Vision Graphics offers its customers sophisticated print technology, cross-channel communications, and online fulfillment services, enabling personalized brand-to-customer interactions that strengthen relationships at every touchpoint across multiple integrated channels. Hailed as a strategic partner that helps deliver profitable outcomes for its customers, Vision Graphics specializes in high-quality digital, large format, and sheet-fed printing; cross-channel engagement solutions; strategic solutions and data services; fulfillment; direct mail; marketing automation; and more.
With the acquisition of several companies over the past few years, Vision Graphics had acquired diverse systems that needed to be integrated and modernized. Having inherited technical debt that could not be ignored, Vision Graphics’s new Director of IT, Wayne Roesner, sought to grow the company’s agility and innovation in the process of a digital transformation.
Vision Graphics reached out to the Flux7 DevOps Consulting team for assistance modernizing its systems and building a digital transformation plan. Working together the teams identified a project where value could quickly be delivered, validating for management the collective team’s ability to modernize systems, freeing them from technical debt while simultaneously delivering significant customer and business value.
The teams called this project the Bright Spot (as taken from Chip Heath’s novel, “Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard”). It included migrating Vision Graphics’ business data from an on-premises database to the AWS cloud and Amazon QuickSight.
Amazon’s QuickSight is a fully managed business intelligence service that lets users easily create and publish interactive dashboards that include Machine Learning (ML) insights. QuickSight dashboards are accessible from any device and can be embedded into applications, portals, and websites. QuickSight turned out to be the ideal service to take Vision Graphics’ Business Intelligence service to the next level, offering customers unique ML analysis that they could get nowhere else.
The Flux7 team blueprinted and built the Amazon QuickSight architecture for Vision Graphics in record time as the company wanted to use the Bright Spot in an upcoming pre-sales opportunity. Within a tight timeframe, Flux7 was able to replicate the Vision Graphics’ reports that its customers found most insightful in the new QuickSight dashboard.
As an AWS Premier Consulting Partner, Flux7 was able to harness additional resources to ensure that the solution maximized Amazon QuickSight capabilities. For example, the Bright Spot includes data filtering based on static entries and custom calculation fields where Vision Graphics can insert its own functions, thus allowing the team and its customers to search for anything from a specific time frame to differences in response rates.
With the data sets migrated to the AWS cloud and connected to QuickSight, Vision Graphics now has live data with customers able to easily access their monthly data reports — and more — from their own user-friendly dashboard. With ML, customers now have advanced data insights that were not previously available. Customers can see, for example, how many new sales were made, analyzing across service offerings to intelligently determine where they should invest their campaign dollars.
“As IT Director, I work closely with Vision Graphics leadership to understand what’s important to the business and use IT as a strategic lever to accomplishing these goals,” said Mr. Roesner. “The team at Flux7 was invaluable in helping identify a Bright Spot project, turn it around in record time, and achieve a specific business goal by securing a large new customer account. Flux7 is smart, efficient and unique in its ability to translate strategic business initiatives into tangible technology deliverables.”
Teach to Fish: While the company had originally considered training its analytics team on Power BI, Microsoft’s BI tool for interactive visualizations, Flux7’s coaching model helped Vision Graphics accomplish two goals simultaneously. Flux7 taught the team how to use the new Amazon QuickSight. Now, Vision Graphics not only has a flexible, scalable, modern architecture for its customer analytics but has also been taught how to use, manage and extend the solution moving forward.
Whereas before the team would take several manual steps to process, prepare and send data to customers, the team now has a highly automated process that removes the opportunity for human error. Moreover, reports that needed to be re-done every month can now be published by the customer from their own portal with the push of a button, thus giving developers time to focus on more strategic, business-impacting work.
“Flux7 has opened a path to a new revenue stream for Vision Graphics,” said RJ Hines, Head of Sales and Marketing. “As our customers demand smarter insights into their marketing initiatives, Flux7 helped us directly address these evolving customer expectations while providing an innovative new solution that sets Vision Graphics well ahead of the competition. And, the best part is that the ROI of the Flux7 project has translated directly into new customer acquisition that will further fuel future innovation projects, a win-win for Vision Graphics and our customers.”
More importantly, the pre-sales opportunity fueled by the new QuickSight solution was a success, with Vision Graphics securing a significant new customer as a result of the Bright Spot project. Having paid for itself, the Bright Spot ROI has proven to management the value of digital transformation and has spurred additional projects to further reduce technical debt while growing agility, innovation, and — most importantly — Vision Graphics customer satisfaction.