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Workflow automation: Fast growing across the enterprise

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Workflow automation uses predefined rules to trigger actions that are carried out without human intervention. The competed tasks can then be routed to a human or to another automated task until the entire defined process has been completed. The logic must be laid out in advance, which often causes companies to rethink their processes and revise them to be more streamlined. Well-designed automation can eliminate human error and reduce the time to complete tasks. Sales and marketing organizations are heavy users of workforce automation, along with customer service teams and others that incorporate many types of approval tasks.

Despite the dampening effects of COVID-19 on some business sectors, mergers and acquisitions hit record highs in 2021. Yet, an astonishing 70%–90% of such deals typically fail, according to multiple articles published in the Harvard Business Review. Although the majority of such failures occur for cultural rather than technological reasons, consolidation of the respective IT departments is a critical factor in success. Many organizations retain siloed information that impedes a smooth workflow between the newly partnered companies to the detriment of customers and employees alike.

Integrating leads post-acquisition

When Apttus purchased Conga in May 2020, it acquired a company with software that served a similar function with its configure price quote (CPQ) solution. These products aid in digital transformations by digitizing and streamlining the purchase process. Apttus focused on a relatively small number of large enterprises, while Conga had a much larger number of small-to-midsized companies as customers. There was some overlap in customers in the midrange. Both companies were early partners of Salesforce, and their products were tightly integrated with the Salesforce CRM software. Because Conga and Apttus had some customers in common, the merged company (renamed post-acquisition as Conga) needed a way to provide its employees with a seamless view of those companies despite the fact that two instances of Salesforce were running. “We found out about Syncari through a member of our team,” said Chris Thompson, senior director of global marketing operations, Conga. “After looking at other process automation products that could work across our different tech stacks, we found Syncari was way ahead of the competition. Their functionality was compelling, and the product was simple to use.”

The first goal was to speed up processing of leads and opportunities. “The faster we follow up on leads, the better,” noted Thompson. “We needed to read information from one Salesforce instance, normalize it, and, based on rules we wrote, make sure the instances of Salesforce had the same data. Using integration tools, this could be a 6-week process or more to implement these changes. With Syncari, we had it live in less than 2 weeks.” Syncari helped Conga create a single source of truth about its leads and prospects.

Ease of use was an important factor in Conga’s decision to use Syncari. “Our IT department vetted Syncari, but they did not need to be involved in our daily use of it,” Thompson commented. “The global marketing department had to own it. The GUI interface and dragand-drop capability made it incredibly simple to use,” he added. Users select the field they want, identify where they want the data to be written to, and then click. The interface developed by the marketing team is then used by salespeople to access the data they need about their leads and prospects. “The fact that the data is flowing to them from different sources is transparent,” concluded Thompson. “The salespeople have a consistent set of information to use, and they can move the sales process along much more quickly.”

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