1. Introduction: Digital Transformation

You may have heard of the phrase “digital transformation” in various contexts.

Digital transformation refers to the business trend or strategy of digitizing as many aspects of work as possible to fundamentally revamp a firm’s business processes, internal culture, and customer experience, therefore also revamping the business model. As large global IT firms including GAFA revolutionize global business, other firms are on the lookout for ways to stay competitive.

The impacts of a properly implemented digital transformation on business efficiency and an improved customer experience are undeniable. Notably, Japan, traditionally having a paper-based business culture, has had its Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry establish a DX (Digital Transformation) Certification program where certified firms can receive financial support and tax breaks on their efforts and successes in digital transformation. This initiative demonstrates Japan’s recognition of the importance of digital technologies in business.


1.1 What is Digital Transformation?

Simply put, digital transformation is the process of digitizing various aspects of work. This encompasses a broad spectrum from digitized document creation and signatures to communication methods changing from letters and in-person visits to emails and online meetings.

For example, a shipping and logistics company might register their logistical data in a database and optimize their trucking routes. Manufacturers can more easily track spare part usage, and retailers can closely track sales ledgers to eliminate waste using just-in-time orders; the applications vary aplenty across industries. Many examples exist outside of these, and there is more room for efficiency gains through digitization than you might imagine.

In summary, by switching from the use of analog to digital tools in the workplace, you can work smarter, improve efficiency, decrease costs, and produce more.


1.2 The Role of Workflow Apps in Digital Transformation

One part of digital transformation that is receiving attention is the use of workflow applications. These apps contribute to decreased costs and increased productivity by automating processes and improving overall efficiency, contributing to increases in productivity. By eliminating clerical tasks, they also contribute to faster decision-making, creating wide-reaching waves in terms of productivity improvements across an organization.

In this article, we’ll go ahead and explain what exactly workflow apps are, what benefits you can expect from adopting one for your company, what issues you might face in adopting a workflow app, and what the future holds for workflow apps.



2. The Basic Concept of Workflow Applications

We’ll first explain what exactly is a workflow application and what its core functions are.

First of all, what is a workflow app? We can break down the compound word “workflow” into “work” and “flow” to see that it is an app related to the flow of work, or tasks. More specifically, workflow apps provide transparency to the flow of your work, automate menial tasks, and improve the overall efficiency of a company. From this simple explanation, it should be easy to see the added value that a workflow app can provide.

At Collavate, we believe that at the heart of that “work” is the various documents including important files like business planning documents and contracts to purchase requests for office supplies and meeting notes that are the cumulative sum that defines a company.

Every task has a corresponding document, and the moment your employees record their ideas in those documents is the moment that collaboration, co-creation, and value creation all happen. Supporting those documents through creation, due process, and realizing their value proposition to the world is the job of workflow apps like Collavate.



3. The Role of Workflow Apps in Digital Transformation

Workflow apps play a central role in advancing a digital transformation strategy through process automation and efficiency enhancements. Below, we explore some core and non-core functions of workflow apps and how they contribute to your business.


3.1 Automate approval processes

Approval processes automate your daily approval processes to improve the efficiency of your business, and this processing system is at the core of any workflow app, with many allowing for complex approval pathing and branching.

For example, when requesting the purchase of some office supplies, you may need to fill out a purchase request and submit it to your boss. Once your boss reviews your request and approves it, they likely need to pass it on to the purchasing department for final approval before again passing it on to the appropriate person to actually conduct the purchase. Such a process might take days and is time-consuming for all parties involved.

An approval process using a workflow app can cut out a lot of the fat in this process through automation, helping its users to save valuable time they could spend doing other work. Automatically generate the appropriate request form from a template, fill out the predetermined designated fields, and submit it to your boss with one click. Based on the template’s settings, the request form will automatically be sent on to the next party after your boss approves and requires no extra configuration by you or your boss.

Automate all processes from document creation to approval to archiving and reduce wasted time and human error. Some apps allow you to submit scanned documents, but creating and archiving documents digitally supports a more holistic digital transformation strategy.


3.2 Use Templates and e-signatures for Easy Document Creation Using a Unified Format

Templates are a function that lets you register a document with a predetermined format, such as a request form, meeting minutes, or proposal document, to the workflow system and create a copy document based on the template at any time.

For example, Human Resources needs various forms for on-boarding such as an employment contract, agreement to internal policy, acceptance of the handling of personal information, etc. These documents can be prepared beforehand as templates and have information input according to each specific new employee, allowing you to quickly create a consistent archive of on-boarding documentation. Once those documents are approved, you can have an e-signature embedded to use it as an official document right away.


3.3 E-stamps and E-signatures

Stamping and signing important official documents is also important in document and workflow management, and many popular workflow apps, especially those popular in east and south-east asia, will have this functionality.

When a workflow document is approved, it will be stamped or signed by the people who approved it, making it usable as an official document. The legal effect of documents signed and stamped electronically is up for debate depending on which countries the signing/stamping body operates in, so be sure to check your local requirements before choosing your preferred workflow app. Remember, even if an e-stamp or e-signature doesn’t have legal effect, you may be able to find an integration with an app that does provide legally effective e-stamps and e-signatures, or you can use the app’s e-stamp and e-signature function for non-official, casual documents as a form of receipt.


3.4 Attach Files to Promote Data-based Decision Making

You can attach files to workflows to manage and centralize all data relevant for a workflow, promoting data-based decision making.

For example, many reference documents may be needed for a workflow involving a new business venture including market trends and consumer behavior analysis reports. You can attach those reports to a workflow and manage them together in one place, making your strategic business decisions that much easier to make.

Some workflow apps can even combine these attachment files into a single PDF to output, allowing your decision makers to act smarter and your business to react dynamically to a changing market.


3.5 Get a Quick Summary of Documents by AI

Generative AI is a huge business trend these days with LLMs (large language models) allowing normal people even greater access to information than before in the form of a chatbot. As a part of the GenAI movement, Google’s Gemini helps its users to save time in writing emails and documents, quickly understand search intent to summarize search results and quickly find the right answers, and more to provide leaps and bounds of improvements in efficiency. As for applications to workflow apps, GenAI can help you quickly understand the main points of a submitted document. Collavate will also be soon releasing its own AI summary feature.


3.6 Summary: The Role of Workflow Apps in Digital Transformation

Through this introduction of the basic functions of workflow apps, hopefully you now understand the main role it plays in digital transformation strategies of improving business efficiency. Approval processes oil the decision making machine, and e-signatures allow for quick official use of the documents. Additionally, approvals will soon be made even faster with the coming applications of AI. There are various other features that workflow apps offer, so it’s a good idea to decide beforehand what you want out of your workflow app and find one that fits your needs.

Additionally, some workflow apps allow for custom development projects. Collavate has a wealth of experience in custom development projects, and we are always accepting inquiries for more.



4. Main Benefits of Workflow Apps

Up until now, we’ve discussed the core functions of workflow apps and what you can expect from them. Next, let’s discuss what special quirks workflow apps have and what specific benefits they offer.


4.1 Process Automation and Standardization

As explained in the previous section, one of the main functions of workflow apps, approval processes, allows you to automate menial tasks, reduce human error, and standardize tasks. Reduce the sending of emails back-and-forth when getting a document approved, and use templates, another core function, to guarantee that documents are created according to your company’s standards. These functions allow you to automate and standardize various tasks.


4.2 Flexibility and Scalability

Another feature of workflow apps is their flexibility and scalability. As companies change, the customizability of workflow apps allows you to respond to new needed tasks and changes to your workflows.

For example, if a new section is created for a new project, then that section might need some special report forms and unique approval pathways. In this case, you can create a new report form and register it to your workflow app to immediately use a report form specialized for that section with the new approval pathway also already applied. In these ways, workflow apps flexibly respond to the ever-changing needs of companies.

All templates that Collavate uses in its workflows originate from the customer’s Google Drive, so anything you can do in Google Drive, you can also do in Collavate. This includes advanced template customization using Apps Script. Additionally, all workflow data is stored in Google Drive, so if there are no issues with your Google Drive storage, there are no issues with storing your Collavate data. In these ways, Collavate offers flexibility and scalability at the same level as Google Drive.


4.3 Integrations

Many workflow apps allow for seamless integration with other business tools and applications. Most can directly integrate with major groupware like Google Workspace and Microsoft Teams and connect with their file storage systems allowing for fast workflow creation when attachment files are needed. However, some workflow apps are standalone solutions, and their ability to integrate with other solutions depends case-by-case, so be sure to check the compatibility with your company’s groupware before buying.

Integration is an important point to remember in digital transformation in general as well. If everything about a piece of software is great but it isn’t compatible with your existing software or can’t read common files that you use, you’re going to have problems. These days most apps are developed to reach a broader user base and have advanced to the point where this isn’t a problem, but it’s good to keep it in the back of your head to check for compatibility issues.

Collavate is completely integrated into Google Workspace, and all files and data related to workflows are stored within Google Drive. This architecture also has important implications for data security, so if you use Google Workspace or are thinking about adopting it, you might want to check out Collavate.


4.4 Mobile and Remote Access

One of the core philosophies for many workflow apps is to make requests and approvals easier.

To that end, it is normal that they offer mobile apps, web apps which require no local installation, and approval decisions from within email notifications. These features mean that even if you’re at home or on the move, you can always check the progress of your workflow and conduct simple document reviews and approvals.

As work-from-home is normalizing, it’s important to bake considerations on how people work at home and on the move into your digital transformation plans. The above mentioned web app functionality and operability from within an email notification should be considered not just in workflow apps but also when considering what other software solutions to implement at your company.

Collavate is a SaaS (Software as a service) app provided as a web app meaning you can access it from anywhere. Additionally, it also allows for approval decisions from within email notifications.


4.5 Compliance

Records such as approval history, activity history, and version history are needed by compliance to submit to auditors. These records allow companies to prove that they are acting in accordance with both internal and external regulations and that their decisions are going through due process before being acted on.

Workflow apps typically record the time of approval, approver name, approver comments, and other detailed information regarding a workflow meaning you don’t have to do any separate recordkeeping. Additionally, some apps will also guarantee data integrity, meaning you don’t have to worry about data being edited by an unsavory character.

Version control is also another compliance issue. For example, when internal policy goes under regular review or a version upgrade, you may have to undergo a due approval process before enacting the new version. You can use a workflow app to show to an auditor that your new version underwent its due process with the approval history and approved contents.

Collavate saves detailed approval records, file edit records, and activity records all within the app allowing you to use it for your compliance activities as well.


4.6 Summary: Benefits of Workflow Apps

And that’s a wrap for the benefits of workflow apps. With this section, hopefully you now have a grasp of how workflow apps not only provide direct effects through efficiency improvements but also indirect conveniences through integrations.



5. Potential Issues with Adopting a Workflow App

Up until now we’ve discussed various reasons in favor of adopting workflow apps, but you still may have some doubts. Here we’re going to tackle those doubts and aim to absolve any worries you might still have about workflow apps.


5.1 Technical and Managerial Issues

Upon adopting a workflow app, having to tackle issues both technical and cultural is unavoidable. There may be people who are not open to the use of digital tools or simply feel it is a burden to learn a new way of working.

In order to accommodate these kinds of employees, it can help to seek out a workflow app that is user-friendly. Within that “user-friendliness” are various aspects. For example, you can have an intuitive UI, clear fields of where to input data, pre-filled approvers for certain workflows, etc. which allow you to limit the amount that the user has to interact with the system.

These issues are not unique to workflow apps but also apply to digital transformation in general. When dealing with a more conservative workforce, it can help to put a focus on user-friendly technology to limit the amount of internal frictions.

As Collavate completely integrates its workflows with Google Drive, all workflow documents are in the customer’s Google Drive. You can create your form as a Google Drive file (Like a Google Doc or Google Sheet), and by registering it as a template, you can also pre-set approvers. Further specify who is to input what into what field to reduce human error. Additionally, as all workflow documents are also Google Drive files, users can fill out request forms and proposals in the UI of Google Docs and Google Sheets that they’re already familiar with.


5.2 Security and Privacy Issues

Data security and privacy are also a large issue to tackle. By adopting a workflow app, you are providing the company that runs that app with your company’s data including the forms you use for various requests and, in some cases, the data submitted using those forms, saving it to that company’s servers.

As such, it’s necessary to adopt a workflow app with a strong security and legal posture. If you’re a large company, you may be able to request documentation of their security system or even ask that the workflow app’s company improve its security posture as a contract stipulation.

These security considerations apply not only to workflow apps but also any other new technology you are looking to adopt, so make sure you understand the various risks at play and how much they can impact your business.

As Collavate is completely integrated with Google Drive, we limit the amount of customer data that is stored on our servers to the minimum. Additionally, you can check our security and privacy policies from our website or ask us any questions in an email or by phone.



6. The Present and Future of Workflow Apps

Workflow apps, as digital products, can easily have updates applied to them leading to a wealth of possibilities for growth. In this section, we’ll explore the present trends and future possibilities of workflow apps.


6.1 Increased integrations with AI and ML (Machine Learning)

With the evolution of AI and ML, workflow applications will be able to provide functionality on another level. Quickly understand the contents of a request through an AI summary, receive recommendations to approve or reject based on past approval history, and auto-input data into forms based on emails and other resources. The future of workflow apps is rich with potential for business efficiency improvements, and the current data-crunching AIs are laying the foundation for that future right now. AI can eliminate inefficiencies, cut time spent on time-consuming yet menial tasks, and speed up your decision making processes.

As mentioned earlier, Collavate is also working on AI applications, and an AI summary feature will be released some time in the near future.


6.2 Movement to Cloud-based solutions

Additionally, it’s a good idea to not stop at “go digital” and look specifically for cloud-based solutions. With solutions like Google Cloud by Google that offer services like cloud storage and cloud app hosting, the emergence of the cloud is putting a tailwind to digital transformation and is an important industry trend to observe.

By moving to the cloud, many software companies are easily sending out updates to all their users from new features to bug fixes to security patches, meaning they can easily keep their software up-to-date. Cloud architecture also allows for robust back-ups and continued service provision through disasters. As a SaaS app, Collavate also provides its app through the web, keeping it up-to-date and providing regular updates and new features.


6.3 Sustainability and Environmental Awareness

In the current business environment asking for sustainable business, an eco-friendly approach is also being asked for by shareholders and the like. At first you might be confused as to what exactly a workflow app has to do with sustainability. However, workflow apps, along with digitization of internal company data, will limit the use of paper. With workflow apps, you can limit the use of paper for drafts and printing, strengthening your company’s eco-friendly stance.



7. Summary

In this article, we provided a simple introduction of digital transformation, introduced the benefits of workflow apps, discussed some issues you might face while adopting them, and projected the future of workflow apps. I hope that you learned something about workflow apps and digital transformation through this article.


7.1 Summary: Why Workflow Apps are Important for Digital Transformation

Workflow applications are an essential tool for a company’s digital transformation, and that importance will only grow in the future. The key reason for that is the importance of improving operational efficiency. Countries like the US place a large focus on shareholder returns and financial statistics such as ROE (Return on Equity), a measure of a company’s bang-for-buck on its costs and capital. How companies will implement workflow apps in their digital transformation strategy and utilize them will be a key factor in determining their competitiveness in the future. For the readers, think about how you can use workflows apps at your company and be the first to move!


7.2 Try Out Workflow Apps with Collavate!

Collavate offers a 30-day free trial for our workflow app. If you read this article and want to find out how much smarter you can work, please give our app a spin!

Enhancements

Approval process

  • Added the feature allowing users to add sequential and parallel approvers above or below the selected approver when clicking the “+” button in the approval process.
  • Enhanced the Collavate Google Drive Add-on to set the default deadline date to the current date.

Template

  • The document numbering rules of domain-shared templates copied to personal templates (My Templates) are now reset upon copying.

More

  • (JP) Improved the Japanese translation of the document ledger menu.
  • (JP) Translated untranslated items in the document ledger selection menu.
  • Conducted code improvement tasks.
  • Enhanced internal data security.

Resolved Issues

Post

  • Fixed an issue where a blank space was added to the post content each time a post was edited in the list view.
  • Resolved an error that occurred when editing a post after mentioning a user in the post.

Approval process

  • Fixed an issue where files larger than 10MB could not be attached properly.
  • Resolved an error where all designated approvers were granted simultaneous access, regardless of the existing approval sequence, when modifying an approval.
  • Fixed an issue where an approval could not be submitted correctly when a photo was pasted into the comment section.
  • Addressed a problem where the option to add frequently used approval lines disappeared after adding the current approval line to frequently used approval lines.
  • Fixed an issue where double-clicking the copy button for electronic approval caused loading errors.
  • Resolved an issue where previous approval information from the original document was displayed in the approval list when reprocessing using the original document.
  • Fixed an issue where the existing deadline was removed when copying or resetting an approval.
  • Resolved an issue where the numbering policy(title prefix/suffix) were not updated for reprocessed documents.
  • Fixed an issue where the autocomplete popup overlapped when adding CC and then adding approvers in the approval line tab.

Template

  • Fixed an issue where approval options set in a template were not saved when a template administrator sent a template modification request.
  • Resolved an issue where the “Cancel Publish” button was not visible on the screen when requesting to publish a template that was in unpublished state.
  • Fixed an intermittent 500 server error that occurred when using templates.
  • (JP) Resolved a 404 error that occurred when clicking a link in the popup after successfully completing the test following the management ledger setup.

Admin settings

  • Fixed an issue where the image thumbnail did not update immediately after changing the user profile.
  • Resolved an issue where user profile pictures appeared as blank in the user management menu after changing administrator settings.
  • Fixed an issue where some column names in the view/download section of the document verification menu were partially obscured.

More

  • Fixed an issue where the team shared template menu intermittently did not appear in the Collavate Team Plan.
  • Resolved an issue where duplicate tags with the same name could be created in the Drive Manager menu.
  • Fixed an issue where the menu expansion icon was not visible when accessing the Collavate mobile main screen using the iOS Safari app.
  • Resolved an issue where specific text appeared below the header on the Collavate mobile page.
  • (JP) Fixed an issue where the unit displayed in the “Default Retention Period Settings” screen under Admin > Process was shown as 価格 (price) instead of 年 (years).

Enhancements

Approval process

  • Added the feature allowing users to add sequential and parallel approvers above or below the selected approver when clicking the “+” button in the approval process.
  • Enhanced the Collavate Google Drive Add-on to set the default deadline date to the current date.

Template

  • The document numbering rules of domain-shared templates copied to personal templates (My Templates) are now reset upon copying.

More

  • (JP) Improved the Japanese translation of the document ledger menu.
  • (JP) Translated untranslated items in the document ledger selection menu.
  • Conducted code improvement tasks.
  • Enhanced internal data security.

Resolved Issues

Post

  • Fixed an issue where a blank space was added to the post content each time a post was edited in the list view.
  • Resolved an error that occurred when editing a post after mentioning a user in the post.

Approval process

  • Fixed an issue where files larger than 10MB could not be attached properly.
  • Resolved an error where all designated approvers were granted simultaneous access, regardless of the existing approval sequence, when modifying an approval.
  • Fixed an issue where an approval could not be submitted correctly when a photo was pasted into the comment section.
  • Addressed a problem where the option to add frequently used approval lines disappeared after adding the current approval line to frequently used approval lines.
  • Fixed an issue where double-clicking the copy button for electronic approval caused loading errors.
  • Resolved an issue where previous approval information from the original document was displayed in the approval list when reprocessing using the original document.
  • Fixed an issue where the existing deadline was removed when copying or resetting an approval.
  • Resolved an issue where the numbering policy(title prefix/suffix) were not updated for reprocessed documents.
  • Fixed an issue where the autocomplete popup overlapped when adding CC and then adding approvers in the approval line tab.

Template

  • Fixed an issue where approval options set in a template were not saved when a template administrator sent a template modification request.
  • Resolved an issue where the “Cancel Publish” button was not visible on the screen when requesting to publish a template that was in unpublished state.
  • Fixed an intermittent 500 server error that occurred when using templates.
  • (JP) Resolved a 404 error that occurred when clicking a link in the popup after successfully completing the test following the management ledger setup.

Admin settings

  • Fixed an issue where the image thumbnail did not update immediately after changing the user profile.
  • Resolved an issue where user profile pictures appeared as blank in the user management menu after changing administrator settings.
  • Fixed an issue where some column names in the view/download section of the document verification menu were partially obscured.

More

  • Fixed an issue where the team shared template menu intermittently did not appear in the Collavate Team Plan.
  • Resolved an issue where duplicate tags with the same name could be created in the Drive Manager menu.
  • Fixed an issue where the menu expansion icon was not visible when accessing the Collavate mobile main screen using the iOS Safari app.
  • Resolved an issue where specific text appeared below the header on the Collavate mobile page.
  • (JP) Fixed an issue where the unit displayed in the “Default Retention Period Settings” screen under Admin > Process was shown as 価格 (price) instead of 年 (years).

Enhancements

Added Reduced-size Printing Option to PDF Download Feature

  • Previously, converting approvals with numerous attachments into PDFs resulted in large file sizes, causing inconvenience. Now, when using the PDF download function, you can reduce the file size of the output, including images and large attachments, by using the “reduced-size printing” or “Grayscale Printing” options.

User Activation Status Now Applies in Real Time

  • Now, when administrators change a user’s role, account activation status, or visibility in the organization chart from the Admin > User Management menu, the affected user will be forced to log out of Collavate immediately.

More

  • Enhanced stability during electronic approval submissions in unstable network conditions.
  • Improved some internal codes.
  • Enhanced internal security.

Resolved Issues

Approval process

  • Resolved an error where the favorite group list was not visible in the settings screen when setting the post visibility to group public in the draft post menu.
  • Resolved an error that caused infinite loading in certain environments during reprocess.
  • Resolved an issue where it was impossible to change the recipient in some approvals.

Templates

  • Resolved an error where the template document numbering policy did not apply when submitting a document using a template with a document numbering applied and the main file was changed.
  • Resolved an error where a blank space appeared at the bottom of some approver areas in templates with locked approvers.
  • Resolved an error where locked parallel approvers disappeared when reprocessing a document with locked parallel approvers.
  • Resolved an error where domain-shared templates created by administrators did not immediately share and changed to being in draft instead.
  • Resolved an error where the list of approvers in a template saved with the lock all approvers option did not scroll in the editing screen.
  • Resolved an issue where templates being modified by an administrator during the template approval process were automatically published to the domain-shared template menu.
  • Resolved an error that caused infinite loading when making too many changes to the information of a template undergoing the approval process.

Administrator Settings

  • Addressed an issue where, despite checking the option to change to a new document manager, the ownership of existing approval documents did not properly transfer.
  • Resolved an issue where changing settings in Admin > Template reset the previously set document security information.

More

  • Fixed some tag application-related errors in customer support posts.

New Features

Added feature to include company seal or CEO signature image in official documents

  • Template managers/administrators can now use the “Official Document” option. Templates with the “Official Document” option activated will have the “Signatory” option enabled, allowing template users to select the signatory and seal to display via a dropdown menu.
  • Once an electronic document with the “Official Document” option enabled is approved, the signatory’s name and seal image will be displayed on the printed PDF. The signatory’s name and seal image can be registered, modified, or deleted from the admin menu.

Added document security level and retention period features

  • Approval documents that are submitted via template can now be assigned a document security level and retention period. Document security levels are categorized into confidential, restricted, and general. Administrators can activate this feature and set a default level for documents under Admin > Process > Document security information.

Added new template manager role and template approval feature

  • Before version 5.2.0, the creation and editing of domain-shared templates were limited to admin accounts. However, with the introduction of the Template Manager role in version 5.2.0, work roles can now be distributed more effectively.
  • Collavate introduces a new user role, “Template Manager.” Template Managers are able to request additions, modifications of templates shared within the organization’s domain, allowing for more efficient management of domain-shared templates. Administrators can review requests from Template Managers and immediately implement changes.

Enhancements

Added template numbering rule feature

  • Previously, the numbering rules set in the Collavate admin’s document number policy menu were uniformly applied even when using template documents, making it difficult to distinguish documents when using each domain-shared template. Now, when creating templates using Google Sheets, you can manually set a prefix that applies only to the specific template from the template document number policy menu on the left. You can also automatically assign numbering to the document title by selecting a specific cell and using the information entered in that cell.

Improvement on document validation report and usability

  • The document validation results screen has been changed to display files with issues first.
  • Improvements have been made to allow previewing document results in Admin > Document validation list.
  • The UI and content of the result notification email sent after performing document validation have been made more useful.

Added function for modifying approval information of cooperation

  • An option has been added to the admin menu to set the timing for modifying approval information of cooperation and which users (submitter of the cooperation, approver of cooperation) can make modifications. When this feature is activated, it will be possible to change the approver information of cooperation according to the settings.

New Settings Added to Collaborate Administrator Settings

User Management

  • The UI design of the User Management > Modify User Information menu in the administrator settings has been improved.
  • A new User Visibility Settings menu has been added to the administrator settings. This menu allows administrators to disable user profiles, making them only manageable by administrators, or enable them and control which items appear to general users.

Electronic Approval

  • Collavate administrators can now set the “Start Process” button to not appear under the User Visibility Controls > Process menu. This is useful for companies that require approvals to proceed only through company official forms, preventing general users from submitting personal documents.
  • An option has been added to Admin > Process > Reprocess. Collavate administrators can now limit users to use either one of original or duplicate documents when members reprocess.
  • Settings related to modifying the approvers of reprocess have been added to Admin > Process > Cooperation. Based on the administrator’s settings, the approvers and submitters of cooperation can now add or delete participants in the collaboration.
  • When disabling the Approval Deadline feature under Admin > Process, Collavate administrators can choose to either retain or delete previously set approval deadline information.

Template

  • Collavate administrators can disable the “My Templates” menu under Admin > Template. This limits users from creating and using personal templates if only company official templates are to be used for electronic approvals.
  • The “Sample Templates (formerly, Public Templates)” menu under Admin > Template can be disabled by Collavate administrators. Administrators of organizations that do not need the free sample templates available in the public template menu should disable this feature.

More

  • A “Preview not available?” button has been added to the approval popup.
  • The UI has been improved so that the names of the mentioned individuals in Collavate Google Chat add-on notifications are clearly displayed.
  • The naming convention for Collavate subscription plans has been changed from “Edition” to “Plan”.
  • A notice about the image size limit has been added for uploading profile and signature images in Personal Settings.
  • (EN, JP) The menu name for changing the background under Profile Settings > Theme has been correctly updated.
  • (JP) The translation for email notifications in Profile Settings > Notification Settings has been changed to 電子メール.
  • (EN) The English name for Group CC has been changed to Cooperation.

Resolved Issues

Collavate Team Plan

  • New subscribers to the Collavate Team Plan can now enjoy three free licenses for one month.
  • The UI for team invitation email notifications has been improved.
  • Fixed an issue where changes in administrator settings did not apply in real-time to logged-in users.
  • Resolved an issue where the current team list was not displayed correctly when clicking the add member button in the Post menu.
  • Fixed a problem where information set in Google appears when changing personal profile settings after signing up with a Google account.
  • Fixed an issue where the entire process was rejected when the last parallel approver rejected during parallel approval.
  • Fixed an issue to ensure that specific features provided with each plan are correctly displayed.
  • Resolved an error occurring when some Collavate Team Plan and Business Plan users attempted to switch to a different plan.

Approval

  • Fixed an issue where items entered for cooperation and CC in approval documents could be modified after the administrator disabled the Cooperation and CC feature.
  • Resolved a problem where users mentioned in approval posts were automatically reverted to “View” permission even if they were granted “Edit” permission for the document.

Collavate mobile

  • Resolved an issue where the announcement banner in mobile web obscured the display area of the screen.
  • Corrected mislabeling of the “Reprocess” and “Publishing” menus in the mobile web.
  • Fixed a problem on mobile web where the delete button was not visible for post attachments with long filenames.
  • Addressed an issue where personal signature settings were not being reset in the mobile web.

Hello, Collavate users! ?

In our regular webinar last November, we shared efficient document management tips using the publishing feature and gave a sneak peek into the upcoming AI summarization feature.

For those who missed the webinar due to busy schedules, we have uploaded the recording on the official Collavate YouTube channel. You can check out the video through the link below or by directly watching it here:

  • English: [Watch here](https://youtu.be/LDJLm-rnABw?si=AgXi0GDJaMLVyt5E)

We appreciate your interest and look forward to your participation in future regular webinars.

Thank you.

Before it was unable to modify approver once the reference process for Group CC’d users already started out, which made users to submit the same process again in order to submit the Group CC process to other users.

To solve this, we have added an option to the admin console which allows users to modify Group CC approvers in the middle of the process. Collavate administrators can now activate this feature to allow users in your organization to use this feature. We hope this feature would help provide approval services that are suitable for various companies with different cultural backgrounds.

Rollout pace

Collavate 5.1.9

Who’s impacted

Collavate admin, Normal users

How to use

Administrator: Collavate administrators can set until when users can modify the approval line information and who can edit the information.

Administrators can activate this feature in the Admin > Process menu.

Normal users: Users who are participating in the Group CC approval process can add or delete approvers in the approval line by clicking the edit button in the More menu.

Normal users can edit the approval line while the process is in progress according to the admin settings.

Resources

Hello, Collavate users!

We are very happy to inform you about our regular webinar of this month. In this webinar, we aim to provide you with some tips that can further enhance your work efficiency.

Utilizing the Publishing Feature for Web Document Management

Managing web documents published online is often considered a complex and time-consuming task. By leveraging Collavate’s publishing feature, you can significantly reduce the time spent on updating web documents. In this webinar, we will share effective ways to utilize this feature for efficient web document management.

Summarizing your Approvals Using AI

And here’s another highlight! We will introduce Collavate’s first AI feature, the AI Summary. This feature allows you to quickly grasp the essential content of lengthy documents, making it unnecessary to furrow your brow while reading electronic approval documents on small screens. We will also present real-use cases to demonstrate how this feature can enhance work efficiency.

How to Participate

To join this webinar, please click the [Sign up] button below to register.

Date: November 29, 2023, 12:00 PM to 12:30 PM KST

[Sign up]

We appreciate your interest and participation. See you at the webinar!

Enhancements

Modification of approval line for Group CC(reference)

  • We have added an option to the admin console which allows users to modify Group CC approvers and the submitter in the middle of the process. 

More

  • (JP) Changed the process menu title to “電子決裁”. 

The Collavate 5.1.8 includes improvements to existing features and fixes for known issues.

What’s Changing

Added ‘Apply all TAGs’ feature

Before, only one tag could be added to the approval, which required a lot of unnecessary loading time. With this update, you can add multiple tags at once by simply clicking the ‘Apply TAGs’ button. Users can now apply multiple tags to approval documents faster and easier.

You can apply multiple tags at once with ‘Apply TAGs’ button.

Improvement on post attachments saving location

In the previous versions of Collavate, it was difficult to find and access files that were added as comments on a post, as they could mainly be found in the “Shared with me” section of Google Drive. With this update, ownership of the files added to a post will also be transferred to the document manager’s account. Additionally,  shortcuts to each file will be automatically saved to the “Collavate Post Files” folder in My Drive, making it more convenient to access and view them.

The shortcuts to files attached to the post will be automatically saved in the “Collavate Post Files” folder in my drive.

Automatic data deletion for Collavate dormant users

Until now, when users no longer wished to use Collavate, they had to manually delete(for Single Edition) or request Collavate Support(for Business Edition) to have their data deleted. To ensure safer handling of user data, Collavate will now send notification emails regarding data deletion to users who have not logged into Collavate for over six months. If the user still does not log into Collavate after receiving the notification email, their data will be automatically deleted one month after the date of the email.

For users who have not logged into Collavate for more than 6 months, their Collavate user data will be automatically deleted.

Fixed known issues

Known issues for the current version have been resolved and improved in the Collavate 5.1.8 release. You can check the full list of improvements and fixes included in the 5.1.8 release notes.

Rollout Pace

2023/06/22 Thursday KST

Who’s impacted

End-users

Resources