Customizing an Online Form is a Breeze with Help from PerfectForms’ Online Tutorials

Monday, December 10th, 2012 by

PerfectForms business process management software requires no programming or coding experience to update the forms and customize them for your business. In fact, if you can drag-and-drop on a computer, you can change our forms to fit your company.

For those that would like a little bit more help, we have many resources available online for you. One place where you can get help on setting up your PerfectForms templates is in the online tutorials section. With the online tutorials, you can walk through several aspects of the form designer, as well is the report designer.

The form designer is the application that takes you through setting up a new form. The tutorials are broken into four parts: layout, behaviors, workflow, and stage and field state. Each of these has multiple steps, and screen shots you exactly what is going on every step of the way.

In addition to the tutorials, there are also guides on planning your workflow and your form. Once you have your workflow in your form mastered, you can do anything with perfect form software. Check out the online demo, or register for your free 30 day trial today.

 

As Accurate as a Weatherman from 1950

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010 by aanzelc@perfectforms.com

Jon Brodkin recently wrote a thought-provoking, if controversial, piece in Network World highlighting the common misconceptions surrounding cloud computing. Even though it seems like cloud computing and cloud applications affect every aspect of our business lives (which I don’t feel is a bad thing), there appears to be a lot of confusion out there amongst business users as to what the cloud actually provides. And oddly enough, I wouldn’t be surprised to find some IT users that are stumped as well – not by what the cloud can do, per se, but by what it can’t do…which according to Brodkin includes: replacing MS Office, pre-determining legal ownership of IP, and always being cheap.

Jon’s article is less of a celebration of cloud computing and more of a myth-busting “gotcha” segment. I agree that the more information we can share about the intricacies of the cloud and how it compares to traditional on-premise deployments the better, but there is one point in particular with which I take issue, and one point with which I totally agree.

Disagree: Brodkin says cloud computing isn’t as affordable as people think. He uses the example of some cloud apps offering attractive subscription prices and then requiring Internet bandwidth upgrades or bizarre contracts. While it’s up to a customer to read through the contracts they sign (and as a cloud provider I can tell you that no one I know puts out shady EULAs), the Internet bandwidth argument is a little questionable. While bandwidth upgrades can cost upwards of $10,000, it isn’t difficult to find out how much you’ll need for any given cloud app. That’s part of due diligence, and there are thousands upon thousands of cloud applications that will not hog your bandwidth.

Agree: The article’s first contention is that cloud computing will not put IT professionals out of a job and/or make them obsolete. I wish that more IT staffers would absorb this reality and stop worrying that the cloud above their heads is planning to rain all over their careers. “Moving to the cloud” does not need to be followed by IT losing their jobs, and very rarely is. While companies that have been forced to lay off workers due to tough economic times can work more efficiently with collaborative cloud-based BPM solutions (increase productivity, decrease cost) – there will always be a need for management, supervision and technical liaison with cloud vendors. As Brodkin notes, certain skill sets might eventually become less relevant, but employing people with technical knowledge will never fall out of fashion.

360 Degrees of Business Interaction

Friday, March 19th, 2010 by aanzelc@perfectforms.com

Numerous articles have been written over the past several months on the critical role that collaboration and “social” elements will play in helping companies move forward post-recession. The idea that rendering a process or even an entire organization accessible via a public or private network is taking the enterprise community by storm. The premise of bringing people together – especially those who would otherwise not communicate closely with another group – is long overdue. In essence, we’ve gone full circle in how we view collaboration as a business productivity tool.

The very earliest forms of structured organization for the purpose of financial profit consisted of simple business processes – producing a commodity, trading or bartering for another item or service, and a close-knit network of relationships built over years of trust and routine reliability. This is not to say that the earliest forms of incorporation were joyous and peaceful, as the oldest group activity was battle, but each transaction followed a process that was constantly being refined. Business took place face-to-face.

In the Industrial Revolution of the early 19th century, we saw the proliferation of technology, specifically for manufacturing and mass production, and the propensity for individuals with a common goal and a variety of skills to pool their resources for potential fame and fortune. It was during this time that businesses began a gradual type of disassociation with collaborative thinking; workers were separate from management, plants were separate from executive offices. International travel was becoming less prohibitive and more efficient, and global operations grew stronger, interpersonal communication got weaker.

Now we’ve voluntarily reversed what seemed to be a permanent fact of business life. We’re talking again. Business and IT departments are starting to collaborate (even if it’s not quite mainstream yet) on business process management initiatives, and solutions like workflow automation are making it possible for employees, who would otherwise be preoccupied with mundane tasks, to join the real human conversation. The communication tools we now have at our disposal – from videoconferencing to social networks to instant messaging – can help us facilitate person-to-person interaction no matter where we are and what we’re doing.

I often hear people express reserve at the idea that our daily activities are becoming so driven by technology that society might eventually feel almost robotic. On the contrary, modern technological solutions are helping us communicate more frequently and more genuinely than ever before. If anything, technology is succeeding in making us more human.

Respecting the Business User

Friday, March 19th, 2010 by aanzelc@perfectforms.com

Gartner recently released seven guidelines for business process management (BPM) success, all of them being conceptual priorities and strategies as opposed to technical specifications. The recommendations, led by VP and distinguished analyst Bill Rosser, are designed to help companies determine which BPM projects to pursue.

Of these seven guidelines (summarized here on eBizQ), amongst them “limited scope,” “high value,” “clear alignment to goals,” “the right metrics,” “goal agreement,” “enthusiastic business sponsor” and “business user engagement,” I want to focus my discussion on the last two.

Gaining the support of a “business sponsor” and engaging “business users” is integral to the success of any BPM project, but for reasons beyond those listed in the original press release. An enthusiastic business sponsor shouldn’t just be the senior executive who will benefit from the project – he should play a primary role in authorizing it, allocating budget for it and implementing it. Rather than be a “cheerleader” for the IT team presumably pursuing the BPM project in the first place, the business leader should be, well, leading it.

The second point of contention is the idea of engaging business users for BPM project success. In the press release, Gartner phrases the advantages of this course of action: “getting them on board typically means offering a fresh perspective on how to look at what they do in their jobs, and making a process view easy to understand and intriguing.”

The idea of encouraging IT to see things from a business user’s perspective is commonly advocated by a variety of BPM experts, not just Gartner, and on face it seems like a very civil, collaborative means of moving forward. My issue with IT trying to make things simpler and more “intriguing” for business users, however, is that it elicits at the very least a mild sense of condescension.

Forgive me if I’m examining this from too granular a perspective, but the vision that comes to mind when imagining IT professionals trying to position the jobs of business professionals in an interesting way is that of a big brother guiding his smaller, less experienced sibling and showing him how to tie his shoes (except in this case, the younger brother is 37 with a master’s degree in marketing). Ultimately, the idea of asking IT users to design a process view so that business users – those who directly drive the creation, implementation and successful resolution of business processes (and therefore BPM) – can understand them is patronizing.

This is the counter-productive result of putting one group in charge of addressing the needs of an entirely different group, and by no means is attributable to any one organization or influencer. I have a special appreciation for business users and their needs because I see the level to which they’re disenfranchised; it’s why my company’s focus is on serving the needs of business users by letting them build and automate every process, saving IT from having to pay a house call and letting both groups focus on their own jobs. The presumption that IT should influence BPM in any way is damaging for both IT and business users because it’s convoluted. Those who need the solution should be able to create the solution. IT professionals will welcome the freedom to focus on things that actually affect them.

In implementing BPM or any sort of organization-wide project, please remember that “business users” are simply professionals whose expertise is in a subject other than programming.

Fortune 500s Find Survey Success Through PerfectForms

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009 by aanzelc@perfectforms.com

PerfectForms is pleased to announce our release of the Affinity Management Group Success Story.

Through directing sales and creating surveys for numerous Fortune 500 companies, The Affinity Management Group has positioned itself as an industry leader in business consulting and survey services. Affinity’s clients include technology firms, telephony networks, human resources specialists, health care institutions and other professional businesses.

Last year, Affinity reported over 10-15 million dollars in sales for clients, which were primarily driven by client survey solutions. PerfectForms software as a service solution has provided Affinity Management Group with an essential survey framework, which has streamlined workflow – delivering an impressive one-year return on investment – and transformed the way Affinity employees do their jobs.

“Jeff has been a godsend! Whenever I need help with anything, I send Jeff an email and within 10 minutes Jeff is personally on the phone with me to explain how to do it.“

“The service level has been phenomenal!”
-Adrina Patterson, Owner of Affinity Management Group

Other notable case study highlights include:

• Affinity survey response rates have been reported as 4 to 5 times better with PerfectForms than industry norms. The sector typically has a 4 – 8% typical response rate for surveys, but Affinity reports that with PerfectForms their norm for 2008 was a 37% response rate.

• Reduced maintenance costs. All technical problems are easily solved with the assistance of PerfectForms on-demand solutions management staff.

• Reduced loss leads due streamlined workflow. Affinity reports that the workflow management system has prevented items from being misplaced or mismanaged, which has increased productivity and simplified process management.

• Expanded business opportunities. Affinity cites that PerfectForms flexibility allows itself to be adapted to new business processes solutions, reducing costs for deployed software. They are looking at transitioning other existing processes to PerfectForms to create new business divisions.

For the full customer case study, click here