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When you ask Ted Elliott what gets him excited the answer is a simple one: DevOps. As the CEO of Copado, Ted is helping companies around the world realize how DevOps can assist their organizations, even if they don’t understand how to code. Ted joined IT Visionaries to discuss exactly how Copado is helping to democratize DevOps. Plus, Ted details how his platform, in assistance with Salesforce, is aiding in the fight against COVID-19 through contact tracing.
- Code for Coders: Historically, DevOps has been for coders using complex tools that only coders could understand. Copado’s software helps to eliminate that gap by allowing a whole new set of users into the equation. By setting up guidelines and processes, Copado is empowering basic end-users the ability to push code.
- Ideating Innovation: The leading benefit for Copado’s Salesforce integration is its ability to allow the end-user to iterate once the product has been delivered. Instead of forcing companies to plan for a release date and only that particular date, now the platform can constantly be updating.
- No More Silos: One of the biggest challenges surrounding DevOps today is that far too many developers operate in silos. When you operate in isolation, your ability to innovate is limited. Instead, work with multiple teams to develop solutions that benefit the platform and the client.
For a more in-depth look at this episode, check out the article below.
When you ask Ted Elliott about what gets him excited, the answer is not a surprising one, at least for those who know him best.
“What gets me really excited every morning when I wake up is realizing that we do something that most people will never understand,” Elliot said. “But we’re making it so that people can realize their aspirations.”
As the CEO of Copado, Elliott is helping companies around the world realize those dreams by taking code and making it accessible and understandable for everyone who needs access to deployment strategies.
Copado is a leading DevOps platform for companies that want to accelerate their Salesforce deployments by simplifying the release process and increasing developer productivity to maximize their ROI. The platform consists of release management, agile planning, compliance and testing tools. But according to Elliott, the company was born out of pain points that were experienced through past experiences.
“I remember one CIO said to me, ‘I don’t understand Salesforce as a platform — you can’t do multiple deployments in a day without everything breaking,’” Elliott said. “So I asked these guys over dinner, tell me how you can do deployments in Salesforce without everything breaking and they said you need to have guardrails and you need to have a system. And that’s what DevOps is.”
From there, Copado was born, and as Elliott said, it’s a software built for enterprises with the ability for companies to not have release days, but rather having the ability to release code every day. Copado eliminates the reliance on tools such as GitHub or other git repositories by maintaining tools to keep things constantly in sync.
“At the core, Copado is really a communication, automation, and an analysis tool to really understand what’s going on in your business,” he said. “People used to outsource DevOps and then they were shocked when everything broke. That’s really changing and we’re leading that change.”
So why has DevOps struggled to go through a renaissance of simplicity? While Elliot acknowledged that the industry has existed for a decade, the concept of DevOps for developers such as Salesforce, that deploy out-of-the-box solutions where companies have control over their end of the product, is new.
“This is a challenge because historically DevOps has been code for coders using complex tools that coders understand well,” Elliot said. “Now you’re introducing a whole new group of people into the equation. Part of what we’re doing is basically democratizing DevOps by making it so that the Salesforce administrator or the end-user can actually push code to their own branch and work with everybody else without actually having to understand how it works.”
So what are some of the biggest changes that have been made in DevOps over the last few years? According to Elliott, most of those alterations revolve around simple code organization. Traditionally, enterprises would deploy multiple teams on a project, which conversely would lead to hundreds of individuals processing orders, which would often lead to various code. A process that often caused organizations to spend more time cataloging its process as opposed to building software.
“If you looked at three years ago, everyone was trying to wing it,” Elliott said. “What happened is if you were a CIO and you had hundreds of Salesforce orders and you had code that’s all over the place and you don’t know what people have been doing. You’re spending your time building, but you’re keeping track of what’s going on.”
Copado simplifies this process by helping companies maintain a set of rules and processes for its customers to follow that in the end, reduces their time spent on projects.
“We’ll train them on how to execute those roles,” Elliot said. “They’re basically respecting each other when it comes to how they deploy, how they check in code, how they check for conflicts, how they bug check, what they’re doing from a compliance perspective. And really the result of this is it will reduce the time to deliver by 30-40%, but it will really make sure that when you do deliver, your customers are happy and they’re also getting it in a way that you can iterate.”
According to Elliot, the beauty of Salesforce is the platform’s ability to iterate once the product has been delivered, allowing the consumer to make adjustments as needed. One of the places Copado has been utilized is among government agencies, in order to accelerate their time-to-value digital transformations.
“We have this problem, which is we have all these different players and all these different people that need to become more efficient if we’re going to deliver digital transformations,” Elliot said. “We need to make sure it’s not going to break, and we need to have a system that allows us to unite all the different parties because we have a lot of needs. And so we were brought into this project to help orchestrate a symphony of different players, and coordinate them. Think of developers as each playing a different instrument, and if they don’t play in unison, it sounds like noise.”
One of the ways Copado leads that orchestra is how it is helping government agencies and the private sector when it comes to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Copado has worked hand-in-hand with many agencies to help deploy methods and software that assist in the contact tracing process.
“The state of Massachusetts was one of the first movers in setting up contact tracing,” Elliot said. “Salesforce, with Accenture leading the project, approached us and said, ‘Hey, we’re trying something new. We’re trying to do tracing on Salesforce and we want to make sure that this doesn’t go wrong. We want to make sure that if we have to move quickly and our teams have to scale rapidly to build this and deliberate, that we have something that will allow us to pull that off.’
“When it comes to tracing or tracking using Salesforce, you may not realize that we’re unlocking digital transformation, but we’re making the digital transformation possible because things work and it’s really important to maintain trust and velocity for it to work. And when it fails, to be able to quickly turn around and fix it.”
As the conversation closed, Elliot pointed to two keys challenges currently facing the industry. The first of those challenges is that DevOps teams have to stop operating in silos and those teams must be open to understanding different workflows might be better for different organizations. The second key challenge centered on change management.
“You have to have people who believe in doing it better, who don’t like to wake up the night before the science project and do their project,” he said. “People who are thinking weeks out in advance about what’s going to be going live, when it’s going to be going live, and making sure that the organization can be successful.”
To hear more about how Copado is helping guide the DevOps industry through the next decade, check out the full conversation by listening to IT Visionaries.
To hear the entire discussion, tune into IT Visionaries here.