As Verizon’s in-house creative group—and surrounding teams—adopted best-of-breed cloud technology, they ran into a roadblock: Their applications weren’t communicating with one another.
This forced employees to copy and paste data across applications, change statuses within applications, and download and upload files between applications manually.
As the volume of these tasks increased, it became increasingly obvious that something had to change.
Suparman Widjaja, the Head of Technology for Verizon’s Creative Marketing Group (CMG), outlined the issues they experienced in detail and covered the solutions they built in Workato to overcome them.
You can read on to learn about his team’s solutions and the results they’ve delivered.
Want to learn more?
You can catch everything Widjaja shared by watching the recording of his session from Automate.
Disconnected requests and projects in Workfront
The project managers and designers in Verizon’s Creative Marketing Group use Workfront, a work management software, to manage their projects and resources.
As part of the process in working with internal stakeholders (or clients), the stakeholder is required to submit a request in Workfront, which leads to a project getting created for the CMG within Workfront.
However, once a project gets created, it wouldn’t communicate with the associated request.
This forced the project managers and clients to email one another or to even jump on calls to provide updates on their requests or projects. And while this workaround sufficed to some extent, it wasted a significant amount of time that could have been spent on more meaningful work.
Siloed Workfront instances
Widjaja went on to share that multiple teams at Verizon, as well as agencies they work with, use their own instance of Workfront. Given that many of these internal and external stakeholders rely on the CMG, they couldn’t afford to have their respective Workfront instances operate in silos.
Widjaja’s team initially built middleware solutions in-house to tackle both this problem and the previous one. However, this approach proved to be far from sustainable. Any time a field was added or changed, their team had to rebuild, QA, and redeploy their solutions. Moreover, they had to house the middleware solutions in a server, which proved to be expensive.
To address these issues head on, Widjaja and his team turned to Workato.
Both cases simply involved recipes (or automations) that facilitated bidirectional workflows. To keep projects and cases in sync, a change in a field within the project would lead to the same change within the request’s corresponding field automatically (and vice versa); similarly, when a field changes in one instance of Workfront, Workato compares the changes to the CMG’s instance and makes the appropriate changes if necessary (and vice versa).
Integrating Smartsheet and Workfront
Smartsheet, another project management software, was used by clients that needed to work with the CMG. This led to a poorly-executed workflow whereby once a client approved a project, a project manager in the CMG would log into Smartsheet, copy the project details, download specific documents (e.g. creative brief), and add everything into Workfront—all before the creative team could start working on the project. In addition, once the project gets completed, the project manager would have to log back into Smartsheet, where they would upload the proof.
To mitigate these manually-intensive steps, Widjaja’s team used Workato’s pre-built connectors for Workfront and Smartsheet to quickly and easily connect the two. They then copied one of the bidirectional workflow recipes they already built in Workato and simply modified it to accommodate the nuances of this use case.
Efficiency improvements, an enhanced employee experience, and a significant ROI
These data synchronizations have already been used across hundreds of projects, providing his project managers with a substantially improved experience.
Furthermore, Workato has proven to be more reliable, cost-effective, and straightforward to use than their internal middleware solutions, allowing Widjaja and his team to save a substantial amount of money and time themselves.
Given Widjaja’s success, it’s little surprise that his efforts with Workato are gaining attention among other teams at Verizon. We’re excited to see where that leads for Verizon’s creative operations and beyond.