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 data sets 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.

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.

This data is stored in HCSS’s data warehouse, which the ESS team must sync with Einstein, Salesforce’s cloud-based analytics platform. Datasets stored on-premise must be pushed to the cloud so that employees can centrally access and manipulate the data.

And it’s not just executives who need the product analytics; the data simplifies a wide range of tasks across the company. For example, HCSS offers live phone 24/7 support 365 days a year. “We don’t have a phone tree,” Olson says. “If you dial our number, someone will pick up and help you right away.” The company uses Salesforce’s Service Cloud to manage its support, making intelligent integration even more crucial. Product analytics must also be available to the development team, so they can correlate support tickets with development initiatives.

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 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.

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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, anything and everything we can use 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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