«Automation» is one of the methods for business efficiency improvement. And it is one of the most important agenda as it is predicted that the labor force will be decreasing from now on. Speaking of «automation», many people would think of RPA tools recently. However, it is not only by RPA tools, but also there are various «automation» such as data conjunction, data creation/processing/parsing.
In this article, I am going to introduce cases of automation using Questetra BPM Suite, a cloud-based Workflow.
1: Types of automation
I divided the cases roughly into categories of inputting and outputting of data. Data creation, processing, etc. are bound to either input or output.
1-1: Data input from external services
There are various cases such as input from email and Web form, input from other services such as Google Sheets and Salesforce. Including case of processing after receiving data.
- Automation of launching the Workflow for Inquiry handling or Work request by email reception
You can automatically Start a Workflow with receiving of an email as the trigger.
After launching the flow, there are also often cases where extracting data by parsing the body of the email using a Script Task.
- Automation of launching the Workflow for Inquiry handling or Work request by entry to Web formWeb
You can automatically Start a Workflow with entry to Web form as the trigger.
It is used also in the scheme of accepting applications for Questetra’s Starter Plan (free).
- Automation of batch launching of Workflows from list information of Excel or Google Sheets
You can also start all the operations from the list at once. It is one of the common cases.
- Automation of launching Contract renewal management flow based on customer DB such as Salesforce and kintoneSalesforce
To run a Workflow around based on information of so-called Data Base system services and return the result to the DB. It is one of the common cases, as well.
- Automation of launching Client visit record flow with a schedule on Google Calendar
You can automatically Start a Workflow with a schedule registered to Google Calendar as the trigger.
Besides Starting the report flow from the scheduled visit, there are cases such as putting the schedule of regular maintenance in the calendar to launch the related flow.
- Automation of launching Work request flow with enterprise social networking, such as Slack, etc. (ChatOps)
Although it is not open to the public at this time, there are cases where you can prepare a chatbot so that you can launch the flow by sending a predetermined command on chat. By doing so, it is possible to run your business in the manner of ChatOps.
- Automation of launching Work request flow with a Smart Speaker (Voice UI)
There are cases of Starting a Workflow with a voice as the trigger so that to make input easier.
Although I have not heard as a specific case yet, cases like IoT such as, for example, Starting a checking flow triggered by detection by intrusion sensor can be also assumed.
1-2: Data output to external services
There are various cases of output to online storage Box, etc. and other services such as Slack. Including cases of processing/generating files before outputting.
- Automation of sending an email to which data inserted
You can send an email to which data have inserted in the middle of a Workflow automatically.
It is very frequent cases where sending emails to which data handled within the Workflow have embedded, such as sharing a result of decision-making request to the concerning people.
- Automation of generating PDF documents such as Estimate, Contract, Application form, and sending it by email or FAX
Prepare a formatted template beforehand and embed the data in it to generate PDF.
There are cases where a sales representative inputs information, then after the superior approves it, an estimate PDF is automatically generated, or an airline ticket reservation sheet is automatically generated/sent by FAX.
- Automation of list creation on Google Sheets
You can send data to the list in the middle of a Workflow.
There are many cases where automatically create a table such as a list of approval requests or Quotations.
- Automation of file output and accumulation to online storage such as Box
You can output files to online storage etc. in the middle of a Workflow.
There are many cases where accumulating automatically generated PDF or received data etc. to online storage.
- Automation of creating schedules on Google Calendar
There are cases such as creating calendar events automatically according to the deadline date and scheduled date and time.
- Automation of posting to enterprise social networking such as Slack
There are many cases where posting the processing result to enterprise social networking instead of emailing. There are also cases using SMS (Short Message Service).
- Automation of posting to Twitter
There are cases where automatically announce to the outside company such as release announcement etc.
- Automation of creation CSV file for accounting system
There are cases where processing data to be used in external systems, such as processing data on Expense reimbursement flow to be compatible with accounting system using Script Tasks.
- Automation of credit card settlement and billing processing via PayPal or Stripe
There are cases of Workflows incorporating credit settlement by Stripe or billing via PayPal.
- Automation of switching of colors of IoT lighting
There was a case where instructing to Philips hue bulb device which has REST API to be automatically made with the contents being changed as time goes by.
There are also cases where IoT devices such as Philips hue are controlled by Workflow working with time as the trigger.
1-3; Data exchange in bi-direction
- Automation of cooperating with Master data which is managed externally
There are cases where referring/synchronizing/editing external master data managed by Salesforce, kintone, Google Sheets, etc.
- Automation of linkage with ticket management system such as Zendesk, Backlog
There are cases in which a series of tasks are being executed in the case where the range of applicable users in Questetra and the ticket management system are different, by ticket management -> Questetra -> ticket management, or Questetra -> ticket management -> Questetra.
2: Types of implementation methods
Types of implementation methods of automation by Questetra are roughly divided as follows.
- Using standard functions of Questetra
Some part of the sending/receiving of e-mail, PDF generation, and cooperation with G Suite service is prepared as the standard function
- Expanding with Service Task definition (Add-on parts that can be added later)
Salesforce, Box, Slack, and other Add-ons are prepared for various services. You can also add Add-on s created your own.
- Connecting by data linkage tool or Glue code
There are cases where utilizing EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) tool such as DataSpiderServista, or data linkage tool such as IFTTT, or developing Glue code (an intermediate program for connecting) respectively.
I hope that now you understand that various automation can be realized with Questetra and that it is highly expandable. Depending on the characteristics of the targeted work and the challenges you want to solve, which approach fits will be on a case by case basis.
If you have any questions, please feel free to Contact us.
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By applying for your Free account of your own Questetra, you will be able to use all the Questetra features including what I mentioned above.