What happens when you mix savvy business and tech professionals with Workato experts and spark their imaginations? A little automation magic! Workato Jam is a full-day workshop we organized to challenge ourselves and our users to go live with an intelligent automation project for their business in one day. Users of all levels—from technically-literate IT pros to business-smart accounting experts—pushed themselves to turn their integration project aspirations into reality. It’s safe to say, the results exceeded everyone’s expectations! In just eight hours of working together, we built a mix of innovative solutions that not only showcased the future of work but also harnessed the power of AI and directly increased revenue for participants.
Although it was our first ever Workato Jam event, it certainly won’t be our last; it laid the foundation for a very dynamic and engaging community. If you want to experience a high-energy, hands-on approach to building your own Workato recipes, join us for the next Workato Jam! At our next session, you can expect:
*Update: We’ve now held several amazing Workato Jam’s! Check out the video below.
1) Go From Zero To Workato Hero
Workato Jam requires participants to invest a full day away from their busy schedules, so we wanted to invest in them. We wanted every attendee to successfully create a live integration for their business use case, but we also wanted to equip them with the skills to solve challenging integration problems at work confidently. About 70% of the participants were complete novices, and the other 30% had some experience building recipes—but everyone walked out a Workato Hero! When we polled attendees after the event, 85% of them reported that Workato Jam exceeded or met their expectations.
Participants chose to solve a diverse set of business problems. Here are few examples:
- Automating invoice creation to save time and reduce cost: One Workato Hero saved hours of daily work by automating the manual process of creating an invoice in QuickBooks Online (QBO) based on the change on opportunity stage in Salesforce. This integration also reduces the cost inflicted by incorrect data and errors from manual data entry. And with its creative use of Lookup Tables, the recipe also helps set the “class” data in QBO correctly based on the opportunity type (new or renewal) in Salesforce.
- Improving data consistency by syncing multiple Salesforce instances: Another Workato Hero—a solution architect and consultant—wanted to solve the problem of data consistency across a client’s multiple instances of Salesforce. After signing up for a Workato account at the Jam, they built a sophisticated recipe that syncs newly installed products between two instances of Salesforce. The business logic is added to create or update the installed product, account, or product based on the presence of those objects in the second instance of Salesforce. The bi-directional sync between two instances ensures consistency and currency of information at all times.
Powerful integrations with versatile NetSuite connectors: Attending Workato Jam also gives an opportunity to evaluate Workato in light of other integration solutions you may be using or considering. A consultant using another integration solution for NetSuite—which allowed basic data import and export functionality—explored building richer and more powerful integrations with Workato’s NetSuite connector. A versatile connector, it allows users to access and use NetSuite saved searches. It also connects with 300+ other apps, so users can easily sync data and automate workflows—something not possible with the consultant’s other integration solution.
- Scale Digital Marketing by Turning Zendesk into Your CRM
One Workato Hero, a digital marketing pro, built multiple automations for nurturing leads from Instapage landing pages. The automations transfer the leads to two apps: into Zendesk, to create a 360° view of the customer; and into a segmented list in MailChimp, for highly personalized communication.By replacing the manual process of transferring lead data between apps via CSV file, this savvy digital marketer not only improved her efficiency, but she also significantly increased revenue by improving lead conversion. The highlight of her Work Jam experience? Even though she’s not a coder, she says, the logic-based, self-explanatory recipes give her the freedom to build integrations without depending on technical experts.
- Intelligent Automations for Humanizing Data Insights
Although big data and other analytics technologies have made data more accessible to business users, the interpretation of raw data into actionable insights still requires human effort. At Workato Jam, an intrepid Workato Hero challenged himself and the Workato experts to build an intelligent automation to humanize data insights. The automation enabled a business user (e.g. a sales rep) to post a question (e.g. “What are the Q3 sales trends for Product A in North America?) to a chatbot (Workbot for Slack) in conversational language and receive an answer with data insights that are completely humanized (e.g. “The total Q3 sales for Product A in North America totalled $200.4 M, a 15% increase from Q3 last year, but only a 5% increase from last quarter.”).
- This was accomplished by integrating a Workbot recipe with a Natural Language Generation (NLG) engine from Narrative Science using an HTTP request. The NLG engine retrieved the raw data from a virtualized database (Denodo) and a data warehouse in Cloud (Snowflake). Buoyed by this possibility, the Workato Hero imagines a world, not so distant from now, where business users can get insights through interactive conversations with messaging or voice platforms like Slack or Alexa. He was particularly excited about how the Workato Jam session helped him realize his vision in a matter of hours—a vision that would have otherwise taken him a few weeks to implement solo.
Eliminating Process Bottlenecks and Increasing Transparency
- Zendesk to Zendesk: Missing certain identifier information in a ticket results in agents taking longer to resolve issues. A Workato Hero created a recipe to automatically add the identifier value in a Zendesk ticket by looking up the description in the ticket, so agents never miss critical information again.
- Box to QuickBase: Another Workato Jam recipe replaces the manual process of creating records in QuickBase based on file attributes (e.g. account name, date created). The Workato Hero had large numbers of PDF files in a cloud storage account in Box. The recipe automates the process of creating records in QuickBase by parsing the file attribute data using powerful regular expressions available in Workato formulas.
2) Think Differently and Explore Possibilities
We created Workato Jam to make the process more enjoyable, and to showcase integration use cases that aren’t possible (or are too hard to do) with other products. But the words “integration” and “automation” often sound intimidating, uninspired, and dreary. Whether you’re a seasoned Workato user or a beginner building your first recipe, Workato Jam can help you take your integrations to new heights. We encountered so many creative workflows at our session! Here are our three favorites for inspiration:
- Bot Talk: Enabling Conversation Between Bots with Automation
Chatbots are increasingly prevalent across messaging platforms like Slack, and for good reason! They help users complete tasks—like creating a ticket in Zendesk based on an event in Salesforce—directly from the messaging app, rather than having to hop between multiple programs. Our next Workato Hero had built a few bots using slash commands in Slack. The slash command-controlled bot enabled him to post messages to a specific Slack channel when an opportunity in Salesforce converted to “Closed Won.” But the Slash Command bot still required manual input of the opportunity details.
- Bot Talk: Enabling Conversation Between Bots with Automation
At the Jam, this Workato Hero took automation to the next level by integrating Workato’s Workbot for Slack with the bot he had built. When a user marks an opportunity as “Closed Won,” the WorkBot recipes automatically fetch the details from Salesforce, invoking the slash command bot automatically. The ability to control other bots in Slack via WorkBot opens new possibilities for our Hero to explore.
3) Work + Fun + Community = Workato Jam
The day started early with participants beating the morning Bay Area traffic. Their energy and motivation made the eight-hour event fly by!
But recipe-building is hard work, we know. That’s why we celebrated your workflow wins with a well-deserved drink at our happy hour. It’s a great opportunity to mingle and network with other Workato Heroes—you might even learn a thing or two from their workflows, too!
At Workato, we strongly believe in the power of our community. This belief drives many of our product features, like our repository of 150,000+ shareable, reusable recipes and our forum where users share best practices and request enhancements. It also drives events like Workato Jam, where our customers and partners explore and rapidly build innovative solutions. The engagement between the participants, the experts, and the product forged many creative solutions, solved real problems, and laid the foundation for a community we strongly believe in. To interact with our growing community, we’ve created a new Slack channel, and you are welcome to join. This brand-new Slack community is built to help answer your questions, and to provide you with help from Workato experts and other customers. Together, we’ll learn and grow to build robust and intelligent automations!