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Authorisation via Email


Dan Munns
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Hi all,

Probably a quick and easy one but is there a way I can use 'Email Customers Manager' (or an Authorisation node) to send an email requesting authorisation for a request with voting buttons which will then set authorised or rejected in the BPM? 

I am trying to create BPMs for our Finance team and they need the customers manager to authorise requests. Currently this is done by emailing a horrendous excel document around and getting 'signatures' but since I have been singing Service Managers praises I kind of need this to work! 

I seem to remember something about how this is done but I cant work it out and my search-foo skills are lacking today it seems. 

@Victor I am tagging you as this is fairly urgent (demo this afternoon) so I will apologise now (I seem to do this a lot recently) 

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11 minutes ago, Dan Munns said:

email requesting authorisation for a request with voting buttons which will then set authorised or rejected in the BPM? 

@Dan Munns we have this :)

image.png

 

With these settings configured, when the authorisation task is created it should send an email with the Authorise/Reject buttons... I haven't tried the functionality myself... So, try it and if something does not work as expected let me know :)

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@Dan Munns just to add to this.

The voting button options will be those defined on the authorisation node - so Authorise / Reject / Tentative (if configured).  

Any cosmetic changes to the outcome options will be reflected in the voting buttons (colours / labels)

Once an email is received by an approver and they make a choice, they will be taken into the Hornbill App to the authorisation task which this relates too.  If the choice does not require a mandatory supporting comment then the decision will take immediate effect, but if a support reason is needed (configured) in the authorisation node outcome choice then they will be prompted to add this before their decision is submitted. 

Steve

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@Dan Munns no, you won't need a mailbox as the email is sent using direct outbound. However you do need an email domain:

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The default value is "live.hornbill.com". If you want to use this domain you need to have it configured as an outbound route:

image.png

If you don't want to use this domain you can change the setting (guest.app.requests.notification.emailDomain) to use a domain (an outbound route) that exists in your instance.

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 @Victor thanks for that. The email I received is from noreply@<domain>.com is that set somewhere as a noreply address for an address that you actually need to reply to is confusing.

Also can only full users complete the authorisation as when I clicked it it took me to the analyst view but I need this for normal basic users to authorise requests. 

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8 minutes ago, Dan Munns said:

The email I received is from noreply@<domain>.com is that set somewhere

@Dan Munns no. The "noreply" is hardcoded.

8 minutes ago, Dan Munns said:

for an address that you actually need to reply

actually, no, you don't need to reply... The authorisation email does not work with replies:

1 hour ago, Steven Boardman said:

Once an email is received by an approver and they make a choice, they will be taken into the Hornbill App to the authorisation task which this relates too

 

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@Dan Munns Only subscribed users can make authorisations decisions, this does not include basic users.   Subscribed users can do this via the mobile, user app or via the voting buttons on emails.   But approvers need to be as a minimum a collaboration subscriber (not a full Service Manager subscriber).   

Collaboration Subscribers have access to tasks and authorisations, workspaces, live chat etc.

Steve

 

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Hi @Dan Munns collaboration users do carry a subscription cost, it is small relative to the Service Manager subscription but a cost none the less.  I can ask one of the team to contact you re any indicative costs for these type of subscriptions but any user who you want to assign tasks or authorisations too has always needed one of these subscriptions

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Also ( @Victor you can have this one due to your sarcastic remarks ;) ) is there a way of setting a template for the authoriser email? 

Our security manager also marked it as suspicious due to the fact is does not conform to the templates I have create in Service Manager (the urls are changed due to our email software) 

If not can I raise this as an enhancement please? :)  

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@Dan Munns i'll ask the team to get in touch just to talk this through and give you some ball park details and look at all options for you.  Re the lack of email template, the use of the hard coded email is only a temp measure so we could get this feature out, it is planned to replace this and other hardcoded email notifications with templates, consistent with other email notifications in Hornbill.  

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@Dan Munns

I thought I would respond on the point above you asked about as this does come up and I thought it worthy of some commentary.

Quote

Also can only full users complete the authorisation as when I clicked it it took me to the analyst view but I need this for normal basic users to authorise requests.

When we designed our platform we looked at the type of users that would need to interact with the system and for what purpose.  The essence of Hornbill is its a business process automation platform designed for the enterprise, its designed to enable different business functions to automate processes in the broader sense. Of course its probably obvious that one of our primary go-to-market streams is via Service Manager aimed at IT and Customer Service teams/organisations.   So when we looked at how we should structure pricing we followed the same set of principles that we have done for as long as we have been in this market, the specific one thats relevant here is the fact that we monetise (subscriptions) based on the notion that people who "participate in the process of providing service" subscribe, while people who are the recipients of the service being provided (i.e. customers) do not need to be a subscriber, this has always seemed fair. 

So in light of that we have a number of user classes, specifically 'users' (who are subscribers) and then we have 'basic users' and 'guest' who do not need a subscription. 'basic users' are typically internal to your organisation while 'guest' users are typically external to your organisation.  The platform provides core functionality including the Business Process Tool and the business process tool is designed to orchestrate both automated and human tasks.  Human tasks are orchestrated through activities which have configurable outcomes which can drive business process flow. So BPM and Tasks (My Activities) go hand in hand, they are essentially one in the same. 

An authorisation therefore is simply a 'type of task' and in order to receive a task and to be able to action a task you have to be a 'user'. neither 'basic' or 'guest' users can receive, or action tasks through any means, including email.  This falls under our guideline as I feel an authorisation is something that happens as part of the process of "providing a service" to a customer/end user.   So this is an intentional control because this is how we structured our monetisation strategy of the platform.  Pretty much every enterprise class business process automation tool out there also charges on this basis. 

Now in comparison to a complex application like Service Manager, it is entirely unreasonable to charge the same amount for someone that just needs to authorise things (aka a manager or budget holder) as someone that uses the main features of Service Manager daily.  For this reason, Tasks are a core feature of the platform and anyone that is a 'user' of collaboration can (amongst many other great things) receive human tasks and automations orchestrated by the BPM without being a subscriber to Service Manager or any other comprehensive application).  So looking at the world from a Service Manager viewpoint you can consider what we call a "Collaboration Subscription" as an  "Authoriser Subscription" that also has lots of other capabilities like Collaboration, Workspaces, Messaging, Tasks and Calendar Management, Shared Mailboxes,  Co-worker directory etc... a "Collaboration" user costs considerably less than a Service Manager user and has a much steeper volume discount curve, its designed that way so you can roll it out to a much wider audience within your audience, a collaboration user quickly gets down to the £2 to £3/user/month with reasonable volume and below the £2/user/month after that. 

I personally think thats very good value for money in comparison to other tools that can do the same job. One of our competitors I know will be asking for upwards of £15/user/month for BPM type authorisation capability.  What I would encourage you (and anyone else for that matter) to think about though is this - supposing you did have this task/authorisation/collaboration capability for a much wider audience in your organisation for a modest £2 or £3/user/month, what else could you start using the tool for, how much more "value' could you extract from the tool.  When you start thinking in those terms I expect most organisations could see a great ROI

Sales pitch over :) I just thought this thread was a good opportunity to explain some of our thinking around this particular topic. 

Gerry

 

 

 

 

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Hi @Gerry

I understand all of what you said and I can see why the subscriptions are set as they are. However, the number of users we are looking at, even at £2 per user per month will cost us almost the same as our current yearly subscription.

As I said the cost for us is just not going to be reasonable for what we want to use it for so I will look at other methods of achieving the same outcome with the relevant tickets. 

Thanks for your feedback though, it is always welcome.

Dan 

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@Dan Munns

Just following up on this, do you mind if I ask a question.  You indicated that you would need 600+ people to be "approvers" and I am curious about the use case here - I fear we may not be understanding your needs so would be good to understand better the use cases.  I don't know the total number of employees at your organisation but 600+ approvers seems to be a very large number. Can you offer any insight?

Thanks

Gerry

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@Gerry basically this has come about due to us adding Finance teams into our instance. 

They require line manager authorisation to process expense accounts and other finance changes. 

In total we have nearly 1100 end users across all aspects of the business and all but the lowest band can be a line manager of some description (team leader / supervisor / manager etc) 

As anyone can request an expense account (given the right business case) anyone band 2 or higher could have to approve their request.

And that is just the beginning...

Authorisation would be used across most services. New hardware purchase? Approval required. New software licence purchase? Approval required. New script deployment? Change of account type? Access to restricted folders? Approval required. 

Rather than adding flag attributes into our AD to add managers into groups during LDAP to expressly only add those who are definite managers of people it would be simpler to just give all staff band 2 or higher a collaboration licence (the percentage of "unneeded" licences would be minimal anyway) 

Plus add into that the staff members who are system owners/folder owners/group owners etc etc and would need to authorise access to their system/folder/group means that they would all end up needing one anyway at some point.

 

As it stands at the moment I am trying to work out how to add tiers into our 'Email Customer Manager' workflow as some requests (I have just been told) require direct line manager and then business area manager approval to process. The fun and games never stops......

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@Dan Munns

ok thanks for the clarification, that makes perfect sense now, I understand the use case.  Ideally yes if your line managers had collaboration subscriptions then you would have exactly what you need, this is exactly how we have designed our system, to give IT the capabilities and tools to support enterprise wide initiatives like this, its a pity there is not a good commercial fit as I am sure the platform would really help a lot here.  

Sounds like you are doing the right thing, what we are seeing more and more is IT broadening their expertise beyond IT processes which is a great way to deliver business value, sounds like you have your work cut out for you, please let us know if we can be of help. 

Gerry

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