How automation changed my career: Florian Mihai, Head of Marketing Automation at The Access Group

How automation changed my career: Florian Mihai

Time and again, we’ve seen how automation makes our customers’ lives easier. But in many cases, it does much more than that—our champions have earned promotions, company-wide recognition, and newfound influence over strategic decision-making all because of their role in automation strategy. Of its many benefits, automation is undoubtedly a springboard for career success.

We sat down with Florian Mihai, Head of Marketing Automation at The Access Group, to learn how automation has transformed his career. 

Becoming a self-taught software guru

Florian Mihai is a natural self-starter. 

Even without many resources at his disposal, he was able to learn how to use SQL servers and ERP software. 

“I’m originally from Romania, so it was not as, let’s say, developed in this learning area of software as other countries,” says Mihai, “but I remember looking all night on the Internet to try to find [information.]” 

The small company Mihai worked for couldn’t afford to outsource their new ERP system’s installation, which meant that Mihai’s newfound skills kept the company afloat. Through his efforts, the company was also able to sync the ERP system with their HR software, warehouse management software, and much more. 

Orchestrating all of these systems was no small feat, but Mihai would soon be introduced to a concept that would make it all a lot easier. 

Discovering a new career path in automation 

On a whim, Mihai decided to attend a training for IBM Unica. At the time, Unica was a market leader in marketing automation software, and Mihai was instantly impressed. 

“When I saw it, I would say that I fell in love for the second time because it was connecting so many dots from the things that I worked with; it was connecting databases, customer data, flows, business logic,” says Mihai.

It was clear that automation would steer Mihai’s next career move.

Shortly thereafter, Mihai transitioned to a small firm as a marketing automation consultant. With the IBM Unica training under his belt, Mihai worked alongside Fortune 500 companies to help them leverage Unica in order to automate manual and tedious marketing tasks. Seeing these companies accelerate their marketing campaigns and initiatives through automation was thrilling. It was clear that Mihai was on the right path. 

Solving the root automation problem—orchestration

Still, Mihai’s innate curiosity probed him to ask deeper questions of automation. 

While working as a consultant for Eloqua, another marketing automation platform, Mihai came to realize that real automation progress wasn’t necessarily automating a single technology, but automating between technologies. 

“I realized that I want to do more, meaning, I wanted to do orchestration. I want to own the end-to-end architecture of the marketing technology stack,” says Mihai. 

In the martech landscape alone, the number of technologies showed no signs of slowing; it would become increasingly important, Mihai predicted, to automate end-to-end solutions instead of trying to automate a single technology that could do it all. 

Owning the end-to-end marketing technology stack at HP

Mihai was first able to try his hand at automation orchestration at HP. 

In order to move fast, Mihai built his own integration layer between systems. It was an essential initial phase; however, Mihai knew that the best way to scale his efforts would be through a low-code/no-code automation platform. It was then that Mihai discovered Workato.

With Workato, Mihai could reduce his dependency on developers and give non-technical teams, such as marketing, the freedom to execute their own initiatives. 

Mihai’s decision to bring on Workato helped accelerate automation use cases at HP; soon, Mihai’s team would help launch use cases around marketing campaign planning and budgeting, lead engagement, ETL optimization, and more.

One of Mihai’s proudest achievements was integrating HP’s partner portal with its predictive platform in order to automatically deliver real-time suggestions to partners. This gave partners a better idea of what products to sell to which leads, ultimately helping them close more sales.

Furthering his passion for automation at The Access Group 

When an opportunity at The Access Group, a business management software company, presented itself, Mihai was hesitant. 

However, once Mihai learned that he would have the opportunity to continue building out automation use cases and orchestrating multiple systems—“the things that [he] loves”—it was a no brainer. 

Now, Mihai is using Workato at The Access Group to replace costly off-the-shelf products with automation. For example, instead of leveraging lead management or lead enrichment software on top of Salesforce, Mihai is using Workato. As a result, the company is saving thousands of dollars in licensing fees each year. 

Another big initiative is around mergers and acquisitions. Since The Access Group acquires a lot of companies each year, Mihai uses Workato to migrate over Salesforce instances—a big job that saves the company a lot of time and money. 

Overall, Mihai feels optimistic about the role automation will play at The Access Group; he’s also confident that it will continue to play a key part in his career. Most recently, he’s embraced the role of teaching others how to use it. 

“I like to educate other people, to share my knowledge, and that’s what I want basically—just enjoy the present, and look forward to what the future has to hold,” says Mihai.