Tapping SharePoint’s Full Potential with AutoMate

by Kaitlin McCloughan, in SharePoint Automation, posted 11/11/16
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Tapping SharePoint’s Full Potential with AutoMate

Microsoft SharePoint is a popular and powerful platform that facilitates collaboration within businesses. The benefits include easy access to documents and information and better intelligence and insights. However, using SharePoint alone also has some downsides. Donna Horton, Training and Services Consultant, and Ricky Wilcox, Technical Solutions Consultant, recently hosted a webinar to show you the ways that AutoMate or AutoMate BPA Server can help you get the most out of SharePoint through automation.

 

Common SharePoint Challenges

Early in the webinar, Donna asked attendees how much time they spend updating SharePoint manually. Some respondents spend up to two hours daily on SharePoint tasks. It’s not shocking—SharePoint can be time consuming to navigate and manage. Furthermore, there’s the problem of keeping your information on SharePoint synced with the rest of your corporate data. Say you need to update a set of files daily to match the data in your SQL database. When you just have a handful of files, it’s no big deal. But what happens when that number expands to hundreds or thousands of files? Chances are, if the process is manual, you will simply not be able to keep up with the workload.

What AutoMate Adds to SharePoint

A key to streamlining processes using AutoMate is implementing event-driven automation through AutoMate triggers. A trigger is an event that kicks off a process without any need for manual intervention. The SharePoint trigger can start an automated workflow when an item is uploaded, downloaded, checked in, checked out, moved, deleted, updated, or more.

Virtually all the activities you need to perform regularly on SharePoint can be set up as automated tasks using AutoMate’s intuitive, drag-and-drop interface. You can automate searches, creating or updating sites, uploading and downloading files, and managing your lists. For example, you could set up AutoMate to get information from your lists and compare it to data in an SQL database. If the data doesn’t match, AutoMate will automatically update the lists on SharePoint.

A special feature of AutoMate’s SharePoint integration is the SharePoint browser, a user-friendly interface that lets you connect directly to a SharePoint site as you build a task in AutoMate. This gives you the ability to view and select the content (such as a SharePoint list or calendar) that you want to use in the automated process.

Integrating SharePoint with Your Enterprise Automation

As with all AutoMate solutions, a great benefit of the SharePoint integration is the ability to integrate automated SharePoint tasks with the rest of your business process automation. In the webinar, Donna outlined some ways that AutoMate users have automated processes that include some of AutoMate’s 60+ SharePoint actions.

One company automated the retrieval of data from SharePoint to update an ERP system using interactivity actions. AutoMate opens the ERP system and writes in the new data. If there is new information in the ERP system, that information is added to the SharePoint site, keeping both data sources up-to-date.

Another organization uses AutoMate to monitor SharePoint for updates to a specific list. If the list is updated, a report is automatically generated.

For a more detailed demonstration of AutoMate’s SharePoint capabilities, jump to 30:30 in the video.

Near the end of the webinar, Donna asked attendees how many SharePoint processes they thought they could automate in their organization based on the information she had presented. Answers ranged from one to twenty. How many of your enterprise processes could be automated? Download a free trial of AutoMate to find out.