This year alone we’ve helped countless businesses with MFT automation workflows – sourcing the right managed file transfer solution and building their workflow automation. In this blog we’ve summarised four of the most common MFT automation examples we deliver, plus the benefits of MFT automation.
Business growth is hindered by manual processes or outdated, inefficient scripts. They are time intensive, costly and more susceptible to human error. Ultimately these processes generate little job satisfaction and employees’ time could be much better spent on tasks that add more value to their customers or service users.
Sophisticated automated file transfer is far more efficient in comparison. The quicker response times can give organisations the competitive edge, reducing costs and increasing margins.
MFT automation will encrypt and transfer data between systems and endpoints, eliminating the need for manual processing, scripts and multiple FTP servers. From simple transfers to complex multistep workflow automation and transfers from remote systems, most MFT solutions have an easy-to-use tool to build and schedule workflows. For example, monitoring folders to execute workflows when new or changed files appear. The scheduler allows you to set specific times to execute workflows, such as night time to minimise load on the server, or delay sending if users are on leave or absent.
Most common workflow automation use cases
We asked the Pro2col technical team to tell us the most common automation use cases they see, working with organisations from all industry sectors.
1. Securely pushing and pulling files to and from S3 and blob storage.
We’ve recently set this up for a customer for long-term archiving of financial data, and for a healthcare organisations for simple retrieval of patient data held across multiple disparate systems. This functionality is either enabled via an additional cloud connector module, or through capabilities native to your file transfer solution.
Managed file transfer solutions now have an increasing number of connector to cloud storage sites, including: Amazon S3, Citrix ShareFile, Dropbox, Google Cloud, Google Drive, Microsoft Azure, Box, OneDrive, Oracle Cloud and more.
The benefits of automating the integration of cloud storage into business processes are clear. Reduced manual intervention, near to real-time file based workflows, notification and audit trails are some of the most obvious, reducing processing time and therefore providing significant ROI. Whilst the same could be achieved by orchestration, Managed File Transfer provides a competitive, feature rich, competitively priced option for file-based workflows.
Managed file transfer solutions are also increasingly facilitating cloud-to-cloud workflows, so that businesses can link together best in class cloud technologies.
2. Collecting files from a defined location, extracting data from Excel and inputting it into a database.
We set this up for an insurance broker recently, who wanted to automate policy updates between their customer and the insurer. This is delivered using advanced workflow capabilities with conditional logic.
3. Extracting files and converting them into different data formats.
This is another common insurance use case. The workflow would pull customer information from a CRM system (eg: Salesforce) into a JSON file, move it to a secure folder location, convert it to a CSV file then email it to a specific person or department. When someone makes an insurance claim, this process is executed to provide the claims handler with the complete customer record. This is delivered using a Salesforce cloud connector, a secure folder module, folder monitoring and advanced workflow capabilities.
4. Integration with cloud-based applications (eg: ServiceNow, Jenkins).
We’ve recently worked with a help desk to replace an outdated script with seamless integration with ServiceNow via a cloud connector. ServiceNow is a ticketing / job management tool. When an email request is submitted to a defined inbox, the automated workflow executes. It collects the email, converts the content into a ServiceNow ticket and sends an automated email back to the sender with a ticket number.
As you’ll see from these examples, automation can take different forms: System-to-system automation, triggering regular batch transfers and onward data gathering processes; person-to-system automation, such as web form data capture or order management with automate onward processes; and system-to-person automation which can manage the secure distribution of data. Whichever use case fits your business, we guarantee you will soon reap the benefits.