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Introducing Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003

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Yes, that’s right – I’ve put introducing because I’m always amazed at how few customers have heard of InfoPath – and yes it says 2003 for the same reason.

Why is InfoPath such an important product for your customers?

Well how many of them use paper based forms, or word templates or some other method of collating information? I’d say every customer I talk to has some kind of form that they need to fill in whether it be expenses, mileage reports, time track, order forms or engineers reports. And yet traditional methods are slow and error prone.

Here’s an example –

Sales Person visits customer site and fills in a hand written order form.

Sales Person returns to office at the end of the day to drop of the order form.

Administrator then tries to decode hand writing and correct obvious errors.

Form gets sent back to Sales Person for clarification.

Sales Person returns to administrator for data entry.

Administrator then re-keys information in CRM system, Accounts application etc

Order is over £x so needs signing off by Finance manager

and it goes on and on

Or simply fill in an InfoPath form that validates the information as it’s being entered and submit it to a web service where it can get pushed either into some internal business applications or workflow.

All done on the customers site with instant feedback.

So you’re streamlining the business process, getting the order on the system quicker, getting the sales person to spend more time on the road selling, cutting out the re-entry of data and validation, providing a faster service to the customer and getting money into the bank quicker. And potentially more of it.

And because InfoPath looks like the other Office applications, it’s familiar and easy to use – so instead of having to learn multiple systems to get the order onto the system you can have a single easy to use form.

If you’ve got any great stories about you’ve used InfoPath I’d be interested to hear them.

Microsoft Office Assistance: Introducing Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003.

Comments
  • I'm an IT manager in one small company.

    Nah... I tried to make use of infopath, and I failed.

    Frankly, it was just for the limitations of form positioning in the page and filling them out.

    1) I couldn't make it so that the next record in a form would be to the right - as much as the page width allows. It only allows me to have the same set of info below the current set of records.

    2) Sometimes, we need to fill out the forms with a single capital character in a cell. Take a look at the fantastic ABBYY FormFiller -- it has to be like that!

    3) ...

  • Hi Mantvydas, sorryy you had problems with InfoPath - have you tried The InfoPath developers forum at http://www.infopathdev.com/ ?

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