How Intelligent Integration and AI Help HCSS Revolutionize the Construction Industry

HCSS is a leading software company for the construction industry. The company offers solutions for estimation and bidding, time card and job analysis, dispatching and scheduling, equipment maintenance, telematics, safety management, fuel tracking, electronic logging devices, fleet management, cloud hosting, and more. From groundbreaking to ribbon-cutting, HCSS products are the cornerstone of construction projects worldwide.

At its core, HCSS is built around creating a great customer experience. “Our company is organized around listening to customers and building what they need,” explains Eric Olson, a Salesforce developer on the Enterprise Software Services (ESS) team. ESS focuses on enhancing internal business tools, so HCSS can better support its customers.

Besides aggregating data, the ESS team also needs to make various datasets available in a format that is easy to analyze. This process involves fetching data from various sources into a data warehouse so analytic tools can make sense of it—and it can only happen with intelligent integration. With Workato, the team can:

  • Move key business data into Einstein without any extra data entry
  • Provide actionable business insights across the business in an easy-to-read dashboard format
  • Implement integrations and automations for other departments in hours, rather than days or weeks

Crafting A World-Class Customer Experience

To refine its product offerings, HCSS analyzes customer feedback from surveys and a host of data points. “We need to get specific insights into how the customer uses the products and how we can continue to make the user experience better,” says Femi Ariyo, head of IT at HCSS.

Once collected, the data is stored in HCSS’s on-prem data warehouse. It’s crucial to helping the HCSS executive team plan product improvements and understand how they can better serve their customers. It can even provide the company with very specific insights into trends, such as why customers stop using a particular product or are slow to adopt a new one.

But raw data can be cumbersome to deal with, especially for business-minded employees who aren’t data scientists—like executives or the product team. To make this data easier to access, the ESS team pushes it into Einstein, Salesforce’s cloud-based analytics platform, using Workato.

Einstein uses artificial intelligence to deliver predictions and recommendations based on their customer data and business processes. The result is easy to read and understand data analytics that are automatically delivered across departments in the organization. Each department can view the data most relevant to them without any manual work. This allows HCSS to easily make strategic, data-driven decisions.

In particular, this easily-accessible data has improved HCSS’s customer support. Now, information about error codes, support KPIs, and other data is readily available directly from Salesforce. “It makes it much easier to work with customers,” Ariyo notes. “When they get a call from a customer who needs help, our support agents can see whether we’re already aware of the issue they’re having—like a particular error code. We can communicate the status of the issue much more clearly to them!”

Connecting Workfront with Salesforce for Smoother Implementation Support

HCSS also uses Workato to connect their project management application (Workfront) with Salesforce. To make customer experience smoother and more enjoyable, Ariyo needed to allow the customer support team to see accurate information about the customer’s project. But that data was housed in Workfront, making it difficult for the support team to access, as they work in Salesforce.

“We wanted to bring implementation data into Salesforce to streamline customer relations for our support team,” Ariyo explains. “Now, when a customer calls with a question, our support agents can see how many times they’ve called and the status of their implementation. So if a customer calls five times with basic questions, and we see they’re in the very early stages of implementation, we can actually get the implementation specialist on the phone. They can listen to the customer’s questions and answer them right then, but knowing the customer’s concerns also helps the specialist create a richer experience next time they are on-site.”

“By integrating Salesforce and Workfront, the customer support team has the information they need to provide great, intuitive support,” says Admir Hadziabulic, Director of Support Services. HCSS is constantly looking for ways to improve customer experience; to achieve that goal, the company has made a major investment in making sure all the pertinent data points are available to the right people. This, along with exceptionally helpful services, catapulted HCSS’s Net Promoter Score to 81.40 in July 2018—up from 76.27 the same time last year!

Implementing Intelligent Integration with Workato

Initially, the ESS team used Dell Boomi for its integrations. But they found that solution cumbersome and difficult to maintain. The ESS team also frequently receives requests to set up specialized data syncs for other teams within HCSS. “From a usage standpoint, we were truly limited by the number of connections. Every time we received a new request from someone inside the company, we had to asses whether it would entail adding a connection,” says Olson.

“The challenge with most Integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) providers is that you are forced to count connectors or connections. You can’t help but think of the cost as you start designing a workflow. We would rather focus on providing solutions and getting results,” Ariyo notes.

Allen Mann, another SFDC developer at HCSS, adds that Boomi’s complexity was frustrating as well. “We had to sit down and become Boomi experts—just to keep it working,” he says.

The challenge with most #iPaaS providers is that you're forced to count connectors or connections. Click To Tweet

After an initial sales call with Workato, the ESS team met with product managers and the VP of Business development, Markus Zirn. “They showed us how to write a few recipes,” says Olson. “From there, we ran with it and made it our own.” The transition from Boomi to Workato was painless, Olson continues. “It took a grand total of one day to transfer all our Boomi processes to Workato.”

And intelligent integration continues to play an integral role in HCSS’s quest for excellence. “The moment Workato offered an Einstein connector, we jumped on it,” Olson remarks. “A team member recently put in a request to grab data from Workfront. Workato didn’t have a connector initially so we reached out to Support and a few hours later we had a base connector to get us started with our recipe. Basically, any and every app that we can connect with Workato, we want to.”

Agile, Secure, Intelligent Integration with Seamless Error Handling

Once they switched to Workato, the ESS team never looked back. And the transition, the team says, has yielded too many benefits to list.

For Olson, the greatest benefit was easier error handling. He explains that their legacy CRM system offered little in the way of data validation, so errors always crop up—like incomplete mailing addresses. “When the data syncs, I receive a process error for each unpopulated field. But with Boomi, you can only see the last error that occurred. So I would have to correct the error and re-rerun the entire sync in order to see the previous error. I’d have to repeat that process for every single error.” Olson appreciates Workato’s seamless error handling, which allows for individual error messages. “We’ll always have to cope with the data validation problem, but actually correcting the errors is much easier with Workato.”

The ESS team also no longer turns down internal integration requests because they’re too costly. “We can say yes to requests and implement the solution within hours,” says Ariyo. “If there is ROI we do it. We no longer have to count connectors or live with a cumbersome workaround like manually exporting a SQL database or table.” With Workato, it’s much easier for the ESS team to push data into other apps or platforms.

Ariyo stresses that Workato affords him a sense of security, flexibility, and availability. “Whatever we implement, I know the solution is safe and smart,” he says. The platform’s security and flexibility allows the ESS team to answer requests more readily from various lines-of-business. “We can go into a discussion with one of our teams and create a solution on the spot. We can turn a demo over to them minutes after the meeting. Whatever they want, we can do it with Workato.”

The entire team agrees that Workato helps them work more quickly. They also appreciate the community aspect of Workato, which makes it simple to view and copy other users’ recipes. Workato is so user-friendly, they say, that it even makes delegating integrations a possibility. “The simplicity of writing a new recipe is a plus,” Ariyo adds. “We can turn it over to users in the business. I’m confident that even a business without a dedicated IT team could integrate with Workato.”

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