Box revamps key workflow product, Box Relay

Launching in private beta, the new Box Relay is part of the cloud company's transformation beyond file storage and collaboration.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Box on Wednesday announced a revamped version of Box Relay, its key workflow product, that should make it easier to automate content-centric processes. The revamped product is a key part of Box's transition from a file storage and collaboration company into a full suite of cloud content management tools.

Currently in private beta, the new Relay features a new workflow engine and a simplified user experience. It also comes with a rich menu of triggers, conditions and outcomes so that business users can automate content-centric processes without intensive IT support. It will be generally available in late June 2019, with Box offering both a paid version and a free "Relay Lite" version.

Also: How Box CEO Levie aims to transition to cloud content management, broader suite

"Workflow in the enterprise is broken, especially when it involves business content," Box's Chief Product Officer Jeetu Patel said in a statement. "Many of today's solutions are disconnected from the apps teams already use, locked behind IT and don't support secure external collaboration, which is fundamental in today's global, digital economy."

The new Relay can automate processes that involve an enterprise's employees, partners or customers. For instance, a new hire in a Workday system could get necessary onboarding documents via Box, or marketing collateral could be delivered when a deal is registered in Salesforce.

Box CEO Aaron Levie told ZDNet earlier this year that Relay is part of "a new way to think about Box."

"Enterprises have a web of systems and the challenge for customers is having one version of secure content to automate," he said.

The new workflow engine powering Box Relay includes an extensive list of if this then that (IFTTT) triggers and outputs to support various multi-step processes, including both sequential and parallel workflows. The new version of Relay also uses conditional logic to route content based on metadata attributes, such as date, and dropdown, multi-select, or open text fields.  


It comes with a simple no-code workflow builder for users without IT expertise, and it allows for external collaboration with customers, vendors or external business partners. There is improved visibility into the history and creation of workflows, and there are new access controls to limit who can manage workflows.

Rebuilt from the ground up on Box, Relay now includes all the benefits of the Box Cloud Content Management platform, including its security and compliance capabilities, rich Box Platform APIs, prebuilt productivity integrations like O365 and DocuSign and collaboration features like automatic push notifications.

In conjunction with the new version of Box Relay, Box is updating the way its customers complete some simple businesses processes. For instance, File Request Links is a new way business users can collect content from coworkers, partners or customers via a shareable link. When content is uploaded via File Request Links, it can then automatically trigger a process in the new version of Box Relay. Request File Link is generally available now and available to all Box users for free.

There's also a new Task Center, in public beta, with an updated Ul that allows users to see all their tasks, such as one-step review and approvals. Customers can trigger Tasks within a Box Relay workflow.

Box is also introducing new Enterprise Suites, which are bundled product and service offerings including Box Governance and 24/7 support. The new Suites are: a "Digital Business" bundle that includes Box Relay, a "Digital Workplace" bundle and a "Digital Workplace Global" bundle. 

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