Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Andrew Mangano, Director of Product Management for Mobile at Salesforce. Join us as we chat about the new features coming to Salesforce Mobile in the Summer ‘23 release.

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

Why Salesforce is about interactions

Andrew comes to product management from a background in data science, which is why he was originally brought into Salesforce. This gives him a unique perspective on how to make data-driven decisions to build what customers need the most.

Before all of that, Andrew started in retail, which really informs how he thinks about Salesforce. For him, it’s all about interactions. While the rise of mobile is often framed in terms of how it’s caused people to disconnect from each other, Andrew sees an opportunity to reconnect. He wants Salesforce Mobile to help make your interactions with your customers more one-to-one and face-to-face.

The power of mobile

“The power of mobile is being able to get out there and do things more efficiently that you really couldn’t do before,” Andrew says. You can have all of the information you need, immediately accessible from the field. And you can share that information instantly throughout your organization so everyone is up to date.

Andrew’s team has been trying to make data easier to navigate so your users can put away the phone and focus on the interaction. They’re releasing Dynamic Forms for Mobile in Summer ‘23 you can help your users spend less time thumbing through lists and more time getting things done.

Offline access to your data

A common misconception about Salesforce Mobile is that it’s meant to somehow replace or stand in for the desktop experience. However, Andrew points out that it’s more about adoption and engagement. It’s about putting Salesforce in the hands of employees that wouldn’t otherwise be on the platform and giving them access to new tools and information they haven’t been able to use before.

Bringing Salesforce to new places with mobile also introduces new challenges, namely, what if you need access to your information in a place with spotty internet? They’ve engineered an offline solution for that, coming in this release, which will let you still access the data you need even if you’re not connected to the cloud.

There’s even more coming soon, so be sure to enable all objects for Dynamic Forms and stay posted.

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Full show transcript

Mike: This week on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’re talking with Andrew Mangano about the new features available in the summer ’23 release for Salesforce Mobile. Andrew is the Director of Product Management for Mobile here at Salesforce. Now, before we get into that episode, be sure you’re following the Salesforce Admins Podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcast. That way you get a new episode every Thursday right on your phone. So let’s get to that conversation with Andrew. So Andrew, welcome to the podcast.

Andrew Mangano: I’m so happy to be here, Mike, I’m so happy to be talking with you today.

Mike: Yeah, well, you’re fresh off of release readiness, which is always a big thing in the spring. But before we get into all of that and fun mobile stuff, let’s understand Andrew and Andrew’s journey to Salesforce.

Andrew Mangano: Yeah, definitely. And before we get into that, I just want to say it was my first release readiness. That was so much fun. That group is wild and there are some real professionals on there. Jillian blew me away. Lot of enthusiasm, great questions, lots of engagement. Whenever I interact with the admins in the community, it just feels good. It’s really, what makes Salesforce different. So being on this podcast and everything, it was just so much fun. It was one of the best things I’ve done at Salesforce.

Mike: I mean, our admin community is pretty hyped for releases because it generally means something in their life is about to get a whole lot better.

Andrew Mangano: Oh yeah, definitely. Well, and the way that we do things at Salesforce, it makes it easier, really. So if you think about it, a lot of software, it’s always about rapid release and releasing all the time, but there’s so much noise in the world now, having these major releases, giving you the time to breathe, to focus, to digest, it actually makes it quality. I really find a lot of value in it.

Mike: Interesting. I’ve often wondered if we even at three didn’t have too many.

Andrew Mangano: Well, I think three is a nice, good number. Two seems a little lonely.

Mike: I mean, two would be tough. Four, it’s four seasons.

Andrew Mangano: That’s true, that’s true. Although, I live in California, so our season are-

Mike: So you have one?

Andrew Mangano:… A little bit different. But yeah. So let me introduce myself and let me tell you a little bit about my journey. So I am new to release readiness live, but I’ve been at Salesforce for four years now, and I’m a product manager on the mobile cloud. And my journey there is a little bit interesting. I actually came to Salesforce as a data scientist in our internal data intelligence org. And I just happened to land in mobile and it was really the team that welcomed me, and we were working on some big projects. We were working on lightning and mobile at the time, and I really helped the team and got really deeply integrated into how we build things and how we build products, making sure that we’re doing things in a smart way and looking at our customers and making sure that we’re making data-driven decisions.

And I’ll say before that, I worked as a data scientist for some major companies in California and in New York where I’m originally from, on the East Coast. But I actually started my career in retail. So I was a buyer for a department store when I first started my career just out of college. And it’s been a long journey to get here, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of this community and building products that really make an impact in the world.

Mike: Oh my God. So when you said retail, I was like brother, because I started in retail and then you said buyer, and I was like, oh, I was like the highest up I ever got in retail was a regional manager, but the goal was corporate to be a buyer.

Andrew Mangano: Oh, I was schlepping coats. But that’s not actual my claim to fame. My claim to fame is actually, I was a captain in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade for Santa Claus, for two years in a row.

Mike: What? Of the float?

Andrew Mangano: I was the one and only the one true Santa Claus, the captain of his float, making sure that he was safely delivered on Thanksgiving Day into Harold Square, New York. And somehow really through changing technology and really it’s all about interest in technology and moving forward in that sort of growth mindset that brought me to data science. And when I first started my career, that wasn’t a thing. The term didn’t exist. And really to Salesforce and really where we’re going now and where we’re going in the future, it’s all on this common thread. But as we think about mobile, and platforms, and technology, all we’re really trying to get to is just interacting with people. And just going back to that, the spirit and smiles of Thanksgiving Day and Santa Claus and interacting with your customers in a whole new way. But yeah, that’s been an interesting and fun journey.

Mike: I mean, look, I’ve sold baseball hats, and sweaters, and athletic shoes, so right there with you, coats aren’t that far out. Come on now.

Andrew Mangano: Definitely not. And now we sell features on platforms.

Mike: There’s nothing at the end of the day, if the power goes out, I can’t show you what I’ve done ’cause it doesn’t exist. Anyway, I think that I want to come back to that concept was interacting with each other because we actually kind of just do that through data now, but mobile. So I feel like it comes and goes, mobile, we should always be paying attention to it. But what we’re doing on our phones now, even when the first iPhone came out, I’m still amazed that we made that. Feels like it was like the black obelisk from a Stanley Kubrick movie shows up when the first iPhone and now I can literally get a car to pick me up, get myself on a plane, and fly across an ocean, get another car to pick me up and take me to a hotel and not have to talk to a human.

Andrew Mangano: It’s amazing. It feels like, what did we do before we had smartphones? What did we do before the iPhone? But I’ll tell you something, my perspective, my vision is a little bit less about disconnecting and more about reconnecting. And really as I think about that, I think about what are the things that technology can make better? How can we use mobile device and Salesforce on mobile to make your business interactions more one-to-one more face-to-face? And that’s really the way that I think about things, getting people out in the field, getting people together, and not using a computer as a barrier, but using as an assistant. And we have a lot of examples and a lot of things that we’ve seen our platform being used for that enable just that. That’s really what the power of mobile really is. It’s not about doing things by yourself, for yourself with no interaction.

It’s about being able to get out there and do things more efficiently than you really couldn’t do before. So I always say this, “What’s the competition for the mobile app? The competition is pen and paper.” That’s really what it comes down to, is that people having writing down sticky notes, doing things and then going back to their desk and doing data entry or writing down, what was that thing that I did and remembered and where was I going? All of those things are really what the competition for mobile is. It’s really a way to have your interactions where you are, meet your customers where they are, and enable those experiences in person, instead of behind a mahogany desk. Like the days of come into my office, take a seat and this big mahogany desk with a big computer, “What’s your name?” Click, click, click, click, click, click, click no.

Mike: Right.

Andrew Mangano: Really what we’re about is meeting somebody, shaking their hand, but also having that data and those capabilities available to them so that you can really live, work and be successful in the real world. And not having to go back to the back office.

Mike: Or just the ability to prep before you even go into that face-to-face. You look down at your phone, grab that information that you might have forgot, and then immediately once you leave, be able to capture that. And I think that’s the biggest thing, is you look at the disconnect. I just watched a movie where it was based in the fifties and the salesperson left the meeting and then immediately went to a payphone. By the way those-

Andrew Mangano: There you go.

Mike:… That was a thing. You didn’t have a phone in your pocket, you had to go to a thing and then put money in and then called somebody back at the office said, yeah, “I met with so-and-so and here’s what happened.” Right?

Andrew Mangano: And just trying to get real time or trying to get it updated and now you can-

Mike: Well, that was real time.

Andrew Mangano: That was the best.

Mike: That was be 20 minutes after the meeting. Holy cow.

Andrew Mangano: It was, “Where’s the payphone? Let me run.”

Mike: Right?

Andrew Mangano: Yeah. And now, you know, really you can focus on the things that matter. You don’t have to worry about, “Oh, what was that thing that I need to remember?” “Let me open up my laptop.” Or, “Let me write it down on that sticky.” Or, “Let me write it down on the palm of my hand.” Now you have it in the palm of your hand and you can focus on the things that matter. And that’s really what we’re about. And not to throw this pitch deep into Salesforce features, but this being the admin podcast, I feel like people might be interested in it. We’re so excited. And we worked really hard to make sure that we could bring dynamic forms on mobile. And it was an effort that we’ve been really pushing for because we heard the admins and we know how important it was. And so the feedback has been really stellar to it.

But really that’s what it’s about, is making sure that when you do open up information on your phone that you don’t have 1,000 fields on that record and that you’re working your thumbs out, just scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, but that you can get the information that you need and be done with it, and then move on and then get to the real part of your job, not have to struggle and fight with the scrolling part of your job. That’s really what our main goal is and why we’re so happy to bring this to the community.

Mike: I mean, the scrolling part, even at your desktop is not awesome.

Andrew Mangano: It’s like wheeling. It’s like how fast can I wheel that… Scroll, that mouse wheel? And then I think we all have this on our mobile phones. It’s like how can you do the two thumb technique of going as fast as you can just to get to the thing you need? But hopefully those days are going to be behind us soon, and it’ll be more intelligent and just faster, so you can put your phone away. And then you can get back to it for the things that you need.

Mike: So you mentioned scrolling mobile as an admin, I want my users to use mobile more. And I mean dynamic forms is 100% the gateway to getting in there. In your opinion, what are some of the things I need to start thinking about that maybe I’m not used to thinking about because I’ve paid so much attention to the desktop experience?

Andrew Mangano: Yeah, no, that’s such a great question. And this is a question that I get a lot and I try to flip it on its head a little bit. What some people think is like, oh, all of Salesforce on your phone. And I don’t really think that’s the right way to think of it. I know it’s not the right way to think of it. The right way to think of it is, what are the things that you’re having trouble with today? What are the tasks? What are the jobs? And then how can mobile help? Mobile is not going to replace a full keyboard for entry. If you have a task or a job where you’re going to be entering data via keyboard for 10 minutes straight, that’s not the right use case to replace with mobile. But thinking about those interactions that today you don’t have coverage with.

That’s why I said that pen and paper story before, what are the jobs? What are the employees who have not been digitally enabled? How do you bring them into the fold? And how can you make their jobs better, more data driven? And how do you enable them? And that’s really where I see mobile adoption and engagement really being wildly successful. Those infrequent uses, those are challenging, especially if you don’t use it all that often. And so we have things that we’re working on to make those easier and better, but really, who are those users who haven’t been enabled? What are the parts of the company, the parts of your business that still don’t have that data coverage, still aren’t using Salesforce? And that’s where we think mobile can be the most successful, enabling those users who haven’t and thinking of new ways to engage them.

Mike: No, I get that. And I think too often that first step is, well, how do I get everything in Salesforce on the phone? And it’s exactly like you said, it’s like, no, find that the gap that’s missing, find the thing that they should be doing because maybe not everybody needs mobile yet, right?

Andrew Mangano: Well, and thinking about the problem, sometimes you flip the problem on its head, and it’s not about the tool, but it’s about identifying, what’s really going on here? What’s really the challenge that our employees, our workers are struggling with? And especially in the field, how can access to data, access to intelligence, how can it make them more efficient, more successful? And that’s really where we see a lot of success by focusing on that and saying, “What is the core of our business? What is it that we’re doing? What are we struggling with?” And then realizing that we have, and especially through Salesforce, you have these whole suite of tools that can help you solve those challenges. You have more tools than ever before to enable your workforce to work smarter and more intelligently driven in real time. So that’s really the way that I like to think of it and approach it. It’s not a replacement. It’s bringing that workforce, bringing those users in who haven’t been enabled yet and really making them successful.

Mike: I have to believe that dynamic forms on mobile was not the only thing you talked about in release readiness?

Andrew Mangano: Oh, it definitely wasn’t. It definitely wasn’t. I mean, the biggest thing, at least for us in mobile, is really when the network connection fails. When you’re far out or deep below and you don’t have a good internet connection, is our offline solution. And this is something that we’ve had to re-engineer the logo of Salesforce is a cloud, it is the original cloud software company. And what we heard from a lot of customers and a lot of users is that, “We love Salesforce, we need Salesforce, we rely on Salesforce, but we can’t rely on the internet, so what do we do?” And we spent years rebuilding a fully built out offline solution. And that’s going GA in this release in the Salesforce mobile app and the Salesforce mobile app plus.

Mike: And I think the irony is, we forget how often sometimes that we lose that connectivity because we are in such an always on world. So same kind of question as the dynamic form. I can’t make the whole database available on people’s phones, right?

Andrew Mangano: Well, you can’t.

Mike: And I shouldn’t.

Andrew Mangano: Well, some prime, quite a lot of data. So the reality is, that the scale of data that we’re talking about shouldn’t prime a terabyte of data, but the scale and the quantity that we have is substantial. We’re talking about entire catalogs. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend priming your entire product catalog of hundreds of thousands of SKUs, but we’ve really taken those customer limits from some of the biggest companies in the world into account as we’ve built this solution.

And the other thing I would say is, while we do think of an offline use case and we think about some of those extreme examples, the reality is, is that if you have a workforce that relies on mobile to get the job done, that really they have a very focused task, jobs to be done that they need to accomplish. The offline solution is bulletproof end to end.

It doesn’t matter where you go or what you do, the solution will work every time and reconcile once that job gets done. So yes, while it is sort of our offline, if you wanted to use it while scuba diving, it would definitely work for you. I’m not sure how the phone would work underwater, but I know the Salesforce app would. Really thinking of it as the end to end reliable solution. That’s really the way that we think about it, and the way that we’re positioning it that you can get the job done. It’s built on our LWC tech stack, so it is future ready for the Salesforce platform and is really something that we’re very proud of to bring to our customers. And something that so many have been asking for so many years for a really robust built out solution.

Mike: Yeah, I think you’ve said two things that really stand out to me. One, is the job to be done, which is what is the intended use or where in the process gap can mobile fill, time or productivity space? And then the other thing that you mentioned is desired outcome. And I think the second one is probably the most important, because we always think of, well, why aren’t my users doing X? Well, we’re not even anticipating what the desired outcome is, right? Well, the desired outcome is that they log their call notes. Why aren’t they doing that? Because call notes take a keyboard, but what if, when they leave a meeting, they check this and this box, which gets to a thing you said earlier, we can communicate through data to our coworkers. You know you envision checking a box could trigger a workflow that now gets somebody either in a production line or in a back office active on that account. You’re communicating through that data as opposed to writing 500 words. The desired outcome is that we’ve moved everything along constantly.

Andrew Mangano: Well, and really what you’re saying there, is you’re working together, right? You’re working together in new ways and that you’re engaging a whole team towards accomplishing a task. But you have these new tools that open up new possibilities. And that’s really where the Salesforce admin can be so powerful because as a platform, there are so many tools and we give the ability to engage with all of these different tools. But really the creative solution comes down to what are you trying to solve? How do you use people, how do you work together? And that’s really where the Salesforce platform really shines, is when you can think creatively about solving that problem in a new way. And how do you communicate it to the teams and the people involved? Really, that’s what success looks like. It’s not about building out ultra complex instances or building out the most complex architecture diagram known to humanity, but how do you get people working together in new ways to get the job done? And that’s really where the platform shines.

Mike: So along those lines, I’m going to see if this works, as a product manager at Salesforce, you get communicated with a lot because I heard, we looked at the data and we heard from our admins, especially in release readiness. What are things or features that you look for in the idea exchange as you are trying to prioritize the future roadmap of mobile? Because that’s how our customers communicate with us.

Andrew Mangano: Well, and the idea exchange is outstanding. The Trailblazer community, our live events. And so we hear you. We are in those communities, we read those comments, and we see you and we hear you. And there’s a lot of great ideas that we see there, and we really try to do our best to engage and respond. And I think those are the types of things we look for, where there’s a lot of pain points and we really try to address the pain points. But I think some of the things, just the kind of conversation that we’ve been having, how do we leapfrog some of these issues? And so when we see an opportunity, sometimes there’s a direct answer, this thing’s broken, or I need this, go fix this. But really the way that we try to think about it is how do we build for the future? How do we take this issue, distill it to its root problem, and think about where the platform could be a year, two years from now, so that it opens up even more opportunity while resolving the underlying root issue.

And I have to say, the admin community is so plugged in, so smart, so well-informed. We were in this release readiness live, and someone had a comment about, “Hey, can dynamic forms also do this?” And I think it was about actually, can it render in real time or do something a lot more efficiently? And I read that and I thought, and they asked that question on the broadcast and I said, “That is why this community is so smart. Not only do they know a great idea that would make things a lot better, but they’re totally plugged in with where we should be going.” And so the real answer for that is, yes, we hear the feedback, we heard some of these things, but where we’re going to go is leapfrogging that. And we’re, I don’t know, 20, 25 minutes into this conversation, and neither of us have said generative AI yet.

And the reality is, generative AI is going to transform our work around us, but in very real ways, the quality of the Salesforce platform makes this platform so ripe for future innovations and technology. And that’s what I’m so excited about. What I’m so excited is that we have a community that’s plugged in, that knows where we should be going, and we have the opportunities in front of us to really build something that’s so future looking and has capabilities beyond what we’ve even thought about. So yes, we’re in the community, we read the comments. We read all the comments, thank you. But really where we’re going is trying to think about how do we leapfrog those ideas? How do we distill them down to the problem that we’re trying to solve, and then think about let’s supercharge this and really build something for the future.

Mike: I think you’re on point there with that. So as we wrap up. Let’s do a one sentence fill in the blank.

Andrew Mangano: Let’s go. Let’s do this. I’m ready.

Mike: By the end of this year, Salesforce admins should-

Andrew Mangano:… Enable all their objects on dynamic forms.

Mike: For mobile.

Andrew Mangano: Oh, desktop and mobile, for both.

Mike: Yeah. Okay. I was trying to set forth a big goal.

Andrew Mangano: Well I was going to say, pay attention to that. I mean, we have some big plans. I’ve been working with that team, and they’re great partners to really make sure the platform is in a healthy state, and that is going to be such an investment for the future. And so if that’s the one thing you do this year, it’s going to pay benefits. I’d say there’s going to be two things. The one thing is to enable your objects on dynamic forms. The second thing is to pay attention to our upcoming announcements.

Mike: Forward-looking statement.

Andrew Mangano: Forward-looking statement. Safe harbor.

Mike: I mean, yeah, I think the one thing I learned as an admin with mobile was everybody looks at it as another thing to do, and I looked at as, how can I save somebody 5 or 10 minutes? If they’re walking from the office to their car, or getting on a bus or a train and they can do a few things that they ordinarily would’ve still sat at their desk to do, and they can click those off on mobile, then I’ve bought them time. My goal with mobile is to buy my users time, because that’s time back for them. Right? Time with your kids. Time with your loved ones.

Andrew Mangano: That’s their life back.

Mike: Time.

Andrew Mangano: That’s their life back, it’s a big deal. It’s very important.

Mike: Yep. Andrew, thanks for coming on the podcast and chatting with us.

Andrew Mangano: This was great.

Mike: We try to have fun,

Andrew Mangano: As much fun as you can with the community.

Mike: Well, not on this podcast. That usually happens at the events.

Andrew Mangano: Well, it was great chatting with you. I love engaging with the community, and I hope to see you and everyone else at our next live event.

Mike: That was a great conversation we had with Andrew. Now, of course, if you enjoyed this episode, can you do me a favor and just share it with one person? If you’re listening on iTunes, all you have to do is tap the dots and choose, share episode. Then you can post it on social, you can text it to a friend.

If you’re looking for more great resources, well your one-stop shop for everything, admin is, including full transcript of the show. And be sure to join our conversation in the Admin Trailblazer Group in the Trailblazer community. Don’t worry, the link to all of this is right below in the show notes.

So, until next week, we’ll see you in the cloud.

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