In organizations that do not have a system for managing applications and packages, we regularly see a proliferation of “lists.” These lists are generally made in Excel. While Excel can be convenient, it is no longer helpful for managing large lists (think of hundreds of applications with associated information resulting in dozens of columns). Especially if you have to maintain this list with several colleagues. After a while, people stop updating the list every time they change something, so the list no longer corresponds to reality after a few weeks. Where things go entirely wrong, however, is when you copy parts of this list to other Excel sheets to make a “specific list” for a particular insight. Think, for example, of a list of available applications per department or a list of applications that use Java. These lists take on a life of their own, and before you know it, it is no longer clear which list is current and whether the source of which these lists are extracted was already correct in the first place. Far from ideal as you can imagine. The most common problems we see in practice are:
- Working with several people in a shared Excel sheet causes corrupt files.
- Excel sheets are prone to errors. For example, if someone accidentally deletes a cell with a formula, the calculations are no longer correct.
- No history is kept. Once a cell has been overwritten, you no longer know the previous value.
- Interaction (exchanging data) with other systems (such as ITSM, SCCM or Active Directory) is limited and difficult.
- There is no relationship between the data in the spreadsheet and the documents, packages, folders, etc…
- Reporting is often a manual and time-consuming task, and in the worst case, reporting is not complete or correct.
- Securing information is complex.
- There is a risk of proliferation of Excel sheets, which means it is unclear which information is still current.
- The information in the Excel sheet is always a snapshot, as it is not automatically updated.
- The application packaging process is not transparent, not apparent to employees, not secured, and not clear to the user outside the process.
SparkleFlow puts an end to this chaos. SparkleFlow creates a “Single Source of Truth” utilizing a central data model adapted to the customer’s specific needs. This customized configuration ensures that all information (every organization has several unique characteristics) can find a place. This central point exchanges information about applications and packages with other systems and documents. This improves the application packaging process in the following areas:
- All employees participate in the process from their perspective, without getting in each other’s way.
- SparkleFlow’s data model is flat, robust, and dummy-proof. As a result, errors and corrupt data are a thing of the past.
- All history of each application and associated package is saved and is very easy to report.
- Exchanging data between systems are fully automated. This saves much time.
- All information, documents, packages, source files, etc.. are automatically secured in a clear structure.
- Reporting is real-time and fully automated. This saves time every week.
- Storing application information can be done in several ways and is easily configured.
- A “Single Source of Truth” is being created. As a result, everything can be found quickly, and there is no ambiguity about the topicality of the information.
- Information, and therefore also the reports, are always real-time and up-to-date.
- Because all engineers work with SparkleFlow, tracking of the process is guaranteed. Everyone knows precisely what the next step in the process is. In addition, the status of each package is automatically updated, and management can track all KPIs in real time.
What our customers say:
“With SparkleFlow, the application packaging process can be performed and monitored better and faster. Previously, there was no overview of applications, apart from a few Excel lists. SparkleFlow ensures that people know what applications are available, what status the application has, and whether a new application can be requested. In the end, fewer applications are used because it provides insight into what is already available in terms of applications and what is or is no longer used within the organization. In addition, with the associated cost and time savings, we have gone from 6500 applications to 550 pieces. That is well worth the investment.”