Having already processed hundreds of thousands of ticket approvals for wide ranging use cases such as change management approvals, travel and expense requests, deal approvals and much much more in the Approvals app, this next generation approval app Approve by SweetHawk offers supreme flexibility in how approvals can be configured, while also drastically simplifying the setup process.
Why did we create a new app rather than update the existing app? Feedback was telling us we needed a simpler setup process and as such had to remove some of the features that were too complex and went largely unused for that reason but we didn't want to disadvantage existing customers by forcing a migration timeline on them.
The app features some familiar functionality but has addressed many feature requests raised by our customers in the past few years. Here's what the new app can do in broad terms:
- Approvals can still be initiated by agents or via triggers
- Approvers still don't need to be agents in Zendesk
- Improved branding options for approval email and portal
- Approvals can now be configured to go to anyone whether it's specific users or groups, users referenced on the ticket like requester, assignee, followers but also to user in the ticket's organization. Approvals can even be configured to be sent to approvers specified in ticket fields, organization fields or user fields allowing for example for line manager escalation workflows.
- Minimum approvers needed when sent in parallel can be configured by absolute number or percentage.
- Escalations are now defined per approval rather than per approver enabling much more flexibility. Lots of users are using escalations as reminders and this is now fully supported. To send a reminder to an approver, setup and escalation to the same approvers as many times as you like, resulting in a reminder email to them.
If you are currently using Approvals and are consider whether to migrate, the most important differences with the old app are:
- Define the visibility of an approval (admin, manager or agent) which determines who can add it to a ticket.
- Send approvals automatically via a trigger or simply use the trigger to add it to the ticket for the agent to send, making it a requirement to solve the ticket.
- Sequential approvals are now done with a single definition rather than multiple templates.
- Escalations are no longer defined on the approver level but rather on a per definition level.
- Choose color and label of approval buttons.
- Optional button for abstaining from responding to an approval request, giving essentially the same result as not responding at all, but can help speed up the inevitable outcome of this, for example helping to escalate the approval faster.
- Ability for agents to mark approvers as unavailable, helping an approval be escalated faster when an approver is known to be unavailable.
- Fully customizable ticket updates when the state of an approval request changes.
- Ability to exclude the person requesting the approval from participating in the approval.
- Complete branding options for the approval email.
- Branding options for the approval portal including the host name.
- Easier way to add liquid markup placeholders in the approval message.
- Admin view of all current approvals as well as the history of past approvals.
- Ability to send an approval basically to anyone as any ticket, user or organization field can be referenced in the approval recipients. If you are currently using manager fields, this is the new and simplified way of setting this up.
- Approvers don't need an approval email to access the approval portal, they can visit the portal and enter their email address to obtain a sign-in link.
Features that no longer exist in the new app
- Ticket fields are no longer disabled while an approval is pending.
- Conditions when an approval is required are no longer 'live' meaning that the ticket needs to be submitted first as this is now trigger based.
Migrating to the new app
While the two apps are similar enough that – for the most part – your approval templates from the old app should work as an approval definition in the new app, they are different enough that they cannot be transferred other than copying the message to the approver. This means you'll need to recreate each definition, however, the process for doing so in the new app is significantly more streamlined and user friendly.
At this time we encourage you to install the new app on your Sandbox account if you have it or alongside the old app to test it. Note that we do not charge for testing so please contact us for an extended trial on the new app. At this time we have no plans to end support for the Approvals app.