*The name of “G Suite” was changed into “Google Workspace” in October 2020
Q. Please tell us what you are using Questetra for.
MIRACLE LINUX CORPORATION (currently Cybertrust Japan Co. Ltd.) was founded in 2000 as a company that provides operating systems for servers. Today, we develop and sell products for system monitoring and backup software, based on OS kernel technology. We introduced Questetra as a workflow system in the spring of 2010 for online expense reports and applications.
When selecting a workflow for Miracle Linux we wanted A) to reduce the number of paper application procedures as much as possible, and B) a cloud-based service (SaaS) which was accessible from anywhere, because we make so many business trips, both domestic and overseas.
The actual selection and implementation process was done by two people, the president, who has had a long career in the IT industry, and the HR manager, 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. When it was introduced 18 business procedures were made paperless. Specifically, these procedures were Expense reimbursement request, Expense report, Travel request, Name card order request, BYOD request, Contract creation and reviewing request, Admittance request, among others.
Over four years have passed since we started using Questetra and now we are doing almost all our work on it. In terms of Workflows we now have about 70 different types of business operations.
Q. How did the number of applications increase?
In the beginning, we were using it mainly for operations managed by the Accounting department.
However, once we experienced the advantage of not having to pass around paper documents we wanted to promote the reduction of paper application procedures as much as possible.
Thanks to the Questetra modeller, which allows people without IT knowledge to build complicated Workflow systems, it was possible for our internal staff to increase the number of applications.
However, since Miracle Linux is a company that deals with Linux OS, there are numerous engineers who are familiar with information systems working at our company, and sometimes they had pretty severe feedback about, for instance, the ambiguity of the data input screen or in the business flow. In fact user survey questionnaires were conducted several times, and we made gradual improvements to address the complaints gathered from them.
Q. Could you tell us your impressions after all the years you have been using the system?
Although this can be said of any tool, it is very important that A) it is usable at any time, and B) it is available from anywhere.
The Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11, 2011, about a year after introducing Questetra.
There was a quake of around 5 degrees on the JMA scale 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 cloud services like G Suite (formerly Google Apps) (Email / files) and Questetra (Workflow).
Although we talk in the terms of “Business continuity” or “BCP” nowadays, it was thanks to cloud-based services that we could continue our business activities without stopping. We are very happy with its high operational performance, even in normal times.
Q. Please also tell us about points to be improved in Questetra itself.
Questetra, as a cloud-based service, is good because it has periodic additions and enhancements to the functionality. On the other hand, as users we need to examine carefully the content of the new version specifications to make sure it does not incur big changes in day-to-day operations.
In some cases, we need to carry out pre-testing of the changes. We would be grateful for 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 even these days much of the audit trail must be submitted in paper. I think it would be useful if there was a mechanism that could enable us to customize the layout of the information, because currently data unnecessary for the audit is included in the print contents, and therefore it increases the number of pages that need to be printed.