Podcast graphic featuring Jim Ray discussing Slack automation for Salesforce Admins with a cartoon goat holding a phone.

How Can Automating with Slack Transform Your Workflow?


Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Jim Ray, Director of Developer Relations and Advocacy at Slack. Join us as we chat about automating in Slack and what’s coming with Slack AI.

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

Slack is more than just a chat tool

Jim gave a great breakout session at TDX on automating in Slack, so I wanted to bring him on the pod to tell us all about it. “If you’re just using Slack for communication, you’re overpaying for a chat tool,” he says, “there’s a lot more you can do to broaden your usage of Slack.”

Slack integrations have been around for forever, but it used to be that you needed a fair bit of technical knowledge in order to make your own customizations. With the launch of Workflow Builder, however, you can build automations in Slack without having to code or host an app yourself. This unlocks a whole new level for how Slack can improve your business processes and make everything easier.

Build custom automations with Slack Workflow Builder

If you’ve played around with Workflow Builder in the past, you may be familiar with how you can use it to create a new channel or automatically post a formatted message at a certain time each week. But recently, they’ve added the ability to use custom steps from apps and 3rd-party tools, like Salesforce, and now the possibilities are endless.

Jim gives a few examples that help spell out how big this actually is. For example, imagine you have a weekly status report meeting. You can create a scheduled Slack workflow that automatically drops the relevant Salesforce info into a Slack channel so everyone can refer to it. That can save you a bunch of time you’d spend bringing the room up to speed, or even eliminate the meeting entirely.

We get into a ton of other examples, including adding info to the channel’s Canvas document and even using a Slack automation to execute a flow in Salesforce. There’s just a ton of great use cases here when you’re able to bring your Salesforce data directly into Slack and vice versa.

Summarize and search with Slack AI

Lastly, we talked about Slack AI and that’s where things get really interesting. It gives you the ability to search Slack with natural language queries, and summarize or format the results.

Jim gives the example of when he returned to work after some time off for paternity leave. He had a first meeting with a new skip-level manager and needed to do some prep. So he asked Slack AI, “what does this person think about the Slack platform?” It not only found everything they ever posted on the subject and summarized the results, but it also gave him footnotes with links to the actual comments so he could do more digging.

AI does even better with structured data, and that’s where Workflow Builder comes back into the picture. The automations you build create exactly the kind of data that Slack AI loves. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities for how you can share information across your organization without the need to put everyone on Salesforce.

Jim shares a bunch more use cases and tips for how to get started building automations in Slack, so be sure to take a listen. And don’t forget to subscribe for more from the Salesforce Admins Podcast.

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Full show transcript

Okay, this week on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we are going to have a lot of fun because we are talking about Slack automations with the director of developer relations and advocacy, Jim Ray of Slack. Now, you’re probably a Salesforce Admin, you’re like, “Oh, but we don’t use Slack. I’m not going to listen to this.” No! This is a fun episode and it’s going to give you a ton of ideas for, hey, maybe we should think about using Slack. I’m not here to sell you anything. I don’t get any commissions.

I just love when I can give you ideas and creative answers to challenges that you’re facing. And Jim talks us through a whole bunch of fun stuff that you can do in Slack and gave me a ton of ideas. We talked about canvases. I don’t know if you use canvases, but it’s a ton of fun. Now, before we get into that, I want to tell you about, hey, what we got coming up in April, because this is last episode of March. I have architect evangelist Tom Leddy coming on to talk about decisioning. I reconnected with Lizz Hellinga at TrailblazerDX.

Remember, she was on a previous episode talking about the importance of clean data and why that’s important for AI. She’s coming back. I’m working on getting Skip Sauls with the Data Cloud update, so Data Cloud. And then I’m going to introduce a new episode at the end of April where I’m bringing my co-worker, Josh Burke, on, and he’s going to do a deep dive episode with a product manager. We’re working on getting somebody really cool to help you change the way you do some of your thinking.

That’s all I’m going to tease out for right now. But of course, if you’re not already subscribed to the podcast, make sure you’re doing that, make sure you’re following it. It’s a different word on every podcast platform. But if you do that, new episodes automatically get downloaded to your phone. That way when you wake up in the morning, you put the leash on the dog, you go out, boom! You press play, podcast is going, and you can get some great information. You don’t have to think about it, or maybe you’re riding the bus to work or bicycling.
It’s starting to become summer now. So anyway, that’s a whole long way. This is fun. You’re going to enjoy this podcast. Let’s get Jim on the pod. So Jim, welcome to the podcast.

Jim Ray:
Thanks so much. It’s great to be here, Mike.

I always have fun talking Slack. I feel like the last time we talked Slack was with Amber Boaz and she was telling us how to replace meetings with Slack. And then you did a presentation in the admin track at TDX about automating in Slack, and I just feel like that’s the next level for people that use Slack is getting it to do stuff automagically. So that’s what I’d love to talk about, but let’s start with how did Jim get all the way to Slack?

Jim Ray:
That’s a great question. I’m also glad you mentioned Amber Boaz. I had the opportunity to meet her at TDX.

Oh, she’s wonderful.

Jim Ray:
She’s from my neck of the woods, so I’m going to try to drive down to Durham in a month or so and hang out with the user group that she’s got.

That’s pretty country down there too.

Jim Ray:
It is. It’s nice. I went to school down there too, so it’s pretty great. So if we’re talking background here, my background is actually in journalism. I have a journalism degree from the University of North Carolina. That’s what I did.

So it’s obvious that you would work in tech.

Jim Ray:
Obvious that I would be working in developer relations at Slack. It’s maybe not as much of a leap as people might think. I was always kind of the techie guy that was looking for… My degree is in this multimedia storytelling. This was the late ’90s. We were trying to figure out how to do interesting new ways of telling stories on the web, and that’s what I was into. So I always had a tech mindset inside of the newsrooms that I worked in. And then when I switched over to tech, I still brought that media background with me.

And interestingly enough, DevRel has merged those two things. It wasn’t something that I’d set out to do, but I was really interested in what was going on at Slack. I started working at Slack in the middle of 2016, so just as the company was really rocketing off. It was a really incredible first year. The user growth was happening a lot. The company itself was growing tremendously. It was a different place every year for the first couple of years that I was there. And so I’ve been working on the DevRel side for most of that time.

And then recently, about a year and a half ago, I took over our developer advocacy team. And so on developer advocacy in Slack, what we do is we work primarily with our customers who are building on the Slack platform. The platform is multifaceted in some ways. We have our Slack App Directory where you go and you install apps that are built by our partners, or they’re built by companies that are building their business on top of Slack.

But the bulk of the work that happens on the platform is custom apps and integrations that are built by our customers to solve their own needs. We’re always looking for ways to engage with that audience and help them understand how to do automation in Slack.

I mean, I think too often people just look at Slack as like, oh, it’s just another communication tool. But just as we were chatting before we even got started, the number of features that it has and the way you can configure things to, lack of a better term, almost communicate back with you and make life easier, which is what the point of automation.

I remember the first time I built an automation, which I believe was just for a simple Slack group where it was like, I really want questions in the Slack group formatted in a certain way, and so I just stuck up that form and they just auto created that post. But the cool thing was somebody on my team pointed out, you know it could also put all of that text into a Google Doc so that you have this running FAQ?

I was done at that point. I was like, oh God, no idea, right? Because for so long, you mentioned you started in 2016, but you got a degree in multimedia storytelling, who would’ve thought like, VHS, what are we going to do? DVD now for a certain period. Now, so many of these communication apps are not just like remember the days of MSN Messenger. It’s not just text back and forth. It’s actually managing of information and context.

Jim Ray:
I think that’s such a good point, and I really love your example of formatting your questions. I think one of the things, and this is something that I learned from working more closely with my friends on the sales side of the house, is that if you’re just using Slack for communication, you’re overpaying for a chat tool, as they like to say. And there’s a lot more that you can do to broaden your usage of Slack, and we’re increasingly trying to be a surface area for getting work done. Obviously, Slack doesn’t have any desire to be the only place where you come and do your work.
It would pretty well constrain the work that I think people could do. But it’s definitely a place, particularly those quick interactions, and that’s where some of the automation comes in. But things like approvals, things like questions, even quick bug reports where you’re already interacting with your colleagues, automation allows you to bring in your other tools, and that’s where the power of that lies. And the platform has really expanded a lot in the early days. Slack came with some built-in integration.

So if you wanted to do things like get an alert whenever somebody uploaded a file to Dropbox, then we had that automatically configured. But if you wanted to do something outside of the bounds of that automatic configuration, then that wasn’t really possible. Then we launched the API and along with that we launched the app directory. And so we were approaching it from a couple of different ways. You could build custom integrations, or you could install apps and integrations that other people had built from the directory.

And then that’s where we saw that usage explode, where people were really building custom use cases. The problem was for those early days of the API was that it really did require a fair bit of technical knowledge. You had to know how to program against our APIs, which means you had to know how APIs work. You also had to host the app yourself. And so in those early days of the APIs, you had to build out an application. And it worked very similarly to how you might build a Twitter app or something like that, but you were responsible for hosting that.

And then we built a lot of tooling around that to help improve that. We built some frameworks to make it easier to build with some of our most popular programming languages. And then we acquired a company called Missions, and this is where Workflow Builder really… Where its origins lie. We acquired this company called Missions, and the team that built Missions, they were a team that was actually inside of a consulting company called Robots & Pencils, and they were like, “We’ve got this idea for our product that can interact with Slack.”

That’s a great name.

Jim Ray:
It’s a cool name, right? And so the Missions app was all about making it easier to build automations without having to write any code. So we acquired that team, fantastic team, really love working with them. A number of them are still at Slack, thankfully, and they’re doing fantastic work. And that became the first version of Workflow Builder, and Workflow Builder was our no code automation product. And that was a way to use the platform without having to know how to program, without having to host an app. And so that was the first big expansion beyond just writing applications.

Jumping ahead to your TDX presentation, because we talked about automation, because the example I gave was just literally Slack just automating within itself, what were some of the examples you gave in that breakout presentation?

Jim Ray:
The evolution of Workflow Builder also mirrors the increased complexity of things that you can build. The initial version of Workflow Builder allows you to do exactly what you were just talking about, allows you to automate work within Slack. So if you wanted to do something like create a new channel or post a message that was formatted in a certain way, then you could do that with Workflow Builder.

The second version of Workflow Builder that we released, and this is the current contemporary version, allowed hooks into other applications. And so apps could build custom steps that could then be inserted into workflows. And so you could install an app, and then that app would bring custom steps along with it. And what we’ve done now is continue to expand on that surface area.

So now anyone can write a custom step and you can actually deploy that up to Slack and we’ll run that custom step inside of Workflow Builder. We’ve also built out a number of what we call connectors. These are connections to other third-party tools. So Salesforce is a great example. So if you want to create a new record in Salesforce, then we have that connector built in.

And what’s nice about the way that we’ve built it is we handle things like authentication. We handle all of the API communications so that you don’t have to worry about that, and then all you have to do is off with your credentials. And then when you run the workflow, then it will just essentially act on your behalf. And so we’ve got about 70 of these connectors into a whole bunch of apps.

So Salesforce is obviously one. The Google suite, so if you need to create a new Google Doc or if you need to insert a row into a spreadsheet, if you want to upload files into various file providers. So we’ve got a number of steps that do things like that. And then one of the Salesforce steps that we’ve also got is to kick off a flow.

So if your organization is dependent or you’ve built out a lot of custom flows or things like that, then you can insert a step into Workflow Builder and then we’ll kick off that flow. So it’ll actually execute a more complex workflow instead of just creating a new record or updating a record or something like that.

I think the really cool automation stuff, at least cool to me, was giving Salesforce admins the ability to, lack of a better term, expand the footprint of Salesforce within an organization, but without having to add per se more platform licenses. And we did an example where like a warehouse manager really deals with the data, but a lot of people also needed to just know about things. And with automation, they could follow records and channels and get updates, but they never needed to update any of the physical data on the Salesforce record.

Jim Ray:
That’s such a good example, and it’s something that we see from our sales and customer success friends all the time as well is… So at Slack, the way that our channels are organized is that every account that we’re attached to gets its own channel. They all have their own prefix and stuff like that. So it might be Account-Salesforce and Account-Acme. And then you can actually build automations that will do things like one of the ways that you can trigger your automation is you can have your automation set to go at a certain time once a week.

So maybe you’ve got a Monday morning meeting and you want to get the entire sales team around that, but you want to pull some data from Salesforce. So you can go grab some information from Salesforce. You want to get the latest updated figures that have come in over the past week, and then you can just drop that information into channel, and then now everybody’s got the context. And so you’re not just blindly talking about, “Hey, what’s going on with the customer this week,” you actually have some information, and then you can start a conversation around that.
It’s actually a great way that teams have eliminated those regular meetings that we have so that everybody stays in sync. There’s often good reasons why we have them, but maybe not good reasons why we keep them, especially now that everybody’s working in a more distributed way these days. This works across all kinds of teams, not just sales team, but you might have a marketing team and maybe you want to pull some data from Google Analytics or any of your social analytics platforms or anything like that.

You can drop that information in there and then the team can have a conversation around that. Maybe you notice something’s right, or maybe everything’s great and then you just don’t need to have a meeting. It’s just like, “Looking good and all systems go,” and then you’ve just saved your entire team half an hour. Translate that over a quarter or a year, and that’s some actual real-time savings.

Am I understanding you right by also saying it could pull from reports or dashboards in Salesforce?

Jim Ray:
Absolutely. Because everyone’s Salesforce instance is special, we operate on the record level, and so we’d be able to look at how those records are set up. And one thing that we’re interested in getting a little bit closer to is things like Tableau and MuleSoft where there might be some complex records that run in the background, and then how do we pull that information into Slack? So we haven’t quite fully figured out that level of automation yet, but it’s absolutely something that folks on both sides are working on.

On top of it just being cool, the part that really appeals to me is the lack of having the context switch. So this concept came to me, oh, I want to say four or five years ago when we were trying to work through a ticketing system for what my team does. We really tried to narrow down, what is the hardest part of your job? Well, the hardest part of your job is regardless of where your mind is at at say 12:30, you have to join this meeting. And for me, oftentimes I’ll sit down at my desk, I don’t know what the priority is that morning.

I could get working on something. And then to your point, oh, it’s 10:00. I got to join this team meeting. Boy, if I didn’t have to and I could just stay in my mindset and do another 45 minutes, I could finish this project. But now I have to context switch. Join this meeting, look at 20 people on a call, waste an hour, and then spend another 20 minutes getting my brain back to where it was. I could have been done with this project and maybe my update was five minutes.

And I bring that up because I think like, wow, just the ability to, hey, we’re still going to have that Monday team call at 10 AM, except it’s going to be a scheduled Slack post. And then I just expect you, the directs, to respond to as needed throughout the day. Because if you’re a sales guy, you probably have a 10 AM with a customer, and that’s bringing money in as opposed to, well, my update was only five minutes anyway, I’m going to add this update at 11:05 after I’m done with my customer call.

I’m not going to prevent anybody. I bring that up because I think the value of not having to context switch by just putting in simple automation is so important when you think of it’s not just automating and putting a dashboard in a Slack channel.

Jim Ray:
I think it’s a hugely important point, and I think it really emphasizes how we work today. So the instance that you were just talking about about the meeting interrupting your day, so if you can eliminate that standing meeting, obviously we’re not going to eliminate all of our meetings, I still have one-on-ones with all my reports and all that, but eliminate those kinds of meetings where the sharing of information is important, but having to sit together in a room is less important. So that’s one great way that we can eliminate context switching.

I think it’s really important. One another way is to eliminate what I think of as alt tabbing. So every time you alt tab between applications, that actually… Even if you are actually working on the same project, we know, and I’ve studied this a little bit because it has to do with the customers that I work with and the kinds of applications that they’re interested in building, but every time you alt tab between apps, it actually does a little mini version of that context switch.

It’s almost like going into a new meeting, especially if you haven’t offed in, or you can’t remember where you’re supposed to go, or you have to pull some information from one system of record and put it into another. So those are the kinds of things that we know are real drains on people’s productivity and actually their ability to get into that meaningful deep work state, that flow state that we know is really important for knowledge work. I mean, we’re all really lucky we get to sit in front of computers all day for the most part.

I’m not worried about getting black lung or anything like that, but the work actually does have a drain on our brains, the thing that we’re using to do the work. And we know that by eliminating some of that context switching, we can actually help people get back and do some important work. There’s some really great examples about how bringing some of that automation, and again, not bringing all of your work, but bringing some of that automation into Slack can be really helpful.

So a couple of ways that we’ve been using it for a long time is, again, at Slack, we will set up channels for specific projects or features that we’re working on. So we’re working on a new feature, and that feature gets its own channel. And the team that’s working on that feature will start working on it. And then when we release it internally, we create a feedback channel. And the feedback channel is where everybody who is starting to use that new feature, they’ll come and they’ll offer up obviously their feedback or give bug reports or maybe just things that they think could be tweaked.
And so oftentimes we’ll set up a workflow, and we’ve got some examples of it that teams across the organization can use, we’ll set that workflow up in that channel. And then what it’ll do is it’ll post a message in the channel and we can have some conversation about that feedback. And then you can take that conversation and you can submit a bug report. So if somebody says, “Hey, this doesn’t look right,” then it doesn’t automatically submit the bug report, but then the PM or the engineer or the designer can come in and say, “Oh, you know what? I can reproduce that. Let me file a bug.”

And then what they can do is they can kick off another workflow that will log that entire conversation in JIRA and create the new bug. And then once the bug has been created in JIRA, attach the URL for the bug into the thread. So then you’ve got the context in both directions. So the person who submitted the bug, they don’t have to go through and figure out how JIRA works or whatever. The PM or the engineer, they don’t have to context switch out to another application.

And then if you want to come back and get some context about it, maybe I reported this a week ago and I want to see what the update is, I can go back to that original conversation. I can search for my name or whatever, and then I can click on the link and go in JIRA. And then JIRA remains the system of record. We’re not trying to replicate all of JIRA. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but JIRA remains the system of record, but the actual filing of that bug report didn’t require switching between lots of different systems.

That’s along the lines with the automation that I saw where Salesforce remains a system of record. Slack just hosts the conversation, right?

Jim Ray:
Yeah, exactly.

Back and forth and keeping people up to date. And also it reduces training, right? If I’ve got somebody like I think the example we used was a retail manager, if all the retail manager knows Slack, they don’t need to know the back ends of everything. That’s the best part about the apps and stuff.
I was singing the praises of canvases before we started this call because I’ve started to use canvases a little bit more. I’d love for you to help me understand what are some examples that admins could use of automating with canvases or creating canvases as a result of automation? Is that even possible?

Jim Ray:
Totally, and it’s a great question. So if listeners aren’t familiar, canvases are kind of our document project or product inside of Slack. It’s built into every Slack. You can create as many canvases as you want to. And think of a canvas just as kind of a lightweight doc. If you remember Dropbox Paper from back in the day, it works very similarly. It’s not all the formatting that you get from something like Microsoft Word or Google Doc or something like that, but it’s just enough formatting so that you can lay things out in a pretty consistent way.

And the nice thing about canvases is they can exist anywhere inside of Slack and you can attach them in different places. So you can create a canvas that is attached permanently to a channel. If you want to provide some context, maybe again, it’s one of those feedback channels, so you want to provide some information about how a person gives feedback, what to expect, is there an SLA, things like that, you can write all of that up inside of a canvas. And the cool thing is canvases can be automated.

They can be automated with workflows. So one of the options for steps that you have inside of Workflow Builder is to create a new canvas. But the other thing that you can do is you can insert variables inside of canvases, and then the information that you collect from a previous step in a workflow can be inserted into that canvas where those variables are. We nerds, we call that variable interpolation. So basically you create a canvas that acts as a template.

So maybe you want to create across your organization, you want to say, every time we spin up a new feature, we’re also going to spin up a corresponding feedback channel. And every one of those feedback channels should have a canvas attached to it that provides some information about the channel. Maybe it’s going to be who is the DRI for this feature? Maybe it’s a PM or maybe it’s an engineering lead and that person is the DRI for this. And so you should expect to hear feedback from them.

And then maybe we also want to point you to a workflow that says, hey, this is the workflow to use if you want to give us information or if you want to give us feedback about this. And so you can create that workflow and then you can attach the workflow into canvas and we’ll create a nice little widget for you. And then we’ll put all of the information about the person, about the people who are responsible for that feedback channel into the canvas as well.

And so you can create a setup feedback channel workflow, and maybe you gather some information, maybe you say, “Who’s the DRI for this? Point me to the tech spec,” and then any further information. Well, you can fill all that in in your workflow and then we’ll automatically create a new canvas from that template, fill that information in, and attach it directly to the channel that gets created. And the workflow can also create the channel too.

I don’t want to get into different channels because right now I feel I need a workflow to manage my channels, but that’s probably… I mean, well, let me ask about that. That’s probably where the AI is going to go, right? So I see AI now in Slack in the search, but I got to envision that it’s going to start heading into channels and other things, right?

Jim Ray:
Absolutely. And that’s kind of where we’re starting to think about some of this. And so back in February, I think it was actually Valentine’s Day, we dropped a little Valentine’s Day gift for everybody, which was Slack AI. The initial version of Slack AI was really all about improving your ability to search and find and summarize. And so now if you have the Slack AI, and it is an additional product because it’s pretty expensive computationally and just in terms of resources to run.

So if you have Slack AI enabled on your workspace, then search will be able to do things like take natural language queries. I was on paternity leave for about half of last year, and I came back and we still had a pre-release version of Slack AI running on our instance. And it was really great for me because I could do things like… I had a new skip level manager. And so I was like, what does this person think about the Slack platform? And it was just a very open-ended query.

I was testing to see how the system worked, but it was also some information that I really needed to do my job. And it came back, and not only did it come back with a standard search result that we give you now with just here are some bits, but it uses the generative AI piece to say it actually found all of the relevant posts, composed a response for me as if a human had written it, but then it also has footnotes to the relevant posts. And so I was just like, oh, what is this person? That’s fantastic.

So I was ready for my one-on-one with them coming up. And then you can also do things like summarize. So if I wanted to be able to summarize a channel, again, that was super helpful for me coming back from a pretty extended leave, I was able to summarize some of the channels that maybe they were new or maybe it was the kinds of things that I keep an eye on, but I hadn’t been there in a few months. So I was able to get those summaries. And so right now, Slack AI works on all of the data that gets put into your Slack instance.

Most of that data is unstructured data, and so it’s conversations that you’re having. We know that generative AI, large language models are really good with that kind of unstructured data. But we also know that search and AI and just computers in general do really, really well when we give them a little bit of structured data. And that’s where automations in the platform come back in. And that’s where we’re really going to be able to enhance some of these AI capabilities.

So if you are adding context to all of these unstructured conversations with information back to your systems of record, that’s the kind of thing that the AI is going to be able to ingest and get more information about. So if you need to know, hey, what’s the latest with this customer, then we’ll be able to grab that information. It will be inside of Slack. And then you can imagine, we’re working on some ideas about this, we don’t have any products or anything like that, but a whole bunch of…

Even our customers are building custom versions of this where they’re using these large language models, they’re accessing their various systems of record, and then they’re pushing it all into Slack. So you might ask a custom AI bot that you build or someone else builds for you some information and then it goes out and spiders the various systems of record and then brings back a comprehensive result.

I will tell you that we use the summarize this. I tried it on a few Slack channels, and then I put the summaries into a canvas as a way to summarize a big channel internally for my team. It was interesting to see how it came back. It’s also fun because it talked about me in the third person, and I just let it continue doing that because it’s an ongoing Seinfeld joke.

But last question for you. I mean, I got a million. We could go for hours, I think. If a Salesforce admin has… Obviously they’ve got Salesforce. They probably have Slack, that’s why they’re still listening. What is some automation that they should think about to get started with?

Jim Ray:
I think the easiest thing would probably be the ability to create or update a record. And this is for the low friction entry points. So obviously we’re not trying to be the only interface to Salesforce, but Slack has a great mobile client. I know Salesforce does as well. But maybe you’re out on the field and you just want to make it easy for folks that are out in the field to quickly update or create a new record and have that send the information. And you still want Salesforce to continue to be the system of record.

So an example, and this is an example that I showed during one of my demonstrations, I’d built out a Salesforce instance and I’d put a bunch of data in from a real estate management company. It’s just one of the data back-ends that we have with a lot of sample data in it. And the idea was that you might be out on the road and you might want to quickly add a new property that you had gone to see or inspect or something like that. And so you could pull that up in Slack. You could pull that up.

The form is automatically formatted using our what we call Block Kit, which is really just our UI Kit, and you can create all of the fields that you need. So maybe there’s half a dozen fields that you need just to get started on a new property. And then maybe when you get back to the office, you’re going to fill it in. But maybe you’re out there, you snap a quick pic and you want to add the address and a couple of quick information about it. That’s something that you can do very quickly inside of Slack, quickly generate that, throw it in there, but then also have it update the rest of your team.
So it’s not just storing the information in your system of record, but you’re also posting that inside of a channel. So now your team knows like, “Oh, okay, Jim was out in the field. He added this quick record in here.” And then maybe somebody else who’s already in the office, they can add some more contextual information about it, or it can kick off a chat and people can start conversing about what we want to do with that and where to go from there.

So anytime that you have an instance where you want to keep the system of record, Salesforce in this case, you want to keep that updated, up to date, add new information, but then you also want to have a place where people are discussing that, and that could be a Slack channel, those two things are happening simultaneously, well, that’s a great use case for a workflow.

I would agree. You mentioned my favorite thing, which is Block Kit Builder. So I’m going to put you on the spot. Promise me you’ll come back on and we’ll do an episode on Block Kit Builder.

Jim Ray:
I would love to. Block Kit Builder is fantastic.

Oh my God, I have so much fun with Block Kit Builder. You have no idea.

Jim Ray:

I have a million questions too.

Jim Ray:

When you said that, I lit up and thought, oh, I have to do a whole episode on Block Kit Builder.

Jim Ray:
Well, schedule me up. I’d love to talk about it.

l will. Thanks so much for coming on the pod, Jim. This was great. I’ve always been excited for Slack and just the cool stuff we can do, especially when it doesn’t require code. The Block Kit Builder episode is going to be fun because it’s both code and not code.

Jim Ray:

So we’ll tease that out.

Jim Ray:
Thanks so much, Mike. I really appreciate it. It was great getting to talk to the audience.

Am I right? How much fun is automations with Slack? Also, I might’ve gotten a little too giddy about Block Kit Builder, and I promise you that I’m already working on my schedule to get Jim back to talk about Block Kit Builder for Slack. But he gave me a ton of ideas for automations, including creating canvases and just the management of information. This was such a fun episode. I hope you enjoyed listening to it. And if you did, can you do me a favor?

Maybe you’re heading to a community user group with other Salesforce admins, or you’re going to dinner, or you’ve got a large social following, just click the dots there in the podcast app and choose share episode. And when you do, you can text it to a friend or you can post the social. And then that way you help spread the word and spread all this really cool stuff that we’re learning how to do without code.

Now, if you’re looking for more great resources, of course, everything that you need is at admin.salesforce.com, including the transcript of the show. And of course, you can join the conversation in the Trailblazer Community. There’s a lot of great questions being asked there. A lot of admins helping other admins with stuff. And that’s in the Trailblazer Community, in the Admin Trailblazer Group.

So I’ll include all the links to those in the show notes, which is on admin.salesforce.com. And until then, I’ll see you in the cloud.

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