More and more businesses are using cloud-based software to manage their documents commonly needed for daily business. Such documents typically include quotes, invoices, service documents and contracts. The processes for generating documents in the cloud are usually handled manually or using native functionality of the cloud software.
Basic functionality limits users and businesses
Common documents vary from simple business letters to highly complex, multi-page documents. The more complex the document, the more frequently users experience limitations with native basic functionality of the cloud document generation solutions.
Technically, the native mail merge functionality is quite limited – data from only one object can be referred to in parallel with common information about the contact. Publishing options are also limited: for example, documents can only be generated in Word format. In addition, these documents cannot be automatically combined with other Word documents and templates. Sending options often include only an option to download to the local computer.
But the biggest problem with the native mail merge functionality is that it is not flexible enough to implement all customer requirements or customer processes.
Scripting is (not) a solution
Many cloud providers are aware of the technical limitations of generating documents in the cloud and therefore recommend the use of individual extensions. By developing such extensions, one can expand the basic functionality of the applications. This, however, calls for custom software development, a significant risk factor for the project success.
Through scripting, certain objects (e.g. from the area of quote in offer management) can be synchronized with other objects (e.g. from the area of an opportunity). This feature is useful for many application cases and is especially well suited for proper administration and maintenance of selected products for a business transaction. In addition, in some cases editors can also be developed to enable template creation. Nevertheless, these extensions cannot compete with the flexibility and range of formatting options found in Microsoft Word or Excel. Therefore, it is usually impossible to add the existing documents of the customer to the cloud. Therefore, this leaves out of scope an important requirement of businesses switching their processes to the cloud.
Upgrade through apps: BIRT PowerDocs
Due to these limitations and deficiencies, we developed an application for document creation in the cloud – BIRT PowerDocs. This application is fully integrated with customer environments and is based on technology and platform of major cloud providers.
BIRT PowerDocs offers users a significant upgrade from the basic functionality of cloud solutions.
The advantages include:
- ability to publish documents in various formats, such as Microsoft Word, PDF, etc.;
- the option to refer to data from several objects at the same time;
- multi-channel delivery capabilities to distribute documents via e-mail, SMS, fax etc.;
- easy use of electronic signatures.
These features make the complex world of documents easier to control. Flexibility, variety of options and powerful formatting possibilities allow for a smooth transition to document generation in the cloud.
More information on BIRT PowerDocs.