Innovating Beyond Boundaries – Inside Mitel’s culture of Innovation
Sales Productivity 08.31.2023

Innovating Beyond Boundaries – Inside Mitel’s culture of Innovation

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In this episode of Sunny Side Up, host Tyler Gambardella interviews Tyler Haney, a marketing and operations expert, about the innovative intersection of data science, automation, and creative problem-solving. Tyler Haney shares his journey from building websites in college to becoming a pivotal force in driving data-driven decisions at his current organization. Exploring the synergy between his interest in smart home automation and his professional pursuits, Haney discusses how leveraging technology to create efficiencies in one’s daily life can inspire similar creative approaches in business operations. Drawing parallels between his passion for home automation and the world of marketing, he emphasizes the importance of finding practical solutions that enhance quality of life while applying a similar mindset to solve business challenges. Haney delves into the role of predictive modeling and data-driven dashboards in optimizing sales processes, shedding light on his team’s recent endeavors to predict gaps in the pipeline and strategically reallocate resources. With insightful anecdotes and a passion for utilizing technology creatively, Haney’s expertise offers a compelling glimpse into the exciting future of data-driven business innovation.

About the Guest

Tyler is an experienced digital and demand generation executive who is passionate about using data and analytics to drive business results. With a deep background in marketing and information science, Tyler focuses on breaking down complex processes into simplified concepts to help teams improve efficiency and gain back time for intellectual curiosity and creativity. Tyler has led marketing teams in the technology, healthcare, and retail sectors and holds an MBA from the University of Kentucky.

Connect with Tyler Haney

Key Takeaways

  • Smart home automation inspires creative problem-solving in business operations.
  • Leveraging available tools creatively can solve problems effectively, improving work efficiency.
  • Home automation principles apply to marketing and sales, enhancing decision-making.
  • Predictive modeling and dashboards optimize sales by predicting gaps and reallocating resources.
  • Balancing human input with AI-driven predictions results in actionable insights.
  • Data-driven decision-making can improve accuracy and efficiency in various processes.
  • Navigating automation requires understanding limitations and making thoughtful adaptations.
  • Creative thinking applied to technology can lead to successful problem-solving in diverse domains.
  • Strategic automation choices can boost efficiency while considering practicality and costs.
  • Applying data science to marketing enhances understanding and predictions of market behavior.
  • Embracing automation’s potential requires embracing both successes and failures to drive growth.
  • Effective automation solutions often stem from addressing real-world inconveniences and simplifying complex processes.
  • Integrating historical data and predictive models can aid in resource allocation and decision-making for business growth.
  • Recognizing cognitive biases and heuristics can inform more strategic communication and decision-framing.


“Automation is about what makes you more efficient or what makes your life easier or better in some way.” – Tyler Haney

Highlights from the Episode

What’s Mitel all about? Can you give us an overview?

Mitel, established for five decades, operates worldwide, serving 35 million users across 100+ countries. With a robust portfolio of collaboration software and contact center solutions, the company takes pride in its commitment to tailoring flexible solutions that meet both present and future customer needs. Emphasizing adaptability and innovation, Mitel aims to provide comprehensive support to its clients’ evolving communication requirements and challenges.

Could you provide insights into your role as the head of digital marketing analytics at Mitel, and what specific areas you’re currently focusing on?

Leading the digital and marketing analytics domain at Mitel, Tyler brings a wealth of experience, including a background in healthcare and digital roles. In his current role, he orchestrates strategic analytics and digital integrations to optimize operational efficiency. By embracing a proactive approach that focuses on resource efficiency, Tyler empowers his team to explore creative endeavors, nurture intellectual curiosity, and deliver value-driven outcomes while aligning with business objectives.

Could you delve into the Gen AI experiment you’re conducting? How has it been progressing, and could you elaborate on its purpose and functionality?

The introduction of Gen AI reflects Mitel’s progressive strides in harnessing AI to streamline content creation processes. Through extrapolating from existing content and employing thoughtful prompts, they’ve developed a content generator, a tool designed to expedite content creation workflows. By reducing the time-intensive aspects of content creation, the team can dedicate more effort to high-impact tasks, elevating productivity and operational efficiency.

You mentioned content generation through Gen AI. Can you explain the mechanics behind this process and its application in generating content like headlines and other types?

Gen AI’s content creation mechanism revolves around the strategic use of prompts and existing content to generate a spectrum of content forms, including engaging headlines and compelling subject lines. This innovation introduces a customizable facet, allowing for content tailored to specific languages and industry sectors. Leveraging AI to augment content creation endeavors not only enhances content quality but also provides a scalable approach to addressing diverse marketing needs while maintaining coherence and brand consistency.

Could you elaborate on how your team comes up with and experiments with creative ideas, fostering a culture of innovation?

At Mitel, a culture of collaborative innovation thrives through its interactive “tee time” sessions. These brainstorming gatherings foster a dynamic environment where team members ideate, exchange insights, and explore creative solutions. This ethos has yielded transformative outcomes, spanning from optimizing processes and campaigns to introducing automation solutions. The cumulative effect is a team empowered to think beyond the norm, drive operational excellence, and continually seek inventive ways to navigate evolving challenges in the realm of digital marketing and analytics.

Where do you get your inspiration for creative problem-solving in the business context?

Tyler’s inspiration originates from his passion for home automation and technology. He draws parallels between solving practical problems in his daily life, often involving smart home setups, and devising innovative solutions in the business realm. The intersection of technology and real-life challenges ignites his creativity, enabling him to address complex issues with fresh perspectives.

Can you give an example of a creative problem-solving approach that you’ve used in your work?

In a notable instance, Tyler Haney encountered the challenge of preventing his dogs from escaping through a gate. Applying his home automation acumen, he integrated sensors to notify his family when he arrived home, enabling them to ensure the dogs’ safety. This same creative problem-solving mindset extends to his work, where he seeks out-of-the-box solutions that leverage technology and practicality for effective results.

How do you instill a culture of innovation and creative problem-solving within your team?

Tyler’s commitment to fostering innovation resonates in his approach to team dynamics. He actively encourages open dialogue and experimentation among team members, creating an environment where novel ideas thrive. By championing the belief that failures are stepping stones toward progress, he empowers his team to explore unorthodox solutions and embrace uncertainty. This approach not only stimulates inventive thinking but also promotes a culture of continuous learning and growth. His leadership style nurtures a space where creativity flourishes, enabling his team to tackle challenges with resourceful and imaginative approaches that align with the organization’s broader innovation objectives.

What are some key factors to consider when determining which processes to automate or optimize?

The decision to automate or optimize processes hinges on several crucial factors. He emphasizes that assessing the potential impact on efficiency, productivity, and overall work quality is paramount. Identifying processes that are ripe for automation requires a deep understanding of their intricacies and implications. Moreover, the alignment of automation efforts with the overarching strategies and goals of the organization is pivotal. Haney underscores the importance of a holistic approach, where the benefits of automation extend beyond mere efficiency gains to contribute to the organization’s long-term growth and success. This comprehensive perspective informs his approach to making informed and strategic decisions about process automation and optimization.

Could you share a situation where you encountered a challenge that required an unconventional solution?

Tyler vividly recalls a challenging data processing scenario his team faced. Traditional approaches fell short, prompting them to delve into an unconventional solution involving the fusion of machine learning and data augmentation techniques. This innovative amalgamation not only resolved the challenge but also showcased the transformative potential of thinking beyond the norm. Tyler’s ability to navigate uncharted territory and leverage diverse tools demonstrates his proficiency in creative problem-solving. This example underscores the significance of exploring unconventional avenues, as they often lead to breakthrough solutions that can reshape established practices and enhance outcomes.

Is there a book, blog, newsletter, website, or video that you would recommend to our listeners?




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