IBM and Box

Announcing Box Relay

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At BoxWorks 2016, IBM and Box began an exciting new chapter in our strategic partnership with the announcement of Box Relay. Read the press release here.

The first phase of the IBM and Box partnership provided integration between many IBM software products and Box.  IBM’s ECM integrations enabled hybrid use cases between our customer’s on-premise ECM solutions and Box’s secure, scalable cloud content service.

The success we’ve seen bringing Box to our clients has ignited a passion from both of our companies to work together to deliver compelling new solutions on top of Box.  The first of these solutions is Box Relay, which reimagines workflow for business users.

Why Box Relay?  

Workflow and Case Management solutions have been used in enterprises for decades.  These solutions were designed to allow IT and business analysts to model and define complex business processes, and many companies depend on them.   What has been missing is an easy to use workflow tool targeted at business users.

I’ve talked to many companies who have large numbers of processes that are managed at the department level and aren’t affordable to implement in traditional workflow solutions.  These might include approval of a publication, review and approval of a new product proposal and managing the interviews and offer for a job candidate.  Some companies have thousands of these use cases and no affordable way to solve them.  As a result, the primary tool used to manage all of these workflows and activities is email.

Box Relay is a new type of workflow solution that is targeted at business users who need to create, share and track simple workflows.  It is designed to help you get your work done more efficiently.  Box Relay will not replace traditional business process and case management tools but will complement them.

Box Relay is designed for the extended enterprise and workflows can include participants in other companies such as your customers, suppliers and partners.   There is no need for IT to define external users in your directory – Box Relay utilizes the capabilities in Box to support external users securely and efficiently.

Box Relay also allows you to track and manage the workflows at every stage, right from inside of Box, which saves you from wading through long e-mail chains, missed communications, numerous phone conferences and error prone manual processes.  It will also provide an audit trail of what happened and ensure that critical information like the approved version of the document will never be misplaced.

How Box Relay Will be Used Inside of IBM

My team has already started to use Box Relay for some of our internal processes.

IBM has many structured processes that are created and managed by IT, including approving vendor payments, submitting expense accounts, and more. Yet, like many other companies, we also have hundreds of lightweight business processes such as reviewing a resume, reviewing a customer RFP response, or approving a new product proposal that are often implemented through email.

Now with Box Relay, these lightweight process can be turned into repeatable workflows by the business users and team leaders; without the need to involve IT.

For me, one of the benefits of Box Relay is the ability to see the status of projects and workflows while I am traveling, without having to reach out directly to my people.

More on Box Relay At BoxWorks

Box Relay was prominent throughout Boxworks. The keynote had more information on Box Relay and as well as the “Workflows for Everyone” session.

In the Partner Pavilion, the IBM booth shared a demonstration of Box Relay.

There is also a beta for Box clients. And if you’re not a Box customer yet, you can sign up for a 30-day trial on the IBM website here.

And be sure to follow the hashtag #IBMandBox as well as @IBM_ECM and @BoxHQ on Twitter for the latest news on Box Relay.

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Attilio Ranzani

Very interesting !

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