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Introducing Usermind, the Orchestration Platform for BizOps

Introducing Usermind, the Orchestration Platform for BizOps

Michel Feaster
By
Michel Feaster

Usermind began in Spring 2013. My co-founder and I were convinced that the emergence of “Shadow IT” — teams buying, implementing, and managing complex technology stacks — represented a massive shift in technology operations. One as big as the web or distributed systems or mobile had been to traditional IT organizations.

So we decided to talk to as many business operations people as we could find. Marketing operations, sales operations, finance operations … basically anyone in a business function who owned and managed a moderately complex technology stack and who wasn’t in IT. Three months later, we had consumed over 200 coffees and beers, and thought we had discovered something meaningful:

  1. The explosion of SaaS apps has shifted tech buying from IT to functional teams where everyone wants to work in the best-in-class apps for their function.
  2. Marketing and sales are being disrupted first, but all business functions are being digitized.
  3. Functional teams optimize for their metrics — leads, opportunities, tickets — and processes. The result is an ecosystem of disconnected apps with data locked into silos.
  4. Experimentation on business processes either relies heavily on IT’s ability to build custom solutions or only happens at the functional level (i.e., optimizing piecemeal bits of marketing operations or the sales funnel).

The interesting thing about the above is that it reminded us of the state of IT before ITIL and DevOps. The silos between marketing, sales, and finance operations look a lot like engineering before DevOps revolutionized the way software is built. A focus on bottoms-up processes looks like IT Ops when servers, networks, and storage were the key things to measure — before ITIL brought in a service focus.

And we wondered: What would happen if these proven ideas that drove agility and customer focus in IT were brought to bear on these business critical operations teams?

There is now a parallel movement, BizOps. BizOps has three core principles:

  1. Break down the walls between business operations teams such as marketing, sales, and finance.
  2. Shift perspective from leads, opportunities, and escalations to focus on customer, partner, and product lifecycles.
  3. Combine analysis with action and experimentation to drive growth, decrease churn and cost of sale, and increase the lifetime value of a customer.

Companies with business processes and data siloed by disparate teams and systems of record can’t actually be data-driven. Unless your processes and data architecture can converge on one platform, your ability to experiment on and improve processes is going to be limited by the availability of your IT team to build custom integration and analytics solutions.

The data needs to converge. End-to-end processes need to be orchestrated and measured across all of your systems of record. Most importantly, you need to be able to turn these insights into action.

That’s why I’m so excited to announce Usermind, our orchestration hub for business operations.

With Usermind, you can define, automate, and experiment on every aspect of your customer lifecycle and internal operations that drive revenue, retention, and profitability. You can easily connect enterprise apps, map their data to user-defined key entities, trigger real-time actions in any available service, measure impact on business outcome, and make process improvements — all from the same platform.

Usermind gives you a single system of record for data that spans multiple applications, processes, and stages of the customer journey. With a definitive source of truth, you can see the outcome of business processes, form new hypotheses, and rapidly take action to experiment on those end-to-end processes.

How it Works

1.  Dynamic Integrations

Traditionally, integrations have been dumb pipes. Connections are point-to-point, data flows in limited ways, and there hasn’t been support for custom objects and entities.

Another integration approach has been to use activities from other applications to append records in your CRM. However, CRMs aren’t built to give you analytics on updated records. In fact, extracting any meaningful insight on business process is impossible without adding a BI layer between your CRM and other apps.

Usermind Integrations
Connect via OAuth or API key.

Usermind connections support custom objects, and allow you to push and pull data to and from any available service you’ve connected through our hub — as well as map key entities across platforms.

2.  Customer Data Store

Usermind doesn’t just centralize your business logic in a single hub — it also centralizes your business data, and provides mapping of the data to user-defined key entities.

Instead of pumping all your data into your CRM, you can use triggers and actions in any available service, and access versioned history in Usermind.

3. BizOps Process Automation

Usermind makes process automation easy. With our Visual Process Automation Language, non-technical users can modify and code Journeys (either customer-facing journeys or internal business processes) using intuitive conditional logic.

Usermind Journey Builder
Define and apply business logic across applications.

Usermind Journeys can be triggered by user behavior and actions in connected applications, or set to run on specific timeframes and other conditions.

4. End-to-End Process Analytics

With Usermind’s analytics, you can actually measure the effect of a given process on your desired business outcome — and immediately take action to improve it.

Usermind Analytics
Impact analytics for end-to-end processes.

With insight into what is driving conversion, retention, and revenue, you can experiment on integrated processes.

What’s Next?

We believe BizOps will herald a new discipline and enable new technologies (of which we hope to be first and best-in-class). Early adopters of DevOps have reaped massive advantage over the past 20 years — faster delivery, better collaboration, higher profitability. We hope you’ll embrace this paradigm shift in the line of business, and start implementing a BizOps-first mindset when designing your customer journey.

Are you actively driving efforts to improve conversion, retention, lower cost of sales, or other stages of your customer or company journey?

Request a demo of Usermind to see how to automate and optimize operations across teams and apps.

Michel Feaster
Michel Feaster
Michel is Co-Founder and CEO of Usermind.

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