CEO perspective

M.R. Asks 3 Questions: Rich Waldron, CEO and Co-Founder, Tray.io

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Recently listed as one of CB Insights’ 50 Future Unicorns, Tray.io is rooted on CEO and co-founder, Rich Waldron’s believe in democratizing the use of software and data for anyone – not just for engineers.

Rich co-founded Tray.io to lead the low-code general automation movement so that any business user can have the power to integrate their tech stack and automate mission-critical business processes by themselves. 

Here are a few of the highlights from our conversation with Rich and what low-code automation’s role is in today’s climate. 

 

M.R. Rangaswami: What is low-code automation, and what are you noticing about businesses adopting this technology?

Rich Waldron: Low-code automation lets business users in any role leverage the power of APIs, create their own integrations without the need for development resources, and automate mission-critical processes across their tech stack. With low-code automation, anyone can contribute to important digital initiatives, regardless of whether or not they have technical expertise. 

Today, thousands of companies around the world are dealing with the same challenges, including the need to accelerate digital transformation to keep up with the impact of COVID-19 and to adapt to an increasingly challenging economy. Modern companies must adapt to fully supporting a distributed workforce and ongoing budget constraints that increasingly pressure them to either capture as much return on investment as possible from their expensive software tools, or abandon those tools to cut down on their spend. As such, in this changing economy, efficiency is crucial. 

Low-code automation puts efficiency and scalability into the hands of a variety of teams across the organization, not just in IT. Low-code automation empowers any business users in any function, including marketing, sales, services, finance, HR, and many others to become “citizen automators” who integrate their own software tools and build out powerful automated processes that are more efficient and carry out essential projects faster and at scale. In effect, different teams across the organization are no longer waiting for IT support to fill in the gaps in their tech stack.

They’re taking their destiny into their own hands, which means that marketers are now driving more leads of higher quality, sales teams are booking more meetings and winning more deals, and service teams are responding more quickly to support queries. As organizations become faster and more efficient, they drive higher customer retention and revenue pipeline growth. And in the meantime, IT teams no longer bear the burden of internal integration building and maintenance, so they can focus their efforts on strategic projects such as digital transformation and information security.

 

M.R.: What’s an example of how low-code automation’s positive impact on businesses? 

Rich: Business teams are increasingly facing the tough reality that the tools they have now are what they’ll continue to have in the future, and that it’s unlikely they’ll be receiving much in the way of additional support or new hires anytime soon. As a result, teams are finding it increasingly important to make the most of their current tools, justify their current budgets, and get as efficient as possible as the work-from-home era continues to make it challenging for everyone to strike a clear work-life balance.

 What we are seeing with our customers and the industry as a whole is a pivot from aggressive growth and customer expansion to a greater emphasis on efficiency and customer retention. Earlier this year, we launched our “Retention is the new growth” campaign, which equipped our customers with the tools and strategies they need to make the transition.

As part of our campaign, we offered several proven strategies to drive day-to-day efficiency, reduce churn, and increase customer lifetime value by providing quality customer experiences. We’ve seen businesses that utilize these strategies not only survive the pandemic but thrive as well. Here are a few examples of how our customers utilize automation to adapt to the COVID-19 economy:

  • Massively scaling e-commerce to meet heightened customer demand: For many e-commerce businesses, the pandemic has led to skyrocketing customer demand for fast online fulfilment and shipping. Unprepared businesses face supply shortages, delivery delays, and other issues that can severely harm their reputation and their relationship with customers.

    One of our e-commerce customers combined automation with API integrations across its finance and shipping tools to scale its end-to-end order process. The result: The firm was able to adapt to sudden spikes in demand to provide exceptional customer service and scale dramatically without sacrificing quality or investing in additional resources. 

  • Optimizing the customer journey while increasing productivity and ROI: By using Tray.io’s low-code platform, a leading account-based marketing (ABM) vendor automated the time-consuming but mission-critical process of exporting, formatting, and uploading large volumes of data from one of its most important customer training programs.

    Automation helped the vendor increase certification course completion rates by 38% and generated a 107% ROI in saved hours of manual labor – time that the company invested into creating better customer resources.

 

M.R.: What is a “Citizen Automator” and why should organizations empower employees to become one?

Rich: “Citizen Automators” are people in any business role who take it upon themselves to improve their own work processes using automation and integrations they build themselves. Organizations can empower employees to become citizen automators by utilizing low-code automation, which democratizes access to automation and integration.

By putting automation and integration into the hands of line-of-business users, organizations can drive more ROI from their existing technology investments, become more efficient, and orchestrate processes at scale. When time-consuming integration and automation projects migrate out of IT departments, IT teams are free to focus on more strategic initiatives, such as digital transformation. 

I also believe there’s a philosophical and cultural benefit to having a company full of Citizen Automators. At Tray.io, we ourselves encourage broad adoption of automation. We have an extremely diverse team from many different backgrounds, and we have deep respect for each of our team member’s talents. Because we’re assembling a world-class team, it makes absolutely no sense to set them to work on tedious manual tasks that are beneath their ability.

Our goal is to give everyone at Tray.io the power to do their best work by giving them every opportunity to automate time-consuming, low-value work so that they can focus on high-value, strategic initiatives. I believe that smart leaders will come to the same conclusion, if they haven’t already

 

M.R. Rangaswami is the Co-Founder of Sandhill.com

 

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