Electronic Forms and process availability
The story is not new. Information Technologies are helping the industry to solve this problem through some forms and workflows for decades now. It was Microsoft who first went into all-in standardisation of those technologies for the enterprises, with InfoPath and SharePoint Workflows, back in the early 2000s. SharePoint, as we see, was a natural host for forms, and workflows, since day one.
As the times change, the requirements, the technologies, and – foremost – the expectations of the employees change. They now want to work from everywhere, from any device, anytime. Rendering InfoPath forms, hosted in a classic SharePoint site, outside of the company network, is pretty much an impossible thing to achieve today. Sticking to IE11 to “preserve” the standardisation of the “modern workplace”, what lot of companies are doing, is not helping.
Microsoft has realised that with the new SharePoint modern interface, available for SharePoint Online and SharePoint Server 2019. Furthermore, with PowerApps and Flow, there are new forms and workflow solutions to support these requirements. PowerApps and Flow are seamlessly integrated into SharePoint sites created and managed by Swisscom Sharespace, regardless of the site type, and Sharespace fully supports them in all forms and workflow scenarios.
However, PowerApps and Flow have some significant issues, such us availability only in the public cloud (not on-premises capabilities), non-existent deployment story (PowerApps and Flows cannot be automatically deployed, they need to be developed from in the target sites), and, with the new pricing, they add additional, significant cost burden to the mix.
That is the reason why Swisscom Sharespace has partnered with skybow, the leading no-code / low-code platform on the market today, which easily integrates electronic forms and processes with the rest of the modern workplace. Beautifully designed forms, both modern and classic, for desktop and mobile, master-detail relations, advanced form calculations, approval processes, automatic emailing and email actions, and many other necessary features are available on a mouse click or a thumb-button-press. Those forms and processes can be easily deployed and automatically provisioned to the sites and rooms, without any further hassle. There is no need for “development in production”, which is a terrible practice anyway.
This way, both resident and mobile employees, can easily participate in all the processes inside (and outside!) the company, regardless of the location and the device they are working on.
This also completes our modern workplace story and this series of blog posts. We have seen that the key concepts of the modern workplace – enabling resident and remote employees to work from anywhere, on any device, anytime, and to partake in collaboration, communication, knowledge sharing, and corporate processes are truly reinvented with Swisscom Sharespace. Even better, Sharespace bases on the proven, rock-solid technologies, such as Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Teams, and it is designed from the ground up to work with enterprises – with large data sets, and with a substantial number of users. Regardless of how large your enterprise might be, you can be sure that using Swisscom Sharespace; your modern workplace platform is not going to fall apart.
Trusted advisor, leader, and software/solution architect with over 25 years of experience in solution delivery and information technologies. Specialized in Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Azure. Speaker at various technology conferences worldwide for the last 15 years. Awarded as Microsoft Most Valuable Professional in two categories: Office Apps and Services, and Office Development. Director of Product Technology at skybow, company that makes platform for rapid business apps development on top of Office 365 and SharePoint. Founder and spiritus movens of the European Collaboration Summit, the largest European Microsoft 365/Azure/SharePoint event, with over 1600 attendees. Strongly believes in leading people by example and motivation.