Author: Michiel van Sebille

Homeathon 2020 - Timely (Topdesk / Exact Integration)

In November 2020 it was time for the Oliver IT hackathon again, and it would be different than usual this year because of course we were and are dealing with Corona and therefore we could not be together in the office. So this time the hackathon was done from home. And although we did not see each other in the office, the experience was almost the same as in previous years.

Normally we try to come up with real customer cases, but because everything was different because of Corona, Allard, Willem and Michiel decided to do it differently this year. Not a customer case and not directly with SAP ... but a real innovation that would benefit Oliver IT directly and we as employees manage most of it ourselves.

We use the Topdesk tool to manage the applications of our customers, and from there we handle the notifications and change requests from our customers. In addition, the timesheets are recorded in Exact, whereby we within Oliver IT establish a 1 on 1 relationship between the report and an activity in Exact.

Until now, there was no direct link between these 2 systems, so the activities had to be created manually, which almost always entailed the same operation.

  • Notification is created in Topdesk
  • Hour code with budget is requested from Topdesk via email by administrator
  • Administrative employee receives and reads the mail
  • Administration employee opens Exact and creates the activity
  • Administration employee mail Topdesk employee that it has been created to the administrator
  • Administrator can write hours and further handling the report.

During this analysis, we see that we can fully automate steps 2 to 5. And that could just save 15 minutes per incoming notification. In addition, this can also make a difference in the license costs, because fewer employees have to create activities.

Since Exact had a new API version this year, so that activities can also be created, Allard, Willem and Michiel have therefore looked at whether it was possible to create the hour code directly from Topdesk.

This turned out to be possible, with the help of Oliver Elements. They have been able to create a service within Oliver Elements which can be called directly from Topdesk. Based on the customer and the object selected in Topdesk, the service of Oliver Elements retrieves the necessary input data from Exact, prepares this data as input for the creation of the activity and then calls the Exact API.

The trigger can then be set from Topdesk in such a way that the moment a new card is created and the data is complete, the web service in Oliver Elements is automatically called up. When everything goes well, the code is automatically generated. In the unlikely event that something goes wrong, an email will be sent that the Exact code has not yet been created. The Exact code can then be triggered manually via a menu item in Topdesk.

Allard Willem and Michiel were able to realize this web service within 24 hours and it is currently also actively used. As a result, we were able to save 7 hours on 28 notifications in November 2020 alone.

We now also realize that this solution is a good solution for several companies and that this saving is also possible with systems other than Topdesk and / or Exact.

If there are 2 systems (whether or not in the cloud), we can have them communicate directly with each other and without building additional user interfaces, and we can simply integrate this seamlessly with the same systems.

Do you think after reading: "wow I would like to know more about that!" Please contact us and we will be happy to discuss this with you.

All in all, another great experience, which we also immediately enjoyed ourselves; said Allard, Willem and Michiel!

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Robin Schutten Sales
Robin Schutten