Finance VLOG Series Tip #6: Automation Without Programming

By Clinton Jones on March 10, 2016

VLOG #6: Achieving Automation Without Programming

Having access to the technology you need to do your job effectively is key to enhancing your productivity. In this VLOG, we’ll discuss three ways you can build automation without programming or without a developer skillset through synchronous, asynchronous, or scheduling.


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Automation Video Transcription

Hi My name is Clinton Jones and I’m a Director of Product Management at Winshuttle, and today what I thought I’d talk to you about the concept of automation. Winshuttle has cut its teeth I would say over the past 10 -11 years on really selling the concept of automation. And the main thrust of that sell has been integrating the Excel data with SAP, and do it without needing to be a programmer or without needing to be a developer, or having to change anything fundamentally on the backend of your system like SAP. But why do we bother with automation? The main reason would be we want to accelerate the throughput of the individuals who are doing the data collection. But there is something in particular about automation that we can talk about in the Winshuttle context, and that is there are several different ways to build that automation. One of them is to have a synchronous experience with the system of record. And what we’re really talking about here is maybe a user with an Excel workbook, firing up that workbook, making use of a Winshuttle widget to connect to SAP or Salesforce, and then sending data or pulling data from SAP and populating that Excel workbook. What they do after that is really up to them. They can either analyze it themselves, or they could forge it onto someone else.

The next option is what we refer to as asynchronous communication with the system of record. And what we’re really talking about here is more than just the Excel based experience. So you could be using Excel data, you could also be using HTML5 data, or you could in fact be using an Access database. And what you’re doing is pushing these objects into a workflow based process and then depending on how many participants you have in that workflow, or if you have any at all, the next step after that is that once that dataset is approved,what happens is a server component picks it up and then integrates it with the system of record. Again, whether its SAP or Salesforce is really dependent on your organization. But the advantage of this is that the submitter of the data simply fires it off and then forgets about it, and it goes through its approval process or it goes through its automated posting cycle, and then gets pushed to SAP as and when resources are available to do that. The 3rd possibility here is a little bit more like the synchronous but with a blend of the asynchronous, and this is effectively scheduling. And the great thing about scheduling is that it can be done either at the desktop of the individual user, or it can be done on the server component as well. And the big advantage there is that if you have large datasets that you’re working with, you don’t have to sit around and occupy the resources on your machine waiting for that dataset to be processed. You can send it off to a server based process, have it processed to give you the results, or you can schedule it to run after hours and simply get an email alert as and when it’s been processed.

Don’t miss the previous VLOGs in this series:

VLOG Series: 5 Tips to Improve Finance Operations Efficiency

Finance VLOG Series Tip #2: Automation

Finance VLOG Series #3: Flow of Work

Finance VLOG Series #4: Embrace Excel

Finance VLOG Series #5: How to Deal with 999 Line Limit in SAP

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