Odyssey Blog

Almost all companies are feeling the challenges to both their technology and processes in the face of COVID-19 and the social distancing that will halt its spread.

Virtually overnight, employee availability diminished, remote-working/teleworking solutions became vital, and managers have to move beyond their understandable reluctance to allow employees to work outside the office to embrace the real solutions that enable remote productivity at a high level that keeps a business operational, secure, and reliable. COVID-19 Work from Home Solutions

There are technical challenges. There are business process challenges. Odyssey Digital Automation can provide rapid solutions to the challenges of managing scattered teams, and enabling digital connectivity, digital security, and data integrity. It is our experience that any one of these problems can be conquered in days with the intelligent use of Odyssey.

There is a difference between being at home during work hours, and working remotely in a way that adds value to your business. We've created the processes and experiences for successful remote teams. We can do the same for you.

Example Remote Solutions Odyssey can Provide your Business with Now:

  • Team management solutions: Tracking and monitoring tools, collaboration apps, risk mitigation tools, messaging apps and a remote policy checklist.

Today’s digital era has made it increasingly easier for both customers and employees to solve problems on their own. People are becoming more self-sufficient, expecting immediate responses to their inquiries and solutions they can implement themselves.

Without automation, it’s impossible to keep up. But by creating an automated knowledge base, you can support this new-found self-sufficiency, boost productivity, and improve your bottom line. How an Automated Knowledge Base Can Redefine Support Roles

The Odyssey Platform takes the knowledge base one step further by using Smart Search functionality to generate automated responses to email customer service inquiries. When customers or employees reach out for assistance, Odyssey provides auto-recommendations for solving that issue. The end-user gets the response they need without any digging and without any heavy lift from your customer support team.

How the Odyssey Automated Response with Knowledge Base Smart Search Works

The process starts when a customer or employee experiences sends your team an email asking for assistance. The Odyssey system creates and updates a service ticket within the appropriate software before pulling automated responses from your knowledge base to send to the user.

There is no doubt that the fourth industrial revolution has changed just about every aspect of the way we do business. Every department in the company is looking for ways to digitally transform their processes and systems.

As each team looks for a tool that promises to make their digital transformation as smooth and efficient as possible, they’re likely to turn to industry-specific options that speak to their unique, individual needs. Ultimately, an organization is left using a dozen different automation and integration platforms.Digital Transformation: Can One Platform Do Everything

However, using unique integration platforms for each department creates a new problem: siloed and disconnected data. In a recent study by CanAm commissioned by Pantheon, Inc, it was found that 72% of respondents found their technology environment very or highly complex.

When using multiple automation and integration platforms, data stays stuck within departments. Without further integration between those tools and apps, data can’t freely move between teams. Instead, departments must still rely on manual entry to get the information they need––a process that is time-consuming and prone to error.

Managing a company’s finance and accounting often makes for a high-stress environment. When money is on the line and every department is fighting for their piece of the pie, you can’t afford to make any mistakes. Unfortunately, manually overseeing money coming in and out leaves room for human error––even with highly skilled, knowledgeable employees using cloud-based platforms.

Finance teams have gone digital, but just digitizing financial processes doesn’t always make things easier. Without automation, it can actually slow you down, adding extra time double checking and inputting data between systems and devices.

Simple automation can eliminate this chaos. With the Odyssey Platform, you can deeply integrate your tools, applications, and devices to make finance and accounting responsibilities more efficient. Here’s how. How to Eliminate Financial Process Chaos with Simple Automation

1. Improved financial visibility means fewer surprises.

Integrating your various tools and applications gives you one clear snapshot of where money is coming in and where it is going out. This holistic view of your company’s finances allows you to better understand cash flow and create better forecasts, resulting in better decision-making.

Your financial team is able to use real-time updates on accounts, balances, and invoices to ensure your organization is not taken by surprise.

An organization is rarely in business alone. In addition to internal teams and employees, businesses of all sizes and in all industries depend on third-party vendors, service providers and partners for getting things done efficiently.

Unfortunately, when working with teams outside of your organization, you’re exposed to a certain level of risk. These risks fall into a variety of categories, including:How Automation Can Control Third-Party Risk

  • Strategic Risk: Risks associated with business decisions or failure.
  • Reputation Risk: Risks that arise due to negative public opinion or unhappy customers.
  • Operational Risk: Risks occurring from inefficient operations.
  • Transaction Risk: Risks from product or service delivery.
  • Compliance Risk: Risks occurring from law or regulation violations.
  • Information Security Risk: Risks associated with unauthorized use or disclosure of sensitive information.

If a third party has access to your customers’ information or your company’s sensitive data, you need to ensure you’re doing all you can to properly protect yourself from each and every type of risk during every stage of the relationship.

Managing third-party risk manually quickly becomes impossible; when you’re overseeing multiple vendors and partners, the number of users, interactions and software gaps escalates exponentially--seemingly within days. Odyssey’s Third-Party Risk Management framework can help provide the necessary tools to automate those tricky situations and prevent your sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are two of the biggest drivers of innovation across just about every industry. However, for many organizations, it isn’t immediately clear where AI and ML fit in their business process operations.

Introducing AI/ML into your business process operations can feel like a huge shift––one that you may or may not feel prepared for. But as the business world’s dependence on AI/ML grows, it’s important to introduce the technology in appropriate areas in order to stay competitive and ensure your teams are working as productively as possible.

Adding AI/ML just for the sake of it is rarely the answer. To truly get sustainable results to your business process operations, the technology needs to be implemented strategically. How Using Multiple Automation Platforms is Costing Your Organization Money

Refining Rigid Business Processes with AI

Clear-cut business processes can help your company function smoothly. When your team members and departments have established processes to follow to complete tasks and move projects along, things get done more efficiently. However, in order to remain competitive, your business needs to be dynamic.

If your business processes are too rigid, or you’re unable to review them every so often, you could be holding your organization back from being as successful as possible. Introducing artificial intelligence can help you create more flexible business processes while also continuously improving and refining your systems.

Automation is revolutionizing companies in many different ways. From streamlining complicated processes to eliminating expensive manual systems, automation technology impacts businesses regardless of size or industry––and we shouldn’t expect to see the pace of change slow down any time soon.

In fact, in a recent CanAm Research commissioned by Pantheon Inc, 60% of respondents said automation and process optimization would be their main priority in the year ahead.

However, many organizations get overly excited at the thought of implementing automation in their business processes. While automation does have the ability to increase productivity, reduce costs, and provide deeper insights into how your business is run, it only does so when implemented correctly. How to Maximize Process Automation to Prepare for Your Company’s Future

Getting the most from your process automation means you need to understand how the automation world is changing, what that means for your business processes today, and how it will impact your organization in the future.

The Still-Developing World of Process Automation

Automation has been a hot topic in the business world for years. But while the desire to streamline processes and automate tasks isn’t new, the technology is still developing––and will continue to in the years to come.

Today, process automation is used for a number of tasks, including managing communication and eliminating human error for mistakes you can’t afford to make. However, as automation and digital transformation grow, we can expect to see these technologies taking on more significant and more complex tasks.

Automation is digitally transforming organizations across almost every department. From marketing and human resources to finance and legal to operations, automated processes allow employees at any level to get more done in less time.

However, each department has different automation needs, leading teams to choose industry-specific automation platforms that solve their problems and alleviate their frustrations. When you only look at each team individually, everyone seems happy.

But when you take a step back and look at the company as a whole, using multiple disjointed automation platforms is actually pretty messy––and will almost certainly create inefficiency that costs your organization serious cash. How Using Multiple Automation Platforms is Costing Your Organization Money

The problem with industry-specific automation platforms.

Industry-specific automation platforms give teams the ability to overcome department challenges and streamline unique processes. They’re hyper-focused to fit the needs of the individuals they’re designed for, so users can easily automate an array of their tasks. Unfortunately, those benefits rarely extend to the organization as a whole.

When automation platforms are overly specific, each department ends up selecting a tool tailor-made for their team. If these systems aren’t able to efficiently and securely communicate with one another, data can become siloed. Moving this information between departments involves complicated hand coding or time-consuming swivel-chairing, both of which are incredibly costly and inefficient for your organization.

No-code integration platforms are changing the way companies connect and automate their businesses from the inside out. By centralizing the integration of all the organization’s applications, tools, and devices, IT professionals are able to improve workflows to improve productivity, and thereby create more value for the enterprise.

No-code platforms are often touted for helping business roles transform the way they work. However, adopting a no-code platform can have just as much (if not more) of a positive influence on the day-to-day responsibilities of IT team members.

There is no denying that a no-code platform empowers the integration of their own, allowing IT to focus on larger tasks and more complex problems––but a no-code platform goes beyond that. 3 Ways the Role of IT is Changing in a No-Code World

Here’s how.

1. Complicated coding becomes simple, quick-to-develop tasks.

Before no-code integration platforms, the IT department needed to use complex deep coding to connect apps and devices––even with so-called low-code tools. Not only was this time consuming and complicated, but it took significant skill and/or experience, often falling on senior developers to create.

With a no-code integration platform, that complicated coding is streamlined into a simple integration process that even entry-level developers or citizen developers can manage. Ultimately, this reduces the cost of integration, allows connections to get up and running faster, and frees up time for your developers so they can focus on other opportunities.

Customers, prospects, and even industry experts often seem confused about the difference between no-code and low-code development platforms. This isn’t too surprising. Unfortunately, the two terms are often used almost interchangeably—making it difficult to tell what the difference really is.

However, a true no-code development platform doesn’t need to be complicated to understand.

With Pantheon’s Odyssey Platform, we believe everything about no code integration and development should be relentlessly simple—even the definition. That’s why we’re breaking down what no-code really means and what it’s capable of. What Does No Code Really Mean

The True Definition of No-Code Development

No-code development platforms are often confused with low-code development platforms because each aim to reduce the amount of time and complexity in integration and application building. However, that’s about where their similarities end.

A no-code development platform (NCDP) is exactly as it sounds: a development platform that allows users to build connections, processes, and integrations without a single line of code. Rather than hand-coding or using APIs, as is the case with low-code development platforms, an NCDP allows both citizen and skilled developers to use drag-and-drop task agents to complete integrations and applications.

Selecting an integration platform for your enterprise can be an overwhelming decision. Your team members have different needs, decision makers have different priorities, and on top of it all, you’re bombarded with different “low code” and “no code” solutions that all promise to do the job better than their competitors.

How are you supposed to know what platform will work best with your company?

Choosing between a low code and a no code integration platform comes down to understanding how each impacts your team, security, and app portfolio. To help you make an educated decision, let’s take a look at the differences between low code and no code platforms, as well as how to determine which is right for you. Low Code vs. No Code

What is the Difference Between Low Code and No Code?

Most integration platforms on the market fall under the “low code” category. While it’s much easier than complete hand coding, these platforms require a certain level of proprietary coding skill to fully connect apps, devices, and data.

A true no code platform, on the other hand, completely eliminates the need for complicated coding. No code platform users can create everything from simple apps to complex integration and systems without writing a single line of code.

When you’re working with sensitive data about your company, customers and clients, it’s important to ensure you’re doing all you can to minimize risk. If data falls into the wrong hands, it can cost you––both financially and in reputation.

Risk can come in many different forms. From employees gaining access to the wrong information or hackers getting hold of your data, you need to do everything you can to protect your organization––including cleaning up your integration system. How an Overly Complicated Integration Model is Putting Your Organization at Risk

Many companies turn to point-to-point or publish-subscribe integration models in an effort to connect systems quickly. Unfortunately, this creates a convoluted and insecure network that makes it easier for mistakes to happen. Put simply, complexity increases risk.

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest risks an overly complicated integration system is exposing you to, as well as how you can simplify your connections and better protect your organization.

Process automation is no longer a luxury reserved for large companies with even larger budgets. Today, businesses both big and small are finding ways to integrate their apps and streamline their systems.

Unfortunately, this is almost always done with point-to-point integration.

Point-to-point integrations can work well for a one-off problem. However, trouble can occur when businesses need to move data beyond just Point A and Point B.

The Compounding Complexity of Point-to-Point Integration

Businesses often use dozens––if not hundreds––of apps between various teams and departments to keep their systems running smoothly. They create connections where they need them, continuing to build a spiderweb of automation that––on the surface––gets the job done.Why Simplicity is the Future of Fast and Flexible Automation

The problems appear when those point-to-point connections need to be enhanced, fixed or changed, particularly when an app being used is updated or modified. When an app changes structure or the company decides to replace a tool with an alternative, it can send the house of cards tumbling down.

This kind of fragile complexity can stunt productivity and make it more difficult for your automation to run smoothly. That’s why, as you prepare for the future, you need to be looking at simple, no-code systems that enable integration and automation.

The Information Technology industry has moved past the argument that DevOps and IT Security are somehow incompatible, and moved on to embracing DevSecOps and rugged DevOps. Shorter development-to-deployment cycles do not compromise security, if you apply the same rigor and automation to security as you apply to development. The key is to tie in the development, operations, and security processes at a fundamental level with a management tool that makes sure all aspects of security are enforced and monitored at every stage of the process.

Any DevOps or DevSecOps toolchain should be flexible enough to incorporate new technologies and new operations into your process when they make sense for your organization. This helps you both grow the automated capabilities within your processes, and keep up with your implementation of the best practices of the industry. Do not let security lag behind operational functionality. When designing your toolchain and selecting the tool to manage the toolchain, build in those security considerations within the toolchain, not as an afterthought!

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