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Have you ever wanted to intelligently automate employee onboarding, approval of expense reports or any other repeat process orientated tasks? Well now you can with SAP Cloud Platform’s new Workflow service (announced recently at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month and now generally available this week).

Sharing functional similarities with SAP’s on-premise Business Process Management (BPM) tool, the Workflow service provides you with the ability to model and execute user and system centric-processes in the cloud. In other words, you can achieve this process automation without the need to configure and operate on-premise hardware, no software installation or management, instead you can utilize these capabilities from SAP’s Cloud Platform PaaS environment.

Figure 1: SAP Integration & Orchestration Technology Portfolio

Workflow service has been designed and developed to provide both IT and Business users the tools they need to be successful. For IT, whether you are trying to provide automation for simple approvals or end-to-end processes that touch multiple departments, Workflow has the Web-based tooling and API consumption you need to rapidly create and implement associated workflows. If you are a Business user the resulting workflows can be served up to you through a set of intuitive and easy to use Fiori-based applications (SAP’s tile based user experience technology).

Figure 2: Workflow process design

More broadly SAP Cloud Platform helps our customers achieve seamless application extensions for our market leading Line of Business solutions (for example S/4HANA and SAP SuccessFactors). For SAP SuccessFactors these extensions can be industry or company specific functional modules that are not offered in the core SaaS model. The Workflow service is therefore another area where Line of Business applications can be extended, providing seamless process automation to these SaaS users.

For example, if a manager in SuccessFactors wants to initiate the onboarding process for a group of new employee (laptop, smartphone, desk space, business cards, etc), IT can empower this user with the ability to authorize multiple steps in an onboarding chain through one click with automated requests sent to procurement, facilitities and financial systems. Similarly, if a team leader is responsible for approving multiple timesheets on a regular basis or other HR items like vacation, a workflow can be established to run multiple checks to see if a timesheet is within expected parameters and automate approvals for run of the mill requests, helping the manager focus their efforts on any exceptions. Even if a SaaS application has the ability to support simple Workflow within a single system, the SAP Cloud Platform Workflow service enables the implementation of processes that involve multiple systems or entities.

SAP Cloud Platform’s Workflow service can also be used to help companies implement new processes and automation to facilitate new value-add services that increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs. By embracing Workflow as a tool company’s can increase efficiency, reduce mistakes and costs as well as provide full transparency for internal tasks and activities by automating manual steps.

Finally, from a user perspective, Workflow has been designed to provide users with a simple dashboard that provides them with a real-time inbox of requests for their attention. This enables users to quickly identity which tasks need their immediate attention and provide them with an optimized and efficient way for manual steps and approvals that remain post process automation.

Figure 3: Workflow Inbox

So thanks for your interest in reading this blog, if you happen to be attending SAPPHIRE this year in Orlando we would welcome the opportunity to showcase this latest service within the SAP Cloud Platform portfolio. Likewise if you are not traveling to the Sunshine state we would be happy to chat with you through direct blog comments or other SAP communities online.