Why I Embedded Workato

Infinite Blue is a software solutions provider that empowers some of the world’s largest organizations to become more obstacle-resistant and resilient.

Meeting customer requests for file imports and custom APIs 

One of our flagship offerings is BC in the Cloud by Infinite Blue, which allows anyone to quickly build and maintain an effective business continuity and disaster recovery program. To ensure data is always up to date for when a crisis occurs, we are often tasked with custom APIs builds or flat file imports. 

While the process of ingesting infrequently updated data doesn’t require an API, we found that importing CSV or Excel flat files was still labor intensive, both on our end and for our customers who needed to request those files from various internal departments. 

These types of connectivity requests increased as we grew our customer base, and we knew we needed a more efficient option that would allow us to scale quickly.

Why we needed software 

Our first thought was building our own library of connectors, but we pretty soon realized that the work involved didn’t justify our return. Selling an integration for $10,000 a year doesn’t pay for a $100,000 engineer to come on staff to be able to set it up and maintain it. 

We were already leaning toward software, but the tipping point really came when one of our Account Executives came to me and said, “We have a customer that wants six different custom APIs that we’re going to build.” And I just thought, Well the building part we can do, but how are we going to handle maintenance? We couldn’t ask our customers to maintain those APIs, nor could we justify the hours on our side, either. I knew we needed an out-of-the-box solution. 

The benefits we knew we needed:

  • Increased efficiency in fulfilling connectivity requests. 
  • Greater number of connectors (in particular, Workday and ServiceNow)
  • Little to no maintenance required. 
  • Scaling our work without the need for additional headcount. 

Criteria for evaluation 

After establishing that in-house development was out of scope for us, we formalized our criteria for a new solution: 

  • Turnkey ServiceNow and Workday integration: Getting Workday up and running was particularly urgent—we knew we couldn’t work with anyone that didn’t have that integration off the bat. 
  • Security: Security is always on our checklist, particularly in this case because of the highly-sensitive data that our customers would be ingesting. 
  • Strong partnership: For us, the relationship almost comes before the product—we want to know that if we run into any problems, our vendor is going to be ready and willing to find a solution. 
  • Self-service: We didn’t want our sales team to have to keep requesting new connectors for customers, but instead wanted our customer to be more autonomous in their ability to build connectors. 

Demo & findings

Our search started by looking at some smaller startups in the space, but we quickly realized they didn’t have the bandwidth nor the breadth of capabilities that we eventually found in Workato. We also considered partnering with a smaller integrator with the idea that we would get them up to speed and eventually buy them out if the partnership succeeded. But that, too, required a lot of upfront investment on our end that we couldn’t afford—the Workday integration request was too pressing to our customers to put off. 

Workato was brought to our attention through a Forrester analyst who we were working with at the time to help guide us through our build vs. buy dilemma. Once we met with the Workato team, we just felt it was the right place for us from the get-go—the team was genuine and 100% up front with us about the product and what it could do. And the proof point for us was seeing it in action. We got it live so fast and it just worked. We had various members across the company review Workato—a few professional services members, even an intern—and they all had good things to say. We even received good references from existing customers that were familiar with Workato. 

On top of our great experience with Workato, learning that ServiceNow and Workday are investors in the company was a huge bonus because it demonstrated the strength of those connectors. And finally, it was also really helpful when Workato explained how they priced one connection for one company. This guided our pricing structure at Infinite Blue and gave us a good idea as to how fast our licensing costs would be recouped. 

The details 

With Workato integrated with BC in the Cloud by Infinite Blue, we realized that by doing one integration to Workato, we opened up the ability to instantly connect to over 400 enterprise systems because they all share the same APIs, rest calls, etc. That provides immediate value to our customers. There’s very little turnaround time from wanting to build a connector to getting it live. 

Internally, it was easy to sell the ROI of Workato for two reasons: 

  1. We have the ability to resell Workato connectors on the platform. 
  2. We’re able to save what would have been development costs for this type of investment in the platform. In net new hires alone, we’ve probably saved a headcount of four to six people that would have just been doing integrations. 

Finally, we expect customer retention to be much higher given the applications and other systems of record that Workato allows our customers to connect to, which will likely equate to significant revenue gains over time. 

Decision time

Selecting Workato was an obvious choice for Infinite Blue; it filled a significant gap in our offering and to that end has truly been a mutually beneficial engagement. We’re excited to be a Workato partner and the incredible breadth of access that comes with it. All we have to say to our customers is, “Take a look at the Workato website and select from this list of applications.” No longer is it a question of can we fulfill this connector request, but how fast can we get it done. 

As we continue down this journey with Workato, one of our big markers of success will be the anecdotal feedback we receive from customers, such as, “Wow, this is way better than APIs or way better than flat file transfer.” And since we have a lot of Workato use cases already in motion, and many more planned in the near future, we expect to get more positive recognition from clients over time.