How you can streamline an HR Employee Onboarding Process

Employee Onboarding
Kianda – Intelligent Business Process Automation Software

Onboarding of new employees takes up a large amount of time of an HR department. It has many aspects to consider; paperwork to process, approvals to set up, documents to gather, training to provide, appraisal meetings to organise and so on. Tasks to be carried out involve not only HR department but also other departments; HR deals with compliance, IT deals with how to get equipment up and running and managers with expectations. Sometimes tasks need to be carried in parallel, sometimes one after another.

Most of these tasks are repeated for each new hire over and over again. This gets more complicated and worrisome when bulk employee onboarding is required in a short period of time and when you don’t have an easy solution available to automate these repetitive tasks.

The employee onboarding process should be smooth and simple, not time-consuming. With some of our customer’s feedback, and some research of our own, we’ve put together a list of ways to automate employee onboarding process so that you have more time to deal with other more important matters in the business:

1- Get paperwork out of the way

To keep the process quick and to avoid making a new employee spend long hours filling out forms, consider using a paperless solution not only for efficiency but also to support the environment. This can be done using a Business Process Management (BPM) software that enables your organisation to create online forms easily. New hires could fill these forms out on a computer on their first day or even before they start.

2- Give easy access to everyone involved in the process

You may have an international organisation where departments that are involved in this process are spread across the globe. A smart BPM software should provide a single place where everyone can access and complete their tasks one after another or in parallel. Starting a new hire process triggers an email thread to allow team members to collaborate, and leave room for feedback if a correction is needed.

3- Seamless bulk employee onboarding

Let’s assume after going through interviewing process, you have a list of new hires in your data source ready to onboard. This may be a spreadsheet, a list in SharePoint or a data list somewhere else. Having the ability to import this list and start onboarding workflow of each listed employee and set them up in other data sources automatically cuts down a lot of time and costs. Anyone in your organisation with no coding knowledge being able to build necessary forms to automate this process would give you a big advantage. You can then sit back and watch how your onboarding operation moves smoother and faster.

4- Use the most of your data no matter where it is located

Connection to multiple systems such as SharePoint, Active Directory, SQLServer, SAP or any other systems you may use in your organisation is crucial in the automation process. And more importantly, ability to connect to all these data sources in one single workflow, no matter where they are hosted on cloud or on-premise will speed up the entire process seamlessly and will avoid going through the pain of additional implementations and costs.

5- Go paperless with your induction process

Another part of the hiring process that takes up a lot of an HR manager’s hours is induction and training sessions with each new hire. Every employee needs basic training on company policies and operating procedures, as sessions conducted by HR manager or documents to be read by the employee.

Making sure a list of policy documents is read by the new hires before they start their job is not straightforward as by nature it is something not very appealing. What could help you save a significant amount of time and cut down the risks is automating this process. Starting with digitalising these documents, making sure employees read one after another in the right order, and track if they read the documents, request their digital signature are all going to help you to go paperless and speed up this process.

6- Think long-term

Another thing to consider is that onboarding process is not a process that only should be looked at when a new hire starts a job and then put aside and forget about it. It is an ongoing process that will need your attention for edits, updates on the existing employee’s positions, starting an offboarding or re-onboarding process and so forth. A good BPM solution should be able to accommodate all these dynamic changes without you re-creating the work and should be flexible to adapt to your business’ unique needs to avoid unnecessary work down the line.

7-Don’t be limited to what’s available

There are many solutions out there with limited capabilities. Don’t get stuck to these limitations, your business may have specific requirements depending on what industry you are in, how your operations work and where your teams are based. Digital Transformation solutions should not lock your operations up in boundaries, but be flexible to adapt to your business, expand with it and allow you move further easier and more profitable.

Automating employee onboarding tasks will certainly pay off in the long-run

Onboarding process can be costly and time-consuming. Streamlining these processes now will certainly pay off in the long-run if these repetitive tasks are automated and manual work is reduced.

If you’re a business owner or manager and aware of how expensive and time-consuming onboarding employees can be, we have a solution that is specialised in workflow automation. Giving you the power to easily automate your employee onboarding process and overcome the inefficiency in your business.

If you haven’t started your Digital Transformation journey or looking for smarter solutions to streamline your operations and cut down the paperwork, please visit kianda.com and request your free demo.

Derya Sousa
30 Nov 2017
linkedin.com/in/deryasousa/

Why every business can benefit from automated process workflow system

Business-Process-Automation
Business Process Automation

Modern enterprises have common objectives related to digital transformation aiming to improve productivity and collaboration in their organisations. Organisations succeed when they manage to incorporate new technologies into business operations and company cultures. One of the ways to achieve these goals is by automating recurring business processes.

Despite all the available latest technologies, innovations, mobile solutions, AI’s, enterprises still seem to be somehow in a catch-up mode when it comes to digital transformation.

There is also some level of lack of universal awareness about the benefits of the Digital Business Process Automation services which I believe need to be highlighted with showcases that businesses can leverage.

Process automation concept presents many opportunities for innovation and it brings significant competitive advantage. It helps to optimize the business performance of an organisation. It is a big accelerator in various sectors such as Sales and Marketing (pre-sales and post-sales), HR (employee onboarding, training, and performance management) and Manufacturing (invoicing, returns, conflict resolution) and more for any organization.

Here is a list of business processes every company will have to automate sooner or later whether they pursue Digital Transformation or not:

  • Leave approval
  • Support Queries
  • CRM/Marketing
  • Expenses
  • Employee Onboarding

A workflow automation solution can be applied to almost any industry offering automation of the time and resource intensive processes, providing improved visibility and better performance in business processes, enabling faster and more accurate data entry into the data systems.

Business process automation
While everyday business flows by itself, staff can concentrate on getting more done and focus on the things that matter to the organisations.

 

There are many benefits of implementing workflow automation, here are the 4 good reasons your organisation should consider it:

1. Improve productivity & efficiency
Starting with designing your processes and automating workflows related to them, gives you a better and bigger picture of your processes and makes it easier to identify areas that need enhancement to achieve productivity and efficiency. With the help of automation, various departments are able to stay more connected, collaborate easier and communicate faster.

2. Error-free results every time
Businesses should consider workflow automation when there are repetitive tasks to implement. Often these tasks are managed with spreadsheets, email or even papers. Process workflow automation is the best way to complete tasks in a most efficient manner while streamlining business processes. It helps to produce consistent and accurate results every time by removing the risk of error.

3. Save time and money
The main benefit of automated workflow is that it saves time and money. Digital process automation is about creating new business designs by using digital technologies, automating and enhancing critical processes which in turn enables time-saving by completing a job with accuracy. Any organisation that implement automation operate more efficient, save time and money while increasing profitability.

4. Measure and predict progress of your business processes
BPA solutions that come with custom dashboards displaying a list of tasks/processes and the analytical charts related to those bring a higher level of visibility helping managers to monitor the status, spot the bottlenecks and opportunities of process enhancement.

It is no doubt, by automating complex business processes companies streamline their operations, increase their efficiency, cut down on the manual tasks and reduce errors and eventually stay ahead of the game.

Our new product Kianda, is a unique BPA system that aims to bring the process automation and collaboration to the next level. In Kianda we are continuously researching, innovating, implementing latest technologies, discovering new ways to deliver the most effective platform with great capabilities that make our customers’ digital transformation goals come true. Discover more about Kianda.

Osvaldo Sousa
18 Oct 2017
linkedin.com/in/osvaldosousa/

TeraDev sponsors European SharePoint Conference #ESPC17

SharePoint-Ireland
European SharePoint Conference 2017

TeraDev is delighted to announce that we are Silver Sponsors for the upcoming 2017 European SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure Conference #ESPC17 in the CCD Dublin, November 13-16. We are proud to be partnering with such a prestigious event that gathers SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure experts from around the world in one European location for the largest conference of its kind.

As sponsors, we are happy to offer a 10% discount off your ticket. Just Click here and use the code ESPC17SP & get a 10% discount.

During the conference, we will be launching our new product Kianda – a Unique Business Process Automation Platform with great capabilities. A single powerful workflow automation tool enabling the creation of unlimited forms and workflows. Bringing you digital process automation without limits. Why not visit kianda.com to unlock secrets of the platform and see how easily you can automate your workflows.

We will be exhibiting at booth #72 in the Expo Hall for the duration of the conference where we would be delighted to meet with you and answer any questions you may have about us or our solutions.

If you would like to have a one-on-one please contact us on info@teradev.ie and we can schedule some time to meet with you.

Business process Workflow automation
Business Process Automaton Without Limits

Digital Transformation will lead you to success

Embrace digital business transformation

Digital Transformation
Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the accelerating transformation of business activities, workflows, processes and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of the latest digital technologies. It is digitizing organisation’s business processes, improving technological foundations, seamlessly integrating with providers and as a result reducing the costs and improving significantly customer experience.

Digital business transformation is the key to improving operations by using data and analytics that give the ability to adapt and seize new opportunities.

Why do you need digital transformation?

Today’s businesses require operating faster business process cycles with a high volume of data to serve demanding customers more than ever.

Despite all smart mobile and cloud solutions, Artificial Intelligence that fast-moving technologies are currently providing, enterprises seem to be somehow in a catch-up mode when it comes to digital transformation. Staying behind, keeping traditional business models can put businesses in a disadvantageous position. Innovative business models, automated workflows can help companies stay competitive and reduce costs.

Workflow automation is the right step to start

Among many aspects of Digital Transformation, workflow automation is the right small step to start this journey. If your organisation does not have a workflow automation tool, then it is the right to time to get one.

Workflow Automation will enable your organisation to refocus your people on more strategic tasks, innovation and creativity rather than repetitive efforts. It will allow your organisation make smarter use of time, materials and information.

In my experience, as a technical architect and collaboration specialist, I have built collaboration and business process automation solutions using a broad range of technologies across several industries. Some large projects can take a long time and effort to see the results. When implementing a new solution, it is always recommended to start with small steps. Trying to transform everything at the same time will not give the best results. Step by step approach will lead to a successful transformation. Select one of your organisation’s internal processes and explore the ways this can be automated. Once the first step is implemented and succeeded it becomes a lot easier to bring this to a larger scale.

Ensure your team’s buy-in

Another important aspect is to create your team’s buy-in when it comes to introducing digital transformation. Adoption of the digital workflow solution by your team, employees, partners, providers is the key to success. Ensuring that workflow solution is easy to use, intuitive, customisable to adapt to your business needs, has capabilities to adjust to the new mobile workforce are the main things that should be considered.

In this era, digital transformation has become a fast priority to many businesses from small start-ups to big enterprises. Today most executives are digitally transforming three key areas of their enterprises: customer experience, operational processes and business models. If your organisation isn’t engaged with digital transformation already and is looking for one, get in touch with us to learn more about Kianda, our unified digital platform that provides very easy and quick ways for non-technical users to build complex workflows made of professional-looking online forms without the need for coding knowledge.
Start your Digital Transformation journey with Kianda, automate your simple or complex business processes.

Get in touch with us to learn more about Kianda

business process automation platform
Business process automation platform

Osvaldo Sousa
02 Aug 2017
linkedin.com/in/osvaldosousa/

4 Quick Tips to Understand SharePoint Permission Hierarchy

SharePoint-Permission-hierarchy

It can be very frustrating sometimes, not being able to access certain content in SharePoint for an end user. To avoid this, basic understanding of permission levels is crucial. Permission levels are used throughout the entire SharePoint organisation to provide access, from an item level all the way up to a site collection.

Most of the time if you’re not getting access to specific content, it’s because of the permission level that you’ve been provided.

I will try to explain how SharePoint permission hierarchy works in a very simple way to give some understanding from an end users point of view. This will also give you some understanding of the SharePoint structure as well. You may have already been granted permissions to a certain subsite and may be wondering why you still cannot access to another level or subsite within the same site collection.

  1. SharePoint permissions work like Windows folder and file permissions

Like Windows files and folders SharePoint objects inherit permission from parent to child. Permission hierarchy starts at the top of the site collection. So, if we have multiple site collections, each site collection has its own individual permission levels to work with which by default are inherited from the top level to the item level. 

  1. Permission inheritance traverses all the way down through the permission hierarchy

As seen in the diagram within the site collections, we have subsites. Within subsites, we have list and libraries. Within lists and libraries, we may have folders, and in folders, we may have list items or documents. By default, we have permission inheritance that is carried from site collection to the list items/documents level.

Site collection determines what permission levels are available at the different levels.

  1. What happens if anywhere along this hierarchy we break the permissions?

If we have created unique permissions (as in SubSite 3 in the diagram) means we’ve actually broken the inheritance, meaning all other subsites/lists/libraries underneath will inherit from this. So we’re no longer inheriting permissions from the site collection level.

What happens next? SubSite 4 is now inheriting the permissions that we defined at SubSite 3, which means folders, lists and libraries under SubSite 4 are inheriting from SubSite 4.

It’s a permission hierarchy that continues from top to the bottom level unless you break the inheritance. So, you may be in one of the Sub Sites, then all of a sudden, you try to go to a list or a library and you can’t access it. Well, it’s because you don’t have the appropriate permissions because someone has broken the inheritance.

  1. How do I get an access to a certain library?

When you’re trying to work with content in SharePoint, if you’re not getting access to this specific content, now you know it’s because of the permission levels. As an end user in a collaboration environment, there is not much you can do about this other than sweet-talking site owners or site collection administrators into giving you permissions to that list or library as they are the ones who control the level of inheritance and permissions.

A word of warning: Too many unique permission items at the same level can slow things to a halt.

Derya Sousa
12 Jan 2017
linkedin.com/in/deryasousa/

4 Ways to Engage Team Collaboration with SharePoint

Sharepoint-Collaboration

 

Collaboration is essential in today’s business environments. It enables teams to be more productive and in time it can help fine tune the whole dynamics of the team. Empowering people through effective collaboration and communication brings huge benefits to a business.

But despite all known benefits, sometimes it can be described for some teams as “a challenge as tough as climbing the Mount Everest”. There are many reasons for this; such as the natural competition among colleagues, knowledge protection and simply personality compatibility.

In this short article, I will try to focus on 4 easy ways that teams can be nudged into fostering effective collaboration using SharePoint.

  1. Get people involved

    How would you feel, if your boss comes and says “Today you are going to start to use a new tool I dreamed of”. This is one of the biggest causes of collaboration downfall. It quickly leads to resistance (and in this case not futile). Making sure that team gets the opportunity to have their say is very important. Employees should feel that they have input into the choice or planning of such tool or change. This can go from a sit down in the planning phase or a quick email asking if they have any suggestions for the new system.

  2. Provide a clear and simple goal

    Like most things out there, one of the biggest challenges is to get started with something that is complex. SharePoint is a Swiss army’s knife platform when it comes to collaboration possibilities. It comes with tons of options that might add more confusion than simplification to someone’s busy schedule. At TeraDev our suggestion is to start with a very simple process to make it easier for team members to get involved. This could be a simple and concise solution such as a HR form or a feedback form. We helped several customers to build SharePoint collaboration solutions that started with a simple solution and then evolved to become a well-rounded collaboration tool.

    Here is a quick glance to possible simple start:

    Approval workflow: The basic Approval workflow is a SharePoint feature that comes as a simple template to route a document or other item stored in a SharePoint list or library to one or more people for their approval or rejection. The workflow assigns a task to each specified participant to choose among possible responses: to approve or reject or to reassign the task, or to cancel or delete the task.

    Issue tracking list: This option is again a SharePoint feature that comes as a template. It enables tracking issues of a project, item or a department. You can assign issues to users, prioritize and track status, send alerts to help manage issues.

    HR Forms: A simple employee on-boarding form can be created in SharePoint to automatize paper forms filled when a new employee starts in a company. This would enable to store these forms in one place and the process flow among the various individuals within the company.

  3. Make it less overwhelming

    In line with the above, it is essential to keep the process clear and simple to enable team engagement. Even SharePoint features like check-out, check-in, version history and so on might be avoided for teams that are not familiar with collaboration. Generally, keeping collaboration workspaces clean and single-minded will give better results when it comes to getting teams involved.

  4. Make it yours

    Invest in ensuring that the tools you put at your team’s disposal are actually aligned with the team dynamics and objectives. Rather than making it too generic, adapt the solution to the closest possible to the team business process.
    For example, a sales team that is responsible for sending out proposals might have a business approval step where a senior account manager approves the proposal before it is submitted to a customer. In this case, a possible way to improve collaboration is to build a SharePoint collaboration workspace that pivots around the approval steps among senior account managers. This has several benefits including clarity in accountability and ownership.

If you are looking for more guidance please contact us.

Osvaldo Sousa
31 Dec 2016
linkedin.com/in/osousa/

Why HTML5 business apps?

Why HTML5 business apps?

While the consumer landscape has evolved very rapidly in the last few years, the enterprise landscape has taken a bit longer when it comes to adopting to the modern app concepts. This disparity in technology adoption is expected. I guess like most businesses, your business also runs some obscure systems that are there forever and they just work (at least most of the time).

Nowadays HTML5 apps take advantage of the power house that modern browsers have to offer allowing developers to create network connected apps rather than traditional web applications.

html5 web application

2016 the year modern browser adoption finally took off

Corporations are usually very slow when it comes to adopting to modern browsers. IE (Internet Explorer), more notably IE8 (yuk) is still a dominant enterprise browser.

According to Gartner this year for the first-time Google Chrome will be the most used browser in the enterprises followed by IE. While certain government related bodies have to stick to IE8 (double yuk), many are rapidly (as quickly as enterprises can go) adopting modern browsers as their browser of choice.

Why old style web apps don’t work?

Browser adoption and sometimes legacy applications cause a great difficulty when it comes to actually embrace new technological trends like SPA (Single Page Application) that relies heavily on client side technologies like JavaScript, CSS3 and HTML5. Instead what corporations usually tend to implement are the older technologies that could end up being server side technologies like JSP, ASP.NET, PHP or other like-minded technologies.

This does not mean these technologies have no merits or have no place in modern apps. They do and can play a very important role. They should still be used as the underlying technology. The use of these technologies usually comes with the normal pitfalls associated with the page life-cycle such as page state.

traditional web apps
traditional request / response web app

The request / response model most of the time works perfect except when you have low bandwidth or even high frequency requirements.

The rise of the business HTML5 apps

In a networked HTML5 app usually back-end systems such as SharePoint, SAP, Dynamics CRM and others can take a function of a “platform” that gets leveraged by the app. This can have great benefits for organisations since customisation don’t have to live any longer within a specific back-end system, usually freeing the organisation for being able to upgrade to the next back-end system release without affecting their specific logic.

On the other hand, the use of client side technologies may come with its own challenges (even taking aside the browser adoption issue) such as; security. A careful planning is essential, otherwise you might end up in a “security gate” situation.

HTML5 modern business app concept case study

html5-sap-sharepoint-enterprise-app-slolution

One of our latest enterprise business app projects, users using SharePoint for issue tracking and SAP for typical business process executions like product management and customer service, faced an almost constant slow execution performance with either back-end systems (I am not simply referring to speed here, also issues such as having to go through confusing screens and multiple post backs).

One of the most important issues this app had to resolve was the ability of searching very quickly from a product catalog of more than 100 thousand products and in real time correlate this product data to SharePoint data held across multiple lists and libraries.

A combination of the following technologies enabled us to meet this requirement efficiently:

  • IndexedDB – Web browser NoSQL database system
  • EmberJS and bootstrap – Help to simplify a lot the complexity of working with client side technologies
  • JS – IndexedDB wrapper to facilitate working with the client site NoSQL technology
  • Web Sockets – ideal for communication based systems, perfect for high frequency applications that require data to be available fast
  • Web API back-end – Server side back-end, using remote event receivers for SharePoint and SAP connectors

The end result is a lighting fast app that is built mobile first and highly intuitive. Allows users perform instant product catalog and SharePoint searches.

Now everyone has a bit more time to spare 🙂

Osvaldo Sousa
23 Dec 2016
linkedin.com/in/osousa/

SharePoint as an enterprise app platform

SharePoint generally is a great framework for building enterprise apps and I am not simply referring to apps built using the app model. I am referring to all the combinations of solutions that leverage services SharePoint provides. This includes client-side based solutions such as HTML5, JavaScript and traditional farm solutions.

SharePoint Consultancy

From a client-side point of view, SharePoint offers a lot when it comes to resources that can be leveraged from frameworks such as Ember or Angular.

SharePoint offers the following services:

  • Lists
  • Document libraries
  • A robust security model
  • User profile store
  • Extensive REST API and much more…

SharePoint developers (SharePoint farm solutions developers) have been leveraging successfully of these resources to build enterprise systems for many years. This has had sometimes not so good results due to the fact that these solutions can sometimes affect the whole SharePoint server farm in a way that is detrimental to anything else running in that server farm.

The solution for this as dictated by Microsoft with the introduction of the app model is to make more use of the “platform” personality of SharePoint. This allows effectively to write code that does not run within the same process as SharePoint code does and helps to avoid (most of the times at least) the common pitfalls of SharePoint farm solutions.

Sample customer ordering system built in combination with SharePoint + EmberJS

Here is a good example of such use of SharePoint by employing Ember JS coupled with a few lists in SharePoint to build an order management system.

Sharepoint, Ember, JSOM, REST, Lists

The ingredients for this hypothetical system are:

  • Two SharePoint lists (Customers and Orders with the required metadata)
  • EmberJS used to provide front end and business logic
  • SharePoint JSOM / REST API to allow Ember to work with list data
  • A Single Html Page (or SPA) containing css references and handlebars templates for use in the system
  • app.js referenced within the html page
  • A document library to host the page and its client resources

The following is sample code used in app.js

SharePoint-App-List-Customisation
Note: In the code snippet above SPData represents an abstraction to using a combination of SharePoint rest services or simply JSOM.

The advantages of building your business app this way are multiple: Easy to change and quick to adapt without lengthy deployments and the guarantee of no custom code being executed with your SharePoint process.

In conclusion; the use of sophisticated client-side frameworks combined with SharePoint web services can provide an ideal environment for your next business application.