Business process integration in the cloud with Zapier
As organizations become digital, we are gradually switching to services in the cloud. That reality presents a new issue: how to integrate our internal processes with services and apps in the cloud.
Some of the tools we use include: Google Drive documents, sharing news through Twitter, working in collaborative teams in Slack, sending pictures of events held by the company, sending newsletters to clients via MailChimp, managing sales with SalesForce, doing surveys with SurveyMonkey… And the list goes on and on.
On the other hand, we also have internal processes that need to be connected to the ones in the cloud. Before sending a document to Google Drive, it needs to be revised and approved. Before publishing a Tweet, it should follow an approval process in which several agents participate. We could keep naming instances in which there is a need to exchange information with services in the cloud.
Zapier is a tool designed to make that integration happen (i.e. between services in the cloud and internal processes in Flokzu). It is a simple concept: instead of having hundreds of connectors (one for each cloud service), Flokzu has one connector (Zapier), which has connection to more than 700 services in the cloud.
Integrating via Zapier has many advantages. Just to name a few:
- Accurate and precise data: Avoid manual entry of data.
- Time reduction: Because of the automatic connection between the systems.
- Independency between systems: If it is necessary to change one of the tools in the cloud we can simply edit the Zap (in Zapier) without affecting our internal system.
- Adaptability: If we want to change the process, we can easily do it with Flokzu. We simply have to choose where in the process we want to invoke Zapier.
- Knowledge management: The processes send relevant information to the cloud services (like data or attachments).
Let’s see two specific examples that will help us understand the value of integrating.
Example 1: Approving and sharing a Tweet
Sharing news through social media is essential in today’s world; they communicate the organization’s standpoint and inform the latest news. Therefore, the contents have to be reviewed and approved before being published. In Flokzu we can set an internal process that assures the approval is done and then publishes the content directly to the social media without having to do it manually.
In the following image we can see an approval process for Tweets (once approved, they are send directly to Twitter through Zapier):
Example 2: Reviewing and storing Invoices in Drive
Every organization receives invoices from its suppliers that should be reviewed before being paid. If they are printed we usually scan them, if we receive them by email it is simpler because they are already digital. Either way, different agents have to analyze them and approve (or not) the payment. Now let’s imagine that in our organization, once the invoice is approved, we want to save the digital version in a shared folder in Google Drive, along with completing a spreadsheet with the main data from that invoice (also in Google Drive).
Both tasks would take up a considerable amount of time and the possibility of making mistakes is always there (e.g. backing up the wrong document, typing a number wrong, etc.). In Flokzu we can automate the process so that once it’s finished, the data is sent to Zapier, and from there directly to Google Drive.
The Zap can be set up to receive the attachments and save them in a Google Drive folder. Then it will receive the main data from the invoice (that had been uploaded to Flokzu’s form) and add a new row in a spreadsheet in Google Drive with relevant information (i.e Invoice number, supplier, amount, concept, etc.).
Cloud apps are becoming essential in today’s business processes. For that reason, it makes no sense separating them from internal processes. They must be integrated and should exchange information daily and smoothly. Zapier is an excellent tool to achieve that, allowing a simple integration to any process. By using this tool we achieve high levels of efficiency that are reflected directly in our company’s competitiveness and service.
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