Unifying Service and Support Processes – Grass Valley’s 3 Lessons Learned

5 minute read


Broadcast equipment and service provider Grass Valley needed to align its Services and Support processes on a global scale and unify its reporting to meet its obligations as a publicly traded company. Around the world, the work of 320 people was being managed by two different ERP systems, due to acquisitions, and three different scheduling platforms, ranging from spreadsheets to third-party applications. Earle Engel, Director, PMO and Professional Services at Grass Valley, shared with us the lessons they learned on their journey.

Before we had the Upland PSA platform, we had no real way to pull together a global perspective. Today, we can nail down exactly how many hours were invested in support of customers, or on internal projects. We can pinpoint how our resources are spending their time. We can create a detailed report that shows our gross margin, our costs, at a regional level, by sub-region, fully burdened per role. With limited reporting resources, we are building reports to satisfy the request of  management as well as the insightful details to better understand and manage our business.

We can also continue to create metrics to report on, for example, customer satisfaction and other improvements we’re planning for this quarter or next year. The platform has user-defined fields which allow us to track,monitor and report on our initiatives. But getting here was not as easy as we thought. We learned three valuable lessons for transformation:

1. You need a flexible platform that can adapt to your processes

As a manufacturer, it’s very important to us that we respond to specific customer requirements and we’ve incorporated that possibility into our work flow and reporting. Also, our objective was to standardize our processes globally. We needed a platform that would support us in that. It had to be flexible enough to fit our processes which was why we chose Upland PSA. Upland also comes with an outstanding customer success team to assist in implementation. We worked with their business analysts as well as their technical people, not just getting it to do what we needed it to do, but actually figuring out what that was as we produced and implemented our standardized procedures globally. Needless to say, there was a lot of work flow planning with the Upland PSA team.

We spent probably six months going through the details: applying all our experience and insight, planning, getting things set up in a sandbox and testing them. But when we launched at the beginning of Q3 2016, there were more things to correct than we had anticipated. Some of our assumptions were idealistic.

2. You need to eat the elephant one bite at a time

Our goals were ambitious, but necessary. We needed to have a way to report back to management and shareholders, and we needed to standardize our processes. But, as you can imagine, new tools and new processes all at once require a level of change management that is a challenge in itself. What we realized was that we tried to roll out too many features right from the beginning. It was too much to expect and we had to revise our roadmap, staging the roll out of features over a three month period. We organized features to roll out by priority and ease of implementation and we went from there. Monitoring and enforcing compliance was critical to ensure the transformation was taking place. When we were sure our team had a handle on the first steps, we rolled out the next set of features.

Another part of the transition was what I call ‘learning the platform’. Until you actually start using it and get used to working with it, you’re not completely aware of exactly how it works. There were things I thought I understood that I didn’t necessarily understand. Upland worked with us to clarify them and help us better use the PSA platform and get the most out of it.

3. Reliable expertise and guidance is the key to success

Upland’s customer success team was, in fact, key. They were a real life saver in the early days. Our Customer Success Manager really listened to what we were trying to say and helped us with our feature development so we could get what we wanted out of the platform. And our relationship has evolved like a good marriage.

Upland has even made a number of improvements, based on our feedback, that have helped us realize almost all our original goals. Throughout our Journey, it has been encouraging how attentive the various Upland teams have been to our needs, how much consideration they’ve given to our requests as well  explanations of how it would impact our business. Our Upland PSA Customer Success Manager, Business Analysts,  Developers and Customer Support have been very supportive and professional; Grass Valley couldn’t have done it without them!

To hear more from Earle Engel on how we helped Grass Valley achieve a better overview of their business, improved reporting capabilities and more, view the webinar on-demand Grass Valley: The Journey to Services Success. Also, find out more about our Customer Success Program, we offer a variety of programs, services, and commitments to help our customers every step of the way!


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