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Workflow automation is the foundation of digital transformation. But, automating everyday processes isn’t always easy. Dynamic forms, complex routing, e-signatures, mobility and more … it’s a lot to handle and that’s if you can find the necessary programming talent. What if your existing people could do it all using simple visual tools? Watch this brief video to see how easy it is with frevvo’s 100% visual, low-code platform.
To learn more, visit our website, try frevvo absolutely free for 30 days or contact us for more information.
In previous articles, we’ve written about how workflow automation is the foundation of digital transformation. Ultimately, it’s not technology but the people and processes in your organization that can truly drive transformation of any kind.
Digitizing day-to-day workflows can be a lot of work
Consider what it takes to digitize your routine day-to-day workflows (Purchase Order or Travel Authorization).
- All involve forms (spreadsheets, paper, PDF …) that must be created. Business forms aren’t trivial – they usually involve dynamic behavior, lookups, and business rules. They’re typically long with many fields.
- Business workflows often have lots of conditional and dynamic routing e.g. if Amount > $5,000 you have to get additional approval or if Employee is in NY route to this manager but in CA to this other manager and so on.
- They routinely have to work with business systems like SQL databases, HR systems etc. to pull data as well as update records.
- Your users all have the latest smartphone and expect slick, responsive user interfaces. Your digitized workflow had better not look anything like the UI from just a few years back.
- You must provide 24×7 access from anywhere and using any device. Nowadays, everyone uses their mobile device and there are a zillion varieties.
- There’s more – e-signatures, security, document generation …
It’s a lot to handle. Of course, that’s if you can find the necessary programming talent, have a large enough budget and enough time. No wonder so many organizations are still using email-based and in some cases even paper-based workflows.
Visual, low-code platforms really work
Modern, low-code platforms like frevvo really do make it much easier to automate by addressing some huge challenges. Consider these advantages:
- It’s trivial to create forms – simply drag & drop fields and arrange them as desired. Anyone can do it.
- Dynamic behavior? Business rules? No problem – frevvo has 100% visual wizards for a vast array of dynamic operations such as show/hide parts of the form, perform calculations, autofill dates or personal information. Again, anyone can use these visual wizards to create dynamic behavior.
- Got routing? It’s easy with frevvo – drag & drop to create your workflow and setup routing and a host of other workflow-related properties visually. Conditional routing is also easy to setup visually. Anyone can do it.
- frevvo just works on mobile devices – you don’t have to lift a finger. The forms, workflows, task list are all responsive and automatically adjust to the screen size of your device. 24×7 access, anywhere on any device? It’s a piece of cake and anyone can do it.
- E-signatures, document (PDF) generation, SQL integration, secure authentication and authorization, encryption – all built in.
Lots of customers are already benefiting. They’re automating workflows in record time and empowering citizen developers (existing employees) rather than recruiting expensive, hard-to-find professional coders. Why not give it a whirl? Sign up for a free trial and see for yourself. It takes 30 seconds, and you can install a template and try it out instantly.
In Part 3 of this series, we described how Anonymous tasks are vastly simplified in V8.0. Another enhancement that customers have requested is the ability to view a form that they had submitted earlier as part of a workflow.
For example, we automate our internal operations with frevvo. Let’s say I submit a Vacation Request or Expense Report for processing. A few days later I want to go back and look at what I submitted. Prior to V8, we setup an action that notifies me at every step along the way and emails me a PDF copy of the form that I submitted. Email is already hard enough to keep track of and this isn’t an ideal solution.
Now, you don’t have to email PDFs around for record-keeping. You can simply use Task Search to find your workflow and then use the Audit trail to view the information you submitted.
In the audit trail for any workflow, you will see a new View icon. The icon will only show up if you have permission to view the workflow at that step. However, you can always
see things that you submitted – by far, the most common scenario. Click the View button and frevvo will render a read-only view of the workflow using the data from that step.
You can expand/collapse Sections, navigate Tabs and view all the data. However, you cannot make changes.
Obviously, the audit trail also shows the progress of the workflow through various approval stages so you can always see where the workflow is currently sitting and the history as it was routed from person to person. Now, you can also see the data.
We hope you’ll like the improvements that we’ve made. Stay tuned for future articles and upcoming webinars on V8.0 – it will be released to frevvo Cloud this Fall. We’re also already working on features for the next release(s) that we’ll describe here as we go along.
In Part 2 of this series, we described the redesigned Flow Step Properties panel which makes it much easier easier to configure individual flow steps. Another oft-requested improvement is to anonymous steps.
What are Anonymous Steps?
Anonymous steps in a workflow are routed to an email address and do not require the recipient to authenticate before performing the step. They’re super common – for example, a purchase order may be started internally by a sales person, get approved by his/her manager and then get routed to the customer for signature. You probably want to make it as easy as possible for the customer to sign the PO and not require an account, remember passwords etc.
Prior to V8, you had to drag in a separate Email (Anonymous) Step and configure it separately in your workflow. It would send an email and advance the workflow to the following step which was the actual form that the recipient would see. Customers found it confusing and we ran into many situations where workflows were incorrectly designed as a result.
More Intuitive Anonymous Steps
V8 simplifies this significantly by simply removing the additional step in the flow. Now, you simply drop in the form you want the recipient to see or link to an existing one and configure its properties. Click on the cog icon to bring up the Flow Step Properties dialog and navigate to the Assignment tab.
On this tab, you can now assign the task to a user, role or email address in one place. At runtime, assignment is made in that priority order. If you want to route to an email address, simply type it in and leave the other two fields blank – the step will be routed via email and can be performed anonymously. There’s also no longer a requirement to make the entire workflow public.
You can also use control templates in the email field so that it’s dynamic. Start typing and a pick list will appear with matching controls. At runtime, the value of the control is evaluated and if it’s a valid email address, the step will be routed via email and can be performed anonymously.
We’re looking forward to this release and hope you’ll like all the improvements. Stay tuned for future articles and upcoming webinars on V8.0 – it will be released to frevvo Cloud this Fall.
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