We ran something special in Sydney during the Advantage Tour this year. It was the first ever Admin Keynote! That’s right, we kicked off the day with a Keynote dedicated to the dedicated.  There are nearly 2 million Salesforce Admins - or Success Community Members - within our customer base with the most invested in our product. They are forever giving us feedback on how we can make the product better - and so we have so much to thank them for after 16 years of product innovation.

We refresh the products three times a year and many of the new features and improvements get added specifically because they are driven by Salesforce Admins. In fact over the 48 new product releases since 1999, there have been 2.4 million points on the IdeaExchange portal (where Admins submit their ideas and suggestions). So if you have a suggestion to make, head there now. If it gets voted up you never know... it might make it into the next release!

The Keynote was presented by Megan Petersen (@MeganPTweets) - herself once a Salesforce Admin before realising she liked the product so much she joined the company! The keynote celebrated the work of three local Admins - and spoke to two, Sam and Christine, about their work.

You can read Sam’s write up on key insights on innovation and growth at Ivy College (named Australia's most innovative education company this year) Read the article HERE.

A key point that came out of the session was that Salesforce Admins are well placed from a career perspective. The nature of their work requires them to straddle both the business and technology sides of the organisation, not to mention have an understanding of operations also. Increasingly this is a necessary skill set for the CIO. To prove the point, we met Trevor McDougall - today the CIO of Open Colleges, but also once a Salesforce Admin!

Another important message from all of the Admins - past or present - that spoke was that Admins really succeed when they engage with their users on a daily basis. One important way to do this of course is through Chatter, but another technique discussed was what MVP Mike Gerholdt (@MikeGerholdt) famously describes as “SABWA” - Salesforce Administration by Walking Around. By connecting and engaging users on a regular basis at their desks, understanding how they use Salesforce and either showing them new ways or adapting your instance to their ways of doing things, you are always guaranteed success.

Then the audience was given a compelling walk-through of the most exciting features of Salesforce Lightning - much of which was designed based on the contributions and feedback from Salesforce Admins.

A great way for Admins to upgrade their skill set is by using Trailhead - an interactive learning path through the basic building blocks of the Salesforce1 Platform. Try Trailhead for yourself.

So if you are a Salesforce Admin - or are interested in becoming one - why not flick through the slides to see what new elements of Salesforce Lightning are particularly relevant to you. See slides HERE.  

Alternatively, if you are looking for help or just want to dive into our expansive Admin community, why not visit the Salesforce Success Community Resource Center HERE.  

In the meantime Admins, keep being Awesome!