Just as DevOps has transformed how companies develop products, SaaSOps has redefined how companies enable their employees by equipping them with the technologies they need to be productive, regardless of their role.
Defined as a practice for managing and securing software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications through centralized and automated operations (Ops), SaaSOps has emerged as a critical job competency as the number of SaaS applications embraced by employees has exploded. Larger companies are deploying 163 apps on average now, while smaller companies deploy an average of 99.
As part of its support for the growing SaaSOps movement, BetterCloud last week hosted the SaaSOps Stars Awards, the first awards ceremony to recognize outstanding SaaSOps practitioners. Winners included ten individuals and teams who, through their SaaSOps practice, helped their companies scale, increased productivity, decreased friction, strengthened security, achieved greater compliance, protected users and data, or otherwise took initiative and significantly improved the lives of users.
Innovation in Education
Rose Layton, a strategic technology partner at Strada Education Network, won the SaaSOps Star: Innovation in Education award. Layton led a team that successfully completed four major technology initiatives during the past year while also keeping a service desk up and running and handling routine system administrator tasks.
In addition to setting up a unified helpdesk and universal directory and two Office 365 to G Suite migrations, Layton facilitated the launch of the Slack Enterprise Grid and its integration with BetterCloud. Her efforts significantly contributed to modernizing the technology used by 800 people.
The Sprinklr IT team of ten won the SaaSOps Star: User Delight award. They built 64 workflows that automated the lifecycle of a dynamic workforce of 1,100 employees in 25 offices and 10 countries around the globe.
Sprinklr’s workflows cover onboarding, offboarding, and mid-lifecycle changes. The initiative taken by the team, led by Matthew Tedder, decreased friction, increased security, and ensure Sprinklr employees have access to the apps they need.
Colleen Alaimo, IT director of Excella Consulting and winner of the SaaSOps Star: Fearless Automator award, is an automation pioneer. She created 13 custom integrations to streamline onboarding and offboarding workflows. In doing so, she reduced onboarding and offboarding from 2-3 hours across 17 applications down to a mere 10 seconds. Her initiatives protected users and data and increased productivity.
The IT team at United Capital won the SaaSOps Star: Data Protection award for achieving an ISO 270001 Information Management Program Certification for an environment that is 95% SaaS.
The team, which includes Mark Bowling and Chad Ponder, leveraged BetterCloud to whitelist and blacklist apps. They monitored email forwarding and access to documents retained in G Suite to guard against insider threats, ultimately enabling 29 alerts for data loss prevention. Their efforts increased security and made the company more attractive to Goldman Sachs, which acquired United Capital earlier this year.
Hichem Ben Marzoug, who leads the two-person IT team at Drivy, a peer-to-peer car-sharing service, won the SaaSOps Star: User Orchestration award. In addition to managing the SaaS ecosystem of a 150-person startup and its “fleet” of networked devices for the last three years, Ben Marzoug has been charged with ensuring a seamless transition of users, data, and devices from Drivy to an acquiring parent company this past summer. His responsibilities included a complex set of Google G Suite, Microsoft Office 365, and Zendesk policies and data, some of which dated back eight years.
Steve Galinsky, senior systems engineer at Blue Apron, won the SaaSOps Star: Pioneer award for his early adoption of SaaSOps practices and his continuing innovation in the use of automated workflows and other technologies that increase productivity and employee satisfaction while decreasing friction and the risk of data loss.
Using BetterCloud, he created 60 workflows and several custom connectors to streamline offboarding from apps such as Google, Box, Office 365, Slack, Tableau, Smartsheet, Lucidchart, and JumpCloud, altogether automating 47,000 actions to date.
The IT team of Essence, led by Colin McCarthy, global VP of IT, won the SaaSOps Star: Pioneering Team award for consistently applying best SaaSOps practices to enable Essence to scale from a small 60-person agency with a single sysadmin to a multinational company with 1,600 employees in 18 offices in 12 countries.
At Essence, compliance with regulations such as GDPR is aided by multi-instance connectors that support broad visibility across multiple domains, delegated admin access that ensures proper privileged access management, and cross-application user orchestration, which is automated with offboarding workflows.
Simon Duffey, senior IT manager at FinancialForce, won the SaaSOps Star: Power User award for creating upwards of 292 workflows, including automated actions that are triggered when an event occurs, such as a department change in G Suite.
In addition to the five native BetterCloud connectors to Salesforce, Office 365, Zendesk, Slack, and G Suite, Duffey built custom connectors to apps like DocuSign, LastPass, Zoom, and Duo. These integrations reduced onboarding and offboarding from approximately one hour to just 10 seconds. They also minimized the time it now takes to make mid-lifecycle changes as job responsibilities shift, and employees are promoted and assume new roles. Over time, Duffey has automated more than half a million actions. All told, currently he saves about 100 hours a month in automating manual tasks that once required the attention of a member of IT.
J. Scott Allen, the technical lead for Google Services at Global Payments, won the SaaSOps Star: Hero award for his fearless efforts to improve the digital experience for the company’s 10,000 employees. He created more than 150 workflows using almost 200 different templates and automated more than 200,000 diverse actions. He also set up alerts to keep IT abreast of all the changes happening across the company’s SaaS environments. After he made his original job as an external contractor redundant, he was brought on board as a full-time employee to continue the drive for SaaSOps excellence.
Spotify won the SaaSOps Star: Team award for their efforts to build the most advanced and extensive digital workplace in the industry today. Challenged by the company’s explosive growth, the team, led by Jennifer Knode, Dan Havas, and Ellinor Brattström, moved to the forefront of the SaaSOps movement as Spotify added employees around the world. Team members went from managing 2,000 people in 20 countries to 5,000 people in 79 countries. Using automated workflows, the team converted onboarding, a potential point of failure, into a strategic part of the employee experience, designed to convey Spotify’s commitment to employee satisfaction from the start.
Congratulations to all of our winners this year!
For a roundup of all the exciting features we announced at Altitude 2019, click here.