How WOW! Learned SnapLogic in Days Using ⋮IWConnect’s Training Program
Our Employer Branding Specialist Renata, sat down with Mary Falcone to discuss how WOW! used ⋮IWConnect’s training program to shorten the learning curve for SnapLogic from months to days. Mary is a Director of Data Management and Business Intelligence at WOW!, and she will tell us more about their experience with our company and the amazing results we accomplished together.
About WideOpenWest: WideOpenWest (doing business as WOW!) is the sixth-largest cable operator in the United States with their network passing 3,248,600 homes and businesses. The company offers landline telephone, cable television, and broadband Internet services. As of December 31, 2020, WOW! has about 850,600 subscribers.
⋮IWConnect and WOW! have been connecting the DOTS as partners for more than 7 years. During that period ⋮IWConnect and WOW worked on developing and improving the Provisioning services, Payments (implementation of payment providers), Web Applications and Customer Experience, Realtime Business Reporting, Data Management and Governance, System Integrations and Automations, Custom Application Development, Continuous Integration, Deployment and Testing, Support and Infrastructure, Quality Assurance, etc. A fruitful partnership that has resulted in many successful projects.
HOW THE STORY GOES!?
Who is Meri?
Well, I am the Director of Data Management and Business Intelligence and Enterprise Data Warehousing at WOW!. I run the organization that collects all of our data, creates our data warehouse, stages it up for use both by my team to create business intelligence, as well as by our business users who do some self-service within to create reports for our entire company. My team supports the entire end-to-end business, from sales to marketing, to our field services organization to finance… We cover the full end-to-end scope and have all of the data for our entire company within the scope of our warehouse.
What problem(s) did you face before using our training program?
The way we’re set up today, we very much have segregated where our support of SnapLogic is. We have SnapLogic as our ETL tool and it is the primary tool that moves data from our source systems over into our warehouse or our staging area. Today we are using ⋮IWConnect to perform that work and perform the development work of the SnapLogic pipelines. Then we also have production support available for all of our daily jobs and the team of ⋮IWConnect does a great job there. We love them 😊! What was happening though, is we were having certain failures or issues coming up during our U.S. business hours in which we would have to contact production support.
It did seem like we could be a bit more self-sufficient even in understanding what the issue is doing. The way we had things organized it just felt overly complicated and felt unnecessarily heavy on production support when we could do some of that leg work on our own. That is why I reached out and wanted, to get some training for my on-shore team. I wanted my team to become more self-sufficient in production monitoring type of activities.
Why did you choose ⋮IWConnect?
We have worked with ⋮IW for a long time and I have full faith and trust in ⋮IWConnect. So, I reached out to you and just said hey, what can we do? What are our options? And then you said, hey, we’ve got a training partner for you! You connected with your ⋮IW Education Center and worked out a program to help us get more comfortable. I love the partnership that our companies have and it’s been successful and when you said, hey, here’s what we can offer I knew that it would be good for us.
What made our training program a good fit for you, did you customize it?
We did some customization, we met and talked it through. We defined what we wanted to get out of the program and then we worked with ⋮IWConnect and crafted this ten-class program where seven of the classes were hands-on with ⋮IWConnect. The program began with an introduction to SnapLogic and then it continued with hands-on training exercises. The mentor gave the team homework so we could go play around with it. Because I do think that’s how you learn best. It is to get the team to fumble around with it on their own and then come back to the next class. Those hands-on exercises were fantastic. Being able to touch the application, use it and see what happens was great.
The last three classes were a combination that walked us through specific site content and the things we do at WOW! and everything we needed to understand. We had another couple of exercises specific to the types of transformations we perform at WOW!, so the combination of just generic how do I move data with SnapLogic and then within WOW!, really helped connect the dots for my team.
What results did you achieve by using our training program?
We are taking that step of let’s do some work on our own before we are contacting production support if it is after hours. If it’s during business hours for both sides, we just have a conversation about it, but that’s where we are. We’re really in that next step now in reducing the number of calls. We just completed the training class for getting everyone set up, and now let’s go through those steps. Hopefully, we will reduce the number of calls, or at least when we page offshore support, we are now giving them details, here’s what needs to happen instead of hey, can you look at this and tell me what happened? We reduce time to fix or time to resolution and reduce the number of calls to after-hour support.
Specifically, what was the best thing about it?
As I mentioned before the hands-on exercises were fantastic. I think that’s where people learned the best, and that was the feedback I got from my team.
Would you recommend ⋮IWConnect to others? If yes, why?
Yes, I would. I think ⋮IWConnect has a fantastic grasp on SnapLogic and what it is and how to use it. I think if you want a hands-on class in a virtual environment this is an amazing option. We’re not in a classroom where we’re going somewhere so this is a great option to get people a live training in a virtual space where you are hands-on and working through how to learn the tool and how to use it.
Did we use real everyday problems to make the training easier?
For sure we would join data together and move data from one application to the other, removing duplicates, checking for filtering for specific values, transforming and changing names of data etc. So, I guess yes in that sense.
Why do you think the program was effective?
Once again, I think it’s the hands-on exercises. I think that’s the key. It was truly just a hands-on getting people in the application and having an instructor available to ask questions too. Not just in there and playing around on your own, but guided exercises where you have been given some instructions and you attempt to solve them. After that, you come back with your solution and get feedback on it. Asking questions on the spot. It was somewhat self-guided when we had homework so people could learn at their own pace. Whether that exercise took them 10 minutes or it took them two hours. Individuals could learn at their own pace, but then come back and have a resource to ask questions to and see the solution. See different ways that other people did it as well. I think that was what made it successful.
How is your daily job easier because of the training? What exactly is better than before? (team, WOW! and personal)
We get emails when something fails and it’s got an error message in the link into SnapLogic, whereas before the team couldn’t interpret those. Now they should be able to have a general understanding of what those mean. I expect that my team will become more capable within SnapLogic and able to troubleshoot and again reduce our time to fix so that we’re keeping our uptime and minimizing the downtime for our customers. Even I have used the development environment. I had an ad hoc where someone needed to take some spreadsheet data and then combine it with some data we had in our warehouse. Whereas before I would have had to ask somebody to load that into the warehouse, I was able to log into the development environment with my right privileges connect that Datasheet, use some Snaps pull it together, get the ad hoc done without having to involve anyone else. So, my team will be able to do those types of things to use the lower environments or development environments and then again within production to reduce our downtime. Or speed the resolution and hopefully not wake up our production folks every other day, because we are more self-sufficient now.
⋮IWConnect has performed successful training programs for many other companies helping them reduce their learning curve and become more self-sufficient in days instead of months. If you are ready to enhance your training experience, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.