we can all get caught in our own head of what we think is the right answer. And then, "Oh, we need a little reality check there," right? So this is actually what people want to hear.

Woodson Martin:
Pretty basic idea, but sometimes it's easy to overlook it, especially in companies that are making big plans in the back of projects and are placing big bets. It's tempting sometimes to shift to that, "Well, we have to do it all or we have to get it all right the first time." And there's a lot of power in iteration.

Mike Gerholdt:
Yeah. And I'm just thinking of when you mentioned speed, the ability to use the AppExchange to ... In one of the projects I was at, we didn't know what we needed for a project management app. But to try out different ones, we weren't spending six months building a project management app. We actually tried one out in six weeks and knew what we wanted and what we didn't want.

Woodson Martin:
Yeah, which I think is obviously one of the huge advantages of Salesforce as a platform and of the AppExchange. Because every Salesforce expert really also wants to be an AppExchange expert because one of the best ways to bring speed and preparation to your project is to lean on people who've already tried that same path.

Woodson Martin:
The AppExchange is where you can find thousands of these solutions that have already been built, tested, proven to solve challenges. Look, there's a lot of commonality in what ... Each of us has our own business. They're all different, but there's a lot of commonality in terms of what we need to be successful and deliver for our users.

Woodson Martin:
And so a lot of the problems are already being solved and you can find a lot of those solutions on AppExchange and speed up your ability to deliver pretty quick.

Gillian Bruce:
Okay. So let's say I'm an admin. I found a great app on the AppExchange that I want to implement in my organization, but I need to get some buy-in from leadership. Since you are an executive, I would love to get your perspective on how can an admin best present that idea to leadership, kind of bring that app to the table and get buy-in from the leadership of their org to get that app approved and so they can get work in, and up and going.

Woodson Martin:
Yeah. Great question. I'll just say that communication, presentations like any other skill, you've got to practice and test your skills. But there are, of course, simple rules that apply to all kinds of executive communication and certainly executive pitches. And just as an executive, I want confidence that the presenter knows the subject matter, has done the homework, really understands the problem and is bringing well-defined alternatives forward.

Woodson Martin:
I think it's really important that when you pitch your ideas, you always frame them versus alternatives. And you back up your recommended alternatives with data, with feedback from your users, your customers, any other stakeholders that matter to the executives you're presenting to. And I'll also say that a simple brief presentation is always best. And then you want to have kind of a healthy appendix for all the backup data you might need to support your recommendations or your strategy.

Woodson Martin:
And I would just say, this is a place again where preparation helps a lot.

Mike Gerholdt:
Sometimes saying little take more practice than saying a lot.

Woodson Martin:
Yeah, absolutely. And we can practice our pitches. Whether you can get one or two of your key executive stakeholders to listen to an early version of your pitch, give you feedback and then support you as you pitched to the broader executive audience.

Woodson Martin:
Or if that's not possible in your situation, then what you can do is find some of their lieutenants who you might be able to practice the pitch words and get feedback early. And just use all that to distill this into something crisp that you just really believe in. And you've got backed up with data and then always, show how it stacks up against alternatives. And there's always an alternative, which is do nothing.

Woodson Martin:
But every alternative has consequences. And you'll want to include all that in an executive pitch.

Mike Gerholdt:
I would be curious. I mean, it's crazy because a year ago, I think do nothing was a viable alternative. And now with COVID, there's a barbecue restaurant just down the street from me, do nothing was a choice. They had to move to curbside pickup. They had to move to ... They actually started to do a school lunch delivery program with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Mike Gerholdt:
I would be curious, do you know of a story that's using the AppExchange during COVID to kind of re-imagine their business?

Woodson Martin:
Well, there are so many of those stories and I think one of the incredible things about the admin community at Salesforce in our customers is just how amazing that group of experts has been this year at adapting to such incredible disruptive change. I mean, we have seen so many of our customers take giant leaps forward and digital transformation digitizing their business, automating process, going virtual, not just in the way that they meet but also in the way that they deliver for their customers.

Woodson Martin:
So yes, tons of great stories. We actually got a page on the AppExchange that documents so many of these stories, and you can get there by going to So API without like the character not happy. And there's a ton of stories there, but some that pop out to me like Purell, a brand that has become ... If it wasn't already familiar to you before the pandemic, it is now.

Woodson Martin:
For them, they had such a massive change in demand for their product. Overnight, across all the ways they distribute their product, both in the grocery stores and in hospitals. Any medical wards got Purell stands all over the walls. And they had to go for a super rapid growth in the teams that maintain, keep those things filled, deliver all that stuff, but also install those things because they had to put them in so many new places.

Woodson Martin:
And they actually chose an AppExchange partner called ProntoForms that helped them do this, which is really focusing on simplifying, automating, documenting the process for each of these technicians. And they were hiring thousands of them to go out and service of this equipment or install new equipment to make sure that we could all keep ourselves safe. And I think it was just an example of somebody taking an application off the shelf to be able to implement change rapidly. And that one to me is just a great story. It's documented on that site I mentioned earlier.

Woodson Martin:
And then maybe I'll just also mention Graymont Medical, so medical device company. They make all kinds of machinery that patients use for rehabbing from surgery or for helping with lactation for new mothers or a variety of other uses. All of their medical equipment requires them to train typically hands-on with technicians who come to your house and help you install and learn how to use this stuff. And obviously, that didn't work anymore with COVID. It wasn't safe for their teams to do those kinds of home visits.

Woodson Martin:
So they had to shift entirely virtual with this. And they used a whole host of applications from the AppExchange, from Mogli SMS to Zenkraft, DocuSign, basically take virtual process which had been very in-person for their whole history. And hats off to their admin, Wade Wheatley, who made quick work of all this change and really has helped them to continue to deliver on their service level promise and keep all their employees safe during the pandemic.

Gillian Bruce:
I love a shout-out to the admin who did that. That's awesome, Woodson. Wade, what was his last name?

Woodson Martin:
Wheatley. Like Wheat, L-E-Y.

Gillian Bruce:
Well, Wade, you're awesome. You just got a great shout-out on the podcast. Woodson, actually on that note, we are knee-deep and embedded in the admin community. We love admins. We understand how important they are and the incredible work they do. I know you, especially in your role leading AppExchange, you see the work that admins are doing every day as well. Can you give us a little bit of your perspective on kind of the role of an awesome admin in making a successful Salesforce implementation work in helping businesses really kind of function?

Woodson Martin:
Yeah, I mean, yes. Well, I started my Salesforce life as an admin. Before I worked at Salesforce, I worked for a company that doesn't exist anymore called BusinessObjects. But I brought Salesforce in. I started in this role. I don't know that I was a great admin, but certainly, it inspired me to really invest in my career in Salesforce.

Woodson Martin:
But I am keenly aware of the super important role that our admin community plays in our customer success. Behind every successful Salesforce project, there is an admin who has sweated the details, really invested to understand their users, what people are trying to accomplish, see beyond what may be executive objectives and tune into the users and the jobs they need to get done every day, and the circumstances in which they need to get those jobs done and then tune Salesforce or add to Salesforce through the AppExchange or by customizing or building and delivering what users need to do their jobs, grow their businesses, make their customers successful.

Woodson Martin:
And we owe an enormous debt of gratitude to this community. So thank you. My hands are making the little thank you sign right now to our admin community. It's a critical role and obviously, Salesforce doesn't magically happen in companies. All of our success is tied to the work of our admin community.

Gillian Bruce:
Well, I love that you're also a former admin. That is so cool, Woodson. I did not know that.

Woodson Martin:
Well, long story for another day, but I began my Salesforce experience.

Mike Gerholdt:
But that's the way you tease a segue to a part two of the sequel to this podcast.

Woodson Martin:
Yeah. Right.

Mike Gerholdt:
One of the things, and I'll echo with Gillian, I think it's so cool you started as an admin. One of the things I love as a customer, and I love learning more about the people I work with, is kind of getting to know what they do outside of Salesforce. Because at work, we all really love to geek out at our platform and some of the stuff that we can do on it. I know on a previous podcast, we had Vin Addala on who worked on Dynamic Forms, and unbeknownst to us, is a huge board game fan. So I would love to know, what are some things that you're passionate about or things that you do outside of work?

Woodson Martin:
Well, thanks for asking. My big focus outside of work ... My job is pretty demanding. But outside of work, my big focus is on immigration issues. And I spend a lot of my time volunteering with ... I'm on the board of two non-profits who are focused on immigration issues here in the United States. And part of that is around humanitarian relief for people in the asylum process in the US. And part of that is around people who are ... And a lot of that at the border with Mexico down in Texas. And then a lot of that is about communities that are local here in the San Francisco Bay area, where I live, and helping with everything from legal assistance through the immigration process to humanitarian needs.

Woodson Martin:
And we've just wrapped up a really exciting project this winter we called Project Reindeer to deliver Christmas to a whole host of newly arrived immigrant families who'd been really impacted by the COVID pandemic. And all got a Christmas tree and presents for the kids and stuff that really helped to brighten what was a pretty tough year for most of them.

Woodson Martin:
So that's sort of how I spend my spare time. And I'll just make mention of one project within that domain that I'm really excited about, an organization called Mobile Pathways, which is a nonprofit and which uses Salesforce technology to deliver legal assistance and information to folks who are tied up in the immigration court process. And it's just an awesome story of how the technology that we work with every day can have such a big impact on the lives of individuals.

Woodson Martin:
If you are a recent immigrant to this country, you're attempting to gain legal status through the immigration courts, one challenge many folks have is just basic communication. The courts only communicate through the mail if like most newly arrived immigrants, you are not living in the same place a year after you started the legal process, you may not get notifications of your court dates. If you don't show up for court, you risk being deported. And using Salesforce technology now, we're able to keep all of those folks informed proactively about changes through mobile messaging and using WhatsApp and the technologies that they live with every day.

Woodson Martin:
And it's just super powerful to see the impact of the technology and the spirit of volunteerism that's driving that project. And that's another thing I'm passionate about and spend my time on.

Gillian Bruce:
Wow, Woodson, that's incredible. I mean, what I really love about that is that, I mean there's a clear connection between obviously your Salesforce life and your outside Salesforce life, because you've been at Salesforce forever. You really do embody the whole giving back aspect of what it is to be part of the Salesforce Trailblazer Community. So thank you for that and being an awesome example. And also, thank you for the impact that you are making in this very tough space and using Salesforce to help make a difference.

Gillian Bruce:
And I mean, Project Reindeer, who doesn't want to work on something called Project Reindeer? That sounds amazing.

Mike Gerholdt:
Seriously, absolutely.

Woodson Martin:
Well, thanks. It's all just getting started. Of course, there's still plenty of work left to do in all their domains, but a huge honor for me to be here with you guys today and with our admin community. I hope it's been a useful dialogue and look forward to coming back and doing more.

Gillian Bruce:
Oh, well, careful what you say because we will be back. We will let you get very far. Woodson, thank you so, so much for your time today. Thank you for sharing with us. Thank you for bringing your OG admin spirit to the admin community as well, and doing some amazing things within the AppExchange world.

Gillian Bruce:
And just again, thanks so much. And you've got lots of awesome admin love. So everybody hit up Woodson if you've got some good [inaudible 00:20:35] and share with them. And hey, you never know, he could call you out on the next story about a great AppExchange success story there. So, Wade, we're talking about you.

Mike Gerholdt:
So it was great having Woodson on the podcast. And wow, we learned a lot. I boiled it down to three big things I learned I think admin should take away. First, speed and preparation. If Woodson didn't drill that into our head, what is the MVP? And to focus on speed, we can of course do that with the Salesforce AppExchange. We can try out different apps, and of course, learn Agile or Lean methodology. So if you haven't picked that up, now is a great time 2021 to learn Agile or Lean methodology.

Mike Gerholdt:
The second, when presenting, practice and test your skills. We've seen that. LeeAnne on our team does that a lot with demos and presentations. We practice, practice, practice. You can't practice enough. And of course, we asked, so what should admins do when presenting to leadership? And this is my big third takeaway. Woodson told us, when you present to an executive, have confidence. Do your homework and bring well-defined solutions forward.

Mike Gerholdt:
And of course, always have an alternate. Be ready to back that up with data. And I love that he even secretly worked in SABWA data from your users. So what your users want, this is why we talk to our users every single day. And much like my three things, keep it simple and brief. Executives are super busy, moving on and to the point.

Mike Gerholdt:
So if you want to learn more about all things Salesforce admin, go to to find more resources. And as a reminder, if you love what you hear, pop on over to iTunes and give us a review. It's 2021. I want some fresh reviews. You can stay up to date with us for all things social on admins, @SalesforceAdmns, no I, on Twitter. You can find Woodson on Twitter. He is @woodson_martin. I'm @MikeGerholdt on Twitter and Gillian is @GillianKBruce. Yeah, everybody keeps it simple.

Mike Gerholdt:
So with that, stay safe, stay awesome, and stay tuned for the next episode. We'll see you in the cloud.

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

This week, for the first Salesforce Admins Podcast episode of 2021, we’re joined by Preena Johansen, Einstein Analytics Consultant at Telstra, Einstein Analytics Champion, and the co-leader of Women in Technology Brisbane. She has some great tips about how you can be more analytics-minded as an admin.


Join us as we talk about how to set up your data on your records for Einstein Analytics, the power of visualizations, and why you shouldn’t be scared of analytics.


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


What is an Einstein Analytics consultant?


So first question, what does it mean to be an Einstein Analytics consultant? “At Telstra, my role is to work with the business to understand what their requirements are and what their end goal is—what they want to achieve,” Preena says, “and then we use the data we have from Salesforce and our external legacy systems being brought into Einstein to develop a dashboard.”


Telstra is the biggest telecommunications company in Australia, so Preena’s normally working with a huge amount of data at an enormous scale. She works with every department in the organization, from sales to finance to marketing, which naturally leads to a large range of projects. She’s built a suite of dashboards to help her support team get a better picture of how they’re hitting their SLAs on the various case-types they have, and another for marketing that lets them follow lead generation from each of their campaigns, which is also useful for sales.


“One of the main things about my role is understanding what the end-goal is for our users,” Preena says, “how are they going to use what we’re developing for them?” Every dashboard they make is embedded within Salesforce, which ultimately means users spend less time “swivel-chairing” between legacy databases and more time focusing on what the customer needs.


The tools of the trade.


Preena does a large amount of work directly on Salesforce and Einstein Analytics, with some help from an internal team to get information from legacy systems into a data hub that brings it onto the platform. She also leans on Excel to double-check things, Jira to track her Agile stories, and Confluence to document her work and coordinate with her team. For development, she uses Validator, an online JSON editor, and Notepad++ on desktop to write out JSON and check it.


If you’re trying to start working with your data in Einstein Flows, Preena has some advice. First of all, make sure that your permissions are set up correctly to allow anyone working with your fields to be able to see everything they need. Also, field validation can greatly minimize the need for data cleanup further on down the road, especially when you’re talking about free text fields.


“To get started, I didn’t go to uni, I didn’t study anything analytics-related,” Preena says. Instead, she created her first data visualizations in Tableau and then moved onto Salesforce when her company was one of the first in Australia to adopt Wave. “It was really about getting in and giving is a shot,” she says, “the skills that I have today are from on-the-job learning.” With all the great content out there between Trailhead and other resources, the best thing you can do if you’re interested in doing more with Einstein is to get started and create your first visualization.



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Direct download: Einstein_Analytics_at_Scale_with_Preena_Johansen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:56am PST