The Future of BizTech Podcast

Epi 34: Bring Your Business Ideas to Life with Automation – Andy Zambito, CSO Americas for Creatio

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Find Andy Zambito on LinkedIn here:

JC: Welcome everybody to another episode of The Future of Biz Tech. I’m your host, JC Granger. I have with me here Andy Zambito. He’s the Chief Sales Officer of the Americas for Creatio. Andy, thank you so much for being on the show. Why don’t you tell the audience a little about yourself and what it is that you do?

Andy: Sure. Well first of all, thank you so much for having me on. I’m really pleased to be here. As what you mentioned, Andy Zambito. I’m the Chief Sales Officer at Creatio now but I’ve spent about 20+ years in tech and tech sales as an individual contributor and all the way up to leadership at a number of different firms, and my charter here is running our go-to market teams and growing that for all America’s regions.

JC: Wonderful and what is Creatio – I was on the website, but there’s a lot going on there. Specifically, how do you help companies not B2B-space, you know what is it you offer?

Andy Zambito: Sure. Well, it all starts from the vision, righ? And the vision of Creatio is enabling a world where everyone can automate business ideas in minutes. And so what we’re doing is trying to enable the world of business users, professionals, to become citizen developers, rather than this long line of IT that you need to get into and work faster to deliver a higher degree of value. If you look back at the world, today, we have about 1.7 billion knowledge workers who are creating a demand for about 500 million applications. And there are only about 25 million developers in the world today to do that. So this the movement that we’re in. And the way we deliver on this value is through the world of low code, no code, which is for the audience who may not know this is taking the ability for a business user in a drag and drop interface, you’ve probably seen this in some commercial operations for consumers, to be able to build business applications, automate business processes, and really drive the business at a faster pace. We focus heavily on business operations, customer relationship management is an area that we do a lot of our focus as well.

JC: So let’s talk about that drag and drop, because you know, I know what you’re talking about. I’ve seen these things before, most people who visualize drag and drop are looking at like website editors, right? They think of like Wix, right, or something like that, one of those things where they can make a website, and with the drag and drop, so people are familiar with that idea, I believe. And they’re not too intimidated by that, because that’s been very prevalent. So maybe educate the audience. How similar in usage..

Andy Zambito: Yeah.

JC: that when people make a quick website drag and drop, versus what Creatio does? Is it that simple? Is it a little more complicated is, you know, do you have to have a certain base foundation of knowledge first, before you can do that? Or can a layman go in and say, Well, I need these things automated, and I can go like this, this, this, and then it works. Like how to, you know, walk me through it?

Andy Zambito: Absolutely. So think about this in a number of ways. How often does a business professional back when we used to drive into work, right, they get on their computer, and they have this amazing idea of something, they want to make reality. And they get everybody around the table and say, let’s do all of this. And the first thing that happens is, you see hands go up, well we need six months and a million dollars to do that. Or we can’t do that because these things you want to touch. They’re sacred to some other group. So what we’re actually enabling is everything from if you can imagine drawing a flowchart on a whiteboard, and then saying, I want to empower each of these elements to do certain things, whether they be instructed in visual interact with data, this is truly the environment that we’re in. And so you don’t just think of it as building apps, but also in that automation of process. Now, when you talk about the skill set, certainly as this market evolves, I think we see a movement, that kind of low code, and no code will merge. There’s a reason they’re kind of two terms for it. Now, people are coming at this differently in a low code environment, it is a little bit more oriented toward a business analyst that has a deeper understanding of their business and is not and is tech-friendly, if you will. And it’s really about bringing these kinds of composable parts together. No code is your thinking a complete drag and drop environment. But what we’ve seen in the industry is that no code providers are starting to have to add more low code capabilities to enable a higher order capabilities and low code writers are quickly driving towards no code. So we see in the future, the merging of this

JC: You even got ahead of me a little bit on on one of my questions.

Andy Zambito: Oh, okay, good.

JC: No, it’s great. I love I was asking, like, what’s the future of the industry and you’re already heading there so keep going.

Andy Zambito: Yeah. So you know, when today, you know, you if you have that business idea, and you want to, you know, produce that application, you can. What we see oftentimes is this, this ranges from business-specific applications, we see a lot of demand for of thinking I need something for and that’s why I said CRM earlier marketing sales service. And so what Creatio does is we’ve built purpose-built applications on top of this framework and platform to truly accelerate your time to market and your ability to deliver that. But you also have this kind of horizontal pull that happens in your organization. And once you grab onto the idea that, well wait, if we can automate that process, I have these 14 other things in human resources and in finance and other areas, just, yeah, that are just routine things. And you’d be surprised at how many prizes really can be put onto a template and that that you think about whether it be something like employee onboarding, as an example, customer onboarding, expense manager, all these things are merely just proxies in a business that you could articulate what you want to do. And rather than getting into an ITQ and hiring a developer to do that, we want to empower you to be able to do that now.

JC: So how does this compare to something out there that people use a lot like Zapier, for example. Right? You go to Zapier, you know, you type in what the app is here and which one you want to connect with. It has a drop down of saying, okay, when this action happens, tell it to do that one. So it connects obviously, to different applications with preset, you know, if-then scenarios, right, it’s very easy to use for anyone. Does your drag and drop? You know, I imagine if you’re inside the interface, is it basically doing Zapier without having to manually go in and do that? Like, is it already pre loaded? Like, how does that work? Is it hosted to Creatio, you know, just I guess, visually? If somebody is using Creatio, what do they see when they’re trying to automate these processes from their other software’s and systems?

Andy Zambito: So yeah, let me try to unpack this a little bit bigger for you. So when you think about Zapier, you’re talking about kind of that API connection between two data sources. This is a much broader vision. And we certainly enable the ability to call web services and do different capabilities. But if you think about it this way, we have this low code platform that I shared with you, which allows you in a studio environment, as we’ve mentioned, to kind of build those applications. And at the heart of that is the business process automation. But on top of that, we have so what a lot of folks will say is we have built these purpose-built CRM solutions as well. So if you think about, so customers will see different things, if you will, are whether it’s lead management, or Sales Automation, these are areas where it’s the solution is a Gartner leader, right? But it also is built on this capability set. So in that environment, I have my traditional CRM, my Salesforce automation. And if you ask somebody who’s ever used something like that you say is it did they enjoy it? Was it easy to use? Was easy to change and modify? That’s a paradigm we’re changing there, right? So for the ability for those business power users to go in there and make all those changes. Outside of that, it will look like if you’re just in the studio environment, it really will be like dragging and dropping your process out and empowering that node. And to your point of, I’m going to call this web service and answer these questions. And this is what I want it to do, and how I want that. And now I want to automate and push a message to this individual, all those things that you can measure.

JC: So let’s switch gears a bit here. I’m a marketing guy by nature, you know, I do a lot of B2B stuff. And so what is Creatio doing to get their name out there? Right? You know, how big is Creatio already? You know? And then what types of things do you guys focusing on from a marketing standpoint, and maybe even sales since you’re the chief sales officer..

Andy Zambito: Sure

JC: That’s really, really pushing that, you know, across the nation or the world?

Andy Zambito: Well, besides obviously, doing podcasts like this, to get the word out, there’s quite a few things that the company has been around has an established presence, right? This is about 650 employees on a global basis. And we are a digital first company, right? So we one of our big messages in this space we occupy is about digital transformation, and helping organizations get there. And so for us, one of the biggest things we do is digital events. Right, and this has been a big push, obviously, in the days of COVID. I think a lot of people went into that realm. But there’s something we’ve been doing for quite some time. We also do a lot of experimentation, right? Our technology, we use our own technology for just about everything we do. So all of our sales and marketing, everything else is managed through that. So we have the traditional routes, as you’d expect for an enterprise software organization. But we do lean heavily on forward thinking views of this and the digital events.

JC: Okay. And then who’s your optimal client? Right? I mean, are these small businesses medium sized enterprise? What industries typically really benefit from this more than others? Who’s that perfect, you know, avatar client for you?

Andy Zambito: Yeah no, that’s a fantastic question. So, there are a couple aspects to this, one of the big powers of what we do is that it does scale vertically, both functionally and technically, but also commercially. So it is does address needs, whether it be SMB all the way to fortune 100, or government. And we are a global organization operating in, you know, 110 countries with, you know, a really extensive of partner community, from a ideal customer from size and scope, I would say that the, you know, we spend – my team particularly spends – an awful lot of time in that commercial enterprise space. Right. When you think about the industries we track about 23 industries that we focus on. But the industries that benefit most are the ones that have high complexity, because we think about again, what we’re doing, you have complex CRM solutions, as you can imagine, that have a lot of challenges. The more interaction there is between departments, we see these challenges between front and middle and back-office systems that that kind of data drop off in those gray areas. So when you have process-intensive, complex industries, they’ll see a tremendous amount of value, both in our off-the-shelf solutions as well as the studio. And that tends to be things you’d expect like financial services, manufacturing, distribution, logistics, telco, pharma, you name it in those areas.

JC: So let me see this year. You know, my audience, they really like to to kind of know what’s coming down the pipeline, right, a little sneak preview, if you will. Now, tell me out, we’re recording this but probably won’t go on for. Right. So won’t be too proprietary. But okay, yeah, coming down the pipeline for Creatio, what are some of the pet projects, that is going to set you guys even more apart here that are going to be coming out here in the near future?

Andy Zambito: So what’s really interesting is it’s funny you mentioned was coming out. So actually, even just this week, we just had a major release. So there’s I talked about that, but then we can go in the future. A lot of the area of focus for us is when you when I was talking about kind of low code, and no code and emerging of this and the enablement of citizen developers, we want to enhance that even more. And so when you’re thinking about, you know, you’re in marketing, the front end look and feel of things really matters, right, and the adoption of technology for and usability is paramount for any IT project inside of a business. So the power that we’re putting out for folks to be able to modify the look and feel down to their really highly tailored nature, right, because one of the reactions you have when you talk to people about low code, and no code, they often want to say is, you know, where’s the limit of that, and you have to actually get under the covers and do real coding, right? That only works for maybe something kind of simple. And that’s actually not true at all.

And so not only is there a ton of power underneath, but we want to bring more and more of that to the front end. Additionally, I’ll say that like anyone that’s working right now, there’s a lot of pushing in data science and machine learning and things of that nature. In our world, for organizations, if you think about call centers looking to use that for intelligent routing, or sales representative in a bank looking for what’s the next best offer that I should make utilizing the data that we have at hand because we’re able to bring together such disparate sets of data, our platform is built on a unified database and data schema. So unlike a lot of business platforms that get built off of you know, I’ve built one thing, I’ve bought another, I’ve acquired this, and we have to try to cobble them together in order to have a view of my customer. What’s important to me, that’s a default position on our platform. So anything that you’re building off of that, or any of these vertical elements that you would purchase, are all taking advantage of that. So that’s another big push for us is in these verticalized solutions that are becoming more highly tailored to your needs, which is all about what we’re about, which is about accelerating time to market, right? Can we accelerate you taking that idea that you have that real business value want to deliver? Can we make that faster? Can we make that more affordable? Can we future proof, really, and allow you to not be kind of locked in and be able to adjust?

JC: See now that I like and especially since you know, anything you can do to make sure like set future proof? Like that’s a big one, right? And you already kind of answered my next question, you know, about how the future of that industry, you know, you see low code, and no code really kind of starting to merge, which is really interesting concept there. So let’s, let’s ask something a little personal about you. Actually, I asked this one every now and then. You know, when you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? And then is that what you are now when you get there? Right? Like just I’m curious about Andy.

Andy Zambito: Far from it. I heard some of your previous interviews, I wondered if I would get that question. I’m probably about as far as you could get from where I started. So as a kid, I probably would have answered that as you know, Indiana Jones, right. And I got I got as far as you know, getting my, my first degree in, you know, ancient and medieval European history. Right. So okay, I started down that path. I took a number of twists and turns in my early days, you know, I was going to pursue the military, and it was pure finance. And ultimately, you know, what I found was, I was always coming back to whatever I did was touching technology. You know, even in finance, it was working in a tech portfolio, when I and so I had the opportunity, I got kind of plucked from that because I had a unique set of things in my background that somebody said, you know, we’d like to bring you in on on the sales side to talk about all these things that you’ve been doing on the back end, this was back in the days when, you know, the bubble was about to burst, and, you know, everything was custom.

And that was my first foray into it. And I have to say it was one of the most challenging one of my early jobs when the most challenging one in sales, but that also kind of embraced for me, it was selling artificial intelligent decision support systems. So the concept of I’m gonna sell you a piece of technology that I can’t show you, I can’t really you know, demonstrate any of it and you’re going to feed data into it it’s going to give you guidance that will yield results say six months down the line and trust me it’s gonna be great. And it would I mean, do these things but yeah, it was that really kind of shows you if you’re cut out for for space and then from then on the rest was history.

JC: Well, it’s funny it’s funny how I like how your story about you wanting to become from a movie.

Andy Zambito: Yeah

JC: Because it’s because mine did you like you know, I saw Top Gun as a kid.

Andy Zambito: Alright.

JC: All I ever want to be was a fighter pilot, right and actually I gotta tell you, I got pretty close, I got to the point where I got to fly, an Air Force trainer, fighter jet.

Andy Zambito: Wow. Amazing!

JC: Okay but that’s pretty far along, right? In the end, it wasn’t for me, you know, I’m such a creative person. And I think I realized last second that, you know, there’s not a whole lot of room for creativity in the cockpit of a fighter plane, right? At least there shouldn’t be like this, if you’re forced to be creative in a fighter plane, you’re being shot at okay?

Andy Zambito: Exactly. Exactly.

JC: And so it’s very methodical, you know, they always say 99% routine, 1% chaos. And I was like, you know, I gotta tell you, I like a little more chaos in my life than that. So I ended up going, you know, private sector, and, you know, and marketing and whatnot. But yeah, mine came from a movie too just like yours, Indiana Jones. So that’s cool.

Andy Zambito: And I found that I found that for me, you know, when I was in the office doing this, that the times I enjoyed the most, when I was doing analysis, whatever it was, when I finally got out of the office to talk to the business leaders that I was, you know, doing, whether it was underwriting or Portfolio Manager, whatever it might have been, and talk to them about what their real challenges were, you know, one of the other kind of big themes that’s happening in our space right now is all around, you know, digital transformation. But that’s a very overused term. It’s really been around for, you know, 15-20 years. And, you know, I think what’s really what most organizations have been doing is what I would call digitization, right?

I’m gonna take my server and put it in a cloud, I’ll take paper, and I’ll put it electronically. And there was a meme that went around, you know, last year, which was very telling, when organizations were tasked with saying, you know, what, who in your business is driving digital transformation the most? And the answer was COVID. You know, so it wasn’t a person, it was this event that everybody was imposed on to. And, you know, an interesting study that we just released was our first annual kind of state of low code, no code, right, basically surveying 1000 business professionals to understand their perspective on this, but it was under the umbrella, if you will, of digital transformation. And, you know, the telling thing for us is I think 95% of organizations didn’t slow down or stop their efforts in digital transformation. But yet on the other side of that only 10% of business processes they felt had been automated. And that about, you know, about 43%, saying that it was the lack of skilled resources that that was blocking them, it kind of goes back to that first argument I made and, and why the space we occupy why Gartner says that this is going to be, you know, 60% of business applications will be built on this in the next several years, because there’s really no alternative, right?

Andy Zambito: And the world has kind of pushed everybody to this place where, you know, if you suddenly can’t bring people into your branch, what are you going to do in order to get back to them, right? You’re on the marketing side, right? If they completely come up with whole new, all new ways to still hit those, those growth metrics. And for me, what’s exciting about it is, it really shows you how much process is at the heart of what differentiates one organization from another, if you think about it, whether it be you know, you mentioned playing … whether you’re an airline right in your internal processes with each other and your external process, at the end of the day, you’re selling a seat from a destination to destination, both planes will get you there. But why do those organizations end up having vastly different valuations, different turnarounds of their planes, different customer experiences, it’s all about the processes that they have and how they manage it. So that’s for me, one of the things that attracted me to Creation was, worth the heart of not just digital transformation, but this is really the differentiator for organizations right? You can proliferate apps, and they’re a means to an end and they’re essential and they’re critical, but they don’t yield the result. Right and so that I may have taken off on a tangent but you inspire me with that thought of the plane took me there. Yeah, with the thought and with what makes it exciting.

JC: So let me ask you this here, you know, you’ve been in business a while you’ve had a lot of experience with your company that you’re with now and I’m sure once before what is either the best advice you’ve ever been given business-wise or the best advice that you know how to give to the audience anyone listening?

Andy Zambito: Sure. Well, I learned this the hard way in both work in business so became something that I now kind of try to impart to others but it’s not enough to be right. Right? Whether it’s in your personal every business I’m so in the world for me with sales or the company, right, you can have the best product and the best price and the best people and all those things. But there’s more to it than that in and understanding that and what drives that both in your personal relationships, whether it’s you and your partner, or whether it’s you know, a customer that you’re interacting with. And I think if you embrace that and then kind of get underneath it, you will get to better results. So that’s just certainly a life one for me.

JC: Well, Andy, I really appreciate you being on the show. How can people anyone listening to you know at their company who might see that Creatio could help them? How do they find you guys as a company and then how could someone reach out to you personally if they needed to for any kind of ownership stuff or whatever?

Andy Zambito: I appreciate the opportunity. So obviously is our website, we are, you mentioned how are we getting the word out there? We’re fairly prolific in our content. So we generate a tremendous amount of content, whether it be YouTube channels, articles, the rest. Were thought leaders in the space. We welcome you to check that out. Certainly, I’m open to hearing from any of the audience and I can be reached at

JC: That’s wonderful. Andy, thanks again for being on the show. And I actually look forward to checking it out myself because you know, I’m kind of that software geek, right? You know me.

Andy Zambito: I certainly appreciate it. Well, thank you so much for having me on.

JC: Thanks a lot. Bye bye.

Andy Zambito: Take care

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