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Honoring the 2021 SaaSOps Stars Award Winners

Natalie Robb

November 4, 2021

4 minute read


Every fall, the SaaSOps community assembles at the Altitude conference to learn about the evolving digital workplace, hear from industry experts, and celebrate their most innovative peers. Just like years past, this year’s winners are among the most elite SaaSOps professionals around the world. Therefore, it is with great pleasure we announce the 2021 SaaSOps Stars Award Winners. 

This year’s awards recognize victories in app discovery, digital workplace security, Day 1 onboarding, zero-touch offboarding, and automation. All five winners uniquely embody innovation, resourcefulness, positive impact, and personal commitment to the SaaSOps movement.

The 2021 SaaSOps Stars Awards process

The search for 2021’s best SaaS operations professionals began in August. 

Nominations came from internal IT colleagues, supervisors and direct reports, the SaaSOps Community, and BetterCloud customer success partners. All told, we received the highest number of nominations ever representing excellence in organizations of all sizes and industries, in new businesses and established ones, and included both teams and individuals.

The nomination process started with a written submission detailing nominees’ innovative initiatives, accomplishments, and additional qualities they felt made the nominee a 2021 SaaSOps Star. From there, the next step was the interview, during which the nominees shared their unique IT challenges, approaches, and accomplishments. 

Once interviews were complete and summarized, an internal BetterCloud team voted for the winners. Like every year, selecting the best of the best was extremely difficult. 

But in the end, five nominees stood out.

Congratulations to the 2021 SaaSOps Stars! 

Join us in giving a warm congratulations on a well-deserved victory to these five outstanding SaaSOps professionals.

Ben Silber, the 2021 Security Specialist 

The Security Specialist award goes to the SaaS operations professional who consistently keeps the organization’s security posture and compliance requirements top of mind and is vigilant about preventing data exposure.

This year’s winner is Ben Silber, VP of Information Technology and Security at 605. Silber says that his main goals are to power the SaaS ecosystem 605 uses, while upholding contractually mandated agreements and keeping his company out of the news for the wrong reasons, all while building out scalable, reliable, and repeatable processes for a thriving productive user base.

To prevent data loss without sacrificing productivity, our winner relies on his 11 unique, 50-step workflows to run and prove strict user offboarding, as well as content scanning and alerting to secure nearly 2 million files.  Silber deserves a lot of credit for helping his company stay secure, comply to earn SOC2 certification, and most importantly, never fail to meet all client and partner confidentiality agreements. These are just a few reasons that he’s our 2021 Security Specialist Award winner.

Chloe Becquet, the 2021 Discovery Detective

The Discovery Detective award recognizes the SaaS operations professional who takes great advantage of increased visibility to understand, prioritize, and rein in shadow IT to gain better efficiencies across IT and the enterprise. 

This year’s winner is Chloe Becquet, HelloFresh’s Associate Director of Technology. She began her odyssey to her award by helping the company manage its 100%+ annual headcount growth by automating onboarding and offboarding. After that, she uncovered new productivity improvements and SaaS efficiencies by leveraging BetterCloud’s Discover functionality.

With global visibility into thousands of both SaaS apps and users, Becquet helped reduce improper use of the domain, consolidate multiple instances of the same apps into one less expensive and more feature-rich account, and brought multiple tools out of the shadows and into IT management

She’s also been instrumental in revising internal policies and HelloFresh’s employee handbook. Additionally, Becquet’s efforts have improved security and created new efficiencies by consolidating accounts that save license fees.

This is why Becquet is the 2021 Discovery Detective.

Gareth Thomas, 2021 Orchestration Wizard 

The Orchestration Wizard award is given to the team or individual who perfected the art of automation to seamlessly manage users and IT operational needs, which saves time, minimizes human error, and secures company data.

This year’s award goes to one of the most impressive SaaSOps professionals we’ve come across: Gareth Thomas, Ocado’s Digital Workplace Manager. 

Thomas is responsible for ensuring Ocado’s 8,000 users work the same way wherever they are in the world, which he’s achieved by replacing custom, on-prem legacy apps with a standardized off-the-shelf SaaS-powered digital workplace. Gareth built an officially sanctioned SaaS catalog and standardized user communications on Slack Enterprise Grid. Additionally, with 17 integrations in BetterCloud, he innovated even further with Custom Triggers to add actions not native to BetterCloud

Thanks to his efforts, Thomas has brought 10-15 more applications into active IT management without adding to IT headcount, all while helping to deploy the best possible digital workplace experience.

The VMware Team, the 2021 SaaSOps Rookie of the Year

The SaaSOps Rookie of the Year award celebrates a new member (or group of members) to the SaaSOps community who hit the ground running. 

This year’s award goes to the team at VMware, which includes Bryan Hope, Shanker Padmanabhan, Alexis Lutz, and Sanjay Saha. 

To transform this large enterprise into a modern workplace, this team established a SaaSOps function. They use custom integrations and triggers in BetterCloud for onboarding and offboarding actions for popular collaboration applications, including a social space. New employees are automatically added to communities that matter to them, to accelerate onboarding. As a result, VMware increased their time-to-productivity while offering a positive, personalized Day 1 experience.

Because of their quick progress in embracing and applying SaaSOps best practices, we’re thrilled to name the VMware team this year’s SaaSOps Rookie of the Year winner.

Jon Aviles, the 2021 SaaSOps Superhero of the Year

The SaaSOps Superhero award recognizes those who exemplify SaaSOps best practices and community. This person constantly focuses on productivity improvements and consistently delivers one-of-a-kind employee experiences.

This year’s winner is Jon Aviles, the Sr. Identity System Admin at Ibotta. Aviles makes SaaS operations look easy. With nearly 1,000 users, Aviles manages 110 applications. With roughly half of them IT sanctioned, Aviles relies on his five team members and BetterCloud to automate and manage the organization’s large SaaS portfolio. Aviles and his team currently have 16 apps integrated into BetterCloud workflows. They’re currently adding the 17th and plan to add 30 more. By using alerts in BetterCloud, he’s helped the company earn SOC2 compliance, which puts the organization in a strong position for future growth.

Aviles tirelessly advocates for his users and their productivity by helping them master their tools. He also brings that spirit of advocacy to the SaaSOps Community, where he’s always available to share best SaaSOps practices to help others. 

For all of these reasons, Jon Aviles is the 2021 SaaSOps Superhero of the Year.

A special thanks to everyone who made this possible

We’d like to close this awards season by extending a special thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s awards possible. This especially includes those who took the time to consider and nominate an outstanding SaaSOps colleague or teammate. 

Finally, everyone at BetterCloud would like to offer one more congratulations to all of our 2021 SaaSOps nominees, finalists, and winners for a job well done. We can’t wait to hear about more of your accomplishments over the coming months—and we look forward to doing this again next year.