# What is Workato?
Workato helps you automate business workflows across cloud apps, on-premise apps and employees, e.g. automate quote to cash business processes which may involve multiple apps such as Salesforce, Netsuite, Bill.com (opens new window) and Apttus. Workato combines an enterprise-grade workflow automation platform with the ease of use expected from consumer apps, enabling biz users and IT to quickly build workflow automations.
# The integration problem
The average enterprise uses over 1000 different apps. These frequently include both cloud-based and on-premise applications. In addition, personal and business productivity applications such as chat, social media, calendering, and the like are a key part of daily work and data from these is often unintegrated with other business data.
Without automated integration, organizations cannot leverage the full power of data in their multiple applications, re-enter data multiple times across applications, constantly context-switch across applications to accomplish tasks, and so on.
# The challenges of integration
Automated integration solves the problem of data silos and manual workflows. But if you are going to automate transactions that span applications, then these processes must be reliable, secure, and manageable. Business and IT users need visibility into the running integrations and the capability to take appropriate action if an error or exception occurs.
A viable integration solution must be able to handle the complexities of real-world problems. Real-world integration problems often require more than just transporting single data objects across applications. They may require multi-step processes with business logic, workflow capabilities, one-to-many or many-to-one data mappings, and other such challenges. Many applications are also customized to the preferences of a particular business, and integrations must be able to handle these customizations since they are a part of the organization’s business processes.
Some of the issues we see with integration solutions today:
Powerful integration products are oriented toward technical users, while citizen integrator products sacrifice capability for usability
Citizen integrator products need to be enterprise-grade in terms of reliability, scalability and security
Adding new, complex integrations can involve long implementation times spanning months, while new apps are coming online much faster than that
Integration platform products are relatively high cost, sometimes costing more than the applications being connected
IT needs visibility into the integration processes. Where necessary, it should be possible for IT and business users to collaborate to create and manage integration solutions.
Workato addresses these issues with an enterprise-class integration tool that can be governed and monitored by IT, but with the ease of use and low barrier to entry expected from consumer applications.
# Enterprise-grade foundation
The Workato platform has a powerful feature set to handle real-world problems, including the integration of applications, data and people. Both cloud-based and on-premise systems are supported. The runtime system is designed for security, robustness, reliability and high performance.
# Citizen integrators
Workato is the only integration platform that was built from the ground up to support a single design interface for developer/IT and citizen integrators, ensuring that citizens and IT have access to the same ease-of-use driven productivity improvements, and at the same time offering citizens the same power and capability available to IT.
# Conversational integration
Workato provides a chat based (Slack, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Spark, IBM Workspace, etc.) bot building platform for building compelling UX centered around integrations and workflows.
# IT Governance
Governance is a key requirement for any platform that allows business users to work with corporate data. Workato Aegis is a management tool that provides cross-enterprise visibility into users/usage, integration processes and the applications they connect. Workato Aegis supports assigning differing levels of responsibility and visibility within the platform, and enables collaboration between business and IT users. It enables implementation and enforcement of policies to improve security and governance across all Workato users within an enterprise.
# Extensible platform
Workato’s platform is extensible to add support for new applications beyond the many that are available pre-built. A powerful and configurable REST data connector allows integration with many systems without writing any code. Workato also provides a Connector SDK that handles and abstracts multiple aspects of application and data integration for cases where custom development is required. Existing connectors can be extended via the SDK or via adding functions from the REST connector. In addition, a public API allows control of recipes from third-party applications.