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Monday
May132013

Automating the Future - ITSM Weekly the Podcast, Episode 110


Automating the Future – ITSM Weekly the Podcast, Episode 110

Your Hosts:  Mark Kawasaki  Matthew Hooper (twitter #ITSMWP)

Guests: Wade Foster, CEO of Zapier @wadefoster

Submit Questions:  Anonymously or Email or Call In: (765) 236-6383 or Twitter Questions/Comments #ITSMWP

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  • Zapier - automation tool, based on triggers and actions. B2B Saas applications to automate the tedious.  About to hit 200 supported APIs. 
  • Cloud to Cloud
  • Only with public APIs 
  • APIs are accessible on websites so anyone can find and non-technical people can use – ‘Boss proof’
  • Vendor without public API can use but have to give Zapier access
  • Targeting SMBs but consumers do use to automate their personal needs
  • Wade was doing data automation for a mortgage company, as a non-technical person could see what should be automated but couldn’t do much about it. Wanted a tool to speed things up.
  • Everything gets standardised in the middle so it can automatically hook in with everything else
  • Will it get more complex? There is a filter layer already, but there’s a lot more that could be done – “enriching trigger data” i.e getting more data than currently available as a trigger 
  • The simple model is worth a lot
  • Bigger challenge is contextual info and how to view over time
  • Chris Dancy does this well – tracking evrything in a calendar to get context and look back at
  • A dilemma could be whether to use a third party solution or push your existing vendor to provide it
  • Vendors find this kind of integration challenging
  • Vendors will end up building more specialised integrations – relying on third parties to fill in gaps
  • Security? Key thing is make sure to only make API access available to right people
  • Tools like Salesforce and MyWorkDay have it built in
  • Companies are listing integrations that are actually just Zapier powering them
  • Awesome examples – registering for an eventbrite event also registers them for goto webinar, then when attend event pushes them into email sequence, when they click on one go to web form, when they fill that out a sales guy gets it and knows they’re further down the funnel… 
  • Need fewer angry interns to make these things happen
  • Is there a threshold to be careful of? 
  • Customer-facing elements shouldn’t be obviously automated
  • Be human – follow up when you can 
  • Two lines at the bank – no-one at the window to talk to a person, queue for the ATM
  • It’s a tough thing to get right. Requires human judgement. And listen to customer feedback
  • Things like transitive tweets – automatically deleted after certain time are good idea
  • Sometimes it’s good to build in time for a QA or sentiment analysis before sending an email or post
  • Early on a Zapier customer wanted to read evernote on kindle device, eventually he made it work himself (still not sure how!)
  • Chris Dancy text to say he’s a customer and a fan
  • Wade’s blog wadefoster.net – for personal reflection, way to document his experiences, and a reminder for future self
  • Get a time maintenance dog?
  • Book coming out documenting 101 best ways to use Zapier – with cool use cases across the spectrum. Subscribe to Zapier.com blog or follow @zapier for updates 

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by Chris Dancy