Running business workloads on Office 365

CloudConcept

While Office 365 delivers a high level of user productivity on the cloud, every workload is delivered in separate modules. But when you are working on a business process, you may need all of your emails, contacts, calendar, documents and lists to complete the task properly. But if you are switching between these modules, it may slow you down or even distract you altogether. Wouldn’t it be convenient if you could aggregate all the relevant supporting information that you will need for better collaboration and informed decision making?

That is the vision of Webparts360 AppStudio for Office 365! It is a next generation cloud application development tool that allows you to re-use the different O365 contents/workloads around business context, such as projects management, procurement, employee self-service and etc… You can even incorporate back end corporate data securely so that you can apply business rules to automate these business processes. And since it can see data across the entire platform, it is the ideal place to deliver a single view of work for your users.

Impact to Users

Webparts360 frees the business applications developers and unleashed all the power of Office 365 so that it can handle business workloads in the same manner that users are accustomed to like their normal on-premise systems. This tool allows them to reorganize the different contents within O365 around a particular business process context so that the right information will be delivered to the right person at the right time and in the right context. 

In the following example, you will see how we use Office 365 to power business forms automation. Since one of the most important aspect of automation is to improve team’s response to activities. Considering that you will most likely be building different solutions in different sub sites, how can you deliver a single view of work?

This solution, built entirely with Webparts360 runs on multiple sub sites so that it can grow as needs arises, while delivering a single view of approvals.The screen below shows the cumulative requests and approvals for a single user.

ProcessSummary

Figure 1: Process Summary Analyis

By changing the focus from contents to business context, your users will be able to focus on business outcomes rather than tasks. Data visualization and reporting are made fast and easy to support better decision making process. The screen shown below illustrate how you can create a single view of all the processes that is waiting for your response.

      ApprovalDashboard

Figure 2: Centralized Activity Dashboard

You can combine all your activities into a single convenient dashboard to improve your team’s response over urgent matters.  Webparts30 can customize the systems user’s interface so that all of your favorite functions are a single click away.

ProcessGallery

Figure 3: Quick Access to Functions

It provides quick access to the various activities or business transactions but instead of giving you one content at a time, it can combine all related contents that are necessary for decision making. It can handle complex parent-child data entry forms that offers contextual documents, commentaries and approval audit trail.

ApprovalDetails

Figure 4: Flexible Data Forms

This solution uses a centralized organization reporting structure so that it is easier to manage and to add new processes that can leverage on existing information rather than duplicating these information separately in each modules.

OrgChart

Figure 5: Organization Chart

Since all solutions can share a common reporting or authorization structure, it is much easier to manage and add solutions centrally that leverage off a common definition. You can control what processes that your users can access to.

Process Definitions

Figure 6: Common System Modules Repository

This module will help you to find your employees easily in a centralized employee directory.

EmpDirectory

Figure 7: Employee Directory

Impact to Developers

But the real magic of Webparts360 lies in its applications development tool that sees across all the contents with Office 365. It’s a solutions’ architect dream as it allows you to “see” into your platform. For starters, you can see all your solutions that are in your system.

FarmView

Figure 8: View all solutions in a farm

The solutions manager allows you to see all the different categories of applications within your server farm. And with a single click, it will quickly reveal the details of each solution.

SolutionDetails

Figure 9: Solution Design Framework

The solution designer shows you a consistent view that reveals all the different components and resources that makes up a solution to provide a standard solutions framework to make things easier to understand and manage.

ERD1

Figure 10: Entities Relationships Diagram

Webparts360 makes your content in Office 365 viewable and accessible like relational databases so that it’s easier to understand and manageable. Moreover, you can incorporate LOB databases into your O365 solutions securely and easily.

SolutionModules

Figure 11: Modules with a solution

Webparts360 takes a structural approach to building applications by leveraging all the contents within Office 365 that are essentially the necessary ingredients of any solution. The systems reveals the modular design of your solutions and to manage the solution’s interface, just click to access the specific web part. From a module, you can see the various interface pages and subsequently see all the web parts within each UI page. With one click, you can drill into the web part definition details as shown below:

WebpartDetails

Figure 12: Web part Configuration

This screen allows you to control the interface and behavior of an interface element with your solution. Do note that there are only three (3) web parts to learn:

  • TRANSACTIONS – for data input and workflow,
  • REPORTS – for data visualization and
  • NAVIGATIONS – for contextual menu and navigation.

Simplicity is art of doing things elegantly. Each web part provides granular control on how data is processed and presented.

ViewDefinition

Figure 13: Controlling behavior of user interface (Datagrid Interface)

Each web part can have multiple views so that different people can view different information depending on their roles. You enjoy granular control over the functionality so that you can build flexible applications easily. Below is the visual designer for the workflow web part (TRANSACTIONS), when you can define how a transaction moves from one role to another.

Workflow

Figure 14: Or controlling a business process (workflow)

Building workflows are a breeze as it supports conditional branching with columns permissions access control and validations using a visual designer. Don’t forget that Webparts360 is also able to connect the various personal productivity workloads such as Mail, Calendar and People. This way whatever personal data within your applications can be pushed to your mobile devices using this personal workloads as a conduit with little effort.

Economic Impact to IT

As a cloud user productivity tool, Microsoft Office 365 completes with

  • Google Apps ($5 per user/month),
  • DropBox ($5),
  • Box ($6).

But once you compete in the space of business workloads, you find players such as:

  • SalesForce – Customer Relationship Management ($25-250),
  • HighRise – Social CRM ($24-$99),
  • BaseCamp – Projects Management ($20-150),
  • Clarizen – Projects Management ($30-60),
  • ServiceNow – IT Helpdesk ($100) and etc…

Imagine if all of these solutions can be build and run within the same Office 365 environment. How much money would you save? How much more convenient and productive it would be for your users? How much easier for your IT team to be able to manage these solutions visually from a single design console? Would business benefit from increased speed to market and more agility?

Overall Benefits

In summary, Webparts360 helps to increase your ROI for Office 365 in the following manner:

  • Empower your IT and business users to construct applications without any programming
  • Deliver ‘single view of work’ solutions that is more convenient and intuitive for your users
  • Increase speed to market and business agility by making your software “configurable everything”
  • Improve IT control over the system by reducing complexity and automatically visually document your design
  • Improve IP re-use by making it easy to package and deploy the solutions for other business units
  • Reduce operations costs by adding more workloads on a “paid” infrastructure.

Since you already have the platform, would it add any value if you could run more business critical solutions on it? Do reach out to us to explore new possibilities with Office 365

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