Workflow automation has been one of the key trends this year so far, and Zoho, a company known for its suite of affordable business tools has joined the parade with a new low code workflow product called Qntrl (pronounced control).
Zoho's Rodrigo Vaca, who is in charge of Qntrl's marketing says that most of the solutions we've been seeing are built for larger enterprise customers. Zoho is aiming for the mid-market with a product that requires less technical expertise than traditional business process management tools.
"We enable customers to design their workflows visually without the need for any particular kind of prior knowledge of business process management notation or any kind of that esoteric modeling or discipline," Vaca told me.
While Vaca says, Qntrl could require some technical help to connect a workflow to more complex backend systems like CRM or ERP, it allows a less technical end user to drag and drop the components and then get help to finish the rest.
"We certainly expect that when you need to connect to NetSuite or SAP you're going to need a developer. If nothing else, the IT guys are going to ask questions, and they will need to provide access," Vaca said.
He believes this product is putting this kind of tooling in reach of companies that may have been left out of workflow automation for the most part, or which have been using spreadsheets or other tools to create crude workflows. With Qntrl, you drag and drop components, and then select each component and configure what happens before, during and after each step.
What's more, Qntrl provides a central place for processing and understanding what's happening within each workflow at any given time, and who is responsible for completing it.
We've seen bigger companies like Microsoft, SAP, ServiceNow and others offering this type of functionality over the last year as low code workflow automation has taken center stage in business.
This has become a more pronounced need during the pandemic when so many workers could not be in the office. It made moving work in a more automated workflow more imperative, and we have seen companies moving to add more of this kind of functionality as a result.
Brent Leary, principal analyst at CRM Essentials, says that Zoho is attempting to remove some the complexity from this kind of tool.
"It handles the security pieces to make sure the right people have access to the data and processes used in the workflows in the background, so regular users can drag and drop to build their flows and processes without having to worry about that stuff," Leary told me.
Qntrl is available starting today starting at just $7 per user month.