Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’re talking with Niket Trivedi, the Product Manager for Salesforce Optimizer at Salesforce. We find out what’s new for Salesforce Optimizer in Summer 20, and it turns out there’s a lot going on.
Join us as we talk about what went into converting a PDF report into an app, how you can use Optimizer to get on the same page with leadership, and what the future looks like.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Niket Trivedi.
From a PDF to an app in Summer 20.
Some admins out there might remember their first introduction to Optimizer as report that got put into their docs and emailed to them. We’ve come a long way since then, and the Summer 20 release is set to change the game. “We are relaunching Optimizer as a Lightning app,” Niket says, “I’m looking forward to all the great feedback we’ll get from admins and the value they can get out of these recommendations that were previously in a PDF report and now are in a brand-new dashboard interactive format.”
“We don’t want to read a 100-page document to get to something that we want to act on,” Niket says, “we wanted to give something to admins where they’re spending less time scrolling through the report and more time fixing things in the org.” The Lightning app brings all of Optimizer’s recommendations out of the PDF and into the core where you can work with it, letting you jump to the relevant page straight from the app. “Your transition from the Optimizer app to the rest of your org is very seamless,” Niket says, “you’re not spending time doing an offline analysis and going back and forth.”
How Optimizer helps you set your goals.
Optimizer has almost fifty different recommendations. In other words, there’s almost certainly more than a few things you can work on. “What we’ve done is prioritize that list in the order of where you need the most attention,” Viket says, “the list, when the dashboard loads for the first time, is pre-sorted by how many immediate actions are needed for each of those items.” Their goal is to make it easier for you to attack Optimizer’s recommendations and whip your org into shape.
At the minimum, Viket recommends running Optimizer at least once every release, “but I don’t’ think I’ve seen any admin just doing the minimum,” he says. Instead, he recommends that you run the app every time you release something new. Any new development you do can create new issues, which is exactly what Optimizer is here to help you iron out. It doesn’t cost you anything to run, so you can even consider running it every two weeks or once a month.
Using Optimizer to win over stakeholders.
Sharing is caring, and Optimizer reports are best shared with anyone who needs to make a decision that affects your org. Viket recommends using the app to set your priorities and pointing to the report to explain why. “Sharing the data with those team members may be helpful so that they understand what you are busy with and how you are adding value and making your end-user experience as efficient and productive as possible,” Niket says.
Optimizer is especially useful in the common scenario where you’re coming into an already-existing org. “In a lot of the cases, admins have no one to tell them why certain things are the way they are, and they are so scared to make a change because they don’t know if something is going to break,” Niket says. “This is the tool, it’s like a Swiss Army knife,” he says, “it does hundreds of things for you and helps you uncover and discover those things.”
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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. I’m Mike Gerholdt and joining me today is Niket Trivedi, TM for Salesforce Optimizer, to talk about what’s new in Salesforce Optimizer, and there’s a lot in summer ’20. So Niket, welcome to the podcast.
Niket Trivedi: Thanks, Mike, and thanks for having me.
Mike Gerholdt: Niket, I think you’ve also now been on Release Readiness live and you’re on the podcast, so there must be a lot going on with Salesforce Optimizer. But before we get to that, let’s talk about your journey to Salesforce. How did you come to Salesforce and what are some of the things that you’ve worked on since you’ve been here?
Niket Trivedi: Thanks, Mike, for the introduction and I would like to give a little bit of background. So Salesforce has been in my career path since the last almost close to two years. I have been in product management roles for most of my career. I started my career as an engineer, but quickly pivoted into product management. I’ve been in mostly consumer type of products like e-commerce and worked for a couple of startups, but I realized that enterprise product is something which I really want to get my hands on. And that’s what really attracted me to Salesforce. Salesforce is one of the best companies in the enterprise SIP space. It’s growing fast, and it’s great culture. And that’s what really brought me to Salesforce.
And since I’ve joined Salesforce, I have actually worked on a lot of areas which are product adoption related things that we help people adopt products the right way, help them optimize it. And one of the big areas is Salesforce Optimizer. So Salesforce optimizer is a product that I’ve owned for almost two years now, and we have done some amazing stuff that we’ll talk about. But yes, that’s what I’ve been doing. There a lot of other adoption areas, which are probably related to Optimizer, but yes, I would like to keep focused on Optimizer for now.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, so would I. We were talking before I press record about how for, I don’t know, eight, 10 years now I’ve wanted everything that’s in Optimizer that I’m seeing now in summer ’20. But I think probably the first introduction that admins got to Optimizer was as a report that got put into their docs and I think emailed to them. And that’s the first version that we saw. Am I correct? You’re you’re shaking your head yes.
Niket Trivedi: That’s absolutely correct. Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: And that was pretty helpful. I mean, I enjoyed printing things off and sharing them with my executives and talking through things, but it wasn’t as actionable, I think, as what we’re going to see now in summer ’20. So let me tee you up for what is the great summer ’20 Salesforce Optimizer release?
Niket Trivedi: Yes. So Summer ’20 Optimizer release is all about making optimized recommendations even more reachable and actionable, as you said, to our customers, to our admins. And what we are doing is we are launching, in a sense, Optimizer as a Lightning app, which is awesome. I think it’s a big, big deal. I feel very happy and proud of what the team has done to bring it to the point where we are right now. But at the same time, I’m really looking forward to all the great feedback that we’ll get from admins and the value they can get out of these recommendations that were previously in a PDF report and now you can consume it in a brand new interactive dashboard format, like a Lightning app.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. And we saw part of that in the admin keynote at Dreamforce this last year. And I remember thinking to myself, holy cow, when we walked through that demo, it was so incredibly useful. You have list views now of everything and you can sort and resort, and you’re not scrolling through a PDF. Bring me on that journey. What did your team think through when they’re looking at how do we take this page and essentially make it actionable?
Niket Trivedi: Those are exactly the challenges that you described are very obvious. If you think about any offline report that you’re reading, I mean, it may have great information, but in this day and age where we are all so hooked up to screens and we want to be more and more efficient, we want the exact action that we need for the next five minutes, or we don’t want to read a hundred page document to get to something that we want to act on. And that was the impetus for Optimizer Lightning app. We wanted to give something to admins where they are spending less time scrolling through the report and more time fixing things in the org.
So as we designed this, we kept that in mind and making sure that all those challenges that admins might face going through the PDF report are solid, and they can do a lot more with all the things that they can do with the Lightning app, being it in core. Your data is in the core and what not. And we can talk more about it, but I think this is just the beginning for what they can do with this.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, I think you’re teasing it out. So tell me more. I remember what Optimizer was as a PDF, but now as an app, what am I going to see? What are some of the things that I can begin to report on or look at in this app?
Niket Trivedi: Yeah. So in this first version, what we have tried to make sure that we bring the value of all the recommendations that were existing in the PDF report. So we had about 50 plus different recommendations that come out of the PDF report. So we wanted to make sure that we get as close to those recommendations and not lose the value of those. That was the focus in this release and bring it as close to at par with the PDF so that admins can start trying the Lightning app and rely less on the PDF report, but also focus on bringing all the great resources, like you have any help content, for example, if you have any resources, if you have access to any accelerator programs. All of that was made available right in the same page for the recommendation that you’re viewing.
So making sure your experience is very efficient and making sure you get everything in a single view. And if you want to fix something, if you want to go to a setup page for a recommendation, you just click a link in the app. You’re taken to the org for that particular setup. You come back, and your transition from the Optimizer app to the rest of your org is very seamless, and you’re not spending time doing an offline analysis, then coming back to your org and back and forth. So we try to minimize that friction, if you will, and bring the power of the data in admins hand.
Mike Gerholdt: Wow. So it’s a lot more intuitive is what I hear. When I read the recommendation, I click the link, I’m taken to that part of setup, right?
Niket Trivedi: Correct.
Mike Gerholdt: Where I can actually take action on it and then go right back into Optimizer, as opposed to reading the PDF and then having to figure out where to configure that in the org.
Niket Trivedi: That’s very true.
Mike Gerholdt: So what are some things that as an admin the first time I jumped into Optimizer I should maybe prioritize looking at if I didn’t run the PDF before?
Niket Trivedi: That’s a good question. So as I said, Optimizer has close to 50 different recommendations. And depending on your org, you may or may not have issues in all areas, but you definitely have something that you want to act on. And what we have done is prioritize that list in the order of where you need the most attention. So that list, then the dashboard loads first time after the first scan is over, it is presorted by how immediate actions are needed for each of those items. So that top of the list will show you everything where it requires your immediate attention, and then there are items that are less attention, and then there are items that just require a review, and then there’s a whole set of things that maybe working excellently fine in your org and you don’t need to change anything.
So we have tried to made it easy so that you’re, again, not scrolling through a list on a dashboard and just start handling the items from the list from top to down.
Mike Gerholdt: So this really helps me prioritize where to put my attention in my org, in addition to rolling out new functionality is what I hear.
Niket Trivedi: Yeah. That’s correct. I think, again, it depends how often you have run Optimizer in the past. And if you have not, like when you run it for the first time, you might be discovering things that you have not realized probably have been lurking in your org and you have those options now to go and investigate them further, at least we have brought it to your attention. And of course, it’s easy for you. The first step is done. Now you can take the next few steps to go and find it and fix it.
Mike Gerholdt: I think that brings up a good question. So how often should I look at Optimizer based on what I’m working on? Do I run this every day? Do I look it at once a month?
Niket Trivedi: It really depends on your needs. At a very minimum, if you have an org that you’re not doing a lot on, I would recommend running it at least once every major release. That’s the minimum I would say, but I don’t think I’ve seen any admin just doing the minimum. I think every org is pretty busy when people have a busy org with scaling issues and things they are building as applications over time. I think the other set of recommendation is every time you release something new, like a new application or making any major changes, you definitely should run Optimizer and see if there are new issues that will pop up as part of this new application development that you have done. So yes, as often as you need. At a minimum, run it with every major release, with every new application development.
Run it in Sandbox if you feel you are doing some development in Sandbox and like to bring it back to your production org. I would say a good idea would be to run it at least once every two weeks or once a month. It doesn’t cost you anything. It’s a click of a button. It’s very simple. So I would say those are my recommendations for how often.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, I like that. You can set yourself a calendar reminder.
Niket Trivedi: Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: Grab lunch. Run Optimizer. Scroll through your results. It’s like getting a monthly report card.
Niket Trivedi: Exactly. Your TPS report.
Mike Gerholdt: Touche. Good job with that one. Speaking of TPS reports, who should we share the Optimizer reports with? As an admin, I’ve run this. I’ve looked at it. What should my next steps be?
Niket Trivedi: So again, every org is different. The structure of how people reporting to each other is different, so I’m not going to make a specific recommendation, but I’m going to speak broadly. Whosoever cares to look at the results and are trying to make a decision based on the results. So for example, let’s say you have a really active and growing org and you have file storage limits that are getting consumed like anything, and you need to go for bigger limits. Now, bigger limits might require you to go to Salesforce and ask for like an upgrade, or there could be other areas in your org that might require upgrade. So that might require you to have some budget approvals. There are certain things you can probably do on your own.
There are a few other things that admins may have to reach out to their execs and their management chain. So whosoever benefits from getting a decision done to eventually make your org more efficient and keep it scalable and productive for your users. I think that’s what matters. But at a minimum, to set your priorities. I think a lot of admins have used Optimizer to set their priorities and discuss with the managers, “Hey, this is what is Optimizer telling me. I would like to prioritize my next few weeks based on this,” to sharing it with your immediate manager or anyone else in your cross functional areas and maybe with your business leaders that, “Hey, I’m seeing slower performance on these account pages. So to help you guys, I’m going to prioritize this.”
So sharing the data with those team members may be helpful so that they understand what you are busy with and how you are adding value and making your end user experience as efficient and productive as possible.
Mike Gerholdt: I love that. You can proactively have career conversations around how you’re improving the performance of everyone at the organization just by running Optimizer. And I’m also thinking if you’re a new Salesforce admin coming onboard to an organization maybe that already has an org, this is a great way to kind of get a snapshot on here’s what I’m looking at moment in time from day one as I get started and it can help me prioritize as well.
Niket Trivedi: Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: I would be curious, you mentioned in the beginning that you’ve done a lot of product management. You were in engineering. I love to kind of get one layer deeper. I’d love to know what was a fun part of moving optimizer from PDF to this app that kind of was really exciting for you in this.
Niket Trivedi: Yes. There are a lot of fun things and things that we discovered that we ourselves weren’t aware of. PDF report itself has been well adopted. It’s like peeling an onion. When you have a product that’s been around for a few years and you’re trying to totally redefine it, I think it just uncovers a lot of things for the team. Even the engineers who probably worked on the very first version of the report are nowhere around here. They probably moved on to other projects. So we uncovered a lot of things that we ourselves as team we were not aware of, “Oh, this is how it works?” So it was learning. It was fun. It was like, wow. It was kudos to the original team that did this work. And in some cases, you’re like, okay, why did they do this? And we’re trying to do archeology.
We are trying to understand that, okay, we understand the rule. We understand why we need to give this to the admin, but it could be done a different way. There were discoveries. There were like ideas that were thrown around all over the place. But it was very interesting the last few months as we dig it up and try to rebuild it, if you will.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I could envision that, much like redoing a house. Once you pull the dry wall off, you question why somebody would do that. Of course, to them, it was completely logical. Well, this was very cool. I will be sure to include in the show notes a link to the release notes for the part of Optimizer because I was reading through them the other day. I cannot tell you how excited I am for this and the amount of possibility it brings for admins to have those positive career conversations with their executive sponsors, with their stakeholders around this.
And for me, if I was thinking of this from an admin perspective to help me really prioritize the work that I need to get done in addition to the new features and functionality, I mean, this is the check engine light, I’ll say, that we’ve been waiting for a long time.
Niket Trivedi: Yeah, absolutely. And I think you did mention that so-called use case where almost every admin has gone through in their life, which is they take over a new organization and there you go. They are clueless, like what’s going on? And they have to get rammed up pretty quickly. And a lot of the cases, they had no one to tell them or help out why certain things are the way they are, and they are so scared to make a change because they don’t know if something is going to break. And this is the tool, it’s like a Swiss Army Knife. It does hundreds of things for you and helps you uncover or discover those things. It’s like an X-ray, if you will go into the inside under the hood and help you find those issues.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. That’s a great analogy, and it’s an X-ray that’ll only get better in time. Now that we have this Lightening app in our orgs, I am envisioning there’s going to be new releases to it come winter, come spring ’22, I think if I’m doing the math right. Summer ’22. It’s even more things that that can help admin. I’m very excited. So thank you to your team and everyone who worked on this new… I cannot tell you how exciting this is going to be just to have that next level of insight and prioritization. It’s something I’ve looked forward to. So appreciate it.
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