Document workflow is about converting data into valued transactions
Documents are at the core of successful businesses. We all get carried away by technology, so we tend to forget that the deal itself between a vendor and his customer is signed, sealed and delivered on a document. Okay, we can keep it digital. But a digital document is a document, nonetheless.
Digital is much more complex to handle than paper – you have data, you have tasks, you have interactions, you have compatibility issues. And no time to consolidate it all.
Just think about the documents required to manage all of these! Each of these functions on this collaboration chart created by Oneflow also require legal compliance. Things that keep you awake at night such as revision tracking, signatures, data privacy, product liability, auditing and archiving. OneFlow’s way is to offer a document independent workflow of actions and interactions that only combines into a document as we know it when it is consolidated and sealed.
During each of the steps in the Oneflow application, the data is enriched, the cycle progresses but nothing is locked down until it is required – i.e. when a legal contract is signed by two parties.
When I got my first typewriter with correction tape in 1984, the technical documentation I was creating became both more accurate and looked nicer. And the interface was easy – you just had to avoid making changes after you had pulled your A4 out of the machine.
From a user perspective, the correction tape in a typewriter has been replaced by data points enriching the content that becomes the document.
It’s no use if you don’t use it
Today, you interface with your operating system, your application and your selected platform – hoping that it will support the previous two.
In a very recent survey conducted by Documill among document automation experts and system integrators, the message was quite clear: It’s all about ease of use, content and branding/template support. (I bet they asked the actual users, not the managers.)
Speaking about users – and platforms – the marketing mantra for document workflow solution vendors has always been seamless integration. But it is never seamless, and the platform is where it all comes together. So, even if you have a document workflow solution that liberates you from the paper in the typewriter, you still have to fit the details together and keep them up to date.
Using a document workflow solution like Documill Dynamo especially created to seamlessly integrate with the Salesforce platform is one way of ensuring trackability, brand and collaboration within the Salesforce universe. It’s datadriven, collects the components of a document directly from real time data sources, and allows for all the benefits of collaboration that is the DNA of Salesforce. The outcome is a nice PDF – which is just an even better version of my A4 in the typewriter.
Although I am certain that this will change when our tablet kids are conquering the business world:
My grandson (aged 4) walked up to a huge e-display at the airport and tried to swipe. Then he told me, it was broken.
Ease of use is key even when it comes to selling tools. A tool is useless if it is not used. You need to interface with your data the way you interface with your phone or tablet. Let’s swipe, dictate, command and scan to enter and work with the data in your sales tool. That way you will actually get it done.
Some of us may probably end up having withdrawal symptoms and look for ways to scan our documents and to integrate our tools into our comfort zone such as Outlook. But you are just adding another layer of complexity and more applications to time manage.
“Too many sales tools are still desktop-oriented. As consumers, we enjoy doing stuff on mobile. When we go to work, why would we want to specifically boot up a computer? In five years time there won’t be one single end-all tool, but several tools that work seamlessly together during different sales pipeline phases. Data, digitalization and automation will take over.”
Blogpost by Finnish innovator Zero Keyboard quoting Nikolai Pietiläinen of Varpaus Bikes (Cycling-as-a-Service)
Do it when it’s top of mind
This is where a clever solution called Zero Keyboard comes in. Zero Keyboard let’s you enter data on mobile, manage your sales activities and update business systems without typing. It is currently marketed on the Appexchange and runs on the Salesforce CRM platform, but the concept is a winner: you manage your data and your tasks by swiping, voice command and scanning. Take a look at what I am talking about on this video.
Even my grandson could do it. And he probably will, once he’s grown up.
The Fluido Innovation Hour on April 23 (online event) brings together some of these offerings needed to create a meaningful end-to-end document driven business, using Salesforce as it’s platform. From marketing, sales and support to collaborative contract handling and closing the deal.
Featured Image by RICOH distributor Modern Datasolusi
Selected images and research by Documill, OneFlow, Zero Keyboard