Benjamin Brandall – Process Street

All posts by Benjamin Brandall


How Salesforce Built the Fort Knox of Data Security

Benjamin Brandall
November 15, 2017
IT


Think about what’s at stake if Salesforce suffered a breach…

  • American Express, Philips, Vodafone, Virgin, Western Union, GE, the U.S. government, and 150,000 organizations risk their communications leaking to the public
  • This includes trade secrets, financial documents, passwords, and bank details
  • Hackers could believably impersonate bank employees or government officials

It’s a terrifying concept for Salesforce customers, and just as frightening for Salesforce themselves; if a breach like that happened, their $61b company would suffer tremendously.

A company as well-known as Salesforce has a huge target on its back, so it needs to have the highest security standards even while scaling up and innovating rapidly.

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5 Marketing Experiments We Tried: The Winners, The Losers, and The Useless

One big thing that startups do differently to big companies is experimentation.

In reaction to the old corporate methods, startups are less like finely tuned money machines, and more like laboratories. That’s partly because of the culture of innovation, and partly because startups have less to lose by running a wrong experiment, but everything to gain if it is a success.

At Process Street, we’ve had our fair share of surprisingly positive experiments, as well as ones that were totally useless.

The more data you evaluate from other company’s experiences, the better you’ll get at running your own tests. So, in the spirit of experimentation and innovation, I’ve decided to share some of our A/B tests with you.

In this post, I’ll write up some of our experimentation results and then explore in-depth how to track and implement your own experiments so you can start improving conversions.

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The Best Browsers, Compared with Data: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, Safari, and Vivaldi

As a gateways to the internet, browsers are one of the most popular types of software out there. Everyone needs one, but which is the best? The market changes so quickly, it can be hard to keep up with the facts.

Which is the fastest? Which has the best extensions? Which is the most secure? While many people use Chrome, or their default pre-installed browsers, this doesn’t necessarily indicate a ‘best’ browser.

If you’re reading this, you want to find the fastest, most capable, browser for your needs. Finding the most popular isn’t enough, because those stats aren’t always related to quality.

Browser popularity data from W3Counter, retrieved October 2017.

In this article, I’m going to use hard data to decide on the best browser on the market, looking at the most popular options: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, Opera, and Vivaldi.

I’ll compare speed, memory usage, range of extensions, privacy, and usability.

Looking for a new browser? Want to be sure you’re using the best technology on the market? Keep reading for a full data-driven comparison after a general overview.

Click here to skip down to the hard data and avoid the broad overviews

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6 Ways to Use Stop Tasks to Improve Your Team’s Workflow

Process Street is the easiest way to create workflows for your team and track their progress. Our simple process creator helps teams build checklists for everything from employee onboarding to content promotion.

Often, processes are too delicate to handle in a free-for-all checklist, and you need more control over the order tasks are completed.

That’s where stop tasks come in.

Put simply, stop tasks prevent users from working through a checklist until the stop task has been completed.

In template view, stop tasks are indicated with a ✋-style icon just underneath the task number.

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User Feedback: 3 Methods We Tested to Better Understand Our Users

I’ve written before about how we collect feedback on our marketing material and how that helps us write useful posts for our subscribers, but the other reason we gather user feedback focuses on expanding and improving the Process Street app.

With user feedback data, we can:

  • Choose which features to build based on the frequency they’re requested
  • Get data on bug reports which helps our engineering team build fixes
  • See the most common industries and use cases for our product, which guides our marketing in the right direction

Whether you’re in software or not, you still need to be gathering and processing feedback from everybody possible: leads, prospects, free users, and paying customers.

In this post, I’m going to outline the three methods you can use to gather feedback for your company. These are three methods we’ve used ourselves in the past as our business has evolved, so the complexity and usefulness of each method is higher than the last. Which method is right for you?

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Study: How 4 Highly Profitable SaaS Companies Market to Enterprises

Are you ready to market your SaaS product to enterprises? Do you know what makes or breaks a million dollar deal?

There’s a huge segment of SaaS companies that target only SMBs, and an increasingly well-funded bunch that go after the enterprise market from the outset. Some, like Dropbox, Asana, and HubSpot, have gradually scaled their products to meet the needs of enterprise customers. By looking at their enterprise-specific landing pages, we can isolate the key factors these companies have chosen to persuade enterprises, and find out what works.

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How We Built and Launched a Successful Microsite on Product Hunt

On August 25th, we launched a library of 1000+ real sales and emails from the top 280 SaaS companies.

The library was hosted on a microsite, Inside SaaS Sales, which allows users to browse the full sales cadences, organized in the order the message or voicemail was sent.

The launch landed us almost 800 votes on Product Hunt, 10,000+ site visits, a mention in Hiten Shah‘s SaaS Weekly, and publicity from the SaaS and VC community.

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Web Maintenance: A Process-Driven Guide with 4 Handy Checklists

Websites are delicate, messy, and hard to manage effectively. Setup might be easy, but a beginner learning to maintain a website will hit a damaging snag sooner or later.

The main problem is that the tech behind any website is complex for beginners. The files that run your site are written in multiple different languages, depend on each other’s fixed locations, and are controlled by config files. In short, there’s a lot to grasp when you’re starting up a website.

To avoid making mistakes you need a basic knowledge of SQL, cPanel, and phpmyadmin, as well as a general idea of why and how websites work. Like I learned the hard way, tiny tweaks or careless uploads can take the entire site offline for days at a time, which is especially damaging when you have a recurring audience of any kind.

In this post, I’m going to go through the methods you’ll need when maintaining a website, and give you processes you can follow for each task.

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How to Create a Runbook: A Guide for Sysadmins & MSPs

Benjamin Brandall
September 20, 2017
IT

How do you name a new server, export config data, or fix that one really annoying bug that keeps popping up every 2nd Thursday?

For prepared IT professionals, that information is stored in a runbook. A runbook is a set of standardized documents, references and procedures that explain common recurring IT tasks. Instead of figuring out the same problem time and time again, you can refer to your runbook for an optimal way to get the work done. What’s more, you can also delegate tasks and onboard employees more effectively if you have documentation to train them with.

Whenever you do a task, think of this quote:

“Will you remember how to do these things 6 months from now? I find myself having to re-invent a process from scratch if I haven’t done it in a few months (or sometimes just a few days!). Not only do I re-invent the process, I repeat all my old mistakes and learn from them again. What a waste of time.” — Tom Limoncelli, The Operations Report Card

In short, the less time wasted figuring out how to do a task, the better it’ll be for your business efficiency, productivity, and sanity.

This post will look at runbook examples, documentation methods, and some processes you can use in your own business. Also, it will show you how to use Process Street as your cloud-based runbook for all IT documentation.

First, let’s look at some example runbooks so we can get context on what I’m going to talk about.

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7 Documented Processes for IT, MSPs and System Administrators

Benjamin Brandall
September 13, 2017
IT

Technical procedures — especially those affecting your client’s systems and operations — must always be documented. Details and specifics are too vital for you to just wing it, especially when you’re dealing with long lists of configs, server names, and other easily-forgotten information.

That could be why SOPs (and documentation in general) are so popular and well-supported in the MSP community. Thanks to the wealth of information out there, we’ve been able to put together 7 of the most in-demand IT processes among MSPs and sysadmins.

In post, you’ll get 7 processes you can easily edit, share, and use in your own organization. Since they’re built inside Process Street, when you add them to your account they’re stored in the cloud and provided to anyone in your organization with the right access permissions.

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