Zoho launches Qntrl to automate business processes

Zoho launches Qntrl to automate business processes

Zoho is launching a new workflow automation platform — but rather than integrate it with its suite of SaaS applications at Zoho.com, it is creating a new division, Qntrl, to operate it.

Whereas larger enterprises might choose to rebuild their workflows in a platform like ServiceNow, or automate them using tools such as Celonis, Nintex, or Appian, Qntrl (which the company pronounces “control”) is aiming its platform at midmarket companies with up to 5,000 employees that want to orchestrate and automate workflows between existing applications.

That’s part of the reason why Qntrl is a separate entity from Zoho.com: While it can be used to automate interactions between Zoho’s CRM, helpdesk, mail, analytics, project planning, file management, finance, and HR tools, the company also wants businesses to feel free to integrate it with Zoho.com’s competitors, including Workday, Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Google Workspace.

Bottom-up automation

HR, finance, and marketing are three areas that Qntrl’s Chief Marketing Orchestrator Rodrigo Vaca sees as ripe for the new tool. These business-critical processes are often too simple to profit from high-end automation and orchestration tools, or they are too complex for other self-service automation tools but not important enough to draw help from IT, marking a sweet spot for Qntrl, according to Vaca.

While Qntrl might find its way into an organization through one of the business departments, following a bottom-up approach to automation, the platform also offers tools for CIOs to ensure compliance with data privacy and security policies, or to manage rolling out Qntrl companywide as a top-down process, said Vaca.

Processes are modelled in Qntrl as finite-state machines using a graphical interface that enables the creation of flowchart-like diagrams that Qntrl calls “blueprints.” These capture the various states a process might find itself, and the actions or events (submission, approval, rejection, for example) that would cause it to “transition” from one state to another.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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