In their own words...
Read on below for the full transcript of the podcast.
[00:00] Conor McGrath: My name is Connor McGrath. I'm digital marketing assistant here at FlowForma and I'll be your host for today's session. Today I'm delighted to be joined by my fellow FlowForma colleagues, Dorte Eriksen, who's Head of Customer Success and Bogdan Balan who's our Product Analyst. To give you some background of our customer success team, they're in place to help support our customers on their journey to no code process management and they provide onboarding help, user training and much, much more too. So welcome guys and thank you for carving out some time today from your busy schedules to join me.
[00:35] Dorte Eriksen: No problem.
[02:37] Conor McGrath: Okay, so here at FlowForma, we've been working remotely now for 9 or 10 weeks I suppose at this stage. And we've been relying heavily ourselves on internal processes and structures that we need to adjust to the new working environments that we're all facing at the minute. I suppose over the next half an hour we'll share with you how our customers are being prepared for the new normal and rapidly digitizing processes to cope with business change at this time. So let's get started I suppose. First off, I want to discuss the urgency of projects which has been brought forward due to Covid-19 and Dorte, I might start with you on this, could you tell us a bit more about the urgencies that businesses are facing right now?.
[01:23] Dorte Eriksen: Yes, I certainly can. So I want to just mention here to begin with that I've had the pleasure over the years of welcoming on board, pretty much all of our customers here at FlowForma and to make that as structured as we could, we rolled out an onboarding program, we call SureStart, so that's been in place for quite some time. It's changed over time. That's been based on feedback from customers, but it's also been based on trends and that's what's actually causing some changes at the moment. All in a very, very good way. So the goal remains the same. It's to help all of our customers to achieve process digitalization as quickly and efficiently as possible. And that's something you Bogdan and have been working on in FlowForma from the time you basically joined us. So you work with a lot of our customers, especially new customers, right?
[02:20] Bogdan Balan: Yes. I have let them trial first the program to have them get the first process live. This process used to take a couple of months and we would have one or two work sessions with a customer every week, we would be working together, so essentially coaching the customer to build out the first process.
[02:40] Dorte Eriksen: Right. But recently that's changed quite a bit because things are so urgent at the moment with the pandemic I suppose.
[02:48] Bogdan Balan: Yeah. So right now customers urgently need processes digitalized. We will talk about what the actual processes are later but yes, it's urgent. Customers are thinking in weeks, not months.
[03:01] Dorte Eriksen: Because of the current pandemic?
[03:03] Bogdan Balan: Yes, it is because of the Covid pandemic with the new normal staff is forced to work from home, and there are other scenarios such as construction industry where staff is coming back to work. Also because of the pandemic restriction in society change quickly. Therefore processes must adapt and there's very little time to prepare. So the quick turnaround, it's critical.
[03:25] Dorte Eriksen: That obviously means we've had to also change the way we work in the customer success team. So as Bogdan mentioned there, we generally coach customers when we're working with them on a SureStart here, but let's look at what we do in terms of new customers at the moment.
[03:44] Bogdan Balan: So, it's more of an 'implement our process and teach us later' approach. We agreed to overall requirements quickly and we take care of the implementation. We spent less time perfecting the processes because they know it can be changed later. It's a matter of getting it live, now. For example, if staff need to get back to a construction site on Monday and we have two days to prepare, there is no time to waste. Obviously there are still customers who have time to stay involved and learn and in many cases they still have the sense of urgency. So for that we increase the number of weekly work sessions and also new customers in recent months have got the first process live much quicker, we are talking two to four weeks, not months like before.
[04:30] Dorte Eriksen: And an important note that is that it can be done a lot quicker than that. So we've turned requirements into processes in just a matter of days recently. Because like Bogdan just said there sometimes that is exactly what's needed, a new requirement from society comes into place and a process has to be live. So we're also helping existing customers with new processes at the moment Bogdan.
[04:58] Bogdan Balan: Yes, most existing customers tend to implement their own process, but they still also have the urgent requirements and don't always have time. So they handled the main requirement, often on a call, we try to agree that they keep it simple to avoid any delays. We do the build, they test it and they go live within two days.
[05:19] Dorte Eriksen: Simple as one, two, three. And look, this is not just a matter of temporary processes. So we're not building out processes that are gonna end up being put aside after this. We're really just helping all of our customers to prepare for a new normal.
[05:37] Conor McGrath: Yeah and I suppose then there's a number of processes which our customers have been looking to implement during this time. Maybe you could tell us a bit more, but about that Dorte and about these different processes.
[05:47] Dorte Eriksen: Yeah, we can. So it's not exactly business as usual right now. At least not business the way we knew it in the past. So what we see in terms of processes is something that I would say to a large extent would have happened anyway because all of the customers we're working on, they were already on a journey to digitalize their processes. And as we already discussed, this had to be fast tracked because some new processes are required, they have to be in place. But we see some trends within different industries in terms of what is necessary. And I think it might be interesting to just have a look at the healthcare industry first.
[06:29] Bogdan Balan: Yeah, that's right, Dorte. We worked with a number of hospitals for instance and let's look at it first. One of the hospitals we work with have been digitalizing processes over the past few years, but there was still paperwork in the hospital. This isn't great because the Corona Virus can survive on paper. To adapt, they got more users on board and really rolled out processes.
[06:53] Dorte Eriksen: And that reminds me that in this particular scenario here they had new staff who needed to help roll out processes and needed training. So we've actually set up a training schedule for the rest of the year just to make it easy for you guys to sign up for additional training if there's a need for that. So we can very quickly get new staff up to speed on how to implement processes as well.
[07:18] Bogdan Balan: Yeah, that's right. And we can help with process accelerators as well. So another hospital started to see patients arrive with paper-based files from the outside world. This hospital has already eliminated paperwork internally, so they needed a way to allow documents and files to be uploaded in advance. But without giving people access to their system. For that, we quickly got them set up with what we call FlowForma Engage. This way they can provide the link and allow what's essentially an anonymous user to upload documents.
[07:51] Dorte Eriksen: Yeah, that's right. We've also seen some rather specific requirements, especially within the construction industry. And to be honest, that's something that I think will become relevant for other industries as well when they start returning to work places and so on.
[08:11] Bagan Balan: Yes, the construction industry is trying to remobilize staff. They are coming back to the workplace and they need to sign off on new guidelines such as social distancing, coffee breaks, use of mugs, et cetera. And as there are still risks, the last thing you want is to hand them a piece of paper to read and possibly sign. So we have helped them put digital processes in place and for example, or for instance, starting projects up again and there might be reviews to be done on it to ensure we have the right people there. Some of them might not be there anymore. It's mostly just checklists but a good way to save time.
[08:51] Dorte Eriksen: I'm sure you can all see how that is going to be necessary in other industries as well when people start returning to offices and so on. And then we were also just reminded really a few days ago that the springtime means audit time, especially within the professional service industry. And that's something we have started some work on with customers as well, Bogdan.
[09:14] Bogdan Balan: Yeah, and a right now, most offices are closed or only allow a few people there. So audits have to be completed remotely. So we just had the request to add a couple of steps with extra documents just to ensure everything was in one place. This just makes it easier when you can't have the auditor there in the office. And I am sure this is something that will be left as an option in the future as well.
[09:37] Dorte Eriksen: Yeah, saving this space so that you can do remote orders. So it's a brand new world. And then of course sometimes it's also just the things that we hadn't even really thought about.
[09:48] Bogdan Balan: Yeah, exactly. We had the customer get in touch earlier in the pandemic. They soon had staff working from home and they needed supplies, you know, a new headset or whatever. Normally they have a process where this is ordered centrally, but it's no good having orders delivered to an office with no staff. So we've worked with them on getting a new process in place quickly. Now staff can get supply orders approved and sent home.
[10:13] Dorte Eriksen: Hmm. Yeah. So that you're not sitting there without a headset all of a sudden it's a lot of chains. It's quick turn arounds that are needed here for all the companies that we work with. And this is really just preparation for whatever the new normal is going to be.
[10:30] Conor McGrath: Yeah. And I suppose then having the tool that allows remote access is absolutely vital right now given everything that's going on and I suppose, Dorte, what sort of benefits and advantages do you find that users have with this functionality and that are available?
[10:47] Dorte Eriksen: Well, there is certainly something very convenient about using systems that you can access from anywhere. So where the version of FlowForma most of our customers would be on is basically accessed via Office 365. So it doesn't really matter if you're in your office or if you're working from home or so on. And you know, we would have found that in some companies it's difficult to just start up a new project. In other companies they've been preparing for this before because you would have had staff sitting in Europe, some in the States, some in New Zealand or wherever, they are all working together. So we found that a lot of our customers, they were already okay with this having virtual meetings to look at requirements, accepting that there are geographical distances to look at and so on. But it certainly does make it easier when you are using Cloud-based software. And that's something we're therefore working with a few of our existing customers on, at the moment.
[11:49] Bogdan Balan: Yeah, correct. So as you mentioned, we have a couple of customers now trying to fast-track their migration from FlowForma on-premise to FlowForma Office 365. We have built tools to make the transition as easy as possible and we work together with the customers to get them migrated. It's not a two day process, but we expect to have a number of customers migrated before the end of the summer. To tell you the truth, we didn't expect that to happen until the end of the year, at the earliest.
[12:17] Dorte Eriksen: Yeah. And look, we've touched upon it earlier as well, but there's also a higher demand for being able to start processes outside of your actual system. So without giving them access to your system.
[12:31] Bogdan Balan: Yes. And it's very timely that we just released the new version of our FlowForma Engage module.
[12:35] Dorte Eriksen: Which is basically a module that allows you to start a process in an anonymous way, filling in a step.
[12:46] Bogdan Balan: Yes, that's right. It could be a manufacturer filling in a specification document or a patient filling in the personal and medical information, before attending the hospital or someone requesting a prescription. There are so many examples, but key to this is that they are not users in your organization. Once they submit the form, they get a thank you email, but then, it's over to you. The form is now in your system and you can approve it or assign it to someone who needs the information or whatever you need. You can even send it back to the user asking for more information. Then they open up that part of the form, but everything else stays in your organization. It makes it so easy to avoid any paperwork being sent. Especially, it's handy because a lot of people these days just don't have a printer or scanner at home.
[13:34] Dorte Eriksen: That's very true. There are so many examples where this could come in useful and we're obviously not going to be able to cover all of those examples right now, but if that's something you want to talk to us in more detail, then you are most welcome to get in touch and we can demo this to you, we can talk you through examples and so on. We also have a lot of process accelerators which Bogdan mentioned earlier on so we can share ideas with you. I mentioned we run training courses and that's not just on getting started with FlowForma, we're running a series of more topic-based training courses as well actually starting this week. And that's something you can sign up for if you're interested. They're just short little sessions. But to help you with some of those topics that just may not be as simple as just going in and reading a document.
[14:27] Dorte Eriksen: So we can help you with all of that. Now just a few points there in terms of trying to cope with a pandemic situation like this, we have obviously looked at how you can empower your staff to work remotely and try to facilitate that they get access to everything they need. So I think it was a very good example there that Bogdan mentioned with auditor's needing access, you know, how do you actually do that when all of a sudden they can't come into your organization? They can't just access all the documents that they normally needed and folders and so on. So having everything in one system is certainly going to make that a lot easier there as well. And then, you know, we've mentioned it a couple of times there. We do have some process accelerators. What does that mean really? They're basically just pre-canned processes if you will.
[15:19] Dorte Eriksen: So processes we've built as samples, we can import them into your system and you would be able to modify them slightly if you needed to, but they've been created to be as generic as they can. So we've got one for instance to allow your staff to get back to work. So that would be something where they might need to answer questions about whether or not this is going to be a particular risk for them being there, if they have preexisting medical conditions, making sure that they actually feel well at that point in time, you know, making sure that we have emergency contact details in case anything happens, and that, you know, we have the ability to start projects again, Bogdan mentioned that earlier as well. We're working with customers on that at the moment. That could be a situation where some of the staff have moved on or aren't there anymore. So we need to be able to look at all of that. And we have all these process accelerators that we can very, very easily share with you if that's of any interest.
[16:25] Conor McGrath: Okay. I think you've really outlined some key points there, both of you. And there's some great insights then as well and how the companies are reacting to the new normal and to business change that you chew to different industries as well that you've outlined.
[16:40] Conor McGrath: And I think then maybe to double down on some of the points that you've made, I'd just like to share this customer quote we received recently, and it outlines their relief at being digitized at the minute and the peace of mind that has brought to them during the pandemic and this is from Touch Community Services, which is a not-for-profits organization in Singapore. So it's great to get that customer feedback too. And, it just gives a bit of an insight then, as well as to how COVID-19 has hit us all. If you were digitized beforehand, you're probably in a better place at the minute as well. So it's great to get that customer feedback too. Then; I know our customers mentioned before, there as well on the previous slide Dorte, that I think it would be useful then to have a quick recap today and ask why business maybe should look into going paperless at this time and why digitization is probably now and you know, just to double down on that feedback we've got then as well. And then just to sort of recap on some of the points that you've made then today too.
[17:50] Dorte Eriksen: Yeah, of course. Sorry. It's really just a matter of making sure that you comply with all those regulations that are being outlined in our different societies out there. So, that's the key point. If you know that you have to make sure that your staff can keep a certain distance and so on. It's important they are aware of it and if you have a process they can read, they can sign and let you know that they've understood this before they return to work, then you have evidence that you are doing everything you can to comply. You will have situations still of having to have staff work remotely. So at least in some countries when you're trying to open up society again, staff who can work from home will be asked to continue to do so. Or there could be situations where that isn't the case, but maybe some staff are at higher risk of contracting the virus and therefore will still be working from home and you might need a process in place to say that that is the case and such and such.
[18:48] Dorte Eriksen: We'll still be working from home, whereas the others are going to be in the office or you might only have some people in the office at a time and so on. And a lot of this is really just also to make sure that we're ready if there's ever going to be a situation like this again and hopefully nothing like this - in severity like this - is going to hit us in the near future again. But it is much better to be prepared. And I think it really hits home what Touch Community Services there was saying; that they were already prepared for a lot of things: working from home and so on. And they were glad they had a digital system in place already. But it doesn't change the fact that there was still some changes to be made in the processes.
[19:32] Conor McGrath: Okay. Well I'm sure our audience today have gained some real insights and benefits and we might take some questions from them now and just in our questions and answer session here. So,first off, I just have a question here. So it's from Lisa and she is asking more about FlowForma Engage and how that works exactly. Maybe Dorte, you could share a little bit more about FlowForma Engage and how our customers have been using thus during the pandemic if you can please.
[20:02] Dorte Eriksen: Of course. Yeah, so FlowForma Engage as such is not new, but Bogdan mentioned earlier that we have actually just had a release about a month ago where this was built into the Office 365 version. But what it allows you to do is essentially have someone who is not within your organization, fill in information in a form. So you could have sent them a link or published the link on your website and they go ahead and fill in the form. And when they submit that, then that's when it hits your organization and you can go in and approve it or direct it to the right people, whatever you need to do. So in a hospital setting for instance, you might need the person's personal information before they come to the hospital. You don't want them hanging around having to tell you all of this and for you to write it down so you have them actually submit this information upfront. There are many, many other uses of that and not all related to the current pandemic situation. We've been using this for years for many, many other purposes. But that's essentially what it allows you to do. And we also have the option within that of using secure access in case you actually need more information from that particular person again, so you can then send them a link and ask them to upload additional documentation or fill in more information so you can interact with that particular person.
[21:33] Conor McGrath: That's great. Thanks for that Dorte. And I just see, we've got a couple of questions coming in here. So there's another question here. Someone's asking what are the adoption rates like with FlowForma Process Automation and they'd like to know, if end users get to grips with the product quickly or how quick would that be normally? Maybe Dorte, you could give us some insight on that too.
[21:59] Dorte Eriksen: Sure, the adoption rate is generally very high, so it's a no-code solution for those who are actually going to be building out the forms. So as long as you understand your process, it is, generally speaking, a matter of going in and identifying what's going to be where in that particular process and creating the questions and so on. There's absolutely no-code and from that point of view, that's very, very simple. But then when you roll it out to your actual end users, all they really see in front of them is a web form. So anyone is familiar with that. You know, you will book flights and hotels and so on before it's really no different than that. You're filling in all the fields. Some of them may in fact be filled in for you already because it might identify that because your name is Dorte Eriksen, then you are such and such and the person who's supposed to approve your request is going to be whoever that is. So, that will already help with some of that information, which is the same way as when you're logged in already and you're trying to book a flight. It knows your name, but knows your address and so on. From that point of view, it's a recognition of something that you really know already and users are finding that very, very easy.
[23:10] Conor McGrath: Okay, that's great. And I just see as well we've a question in here: we need a lot of agility in our business right now. And there's a question here asking, is it easy to adjust processes in FlowForma as the business requirements change?
[23:29] Dorte Eriksen: It absolutely is, yes. And Bogdan touched upon that earlier as well, saying that at the moment some companies are not necessarily looking at perfection because if you have staff returning to work on Monday, you've got a couple of days to get process in place and not everyone who needs to be involved in that process will even be there right now. So it simply needs to get done. And then when everyone is back on Monday, we've had a day or two to work with this, well then we go in and make whatever modifications are necessary. So a lot of it is actually a matter of drag and drop. But no matter what, it's very easy to go in and make changes to this. That's also what, for instance, someone like Touch Community Services would have seen if they suddenly needed additional steps put into the processes. They didn't even need our help on that. They were able to just go in and do that on their own and say, yeah, this is where we need an additional approval step because we no longer have these people in the same office or whatever the case might be. So it's very, very quick and easy to do.
[24:32] Conor McGrath: Yeah. And having that agility right now is absolutely vital I think for businesses too. And I think that's a very good point, Dorte, and there is quite a few more questions coming in, but we might wrap it up there because I've got a small bit of housekeeping. But first off, I'd like to thank you both for your time today, both Dorte and Bogdan. I think that was really insightful and I think there'll be loads of tips and hints in there for our audience today. I should quickly mention that we've recently launched our COVID-19 Center, to help you during this pandemic and this period of rapid change. So if you visit our website, you can find out more about that and our exclusive collaboration bundles; we've just launched as well. So we've got a few more extra questions there, but I think we might let our customer success team get back to their busy schedules and helping our customers. Thanks everyone for attending and have a great day everyone. Bye now.