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Novell Vibe Use Case: Document Approval



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September 29, 2010 2:56 pm

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About Document Approval

Some document approval processes can be as simple as submitting
an article through a review process of only a few steps and approvals.
But quite often the approval processes for expense reports, budget
approvals, purchasing requests, and other similar business documents
can be quite complex. Such processes often have approval by committee
with long lists of people on the approval chain. The sheer number
of people involved in these approval processes, compounded by the
processes’ inherent complexity, often make it difficult to maintain
the desired process consistency.

Challenge

In constantly changing business environments it can be challenging
to find efficient ways to manage and track documents and their associated
approval processes. Success often depends on your ability to quickly
find documents and keep the approval process moving forward. But
frequently, minor problems such as misplacement of e-mail attachments
or paper copies significantly prolong what should be otherwise short
approval processes.

A variety of solutions have emerged to help organizations establish
more efficient document approval processes, including entire systems
dedicated to a single approval process. However, solutions with
the capability to set up complex processes are often quite expensive.
Such solutions also tend to offer significantly more functionality than
is actually needed, making it even more difficult to match the best
solution to the target process. But even when you find a good match,
the learning curve for such complex solutions can be quite steep
with much time wasted discarding solution components and aspects
that you don’t need, and narrowing its scope to fit your specific requirements.

Software compatibility can be another challenge for certain approval
process solutions. If a person on the approval chain happens to
be using the wrong word processor version, it could inadvertently
create alterations in the document that lead to its approval being
denied. So after completely navigating the entire process, alterations
might be required to return the document to its original state and then
restarting the approval process from the beginning.

Another common setback for approval processes is simply getting
people to take the time to make the necessary approvals. If an approver
is out of the office or forgets about a document waiting for approval,
the process can be stopped entirely and cause significant lag time.
While reminders can help in cases where approvers have forgotten
or put off making approvals, they’re not effective if the approver
is out of the office and can’t access your internal network or document
approval system from their laptop or mobile device.

Novell Solution

Novell Vibe brings efficiency to both simple and complex
document approval processes. It lets you create custom forms and
workflows that streamline and control document approval processes,
as well as manage the data associated with the documents to be approved.
Its simple workflows can move documents through a list of approvers while
allowing the document to be edited each step of the way. Its more
intricate workflows allow for pllel workflows with concurrent
approvals and additional customizable processes that can be manged
by a Novell Vibe administrator.

Workflows in Novell Vibe allow specific users to receive notifications
and reminders as the document moves through the process. These notifications
can be used to alert managers and team members of approval progress, as
well as notify or remind users to take actions at specific intervals
during the approval process.

The rendering engine in Novell Vibe enables approvers to
view online the documents to be approved, rendering the documents
in HTML format. This lets mobile users easily view and approve documents
via mobile device Web browsers, further expediting approval processes
by removing dependencies on computer access for out-of-office users.

To further simplify document approval processes and the use
of workflows, Novell provides sample forms and workflows in its Novell Resource Library. Once downloaded, these forms and workflows can imported into your
Novell Vibe environment and tailored to your specific needs.

Results

Novell Vibe provides seamless document approvals managed
by workflow processes, allowing easy search and retrieval through
meta data and custom information stored with documents throughout
the approval process. Its rendering engine enables team members
to approve documents from mobile devices from any where they have Internet
access. By leveraging Novell Vibe, documents and attachments
no longer get misplaced, speeding up approval times and improving
the overall approval process. Automated reminders and notifications
keep all stakeholders on track and up-to-date through every step
of the approval process, enabling documents to be approved on time
and with greater ease.

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Disclaimer: This content is not supported by Novell. It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test it thoroughly before using it in a production environment.

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