We’ve officially launched the monday Apps framework – a low-code platform that gives teams the ability to quickly create enterprise-grade business apps, or functionalities, on top of monday.com Work OS.
Using the monday Apps framework, teams create their own building blocks, such as integrations, workflow automations, data visualizations, or dashboard widgets with a lot less coding and in less time than traditional app development.
These building blocks are made instantly available to business users to use in creating beautiful applications in minutes.
In advance of this launch, we invited a few monday.com partners and customers to participate in the beta testing with an inaugural two-day virtual “Builders Workshop” where they were given the opportunity to build custom apps of their own.
KPMG, one of the world’s largest accounting firms and a monday.com partner, participated in the workshop. We had the pleasure of interviewing KPMG’s Head of Product Nir Hinga, who led the KPMG team, to learn how they found a way to automate mundane, time-consuming processes by integrating monday.com with their Smart Document Reader.
Nir, let’s dive right in. You wouldn’t normally expect a consulting firm like KPMG to have an in-house team of developers who build custom apps for clients. What’s driving this initiative?
We operate in a very traditional market. Consulting firms, especially accounting firms, have been doing the same thing the same way for years. They typically stick to what they’re used to, which is a very old fashioned way of doing things.
If you look at traditional consulting customers, they don’t usually get their services on a digital platform. A consultant will usually visit the customers in person at their offices where they would work on the customer’s servers and follow their procedures. But this is not the KPMG way.
Over the last few years, KPMG has been making a considerable effort to be more innovative in the way we work and the way we provide our services. Part of this was forming development teams that are able to build very advanced custom apps for our clients and, where needed, integrate them with their existing ERP systems.
Many times such solutions are based on AI (artificial intelligence), Big Data, and additional advanced technologies. And it’s important that we’re able to be able to easily integrate these apps with other platforms.
One of those apps is our Smart Document Reader, which is the app we chose to integrate with monday.com in this Builders Workshop.
Tell us a little bit about this Smart Document Reader. Why did you build it?
As I mentioned earlier, we operate in a very traditional market, so we see a lot of our customers still relying on paper. And handling paper invoices, for example, takes up a lot of time and involves a lot of manual labor in having to type in all the data into individual spreadsheet cells for hundreds of invoices every day. This manual data entry method also comes with a high chance of human error.
So we decided to build a cloud-based Smart Document Reader as a solution to help businesses advance further into the digital world, automate manual data entry, and reduce human error when they handle invoices and expenses. The Smart Document Reader automatically identifies, decodes, and analyzes data from any document in any format and language with the ability to also automatically extract the data contained within it.
Why did KPMG choose to integrate Smart Document Reader into the monday.com Work OS?
We have this powerful image data extraction engine in the Smart Document Reader app, and we wanted to connect it to monday.com Work OS, a flexible digital platform. monday.com Work OS would then capture the data extracted from the document allowing for a more seamless business process and centralizing tools and systems in one place.
The integration gives our customers the ability to streamline workflows such as invoice handling, expense reporting, and other processes – and work much more efficiently.
There are so many legacy platforms that no one wants to use. They are rigid and not user-friendly. On the other hand, monday.com Work OS, has a very intuitive interface on top of a customizable business process automation engine. It’s easy for the customer to navigate, and now with the new integration, it gains the added capabilities of the Smart Document Reader.
Using monday.com, our customers can set up and organize their data and workflows any way they choose. That’s why we wanted to bring our secret sauce, our Smart Document Reader, into monday.com and offer a powerful solution to customers that’s unique from whatever else is out there.
And this wouldn’t just be for a one-time integration but something that could occur automatically on a regular basis, saving our customers’ time and money.
So, how does the app integration actually work? Can you give us an example with expense reporting?
When filling out an expense report, for example, a customer would typically have a bunch of receipts from personal expenses. They would then take those receipts and upload them to the File column on a board in monday.com, which would be set up as an expense management solution.
They would then see the expense report automatically generated with all the relevant columns filled in from the date of the transaction to the amount and so on without them having to type out a single piece of information.
And after a while, the customer will start to gather more and more expenses and be able to see at a glance all their expenses in one place and use the different views monday.com Work OS has to see the data in different ways.
They can see for example how much the company spent on restaurants, how much on taxis, and how much the total compares to other quarters. It can help them see where employees might be spending too much and decide if they want to put new policies in place.
So, the ability to understand how much money they’re spending at any time really easily is critical. And displaying this data in different ways makes it really valuable as well.
Your team built an app in only two days! What was the process like for them?
It was easier than other integrations we’ve built. Our developers had a Starter Kit so they could see examples of how the app framework works and see apps that are already working. It was very simple to do, and I think it’s even better than other leading App frameworks we’ve worked with before.
Now that you have this new app integration, what’s next?
We also plan to build a currency exchange app and then combine it into one expense report board that will automate currency conversion for expense reports and invoices.
In the future, I’d like customers to be able to go to monday.com and see a Work OS board that includes all the capabilities they need, including Smart Document Reader. That’s why we want to continue to build apps for monday.com users and be a part of the marketplace. We’ll be able to share the Smart Document Reader with anyone using monday.com Work OS.
We really want to build apps that are rarely built in our industry, but that our customers really need and are easy to use. The Smart Document Reader is a great example of that, as it allows companies to control and supervise their expenses effortlessly. And the monday Apps framework is a great way to integrate our new apps into monday.com Work OS.
A big thank you to Nir Hinga for speaking with us about KPMG’s experience building an integration on top of monday.com Work OS. To learn more about monday Apps read more in our blog for monday apps developer.