Notes From The Field: Beyond SharePoint Workflow

Beyond SharePoint Workflow

What Companies Look For As A Next Step In Their BPM Journey

As I continue to work with customers and prospects, I find some common ground in those looking to expand beyond SharePoint Workflow and Forms (And those products that rely on the underlying engine) .   There is definitely a BPM journey that organizations seem to take, regardless of whether they realize they have embarked.  This journey almost always leads to expanding beyond the confines of SharePoint, as well as a deepening need for more complex capabilities.    Here are some of the common trends I see in organizations looking to take their business process management to the next step:

  • The Requirement for Complex Workflow Patterns (With No Code) – simple serial workflows can only take you so far, and organizations quickly realize that rework steps, and moving to previous steps in any process is an absolute necessity in common business flow.  Having a BPM platform that integrates with SharePoint lists and libraries, and provides support for all types of workflow patterns can provide immense value, and eliminate the need for complex custom code and management of state.
Complex Workflow in SharePoint
Rework Should Not = Custom Code
  • Wanting Reusable, Shared Data Layer and Simple LOB Data Access – Accessing external data in SharePoint can be challenging, and I find many companies are looking to simplify the integration with external business systems.  The tiresome process of setting up Business Connectivity Services/External Lists in SharePoint, and maintaining them can be problematic.   A reusable model, as seen in K2’s smartobjects, can provide agility and reduce the overall time required to configure forms, workflow and reports.  The “create once” and reuse theme provides power and flexibility.
SharePoint External System Integration with Data
Simple, Visual Data Integration Tools
  • The Need to Surface Forms and Workflows Outside of SharePoint – SharePoint is a great tool, but should every form and workflow live  within its UI?  More and more, I am seeing organizations that want to have business apps (forms, workflow, data and reports) that live outside of SharePoint and can stand alone.  This is especially true when it comes to mobility, and the need to support various device types with web-based forms.
Supporting SharePoint access through mobile devices
Support for Mobile
  • The Need for A Broad Set of Design Tools – BPM in any organization is a broad undertaking, and usually involves a wide variety of individuals, with varying skill sets.  With Business Process Design, one size does not fit all, and organizations are looking to support power users, business analysts and developers.  See my post: BPA, BPM and Design.

So, in summary, if you are looking to step outside of the SharePoint workflow engine and its forms capabilities, take some time to evaluate your next step in the journey and focus on at least these 4 points.   For some additional considerations, see the below post:

10 Key Features In 3rd Party SharePoint Solutions

Comments?  Thoughts?

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SharePoint 2010 End of Life

SharePoint 2010 Workflow end of life

Where will all the workflow go?

We have passed the end of life of SharePoint 2010, and it will no longer be supported through standard support as of 10/13/2015.  This will force the hand of customers that have been lagging behind in migration to SharePoint 2013/SharePoint Online, and it will be quite interesting to see how customers will transition.   Many of the prospects and customers I see in the field are slowly moving their content in phased projects from 2010 to 2013.

If you haven’s evaluated your forms and workflow options, it is a great time to examine your future platform for both forms (Move away from InfoPath), and workflow.  K2 is a great option for an overall BPM/BPA platform, and can help bridge the gap during migration, as we support SharePoint 2010, 2013/Online.

End of life announcement below:

SharePoint 2010 End of Life 10-13-2015

For more information on an InfoPath replacement, see: InfoPath Replacement in K2

To see how you can transition your SharePoint 2010 Workflow to K2, see:  SharePoint 2010/2013 Workflow with K2

 

What’s Missing From SharePoint? Infographic

Augmenting SharePoint Workflow and Forms

 

To see the full infographic, click on the image below:

SharePoint Workflow
Click the Image for the Full Story

What’s in Your SharePoint Workflow Box?

SharePoint Workflow

Key Features for SharePoint Workflow Enhancement

SharePoint Workflow Key Features
Click to See K2 Appit

SharePoint Workflow and Forms: Limitations Got You Down?

SharePoint Workflow Limitations

SharePoint and Office 365 Workflow and Forms Limitations Webinar

BPA Case Study: Contract Management Solution: $216K per Year in Savings

Contract Management in SharePoint

SharePoint Real Estate Contract Management Solution

Management of real estate requires a great deal of documentation for its leaseholders.
With multiple contracts, reports, notices, bills and other documentation to produce
quickly every day, this real estate management company needed to find a way to take control
of the flow of information, and enable their property managers to be more efficient,
and more effective in a highly competitive marketplace.

It just so happens that combining SharePoint with Workflows, Forms and Reports created a powerful solution.

“We estimate we’re saving 240 hours a month of staff time in producing, tracking, approving and routing our documents. That’s about $216,000 a year in savings to the company,”
the Manager of Collaboration and Productivity says.

 

Read all about it here:  SharePoint and K2 Workflow, Forms and Reports for Real Estate Contract Management

The IT Dream: Self-service SharePoint Project Sites

SharePoint Sites and Lists Auto-Creation

SharePoint Site and List Auto-creation Through Self-service

So, this past week I had a few inquiries about how organizations can use K2 Forms and Workflow to automate IT SharePoint tasks.  Any organization that uses SharePoint sites for project management could leverage this tool for site and list auto-creation.  In the video demo below, I outline how you can use a simple SharePoint list to drive self service SharePoint creation tasks.

 

 

More on IT Management with BPM here:  Is IT Missing the BPM Boat?

Irvine Event with Microsoft and K2: Unlock the Power of the Cloud

Cloud based apps in SharePoint and Office 365

Leverage Office 365 and Salesforce in Cloud Business Apps

More and more companies are moving to the cloud to save money and drive productivity.  But are you really getting all you can out of your cloud=based applications? Microsoft Office 365 has set a new bar for productivity platforms, and as a result, businesses far and wide are scrambling to leverage the power of its tools. If you have moved – or are moving – to Office 365, customizing your investment and integrating with your LOB apps and CRM solutions doesn’t have to be hard or time-consuming.

Join K2 and Microsoft at the Microsoft Technology Center in Irvine on May 21, 2015 to learn more and see the power of integrating cloud based-apps.

Click to Register

 

 

 

SharePoint Report: Latest AIIM Industry Watch Survey

SharePoint Report BPM and BPA

Sharepoint for Business Applications and BPM Stats

The latest AIIM SharePoint report is on the street, below are some highlights concerning BPM, BPA, Workflow, Forms and LOB Integration:

  • 400 Organizations Interviewed
  • Experience over the past 15 Years
  • 53% have connected SharePoint with Line of Business (LOB) Systems, but struggle with implementation.
  • 45% struggle with building business applications in SharePoint, including workflow, forms, reporting
  • 34% plan to move to the cloud

Here is a link to the report and an infographic:

SharePoint Report

SharePoint Report Infographic

 

 

Six Tips For Better SharePoint Business Apps

Apps in SharePoint for Workflow, Forms and Reports

SharePoint Workflow, Forms and Reports

Great quick read on building apps in SharePoint.  Quick summary on tips:

  1. Easy to use tools
  2. Security
  3. Governance
  4. Intuitive Interfaces
  5. Experience
  6. Future Planning

Full article can be found here:  Tips for Better Business Apps in SharePoint