Smart process applications and “process-as-an-app”
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June 12, 2013
In November 2012, Forrester Research published a report on “Smart Process Applications”, introducing a new category of application software designed to support business activities that are people-intensive, highly variable, loosely structured, and subject to frequent change. Other keywords Forrester use are “packaged apps” and “collaborative business process”.
Since then –and we’re only talking about 6 to 7 months- Forrester has further defined this trend and the companies that play a role in it. Broken down into five elements, a smart process application covers the flow of documents, but also provides analysis or business process management functions. Most importantly it has a collaboration element to create content.
At Vanenburg Software, we firmly believe in the power of collaboration. Not only within a company, but especially between business partners. Sharing knowledge, exchanging information, working together to improve business operations. That’s why we develop solutions based on our “Process as an App” philosophy. This puts people at the heart of the process, where solutions are designed to make support employees and allowing them to better utilize their talents. Of course, there are quick wins which focus on “digitizing” communications. Communicating via mail or a portal saves time and money and reduce mistakes. It also provides an in-built audit trail, which is helpful to improve the process and monitor quality.
More important are the benefits derived from process collaboration. Aberdeen Group did a study in 2011, which shows that by exchanging richer data and exchanging data more frequently, trading partners can improve the quality of their forecasts and cash flow management. We also believe that the time of large, “static” enterprise applications are behind us. There’s no solution that will suit us all.
We therefore design, develop and support applications and solutions that cover a very specific need. Technology allows us to couple them if and when necessary and have them exchange information from one application to the other. Not only within your company but with your partners or information providers too. By doing so, every company can choose the functionality it needs and grow along as business demands change. Remember process-as-an-app when you have to think about a new tool to improve your business.
We’ll be glad to show you some examples.