Ian Cooperman of Isos Technology on The BEST ITSM Show by Appfire

“How did CBS Marketing streamline their promo spot production process?” Find out in this episode of Appfire Presents: The Best IT Service Management Show by Appfire.

Atlassian consultant Ian Cooperman of Isos Technology joins Kerry O’Shea Gorgone to talk about how CBS streamlined their promo spot production process to address gaps in functionality, and bring in processes taking place outside the system (requests coming in via email, assets being shared as attachments, information tracked through spreadsheets…you name it).

Ian explains how CBS was able to get a much clearer picture of work-in-progress by enhancing Jira’s native functionality through app integrations.

For all the details, check out the CBS case study on the Isos Technology website.

About the guest

Ian Cooperman is an Atlassian Consultant on the Professional Services team at Isos Technology. He started his journey with Jira and Confluence as a Program Manager looking for a more efficient way for his digital teams to plan, track, and collaborate on work, all while providing transparency to leadership and stakeholders.

With a background in product management and agile software development, and more than 10 years of experience using Atlassian tools to optimize and scale teams, Ian helps both small and large organizations get the most value out of their Atlassian investment.

He is an Atlassian Certified Professional: Agile for Jira and Jira Project Administrator, an Atlassian ITSM Technical Sales Accredited Professional, as well as SAFe 5 Consultant Certified, and ITIL Foundations Certified.

About the show

The BEST ITSM Show by Appfire brings you expert insights for IT service delivery, so your employees and customers have what they need to succeed. Get the right tech and tips for the right job at hand. Look like you’ve come from the future with all your new ITSM smarts. Every episode is a brisk 10 minutes—less time than it takes to provision a laptop or troubleshoot a tech support issue.

For your convenience, here is the transcript of this episode:

How did CBS Marketing streamline their promo spot production process?

Kerry: Hello, I’m Kerry O’Shea Gorgone and this is Appfire Presents: The Best ITSM Show by Appfire. Today, we’re going to talk about how did CBS marketing streamline their promo spot production process? To help us answer that question is Ian Cooperman, Atlassian consultant with Isos Technology, so stick around for 10 minutes of ITSM awesome.

Ian, thanks so much for joining. This sounds exciting. Tell me a little bit, if you could, by way of background, about CBS and Isos Technology’s relationship with them.

Ian: Yeah, for sure. Thanks, Kerry. Nice to be here. I just wanted to actually talk about CBS in general. I think everyone knows CBS, they’ve been around since 1927, so almost a century old organization. Just based on that, there’s probably a lot of really old tooling and processing that has survived the test of time, if you will. One of those is the tooling and processes that the CBS marketing team had before they met Isos.

We had a visionary over there who saw the need for evolution of their tooling, evolution of their processes, and started looking at tools, found Atlassian, said, “This is the coolest tool that I’ve seen so far that can do what we need it to do.” Then, he started looking for solutions partners. They had a really customized… I mean this tool that they’ve been using is two decades old.

They’ve been building this thing and building it and building it and building it and tweaking it. This thing is extremely complex that they wanted to migrate from. They found us, I don’t actually know how, but they found us and made a great connection, started building trust right away and started working together. That’s pretty much the history behind Isos and CBS.

Kerry: What kind of problems were they having? You mentioned the technology was 20 years old. What were some things they wanted to do that they couldn’t, or did CBS just really want to streamline the whole thing and do it kind of faster, better and more trackable?

Ian: I think the latter, for sure. I mean the thing about organizations like CBS, they’ve been around for quite a while, meaning that the people that work there have also been around for quite a while, and so change is really tough for them. They really decided to stick to their guns and stay with the tooling that they’ve been using for a long period of time.

What that tooling really… They didn’t really understand what it was missing, things like deeper integrations in with their digital asset management systems, being able to have their order management system, which was a separate platform, be able to push data into this .NET framework system that they had, and be able to then manage these promos through their entire lifecycle. Now we’re talking about CBS marketing, so they’re the folks that put promotions on air for like, I don’t know, CSI and Star Trek: Picard, sorry, I don’t watch TV so…

Now you’re talking my language.

Ian: Yeah. Any case, that’s the team that does this. From conception of the idea of generating a promo all the way to it going on air to Kerry’s TV, this is the process that this team goes through. There’s extremely complex process. A lot of things that play into it, like they have announcers that are reading scripts from Jira. They’re reading scripts from what the creative directors are sending out. They’re creating videos, they’re marrying these things. They’re going through a QA process, what’s a very elaborate complex process.

It was extremely clunky inside the tooling that they used to use. One of the benefits of moving over to the Atlassian suite was the ability to kind of clean up the mess that started to build after decades and decades of using it. Then, the other thing is the deeper integrations in with their digital asset management system, so being able to embed videos from the DAM that they had, embed it into the Jira ticket. They were able to see… Creative directors were able to go in and see what the videos were, what the creatives were inside the tool without having to go somewhere else. A lot of cool things like that.

Kerry: Things that you’ve kind of… That you jury rig over the years to try and make things work, now it all just worked.

Ian: Correct. Yeah. Well, with a little elbow grease, for sure, but yeah.

Kerry: Well, tell me about the elbow grease. How much elbow and how much grease, how do we do the thing?

Ian: Yeah. I would say the biggest win, I think what worked really well with this organization, with CBS marketing was the ability to do it in iterations. We started with bare bones, and this is something that we’ve taken that model that we’ve used with CBS marketing and applied it to other clients, and it seems to work really well. It is the agile mindset. Let’s start with a bicycle and then eventually we’ll get to an airplane, but it’s bare bones built on.

Then, we start to build on top of that, we went with the simplest thing and started to iterate onto that. What we learned really quickly with clients like CBS who require really complex customized solutions is that we can’t just stop at, oh, sorry, it’s not available out of the box. We had to really sit back and think about some of the things that CBS wanted, and some of them were pretty far out there. I know it sounds crazy, but creating a database inside of Jira.

This was before Insight was awesome by the way, but we would create these Jira projects and it became databases for their shows, like their Star Trek: Picard. We’d be able to track seasons and episodes and started to be able to track data behind each one of those things, and then apply that to the promos that came through the lifecycle of this production team, so things like that.

At first, we’re like, “Sorry, I don’t think we can do that.” Then, we sat back and said, “Yeah, we can. We can do this,” and so we figured out solutions. I would say, for your audience, the biggest thing is don’t stop at sorry, it’s not out of the box. There’s so much opportunity and customization there that we can look into.

Appfire.com, we have all kinds of things.

Ian: Absolutely.

Kerry: Things you can plug in and make things work more to your liking.

Ian: Yeah. Speaking of that, so one of the things that we had to do was bring over some of the archaic stuff, but we were able to create some new stuff, meaning a new way of doing things, a more automated approach. For example, we used Jira Miscellaneous Workflow Extensions, JMWE, to be able to create more conditioning and validation and post functions around how teams kind of work together, and making sure that this person is the one approving it and not this person.

We used Power Scripts to generate payment tickets with calculations of those payments that then get added to a PDF and sent out to the announcers that read the promos that day. We were paying people out of the CBS Jira instance. It’s not something that we’ve seen in the past, and I haven’t heard anything since, but they’re using it for makeshift, I would say, but definitely using it for invoicing and be able to manage, all right, here’s the reads for the day. Now I’m going to pay an announcer from Jira basically. Really cool stuff we’re using with a lot of the Appfire apps.

Kerry: That’s innovative. If you know how to do the code, you can get in there and do some really juicy stuff. That’s what it amounts to.

Ian: Right. There you go.

Kerry: How has it changed things over at CBS then? They must be able to see how much less time they’re spending or how much more smoothly it’s going, or how much more data they have. What kinds of goodies did they get?

Ian: Yeah, so I would say, unfortunately, they didn’t do a whole lot of metric tracking pre-Jira, but they are doing it post. We are getting a lot of meaningful data. What I will say, and this is something we talked about in a CBS webinar we did with one of the guys we worked with, is the time that we released this Jira implementation that we did was February, March 2020 timeframe, and I think most people know what happened in early 2020.

Kerry: I can’t think of a thing.

Ian: No? Well, here, let me reintroduce you. There’s a thing called COVID. All of us had to go remote and because all of the CBS organization had to go remote, they had to quickly figure out VPNs and figure out, okay, I still don’t have access to this .NET framework system that we were working. It’s too clunky to be able to support the assigning and collaboration that we have built out in Jira.

When we released that, it just so happened to get released at the exact right time because we’ve heard from a statement from that team and that organization that, “Hey, if we did not move into Jira at the time that we did, and we all had to go remote, we wouldn’t have been able to run any promos for that foreseeable future.” It was a big… That’s more of a qualitative thing for sure, but I’m sure you can quantify it in revenue that might have been missed, but just the timing of it was great.

Also, again, going back to these people have been in these positions for quite a long time, Kerry. This change was pretty tough for them, and that’s what you’ll see across most organizations. Another little nugget for your audience that’s maybe transitioning or getting people to change, it’s tough. It’s supposed to be tough, but I tell you from the gripes and the complaining that we heard right before we cut over to Jira to now, we are hearing night and day. We’re hearing, “oh, this sucks. Why do I have to change” to “this is amazing. I’m so glad we changed, that tool sucked. I’m glad we’re here.”

I would say from a qualitative perspective, we’re getting a lot of good feedback and CBS is in the midst right now of moving to cloud, so we built it inside a data center. They’re getting to cloud where these are creative people, so they’re really interested in the design and UI and all that. That’s really important to them, and obviously Atlassian Cloud has a little bit of a step up against data center on that.

Kerry: If people are struggling with legacy systems and things like that, they could go check out the full case study at isostech.com/CBS and get into the nuts and bolts of how you made everything work over there. Ian, thanks so much for joining. This has been so interesting.

Ian: Yeah. Thank you, Kerry. Thank you for having me.

Kerry: I want to go build some things now but it would be dangerous for me because I’m a lawyer, so…

Ian: Yeah. Keep you out of there! Call me up. I’ll help.

Kerry: SO true, The Best ITSM Show by Appfire. For more episodes, visit hub.appfire.com and go on over and get that case study at isostech.com/CBS. We’ll talk with you next time.

Last updated: 2023-07-31

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