FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is FORMVERSE?

FORMVERSE is an software application that is installed at your site or hosted by FORMVERSE (through a Tier 1 Cloud provider) that leverages your existing investment in Microsoft Outlook, Exchange, Office 365, and SQL Server technologies. FORMVERSE enables your staff to access and complete any form right from their email, route those forms throughout the organization for action (such as approvals, denials, deferrals, recommendations, etc.), based on your specific business rules. Then capture all of that data which is then stored in a Microsoft SQL Server database that you control.

This data may then be integrated into and out of your other Enterprise applications such as ERP’s, CRM’s, HRIS, SharePoint, or really any database application.

Why do I need FORMVERSE?

Due to the cost of implementing forms and workflow solutions, the majority of business processes in organizations are performed using paper forms, fax, and electronic forms attached to emails. If a BPM solution is being used, employees have to switch applications to participate in processes (e.g., from email to an ERP/CRM module, or to a workflow application) which is inefficient, resulting in wasted time/resources/money, and poor responsiveness. FORMVERSE and our patented Active Structured Email™ technology replaces these inefficient methods by leveraging the familiar email environment. User adoption is high, since staff is familiar with Outlook or Office 365 email.

I already have a large enterprise application like an ERP, CRM, Microsoft SharePoint, and other applications that have “workflow” capabilities. What advantages are there to using FORMVERSE?

FORMVERSE customers tell us there are four key advantages of using FORMVERSE over or in conjunction with other systems:

Low Cost

While many Enterprise systems offer some level of workflow functionality, often implementation of workflow in these systems requires significant engineering and development efforts, which makes use of these systems for workflow cost-prohibitive. In addition, additional software module licensing may apply. With FORMVERSE, business users can create forms and workflows themselves without the need to any engineering involvement.

Ease of Use/High Adoption

Customers tell us that one of the strong advantages of using FORMVERSE is that since the interface to FORMVERSE is their existing Microsoft Outlook email, the user adoption rate is extremely high as compared to managing forms and workflow in other systems. In addition, the low rate of user satisfaction with workflow functions in other systems is very well documented. Please contact us so that we can share sources.

Time to Implement

Implementation of FORMVERSE can be completed in days, instead of the months or sometimes years required to implement legacy business process management tools. Using FORMVERSE, organizations can emulate the paper based forms and workflow already being used. FORMVERSE leverages the already-existing Microsoft Outlook and Exchange or Office 365 environments, and does not require extensive infrastructure as many other products do.

User Adoption is High since your staff already uses Outlook/365

Microsoft Email ties more of your staff together than any other single enterprise application.  Your users will access forms, complete these forms, have the forms routed, and take action on forms right from within the same email system they use every day.  This results is a very high adoption rate as compared to other Forms and Workflow solutions – which is often viewed as an afterthought in many IT projects resulting in failed IT projects.

How does FORMVERSE help me migrate from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Outlook and Exchange?

Lotus Notes has workflow functionality built into the product. Microsoft Outlook does not have that same kind of native capability. FORMVERSE provides the missing workflow capability to Outlook/365 making it much easier to recreate those Lotus Notes workflow applications in Outlook/365.

What kind of forms can I automate with FORMVERSE?

The types of forms and workflow that can be automated with FORMVERSE are limitless. Anything from simple administrative processes like office supply requests to multi-level, mission critical tasks such as it capital expenditures, to processes built around regulatory compliance. With FORMVERSE the degree of process complexity depends on the organizations imagination. Forms in any department may be automated.

How long does it take to implement FORMVERSE?

Implementation of FORMVERSE can be completed in days, instead of the months or sometimes years required to implement legacy business process management tools. Using FORMVERSE, organizations can emulate the paper based processes already being used. FORMVERSE leverages the already existing Microsoft Outlook and Exchange environments, and does not require extensive infrastructure as many other products do.

How is FORMVERSE priced?

FORMVERSE is priced by the number of Workflow Templates needed, not the number of users. Forget about Client Access Licenses (CALS)! With FORMVERSE whether you have 100 or 100,000 users participate in processes, the cost remains the same.   Customers have the ability to use FORMVERSE for 1,000 forms or just a single one.  It’s up to you!  Customers may then create new “Workflow Templates” themselves or have FORMVERSE staff create them for you.  Customers are not tied to FORMVERSE for creation of new Workflow Templates or changes to existing Workflow Templates.

What is Active Structured Email?

Active Structured Email™ is FORMVERSE’s patented technology which adds structured forms and workflow capabilities to Outlook/365, transforming corporate email from an informal, unstructured medium to a highly structured one. Using this technology, customers can easy capture data from within email-based forms into the FORMVERSE SQL Server database. Once there, that data can be integrated with your other Enterprise applications using the optional FORMVERSE PASSPORT software module.

How much IT support is required for FORMVERSE?

Once initial setup is complete, FORMVERSE empowers business managers to automate processes without requiring support from IT. Workflow Templates and forms are easily designed and published by business users for use within the Outlook application. Adoption is fast and easy, since no “new application” is introduced, and your staff already knows how to use email.

Can FORMVERSE integrate with my current enterprise applications?

Yes, FORMVERSE emails can be used as an effective way to securely collect data, which can then be extracted based on recipient defined processing rules and integrated with Enterprise applications and databases. Data collected through FORMVERSE email forms uses XML as a neutral data interchange format. The FORMVERSE processing engine, as defined by the business process rules, extracts the data contained in a FORMVERSE e-mail and applies the processing rules defined for that particular process; such as routing the email to the appropriate recipient(s), or inserting form data into a database.

What IT environments are supported by FORMVERSE, and what are the system requirements?

Please review the technical requirements here. In general, FORMVERSE is available as a on-premise, hybrid, or hosted solution.  For on-premise you will need Microsoft Outlook or Micsrosoft Office 365 email, Microsoft Exchange, and Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft .NET Framework, and Microsoft IIS. It is likely that you already have everything you need to run FORMVERSE.

How are the XML forms created and how are they used?

The Extensible Markup Language (XML) forms can be created using Microsoft InfoPath. Data collected through FORMVERSE email forms uses XML as a neutral data interchange format. The FORMVERSE processing engine, as defined by the business process rules, extracts the data contained in a FORMVERSE e-mail and applies the processing rules defined for that particular process; such as routing the email to the appropriate recipient(s), or inserting form data into a database.

Am I reliant on FORMVERSE to create and modify my Workflow Templates and forms?

No. Customers can create and modify their own Workflow Templates. As a part of the implementation, we can provide training services  to your staff to become proficient in the use of FORMVERSE. However, FORMVERSE can provide Professional Services to customers in the area of Form Design, Workflow Design, Custom Training Services, and Database Integration Services, if desired.

What mobile devices are supported?

Since the use of FORMVERSE on a mobile device does not require a mobile app, any browser-based smartphone or tablet is supported. In addition, your staff that uses Outlook Web Access (OWA), Mac’s, or Linux devices are supported using the same mobile platform.

Can mobile access be disabled?

Yes.

How can users get reporting for the forms they are participating in?

Your staff will select the “My Reports” form from the menu within their Microsoft Outlook or Office 365 email. A real-time query is run and all of the forms that they are participating in, either as an originator or as a participant, are displayed. Additionally, “My Reports” can be queried based on dates and sorted on multiple fields. “My Reports” may be customized as well. There is no need for a user to log into another system, since reporting is done right within their existing Microsoft Outlook email.

Is FormVerse a Cloud-based solution?

FORMVERSE can be configured as an on-premise, hybrid, or as a hosted solutions, based on your requirements.

Can an individual at a company use FORMVERSE as a stand-alone application?

No, FORMVERSE is an Enterprise solution, but can be used by individual departments.

What if we need to include vendors, partners, customers, etc. in our forms?

There are multiple solutions here. Currently, users are required to use Microsoft Outlook with the FORMVERSE add-in installed. However, there are other ways to initiate a process. For example, a form on a webpage that you make available to an external user can be used to initiate a FORMVERSE email. Data from these web-based forms are then passed to the FORMVERSE SQL Server database, which will then initiate a new FORMVERSE email.

Do you provide a Pilot Period or a Trial for the software?

Yes, if your company is looking to take a test drive of FORMVERSE, you have the ability to install the software at your site, typically in a “Test” or “Development” environment. You will need to be using Microsoft Outlook/Exchange, have Microsoft SQL Server, and have a minimum of 250 staff using Microsoft Outlook. Please review the Technical Requirements to ensure that you have the appropriate hardware and software in place. We will assist with the installation of the software, work with you to get your first process up and running, and allow you to use the system for 30 days. There are two versions of the FORMVERSE Pilot License. For more information please contact us.

 

What is FORMVERSE?

FORMVERSE is an Enterprise software application that is installed at your site that leverages your existing investment in Microsoft Outlook, Exchange, and SQL Server technologies. FORMVERSE enables your staff to access and complete any form right from their email, route those forms throughout the company for action (such as approvals, denials, deferrals, recommendations, etc.), based on your business rules. Then capture all of that data which is then stored in a Microsoft SQL Server database that you control.

With the use of the optional FORMVERSE PASSPORT software, you may then integrate that data into and out of your other Enterprise applications such as ERP’s, CRM’s, HRIS, SharePoint, even Access and Excel.

Why do I need FORMVERSE?

Due to the cost of implementing Business Process Management solutions (BPM), the majority of business processes in organizations are performed using paper forms, fax, and electronic forms attached to emails. If a BPM solution is being used, employees have to switch applications to participate in processes (e.g., from email to an ERP/CRM module, or to a workflow application) which is inefficient, resulting in wasted time/resources/money, and poor responsiveness. FORMVERSE and our patented Active Structured Email™ technology replaces these inefficient methods by leveraging the familiar email environment. User adoption is high, since staff is familiar with Outlook email.

I already have a large enterprise application like an ERP, CRM, Microsoft SharePoint, and other applications that have “workflow” capabilities. What advantages are there to using FORMVERSE?

FORMVERSE customers tell us there are four key advantages of using FORMVERSE over or in conjunction with other systems:

Low Cost

While many Enterprise systems offer some level of workflow functionality, often implementation of workflow in these systems requires significant engineering and development efforts, which makes use of these systems for workflow cost-prohibitive. In addition, additional software module licensing may apply. With FORMVERSE, business users can create forms and workflows themselves without the need to any engineering involvement.

Ease of Use/High Adoption

Customers tell us that one of the strong advantages of using FORMVERSE is that since the interface to FORMVERSE is their existing Microsoft Outlook email, the user adoption rate is extremely high as compared to managing forms and workflow in other systems. In addition, the low rate of user satisfaction with workflow functions in other systems is very well documented. Please contact us so that we can share sources.

Time to Implement

Implementation of FORMVERSE can be completed in days, instead of the months or sometimes years required to implement legacy business process management tools. Using FORMVERSE, organizations can emulate the paper based forms and workflow already being used. FORMVERSE leverages the already-existing Microsoft Outlook and Exchange environments, and does not require extensive infrastructure as many other products do.

Leverages Existing Hardware & Software Infrastructure

It is rare that our customers will need to purchase additional hardware or software to implement FORMVERSE. Customers that are using Microsoft Office, Outlook, and Exchange usually already have what is required to run FORMVERSE: Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft IIS, Microsoft .NET Framework, Microsoft Active Directory, and Microsoft Windows Server.

How does FORMVERSE help me migrate from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Outlook and Exchange?

Lotus Notes has workflow functionality built into the product. Microsoft Outlook does not have that same kind of native capability. FORMVERSE provides the missing workflow capability to Outlook making it much easier to recreate those Lotus Notes workflow applications in Outlook.

How does FORMVERSE solve the problem of manual processes?

FORMVERSE leverages the organization’s current email communications infrastructure (Microsoft Exchange/Outlook) and automates manual business processes within Outlook, an application in which many users already spend a majority of their time and are familiar with the user interface. Workflow Templates and forms are easily designed and published by business users for use within the Outlook application. Process participants do not have to leave Outlook to complete their portion of the process. Any data collected through the processes can be easily extracted and integrated with existing ERP/CRM applications and enterprise databases, enabling timely and informed decisions associated with these processes.

What kind of forms can I automate with FORMVERSE?

The types of forms and workflow that can be automated with FORMVERSE are vast. Everything from simple administrative processes like office supply requests to multi-level, mission critical tasks such as it capital expenditures, to processes built around regulatory compliance. With FORMVERSE the degree of process complexity depends on the organizations imagination. Forms in any department may be automated.

How long does it take to implement FORMVERSE?

Implementation of FORMVERSE can be completed in days, instead of the months or sometimes years required to implement legacy business process management tools. Using FORMVERSE, organizations can emulate the paper based processes already being used. FORMVERSE leverages the already existing Microsoft Outlook and Exchange environments, and does not require extensive infrastructure as many other products do.

How is FORMVERSE priced?

FORMVERSE is priced by the number of Workflow Templates, not the number of users. Forget about Client Access Licenses (CALS)! With FORMVERSE whether you have 100 or 100,000 users participate in processes, the cost remains the same. The FORMVERSE software has a one-time license fee, plus 20% annual maintenance, which covers updates, upgrades, and support. The optional FORMVERSE PASSPORT software is licensed in the same way. That license will give customers the right to automate up to a designated number of workflows. Additional Workflow Templates are available for a one-time fee also with a 20% annual maintenance fee. We offer a low cost pilot package that includes the automation of up to five Workflow Templates. Ask your sales representative about specific pricing for your organization.

What is Active Structured Email?

Active Structured Email™ is FORMVERSE’s patented technology which adds structured forms and workflow capabilities to Outlook, transforming corporate email from an informal, unstructured medium to a highly structured one. Using this technology, customers can easy capture data from within email-based forms into the FORMVERSE SQL Server database. Once there, that data can be integrated with your other Enterprise applications using the optional FORMVERSE PASSPORT software module.

How much IT support is required for FORMVERSE?

Once initial setup is complete, FORMVERSE empowers business managers to automate processes without requiring support from IT. Workflow Templates and forms are easily designed and published by business users for use within the Outlook application. Adoption is fast and easy, since no “new application” is introduced, and your staff already knows how to use email.

Can FORMVERSE integrate with my current enterprise applications?

Yes, FORMVERSE emails can be used as an effective way to securely collect data, which can then be extracted based on recipient defined processing rules and integrated with Enterprise applications and databases. Data collected through FORMVERSE email forms uses XML as a neutral data interchange format. The FORMVERSE processing engine, as defined by the business process rules, extracts the data contained in a FORMVERSE e-mail and applies the processing rules defined for that particular process; such as routing the email to the appropriate recipient(s), or inserting form data into a database.

What IT environments are supported by FORMVERSE, and what are the system requirements?

Please review the technical requirements here. In general, you will need Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Exchange, and Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft .NET Framework, and Microsoft IIS. It is likely that you already have everything you need to run FORMVERSE.

How are the XML forms created and how are they used?

The Extensible Markup Language (XML) forms can be created using Microsoft InfoPath. Data collected through FORMVERSE email forms uses XML as a neutral data interchange format. The FORMVERSE processing engine, as defined by the business process rules, extracts the data contained in a FORMVERSE e-mail and applies the processing rules defined for that particular process; such as routing the email to the appropriate recipient(s), or inserting form data into a database.

Am I reliant on FORMVERSE to create and modify my Workflow Templates and forms?

No. Customers will create and modify their own Templates and Forms. As a part of the implementation, we will train your staff to become proficient in the use of FORMVERSE. However, FORMVERSE can provide Professional Services to customers in the area of Form Design, Workflow Design, Custom Training Services, and Database Integration Services, if desired.

What mobile devices are supported?

Since the use of FORMVERSE on a mobile device does not require a mobile app, any browser-based device will work. In addition, your staff that uses Outlook Web Access (OWA), Mac’s, or Linux devices are supported using the same mobile platform.

Can mobile access be disabled?

Yes.

How can users get reporting for the forms they are participating in?

Your staff will select the “My Reports” form from the dropdown within their Microsoft Outlook email. A real-time query is run and all of the forms that they are participating in, either as an originator or as a participant, are displayed. Additionally, “My Reports” can be queried based on dates and sorted on multiple fields. “My Reports” may be customized as well. There is no need for a user to log into another system, since reporting is done right within their existing Microsoft Outlook email.

Is FormVerse a Cloud-based solution?

No. FORMVERSE is an “on-premise” solution. All data will be stored behind your firewall.

Can an individual at a company use FORMVERSE as a stand-alone application?

No, FORMVERSE is an Enterprise solution, but can be used by individual departments.

What if we need to include vendors, partners, customers, etc. in our forms?

There are multiple solutions here. Currently, users are required to use Microsoft Outlook with the FORMVERSE add-in installed. However, there are other ways to initiate a process. For example, a form on a webpage that you make available to an external user can be used to initiate a FORMVERSE email. Data from these web-based forms are then passed to the FORMVERSE SQL Server database, which will then initiate a new FORMVERSE email.

Do you provide a Pilot Period or a Trial for the software?

Yes, if your company is looking to take a test drive of FORMVERSE, you have the ability to install the software at your site, typically in a “Test” or “Development” environment. You will need to be using Microsoft Outlook/Exchange, have Microsoft SQL Server, and have a minimum of 250 staff using Microsoft Outlook. Please review the Technical Requirements to ensure that you have the appropriate hardware and software in place. We will assist with the installation of the software, work with you to get your first process up and running, and allow you to use the system for 30 days. There are two versions of the FORMVERSE Pilot License. For more information please contact us.