FileCatalyst Workflow: File Submission and Workflow

The Problem of Sharing and Tracking...

Organizations often send and receive files through a loose combination of e-mail, FTP, and physical media. What happens next? Ideally the file goes into the company's “workflow” (established procedures for tracking and processing). However, too often the files simply end up in a state of limbo, with nobody knowing where the file is stored or what should be done with it.

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...Solved with FileCatalyst Workflow

FileCatalyst Workflow integrates with your website, acting as a file transfer web portal for your clients, partners, and affiliates. With zero installation of specialized software, end users can transfer files to you or to other external recipients, and let automated processes take care of tracking and centralized storage.

Submission

A user visits your website and chooses the option to create a new “job”. They are required to fill out a form, and may then upload files. Once this step is complete, administrators are notified that a new job is waiting. As internal stakeholders work on the “job” from beginning to end, the original user is kept in the loop with status updates.

Workflow Scenario

Need More Specifics?

Here's the most common scenario, starting with some basic administration, then moving to a more detailed description of the end-user experience:

The Administrator:

  1. creates user accounts, or enables Active Directory / LDAP auto-provisioning.
  2. modifies or creates Job Forms which will capture details from the user regarding their submission.
  3. modifies or creates Job Status fields. For example, in addition to default “submitted” and “completed” states, a given job might need to go through “initial review”, “provide estimate”, “in progress”, “client review”, and “delivery of assets”.
  4. delegates other administrators to monitor their accounts and their email for new job notifications.

The End User:

  1. logs into their account.
  2. chooses to create a “New Job”.
  3. completes the form that appears, providing required details about the job.
  4. uses a web-based applet to upload related assets (ex., documents, videos, illustrations) to finalize the creation of the job.
  5. logs into their account whenever they want to monitor the job's progress. In some organizations' workflows, the final delivery might also be a digital asset appearing in their file area.

Once a job is created, the system's administrators have access to it from their own accounts in the web application. They can view and begin processing the files. At each stage, they may update the status of the job. Internal stakeholders thereby move assets through their workflow, while at the same time keeping the end-user automatically apprised of the job's progress.

A FileCatalyst Workflow “job” may combine submission with distribution; flexible workflow forms mean that you need not choose one or the other.

Distribution

Used for distribution, FileCatalyst Workflow hands off responsibility for large “attachments” to a full file server while letting the mail server do its intended job: relaying messages.

Workflow Large Email Attachment Scenario

The Sender:

  1. logs into their account, and chooses to start a “New Job”.
  2. selects a form that includes a recipient field; administrators are free to customize the form to request as much or as little additional information as required. The form may simultaneously submit the files into an internal workflow.
  3. clicks a button to upload files—this is the “attaching” phase.
  4. presses “Finish”, which is the same as clicking “Send” in an email.

Once this process is complete, a record is made which is accessible by the user or the administrator, containing details about the transaction (including downloading activity when it occurs), and links to the file for direct access or re-sending.

The Recipient:

  1. gets an email notifying them there is a file delivery to be picked up.
  2. follows a link in the email, which takes them to a download page.
  3. clicks a “Download” button to receive the files. Directory structures remain intact, unlike downloading multiple attachments in an email.

A FileCatalyst Workflow “job” may combine distribution with submission; flexible workflow forms mean that you need not choose one or the other.