Transforming unstructured content workflow
A particularly powerful area to apply Cloud computing is the automation of “unstructured content workflows” – Those business processes conducted manually via Word documents sent via email, conference calls and other multimedia that sits outside of enterprise applications.
Applications like CRM tackle a particular sub-set of processes relevant to customer information, and can often implement workflows like ‘Sales Quote’ for example. However this is just a record for reporting purposes, the actual work itself is achieved through writing it in Word and using email to share it with management for approvals etc.
The issue is that email isn’t a BPM system and so many errors and delays can be attributed to what gets lost and forgotten amongst this mode of work.
In their Relativity Application white paper Microsoft describe this combination, where apps like Dynamics provide the transactional platform, which you then apply Sharepoint on top of to automate this surrounding knowledge workflow.
Enterprise 2.0 toolsets, software that provides features like blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, Activity Streams et al, are ideal for this automation because they’re already used for unstructured content collaboration.
As hosted Cloud apps they’re also immediate accessible, and via MDAg methods like the OVF templates, then packages can be offered that tailor them for particular functional or vertical scenarios.
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