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Collaborate without Complexity: SharePoint mobile workflow forms for iPad, iPhone and Android

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Joe is serial entrepreneur who has been a pioneer in a variety of emerging technologies, including creating one of the 1st digital media companies at the advent of the Internet.

Shield mobile workers from the complexity of SharePoint

Formotus announced this week the live availability of our new SharePoint mobile workflow platform. Here are the details.

Formotus released a new version of its mobile business application platform with enhanced SharePoint integration and new mobile workflow capabilities. The growing ubiquity of SharePoint makes it an ideal anchor-point for mobile workflow and dispatch software on iPad, iPhone, and Android tablets and smartphones.

Formotus makes it possible for organizations to create and deploy custom mobile business applications built around Microsoft Office InfoPath forms. The new feature set announced today enables companies to implement flexible collaboration frameworks with robust forms that can be routed and shared among mobile users in a wide variety of ways. Formotus mobile workflow forms require no SharePoint modifications and work with any version including on-premises, hosted, and Office 365 SharePoint Online.

All Kinds of Collaboration Supported

The new mobile workflow forms announced today will open up a whole new range of possibilities by supporting scenarios such as these:

  • Process Workflow. Complex multi-step workflows can be defined by a company’s business processes. A request form, for example, might be routed to various people for approval, completion, verification, and archiving.
  • Social Collaboration. Flexible workflows can be created that empower mobile users to drive the success of a project. Jobs can be assigned and reassigned to individuals or groups, or each mobile user can choose which job to grab next – and SharePoint check-out protocols prevent two users from grabbing the same job.
  • Field Dispatch. The essence of dispatch is the need to let a mobile workforce know where to go, when to go, and what to do there. Workflow forms can be designed so that a dispatcher enters that information in a form first, then assigns it to someone else to do the job and complete the form with data collected at the job site.

Mobile Workers Shielded from SharePoint Complexity

The experience for the user of Formotus mobile workflows is unlike that of using SharePoint in a browser. The Formotus mobile user doesn’t have to deal with the sometimes confusing concepts of sites, sub-sites, lists, libraries or views. And there is no searching or site navigation required because Formotus mobile users simply grab jobs assigned to them with no need to figure out where online that information resides.

Shield mobile workers from the complexity of SharePoint
A mobile workflow experience built on SharePoint

“SharePoint is becoming ubiquitous in all kinds of organizations,” according to Formotus CEO Adriana Neagu, “and we leverage SharePoint data connections in our mobile apps. But we’re not porting the SharePoint experience to mobile, we’re offering a whole new task-oriented mobile experience that is easier, smarter, more beautiful, more powerful.  The fact is, a person using the Formotus service on an iPad, Windows or Android tablet,  won’t be able to tell that there is any SharePoint behind the workflow.”

Formotus Mobile Workflows Are Not SharePoint Workflows

Formotus workflows are not dependent upon SharePoint workflows but are entirely complementary. In fact, Formotus mobile workflows do not involve any SharePoint-side actions at all and are implemented entirely on the device by filtering the list of items in the library, much like a SharePoint view.

Under the hood, the Formotus mobile workflow app is filtering for assigned items in a SharePoint library, and checking InfoPath forms out and then back into that SharePoint library.  For the mobile user, the experience is simply: grab their jobs, complete each job form and submit it when completed—just as they have done with paper and clipboard in the past.