One thing we’ve discovered…
is that we often end up saying “Automate can do anything!” It’s a wonderful thing to be able to say, but it’s a tough message to sell. Part of the problem is: who wouldn’t be dubious hearing that? If I were on the other side of the table, I would be. And on top of that, it’s hard even to imagine what you want to do first when a whole new world of possibilities have been opened up for you! In order to get those gray cells tickled, take a look at a few of the business automate integrations we’ve already done.
- Email. We can send emails to your team as reminders, to assign tasks, or alert managers that processes are out of compliance. We can also send beautifully, fully styled emails to your clients, clickable buttons and personalized messages.
- Chat. Some find that including automation or BPM in your company suddenly results in everyone’s inbox being so full, they ignore everything. That’s not good and definitely doesn’t streamline anything. We can also send messages via chat to circumvent the problem. Some alerts are better sent this way. Or, you can set up a chat bot that regularly sends you adorable cat photos every day. You know, to keep up morale!
- SMS. This works great when you have staff on the field. Do you do repairs or updates at locations across cities or even the country? Let us send text messages for you. We can send directions, addresses, new assignments, updates, whatever you need.
- Twilio. Send authenticated messages of any kind… but automated! We can enforce rules and triggers so that certain types of messages are sent at orchestrated times or in response to particular events and to specified recipients.
- Google drive. Organize your shared documents automatically. Alert staff when documents are available. Let us create your folder structure according to any rules put in place. Share or restrict access depending on users or where you are in the process.
- Box. Do you use Box instead of Google drive? Well we can provide the same automation to Box as well.
- Google Sheets. Let us add data to your spreadsheets or react to the data that is inbound.
- Trello. Do you love Trello as much as we do? It’s user-friendly, it’s customizable… but you have to keep up on your own board. Make Trello even more powerful by adding customization. Read more about what we can do here.
- Basecamp. Add rules to basecamp. Let us create tickets, title them, add checklists, track their state for you, and much more!
- Clio. We can add events to your calendar with participants, notes, attachments, and any title you want. Let us find a slot to schedule something for you according to any rules you want to enforce. We can create matters and perform conflict checks.
- Smartsheets. We can add tasks and assign them. We can help identify your critical path. We can add rules, change assignments, and update data for line items in your gantt chart.
- OAuth II. With OAuth we are able to confirm that only the right people are able to interact with your process.
Business automation integration can connect the tools you love
Okay, so maybe you use the tools, but maybe you use something else, and you’re wondering, can we connect with the one you love? The answer is probably. For example, we haven’t done integrations for these, yet, but we could do integrations with: Salesforce, Quickbooks, Pipeline Deals, Google Cal, Jira, Dropbox, Zendesk, Mail Chimp, Right Signature, Get Jobber, and so many more. Seriously. If it has an API, we can connect to it.
If you have a different tool that you are currently working with and you want to know if we can connect to it, just comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All of our clients choose to take advantage of the many ways that Automate can send out complex emails. Automate can fill in specific data fields, and send them to particular recipients, based on certain workflow conditions. With this type of document automation we know that the right information gets into the right hands — every time and quickly! Almost all of this seamless communication is for internal use: from one department to another, or as an alert that certain things are happening elsewhere in that company’s tech stack.
And when information that’s being shared internally, aesthetics tend to take a backseat. But what about when you’re interfacing with your clients? We always want our emails not only to be professionally written, but to look professional as well. This may be as small as using your company logo in the email signature to something as complex as a marketing type email.
I was curious about certain type of marketing triggers we might employ and the implications on our emailing system. Here is an example designer email I had our team create. Now this is the type of delicious looking email I would be proud to send to a client!
We at Bixly are excited with the progress of Automate and would like to share some of our challenges and conquests along the way. Bixly Automate is a very flexible and scaleable BPM. One process we are building with Automate works directly with multiple attorneys in many different areas and they had a specific problem that required high level document automation. Because the legal industry requires careful and specific handling of documents, programmed automation can be a great solution to inevitable human error. In many cases the firm’s reputation is linked to their competence in such matters.
Their question was how do we securely disperse legal documents to multiple recipients and gather multiple legal signatures. Oh and by the way, can we automate the document process to reduce human error along with saving time and money? Of course they also need reporting and accountability. There wasn’t an existing solution that met the client’s needs without shifting to a different document platform and affecting their process and causing major disruption.
As we demo processes we have built for clients, we often get managers excited to dream even bigger – or smarter– with their automation process. In this case, Automate was already handling data inputs, converting them into PDFs (using their specific form template), and uploading it to their cloud file sharing program. Then they realized, not all of the data inputs would be strictly standard. The current form asked for witness information related to a case. But what if there were multiple witnesses? Could Automate help with that?
At first our client was suggesting we create a whole second process with two different forms. The downside was that it put us in a position of simply hoping that the multiple witness form had enough slots. Basically, it wasn’t flexible enough. Could Automate create dynamically flexible PDFs while maintaining the original template appearance and structure?
In a word, yes. Fifteen development hours later, Automate can now populate as many data fields as any particular situation needs, convert it to a PDF in the template styling, and continue with the process as before. Clients can have any number of witnesses with notifications, accountability and automation! This was all done using the client’s preferred tools and process. Needless to say they were ecstatic with the results, especially those who would normally have to use multiple templates, type (or write and scan) the data by hand, and move the documents around themselves!
Custom BPM, created at a good value is what Automate is all about. We believe that BPM software should help your company accomplish its objectives, not for a company to conform to the BPM. Let us demonstrate how Bixly Automate can help your organization.
Friday, October 14th, 2016 | Posted in Uncategorized
I have built over $10m worth of custom software over the years through Bixly. In that time, I have seen many bright-eyed, tech-minded people with software dreams turn into a sunk-cost standoff. I have seen millions wasted on projects that go nowhere within a company. I have seen professionals brought to financial ruin by making bad decisions for their custom software. This experience has given me hard-won insight into what type of software projects succeed, and why they do.
You might have just received a software bid with a very large number on it, or possibly a very small number from an offshore firm. Maybe you are still considering getting a bid from a software company. Before you jump into this financial commitment, it’s imperative to know which type of software builder you are. This hidden distinction is critical to understand since it defines objectives and helps you set a budget as well as pace expectations for everyone involved. These two categories appear similar but are worlds apart. (more…)
Friday, September 9th, 2016 | Posted in Front End Development
That’s what the life of a front-end web developer often entails, so how exactly do they connect with each other? I’ll start with the process esteemed graphic designer, Aaron Draplin, uses to design logos because the following principles translate well.
First, pen and paper for the basic concepts.
This process consists of drawing out simple concepts of sections you’d like to see on the site. Content and coloring aren’t necessarily concerned yet. Experimentation is essential, because this is the part of the process during which items can be created and scrapped with ease. The reason to start on paper rather than with software is that at this stage there is a tendency to design uninspired sections that don’t push the boundaries of design or apply aspects of the company’s design principles creatively when working digitally.
Secondly, we get this in a digital format.
Depending on who you ask, this could mean going straight to code or creating mockups with software like Sketch. Either way, gradually add color and dummy content. The site will start to come together at this point, but don’t shy away from experimentation still. To experiment efficiently, create copies of sections and try to do something different with each copy. Always keep in mind who or what this is being designed for and what they represent. Introducing a framework such as Bootstrap would also be appropriate at this step.
Lastly, make sure that your color, content, and brand message are all in sync.
Ensure that your work will be viewable by many users as possible through the use of browser-compatible code and mobile-friendly design. You can check the compatibility of your HTML and CSS code by heading over to Can I Use. Utilize text elements that are able to contrast off of the background whether it’s an image or solid color. You can even grab high quality, free for commercial use stock images from Pexels or Pixabay.
Now you can step back and ask yourself the question: is the final product something that is in line with what the client represents or builds upon the current design? If the answer is yes, then you’ve been successful.