The New Universal Remote for Business Applications

  • Mar 15, 2019,
  • By Jeff Kennedy

Some days it can feel like we’re simply scrolling through our workload channel by channel, with no decipherable guide to steer us. To make things even worse, the lineup is constantly shifting, and sometimes managing the workload can become more time consuming than doing the work.

With today’s digital transformation of the workplace, most enterprises are adopting a “best in breed” approach to the selection of their business applications. While this generally resolves the specific issues as intended, many times it also results in unintended, unconsidered, and completely unplanned for consequences. Having to coordinate multiple disparate systems to execute on critical business processes is like having a drawer full of remotes to operate your television.

If you’re a Team Manager, Project Leader, HR Director, head of Procurement, or hold any other leadership position, take a moment to consider the following:

  • How many different applications or tools are required for your daily duties?
  • How much time do you spend accessing those systems for each request?
  • How many requests do deal with each day?
  • How many login names/passwords do you have to manage?
  • How long does it take to approve an item or get approval for something?

Now aggregate this issue across your team and the entire company. If you do some quick, basic math, that adds up to a significant amount of lost productivity. This not only results in a real cost for the company, but also acts as a source of frustration which negatively impacts the company culture and employee retention.

You and your team are probably accessing one or more systems every day just to make decisions relating to any number of the following:

  • Onboarding
  • Training/Continued Education
  • Purchase orders
  • Billing
  • Marketing
  • Scheduling
  • Project management
  • Requisitions
  • Finance
  • Supplies
  • Expense accounts & reports
  • Shipping/Receiving
  • Research & Development
  • Procurement
  • IT

With so many different systems handling all these business critical processes; we have entered the era of business app-fatigue.

The downside to a “best in breed” ecosystem

Your team is likely running into the issue of too much complication and too many systems when it comes to your current approvals process. Best in breed applications are great for power users whose core responsibilities are executed within the single system; however, for casual users, like managers and approvers, these systems are complicated and hard-to-use tools that become an impediment to getting work done.

These expensive and time-consuming system implementations run the chance of being circumvented or outright shelved simply because managers and executives might consider them frustrating, hard to find, or not even worth the effort. This can be due to inadequate understanding or training, extensive delays in the overall process, or low adoption from management due to the perception of having too many hoops to jump through.

If we return to the tv metaphor and think of the various business processes as the entertainment content, then the business applications added throughout the years are like the flat screen, soundbar, dvd/blueray player, streaming device(s), and other components used to access, enrich, and enjoy the content. Each serves a purpose and working together they can deliver unparalleled results; however, each comes with a separate remote and not everyone is going to learn how to operate each remote or even which remote belongs to which component.

And, one of the biggest differences between your entertainment setup and an enterprise application ecosystem, beyond the relative levels of complexity, is that your entertainment system only requires one person to operate it – corporate processes require the coordination of multiple individuals. It might be a stretch of the metaphor; but imagine sitting down with your family to watch a movie and each person had sole responsibility for a subset of buttons on each of the devices’ native remotes – I shudder to think of the chaos that would ensue in my household.

And, as far as the complexity is concerned, your enterprise application ecosystem likely has several of the following, each acting as its own device within the metaphorical entertainment system:

  • Ariba
  • Oracle
  • Workday
  • Concur
  • ServiceNow
  • SAP
  • NetSuite
  • ADP
  • Billcom
  • Coupa
  • PeopleSoft
  • UltiPro
  • Insperity
  • Dynamics 365
  • Jira Software
  • ReadSoft
  • Slack
  • Microsoft Teams

While very few employees will have to interact will all the systems, no one only interacts with just one; and for the business to be competitive, all of these systems need to be coordinated and operated as efficiently as possible.

Your Universal Remote

Imagine, if you will, that your entertainment system had a single remote capable of communicating with all the devices it encompasses. A single remote sophisticated enough to handle all your mission critical & most commonly issued commands, but simple enough to be intuitive to use and fit in the palm of your hand. You likely easily can imagine this, because chances are you have one – the universal remote has existed for decades and most new televisions come with one.

Now, with ApproveSimple, your “best in breed” application ecosystem can have a universal remote as well.

ApproveSimple’s modern SaaS platform can integrate with all your business applications in order to deliver each user with a consolidated worklist of all their pending approvals from all backend systems. Leveraging a central login means less time spent when changing systems or correcting access issues. And the use of the unified dashboard will immediately improve those business critical approval cycles and reduce training requirements, confusion, and unnecessary features.

In addition to the obvious benefits our customers receive, such as:

  • Easy rapid integrations with most common SaaS applications
  • Pre-configured and customizable approval templates
  • Native push notification alerts and badges, and
  • A single work list of all approvals

Many of our customers have credited ApproveSimple with delivering tremendous intangible value through increased business agility, improved user productivity, and enhanced compliane within the control environment.

Whether you can quantify it or not, your current “multi-remote” setup is costing you time, money, and frustration. And there’s more than just a couple of additional drawbacks. Here are just a few of the top risks areas we uncovered in our market research:

  • Dozens of apps and approval types
  • Multiple logins and complex workflows
  • Approvals lost in email
  • Slow approval cycles
  • Late fees
  • Delayed collections
  • Compliance risk
  • Dissatisfied employees
  • Many more

As a modern SaaS platform, ApproveSimple also gives you complete continuity support by allowing seamless transition between devices and applications. This means that if you’re at your desktop in the morning, with your smartphone at lunchtime, and on your laptop or collaboration tool in the evening, your approvals are just a click and single login away. And, since notifications to all these endpoints are supported, you’ll always have the ability to know when a new request requires your attention.

From desktop to tablet, laptop to smartphone, even chatbots and AppleWatch, ApproveSimple offers multiple client-side applications that serve as access points to the approval hub where one can review and execute their pending approvals whether they are at their desk or on-the-go.

Sign up for a quick demonstration of Capriza’s ApproveSimple or visit our website for more information on how this universal solution can simplify your life and improve your approvals across the board.

Jeff Kennedy

Jeff Kennedy is an active CPA responsible for Capriza’s global finance and accounting operations. Prior to joining Capriza, Jeff held various positions including Corporate Controller at Bitcasa, Inc. (private IP exit) and Accounting Manager at Zynga, Inc.

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