Speakers: Derek Abrams , MC, Show Wrangler, Jefferson Jammers
Derek Abrams : Hi my name is Derek Abrams. I am the MC and I guess the show Wrangler for the Jefferson Jammers Country Music Jam, Dance and Social. Now the Jefferson Jammers is not really an official organization per se, but since 2002 when we were started by Bruce and Joanne Hamilton, we have grown from four people to a very large community of musicians and friends and fans of country music who get together every Wednesday to not only play country music and dance to country music but to socialize in a country setting. The good old fashioned way. It's like the original social network.
What led you to AppSheet, what problems were you trying to solve?
Derek Abrams : Well, this is a good question. Um- the real problem that I was trying to solve was centered around three things. One was about membership management, uh- it was about the production management, and was during the show keeping track of who's performing when and in what order. As well as uh- the roster itself. You know, who's performing tonight? And I can tell you sometimes, we have a roster that can be more than 25 performers on that roster.
Derek Abrams : Like I said, we're not an official organization, but we have many of the same uh- business needs and demands of any other organization, even though we're just a community- a large community of friends.
Derek Abrams : A lot of activity is going on and we try to do this all through paper and- and trying to you know give hand signals like we're- like on the like the baseball teams. do. You try to keep track of all that. So, I thought- you know I've been a business systems analyst and in the IT field for going on 43 years now. And so I thought well, maybe this is a situation where we could build an app that might help us to communicate more effectively as well as help us in our other communications with the community itself. So that was the premise I started with. I was trying to solve those particular business issue needs and trying to figure out if the Google AppSheet could fit that. What I liked about the Google AppSheet was that it was a very simplistic model. You start with uh- in my case I just started with a spreadsheet template design and then from there I- using their no code sort of drag and drop design model of AppSheet, I was able to build a really robust app that actually does everything that I need to do. And the fact that it's instantly available on- on my phone or tablet or on my PC, just makes it that much easier for us, uh- for those of us that are trying to manage the, the production or manage the community, that just makes it much easier for all of us to communicate with.
What benefits have you realized with AppSheet?
Derek Abrams : Okay, so probably one of the easiest stats to take a look at would be in how many people does it take to run a calling tree? So first of all, everyone's got to have an updated list and they got to know who on- or what part of the list they're calling, So you've got three or four people that, you know, they have to manage this part of it, and every so often you've got to go through that list and make sure that list is up to date. So that's one headache- just keeping the list together. And then of course coordinating those calls and making sure you get ahold of everybody.
Derek Abrams : So it really helps us keep track of uh- the large number of people that we have to keep track of and their telephone numbers and what's their preferences? Do they wanna be called? Do they not wanna be called? Do they wanna have it just on facebook or not? Or do they wanna be just hold in person? So managing that became a lot easier when we had one authoritative data set. So we had one data set of all of the members and all of the jammers in one space, That's probably the simplest benefit that I can see. There's lots of other uh- benefits from just the workflow in how we're running the jam itself. And now with the new app for um songwriters and small studios to manage their production workflow, I can tell you because I experience all of those things. It really makes a big difference when you're doing those things, not for automation sake, but to improve that process. And if you have a process that's very repetitive, and if you can formalize it in some way to where you constantly get a consistent quality through that process, that is worth doing. Absolutely worth doing.
What’s the future of AppSheet & Google within the organization?
Derek Abrams : Well uh- unless Google decides to stop offering AppSheet, um I definitely see that we're gonna continue to use it uh- for the small entity. And again, it's not because it's only for small entities. You could use- a small entity can be just a small department in a very large organization.
Derek Abrams : So we definitely want to continue to use it. We definitely see this as a very powerful tool and a very powerful platform. I see it from my perspective in- in my consulting with other small businesses or large businesses and in different departments and divisions within a large organization- tools like this really help you to step back and not be afraid of technology. They allow you to focus on your business problem and come up with a business solution where technology is a fit. Again, it's not always technology is the solution and you don't necessarily need to automate everything, but where technology and automation can help you create a better experience, not only for the worker, but also for the recipient of who benefits from that process. These are definitely great tools to have in your toolbox.