Simplifying business workflows with a Silicon Valley start-up

By Belatrix and TeamworkIQ
Published: July, 2019

Silicon Valley start-up TeamworkIQ is an innovative B2B SaaS company with a mission to radically simplify how business automate their workflows and processes.

Building upon decades of delivering large scale enterprise software, co-founders Kevin Hakman and Howard Weingram envisioned a radically simplified and faster way businesses teams could automate and manage recurring workflows, processes, and procedures. They asked, “What if words could turn into workflow?”.

The culmination of that vision is TeamworkIQ, a powerfully intuitive process automation platform enabling businesses to automate workflows simply by documenting them. Today, business managers or IT staff from a wide range of industries use TeamworkIQ to outline and detail process steps as they would in a word processor. The result, however, is both process documentation and fully automated workflow. Accordingly, the time and effort to automate processes are orders of magnitude faster.

In this case study, we outline how TeamworkIQ worked together with Belatrix to build this product and overtake established competition in the market for business automation software.

The challenges in automating business processes

There are few organizations that have not suffered headaches when trying to automate their businesses automate. While executives can easily see the benefits in principle, in practice workflow automation has historically required a significant amount of time and investment. As such, only the most critical processes were given process automation resources. The cost and time to automate department-scale or team-scale business processes was simply too high using traditional workflow software methods. Thus business teams had no choice but to manage workflows in far less efficient and far more error-prone ways: by email, with spreadsheets, and in regular status meetings. Businesses wanted a more agile approach to workflow and process automation - one that would let them streamline processes far faster, then enhance and adapt them as needed, and without the cost and time of traditional workflow software.

These were unmet business needs that TeamworkIQ understood, and what drove Kevin Hakman and Howard Weingram to build a new type of process automation platform.

How we built TeamworkIQ together

TeamworkIQ engaged with Belatrix to start work on version one of its SaaS software with a focus on its primary differentiating features:

  1. An extremely intuitive and friendly user interface that felt like typing up a process, but actually modeled an executable workflow process behind the scenes.
  2. A way to “read” email messages, detect and turn work assigned in the message into actionable, trackable tasks and workflows.

The challenges in automating business processes

TeamworkIQ and Belatrix worked together to make TeamworkIQ’s features stand out:

Get all the benefits of process automation faster - No coding required

  • Turn documented processes into actionable workflows

    • Simply outline the steps describing who needs to do what to document your process or standard operating procedure.
    • Assign work to people or roles, create timelines and relative due dates as needed.
    • Add forms, detailed instructions, videos and images to process steps as needed.
    • Share well documented procedures with your team or business partners.
  • Automate processes without any extra effort

    • Instantly kickoff multiple workflows from any documented process.
    • For each live workflow, TeamworkIQ automatically:
      • Assigns tasks
      • Monitors due dates and timelines
      • Handles the transition of work between team members
      • Makes progress and priorities clear
      • Eliminates costly mistakes or delays
      • Keeps management informed if issues arise
  • Business and IT teams save both money and time

    • TeamworkIQ’s intuitive simplicity lets business teams document and automate processes without any need to tap into more costly IT budgets or resources.
    • IT Teams can help their business team stakeholders get processes automated in hours to days, not weeks to months by providing self-service access to TeamworkIQ, or rapidly implementing solutions on behalf of their customers.
    • TeamworkIQ’s Open API and application connectors enable TeamworkIQ to easily integrate with other systems leading to greater operational efficiencies for both IT and the business units they serve.

The benefits of Agile development and working with a nearshore services provider

In building TeamworkIQ the team used Agile development and short sprints. Using Agile meant the team worked closely together to constantly review and add new features to the product. TeamworkIQ chose to work with the Belatrix development center in Lima, Peru.

Using Agile meant working closely together as a team in daily meetings and constant reviews to add or improve features to the product - the timezone overlap between Silicon Valley and Lima enabled real-time collaboration, discussion, and problem solving that kept the Agile development cycle lean and fast moving. Continuous integration allowed everyone to see new features as they were being built and the flexibility to modify the features, even before the sprint had ended.

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"The technical capabilities, speed of development, communication skills of Belatrix's engineers has been very impressive. Belatrix's team feels like a seamless part of our team problem solving when needed, making smart suggestions, and focusing to meet key deadlines when needed. That not only makes work efficient and high quality, it adds to the innovative culture of our company."
Kevin Hakman, CEO, TeamworkIQ

Deciding to use AngularJS and the importance of creating a powerful UI

When building the product, the team used AngularJS with the Material Design guidelines for the front-end. It was important to create a clean and intuitive interface, but with very complex and feature-rich components. AngularJS allowed us to use modern technology, with many libraries and available components, while also providing access to a large community, which assisted the development team when coding. There were many advantages that the framework offered, including route management, connection to the server for recovery and data management, modification of the DOM automatically, among others.

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"As a start-up we had to be very conscientious of our funds. We could not have hired the level of skills we've received from Belatrix in Silicon Valley on our start-up budget. Working with Belatrix has let us get 2x to 3x the work done on budget"
Kevin Hakman, CEO, TeamworkIQ

Conclusion: Building a smart solution to solve real business issues

TeamworkIQ has taken an idea from a high-level concept to a solution which offers enterprises a powerful new alternative to existing automation solutions on the market. It stands out from its competition due to its smart automation which turns process documentation into actionable workflows and processes. As of May 2019, nearly 2,000 businesses have begun to put TeamworkIQ to work for them.

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"TeamworkIQ and Belatrix have worked through early development, prototypes, beta and are now launched - and we’re continuing to work with Belatrix as we grow."
Kevin Hakman, CEO, TeamworkIQ

Platform Details

  • Amazon Web Services (using a full range of AWS products)
  • Rest/JSON Microservices (using Java)
  • Responsive Web UI Client (using AngularJS)
  • Test Automation (using Selenium, Python, Java)

 

TeamworkIQ

About the author

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Belatrix and TeamworkIQ

CEO, TeamworkIQ