Business challenge

To help businesses drive greater efficiency and collaboration into their operations without sending costs soaring, PickaForm wanted to offer a simpler way to create workflow management solutions.

Transformation

PickaForm launched a software-as-a-service offering based on IBM Domino Applications on Cloud, enabling clients to build enterprise workflows via a simple drag-and-drop interface.

Results

80% faster

development times for workflow management applications

Reduces

the need for shadow IT solutions, enhancing information governance

Avoids

need for costly on-premises infrastructure, delivering high cost efficiency

Business challenge story

Taking a collaborative approach to process management

“Helping businesses with workflow-related challenges has been my bread and butter for more than 15 years,” begins David Grossi, Founder and CEO of PickaForm. “By looking closely at my clients’ business processes, my goal was to recommend better ways of working.”

Over more than a decade as a business process consultant, Grossi noticed that most of the enterprises he worked with were experiencing similar challenges. In many cases, his clients were using different best-of-breed applications to support each part of their organization, such as human resources, sales and customer support. As their businesses evolved, the lack of integration between these systems often led employees to resort to tactical solutions such as spreadsheets to coordinate their work.

“Many businesses fall into the trap of building shadow IT tools,” Grossi continues. “Although a spreadsheet might seem like a sensible way to fix an issue in the short term, relying on them to drive your business means they rapidly grow in size and complexity. Eventually, these spreadsheets become extremely difficult to work with. In fact, many of my clients engaged my consulting services to turn their spreadsheets into collaborative tools for disciplines such as customer relationship management [CRM], human capital management [HCM] and business process management [BPM].”

Grossi recognized an opportunity to design a solution that empowered companies to build collaborative workflows rapidly. The aim was to create a tool that could ingest spreadsheet-based data and incorporate it into highly structured workflows.

Thanks to IBM Domino Applications on Cloud, PickaForm is helping companies around the world to drive their operations more effectively.

—David Grossi, CEO, PickaForm

Transformation story

Building a versatile solution in the cloud

Grossi created PickaForm—a flexible, cloud-based solution to help businesses of all sizes share information, coordinate their activities and drive digital workflows. Built on the IBM Domino Applications on Cloud platform, the PickaForm solution supports a wide range of use cases, including CRM, HCM and BPM.

“Over the course of my consulting career, I had built up significant skills around IBM Notes and Domino, so developing PickaForm on the Domino platform was a logical choice,” recalls Grossi. “With the powerful IBM Domino server infrastructure at the back end of PickaForm, I found I could roll out customized solutions support for a wide range of use cases significantly faster than my competitors.”

PickaForm enables businesses to build web-based forms to store almost any kind of data—from customer contacts and project action histories to incident reports and invoices. The solution can discover spreadsheet data and automatically build the form and the database behind the scenes at the touch of a button. Combined with pre-built templates for common applications and forms, the solution enables companies to rapidly create process-driven applications for practically any business domain.

“PickaForm has been growing from strength to strength for a number of years now, and IBM Domino continues to be my platform of choice for the solution,” comments Grossi. “During my most recent build, I assessed whether moving to an open-source stack would be a valuable route for future development. Over a period of two months, I built a prototype based on the Node.js JavaScript runtime and the MongoDB database. I found that the prototype relied on a significant number of open-source libraries that were in early development stage. That’s to say, in lower versions than 1.0. An update to even a single external library had the potential to break the entire application—an unacceptable business risk.”

He continues: “To my mind, IBM Domino Applications on Cloud remains the best way to deliver PickaForm to clients around the world. Not only does the IBM Domino platform incorporate an enterprise-class web application server, it will eventually support many of the open-source tools I used on my recent prototype project—giving me the freedom to develop on those tools in the future without leaving the IBM Domino ecosystem. Crucially, expert engineers from IBM support these open-source tools, which helps ensure robust information security for sensitive client data.”

Results story

Helping companies of all sizes work smarter

Today, many businesses trust PickaForm to drive follow-up activities such as invoicing, reporting and claims investigations.

“One of the main disadvantages of using best-of-breed solutions in different parts of the business is the difficulties in integrating the data, which has caused collaboration challenges for many of my clients,” explains Grossi. “For example, an insurance company recently approached me to solve a challenge with archiving their employee records, which were stored as scanned images in PDF format. In a product demonstration meeting, we created a digital workflow in just two hours—99 percent faster than a delivery estimate from another software development company the insurer was considering.”

By empowering non-technical users to solve complex challenges at the speed of business, PickaForm helps businesses avoid the significant risk of shadow IT.

“In my experience, 85 percent of all shadow IT happens in spreadsheets, and with PickaForm we offer users a powerful alternative to working with data in siloed systems,” continues Grossi. “As well as helping businesses to strengthen their approaches to information governance, PickaForm offers rock-solid information security. We recently had a cyber security company audit IBM Domino Applications on Cloud. After a week of trying to break into the system, the company had found only one small attack surface, which we quickly closed. We are extremely pleased with the security of IBM Domino Applications on Cloud.”

Looking to the future, Grossi plans to continue to build on his success with the IBM Domino Applications on Cloud solution. By incorporating spreadsheet-like editing capabilities into the solution, Grossi plans to make PickaForm even easier and more intuitive for users. Further ahead, Grossi is extremely interested in adding support for process automation.

“At the moment, PickaForm depends on inputs from human beings to move digital workflows from stage to stage, but process automation is the perfect complement,” comments Grossi. “By combining automated workflows with an AI solution such as IBM Watson, we could enable users to describe in natural language the type of application they wanted to create, and create it instantly in PickaForm.”

Grossi concludes: “Thanks to IBM Domino Applications on Cloud, PickaForm is helping companies around the world to drive their operations more effectively—and we’re excited to continue working with the IBM platform to enable more businesses to work smarter.”

About PickaForm

Founded in 2017 and based on the island of Réunion, PickaForm empowers companies of all sizes to build powerful, cloud-based applications to share information, coordinate activities and drive digital workflows.

Take the next step

To learn more about IBM Domino Applications on Cloud, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/marketplace/domino-applications-on-cloud

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