In the last decade, businesses adopted cloud-based apps, but struggled with connecting them, often requiring developers to create complex code for integrations. Businesses needed a platform to help them connect all their apps together, but the options were limited.
At Zoho, during that same period, our suite of apps was also growing rapidly, both in popularity and numbers. Recognizing the need for a platform to connect cloud apps seamlessly, a senior developer, Hari Shankar, wondered: "Could we create our own platform to connect apps and automate workflows without code?"
That seed of an idea sprouted and grew into an ambitious project. Nurtured by extensive research, analysis, and tireless development, Zoho Flow was launched at the beginning of 2018. With 100 popular business apps and 200 prebuilt workflow templates, the platform was well-received instantly. Within a year, over a thousand organizations adopted Flow and automated over a million tasks. The impact was significant, and Flow right away emerged as an integral part of Zoho One, connecting the entire suite seamlessly.
"Zoho Flow is a magical application that allows us to integrate Zoho's universe."
- Brett Martin, Zenatta Consulting
Eliminating silos and improving collaboration
Over the next couple of years, we added around 400 more apps to the gallery, and added features that would significantly improve managing flows and handling errors. Our customers had more than 50,000 flows running, automating business operations across teams and functions.
We also examined the challenges businesses faced with their ever-increasing data volumes. We found that, while managing data was a challenge, the underlying issue was teams working in silos, leading to poor decision-making, low customer satisfaction, and a loss of company culture and values. Our goal slowly evolved from just integrating applications to streamlining workflows and bringing teams together as a unit.
In 2020, when the global economy was hit with unprecedented challenges, the need for cohesive teams became all the more pronounced. Many companies struggled to adapt. However, for our customers, Zoho Flow made a significant impact by helping them go digital faster and collaborate more effectively. More importantly, it facilitated teams in working together in harmony, even when they were miles apart. We expanded our gallery to include all the necessary remote work and collaboration apps, and moved all data to relevant regional data centers for added security.
Combined with these efforts to facilitate easy integrations, today we have over 850 applications and more than 1,200 ready-to-use workflow templates in our gallery.
New journey, new horizons
By bringing together business applications, Zoho Flow helps teams move data between them in seconds—automating hours of manual tasks in minutes. However, app integration on the cloud is just the tip of the automation iceberg. We're now very close to expanding our platform to include exciting new additions, such as robotic process automation (RPA) and on-premise-to-cloud integrations, along with some other very useful features in the pipeline.
As we celebrate our fifth anniversary, we're envisioning newer and smarter ways to automate your workflows—so your team can put in their best work, and your business can stay ahead of the competition.
Exciting times are ahead. Stay tuned.
Take a look at our journey and what's to come: