In collaboration with the world’s leading talent and brands, create content differently. Fullscreen Media’s network, technology, and services change the way content is produced, distributed, and consumed by more than 600 million massively engaged subscribers. Fullscreen Media is headquartered in L.A. and was founded in January 2011 by CEO George Strompolos, a co-creator of YouTube’s Partner Program. For more information, visit www.fullscreenmedia.co.
That’s not a problem for Shira Harrison, IT Director at Fullscreen Media, which connects brands to content creators and refers to itself as “the global leader in social entertainment.” With more than 20 years of IT experience, Harrison has made her living figuring out “the details.” She’s a problem solver. She’s adaptable. And while others might balk at change, she continues to thrive.
Using BetterCloud, Namely, and a bit of ingenuity, Harrison has reimagined HR and IT at Fullscreen Media. By investing in new technology, the company has broken down HR and IT communication blockades that severely hindered productivity. Common tasks, once thorns in the sides of HR reps, are now the simplest part of the job. Money is no longer wasted on unused application licenses. And many security vulnerabilities—which used to keep IT, HR, and executives up at night—no longer exist.
With nearly 1,000 employees and more than 206 SaaS applications in use, the Fullscreen Media HR and IT teams weren’t on the same page. “We had a lot of breakdowns in communication,” says Harrison. “Sometimes new hires would show up at the door of the IT room without warning.”
It can take hours to onboard a new hire, costing the IT team time and creating a negative experience for a new employee. But lapses in communication didn’t just lead to poorly onboarded new hires and frustration between HR and IT. It negatively affected the company’s bottom line.
When employees were offboarded, it was hard to tell which applications they were using. “We spent thousands of dollars on licenses that definitely weren’t needed anymore,” says Harrison. “People think about services like BetterCloud and they say, ‘Nah, it’s too expensive. I can do it myself.’ But how much money are they wasting?”
Fullscreen witnessed these excessive costs firsthand, she says. “Paying for hundreds of extra licenses adds up.” Harrison estimates the company spends between $300 and $600 dollars each month on SaaS licenses per employee.
Still, being the IT director, Harrison was most concerned about data security. “I don’t want stale accounts still open and people still accessing our data,” she says. But again, communication issues, plus a lack of automated operations, left worrisome holes in the Fullscreen Media environment. “It was dangerous because people could access stuff they shouldn’t be accessing,” she says.
Because Fullscreen Media works with online influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers, security is paramount to gaining the trust of their clients. Something needed to change.
As the issues piled up, the Fullscreen HR team knew something had to change. The HR team made a significant decision to opt for a more modern HR information system. They chose Namely because it offered a simple yet powerful interface.
However, it wasn’t until Harrison and the IT team were brought in that the true transformative potential of Namely began to surface. Once she added Namely as a connector within BetterCloud, she knew this would go beyond just mildly improving HR and IT operations—it would completely change the way the two departments interacted.
During the initial implementation meeting, Harrison recalls sitting with her HR team and posing a series of “what if” scenarios. “What if I told you that everything will be done for you with one button? What if when you’re adding a new employee, you can trigger a bunch of onboarding steps that you’ll no longer have to do?”
The HR team was skeptical, but as Harrison puts it, “What wasn’t doable yesterday is doable today with BetterCloud.”
BetterCloud allowed her to show the HR team exactly how Namely could change the way they completed tasks like onboarding and offboarding. “I was able to set up the staging environment very quickly and say, ‘Okay, I just created Mickey Mouse in our Namely environment, and poof, it showed up in our Gmail environment.’”
In just a matter of minutes, she demonstrated how automated and simple things could be. “A picture is worth a thousand words, right?” she says.
The HR team was convinced, and the IT team got to work on “the details.”
Before Harrison could fully take advantage of the Namely and BetterCloud integration, she needed to have up-to-date information for department, job title, and other criteria. Within BetterCloud, you have more flexibility and can create far more automations if employee information is accurate.
But, as many IT professionals know, this work can be meticulous and painfully slow. In some cases, out-of-date employee information can even lead to security or compliance breaches because people are sent emails by accident or shared on files when they shouldn’t be.
Fullscreen Media used BetterCloud to make bulk updates to all the groups and user profiles. “BetterCloud was essential in making these updates fast. Absolutely fantastic.” Traditionally, this type of work can take days or even weeks. With BetterCloud, Fullscreen Media “updated all the information instantly.”
When the Fullscreen IT team dug deep, they discovered excessive amounts of misallocated licenses. “It was outrageous,” says Harrison. Now, BetterCloud has enabled Fullscreen to be much more deliberate about license allocation. There are no more wasted expenses on unneeded licenses. Harrison estimates that the company will save at least $100,000 in less than a year as a result of adopting BetterCloud.
Harrison used BetterCloud to build an automated onboarding workflow. As a result, when HR makes a new employee active in Namely, BetterCloud automatically does the following:
Now HR no longer has to worry about the technical side of onboarding. And for Harrison, onboarding is now much faster with BetterCloud, shaving off one-third the total time it takes to onboard a single user.
What’s more, internal ticket volume is way down too. “We reduced our IT tickets by 90%,” says Harrison. Before BetterCloud, the IT team was constantly inundated with tickets from users asking for access to certain applications. “We don’t get asked those questions anymore.” Now, instead of answering tickets, Harrison and her team are working on more important long-term projects.
As Harrison puts it, “If you want to be the hero of the day without working very hard, and if you want to make HR very happy while saving money (which makes the CEO and CFO very happy), then use BetterCloud, because it works.”
When employees leave Fullscreen Media, they can no longer have access to any company data. To ensure application access is cut off immediately, Harrison set up an offboarding workflow in BetterCloud.
“When an employee’s status changes from active to inactive in Namely, the BetterCloud workflow triggers a call to Google and suspends the account.” But employees use many applications, not just Google, which is why Harrison added additional security measures. “If that person has a Dropbox account, the BetterCloud workflow suspends Dropbox, and it’s the same thing with Slack,” says Harrison. “I even took another step that revokes all active sessions.” This immediately kicks ex-employees out of the applications that they’re signed into.
“We’re using Google SSO, and most of our applications are SaaS. Disabling or suspending the Google account provides a lot of security benefits,” she says.
This workflow has completely replaced their old, cumbersome process, which was “very human reliant” and prone to human error. Now “it’s effortless,” says Harrison.
From a security standpoint, the benefit is clear. Fullscreen Media is obligated to be compliant with many security objectives because of the work they do with third-party studios. “When they come in and they know that [offboarding] is done automatically, they’re very pleased,” says Harrison.
And from a fiscal standpoint, “This is value you can’t argue with,” says Harrison. “[Before BetterCloud], we didn’t even know if somebody left the company, so how could we even cancel their account?”
With BetterCloud and Namely, HR and IT processes are operating on a new level. “It’s safer, it saves time, it saves money in the end, and it’s more secure. There’s just no argument. Everybody is happy with it.”