Phoenix and K2 Seminar – Streamline your Business Processes with K2 to Improve Service Delivery and Profitability

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In today’s competitive markets, organisations are increasingly having to identify ways to increase productivity and efficiency, whilst at the same time maintaining increased revenues and profitability. The businesses that succeed will be those who become great at delivering applications effectively.

Join Phoenix and K2 o for a lunchtime seminar to learn how K2 Business Process Applications (the best of Forms, Workflow, Data, and Mobility) can help you rapidly transform your business with applications that allocate work to the right people, with all the information they need to make great decisions. At the event we will demonstrate how a process such on-boarding can be streamlined using the K2 platform (a low code Business Application platform). We will also demonstrate how you can access and run these Business Applications (“Apps”) from your mobile devices.

Richard Sanderson, Technology General Manager of King & Wood Mallesons, will discuss the business challenges that KWM faced and the reason for choosing the K2 solution. He will also focus on the ROI and service delivery improvements they have garnered from using the K2 platform.

Please see below for the address, date and time of this session. To see the full agenda please email anz@k2.com

Melbourne Event

When: Wednesday, 27th May 2015 at 11:30AM
Where: Gadens Victoria, Level 25, Bourke Place, 600 Bourke Street, Melbourne
RSVP: Due to venue capacity issues, registrations are essential

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Brisbane Event

When: Wednesday, 10th June 2015 at 11:30AM
Where: McCullough Robertson Lawyers, Level 11 Central Plaza Two, 66 Eagle St, Brisbane
RSVP: Due to venue capacity issues, registrations are essential

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VIDEO: Unlock the Power of Office 365 with Business Apps

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Microsoft Office 365 has set a new bar for productivity platforms, and as a result, businesses far and wide are scrambling to leverage the power of its tools. If you have moved – or are moving – to Office 365, customising your investment doesn’t have to be hard or time-consuming.

In this webinar, experts from K2 will cover solutions to help you create effective business apps fast. You’ll learn how to:

• Improve productivity and business performance without a coding effort
• Create rich forms and experiences that will actually get used
• Design and deploy high-value business apps in a fraction of the time typically required

Register now to reserve your spot to watch how K2 can help bridge the divide between On-premise and Cloud data for seamless business processes and responsive, reusable forms that cross platforms, browsers devices and connectivity limits.

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5 Tips for Easing the Adoption of Your Automated Business Process

5 Tips for Easing the Adoption of Your Automated Business Process

Written by David Spriggs 

“Besides black art, there is only automation and mechanisation. Federico Garcia Lorca (1898 – 1936)”

I recently worked in the IT department for an organisation that underwent a period of rapid growth and whose paper based manual processes could not cope with the rate of expansion.

To solve the problem we implemented a business process automation platform using K2 blackpearl and smartforms as an addition to our SharePoint 2010 Intranet. We then started automating the processes that were causing the organisation the most pain.

Before unleashing a newly automated process on your company’s staff consider these points to help ease the adoption for staff and process administrators and minimise the support burden on your technical team.

1. Invest time with the process owner on administering their automated process.

Although we had developed online training packages for business process owners and administrators, individual coaching was needed to ensure that the process administration team were comfortable in the use of the tools and reports to effectively manage the automated version of their process.

2. Ensure those completing the process have a way of asking for help.

The company had a helpdesk system for reporting issues with IT services only, non-IT business units that offered services did not have access to this or another system for managing requests for their service. If a staff member had a problem in completing the process they naturally logged a call with the IT Helpdesk which could not be passed to the business unit for resolution and so ended up being allocated to the development team who automated the process.

Make sure staff know whom to contact for help with the process and that there is an easy way to do it.

3. Factor time in the project to assist the process owner with development of process specific training materials.

In our implementation each process owner was responsible for authoring updated training materials for their automated process. It quickly became apparent that although they were subject matter experts for their process some process owners needed help with the details of the automated process, which led to more IT Helpdesk calls being allocated to the development team. (See point 2).

4. Run lunch and learn sessions on working with tasks.

K2 blackpearl provides great functionality for completing workflow tasks, such as out-of-office, redirection, delegation, responding via email (SmartActions) and using worklist items. However there are nuances that can cause frustration and highlighting these ahead of time will help when the first few automated processes go live.

5. Publish a page on your Intranet so staff can find links to all your automated processes.

Have a discussion with your Intranet team about hosting a page where links to the automated processes can be published. We setup a SharePoint list with a title, description, classification and the URL of the K2 smartform. These details were then displayed in a webpart on the Intranet homepage. A little advanced planning will save a lot of “Where is the link to the new form?” questions.

I hope that these tips prove useful in your planning. I am interested in hearing any lessons that you may have learned through your implementation experiences so please feel free to share.

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BYOA: a new generation of tools

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Written by: Adriaan van Wyk, CEO

In a hyper-connected world where increased connectivity is the norm, the way we think about productivity has changed. These days, we not only expect people to be constantly accessible, but we have become accustomed to the ability to solve a given problem at a moment’s notice. Technology is fuelling these expectations, especially in the workplace. With the cloud, information is always accessible and with increased mobility, it’s available when and where we need.

The technology enabling this enhanced productivity – coupled with a workforce that is increasingly self-sufficient and entrepreneurial – is what’s fuelling something called bring your own application (BYOA) phenomenon. We’re encountering a new generation of workers who see a problem, want to fix it, and will go build or create the necessary tool themselves and move on instead of waiting for an IT supported and “approved” application to be built for them.

Nurturing a BYOA culture in your organisation leads to greater productivity and benefits including innovation, happy customers and engaged employees. But, as most CIOs fear, this new phenomenon can become a double-edged sword without proper governance. The key is to give your people the freedom to solve problems, while still implementing a set of guidelines that work to create accountability, especially in organisations and industries that may require more security.

With that in mind, there are four questions to consider when creating a productive and worthwhile BYOA culture.

1. What will BYOA mean in your organisation?

Will BYOA come to mean bring or build your own application, or both? There is a real difference in how you can approach BYOA and the pace at which you adopt these practices. Dropbox is a great example of ringing your own application. You may purchase, download, and begin using the application right away. Like other applications, it solves a specific problem and provides an immediate solution, without involving the IT department. However, customisation is limited.

This is where building your own application comes into play, allowing you to customise the technology that best suits your company’s needs. Building an application empowers the company with ready-to-use templates that enable them to quickly solve problems specific to their organisation. They’re quick to build, simple in structure and repurpose-ready.

2. How will you protect your information?

Protection management is one of the most critical decisions. The challenge with some cloud storage services lies in the fact that information lives outside the boundaries of the organisation and, in regulated industries, this poses many hurdles and risks. When building business applications, you may create new information that needs to be protected and managed for synchronisation while avoiding duplication. CIO’s must decide on a roadmap and the right tools that will allow them to turn data into logical business information and hide the complexity of where it originates, or how to save and update it from the end users.

For information that needs to be protected by source systems (e.g., SharePoint, SAP, Oracle, MS CRM, etc.), the build method may work best, as it allows users to abstract their information and surface it as a logical business entity to leverage when building their own apps. It also has the added benefit of never duplicating or copying the data, so no additional risk is introduced to the organisation.

3. What role does mobile play?

The original BYOD phenomenon – bring your own device (BYOD) – means there are plenty of devices and platforms that are in use across your organisation. In order to have successful adoption of applications and drive a viable impact on the business, it’s critical that new applications and solutions can be built once and then quickly modified to play across other devices.

The same concept applies to data security. It is possible for mobile applications to be built so organisations can understand where they are being accessed from and what data should be made available offline. These applications also enable overarching data protection and know how and when to sync end-user interactions. In addition, templates can be used so you can easily build these types of applications without needing to consider technical design decisions.

4. How can you use this next generation of tools to empower your organisation?

Employees want to focus on solving business problems and driving results. They don’t want to wait for IT departments to “fix” their problems and they don’t want to focus on the technicalities of how to build applications to solve their problems. Instead, they’ll embrace new tools, adopt new concepts and embark on a new (and faster) approach to drive the business forward. This is a paradigm shift enabled by technology and CIOs need to invest the time to embrace next-generation solutions into their organisation. A change in mindset is being asked of leaders, and while it may sound small, it isn’t easy – and can be the difference in an organisation’s ability to truly realise the benefits of a BYOA environment.

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Now Available: K2 4.6.9 Release

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We are excited to announce the new K2 4.6.9 releases available today.

Today’s release builds on the prior set of releases and contains new features and fixes to four components. For a detailed list of fixes in each release, please review the associated Release Notes:

K2 blackpearl 4.6.9 Release Notes (KB001640)

K2 smartforms 4.6.9 Release Notes (KB001650)

K2 smartforms Control Pack 4.6.9 Release Notes (KB001675)

K2 for SharePoint 4.6.9 Release Notes (KB001660)

[K2 connect for SAP 4.6.9 (KB000800)

Download
As always, it is recommended that you install the latest release. To get any of today’s releases, please visit the download pages on the K2 Partner and Customer Portal.

Installation Considerations
Please note that the following releases have specific prerequisites and an installation order that needs to be followed during installation:

K2 smartforms 4.6.9 has a dependency on K2 blackpearl 4.6.9. Please review the K2 smartforms 4.6.9 Release Notes for more information.

K2 smartforms Control Pack 4.6.9 has a dependency on K2 smartforms 4.6.9. Please review the K2 smartforms Control Pack 4.6.9 Release Notes for more information.

K2 for SharePoint 4.6.9 has a dependency on K2 blackpearl 4.6.9, K2 smartforms 4.6.9, and K2 smartforms Control Pack 4.6.9. Please review the K2 for SharePoint 4.6.9 Release Notes for detailed information about installation.

K2 connect for SAP 4.6.9 has a dependency on K2 blackpearl 4.6.9. Please review the K2 connect for SAP 4.6.9 Release Notes for more information.

Important Notes for 4.6.9
The release notes have more details on each of these items, but we wanted to highlight a few items:

K2 smartforms 4.6.9 now includes Internet Explorer 11 support. Internet Explorer 8 is no longer supported as of this release. For more information, please see the K2 smartforms Support Matrix.

As of this release, the K2 for SharePoint Online app has officially moved from preview mode to release status. The 4.6.9 app version (version 4.4120.5.1) is only compatible with K2 4.6.9. Be sure to upgrade your K2 environment before upgrading to the latest K2 for SharePoint Online app. For more information, please see the K2 for SharePoint 4.6.9 Release Notes.

To activate the K2 offline forms preview, you will need to request a new K2 smartforms license key. To submit your request, visit the K2 License Key page at http://portal.k2.com/licensekey and select “K2 smartforms” from the product list. In the Software License Details section, select “K2 offline forms License” in the SKU drop down menu. A new, offline forms-enabled license key will be sent to you via e-mail.

Support

Please use the K2 Partner and Customer Portal to open support tickets and/or contact your local support offices to report any issues. Additionally, the K2 forums on K2 Community are available for community-based discussions. Note: K2 Community is a community Web site and should not be used for production support issues or for logging bugs.

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K2 Raises Over $100 Million to Accelerate Growth

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K2 Raises Over $100 Million to Accelerate Growth
Funding validates enterprise business applications market and positions K2 for continued growth and expansion

Seattle, WA. February 18, 2015 – K2, an industry leader in business application platforms and solutions, today announced it has agreed to accept a strategic investment from Francisco Partners, a leading global private equity firm focused on the technology sector, to support investment in K2’s go-to-market initiatives and product innovation.

The funding will enable K2 to further its vision of empowering its customers to optimise their business processes and seamlessly build and run their own unique business applications on premises and in the cloud. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2015.

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Time and Energy Matters – The Journey of a K2 Customer Switching from InfoPath to K2 smartforms

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I have been working with K2 products for more than ten years (since 2003) in various roles. Over that time there have been periods of frustration, especially where I have had to support solutions built by other people where they have used InfoPath and a lot of custom code in the workflows. We didn’t previously license the K2 SmartForms piece of the solution, and I have to admit that I was a little sceptical about how good SmartForms would be and how well it would be able to deliver on the requirements we have.

I’ve also been working with SharePoint since 2003. I am not really sad to see the back of InfoPath. Whilst for simple stuff it seemed good on the surface, so many times it got really complicated. I have also had some custom ASP.Net solutions built by partners which integrate with K2. These have also ended up feeling very complicated and are difficult to support. Also, because they are Full Trust SharePoint solutions, deploying changes is a pain, often requiring out of hours effort.

VIDEO: Build and Run eForms and Mobile Apps Powered by your Imagination

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Mobile applications (Applications on smart devices) have revolutionised the way our world works and has influenced the needs and desires of Employees in large and small business.

Business users need/want software applications – “Apps” to help them manage and enhance their work experience. Today’s employees grew up on the internet. They are highly collaborative and use technology intuitively and fluidly. They expect technology to be powerful, but also easy to use and device and platform agnostic. They want to rapidly design and deploy solutions to solve business problems on the fly. They are not willing to wait weeks or months for an IT department to solve their problems. They want it now and won’t settle for anything else.’

“The last thing we want is to be a big dumb company that feels we can put a swoosh on something and people will buy that. Things are accelerating, but it’s not as if we’re in a speed-up, slow-down world.  It’s a high-velocity world, we’re digitally connected, everything is changing. Business requires software that can move at the velocity of business.” Mark Parker CEO, Nike 

Use K2 to create any business application you can imagine, with workflows and forms that span roles, departments, data sources, browsers and devices. Work smarter and stay focused on growing your business instead of managing process.

Learn how eForms and Mobility can improve your organisations processes by:

  • No-code eForms integrated to line of business systems
  • Show you how to deliver business applications effectively, to help your business grow
  • We will show you device and platform agnostic business apps, that you can use on the road
  • A interactive demonstration on how to support employee decision making by streamlining processes through mobile interfaces. e.g Expense Claims Approvals

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VIDEO: Efficient Automated Business apps for Employee On-Boarding

During this webinar, find out how to:

– Improve process efficiency
– Make informed decisions through data
– Reduce cost
– Minimise compliance risks
– Breakdown mobility barriers
– Maximise employee engagement.

Agenda

1. Why Business Process Apps are defining the way companies do business
2. Demonstration of a K2 enabled Business Process Application
3. Benefits of a low code development platform
4. Decision support through data integration (SharePoint, CRM, SAP, O365)

So what is K2?

K2 is a low code platform for building and running Business Process Applications that combine forms, data, workflow and mobility into a solutions that allows companies to rapidly transform their business with applications that allocate work to the right people, with all the information they need to make great decisions.

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Sundowner drinks at The Print Hall in Perth – eForms and Mobility

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Join K2 and Es2 on February 25th for a 30-minute presentation followed by Drinks and Canapés at the Print Hall.

Mobility is very desirable in business. It aids in efficiency and people don’t need to be at their desk to get work done.

You are invited to join ES2 and K2 for drinks, canapés and to experience how K2 eForms and mobile apps can give your team access to tasks from their phone or tablet. They can take action, delegate tasks, check in on process statuses or find the information they need to make great decisions – anytime, anywhere.

Our team are looking forward to answering your questions on the night.

When: February 25th 2015 – 4:00PM – 6:00PM
Where: Chairman’s Office – Print Hall, 125 St Georges Terrace, Perth
RSVP: Due to venue capacity issues, registrations are essential

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