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What Benefits Can a Business Derive from Business Process Automation?

Business Process Automation is fast becoming an essential part of the business control process. A lot has changed in the world of IT over the last two decades. The use of cloud computing has brought about a sea change in the way business processes are handled. Some of them are mentioned below:-


Adequate amount of time is saved


Tasks performed manually take a lot of time to be done. Moreover, there are occasional errors that hamper quality. Automation minimizes the number of tasks that you and your employees would otherwise require to be performed manually. This will save a substantial amount of time that you can devote to functions that add real value to your business, and help you to raise your employee’s level of motivation. Productivity will also receive a big boost.


Quality and consistency


Use of business process automation will help you to offer a high quality of products in a consistent manner that will build long term relationships with clients. Automation helps in making sure that each action is performed in the same manner. This produces high quality results.


If you have automated the follow up process of your customer service follow up process, your clients will get the same quality of product or service from your organization consistently. So, you can start developing better quality, feature rich products with almost no increase in production time and costs.


Better operational efficiency


Efficiency in business terms refers to the extent to which time, money and efforts are invested in a specific task or purpose. Process automation minimizes the time it requires to achieve the task, the effort required to initiate it and the amount required to complete it successfully. Automation makes sure that systems run in a hassle free manner without any errors and the best practices of your business are maintained.


Reduction in turnaround times


Workflow automation enables companies to organize their business processes and do away with needless tasks and readjust process steps to ensure the smooth flow of information through different departments like billing, collection, and production. This organizing of processes filters your operational performance and minimizes the turnaround time needed for staff as well as external customers.

Minimize complexities in data management with Workflow Management Software

Data management and documentation forms a part and parcel of any business process. For users with limited technical know-how, it is often a challenge for arranging and finetune rules within an automatic graphical user interface. Workflow Management Software is a workflow related process management software that has been developed specifically for this purpose.


At present, quite a few companies provide businesses with configurable access rights to manage data as well as security & administration. Another interesting thing to note is the fact that entrepreneurs who require third party system integration are provided with ultramodern integration adapters like Outlook, Sharepoint, and Active Directory.


So what makes Workflow Management software unique? It offers a simple and quick setup by letting you use a drag & drop Workflow Editor and Excel Pattern rules and forms. Moreover, you can make a seamless adoption using the Microsoft Outlook type graphical interface. This tool is integrated with Document Management, Microsoft Dynamics and Microsoft Active Directory. Your HR team will thus be able to handle entire reporting and analytics for workflow management in a hassle free manner. The software is enabled with cloud deployment and on-promise options. Therefore, you can gain access from any mobile or browser.



You don’t need the help of technicians to install this solution in your office systems. You can do that on your own. There is no need to bring business operations to a hold. Making changes in job workflow is possible. Effective support of web forms and complicated workflow based data will be possible once you integrate it with your office’s computers. It will help you to define data flow between various products that you offer. Automation of data processing in a smooth, timely manner will also be possible.


Workflow management software will help you to convert information from one format to another if the services you use are not fully compatible. Instant incorporation of new services without coding will also be possible. So, you won’t have to look for access to local and remote services as well as analysis tools. Data management and documentation will become easier as a result.

Job Scheduling Software- An essential part of batch scheduling process

Undue interventions during submission, checking and verification of back office jobs are pretty common. Job Scheduling Software is a software that has created to assist businesses in automating batch processing and doing away with the above mentioned discrepancies. As innovations in IT continue to influence the world, organizations are always on the lookout for applications which are needed during batch scheduling. There is no point in hiring operators to handle tasks that can be automated effortlessly. The Job Scheduling software will ensure that you get returns within a short span of time. It will also bring about a marked improvement in your system operations.


Versatility is the key USP of this tool. It not only lets you use clocks and calendars for batch scheduling jobs, you can also use external events and handle dependencies with the help of this software tool. It will also help in managing schedules of jobs for execution of many operating systems as well as custom apps. There will be a significant drop in the number of errors and manmade interventions with workload automation. The staff maintenance costs will go down, thereby helping your IT team to handle bigger projects with more proficiency.


You will be able to manage as well as keep a track of behind the scene tools and data that forms a vital part of the batch job process. It will help you to run not just the payroll of your organization, but also handle buying transactions of customers. A lot of functions that are in common will be organized as a result due to the fixing of numerous activities within a single application. The collaboration between your staff will also increase as compared to before.



Better systems and network performance will make sure that all service level goals of your business are achieved. So, you will be able to meet your client’s demands by integrating job executions with the external applications of your company. Updating jobs in a shorter time span will also be possible. As a result , making the spot changes will also be possible.

Simplify Your Day to Day Operations with Business Process Automation

Companies make use of the latest technologies so as to simplify their business process. However, greater the reliance on technology, the more complex will the system become. This often causes a lot of problems in the smooth functioning of a business. Business Process Automation(BPA) can help to minimize these issues. It is a type of software that can simplify complicated tasks and streamline them in a precise, systematic manner. The major aim of BPA is to save the time and money of a business by finishing tiring tasks automatically. This in turn enhances the productivity by allowing a company’s staff on their major areas of concern.

 One of the major advantages of BPA is that you can use it in any part of your business. From email alerts to documentation management, you can minimize costs and make judicious use of manpower in different areas of business operations with BPA. Here are some major areas of your business where you can bring about a marked improvement with BPA:-

Client Management


Managing accounts and clients is often a major challenge for small businesses. Using BPA software, you can make it easy for your staff to manage clients efficiently. When a new client sign on, you can use BPA to create a project template containing all normal kickoff milestones and work. The data will include information related to pinging sales rep to uploading of signed contract for the whole team to view, the billing department to create the first invoice, and your account manager to schedule a kickoff call and fill out a number of client intake document that will be then shared with other members of the business development team.

Enhanced project management

BPA software will enable you to keep a track of projects and tasks and stay updated with the latest developments. It will automatically send an email whenever one of your employees receives a new task or finishes an old one. The software will track the history of all projects and tasks so that you can verify how it evolved or go back to any point to refer something. Some BPA software come with the option of asking questions, which improves communication. As a result, no task will be lost or forgotten. It will make your staff more accountable and bring about a remarkable improvement in time management.

Lesser tasks for administration

With the help of BPA software, you can handle all aspects of your business starting from client management to payment reminders, auto emails, pre-planning questionnaires and auto monthly payments. As a result, you will be able to save a valuable amount of your work hours that would otherwise be spent on these areas.

Get started with version 7

A couple of weeks ago we released version 7 of VisualCron. This new major version addresses a lot of feature requests we have received from you. In this email we want to talk about what is new and how to prepare for upgrade.


What's new?

Task Notifications
Now, all kinds of Tasks can be used for Notifications. This also adds more features like enhanced security options in Email Notification.

Flow
A new way of controlling the flow between Tasks and determine what is the next step based on result and output - without involving the global Conditions.

Custom exit code handling
You can now define exactly which exit code should result in either success or failure and then let one or more Tasks use this exit code collection.

New Tasks
Besides feature updates in existing Tasks, the following new Tasks are added:
- SysLog Task
- SSISDB Task
- 30 VMWare Tasks
- Get checksum Task
- Set file attributes Task
- Set folder attributes Task
- Change owner Task

More Variables
We have added a lot of Variables to make string manipulation easier.

Bug fixes
As usual, we have solved a few bugs present in earlier versions.

Change log
The full change log can be found here.


Update instructions

We recommend watching the video tutorials, especially those concerning "Flow" and "Task Notifications". You can find the video tutorials here.

Specific instructions for upgrading from version 6.x to 7. can be found here.

As usual we recommend a backup of settings (to another location than the default) before upgrading.


License and upgrades

If you already have a VisualCron license, the ability to upgrade depends on if you have an ongoing maintenance contract. The maintenance contract is $99 per server or $599 for a Site license. If you logon here you will see if your license has an ongoing license and when it will expire. If you have any questions - please contact sales.


Download

Download the latest version here.


Future development

We have a clear road map but we also listen carefully to all feedback from you in our Feature requests forum. Please make requests there.

Right now we are planning on extending our API and provide simple clients for mobile devices. We would like to have your feedback about this here.


Get closer

If you have not joined us on facebook then please do that now by "Liking" us here. You will get updates and information from us instantly when available. You can also follow us on twitter.

VisualCron has existed since 2004 and evolved during the years. We have seen other automation tools come and go. We keep developing VisualCron to provide the best experience for you.


About VisualCron

VisualCron is a software automation and task-scheduling tool for Microsoft Windows, first released in 2004. While other Windows automation tools have come and gone, VisualCron has continually improved to provide the best possible experience for you.


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Sixth generation scheduler and automation tool VisualCron has been released

Sixth generation scheduler and automation tool VisualCron has been released
VisualCron - advanced scheduler and automation tool for Windows is releasing a major update
Stockholm, Sweden

In VisualCron version 6 a lot of new functionality has been introduced:

  • Cloud Tasks - able to upload/download/delete/list from major players like GDrive, Amazon S3, SkyDrive, Windows Azure
  • WebDAV Tasks - upload/download/delete and list files using WebDAV protocol
  • Remote file triggering - advanced remote monitoring through SFTP/FTP protocol
  • .NET Execute Task - create any custom code in .NET for dynamic execution
  • Support for dynamic execution of unmanaged dll files
  • Real time logging - verbose real time logging
  • Sharepoint Tasks - automation of common Sharepoint Tasks
  • Loop support - be able to create loops around your Tasks
  • new engine for PDF printing Task
  • Trigger dependency support
  • Windows 8 support


Next minor version

In the next version we will present:

  • SQL Trigger - execution based on result from local or remote SQL server of any database type that supports ODBC or OLEDB.
  • Popup Task



About VisualCron

VisualCron is an automation tool for Windows that is used by large companies all over the world.  It replaces the built in Task Scheduler in Windows and extends it with a lot more advanced functionality. The application can be evaluated for free for 45 days with full functionality.

VisualCron follows standards like OpenPGP, FTP, SFTP, SSH, SMTP, IMAP, POP3, HTTP for its Tasks. This allows integration with other operating systems and environments like Linux.

About 50% of customers are based in the US. The application has been available since 2004 and has since then gone through a large number of major enhancements. VisualCron is used by all business categories and thousands of customers have experienced the advantages of automating manual Tasks.

VisualCron strive to base enhancements on feature requests from users. During the development phase, the customer is highly involved and able to affect the outcome.

By automating manual tasks VisualCron can reduce errors and save time. With the Client interface of VisualCron you get a full overview of the current situation of Jobs and Tasks.

Partner with VisualCron

VisualCron is looking for different types of resellers and partners. Please contact sales@visualcron.com if you are interested.

Contact VisualCron

Website - http://www.visualcron.com
Sales - sales@visualcron.com

VisualCron white paper - in management perspective

What is VisualCron?


VisualCron is a Task Scheduler and Automation Tool for Windows.

Job and Tasks


A Job is a placeholder for one or more Tasks. A Task could be the “Execute Task” which starts any script or application or the “SQL Task” which executes a query in a remote database.

You can schedule execution of Jobs based on time or event. For example, you can tell VisualCron to run something each Sunday at 3AM  or when a file has been created in a network share.

When a Job is being run, manually or by schedule, it will start one or more Tasks in that Job.
VisualCron has a Task for every situation. Currently, about 120 Tasks exist.

Why should I schedule and automate?


Time is a very valuable asset within a company. By automating something you can save time as you are converting a manual process to automatic. By doing this you let your employees focus on the result of the task rather than doing the task. Also, what is associated with manual work is that it is very error prone. Automation reduces the human factor to a high degree.

As data and load on internal servers constantly increases one of the advantages with scheduled automation is that you can schedule a Job to run at low peak times which will not, in the same way, affect production. If the low peak is at 4AM at night it would also be hard to have the employee run this Job manually at that time.

By automating you can focus on the result and what to do with it. For example, if a Job has ran at night maybe you want to know if everything went alright. This type of information can be sent further to any user, by email for example.

What should I schedule and automate?


Some believe that this tool is only for the IT-department. Yes, maybe the IT-department should administer this tool, but no, there is no reason for just automating tasks for the IT-department.

All departments within a company perform manual or half-manual tasks. By analyzing what takes time and what people do a lot of time can be saved.

These are the most popular things to automate;

  • script and executable execution
  • file handling (copy/backup/delete/read/write)
  • archiving files with compression (zip/7zip etc.)
  • SQL queries
  • DTS/SSIS execution
  • FTP/SFTP transfer
  • HTTP download/upload
  • PGP encryption/decryption
  • Cloud file handling (Azure, Amazon, Google Drive, SkyDrive)
  • XML - reading and extracting info from XML files
  • sending email
  • Sharepoint automation
  • printing



Standards and integration


What also makes VisualCron an integration tool are two things;

  1. Common protocols
  2. Common formats


Independent of if you are using Linux or Windows there are a couple of standards for;

  • transferring information and files
  • encrypting files
  • archiving files
  • signing files


VisualCron follows these standards so you can easily integrate with other computers - which could be a Linux computer.

Monitor and overview


With VisualCron you get a quick overview of current situation. It can quickly answer you this for example;

  • When will Job A run next time?
  • What was the result of Job B?
  • How long time did Job C take to execute?
  • What output did Task A in Job B have?
  • Who created Job A? How modified Job B?
  • Which date and time did Job A run the last 30 days?


All this information is updated in real time within VisualCron. There is no refresh button - you get to know exactly when it happens.

Remote control


The VisualCron Client is used for monitoring and configuring. The Client can connect remotely to the VisualCron service. That means that you can establish a secure connection over Internet or in your local network between Client and Server - all with real time updates.

Custom integration with your tools and applications


VisualCron can easily be integrated with your system - if you request a deeper and closer integration. We have provided a programming interface so you can tell VisualCron what to do at any time and also extract any information from VisualCron.

What is special about VisualCron?

 

  • Easy of use - VisualCron is easy to configure and maintain.
  • Real time - every information you see in the Client is delivered in real time.
  • Advanced features - if you need specific control, VisualCron gives you that with settings on a very low level for each Task.
  • Community driven development - at VisualCron we base future versions on feature requests from our customers.
  • Fast support - we will be able to help you quickly through email, Skype, screen sharing and phone.
  • Updates - we release a new version about once a month. If we, for any reason find a problem with an existing version we release a fix within days.
  • Custom development - if you have very special requests about features in VisualCron we can develop for you. We also offer development outside of VisualCron.
  • Pricing - affordable one time and optionally yearly maintenance cost



Pricing and and support


Latest pricing can be obtained at http://www.visualcron.com/Order.aspx

VisualCron offer an affordable per server license model. The cost is a one time cost per server. Optionally we offer a yearly maintenance fee. The yearly fee gives you the right to upgrade to any major or minor version that is released within a year - also it gives you priority support (normal support is limited to our forum). Licenses are sold including or excluding the first year of maintenance.

VisualCron offer multiple licenses at a discount. Currently, we offer 5 server licenses at cheaper per server price.

VisualCron also offers an unlimited license package. The unlimited license package gives you unlimited number of installations within a physical location (server hall).

Contact


Please contact VisualCron through email: sales@visualcron.com for any further questions.

VisualCron 6.1.3 released

VisualCron 6.1.3 was released today. It contains the following changes:

 

[FEATURE] Client/Server: Added Remote File Trigger for FTP/SFTP
[FEATURE] Server: Optionally added way to not override HTTP maximum connections
[FEATURE] Client/Server: Added NTLM authentication for WebDAV
[BUGFIX] Server: Fixed some error handling in Remote Execute Task
[BUGFIX] API: Fixed a reference problem with Settings object. Affected Server->folder settings
[BUGFIX] Server: Fixed an issue in Trigger where they were not removed correctly after RunOnce option on Job
[BUGFIX] API: Fixed issue with displaying name in Modified/Created when AD user had no firstname/lastname specified from the beginning. If so, we show username instead.
[BUGFIX] API: Fixed a permission issue when activating many Tasks
[BUGFIX] Client: Fixed issue when trying to open output from Job log->Task
[BUGFIX] Client: Fixed issue 'disappearing namespace issue' in XML Read Node Task
[BUGFIX] Server: Fixed an issue when Jobs listing in VisualCron Trigger could not be refreshed
[BUGFIX] Server: Fixed various issues with SSIS Task including support for Trusted connections
[BUGFIX] Client: Fixes issues with performance and sorting when changing sort in Jobs->Tasks
[BUGFIX] Client: Fixes issue with parameters types in SSIS Task
[BUGFIX] Client: Fixed issue with switched DB logging parameters
[BUGFIX] Server: Add error handling for unhandled exceptions in SQL Task
[BUGFIX] Server: Handled an error when no Task was selected in Job/Task control Task
[BUGFIX] Client: Fixed Job Test button issue that could cause reference problems in Client (foreign key errors)

What is interesting in this release is the Remote file trigger. This Trigger allows you to monitor a remote FTP or SFTP folder for new, changed and deleted files. With the help of Variables you can, after the Trigger has fired, use the full path to the file or the name in order to process the files with your Tasks.

We continue our development and we are now working on Sharepoint Tasks along with the Popup Task.

Our new CRM system

The most common support request right now is concerning our new CRM system. In January we upgraded our system while we, at the same time, published a new order page. Here are some changes:

 One of the problems we had was that we had no relation between licenses and a Company - what we had was Email to license relation. This was not enough as we wanted to add support for multiple users (within a company) to be connected to a company which in turn was connected to all licenses purchased. This would help in situations when many want to access license information and if one employee quits the company and still others are in control of licenses.

  • The above resulted in a couple of new pages like My profile - where personal and company information is updated, My licenses - where you can see all licenses you have, when they expire, maintenance association and so on, My contacts - all persons connected to the same company and My orders - orders and invoices.
  • As the forum is central for support we wanted to re-use those users so you use one account everywhere.

 Still, some manual work was required to make this transition - work that could not be fully done from here:

 Users need "create" their own company - this is done through My profile page.

  • Users need to import their existing licenses. The main reason is that previous orders were done from emails that may not be associated with the company so we could not know which licenses belonged to which company. The import is done on the My licenses page.
  • Once a company is created users need to "invite" other users that they want to share access with.

 This transition has been smooth so far and we appreciate your patience and help in this.

 

FAQ

1. I want to purchase/renew a license but I seem to have forgot my user name?

Most likely you do not have any user at all as we previously did not require logon when placing orders. The users are created in the in the forum first. Please perform these steps to complete registration:

  • Register your personal account here. You need to validate your email so look in spam folder if you have not received validation email in 5 minutes.
  • Update your and company setings at the My profile page.
  • Import any existing licenses at My licenses page. You can find licenses two ways;  1. look for old emails from sales@visualcron.com containing subject "Payment confirmation", 2. Connect the VisualCron Client to the Server and go to Server tab->License->Copy activation code to clip board. If you cannot find your licenses then please contact sales@visualcron.com and we will help
  • Invite any other users that you need to have access to licenses, orders etc. on the My contacts page
  • Complete the order
  • Please remember that if you are purchasing a maintenance renewal then you need to go to My licenses page and associate the maintenance with one existing license.

 

2. I am getting renewal reminders even though I have purchased a renewal, why?

What needs to be done after purchasing a renewal is to associate the renewal code with an existing license. This is a manual process that needs to be done by you as we cannot know exactly which original license/activation code you want to renew.

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