Behind the Automate Apps Fast for #AwesomeAdmins Dreamforce Episode with Diana Jaffe

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For today’s episode of the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’re bringing on Diana Jaffe, Product Management Director, and Jennifer Lee, Admin Evangelist at Salesforce. We want to give you a sneak peek at their upcoming Dreamforce episode and how admins can automate apps quickly.

Join us as we talk about their Dreamforce presentation, Automate Apps Fast for #AwesomeAdmins!

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Diana Jaffe and Jennifer Lee.

Go with the Flow

Diana’s motto for this year’s Dreamforce is “Go with the Flow,” because of all of the new features coming in the Winter ‘22 Release. “Flow is the heart and soul of automation, and you can start small by moving a workflow rule over,” she says, “and we show in the episode how that can grow and expand.”

For Jennifer, one of the most exciting features coming for automation is MuleSoft Composer, which will allow you to use clicks, not code to set up integrations. Flow Orchestrator is also heading in a really exciting direction going forward, claiming its crown as the flow of flows. With all of the nesting and layering that is possible you can create even more complex automations to tackle all sorts of new problems.

They go over everything in their upcoming Dreamforce session, so make sure you don’t miss out.

Lights, camera, action!

To record their Dreamforce episode, Diana and Jennifer both got to be “the talent” for the day. Jennifer had a small production team over to her place, where they worked on-location and could only run the air conditioner between takes.

Diana, meanwhile, got into Salesforce HQ for the first time since March 2020. She worked with a full-blown production crew — even the guy with the clapper thing. “It’s super cool to see people who are so good at their job in a totally different universe than what we do in software,” she says, “I love TV and movies and the nerd in me was trying not to giggle or be unprofessional.”

Why now’s the time to jump into Flow Builder

“There’s a whole world of different options that can really match to you based on your business case,” Diana says, and the end of the episode gets into how you would decide between different automation choices based on what you’re trying to do.

“For admins out there who have been scared of using Flow Builder, now’s the time to start using it to build all of your automation — forget about Workflow Rules and Process Builder,” Jennifer says, “if you haven’t done automation, think about ways to automate your business processes and make life better for your users.” With the Slack acquisition, the sky’s the limit with what you can do on the platform to reach new heights of efficiency and collaboration. Most importantly, do reach out on Trailblazer Community, Twitter, or anywhere else to share your challenges and how we can help.

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Full show transcript

Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins podcast, where we talk about product, community, and career, to help you become an awesome admin. And of course, this week we are on our path to Dreamforce. So we are talking with Diana Jaffe, product management director, and Jennifer Lee, admin evangelist, about their upcoming Dreamforce session and how admins can automate apps fast. So speaking of fast, let’s get them both on the podcast. Diana and Jennifer, welcome to the podcast.

Jennifer Lee: Thanks for having me.

Diana Jaffe: Thanks. Happy to be here.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, no, this is going to be fun. So we are getting ready for Dreamforce. It’s September; August felt like forever. Maybe it’s because we were all prepping for Dreamforce time, but it’s ever so close. I think a friend told me, they tell their kid, it’s only a few sleeps that you have to go. And I think of it as only a couple more podcasts until Dreamforce. So I count everything in podcasts like normal human people do. But Jennifer, let’s start off. I want to pick up where we left off on the last podcast for those that listened to it. I would like to know what new things you’re cooking, because you were talking about crabs and the different crabs that you have and your favorite cooking. So have you found anything new to cook since we last chatted?

Jennifer Lee: I think since we last chatted, I did make a dish of crabs. So I had blue crabs and I chopped them up and I stir fry them with ginger, scallion and eggs. So now I want it again.

Mike Gerholdt: I know.

Jennifer Lee: Thanks Mike.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, that’s okay. That’s why I ask these questions, and inadvertently somebody is out walking their dog right now and being like, “Yep. Now I’m hungry for stir fry crab.”

Jennifer Lee: But then I did take a virtual cooking class that was offered through Salesforce and we made Caribbean fried rice. And that was very yummy.

Mike Gerholdt: Wow, okay. Diana, have we made you hungry yet?

Diana Jaffe: I haven’t had lunch yet. So this is crueler than your usual podcasting.

Mike Gerholdt: You were last on Expert corner and I think it fits well into everything that we’re going to talk about for this episode, because you were talking about some of the spring and summer features. And look at that. We roped you back in for Dreamforce to talk about all of the latest features again.

Diana Jaffe: Yeah. I’m super excited. I’ve been joking that I always say each release is my favorite or I’m super excited, but I actually think winter ’22 might be my favorite release to talk about.

Mike Gerholdt: And we have Yeti Astro. We’ve got that going for us.

Diana Jaffe: Yeah. The mascots get better and better. And we have Brandy. We have a new character too.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, I know. That’s great. Okay. So let’s talk about automation, because this whole session is about automation. I can’t wait for people to watch it here in a few weeks when it comes out. I would like to know, and Diana we’ll start with you because you’re the most hungry. So you probably want to finish. On the topic of automation, what was the most important thing for you to highlight in this episode?

Diana Jaffe: Well, I think for me, my most important thing is, go with the flow. That’s my tagline. That’s what I want it to stick in everybody’s head. You’ll hear me say it incessantly. You’ll hear Jen say it as well because she goes into a deeper dive on how to use Flow in the episode, but really Flow is the heart and soul of automation. And you can start small and start moving something like a workflow rule over. And then we’re also going to show you, in the episode, how that can grow and expand. We’re moving Next Best Action over there. We’ve got ScreenFlows, we’ve got Orchestrator. So I think you can do a little bit and it’s going to set you up to grow and learn a lot more in the future.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Jennifer, same question. What was the most important thing for you to highlight in this episode?

Jennifer Lee: I mean, I totally agree with Diana because I love Flow Builder and all the cool things I could do, but I’m also excited in the new features are coming out like MuleSoft Composer for Salesforce and being able to use Click, Not Code to set up integrations, and also what’s going on with Flow Orchestrator and where that’s going to go in the future being the flow of flows. So I’m very excited to share that with the community as well.

Mike Gerholdt: Flow of flows. Go with the flow. I wonder if we’ll come out with the Orchestrator-Orchestrator. What would that be called? Conductor?

Diana Jaffe: Well, I like to call it Flow-ception as well.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh, please tell me more. What’s flow-ception?

Diana Jaffe: Well kind of flow of flows, or anytime we talk about flows. Yeah. They went with Orchestrator as a name, which is probably better, but I like to think of it as Flow-ception.

Mike Gerholdt: It’s probably easier licensing, right?

Diana Jaffe: Yeah, probably.

Mike Gerholdt: I do like that though. That was a hard movie to follow.

Diana Jaffe: Not that our solution would be hard to follow.

Mike Gerholdt: Absolutely not.

Diana Jaffe: But some of the nesting and layering that you do when you get to complex automation, I think it’s a good metaphor.

Mike Gerholdt: You have sub flows. Right?

Diana Jaffe: Mm-hmm (affirmative). You can have sub flows inside Flows and then Flows inside Orchestrator that’s also routing them. So yeah, you can really build up a lot of automation that way.

Mike Gerholdt: Like a dream inside of a dream.

Diana Jaffe: Exactly, because Flow is a dream.

Mike Gerholdt: Wow.

Diana Jaffe: There we go.

Mike Gerholdt: Okay. I think we’ve got two t-shirts out of this. Go with the flow, and flow is a dream. So this is a recorded episode, which was super fun to shoot. I would love to know as you were working through that fun day of recording, where you got to be the talent.

Jennifer Lee: I love that. The talent.

Mike Gerholdt: And lights. I’ve had it as well. I don’t think people sitting back watching that episode will understand all of the production crew that was behind you, but I would love to know what of that day, what was a highlight for you, Jennifer? We’ll start with you.

Jennifer Lee: Well, I didn’t nearly have as big as a crew behind me that Diana, the talent, had. I had a crew of three people come to my little tiny condo and it was a very intimate filming. In between takes, I didn’t have a makeup artists come and redo my makeup, but I had… He handed over to me this little oil blotter. He’s like, “Okay, you go blot your forehead.” And we had to turn our AC off for this or else it would’ve picked up in the audio. So the second that we were stopped recording, it’s like, “Please turn on the AC. Please. We’re sweating bullets in the air.” But it was very fun. I enjoyed it. And being able to watch Diana film her peace through my laptop was pretty cool too.

Mike Gerholdt: You know, Diana, you got to go into Salesforce studios following COVID protocol. That was fun to watch on the feed. What was that like for you?

Diana Jaffe: It was pretty incredible. I mean, it was also pretty exciting to go back to Salesforce Tower and the buildings after I hadn’t been there since March of 2020, but yeah, it is a full blown professional production crew. I think it’s super cool to see people who are so good at their job doing just a totally different universe than what we do in software. So they had the clapper, like the take one, they had a green screen, and when they paused, a makeup artist would rush in and wardrobe would come and make sure I hadn’t wrinkled my clothes. And it was… I love TV and movies. And the nerd in me was trying not to giggle or be unprofessional and just ask lots of questions and look at all of the production, camera equipment, mics, everything, because I felt like a celebrity for the day for the two hours or whatever we were there.

Mike Gerholdt: Not like what your normal day is when you’re building Flow stuff, features for admins. You don’t have makeup assistants coming by.

Diana Jaffe: I don’t have makeup assistants coming by to make sure I haven’t smudged my lipstick. No, I tend to have more… Door Dash rings the doorbell with my lunch, and sweatpants, no one really cares if they’re wrinkled or not. So yeah, having spent a year and a half at my desk at home, it was really fun to play TV person for a day, but it’s a tough job. So I also got a lot more respect for people who do that all day, every day. I don’t know.

Mike Gerholdt: Patient. Patient.

Diana Jaffe: A lot of patience.

Mike Gerholdt: As admins are sitting down going through this episode, I would love to know from each of you, what is the most important, you think, thing that an admin should take out of this episode? Diana, we’ll start with you.

Diana Jaffe: I would say beyond kind of the go with the flow, some of the basics, I think there’s a whole world of different options that can really match to you based on your business case. And we get into that more in the end of the episode. So whether you’re thinking about communication and bots in a more natural sort of way of automating or a more intelligent way with decisions, I think starting to think about where you want to go beyond automating the basics and seeing all of the options. Jen mentioned MuleSoft Composer. If you’re thinking a lot about integrations and bringing a lot of systems together. So yeah, kind of dream big, I would say.

Mike Gerholdt: Dream big.

Diana Jaffe: Dream big for Dreamforce.

Mike Gerholdt: That’s nice. Right, Jennifer, how about you?

Jennifer Lee: I would say definitely for admins out there who’ve been scared of using Flow Builder, now is the time to start using it, to build all of your automation, forget about workflow rules and process builder, really dive into that because Flow is like all over the place. You see it with Flow Orchestrator, it’s just growing and growing and you’ll start really thinking if you haven’t done automation, think about ways to automate your business processes, make life better for your users, make it more productive.
Salesforce is coming out with so many tools that allow you to do all sorts of things. And we also feature some of the cool things upcoming in Slack. So now with the Slack acquisition, you take Salesforce and then the collaboration in Slack and really bring that to your company as well in terms of boosting up productivity. So think about those things in the back of your mind as you’re watching this episode and how you could really drive that at your own company.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh yeah. Sneak peak next week on the podcast. We talk about the admin main show where there’s probably some Slack in there a lot.

Jennifer Lee: Yeah, pretty sure there is. May have [crosstalk].

Mike Gerholdt: I know a person that knows a person.

Jennifer Lee: I know a person. Yeah.

Mike Gerholdt: So one last question, totally off the top of my head, of course we’re limited on time for these episodes because we’ve got to fit them in, we got a broadcast schedule. If you had five more minutes to fit something in to the episode, what would you have included?

Jennifer Lee: I would love to have more of the Q and A part with Diana. Hint. Hint.

Diana Jaffe: Yeah. I was going to say, I could talk many, many more minutes about kind of all of the choices and best practices around actually how to structure your automation. So I think we talk a lot about the capabilities, but what I definitely love to get into more and also hear back from the community, because a lot of that we take as input and iterate on is how do you like to structure a lot of automation let’s say, or you have different business units. And so we’re really thinking about how to scale Flow up to support not just building a single path, but how to visualize or look at a lot of different triggered automation, is the thing that I spend all my time loving and thinking about. So that would be something I would have loved to get into, but definitely stay tuned for updates there. And as always, we’re available on Trailblazer community and Twitter and stuff to hear what your challenges are.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. And Diana, it sounds like an opportunity maybe to have you back on a video or we’ve got Twitter spaces that Jay hosts for our team. So lots of ways that we could do some Q and A, some really fun stuff.

Diana Jaffe: Lots of possibilities.

Mike Gerholdt: Fabulous. Well, I want to thank you both for taking time out and helping admins get ready for Dreamforce and automate all the things and going with the flow in Flow-ception. Just trying to work those together. I backed myself into a corner.

Diana Jaffe: The Flow puns are endless.

Mike Gerholdt: Right. I’m sure there… If Gillian was here, the puns would be flowing.

Jennifer Lee: Well, any time I think of Flow, I think of Elsa singing in the background.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh. Let it go.

Diana Jaffe: Let it flow? Let it flow.

Jennifer Lee: Let it flow.

Mike Gerholdt: Oh. There we go. Now everybody’s got that song stuck in their head.

Jennifer Lee: You’re welcome.

Mike Gerholdt: Yes. Awesome. Well, Jennifer, Diana, thank you again. And I look forward to seeing your episode during Dreamforce and chatting with you more about all things automation.

Jennifer Lee: Thanks for having us.

Mike Gerholdt: It was great speaking with both of them. I love hearing stuff about the behind the scenes. Be sure to mark down Automate Apps Fast for Awesome Admins on your viewing schedule for Dreamforce. It’ll be on Wednesday, September 22nd. And of course, if you want to learn more about all things, Salesforce admins go to admin.salesforce.com to find more resources.
Hey, by the way, there’s new podcast swag in the Trailhead store. So be sure to pick up some of that. I’ll link to the podcast swag in the show notes. You can stay up to date with us on Salesforce Admins. We are @SalesforceAdmns, no I, on Twitter. Of course you can follow Jennifer Lee on Twitter. My cohost, Gillian Bruce, who’s currently out right now. You can give her a follow @GillianKBruce. And of course I am @MikeGerholdt. So with that, hey, only a few more podcasts ’till Dreamforce. Stay safe, stay awesome. And stay tuned for the next episode. We’ll see you in the cloud.

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