The word “Automate” often strikes fear into the hearts of admins and can very quickly turn into a workflow spaghetti.
Work Relay’s Enterprise Business Process Management App not only reinvents automation in Salesforce, but it turns a process mess into a scalable, business friendly, and simple to configure solution.
Work Relay was founded in 2013 with the goal of combining both project management and process management methodologies into Salesforce. The application they provide adds a business flavour to automation, adding in the power to view complex workflow logic in the form of Swimming Lanes, Kanban, and Wireframe models.
Their client base ranges from companies that have large scale orgs where the tool provides great value in documentation of these processes and understanding their Salesforce solution, to small businesses that find Work Relay a simple way to create automation with minimal Salesforce experience required.
There’s plenty of exciting features that help redefine automation, the core tool being the process generation suite that allows you to flesh out a process using drag and drop components.
On your left, you have your toolkit of elements in order to map how you the process should function, and the actions that are triggered based on different components, and even add a custom component that you can build yourself if you have development experience.
These elements include the ability to add in different summing lanes, milestones, approval processes and other conditions to support a series of events required. The actions allow you to automatically alter data in various forms, send emails, trigger code or API callouts, or even dive deeper into another process that you’ve built and add an additional layer (creating a process onion!).
The functionality is similar to visual flow, but is much more intuitive and based on traditional business flow diagrams.
Processes can be triggered in the same way workflows can, but can also be manually executed or scheduled to run in the future.
See a more advanced example provided by the team to showcase:
Another feature included is the form builder, which can be linked to one of the blue nodes in a process step and used as an alternative way to capture data entry. Alternatively it can be used as a template for a VisualForce Page and provides its source code by clicking a button.
There’s also the “Wizard” functionality which allows combining multiple forms for processes that involve capturing a series of data points. Alternatively, you also can nest forms within forms, so you can manipulate multiple records very uniquely.
If the above features weren’t enough, there’s also the option to use a Gannt style task list template.
Using this view, it’s easy to generate a new process from the steps, including any different approval stages required and pre-generating the swimming lanes based on the different responsibilities column.
There’s also connections with Twilio and Slack for users that want to receive notifications from these specifically. If your organisation uses either of these, then this could be worth exploring in more depth, especially if a lot of your working day is spent mobile.
If you’ve experienced issues with the standard tasks in Salesforce, Work-Relay has revamped these with a new custom object called “Work Relay Tasks”. These can be assigned to users, and there are different views for users to note exactly what tasks are assigned to them, trace that status of a record in a process, and see an overview of their workload.
When there’s an unimaginable amount of processes to generate, this tool is a gift from the heavens.
The ease to visualise complex processes makes it refreshing for any new SF admin to understand without spending unnecessary time getting familiar with an environment. The knowledge risk and dependency on individuals to understand the system when it’s able to be understood without needing to know Salesforce is also a big win.
Expanding on this, by using methodology that’s common across the business world means that it’s easier to align on requirements and reduce the translation needed between a development team and key stakeholders.
A user is also able to clearly track exactly what is required for a record, where it is in the process, and what is in their queue to action. This also doesn’t have to be specifically tied to interactions with Salesforce and track processes outside of the system, such as “Print out and Send Letter to customer”.
Another benefit to note is that the power of this engine isn’t limited to the traditional standard and custom objects, but it can also be utilised to alter normally inaccessible records such as public groups or their members.
It may however be a challenge to migrate existing automation into the platform as this could cause regression impacts in the platform, so it’s best to implement this app as soon as possible in an org to have a consistent automation tool.
A lot of the functionality for altering data can also be replicated in visual flow or process better, but does require a decent understanding of Salesforce to execute properly, maintain, and no way near as scalable.
The initial setup is quite smooth and there are plenty of knowledge resources that are easy to find most answers. The bulk of the functionality is granted via a package installation and there is only a couple of back end changes to make in the system settings.
The main difficulty is more in terms of understanding how to navigate between the different areas, how to access which area of the application and what relation they have with other features. Fortunately, the knowledge base was remarkably useful here, it’s just about spending the time to understand the different areas of the app.
It would also be useful to have a basic training session or spend some time learning how the different features work, but the app is intuitive to pick up.
You’re also able to grant access to processes can also be granted to people that don’t have to have full blown admin powers, so it could be worth reviewing what permissions to grant across your user base.
Processes and forms can also be exported or imported by simply clicking a button, so if you need to back up your data outside of Salesforce or transfer them between different orgs or some sandboxes, it is incredible simple to do so.
The pricing for this app is as followed, offering options for an internal license, community users, and users external of the system.
Options are available for reduced pricing and functionality via a “Lite” version which the team can provide more information on.
There’s also the advantage of sending notifications to users with Slack, Twilio, or Chatter Free accounts for no cost at all.
Work Relay also offer services for installing their product as per the breakdown below, so get in touch if any of these might be of use.
By providing a common language between business and developers, this ensures a unified mindset when developing
For more information, Work Relay are happy to assist with any questions and installing a trail. Here’s also a link to give an overview of their product. And an evaluation guide the team have prepared.
There’s also constant improvements happening behind the scenes and an exciting roadmap planned, so if there’s a few things you want to see that wasn’t in the review, there’s a chance it could be around the corner soon.
Interested in having your app reviewed by the App Assessor?
Send an email to [email protected] for further information and pricing!