The Relentless Pursuit | June 2020

June 05th, 2020 Daisy Smith

I’m completely impressed by how you all have managed to focus at work this week with everything happening around us right now. To say it is a lot to take in and process is an understatement. It’s incredible to see you continuing to show up for the company and for each other.

I want to remind you though that you are supported in taking the time away that you need. The strain you are all under, both professionally and personally, is not lost on me. Not at all. I’ve felt it, and needed to take a minute myself. I didn’t realize how much I needed that minute until I actually took it. I worry that a lot of you are in similar positions – head down, white-knuckling it, and trying to get through to the light at the end of the tunnel. This is one long, effin tunnel. So please just check in with yourself and your families and do what you gotta do.

One more thing before we get into bidness. Yesterday, Elizabeth Massing reminded you all about your free access to our EAP program. If you haven’t looked into it, it’s legit and has a lot of different resources for stress, anxiety, burnout, work-life balance, and coping in other difficult times or transitions. If you could use some help, give them a call (800-327-2251) or visit with username “14WEST” and click LOGIN. If you have any questions about EAP reach out to

Now… here’s a quick look at last month and our forward movement.


  • Hell Yeah | Blueshift
  • PUMA Update
  • ALM Office Hours
  • Hell Yeah | CI Team
  • Deliverability Summit
  • ELI5 | InfoSec
  • Speak Data with Us
  • Virtual Trainings in Tech
  • BP Updates
  • Learning OpenShift
  • Command Center Update
  • Motivation from a Former Running Back
  • WesTech Newbie

– Daryl





As of today, officially 290 million mailings have been sent through Blueshift! This has been a tireless effort with nearly every one of our teams here at WesTech, and our friends at APSI and Threefold. Along with the Newshift team joining forces with Customer Intelligence to create the MarTech team, it’s proven to be a very busy quarter for us.

  •   David Schweinfurth, Director of MarTech




The PUMA team announces the development of Westech Marketing Cloud, an application for lead gen marketing, paid marketing, and e-commerce components all-in-one modern “API-first” platform.

The application formerly known as IRIS+ is the foundation of the new WMC application, so we had a big head start.

A Proof-Of-Concept is currently underway to:

  • Pull the e-commerce components into a combined user-interface (with lead gen).
  • Provide the ability to successfully place an order & collect payment.
  • Improve performance of order page load times.

Several Affiliates recently participated in a beta test of the new combined UI and said that it is easy to use and feels modern. An Affiliate Roundtable is being scheduled to review the MVP scope, and provide input, so we’ll make sure to keep you updated on our progress. The strategy is to first deliver the WMC lead gen component at the end of this quarter, then we will focus on paid and e-commerce components.

  • Judy Bluhm, PUMA Product Manager




As you may have already heard, L&D has joined forces with the ALM team to offer office hours that will help you navigate Confluence and Jira like a pro… even if it’s just to get a few simple questions answered. We want to ensure you’re getting the most out of Atlassian platforms, so please join us!







Working in lockstep with Actable consultants, the CI team was able to get Lytics up and running on Agora Financial’s email management system within a few short months. We moved 9.3 million records per Imprint from Lytics to the email management system and worked to ensure the launch went smoothly. Considering the fact that the Imprints are able to successfully send millions of emails after being merely a concept in January, we were really able to see our strengths play out within this project.

LYTICS HUDDLE | We’ve kept busy! Last month, we held our first fully virtual Lytics Huddle. For this session, co-founder of Actable Craig Schinn, Drew Lanenga from Lytics, and CI’s very own Chris Laun presented on data science and machine learning. The decisions marketers have to make in each of their highly-segmented campaigns are challenging to manage. Fortunately, they have a number of tools at their disposal to help reach the best customers and prospects at the right time. Watch the recording here.




To help drive deliverability, improved customer relationships and improved monetization, we’ve put together our first ever Deliverability Summit working with our own internal teams as well as industry experts from SparkPost, Blueshift, and Email Ninjas.



1 x 1-HOUR SESSION / DAY | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET

As a quick reminder, these sessions will be recorded in case you can’t make it or would like to review a session later.




In this month’s “Explain Like I’m 5” in the InfoSec realm, we’re covering the importance of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Working in the publishing space – and especially tech – it’s crucial for you to understand how it affects us.

At this point, you may have heard this term thrown around quite a few times now, and you might be wondering what exactly is CCPA is and why you should care about it.

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a new government regulation very similar to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation for the EU). While GDPR focuses heavily on the customer’s right to opt-in to any sort of solicitation or marketing, CCPA focuses on a consumer’s right to opt-out of it.

CCPA’s main tenets are the ability for a consumer to request “do not sell” of their information towards any scenario that the business currently engages in.  Additionally, the consumer has the right to request how their information is being sold or monetized, how the data is stored and transferred (similar to GDPR), and a full report of what personally identifiable information (PII) a business holds on that consumer.

Similar to GDPR, the fines for CCPA can be quite heavy for those who violate.  While GDPR has the general rule of up to four percent of gross revenue of the parent company for violations, CCPA’s violations can be more granular and equally as painful depending on the circumstance.  CCPA fines can be up to $750 dollars per consumer, and up to $7500 per incident per person.  This can quickly add up, depending on the number incidents that are incurred.


Should we care about CCPA?  Yes.

Is CCPA like GDPR?  Yes, very similar. GDPR is about opting in, CCPA is about opting out. Both are about protection of privacy data.

Are the fines heavy? Absolutely.

What should we be concerned with as a business? Responsibly handling customer or employee PII (name, address phone number, email address) according to CCPA and GDPR guidelines.

Should we care about vendors who store information?  Yes.

As we continue to work towards compliance, having a good understanding of the basics can go a long way. For additional details on CCPA, please feel free to contact

  • Paul Xu, Vice President, Information Security




Learning opportunities right now are a bit different than they did a few months ago. We may be saving on flights and hotels, but working in tech, we’re able to connect to do our jobs at the speed of our wi-fi. That being said, WestWord wanted to cover ways on how those in the tech industry can grow our skillset without having to leave the house.

Click here to read our list.




The Business Partners have developed two major resources that allow WesTech to better align with our affiliates by keeping our fingers on the pulse when it comes to what they have coming down the pike.

CLIENT ADVISORY BOARD | We held our first CAB meeting last month where we were able to take the time to sit down (albeit virtually) and discuss the bigger strategic goals each of the businesses have. Most importantly, we were able to learn the why behind their goals so that we can develop and streamline the support we provide. We came out of it with a long list of key action items and great ideas that we aim to get started with immediately, if not already.

In order to keep each other on track and committed, a major action item for WesTech is to develop breakout seasons for Data, Product, and Deliverability to clearly understand the clients’ why and how. These will involve microdiscussions and full transparency around what affiliates are trying to achieve which will help us prioritize. The ultimate goal: 100% alignment between WesTech and every affiliate.

LAUNCH-READY INITIATIVE | When you are preparing for a sizable launch, we want to tap in the right resources (Support, IT, Advantage, Ecomm​, Messaging, Deliverability, Fintech) to make sure they can proactively monitor performance of their systems and become hyper-aware of any issues that may arise. So far, we’ve tested this with most affiliates and we were able to fine tune the processes needed, and look forward to many more successful launches. If you have any questions on this process, please let me know.

  • Doug Broujos, Chief Client Officer




If you really want to understand a concept, tool or application… we recommend building a version of it yourself! Steve Tsiopanos recently wrote about his experience building a lab environment to better understand how OpenShift 4 works and to provide educated guidance to his team. Whether we build out the container environment ourselves or work with RedHat to provide the infrastructure, it’s important to strengthen our skills as leaders of application development.

If you’re interested in learning Steve’s process, you can read it here. We’ll be following the progress of how all of our teams work with OpenShift, so watch this space for more developments.




We hope you enjoyed the virtual motivational talk with former NFL running back turned motivational speaker, Brian Mitchell. For those who missed it or would like to watch again, you can click here to watch the recording. If you have issues with access, please contact Jenny.




Last month, we welcomed a new WesTecher to the family. Like those who started in March and April, she has had a unique first month as a fully remote employee, so make sure you reach out to her with a nice message!

Donna Knox | Business Analyst, PayDoh team

Donna has recently joined Nick Daley’s team and looks forward to working in the projects that will help enhance and strengthen the payment processing space at Agora. She’s excited to work with new people (although virtually for now!) and expand her technical knowledge. Connect with Donna here.





Daisy Smith

Assistant Director, Communications

"Don’t take yourself too seriously.”

I found myself at 14 West after 18 months of traveling and teaching in Bali, Thailand, and Australia. And now 5 years later, I’ve learned and grown with my team in extraordinary ways. I think that’s due in large part to the fact that I’ve been encouraged to approach my work and explore my potential in the same ways I’ve explored other parts of the world. I’m constantly asking questions, seeing and doing new things. And learning A LOT. I didn’t expect to find an experience like this in “an office back home.”

I love my position at 14 West because I’m invited to take on a diverse range of responsibilities. From running our Wellness Program to brand development and brand marketing to writing, I have a broad range of interests. And my role allows me to develop my skills through work that truly excites me. I have a hard time saying no to new projects, even when I already have a full plate. But when I take on too much, the leaders here are there with the support I need to get the job done. At the same time, I’m given the creative freedom to feel real ownership over my projects, which only motivates me more.

What is one thing you have to do every day in the office? Gotta have my essential oil diffuser going. Five of us share an office and we’re all hooked on the diffuser now, but it’s my job to create the perfect oil cocktail each morning to set the tone for the day. I’m obsessed.