Sapho's micro apps bring employees the right information at the right time

The bane of enterprise software? Getting users to actually use it. Complicated UIs hide features behind hierarchical menus, while data is often stale and is hard to find in an actionable way. Add to this the fact that businesses use a slew of cloud and on-premises systems (Sales, Marketing, HR, Benefits, Finance) and that any given employee needs to touch at least a few of them, you have a recipe for disaster.

You can lead a horse to water . . .

Then users are expected to find their way into and around these myriad systems to track down data that matters and act on it as appropriate. No wonder a bulk of users prefer spreadsheets, email others for information when they need it, and are reactive rather than proactive to events indicated by data changes in these systems.

. . . but can you make it drink?

Different categories of products have stepped in to address parts of the problem.

Heavyweight integration products such as Dell Boomi and IBM Cast Iron ease the pain of moving data between Enterprise systems small and large.

IFTTT-style lightweight integration products such as Zapier make it easy to connect to SaaS offerings and automate simple workflows on top of the connections.

BI applications such as Domo have taken a different approach by tying to many of these systems and offering intuitive and cross system visualizations.

Even messaging platforms are stepping in to address the pain. Slack now offers easy integrations to cloud applications so work information can be directly delivered to a channel or individual right in the Slack client.

Then there are MADP and RMAP platforms such as Kony and Xamarin which enable Enterprises to build mobile applications connected to various business systems.

While these offerings, in one way or another, help reduce friction between end users and the base enterprise systems, they don’t do much to address what end users really care about - what work events matter to them, how they can keep on top of the changes, and what actions they need to take based on them.

Why not bring water to the horse?

What if there were a solution that could abstract away the layers of connecting to all these business systems, tracking events that matter to each end user, accordingly notifying the user with information that matters and related actions to take, and then transacting back to the systems based on the action taken? That is what Sapho seeks to accomplish by helping enterprise employees get the right information at the right time so they can act or collaborate on it instantly, rather than fighting technology to find what they need and then trying to piece together how they should respond.

With Sapho, a manager won’t have to dig into multiple applications to approve PTOs, expenses, and time-cards. Instead she can get notified directly in a dedicated messenger channel or a mobile app feed, scan details if needed on a micro app tied the notification, and approve or reject each request directly from the notification or detail page.

A field salesperson won’t need to access multiple Sales, Marketing and ERP applications to get a 360 view of recent customer activity before a meeting. She can simply search for the customer name in her mobile or messenger feed and walk in prepared.

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The future is here. It’s time to make work fast, easy and fun!

 

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Vinay Dwivedi is the Head of Product at Sapho. Previously, he was at Oracle where he led product management for several products, including Oracle’s CRM and HCM cloud applications and the first speech driven, conversational mobile application called Oracle Voice.

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