*The name of “G Suite” was changed into “Google Workspace” in October 2020
Q. Please tell us what business are you using Questetra for.
MIRACLE LINUX CORPORATION (current “Cybertrust Japan Co., Ltd.”) was founded in 2000 as a company that provides fundamental software (OS) for Servers. Today, we develop and sell products for system monitoring and backup software, based on OS core (OS kernel) technology. We introduced Questetra as a workflow system in the spring of 2010 for online “expense reports” and “applications”.
For the selection of the workflow in Miracle Linux, we were considering that A) “We wanted to reduce application procedures in paper as much as possible”. And B) “We needed a location-free cloud-based service (SaaS) which was available everywhere” because we make so many business trips, both domestic and overseas.
Actual introduction selection was done by two people, the president who has a long career in the IT industry, and an HR staff who has no programming experience. It was introduced officially in only about one and a half months. Above all, I think its Flash-based workflow modelling tool is excellent. 18 business procedures were made paperless in the beginning of its introduction. Specifically, these procedures were ‘Expense reimbursement request’, ‘Expense report’, ‘Travel request’, ‘Name card order request’, ‘BYOD request’, ‘Contract creation and reviewing request’, ‘Admittance request’, etc.
Over four years have passed since we started using Questetra, and now we are doing almost all the work on it. The Workflows we have now are about 70 different types of business operations.
Q. How did you increase the application of business operations?
In the beginning, we were using it mainly for business operations that were managed by the Accounting department.
Once you have experienced the advantage of ‘not passing around paper documents for work’ in reality, you will want to promote A) The reduction of application procedures in paper as much as possible.
We were able to make the business operation’s application to be done by only one in-house staff, thanks to the Flash-based operating screen of Questetra, which allows people without ‘IT knowledge’ to build complicated Workflow systems.
However, since Miracle Linux is a company that deals with Linux OS (fundamental software for Servers), there are numerous engineers who are familiar with information systems working at our company. And sometimes they had very severe input about, for instance, ambiguousness in the data input screen or in the business flow. In fact, “user survey questionnaires” were conducted several times. Based on the ‘unsatisfying points” gathered from them, we made improvement activities little by little.
Q. Could you tell us your impressions after all the years you have been using the System?
Although it can be said of any tool, it is very important that A) It is usable at any time, in addition to B) It is available from anywhere.
Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11, 2011 after about a year of introducing Questetra.
There was a quake of around 5 degrees in the JMA seismic intensity in the Tokyo area as well, where Miracle Linux is located. We fell into a really confusing situation because the in-house server was no longer available and the employees could not even go home. However, we could continue using “G Suite” (formerly Google Apps) (Email / files) and “Questetra” (Workflow), which are cloud-services, stably.
Although we talk in the terms of “Business continuity” or “BCP” nowadays, it was thanks to Cloud-based services that we could manage our business activities without stopping. Including operations under normal circumstances, we are happy with its high operational performance.
Q. Please tell us also about points to be improved on Questetra itself.
Questetra, as a cloud-based service, is good for its periodical function additions and function enhancements. On the other hand, on the user’s side, we need to examine carefully the content of the new version specifications to make sure it does not incur “big change” for day-to-day operations.
In some cases, we need to carry out pre-testing of the changes. We would be grateful for a a mechanism which allows us to recognize “Workflows that might be affected” when such changes occur.
Also, we submit business processing records in Questetra for the year-end audit, etc. For this, we need to print out Questetra’s data because many of the audit trail must be submitted in paper, even today. I think it would be useful if there was a mechanism that could enable us to customize the layout of the information, because in the currently, unnecessary data for the audit is included at the moment of printing and therefore, it increases the number of pages that need to be printed.