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Sprout Social’s Automation Squad Works to Eliminate Manual Tasks Across the Business

Sprout Social is a global leader in social media management and analytics software. Sprout’s unified platform puts powerful social data into the hands of more than 34,000 brands so they can make strategic decisions that drive business growth and innovation.


Sprout Social uses a large number of SaaS applications, which the IT Service Desk team was tasked with managing manually for a global audience of users.

“We had Google Sheets, checklists, Jira tickets, and subtasks all over the place with various levels of complexity and relevancy. We had to rely on everyone’s willingness to put their brain power and elbow grease towards making sure things happened in a timely and accurate manner, especially as it relates to the employee lifecycle,” explained Eric Braun, who was on the IT Service Desk team prior to becoming an automation engineer. “We thought there had to be a better way to manage this.”

The IT Service Desk team researched and evaluated tools that could easily integrate with and manage SaaS applications.

Eric Braun

BetterCloud stood out as a solution that could eliminate a lot of repetitive tasks.”

Eric Braun, Automation Engineer

BetterCloud’s no-code workflow engine offered the team a quick way to start automating processes. “Most of the people on the IT Service Desk team did not come from a developer background, and some did not even come from an IT background. BetterCloud is an agile tool that is easy to use. Someone with no coding experience can build workflows,” said Braun. “You have to be honest about the skill set you have on your team and the amount of time your team has available to improve processes, not simply keep themselves above water.”

Automation Engineer Monroe Smith added, “With BetterCloud, you have automation just like that. You can be up and running very quickly.”

Security was also a large consideration to the team. “With automated processes, you get better accuracy and better control over access levels and privileges,” said Braun.


Braun and Smith, both part of the Automation Squad, focus on automating internal processes across the organization as well as maintaining the automations they have built. “Our responsibilities are proactive rather than reactive,” said Smith. “There is always a new challenge to tackle.”

Before building automations, they first took a step back and looked at the larger picture. “Because everything was done so manually, the knowledge was limited to the teams executing the process. The concept of technical debt started coming up a lot in the initial phase of looking at what to automate. You first have to fix the foundation that the process is built on,” said Smith.

Braun and Smith found that processes were typically not refined, if even documented at all. Everything, including the data, needs to be buttoned up to avoid  “building the automation on top of scaffolding that’s starting to rust already,” said Smith. “BetterCloud gave us a holistic view of how everything is connected. Teams can’t perform processes in a silo anymore because now there are implications when we start automating. That increased collaboration across departments that wasn’t previously there.”

Braun noted that it is critical to be conscientious of data sources which put more responsibility on cross-functional teams to ensure the data is accurate. “Making sure that our HRIS is clean as a whistle is very important for everything downstream,” said Braun.

Offboarding & Onboarding

The first process Braun and Smith focused on automating was offboarding. When an employee’s departure date arrives, the automated process kicks off and deactivates access to all of the sensitive applications.

Monroe Smith

Our offboarding is very streamlined. Previously, an IT member was dedicated to systematically removing access, whereas now you can rely on BetterCloud workflows to perform these tasks automatically. Overall, we’ve reduced IT’s offboarding procedure by 70%.”

Monroe Smith, Automation Engineer

Braun and Smith recently turned their attention to onboarding. “That’s where you’ll see the bulk of our workflows in BetterCloud because we are very nuanced in how we grant access at Sprout Social,” said Smith. Employees are broken into divisions, departments, zones, squads, teams, and chapters. Access is granted depending on what an employee’s combination of these groupings is.

Prior to BetterCloud, the team utilized an onboarding matrix that recruiters copied and pasted information into and submitted an onboarding ticket. The IT Service Desk team would then manually onboard the employee. Every few weeks, Sprout Social onboards close to 40 new hires and would split the onboarding tasks between the team of six. “Now one person handles onboarding because of how much less work is involved,” said Smith. 

Braun and Smith have built over 90 user lifecycle management (ULM) workflows with almost 490 automated steps configured, saving the IT Service Desk team nearly 500 hours in one year. “We looked at creating workflows that would have the largest impact,” said Smith.

The reclaimed hours have afforded the IT Service Desk team time to “focus on improving the end user experience. Automating manual tasks gives them some breathing room to grow and to solidify their processes,” said Braun.

Smith added, “Just about everybody on the team is now an SME [subject matter expert] for something. They’re not just in the weeds going through the same repetitive tickets in the queue all day. They’ve really grown as a team in their skill set with the time they found because of all the automations we built.”

Service Desk Tickets

Braun and Smith have not only focused on automating onboarding and offboarding, but have looked at common IT issues that create service desk tickets to determine what type of issues allow for an automated fix. One example is a two-factor authentication ticket. When an employee gets a new phone, the individual will then request the IT Service Desk to remove their two-factor authentication and set up a different one on the new device.

We are building automations that remove a lot of IT Service Desk’s manual processes. It really cuts down on a lot of the tickets they get,” said Smith.

Automation Across the Business

Braun and Smith’s work touches every part of the organization, making the lives of their coworkers in other departments a little easier. They typically engage with one team at a time, like HR or Sales. They then have weekly discovery meetings to look at the team’s processes to see what can be automated. Once they deliver the automations, they move to the next team. This planned work is in addition to intake requests they receive. “Our team is very agile and we roll out new automations every week. Our colleagues definitely see the benefits,” Smith said.


Automated processes across different departments in the organization, reducing manual tasks

Eliminated 489 hours of ULM work for the IT Service Desk in one year, giving the team time to focus on the employee experience

Increased accuracy and maintained better control over SaaS app access levels and privileges

Created custom integrations to best fit the needs of the business

Monroe Smith

Where BetterCloud shines is time to value.”

Monroe Smith, Automation Engineer

Use Cases

Application configuration
Least privilege access
User lifecycle management


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