On the Radar: KiSSFLOW

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KiSSFLOW is a cloud-based business process automation software platform designed to help customers very quickly build and deploy workflow-based applications to automate ‘long tail‘ administrative processes.

Who?

KiSSFLOW is a cloud-based business process automation software platform, active since 2012, and owned by OrangeScape, a US- and India-based software development firm founded in 2003 by Suresh Sambandam.

What does it do?

KiSSFLOW is a web-based workflow application platform, hosted on the Google Cloud, designed to help customers very quickly build and deploy workflow-based applications to automate ‘long tail‘ administrative processes.

KiSSFLOW applications are built around five main elements:

  • Forms. Using the inbuilt graphical form editor, you start designing an application by defining a form that will be used to enter data to kick off a workflow (see below). Each application has only one form associated with it; you can choose to make this form publicly available, if you like, so anyone can initiate a new workflow. As you design your form, KiSSFLOW automatically creates a data table in which form data will be stored. Forms are HTML5-based and responsive; more importantly, though, you can define forms that are moderately complicated – you can specify master-detail relationships (to enter data about invoices and their respective invoice lines, for example), specify permissions on form elements, and apply conditional logic (to, for example, show/hide certain fields or make them editable/non-editable based on context). This last point means that if you have a complicated application workflow that requires multiple participants to see multiple views of application data, you can specify one ‘master’ form for the application and configure the form so that different participants (or different stages of the workflow) drive different form sections or elements to be displayed.
  • Workflows. Using the graphical designer (see figure 1), you specify a workflow for your application (working vertically). There’s no ability to define swimlanes to model tasks carried out by different roles, but you can specify conditional tasks, looping (via a ‘goto’ function), branching (based on logical conditions) and two or more parallel flows with merging. You define which individuals and roles have permission to start your workflow, and which individuals/roles can conduct which tasks; there’s also simple organisational model concepts with hierarchical relationships, so (for example) you can define that a given task should be carried out by the manager of the individual carrying out the previous task in the workflow. If you’re a G Suite customer, you can opt to have G Suite sync your user and organisation data with KiSSFLOW. You can configure tasks to send notifications to individuals (even if they’re not assigned a role in the workflow), and also define deadlines and SLAs for tasks (taking into account working day and holiday schedules that you can set globally).
  • Data. Every task in a workflow instance has access to the field data from its associated form (including files that can be attached to forms from users’ local filesystems, Google Drive or Box); in addition, your application can refer to Masters (multi-column business reference data, for example a list of customer records or product records) and Lists (single-column reference data, for example a list of office locations or customer types). There’s also a ‘lookup’ facility that allows you to obtain field data from other live KiSSFLOW apps and use that to populate or cross-reference form fields.
  • Reports. KiSSFLOW provides a range of reports for application administrators, as well as for application users. Administrators can report on workload by user (and from there, alter tasks if necessary to reassign them); and on application metrics. The application metrics report enables administrators to quickly explore task volume and workflow progress; and performance against SLAs and deadlines. Administrators can also create reports – which can combine system data (such as data relating to tasks and the individuals working on them) with field data. In this way, custom reports can provide insights into business performance (such as total invoice value processed over the past month).
  • Integrations. KiSSFLOW provides three principal methods for integrating your application to external data sources, platforms and applications:
    • A public REST API that enables external authorised applications to introspect and ‘drive’ application behaviour.
    • The ability to use Google AppScript to automate actions on G Suite applications that transfer data into your KiSSFLOW application(s).
    • A pre-built connector to the popular Zapier cloud-based integration platform, via which you can build integrations with hundreds of third-party cloud-based applications, platforms and technologies.

Figure 1: KiSSFLOW’s Workflow Editor


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