Bitrix24 is used to solve management tasks in different organizations.
In some cases there are 5 employees, in other cases - 500.
Maybe you have 5 transactions a week in CRM, or maybe 500 calls a day.
Even the concept of "project", "transaction", "offer" have different meanings in different organizations.
How do you use it then? Why does it work at all?
I must say that creation of a software product "for any company", what Bitrix24 has become, is a surprising phenomenon. Who is this system for? What organizations is it for?
For everybody? or for "nobody"?
You can say that Bitrix24 is suitable for everybody to solve 80% of tasks. And for the remaining 20% everybody needs a fine setting and update.
In accordance with the principle of Pareto the first 80% are easily implemented. We are trying, studying, watching videos, getting used. Everything works. This is a small implementation.
The remaining 20% are more difficult. You need the research and the expert's work. Sometimes - "in terms of workflows". Sometimes - a database designer, a REST API expert and a programmer on some kind of React JS.
In this article we talk about a most interesting case of developing "applications of the second type" for cloud Bitrix24 and show the possibilities of expanding the service functionality.
It is a common practice for the civilized world to love customers and fight against losses using the iron of CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Especially because the modern CRM can do a lot of interesting things. They will show the sales funnel, as well as punish the idlers.
Being adepts of Bitrix24, when mentioning the CRM and workflows we first of all think of Bitrix24. Besides that Bitrix24 is a domestic development. #importsubstitution #forrubles #inexpensive.
Bitrix24 offers a broad functionality already "from the box".The hope is that it fits to everybody. But paraphrasing a classic - every business is unhappy in its own way. Therefore it fits at first, but then - not very much.
Everybody needs to solve their own problems. Deal with their own losses. Reflect accurately specific processes adopted within the organization and making its fundament.
If the standard is not enough, you should expand the possibilities.
For such tasks there are Applications used in Bitrix24. Marketplace (analogue of AppStore for Bitrix24) contains a big amount of different applications. From the password keepers to production calendars for superisors. But what shall you do, if that exact something that you want does not exist? You should turn to professionals, who will make the best for you.
Let us explain briefly.
Bitrix24 is a "cloud service". The word "cloud" usually means the logic permanence. But in case of "Bitrix24" you can "expand the opportunities".
To do this, you should create an application of one of three types:
The second type is an application that can do at least something by obtaining data from the database of your Bitrix24, and displays it on your page.
The third type can receive data from Bitrix24 and use them somewhere else. On a mobile phone, for example, or in another application.
Those things change that can be measured.
Using Bitrix24 you can make the company more transparent, spend less time for comunicative losses. If the workflows are simple, it is not difficult. And what if you have hundreds of employees and some operations involve dozens of people?
In this case you have to solve not the problem of communication itself, but the problem of management tracking.
At the end of 2015 an advertising agency Nektarin contacted us. The objective was, to say the least, extraordinary. A difficult task from a big company is a pleasant challenge. When such a task comes from our professional colleagues the responsibility doubles - these guys will not miss a single mistake.
Nektarin agency has existed for 10 years at the advertising market. 150+ employees, loud places in the ratings, big customers and an urgent need to optimize all that.
We understood that we would team up, when a man from Nektarine said "Your blog is actually the coolest thing that can be found about Bitrix24 on the Internet". Frankly speaking, we are of the same opinion.
It was necessary to simplify the "trafic management", that is to improve monitoring and operational project management at the stage of pre-sale preparation, production and delivery to customers.
The amount of data to monitor was extremely big, there were a lot of profiles, services, responsibles. As a rule, such things are maintained in most organizations in MS Excel/Googl Docs, until a personal accounting and administrative system is created.
That is the system that we started establishing.
What exactly had to be done? To create an environment for maintaining workflows (on the basis of B24) and implement their monitoring.
That is how a common understanding of the task appeared - implement monitoring of the projects statuses at the presale preparation stage and track the KPI performance in projects at the production stage.
The task was noble, but not easy:
How to apply Bitrix24 tools to the real work of the company? Workflows? CRM? Reports? Chats?
It was obvious - we needed to "add a little bit". But how? Cutting the box version? Making a self-written code, forgetting about Bitrix24? Making an application? Of what type?
Will API Bitrix24 allow to generate all the necessary reports?
What dta in what way shall be shown?
It was a bit scary. To make ourselves secure - we decided to start from the design and develop the technical specifications.
Here is the approximate structure of the developed TS:
Conceptual database scheme
Nonstandard data and entities
Availability of data through the REST API
Report on the meetings of the week
A summary report on KPI
List of proposals (starting KPI management screen)
Data at the page of KPI indicators entry
Reports - structure, modular grid, operation logic
Monitoring of data from the CRM
Report on the incoming cash flow
Report on the meetings of the week
A summary report on KPI
KPI entry - modular grids, operation logic
Page with the list of applications
Detail page of KPI entry
We started with the preparation of the conceptual data scheme. To do this, we studied the Customer's main workflows, picked out the most important entities and started thinking how to combine that with the Bitrix24 functionality.
As a result, a scheme has appeared, each element of which had a double name - an entity from the customer's business logic + an entity from Bitrix24 to store it.
The next step was the development of modular grids of all the necessary reports. This work is very important - here the customer sees for the first time how all the abstarctions will work.
Charts, filters, clarifications, work logic, user scenarios - after completion of this step all the participants clearly understood how ech page of the application will work.
The design result was discussed with the programmer, who analyzed the data availability, selected the library for establishing charts and highly appreciated the manager's and the client's fantasies.
The customs gave the go-ahead.
The delay happened because of the absence of some methods in the REST API. We couldn't manage the work with Commercial offers from our application. And it was important.
Here Stepan Ovchinnikov had to apply his "personal charm". As a result, Sergey Vostrikov, Yury Tushinsky and 1C-Bitrix developers provided that what was necessary almost on time.
Thank them very much for that, because usually a response to particular tasks comes in a poorly predictable timeline for obvious operational reasons.
The scheme is intentionally made unreadable :-)
TS was written, appreciated, the production started.
What did the customer receive at the output?
So far - confidence in the result.
Confidence that the task and the required result are understood correctly.
Confidence in the timing and cost that we announced - estimation in work hours, everything is transparent.
Confidence that the task will be executed - the map of the area is ready, all the complexities are known.Minimization of risks, especially in complex projects, is advantageous both for the customer and for the developer. It is a smart and mature approach. And we love smart customers - for them we have special conditions and the best specialists.
The result will be in a few months.
We won't be able to show the Bitrix system itself, but we will surely make boast of the feedback.