OmniStar Insights

Four OmniStar features to boost your performance

We’re always looking for new ways to make your work life easier. Scroll down to read more about new OmniStar features that’ll free up time for you and your colleagues.

Approve grants anywhere, anytime. 

Grant approvals have never been easier in OmniStar. With the familiar ding of an email notification, decision-makers can click on a link containing all the information they need to make, and notify their decision, without even having to log on. All the supporting documentation needed will be right there. 

Given the possibly sensitive nature of information in these links and the associated decisions, an expiry date can be set to render an emailed link unusable after a given period. 

Powerful, daisy-chained approvals lighten the load. 

Enjoy more benefits of automation, with daisy-chained approvals. With OmniStar’s new daisy-chained approvals, approvals can be sequenced. Approval actions are then triggered by actions on the previous approval in the sequence. 

So how does this look in practice? 

  • When a workflow is created, so is the set of associated approvals. 
  • A grant administrator assigns approvals to users (appropriate decision-makers or action takers for each approval). 
  • A grant administrator can tailor a daisy chain of approvals by inserting and removing approvals in the chain.
  • Assigned users will only be notified that they have an approval needing action when the previous (or predecessor) approval in the approval chain has been actions (e.g., decision recorded).
  • An assigned user can then update/record their approval. 
  • Where an assigned user is unable to record a decision (due to absence etc.) another user can be assigned in their place to prevent delays in the approval process. 
  • If a decision is made that means subsequent approvals in the process become unnecessary (assuming no decisions have been recorded for subsequent approvals). 

The power of daisy-chained approvals built into specific workflows removes the burden of needing to update workflows, removes the burden of needing to update workflows when decision points impact approval processes. 

What’s not to love? 

Fast-tracked access to the information you need. 

Get reliable, up-to-date information on any aspect of your giving, research, or governance, at your fingertips, with OmniStar’s new ad-hoc reporting and lockup functionality. 

OmniStar’s enhanced Smartforms and search capacity provide better and faster access to information on the go. All types of users can benefit from improved information and insights via dashboards and reports. 

More flexibility and control with new Milestone actions

Great news. 

For OmniStar users, reaching a Milestone can often trigger a need for action of one kind or another. Traditionally, OmniStar managed this by incorporating actions into a dew, limited types of predefined Milestones. 

But now, as soon as a Milestone has been included in an OmniStar workflow, you can add specific Milestone actions to trigger actions(s) associated with reaching that milestone. These actions might, for example, send an email to notify certain people that the milestone has been reached or release a new report.

Milestone actions are time-dependent, workflow actions that occur in your grants, research, or ethics management process. Once defined, you can edit Milestone actions to change the actions (s) or switch the actions on (activate) or off (deactivate). With so much flexibility you’ll have way more control over milestone-related actions. 

 

In May we spotlighted four of our favourite features to help our users efficiently manage their projects in OmniStar.

Use Maps to generate meaningful multi-region insights

Ever wondered about the geographical distribution of your funding applications? When you’re busy managing your day-to-day tasks, it’s easy to lose sight of what matters most. 

OmniStar’s Maps feature captures and maps the regions of origin and dollar value of all your funding applications. You can use it to visualise your funding program and generate valuable and instant insights into where your money is going with OmniStar’s easy-to-read maps.

Save time using Bulk Review to review your applications

With OmniStar’s Bulk Review, reviewing applications is a piece of cake! You can review multiple applications in a single batch – freeing up time for all the other things on your to-do list. 

When you use Bulk Review, you can open a single review form and review multiple applications at the same time. While you’re doing that, you can also:

  • Declare or change conflict of interest information in individual applications;
  • Do a bulk download of documents from multiple applications; and
  • Update your review form across multiple sessions and then submit all of your application reviews together, when you’re done. 

Imagine all of the time you’ll save!

 

Protect, store, and suppose of your documents with confidence, with new features in Record Management System

To help you meet the National Archive’s publishing and disposal guidelines (National Archive Act 1983), we’ve updated OmniStar’s Record Management System. 

You can now:

  • Add a Protective marking – such as Official Protected, Confidential, Secret;
  • Add a Disposal hold – so your document will never be deleted!
  • Add a Disposal class – to manage how your document is stored in the longer term;
  • Add Notes – to provide additional information about your document;
  • Have more control over who can edit your documents; and 
  • Schedule tasks to delete documents, and then receive automated emails confirming the deletion. 

 

Keep track of project and agreement variations, with OmniStar’s new Project Variations Wizard

OmniStar’s new Project Variations Wizard gives you a birds-eye view of variations to your project. Fewer hassles and oversights for you; with any changes to things such as scheduling, contact details, project agreement, etc.., over the life of your project, now captured in one place. 

You’ll also see:

  • A more friendly user interface;
  • Easier-to-use Project Agreements located together;
  • Links between generated agreements and any subsequent variations;
  • Comments included within project agreements to aid communication between users; and
  • Improved publishing/ display of agreement documents. 

Zarthost Boman
Written by: Sarah Jordaan June 2021

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