Product, Thought LeadershipLeave a Comment on The power of integrations

The power of integrations

Integrations bridge the gaps between all marketing operations, enabling all our products to work seamlessly with applications in our customer’s ecosystem. No matter where data is coming from, integrations empowers people to complete tasks with better workflows – removing hacks and workarounds.

The aims for integrations are three fold: 

  1. Have an ‘out-of-the-box’ plugin for the most popular tools in include them in our price list e.g. Adobe or MS Office integrations.
  2. Create commercial synergies with partner integrations, such as Ciloo (print distributor) and ZetaDisplay (digital signage).
  3. Improve customer collaboration with future-proof API to all our services to help them drive their business goals. 

The long-term goal for our integrations is to make Papirfly become the dominant integration enablement player for all our customers.

What is an integration?

An integration is a way of enabling different systems to work seamlessly together. Papirfly has supported many new and existing customers by integrating different systems they need to work together to ensure a seamless workflow and powerful output.

Time to market time savings and quality improvements

How Papirfly helped a customer’s marketing department cut down on time to market and ensure quality in their online product images

Our customer’s marketing department stores all their product images in Papirfly’s DAM product and then uses the platform to distribute product images to resellers around Europe.

Seasonal photoshoots are done three to four times a year. The amount of new product images per shoot can often add up to thousands of images. 

Main areas to address:

  • Handling of thousands of images is time consuming
  • Ensuring that the data quality is high
  • Securing the data transfer
  • Sheer amount of data means that transfer and import is labour intense

The solution:

We worked with the customer to automate the import of the images, adding of metadata, and synchronising the data with the master data PIM system.

The result: 

We succeeded in addressing all the customer’s main problem areas by returning a full time employee’s effort of a couple of weeks down to one or two hours for each import. Also importantly, the quality of the import is high, and does not rely on human effort, which has the potential of introducing errors or security risks.

Gathering the requirements

The current customer presented the problem to us and, based on our experience with similar customers and our ability to recognize the sheer amount of work effort that our customer devotes to the problem to be solved, that enabled us to think up a solution that works for the customer.

Often while trying to support a customer’s needs, the solution tends to become over complicated and adds too many layers of technical elements, which we work hard to avoid. In this case we narrowed down the transfer to a basic Excel file (least common denominator).

What did the customer need?

All products due for a photoshoot are listed in the customer’s PIM system. An Excel sheet with product information and all products due for the photoshoot is distributed to the photographer. During the photoshoot the photographer names each photo with the correct unique product number.  When finished, all images are sent to Papirfly and, based on the Excel sheet, a process imports the images and corresponding metadata. This batch import process saves weeks of manual work.

Who was part of the requirement gathering process?

The team consisted of the Marketing Director at the customer (problem holder), our Integrations Product Leader, and the accounting team on the customer side (who also use the solution).

Why is gathering requirements so important in this way?

Often, an overly technical solution is not required, a usable one is. We work with our customer to find a middle ground between extremely technically layered solutions and simple solutions that meet the customer’s needs and are easily used by everyday users. The key feature of a successful integration is meeting users where they are at, with the key to success being that the end user can explain it to co-workers, train other team members, and easily use the solution without extensive technical know-how and training.

How we got a PoC up and running so quickly

What is a PoC?

A proof of concept exists to allow customers to test the solution, provide feedback, and allow Papirfly to iterate on the customer’s needs. In building a “Proof of Concept”, we manually work through the entire project step by step, to ensure that we’re thinking correctly, that each step works separately, and then we can automate the process in the final and full solution.

Why was this PoC so important?

With the majority of SaaS solutions, the idea is to “push the button and something will come out the other end”. In integration development, we are pushing the button every step to make sure each step works and cut out things that aren’t optimal, which enables us to be more cost effective. Think about it like a car journey from point A to point B, everything in between should be clean with as little “stops” along the journey, so that the destination is reached faster and more efficiently.

How will we use this for future integrations/product development?

We’ve set-up a process to enable future integrations and product development, as well as reusing building blocks from other integrations. This makes each and every integration more cost effective and stable for our customers. We’re using tried and true methodology and components.

Working with Papirfly’s integration team

This successful integration cut down on the customer’s costs, ensured a secure manner of transferring and uploading of images, made the quality of the process higher, and cut down on time to market from weeks to a couple of hours. In a web shop world where products should be accessible to customers immediately (as most online shops don’t have to wait for the customer to come into the shop), time to market is a key driver of success.

We help our customers on a daily basis with building a more effective work environment, minimising repetitive tasks, lowering time to market, and eliminating the risk of errors being created. All of these factors will help companies grow and evolve through efficiency gains and improved processes.

We’d love to meet with you to understand your integration needs, book a demo with one of our integration experts!

AI, Product, Thought LeadershipLeave a Comment on AI beyond the hype, – Adaptation and adoption

AI beyond the hype, – Adaptation and adoption

Papirfly has worked with AI for some time and has successfully implemented it in the production of illustrations for one of its customers. The company used the customer’s brand guidelines to train the AI to create new illustrations that are inline with the brand’s look and feel. This allows the customer to quickly generate new illustrations at a low cost and with a faster turnaround time compared to the traditional workflow of requesting and waiting for an illustrator. The AI-generated illustrations are still subject to manual approval.

The above intro text was written by ChatGPT. Our Product team took this text and asked ChatGPT’s AI for an executive summary on how to use AI to write marketing content as an experiment. We’ve all spent the last couple of weeks getting mind blown by the text and copy that a chat AI can write. But what now? The sharing hype is over, can this be used for anything useful?

AI: Looking deeper

At Papirfly we’ve been looking into AI use cases and the theory behind it for some time and similarly to others, we’ve been fascinated and impressed. AI has been, theoretically at least, hailed as the solution to many problems currently being dissected and analysed within “big tech”. It may seem obvious, but trying to implement the technology to fix those problems comes with its own challenges. It’s theorised that “AI can solve anything,” but we have some questions!

  • Where are the use cases that are suitable for it?
  • Why should AI solve those things?
  • Does the problem really need AI to solve it, or are we throwing technology at something because it’s “new and cool”?

Addressing the technology adoption curve

At Papirfly, we believe we’ve found a killer use case for AI (you could say we’re the “Innovators” on the technology adoption curve), but we need to help the technology find its rightful place where it can stand on its own in the product ecosystem, and support other companies in how to use the technology properly and responsibly.

What’s next on AI from Papirfly?

This short blog is Papirfly’s introduction to our longer series on AI, “AI: beyond the hype” where we’ll dig into more wide ranging topics on AI and how it might affect our customers and their customers. We want to ensure that we’re researching, analysing, and using AI in a responsible and sustainable way, and have some exciting use cases and thought leadership coming in the new year. Stay tuned!

Contributions by Natalie Wilding, Martin Pospisil, and Yngve Myklebust

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