ServiceSPAN: Eliminate Software Limitations for Enhanced Productivity

Daniel W. Corcoran, President & CEO CIOs expect existing IT infrastructure to not only be “adept” with current business processes but also “adapt” to newer ones. As enterprises grow, it necessitates existing software to be up-to-date to incorporate business changes. If the pace of enterprise transformation is faster than the software can adapt, productivity suffers. CIOs are forced to adopt manually intensive workarounds such as emails, spreadsheets and digital forms to fill-in the software limitations that can be both time consuming and difficult for employees to follow. It can lead to increased employee frustration and backlogs. “In such circumstances, business changes become impossible and employees are expected to work harder, eventually affecting the overall productivity,” says Daniel W. Corcoran, President and Founder, ServiceSPAN. “This may seem unavoidable since the existing software is too difficult to change.” This is where New York based ServiceSPAN comes into picture with the promise of enabling IT systems to match the pace of business transformation.

ServiceSPAN’s solutions reduce efforts and enforce new processes, sparing end-users the workarounds, enabling information sharing on demand, even when legacy software lack data masking capabilities. “The employees will have simplified ways to follow new business processes and make informed decisions, in turn creating a productive work environment.”

Optimizing Business Processes

The proliferation of SaaS-based applications often creates arbitrary process flow and data boundaries. This tends to significantly complicate process models and place employees as a bridge between SaaS applications and enterprise software through workarounds. Eliminating this manual bridge is ServiceSPAN’s Work Center Manager (WCM) that helps combine disparate IT infrastructures and provide a consolidated environment for users to work. The company enables enterprises to have the benefit of consolidating their applications, without the actual costs of doing so. “Also, by layering new capabilities over older legacy applications that cannot be cost-effectively modified, WCM eliminates barriers that prevent people from implementing best practices,” states Corcoran.

“WCM is browser-based, but without browser buttons, it gives the appearance of a desktop application on an enterprise workstation,” points out Corcoran. Its VMware virtual server manages traffic of the users and the applications they need, and the overall integration is facilitated through web services, API’s, database queries, or screen scraping. The product provides a smart web-based desktop environment that searches multiple applications for necessary data related to the work and presents the information in a streamlined and enhanced view.

WCM adds a work distribution mechanism on top of a customer’s legacy applications, consolidating many work silos and other sources such as emails, spreadsheets, and more into a single repository.
The software intelligently distributes work to employees in a manageable and measurable fashion, enabling employees to be on track to meet the organization's goals and prevent work that needs special attention from being lost. It automates the fetching of data from various sources and displays to employees only the necessary information needed to complete an item of work. WCM not only provides a 360 view of all the processes on any given transaction, but also offers smartly filtered view that shows the most current information employees are required for decision making.

WCM has various capabilities to intercede at the point of human decision-making, taking the user's decision into the GUI and automating the further steps in the transaction. The automation opportunities include preventing data going into legacy applications without necessary comments, taking one input from users to update multiple applications, and facilitating SaaS data analytics engine to enable the business to measure costs, risks, and compliance.

With WCM, each process can be measured differently and then combined so that employees can be evaluated across a variety of processes, including an individual's contribution to the organization as a whole in meeting quality and quantity goals. WCM also measures work avoidance attempts by employees and provides real-time assessment of performance in a dashboard view, so that a company's workforce can be efficiently managed.

It also prevents counter-productive actions, like two employees doing the same work simultaneously.

Prebuilt Templates for Faster Productivity Realizations

WCM is a combination of process im¬provement and automation technolo¬gies fused into a common configur¬able environment. It provides a core set of functions for work management and is packed with capabilities that support user account management, table management, workflow, work distribution, work presentation, reporting, and system integration.

WCM’s standard template allows users create software opti¬mization tools in a few easy steps. “The template eases the pain of start¬ing an optimization project from scratch and enables fast solution deployment,” re¬marks Corcoran. Solution implementers use the web-based configuration front end of WCM to create reusable object models for customization. Implementers can reuse the object models to deliver projects to satisfy new requirements as business needs evolve.

Automating Processes through Work Strategy

Work Strategy is one of the mechanisms WCM uses to distribute work based on any combination of work characteristics—work type, geographic location, due date and others. Strategies are normally created for conditions that are planned and anticipated, such as work shifts, work share, disaster recovery, and other aspects.

Any combination of the time, physical and logical attributes of an item can be used in the rules for prioritization, allowing managers to order items at very granular level. Based on the operational situation, managers can assign each user a specific work strategy that matches the skills. “A user clicks on WCM auto search and receives the highest priority work from the work strategy assigned,” says Corcoran.

WCM’s standard template eases the pain of starting an optimization project from scratch and enables fast solution deployment

Driving Productivity for Clients

One of the ServiceSPAN’s customers, a Fortune 500 Telecommunications Company provides communications and data services to residential, business, governmental and wholesale customers in 36 U.S. states. In the circuit-provisioning department of the organization, workers oversaw customer orders from cradle to grave. To more efficiently utilize the skills of the workers, the organization desired to distribute work in an assembly line fashion. The organization was also facing work process non-compliance issues.

ServiceSPAN was selected to provide a solution for the workflow change initiative. During the business analysis, the company uncovered additional benefits that can be achieved by automating some of the manual tasks.

In the first phase, WCM enabled functionalized workflow where work was allocated to users with the right skill sets and at the appropriate time. In the second phase, WCM automated manual tasks. Users no longer had to copy and paste information into web forms as a means of sending emails to customers. Rules are configured in WCM to automatically send the notifications when the conditions are met. In addition, users no longer had to manually do the tests that took 50 minutes to complete and monitor for the results. Instead, they initiated tests in WCM and monitored the test results, and once the tests were successful, WCM auto-closed the orders. “Increased efficiency and productivity enabled the reduction of work centers, to which the company exported their manual workaround, from 5 to 4, with the added ability to promise customers’ shorter delivery intervals,” says Corcoron. “Secondary benefits include granular and real-time visibility into the workload and user productivity, and the organization can now operate as one virtual work center across many time zones.”

Conquering the Productivity Solutions Market Space

Over the years, as businesses have become more competent at process improvement and automation, ServicSPAN have upped its ante with domain knowledge and feature functionality that reaches the high hanging fruit of additional productivity gains. ServiceSPAN wants to further empower its productivity solutions by adding layers of security features on top of existing enterprise applications. This will enable customers to off load some manual processes to business partners already involved in service delivery, rather than using external workflow tools or work centers for the job. “We will stay relevant in enterprise productivity market by maintaining a constant fixation on finding innovative ways to reduce cost while positively impacting revenue, increasing compliance, and decreasing risk,” concludes Corcoran.


Plainview, NY

Daniel W. Corcoran, President & CEO

ServiceSPAN has been providing solutions that create efficiencies in manual work centers for more than 20 years