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Celebrating The 2020 SaaSOps Stars Award Winners


November 6, 2020

4 minute read

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What a year this has been, right?

At the beginning of 2020, nobody could have predicted that we’d all be working (or at least, trying to work) under these circumstances. But as our CEO David Politis said in his keynote, IT stepped up in a big way—and even companies that had no plans of going remote have thrived.

Here’s where I’ll stop for a second and ask you to take a very well-deserved bow.

This also marked the second year of our SaaSOps Stars Awards. On the fourth day of Altitude 2020, our chief customer officer Rachel Orston took the stage to recognize some individuals and teams that transformed their companies, careers, and industries.

You can check out the full presentation on-demand here, but we’ll also take some time to recognize the winners on the blog.

Orchestration Wizard: Betterment

This award is earmarked for the individual or team that has perfected user lifecycle automation and management. As Orston explained during her keynote, the team at Betterment lived and breathed those things in 2020.

Here are just a few of their recent accomplishments:

  • Automated 68 workflows for offboarding across an organization that includes 310 users and over 80 SaaS applications.
  • Synced group permissions between Okta and Duo; the team no longer has to manually manage anything in Duo and has regained time for more strategic projects.

Here’s your cue to give a virtual round of applause to Betterment, specifically Kevin Torres, Amir Rodriguez, and Justin Geronimo.

Security Specialist: Kim Ha, Turo

Spoiler alert: the Security Specialist award goes to the person or team who prioritizes security. More specifically, the Zero Trust model is in this winner’s blood.

Our winner leverages BetterCloud to automate onboarding and offboarding at Turo, a high-growth company with offices around the world. Oh, and did we mention that Turo is also a fully-SaaS organization with over 100 SaaS applications?

Securing such a complex SaaS environment is tough, but Turo’s Kim Ha makes it look easy. Look at what she’s been able to pull off:

  • Runs 48 active workflows to streamline onboarding and offboarding based on location and department.
  • Implemented best-in-class security policies around file sharing, tracking where sensitive data is exposed, and monitoring sensitive end-user events.

Ha’s efforts have made significant impacts on Turo’s business, including increased visibility into their SaaS environment and thousands of hours regained for more strategic initiatives. Please accept a virtual high five, Kim!

Technical Titan: Gillen Burch, Square

Gillen Burch of Square isn’t afraid to go deep into a scripting environment. His outstanding coding skills and ability to whip up custom integrations impact employees across the entire company. On top of that, he’s a real data wizard, to say the least.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of his accomplishments over the last six months (wild, right?):

  • Burch launched a team of service owners for SaaS tools, which works with users to understand use cases and deprecate redundant apps with a complex change management policy.
  • Automated offboarding with 14 connectors. Burch also built a custom offboarding from Google Workspace into BetterCloud.

Congratulations, Gillen!

Rookie of the Year: Glossier

We’ve seen a lot of companies join the SaaSOps movement over the past year—and the team at Glossier (Jean Vargas, Ashley Perry, Myles Rayfield, Drew Sandquist) deserves a lot of credit for hitting the ground running in 2020.

Their primary goal for the year? Build an end-to-end onboarding, offboarding, and role change flow that sets the foundation for future company growth. No big deal, right?

Of course, we’re kidding. That’s a huge undertaking,

Glossier’s team tested nearly 100 workflows in two months to get it right. In the time since, they’ve already found significant time savings for their teams and can focus more of their attention on strategic projects. And for those reasons, they deserve many, many kudos for their effort and rapid adoption of the SaaSOps philosophy.

Squad of the Year: 2U

There are a few undeniable qualities about the team at 2U, which includes Dan Berman, Brian Joyce, and Jay Stine. They’re always looking for ways to improve and enhance their SaaSOps processes. They’ve configured SaaSOps automations and roles across multiple departments. And they’re fast to adopt new tools and APIs.

Those also happen to be the criteria for our Squad of the Year award.

It’s hard not to marvel at everything 2U’s SaaSOps pros are responsible for on a daily basis. Let’s take a look at just a few of them:

  • Managing 4,000 users, more than 50 SaaS apps, and dedicated instances for 75 partners. This complex user base requires 1,000 onboards and 1,000 offboards per year, while adhering to strict industry security standards.
  • Significant security improvements and help desk cost reduction, thanks to rolling out SaaSOps with BetterCloud in 2013.

Virtual high fives to all of you, as well!

Superhero of the Year: Hiram Gonzalez, Workiva

The final award is reserved for someone who really embodies the SaaSOps movement. As Orston explained during her presentation, this person is a SaaSOps expert and champion; he or she is also incredibly active in the SaaSOps community. With his endless contributions to his company and the SaaSOps community, we were thrilled to give this one to Hiram Gonzalez of Workiva.

Gonzalez joined Workiva earlier this year. Almost immediately, he improved reporting by using SaaS APIs and began searching for ways to solve common pain points across the organization. The most pressing issue? Like many of our winners, it was onboarding and offboarding.

Gonzalez solved this challenge with a complex workflow in BetterCloud that automatically provisions new users at a specific time in each person’s time zone. This ensures that new hires have the tools they need on their first day and have a world-class employee experience. And even with his long list of strategic projects, Gonzalez finds time to share his knowledge with everyone in the SaaSOps Community.

Congrats, Hiram—and thanks for everything that you do!

This was just a short recap of the SaaSOps Stars Award winners and their achievements. Want to dive deeper into what they’ve accomplished in 2020? Watch the full presentation on demand here.