The benefits of an application platform designed to suit the daily work of business staff

Plateforme applicative métier : bénéfices et méthodes

While interest in technological innovations in application platforms is usually keen, there is often insufficient emphasis placed on ease of use and user-friendly design.

However, these are crucial aspects. Successful digital transformation requires greater agility to be an objective, and one essential foundation stone to achieving this is permitting functional staff to make full use of your information system’s potential, and the potential of every application within it.

What are the must-haves for a well-designed and intuitive application platform?

User interfaces must be built so as to enable users to gain immediate familiarity with them.  In addition to the graphic design aspects, interfaces need to be designed and adapted consistently based on the type of user (regular, occasional, external, etc.) during the process modelling phase run jointly by IT and the business departments.

Of course, with the widespread use of mobile devices including for work-related purposes, an application platform absolutely has to incorporate responsive design. This means not only adapting its screen display to devices, but also including this factor when designing processes and choosing the data that is required. More generally, all processes and screens must be designed based on the attributes of their future users. Application design primarily has to be effective, as well as attractive.

When linking applications, it is the business dimension of data streams that should be the primary consideration, not IT constraints. If processes have been modelled by IT and the business working in conjunction, and if business users can see the solution’s added value, then they will accept it far more readily.

Bear in mind that the most innovative of solutions is of no use to the company unless it is actually used! The key to successful change management is the acceptance of IT systems by functional business users.

Examples of benefits from processes designed for customer-facing staff

Customer-facing business staff (in sales, logistics, support, advisory roles, after-sales service, etc.) face the daily challenge of ensuring customer satisfaction while keeping running costs under control.

Taking the example of a customer services manager in a logistics company, they must perpetually optimise their department’s processes, from making appointments for deliveries to organising pick-up/delivery rounds and automatically sending out customer satisfaction surveys used by the marketing department.

With the Blueway platform, the customer services manager can automatically receive data from the call centre and automatically modify the delivery schedules accordingly, depending on the business sector. Route plans from depots to delivery points are calculated automatically.

Using Blueway, the main role shifts more towards supervision or BAM (Business Activity Monitoring) and in this way the manager can see KPIs on a touchscreen tablet, leaving them free to move around company premises or travel off-site as needed. The supervision functions on the Blueway platform make it possible to check that delivery rounds are running smoothly, and the engine manages any changes to goods handling when necessary.

The benefits to business staff of an integrated and well-designed data driven platform

We firmly believe that the key technical and human aspects of processes should be combined, and design, ease of use, and incorporation of the business view are all vital to this end.

From the outset, the Blueway platform was designed to be readily usable by business users and consequently it can be configured without requiring a single line of code.

Our customers’ business users particularly appreciate the graphical interfaces and the ability to quickly add screens to interact with processes while on the move made available on tablets and smartphones.

They also recognise how the design of the Process Governance (Business Process Management) module allows them to work in synergy with the IT department on optimisation projects. As for the IT department, they are aware that the Blueway platform relieves them, thanks to the application bus (ESB) among other factors, of some project work to the benefit of making a more valuable contribution to change management or methods.

Return on investment from the Blueway platform is typically achieved in less than one year and its advantages are appreciated by business and IT departments alike.