MS Word Approvals: The Game Changer Within Simple Admation
By Jodie Byass
Imagine a world without MS Word. Or Excel and PowerPoint. It’s almost impossible.
Without a doubt, MS Word and the Office 365 suite is the most popular document creation software. As a standalone cloud service, or as a part of Microsoft Teams, with its more collaborative bent, it is the world’s fastest growing application.
Life changing as these applications are, they are often inadequate for real world scenarios. Let’s look at companies that use MS Word to create assets. For example, heavily regulated industries such as financial services and pharmaceuticals produce reams of product documentation. A simple product disclosure statement could have several reviewers and may need as many as 15 sign-offs. Not only must a document go through a stringent approval and compliance process, every change must be logged and recorded in an audit trail.
How does one document navigate multiple versions, feedback strings and changes? Often, chao reigns.
• Which is the final version?
• Has legal approved it?
• Who inserted an unapproved image?
• Is FinalFinal3 the market ready version?
It doesn’t take long for what should be a simple process to get bogged in this maze.
No one understands this better than us. That’s why we built every product in the Simple suite of workflow applications with onboard editing tools which are integrated into the review, feedback, approval and audit processes. We put method in the madness. How does this work in practice?
Imagine an assembly line.
Let’s say HR produces an HR Policy 2023 document. It now needs inputs from department heads, team leaders, accounts and maybe legal before it can become an approved and actionable document. Simple Admation enables a user to create a path for documents to travel. The asset owner can send it through a predefined approval pathway (including external consultants) that includes all stakeholders or simply create a new one.
As the document cuts through this path, Simple Admation automatically saves versions and collates feedback on a single screen. Each person on this path can therefore see what others have said, and add their comments and changes in the document. The document can then head to its next destination. Along the way, Simple Admation is not just saving versions, it is also tracking the path (thereby noting who made what changes and when), ensuring there is a complete audit trail of the document. When the document is ready the final version is stored in Simple Admation. Simple. Clear. Compliant.
We have now made another ground breaking move - one that takes the approval process to another level by fast tracking document editing – with MS Word Approvals. This has been made possible by Microsoft’s WOPI – Web Application Open Platform Interface. Simply put, WOPI allows MS Word’s editing features to be used within any application it has been integrated into, in this case Simple Admation.
Why is this a such a game changer? Let’s look at how it works in practice.
Going back to the HR Policy 2023 document which has been uploaded into a predefined approval (or new) pathway for review by stakeholders. Each reviewer can open the MS Word document in-app (nothing new here). However, if they want to make changes, add comments, this can now be done without downloading, changing, saving and again uploading the document for the next reviewer. Ditto for the document owner. They can accept, reject or tweak the changes without the document leaving Simple Admation
While it looks like a small change, MS Word Approvals with the WOPI integration can drive huge efficiencies, with exponential benefits.
Firstly, the review and approval process speeds up enormously. Across a large organisation with multiple approvers – this could mean hundreds of manhours saved and a way faster time to market. Secondly, it eliminates errors – of wrong files or older versions being uploaded, avoiding some very expensive, time-consuming mistakes. Finally, this is done with all the bells and whistles of Simple Admation – deadlines and automated reminders to stay on track, complete version control, and audit trail for compliance.
With MS Word Approvals, there is now a greater incentive for companies to create all its documentation onboard a central marketing workflow solution like Simple Admation. It allows team leaders and top managements to have greater information and oversight of critical documentation processes, to align them with the overall corporate and marketing strategy and be better prepared for future needs.
Simple Admation has always been a frontrunner in clever solutions and we believe the WOPI integrated MS Word Approvals will be a real boon for companies in documentation-heavy industry segments like pharmaceuticals, finance and banking, and insurance. They are heavily regulated and non-compliance is not an option.
In recent years we’ve also seen a huge growth in documentation by product companies to protect themselves from litigation. Product information, disclosure, terms and conditions of use are being prepared for all forms of distribution – print and digital. Bringing this documentation approval process, loaded with the WOPI integration, into a centralised marketing automation solution gives these companies an unbeatable competitive edge.
Check out our short video that demonstrates how the WOPI enabled MS Word Approvals works in practice.
If you are in a highly regulated industry and produce a lot of documentation to comply with regulations, Simple Admation may be the answer to streamlining your processes.
Book a time with our team to learn how Admation's MS Word Approvals can drive greater efficiencies across your team.