FAQ: Zoom Workflow product
Q. We have our own processes that we have been using for years for creative assignments; will we need to change our processes to fit into Zoom workflow?
Zoom Workflow solution has been designed to model your existing creative process. Using our Workflow Studio software you can model your current workflows, at the same time you can take advantage of automatic task status transitions, automatic routing of digital assets, email notifications to eliminate unnecessary steps in order to speed up the job execution cycle. Many of our customers start out by creating a replica of the exisitng manual processes only to quickly discover there are tremendous opportunities for optimizing their existing practises. For example instead of an operations person sending an email or making a phone call to the editorial staff to review changes, Zoom will notify the editors and automatically present them with the correct version of the digital assets that need review.
Q. What if I want to assign a review task to a group of people instead of an individual?
Zoom supports hierarchical roles that are a collection of users. You can easily assign a review task to a role. All the users in the role, will be an active participant in the approval process. You can even specify approval policies such as majority approval, veto, all or nothing etc.
Q. We have many different departments and roles participating in executing a creative job, will all the stakeholders be able to use the Zoom workflow? Is its usage limited to only creative teams?
Zoom Workflow is designed to automate the entire creative cycle. All the critical stakeholders can participate in the workflow including but not limited to internal contributors such as creative teams, account services, operations, project managers, editorial, copywriters, marketing as well as external partners and, end customers. Depending upon the role, Zoom Workflow allows stakeholders in the creative projects to use the evolphin Zoom desktop and web based applications. For instance, out of the box, Zoom Workflow comes with a web approval application that can be white-labelled/custom branded and hosted on premise or on the cloud to allow external contributors to provide visual feedback and collaborate with internal team members such as account services. Zoom Workflow takes the pain out of setting up correct versions of assets for approval, marking assets as published once a creative job is completed, notifying stakeholders when their tasks are ready to be performed, allowing managers to track the progress of a job visually. Zoom Workflow connects all necessary stakeholders and enables you to completely streamline the creative process.
Q. Right now we have an operations person manually routing tasks and assets via a physical job jacket, does your tool help with routing information and files to the required parties?
Yes, absolutely, this is the corner stone of the Zoom Workflow product - automatic routing of tasks, reviews and digital assets. Once you visually model your workflow, Zoom takes over the choreography of informing concerned parties/stakeholders, tracking the tasks they are working on as well as managing the status of these tasks. Usually after Zoom Workflow is deployed, much of the manual burden placed on operations or project managers is eliminated. This results in significant reductions in the creative project execution costs.
Q. How do I get my end customers and partners involved in the approval process?
Zoom Workflow allows the project administrator to create specific roles for external partners and customers. You can then create review tasks with client specific roles as the approver. Zoom will then email an invitation to the external contributors whenever a job requires them to review the progress. They can simply login to a branded web page and get instant access to the artwork that needs their visual feedback. Using the Zoom web based approval application, your end customers can collaborate in real-time with account/project managers to visually markup the assets. There is no need to send end customers, PDFs or JPEGs of your digital assets as the external contributors can markup even structured formats like Photoshop or InDesign from their web browser, without ever installing applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign etc. Zoom also ensures they have access to the correct version of the artwork files in order to eliminate client facing errors that occur when large numbers of projects are executing simultaneously, making it hard for the account/project managers to track the correct revisions.
Q. What happens if the account services team changes the client brief? How do we ensure new instructions are complied with?
This leads to a lot of chaos as team members need to be notified and updated on the new client brief. Once Zoom Workflow is deployed, one or more review steps can be setup in the Zoom Workflow Studio for the account services role. That way if the brief changes, the account services team can simply reject the artwork created so far, upload the new brief and automatically have the downstream contributors notified via email and desktop alerts. Since Zoom supports iterative workflows, creative teams can work on the next iteration with the new brief/comments from the account/project managers. New versions created are automatically routed for the next round of reviews.
In addition, the client services team has the ability to stop and re-start the job from the beginning if the specs have changed completely. Zoom will notify the contributors, take care of the book keeping around asset versions, put locks on edited files as well as updating the status of tasks that need to be performed again.
Q. What happens if in the middle of a running job, we need to re-assign a task to another designer?
Most workflow products lack the flexibility to accommodate dynamic changes to a running job. With Zoom Workflow, this flexibility is built right into the core of the workflow engine. A project manager can simply re-assign any task (running or not yet started) to a new owner. Zoom will notify the previous and current owner of this change, it will automatically release any locks on the assets and route the correct version of the digital assets to the new task owner.
Q. Our marketing team wants us to redo the job as they decided to change strategy mid-stream, how do I inform all the resources and begin from scratch again?
Dynamic changes to a running workflow are key features of the Zoom Workflow. If the strategy or specs change mid-stream, the project manager can stop and re-start a job. All the work-in-progress checked-in changes remain versioned, but the contributors are notified to re-start the assigned tasks. The whole workflow choreography is automatically enacted from the very first task.
Q. We don’t know what digital assets will be created during the execution of the job, how do I setup a review by the editorial staff? Do I need to manually upload the assets that need review?
This is a frequent issue with existing workflow management software - the need to manually upload or associate digital assets with tasks. With Zoom Workflow, dynamic asset selection rules can be attached as task metadata. When a task becomes active, the dynamic rules automatically execute, this allows freshly created assets to be routed to the next task. The project manager does not have to spend hours figuring out the set of assets to attach to a review. Zoom will do that automatically, including determining the correct version to route to the task or review in question.
Q. We have a set of 10-12 processes that we re-use for various jobs, can I create a template of a creative process and re-use that for a new job?
Yes, you can save any job as a template in a template library. When you do that, Zoom will prompt you to preserve metadata (owner, roles etc) associated with tasks and reviews within the job graph. A template job can be instantiated as many time to allow a project manager to re-use the workflow blue-print for new jobs saving valuable time in setting up a job. Prior to Zoom, the account/project manager would need to go through a number of manual steps including setting up job folders, emailing contributors, assigning assets. All these activities can be saved to a Zoom job template and easily configured by instantiating a new job from a template.
Q. Our client services team often sits down with the client to markup artwork/campaign/assets. Is there a way in Zoom to automate this collaboration?
Yes, Zoom Workflow features a web approval client that allows the end client and account services to markup and view each other’s annotations in real-time, similar to instant messaging but on a canvas that is the actual digital asset. Markups are stored as a separate layer that do not change the native document. This can be performed remotely over the Internet cutting down travel time and promoting rapid feedback from the end client to increase speed to market as well as meet client’s expectations.
Q. Can multiple parallel tasks that happen simultaneously be supported?
Yes, in real life many contributors work in parallel and merge their work in order to execute a creative project. Zoom allows you to model parallel task as well as ‘joins’ to merge work from multiple parallel contributors.
Q. Can I prompt a user to fill in the assets for the next task?
es, Zoom Workflow allows you to setup manual ‘prompts’ for selecting assets for the next task. The specified user is notified and can then change the assets associated with the next task. This is extremely useful for complex workflows that are unpredictable and require an operations person to determine the assets that need to be worked on in the next step.
Q. Can I determine the route a rejected task takes?
Yes, with Zoom Workflow you can specify a sub-workflow on a rejection. The Zoom Workflow Studio shows you a visual representation of the task routing for a job including rejections.
Q. Does the workflow solution support all of the popular file types?
Yes, we support all of the popular file types including Adobe, RAW camera images etc. Please contact us if you have question about a specific file type.
Q. How do we ensure the right version of an asset is sent to the right end client?
After a Zoom workflow job completes, all the assets modified or created are marked as published. This allows a delivery manager to pick the correct version of the assets and deliver them to the end client. If the end client is involved in the job, a final review task can be assigned to the client. The client can then download the assets in various formats directly using the web approval client.
Q. We have a fairly chaotic organization with little documentation about our creative processes, what services can you provide to help us transition to a more efficient workflow?
We are your partners in improving your creative processes. As part of working with evolphin, you will have access to a business analyst(s) who will lead you through the steps needed to document and transition existing processes to a fully automated Zoom workflow. The business analyst will bring his industry experience to recommend best practises and offer advice on creative process optimization.