Orchestly Pros & Cons: Analysis of a Leading Workflow Management Software

What are the pros and cons of Orchestly?
The pros and cons of Orchestly are demonstrated by its capability to collect data from processes, automate business functions, and gather insights from business processes. It gives you tools to fully create, control, and configure processes across your organization. However, the software is currently available only in a single pricing plan.

As one of the leading workflow management solutions in the market, Orchestly will most likely turn up in your shopping list once you decide to go on a hunt for one for your business. What’s the chance it is actually the one you need?  After all, there are a number of these available in the market today.

We carefully crafted this Orchestly pros and cons so you could positively ascertain if this is the workflow management software for you. We’ll go through its features and capabilities to help you determine if it is a capable workflow management software that positively matches your company’s requirements.

orchestly pros and cons

Workflow management software has often been confused with task management solution. Consider this, the former is a more advanced version of the latter. Workflow solutions give you sophisticated tools to define process models and customize business processes that match your tasks. In other words, the software keeps work flowing unimpeded based on processes you set beforehand.

Another thing, there is contention also with business process management solutions. Both workflow management and BPM involve processes, but there’s a difference. This airplane and airport analogy gives a clear distinction. It likens workflow to the series of steps followed by air and ground crew to ensure an airplane lands successfully. On the other hand, BPM is for managing entire airport operations or multiple workflows to allow several airplanes to land or take off safely and continuously.

Why organizations need workflow management

In a 2018 digital work report based on a survey of 3,000 workers across Europe, it was found out that 33% among UK employees have looked for another job because of frustrations on operational efficiencies. The reasons are cited below.

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Why are UK workers so frustrated?

Why are UK workers so frustrated?
Lengthy approval cycles: %

Lengthy approval cycles

Why are UK workers so frustrated?
Outdated thinking and way of working: %

Outdated thinking and way of working

Why are UK workers so frustrated?
Using slow or outdated technology: %

Using slow or outdated technology

Why are UK workers so frustrated?
Anxiety over new processes: %

Anxiety over new processes

Why are UK workers so frustrated?
No clear direction on projects or tasks: %

No clear direction on projects or tasks


Source: Wrike

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The results highlight the need to streamline approval processes, utilize the newest technology, and provide clear directions for tasks and projects. Fortunately, workflow management systems such as Orchestly can address these areas. In fact, the software is currently one of the top 10 solutions in our workflow management software category. But the question – can it meet your organization’s needs? It’s time to find out.

What is Orchestly?

what is orchestly?

Orchestly is a product of Zoho, the software company known for some of the most popular business and productivity tools. Orchestly is referred to as a “business orchestration platform” for automating and customizing workflows based on your business needs. Accordingly, it can be used by different departments or businesses to set up, define, and monitor entire workflows. These workflows are set of tasks with their sequence that can be  set to automatically run their course. As such, they can help you accelerate processes and minimize manual interventions.

At the heart of Orchestly is a powerful workflow engine. It is designed to help you create different tasks in a system, schedule various activities of different processes, and provide structured process management. It combines in one platform functionalities for collaboration, task management, scheduling, reporting, and process data modeling. In addition, there are centralized dashboards which are all codeless and easy to use. But if you need to, the software supports the creation of custom code for designing special automated workflows.

Orchestly is available in a single pricing plan that you can subscribe to on a monthly or annual basis. It comes with iOS and Android apps for managing your workflows on the go. Moreover, it is able to integrate with third-party software and services through connectors and APIs.

The following are key features of Orchestly:

  • Form designer
  • Workflow builder
  • Webhooks
  • Custom Functions
  • Business Rules
  • Email templates
  • Extensions/Widgets
  • Notifications
  • Audit trail
  • Default and custom reports
  • Role-based access control
  • Active Directory

Orchestly Pros & Cons

Capture data from processes

A process runs on data. Now, for capturing data you need forms. Orchestly calls this feature Layouts that gives you customization over data collecting forms and control over those who request data.

What it gives you is control over requests. You can define who in the organization can make requests—from entire departments and teams to specific individuals. In addition, you can define process owners and assign to specific persons or teams the responsibility for an entire process. For instance, writing and publishing promotional articles is the work of the content team. But that is only one stage in the process of a marketing campaign that is the ultimate responsibility of the marketing department.

Forms are fully customizable. hence, you can change default fields or create new ones to facilitate capturing data. Also, it lets you assign field access privileges so that the right information is only available to the right people at the right time. Moreover, Orchestly gives you the ability to safeguard sensitive information. It allows you to encrypt confidential data and decide what can be seen when someone is filling out a form. After all, some fields are relevant only to certain stages in a process.

edit forms to collect data from your processes

Forms that can be edited allow you to collect data from your processes.

Transform business processes into digital workflows

The Blueprint feature enables you to design and convert business processes—which are a series of steps—into digital workflows. In this process mapping function, Blueprints represent flowcharts that let you map out, document, and visualize processes. With a drag and drop process builder, you can break down a process into detailed steps and stages and test the process with a validation tool.

In addition, you get to add layers of control into flowcharts such as defining who is responsible for each step of the process. You can also add automatic tasks to mapped workflows, and input real-time data when designing flowcharts. Furthermore, Orchestly allows you to automate the flow based on process direction or where the path will lead to depending on certain conditions.

One use case scenario is in an order fulfillment process. You can set the system to determine the distance to the customer automatically. This triggers whether to deliver the ordered product by air or land, whichever is most efficient. In such an example, actions are automatically set with conditional processing after a certain stage is completed. Overall, you have full process control and flexibility.

Automate business functions and apps connection

This Orchestly function helps you put redundant tasks on autopilot. It automatically connects to other tools you use, saving you time and effort. You can set business rules or conditions applicable to all your layouts or just specific layouts to effect a certain pattern in your processes. Let’s illustrate that for a travel request: typically you want to get an immediate notification every time there are sudden changes in a schedule.

The process automation feature provides you with webhooks for helping you send notifications to external apps and boost communication. For example, triggers can be programmed to send data from Orchestly to another app for notifying a team member through SMS every time a task is done. Meanwhile, you can also create customizable widgets for accessing information from other apps without requiring you to open them. Plus, you can enable widgets at different stages in a process.

However, for certain functions that can’t be solved natively by Orchestly, you can build your own custom functions. This can be a boon if you need further customization or a bane since it will require you to do some scripting, albeit simple ones. But if coding is not your thing, you may have to get someone with IT background to create custom functions for you.

set the next steps to automatically trigger once a job or task is assigned

You can set next step actions to automatically trigger once a job or task is assigned.

Manage tasks and stay on track

Every request for a service is a job and each job entails a task or set of task. Note that every task is a process from start to completion and you have to stay on track all the way. Let’s say you operate a travel booking business. Every time a client books a ticket online from your company, that is a service request that creates a job. It triggers a process for your system and the client starting with filling out a form, putting in client information, and scheduling time and date. It continues with choosing an airline, paying online and giving credit card details. The final steps are confirming and approving everything, and printing the ticket.

Orchestly streamlines tasks and simplifies related processes, keeping you on top of things. It enables you to see all submitted requests and all available services. With the solution, you can assign requests to specific individuals or units to maintain accountability. Furthermore, it lets you view the status of jobs in real-time and get a historical paper trail of every activity. You can also share filtered or custom views with your clients, team or associates.

Get insights into your business processes

As the central platform for designing and implementing business processes, Orchestly analyzes all your organizations’ business data relevant to its smooth functioning. As a result, it produces visualizations and reports so you can get insights on business processes and optimize them if needed.

The system can generate a number of different reports, including:

  1. Blueprint duration analysis – the average time it takes for every business process to complete.
  2. Blueprint usage report – the entire number of times jobs went through a particular transition or stage.
  3. Stage utilization chart – a view of your business operations on a granular level.
  4. Stage duration chart – it enables you to determine employee performance
  5. Job distribution chart – the number of jobs assigned to each user under each process so you can track the workload.

You can customize all reports and edit them or generate new reports based on filtered data and groupings. Through data visualization, you can get multiple chart options such as bar, pie, and area graphs.

crunch numbers and visualize business process data using orchestly

Orchestly crunches the numbers and visualizes data from your business processes.

One straightforward pricing

Orchestly comes in one simple, user-based subscription plan. It starts at $8/user per month billed monthly or $7/user per month if billed annually. In relation to this, you’ll find a price calculator at the vendor’s site to give you an idea of the cost when you have more users. In addition, custom prices are available if you have more than 500 users. Take note that the plan comes with all the features of Orchestly and you can request a demo if you like.

Some may see the lack of any other plans as quite limiting. However, one pricing model based on a pay-as-you-go service gives you a great advantage. That is, you can upscale or downscale your number of users at any time, as long as you’re the account holder.

It’s from Zoho

Consider this a big plus: Orchestly is a Zoho product and as such carries the seal of quality and dependable customer support. Founded in 1996, Zoho is one of the pioneering leaders in IT solutions and online business tools. It has offices in seven countries and serves 45 million users of its products worldwide. It counts among its clients startups and SMBs and global brands like Amazon and Facebook. What this means is that you’re in good company when you use a Zoho solution.

All the tools you need to “orchestrate” business processes

With Orchestly, you get an all-in-one solution for “orchestrating” your business processes. It provides you tools to capture business data through customizable forms, map and model processes, and automate them. The software lets you manage services and optimize processes with the help of reports and data visualization. Among other things, it not only gives you some functionalities of BPM and task management but also the capabilities of collaboration software solutions.

Efficiency is the name of the game if you want to make it in today’s competitive business environment. Ultimately, Orchestly will give you the ability to design and implement business processes that can run on autopilot. It will save your company time, effort, and resources as well as achieve desired results.

How do you know when it’s time to invest in workflow management software?

The quick answer to that is: when your organizational processes are taking much longer time than usual. For instance, you may be experiencing the following:

  • Your HR department is finding it difficult to identify and acquire top talent.
  • Your finance personnel always seem in a hurry to beat tax deadlines.
  • It takes you weeks to get approvals for large capital expenditures.
  • And your marketing team can’t decide on the next course of action.

The case for a workflow management solution

You may ask—can’t other solutions manage business workflows?  For hiring issues, for example, wouldn’t an HR or applicant tracking software suffice? And for money matters, wouldn’t accounting solutions be enough?

Marketing units could surely be bolstered by marketing automation software. Yes, all these solutions designed for core functions can help. However, you’ll find that workflow management software is very much configurable to your particular processes, and not the other way around.

Understanding what is workflow management software for today’s organization is important. This is because modern businesses require people, processes, and technology to be closely connected and synchronized. It facilitates smoother workflows, reduces manual efforts, and fosters deeper collaboration. Furthermore, with automated processes pre-defined to run along a sequence you’ll realize efficiency, productivity, and savings.

James Anthony

By James Anthony

A senior FinancesOnline writer on SaaS and B2B topics, James Anthony passion is keeping abreast of the industry’s cutting-edge practices (other than writing personal blog posts on why Firefly needs to be renewed). He has written extensively on these two subjects, being a firm believer in SaaS to PaaS migration and how this inevitable transition would impact economies of scale. With reviews and analyses spanning a breadth of topics from software to learning models, James is one of FinancesOnline’s most creative resources on and off the office.

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