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The Case for Automation


Today we are faced with many challenges with making Business Processes more efficient and accountable. Project Development teams are increasingly tasked with developing rich, web-based solutions that can be used to optimally drive business processes and workflows.

Take a step back and think about some of the common processes in your organization…

  • How many forms did you have to fill out when you got hired?
  • Were they paper forms?
  • Did you get them emailed to you, but they were scanned and you could barely read it?
  • What process do you undertake when you need to make changes to a production system?  (I’m assuming you don’t develop in production, but if you do, call us, we need to talk about that governance thing…)
  • Do you have a change control committee?  How do you submit those requests and reviews?
  • How long does it take?

Now, in looking at the processes, take a step back and ask: how manually intensive are they?  How visible is the process?

Here’s the thing, a lot of you might be thinking, “so what? This is every company’s problem, so I just go through the process like everyone else.” That’s a fair point, but have you actually sat and thought through some of the pains of an inefficient process?  How much time is wasted in filling out manual forms, validating those forms, transposing those forms, manual hand-offs, submissions, approvals…you name it.  How much of that wasted time is costing your organization resources?

A lot of these processes are moving data around.  As a BI firm, we know that data is the most valuable resource in your organization.  If we’re talking about processes that shepherd data not being efficient, then we’re talking about data quality coming into question. Don’t you want that data to be the best quality it can be?  How valid is the data of an inefficient and manual process?  Are there duplicates?  Are there fat finger errors from transposition? Is “close” good enough?  As they say, close works for horseshoes and hand grenades, not much else.

What about visibility?  How many times have you had a business process stall or bottleneck, and it was impossible to find out why?  I call this the “we’re checking on it” or “we’ll get back to you” principle.   How many times have you seen forms get lost in the shuffle, ultimately being left out and put into what I affectionately call a “form graveyard” – out of sight, out of mind, out of action.

The pains and, ultimately, cost of inefficient processes are felt by every organization – simply put, automation is the best way to eliminate risk and eliminate inefficiency.

But how?

That’s where the Microsoft Application Platform steps in and provides a means to automate without restructuring.  By utilizing elements of infrastructure you’ve already invested in – Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Office – you can easily develop both forms for capture and workflows for automation without requiring a large “boil the ocean” IT undertaking.

Attend our webinar next week and see:

  • How to create forms and applications using InfoPath 2010
  • How to create workflows (simple and complex) that can accommodate business processes
  • How forms and workflows work together within SharePoint
  • GNet Group’s SightN2 for Planning and Budgeting – a rich, robust, web-based solution- utilizing  SharePoint 2010 and InfoPath 2010

We will walk through the elements above to get a better understanding of how easy it is to automate your common processes, and, more importantly, recover lost time and productivity.

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