A more detailed look at Programmable Automation in HubSpot

A more detailed look at Programmable Automation in HubSpot

What is Operations Hub?

HubSpot recently released the Operations Hub, a feature-set designed for scaling businesses and your business processes. The recent update added software features that allows your business to maintain a single source of truth between multiple systems and further expands on HubSpot's ability to automate and improve your business processes.

The Operations Hub can be thought of as two major areas; Sync & Cleaning Customer Data and Process Automation.

Syncing & Cleaning Customer Data

Most businesses will have multiple different systems that are working for their business to help meet their needs. It’s not uncommon for small to large businesses to be using systems such as Mailchimp, Zendesk and Stripe. 

Data Sync

The data sync feature allows you to maintain a two way sync between customer data in multiple different platforms, providing bi-directional sync, custom field mapping and filtering and historical syncing so your data stays consistent. 

A useful example for businesses who are required to follow GDPR would be if a customer unsubscribes from a Mailchimp mailing list, the two-way sync between Mailchimp and HubSpot would allow automatic updates to list subscriptions automatically, with HubSpot recognising that the customer is now opted-out from certain types of communication avoiding any issues.

Data Quality Automation

Operations Hub brings the ability to automatically format names, dates and other custom fields.

Custom Properties

Syncing with third-party systems allows you to easily embed important data into HubSpot via custom fields, allowing the ability to produce bespoke reports and dashboards with ease using HubSpot’s built-in reporting functionality.

What is Process Automation?

Process Automation is HubSpot’s way of taking your existing workflows and adding existing integrations and functionality via third-party APIs to improve the efficiency and functionality of said workflows.

Programmable Automation

The feature that excited us the most at MMGrowth was Programmable Automation, an extension and improvement to the existing workflow system. 

Programmable automation allows businesses to interact with not just the HubSpot ecosystem but also external third-party APIs. There are hundreds of use-cases for businesses of all sizes, where this type of automation would cause significant improvements to a businesses speed, efficiency and consistency. 

Workflow Extensions

Built into workflows with no need for custom coding are integrations with popular platforms such as Slack, Zoom and Asana. Giving you the ability to automatically message team members, set up a scheduled Zoom meeting or update tasks in Asana automatically.

Team Management & Permissions

The workflow system provides the ability to migrate tasks and customers between different team members letting you dynamically set the permissions and ownership of deals and tasks. 

Programmable Automation - A Deep Dive

 

Third Party Data

A fantastic example of making use of the custom workflows would be to access a third party system which may contain additional information related to a customer or deal. 

A custom code block in HubSpot Operations Hub

 

Such an example could be a claims management firm using an external third party system to handle claims, with the use of custom workflows we can query the third party API to check if the stage/status of the claim and update the customers details / list subscription or deal position just to name a few uses.

JavaScript & Node.js

The programmable automation feature requires code to be written in JavaScript and comes with several popular Node.js libraries available:

"@hubspot/api-client": "^3.0.1",
"async": "^3.2.0",
"aws-sdk": "^2.744.0",
"axios": "^0.20.0",
"lodash": "^4.17.20",
"mongoose": "^5.10.2",
"mysql": "^2.18.1",
"redis": "^3.0.2",
"request": "^2.88.2"
bluebird 3.7.2
random-number-csprng 1.0.2
googleapis 67.0.0

These libraries allow access to a wide range of functionality with database access via libraries such as Mongoose, MySQL and Redis. Access to asynchronous API calls with async and axios, and to any existing AWS hosted systems with aws-sdk. Lodash to simplify handling programming with strings, numbers, arrays, functions and objects. 

Due to the timestamp dependent nature of the math.random function it’s recommended by HubSpot to use random-number-csprng library for cryptographically secure pseudo-random number generation.

Data Formatting

Having access to custom code blocks lets you effectively format data such as strings and dates to meet business needs with ease.

Reducing Complexity & Cost

Previously businesses would be interacting with HubSpot reactively with a hosted service in a cloud provider such AWS. Programmable automation allows businesses to move these hosted managed services into the workflows work actively programmatically retrieving data from APIs to best make use of the third-party data.

Security & Reusability

Secret keys & API keys are encrypted and stored securely by HubSpot, allowing you to reuse keys across multiple different workflows independently. Reusing keys across multiple different workflows allows you to have a single location where you can update your access keys if required without having to replicate the change across multiple areas. 

How MMGrowth can help

We understand at MMGrowth that not every business has a team who may have the time or expertise to set up these custom code integrations with the rest of their business systems.

If you have seen that programmable automation could help your business improve its efficiency but you’re unsure on where best to make use of it, or just would like a second opinion, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. At MMGrowth we have a love for software development and digital transformation projects, if you’re interested in discussing your next project you can contact us here.

How will you use automation?

We are very excited for the possibilities brought about by the introduction of programmable automation into the HubSpot, and what we can help our clients with. What are your thoughts on the addition, and how will your team make use of this new feature?