Saving Money with Office 365 Automation
I worked for a company many years ago where all staff, whether they had been in the organisation a few weeks or many years were given one monthly task. The task was to propose how the organisation could perform better and/or save money. It didn’t matter how it could be implemented or in what part of the business the improvement was to be made in, it just had to be something that was practical to implement and would bring benefit. Whoever had the best idea each month received a financial reward. Let’s face it, money is always a great incentive and although I don’t think it should have to be offered, it does encourage and increase participation in such schemes.
The Value of Automation
So why am I writing about this? Well recently I was discussing with a client the need for automation and continuous improvement. They wanted to provide high level status updates of projects within their organisation. This type of information could come from various systems: accounting software, CRM software or project management tools. However, as the information was readily available and reasonably structured I suggested a SharePoint list and within a few minutes presented the client with a fit-for-purpose way for the organisation to update a list that everyone would be able to access and, if required, update.
Now the obvious drawback is that this is a manual process and although fit-for-purpose does not automate a process nor provide cost savings – or does it?
Keeping the project status up-to-date was not, in the initial version, automated but did allow for a Microsoft Flow to be created for the list so that when a project moved from one status to another, specific people could be notified, and further action be taken. This, in turn, reduced the time between tasks thus saved money.
Upping the Game
Further improvement was implemented through integration to improve the workflow of the automation. The client recently migrated to Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage customer interaction and which meant it was straightforward to provide integration whereby an update to an Opportunity (or other entity type) in Dynamics resulted in non-Dynamics users being notified via the Flow triggered from the update to the integrated SharePoint List. Simple, low cost and incredibly effective.
Although the above is a very simple example of the power of automation, the real value is being able to leverage incremental change that leads to real cost savings.
ProvisionPoint helps automate provisioning, lifecycle management and governance tasks within Office 365 leading to cost savings that can be quantified on many fronts.
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