Data integration—the process of moving files or information from one app to another—was one of the first integration frontiers. Having information in the right place, ready for consumption, is crucial to countless business processes. Despite being a simple sounding integration, however, it still presents problems for businesses around the world.
The leading American multinational financial services corporation uses Salesforce to track its relationships with partners. Part of their business process involves collecting files from various partners, and these files then need to be moved into Salesforce from an on-premise data drive and associated with the correct accounts.
To do this, they used a traditional data loader tool to move the files. Because the tool has a steep learning curve, only one employee could actually run the integration and move the files into Salesforce, and he had to manually start the process each week. This approach created many unnecessary bottlenecks. If that one staff member went on vacation or was out of office for a period of time, the process of moving the files would have to wait until they returned to work.
This employee was also responsible for maintaining the integration, which broke frequently because it was very brittle. Because the software and files often changed, the entire workflow would break down; it just wasn’t agile enough to keep pace with rapidly changing data and technology.
Maintaining this data integration and handling errors was tedious as well. If there was an error loading the files, the employee would need to manually identify the incorrect file, request a new submission from the partner, and re-process the entire batch. Because asking for a resubmission can take days or weeks, this approach to error handling slowed down the company’s operations significantly.
The process of moving the data with the data loader tool is fairly simple for a highly specialized employee; however, there were critical issues surrounding this process. How could they better deal with exceptions? How could they make a group environment more efficient? Most important, how could they empower the partners so the entire process doesn’t rely on just one person?
Massaging Partner Data and Moving It Into Salesforce with Workato
Workato stood out amongst the crowd for this very reason. Everyone, not just their specialized employee, can understand how Workato processes the file and adds it to Salesforce. Partners can upload batches of files to an SFTP folder on an on-prem data drive; Workato then picks up the files, moves them into Salesforce, and associates them with the correct accounts automatically.
The workflow can either run on a schedule or whenever employees notice new partner files have been uploaded. In some cases, Workato also massages the data so that it is formatted correctly, which is important for reporting purposes. And if there is an error in the data, Workato moves the problematic files into a dedicated folder, which is then sent back to the partner for review.
Empowering Everyone in the Organization with Transparency and Ease of Use
Workato enables a user-friendly experience that simply is not possible with other tools. By using a shared team account, the financial institution now has a system that is not dependent on only one person – many different people can contribute and have ownership over recipes, while the specialized employee can govern. Even if the integration recipes are completing different automations for different people, they can all live in one central place and still give personal notifications to the correct person.
This is allowing for a full organizational shift to make everyone technical and empowered. The business analysts who are working with these files can now take ownership of their integrations, and never have to wait.
From a technical standpoint, there’s a lot of labor saved because employees don’t have to pre-validate the data; Workato does it for them. The company can also augment this workflow with other processes, such as sending emails or SMS notifications, for greater productivity.
Another benefit of this workflow is more transparent error handling, which is crucial to any workflow where there may be frequent exceptions. Instead of having to re-send and re-process the entire batch, Workato’s error handling capabilities allow employees to easily identify the broken files and communicate the errors to partners, so they don’t have to resubmit the entire batch. It also keeps the workflow on track, because it doesn’t disrupt the processing of the rest of the batch.
Workato helps the company synthesize its staff. By enabling lines-of-business staff to do some of the technical work of managing automations, the company can shorten the lifecycle of building and deploying useful workflows, so everyone is more productive!