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> Resources > The Human Services Professionals > Web Pages > C1 Profile Apps @ Frontline Apps  

C1 Integrated Multi-App Tools Package (IMAT)

An Introduction to IMATs
 
An IMAT is useful only to the organisation that has taken on a number of apps, and is now starting to think: what are the economies of scale in this? In other words, if you have only one app on your Frontline Apps, no need to read any further.
 
An IMAT is not a function-specific app. It doesn't carry out a specific role for you such as rostering, client funds management, OHS or WorkCover.
 
Rather, it is a road map, sitting separate and to one side of your apps, like an air traffic control tower, coordinating and serving your apps to, for example:
  • Maximise data sharing (for example, if a user just asked for access to a given app, should they get asked: "you have asked for App X ... would you also like Apps Y and Z");

  • Minimise duplication (for example, are you asking the same question in two different apps?);

  • Comandeer fields that you might have otherwise have located in your apps (for example, you might prefer someone central in your organisation to maintain houses addresses, and not allow these to be edited by users - don't worry, users won't complain, the less fields they have to fill out, the better); and

  • Create Muti-App Reports, sourcing data arising from your suite of apps as a whole - this is so much more powerful than each App Manager creating app-specific reports "within the app".
It's all about getting your apps working together, rather than them all doing their own thing, like silos (no doubt, when we mention the word "silos" here, with respect to apps, you have organisational analogies springing to your mind).
 
Critically, in almost always all cases, an IMAT must be designed by an organisation for an organisation, because no two organisations are ever the same, is our experience. Not even close.
 
A reasonably comprehensive IMAT might be equivalent to one or two apps in scale, and is usually more powerful and valuable than any given app, in its own right.
 
How to Get Started
 
Usually, the best place to start is a single whiteboard session, convened by us as a half day consultation, to create a basic flow chart for your IMAT.
 
Such a session might start with a single box drawn at the top of the whiteboard, that might read something like "House Closes", or "Staff Member Applies for Higher Duties".
 
And then, we start to draw arrows, and it quickly becomes very clear, as to what you want your road map to looks like, as to how you will want your IMAT to work.
 
Our IMAT Tool Box
 
We have many Proof of Concept Single App* Tools in place that could be promoted into an IMAT. Some examples follow.
 
*At this point we note that we cannot reasonably and safely create Multi-App Tools except in the context of an IMAT. Even a small, simple IMAT might be sufficient, if your needs are not too great. But we do need a road map, otherwise tools tend to quickly proliferate in isolation to each other, creating cascading inefficiencies. And then, if your suite of tools starts to proliferate, then just like a real road map, your IMAT road map must grow at the same pace: the Melbourne based Melway as it exists today is a larger book than the first version Melway released in 1966.
 
Profile Tools
 
For example, a standard companion to a Client Financial Plan App (into which a user will enter things like client expenditure) will typically be a Client Financial Plan Fees Tool (into which a central manager can enter the standard fees, and not allow that as an editable fees field).
 
An IMAT would ask: could this information also service other apps, such as the Residential Statement App?
 
About Workflow and Actions Tools 
 
Workflow and Actions Tools usually take the form of handy pop-ups as a user begins to open Frontline Apps, but also may impose themselves on a user by email who had no intention of visiting Frontline Apps.
 
This sort of approach takes the administrative burden of chasing staff members away from managers. Also, this approach gives staff members a sporting chance of compliance before they need to be chased.
 
Simple examples of Workflow and Actions Tools are:
  • Notifications Tools (where a user might get notified that "... an assessment is awaiting your attention; would you like to be pushed directly into that now?"

  • Messaging Tools (where you can log a message for users, and know that they will see that message - compare this to emails sent via line managers that may or may not filter down to users).
Both of these examples can be found mapped into the following link:
 
 
Corporate Reporting Tools
 
Flexible Corporate Reporting Tools (CRTs) draw data from multiple sources, including RosterCoster, other apps at Frontline Apps, and even tools not supplied by us.\
 
Our CRTs can even feed data into your own CRTs, if you have any (this is achieved by "Views" we can set up and maintain for you, and a suite of Views may be equivalent in scope to half an app or more, depending on your needs.
 
CRTs, like all other tools, recognise the fact that:
  • Where an App Manager tends to imagine an App accessed by multiple users (vertical reporting);

  • An Operational Manager tends to imagine a single user accessing multiple Apps (horizontal reporting).
The distinction is huge, in terms of user experience.
 
And the distinction is best managed by an IMAT.