Rapid Modernization with No-code Automation: Australian Medical Association’s story

AMA Customer Story Blog Header

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) is the peak professional body for doctors in Australia. Representing over 44,000 doctors and medical students in Australia, the AMA promotes and protects the professional interests of doctors. The Association also works with governments on health policy to ensure the best outcomes for doctors, their patients, and the community. 

The Challenge:
AMA is a mature organization with historic processes and legacy systems that needed to be modernized in order to increase efficiency and performance.

The Impact: 
Using Workato, AMA took two days to build an automation that updates member information between their communication system and membership database. This enabled the AMA to move away from legacy systems to a modern best-in-breed marketing platform. Additionally, the comms team now has access to business intelligence they didn’t have before, which empowered them to do things independently.

The AMA is currently in the process of refining the automatic data sync workflow between federal and state databases, which is expected to automate the entire process. This will improve the membership experience and free up significant human capital to focus on higher value activities.

As the largest association of doctors in the country, the AMA strives to provide the best services and experience for their members. Chris Warren, the Association’s Head of Technology explains:

“The AMA has been serving medical practitioners for over 50 years. In that time, there has been constant and significant change in technology. This naturally leaves us with outdated processes that need to be streamlined, so we can free up resources and spend more time building value for our members.”

AMA’s biggest challenge was the scope of change needed to modernize within a rapid timeframe

Chris joined the AMA last November with the mandate to develop and implement a digital transformation program. He quickly realized that the main challenge was the scale of changes needed within a rapid timeframe. 

“The goal was to shift to the cloud and adopt modern architectures to unlock efficiencies across the board, which will ultimately allow us to invest in new capabilities. Immediately, I knew automation was the answer.”

Fortunately, there was already a strong grassroots willingness to connect systems across the federation, which meant the team could jump straight into research and evaluation. After some initial trials with products that did not meet the level of adaptability and functionality expected, he chanced upon Workato. 

Chris was immediately impressed by the user experience.

“Workato had a brilliant UI/UX which made it insanely simple for the team to comprehend and start building. We set up a demo and jumped straight in to set up some test connectors. Within days, we had a couple of integrations going.

Thousands of businesses are using Workato’s powerful integration-led automation platform to accelerate legacy modernization, primarily due to:

  1. A rich set of connectors—Workato has 400+ pre-built connectors for popular enterprise apps. 
  2. Ease of use—Workato uses plain English and drag and drop. No coding knowledge is required to use the platform, which means faster building and speedier time to market. 

Chris was sold. Immediately, he and the IT team started brainstorming processes that could be automated. 

Using Workato, AMA built their first automation in 2 days

The first thing Chris and his team wanted to automate was the process of updating member data between their membership database and communication platform.

Chris needed an easy way to sync member data updates, and create new accounts for members between Mailchimp and their legacy database at the federal office. The team was doing it with outdated tools that did not provide the functionalities they needed.

Moreover, the tools were complex and hard to adapt, which meant that no one outside of IT could use the tools. IT had to be involved throughout the syncing and account creation process.

In just two days, the AMA DevOps team used Workato to build the integration between their database and Mailchimp. Now, data is automatically extracted from both their legacy database and Mailchimp, transformed according to AMA’s requirements, and synced between the systems. Records are automatically updated (or created, in the case of new members).

The impact was immediate. Membership data was more accurate than ever before. Instead of weekly or monthly, data is now automatically updated in real-time. With this automation, the team can refocus their priorities on other work, instead of spending hours working in a convoluted system that involved multiple stakeholders and outdated tools. 

This integration also meant that the comms team was able to do more on their own to improve communications with their members. 

“Workato gave us the business intelligence we didn’t have before. It empowered our teams to do things independently and effectively.” 

Next up: Connecting all of AMA’s databases across Australia

Chris’ next goal was more ambitious—to connect all of AMA’s databases. 

AMA has eight branches across Australia, and they all use different systems to store their member databases. In addition, data across each system was not standardized. 

The data would come to the federal office in CSV files. The AMA DevOps team then had to manually clean up the data and upload the individual spreadsheets to the database, before the accounts could be updated or created. Not only was this a very manual process that took a lot of resources to get done, different states would also update and send data through at different frequencies.

“Some states do it once a week, others once a month. Managing this process alone cost us the time of 2 full-time employees.” 

More critically, it provided a subpar experience for AMA’s members, who could not access the portals when they needed to. 

In two weeks, AMA’s DevOps team built a proof of concept that connected their federal database with the databases of other states. This automated the data cleaning and syncing process. 

The impact? 

What used to take days now takes minutes. The employees who previously had to review and fix the data no longer need to. They can now focus on higher-value, more fulfilling tasks.”

Members are also notified about their membership accounts within minutes instead of having to wait up to a month.

Workato enables a truly iterative process

Having used Workato for a few months, one of Chris’ favorite things about the platform is how easy and quick it makes the iteration process for the team. 

“I’m very impressed with Workato’s testing functionality. The team can rapidly make tweaks, test, and then iterate on our recipes. It’s very streamlined and intuitive. Anyone can just jump in and contribute to the process.

This was proven in how quickly it took for the AMA DevOps team to get the automations up and running. The legacy modernization that they initially thought would be a long-term project was shortened to 2 weeks. 

And for an organization like AMA, this optimization of resources is critical.

“There’s so much we want to do, but only so much we could do with the resources we have. Workato has truly enabled us to take advantage of opportunities that we couldn’t before and to be more efficient as an organization.” 

Interested to see what you can do with Workato? Book a demo!