It’s hard to imagine a time without Microsoft Office, Exchange, Lync/Skype and OneDrive. These applications have shaped the way we connect and collaborate. For most of us, individual productivity has never been easier. Add Dynamics CRM and SharePoint, and you’ve got a toolbox that could make you extremely productive.
“Could” is the operative term, here, since most of us utilize only a fraction of what these tools actually have to offer.
Taking it to the next level
This reality brings up an interesting question: How could you use the tools that you’ve already invested in to take it to the next level, to achieve even greater productivity? The key is leveraging these tools and your own skills to automate new, more effective work patterns.
If this sounds a little like “workflow,” well, that’s because it is. Sort of. You see, the term “workflow” can be a bit too constraining for what we’re talking about. The fact is garden variety workflow won’t allow you to automate your processes end to end, especially when those processes span several of your Microsoft applications.
Consider the following scenarios:
Scenario 1: The Sales Process
- • A prospect fills in a Contact Us form on your website.
- • The contact information needs to get emailed into a SharePoint Library, or maybe, a SharePoint Online library.
- • The Sales Manager needs to assign the lead to a sales rep, and, at the same time, the lead needs to get written into Dynamics CRM.
- • The correct PowerPoint and Word Documents need to get added to the sales rep’s OneDrive, so she’s automatically got it synced up with her laptop and ready for a customer appointment.
- • A Yammer site needs to get spun up, so the sales and service delivery team can start collaborating on the opportunity.
Scenario 2: The human resource process
- • An applicant for an open position emerges as a likely candidate.
- • The candidate’s resume and application need to get posted on Yammer, so all the people involved can share notes.
- • All the necessary people need to get notified about the candidate’s information on Yammer.
- • As interviews are scheduled, they need to automatically be posted to each party’s Outlook calendar, including the applicant’s.
- • Each member of the hiring team needs to indicate approval or disapproval on the candidate from his/her mobile device.
- • If the candidate meets approval, an offer a formal offer needs to be sent.
- • The applicant’s acceptance needs to formalized with DocuSIgn Electronic Signature.
- • Upon acceptance, all documentation and notes collected need to get putput into a SharePoint Document Set and placed in the SharePoint Records Center.
The Limitations of Workflow
As we mentioned above, ordinary workflow tools generally can’t handle the kind of cross-application connectivity that is required in the types of process scenarios listed above. Nor do they allow changes to automated processes mid-execution, an absolute necessity in organizations where multiple instances of lengthy processes could all be in various stages of completion at any given time.
AgilePoint NX for End-to-End Microsoft and Beyond
AgilePoint NX is a powerful, business-application development platform that allows you to create automated processes and workflows that span your Microsoft business applications and extend to your other important systems, as well. AgilePoint has deep roots in Business Process Management (BPM) and can handle mid-execution workflow changes and workflow diagnostics. And because of AgilePoint NX’s unique architecture, it allows you to configure each activity in each workflow multiple different ways for different use cases.
AgilePoint, a Gartner Magic Quadrant company in 2015, is a brand you can trust, having more than a decade of success in the business application development space and a long-list of blue chip customers that swear by AgilePoint technology. To find out how AgilePoint NX can help your enterprise make the most of its investment in Microsoft technologies and other line-of-business systems, call or email us today.