I’ve been bullish about app vendor Capriza for quite some time now.
Capriza’s raisan d’etre is very simple -- they’re all about wrapping traditional (read: legacy) enterprise applications in such a way that it makes it easy to create small-point solutions that read and write back to those big old monolithic applications. For any enterprise that is wedded to its Oracle or SAP solutions, Capriza helps them reconcile the seemingly counter aims of keeping the legacy platforms, while still enabling workers to enjoy “mobile moments.”
I’ve written about the company in the past, and have always enjoyed the response my articles have received: from those who love the concept of leaving legacy apps in place but enabling mobile apps to be built off them, to those who dispute that it is in any way difficult to build these sort of mobile applications on the top of monolithic enterprise solutions -- it certainly gets people fired up one way or another.
It would seem that is set to continue with the news that Capriza is releasing a number of what it is calling universal microapps. The idea of these applications is that they are kind of templates that help reduce the time that it takes Capriza customers to create applications to fulfill their requirements.
Similar to some template applications from another vendor I wrote about recently, Sapho, the templated applications cover a number of different common functional needs: purchase orders, requisitions, invoices, expenses and time off. All of these are examples of use cases where there is a need for an approval process, which tends to be a simple task of displaying data, asking the recipient to approve or otherwise the request, and transmitting that back to the central application.
These sort of use cases are both simple and ones which lend themselves heavily to a mobile user interface, hence it is a smart area for Capriza and Sapho to attack. Capriza informs me that over a third of their customers include some form of approvals in their use of the platform. A case in point is one Capriza customer that is seeing some huge efficiency benefits from the product:
“We have hundreds of managers working at remote sites who need to approve purchase orders for materials to keep our projects moving. In one month alone, a district manager spent over 33 hours approving 800 POs,” said Kent Lyon, vice president of finance for RPC, a leading oilfield services company. “The accumulative impact of approvals across the entire organization takes a major toll on our productivity, creating significant operational drag. With Capriza, we’ve been able to eliminate that burden and reduce approval cycle times by more than 4x. From a compliance standpoint, this ensures peace of mind, while providing a quick and consistent mobile user experience.”
As expected from these sort of templates, the universal applications are a way to showcase best practice when it comes to this time of application. Key functionalities include:
- User friendly design: Apps aim to be simple and intuitive to use and include optimized workflows allowing users to review the information they need to make an informed decision for a specific approval. By providing a consistent, unified experience for the different types of approvals, Capriza hopes that users are shielded from the nuances and complexities of the underlying applications to maximize productivity and minimize delays.
- Attach to any web-based business application: The universal microapps can quickly attach to any web-based business application using point and click functionality -- without the need for upgrades, coding, systems integration, or any new infrastructure.
- Proactive updates: By monitoring field-level data from any business application, the universal microapps proactively alert the user through push notifications, configurable based on a field change, a time interval, or a threshold based on the data value.
- Optimized experience: Capriza uses performance optimization techniques such as caching, lazy loading, and pre-fetching to allow for maximum app responsiveness.
- These are templates at their heart and hence the apps are extensible, enabling business owners to rebrand and restyle them, as well as add new fields, controls, screens, or even steps in the workflow with no coding required.
Of course a skeptic would suggest that Capriza needed to introduce these applications because it was just too hard for new enterprise customers to get on board and start the app building process.
I suspect there is a grain of truth in that assessment but, at the same time, templated applications are a time-honored way of helping avoid the lag-time that often comes form a new technology roll-out. Capriza has real world customers using its product and observing the use cases and best practices of those customers has helped in the conceptualization and development of these universal apps.
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