Parallel Transitions, Widgets Support and more! A heads up on upcoming Blueprint Enhancements

Parallel Transitions, Widgets Support and more! A heads up on upcoming Blueprint Enhancements

Hello everyone, 
We would like to offer you a heads up on a set of useful updates that will be rolled out shortly in Zoho CRM's Blueprint.

The updates are:
a) Introducing Parallel Transitions
b) Enhancements in During transition.
  • Widgets support.  
  • Multi select and Multi-user look up fields support. 
  • Increase in number of fields supported in During Transition. 

Introducing Parallel Transitions:

A Blueprint is designed using States and Transitions. While a State refers to any stage in your process, a Transition is a process element that defines a set of conditions and actions to be performed for a record to move from State A to State B.

As you connect all the states in a Blueprint with appropriate transitions between them, you will arrive at a process flow which clearly indicates what needs to be done, at what point, by whom. Now at the moment, you can have only one transition between two states. For example, consider a simple event management process.

Start ----> Schedule confirmed ---> Logistics ----> Promotions ---> Registration setup ---> Helpdesk setup ---> Event reminders ---> Internal review ----> Event Commenced/Cancelled/On hold.

Now in a typical event management setup, Logistics does not contain just one single step. You have a group of items, which constitute "Logistics efforts" as a whole. You have to book an event space, print banners and booklets, make catering arrangements, book flight tickets— all of these involve logistics.

In the current version of Blueprint, you can have only one Transition between two states. So you are left with only one solution— to create a transition called "Logistics Efforts" and list all these items as a checklist. Alternatively, you can create additional states, one for each effort and extend the process flow. So you will end up with a bloated process. The intermediary steps will look something like this:

Schedule confirmed ---> {Event space ---> Catering ---> Flight tickets ---> Printer} ---> Promotions

Where there could be one step, now there are four.

Now with the introduction of parallel transitions, you can create a group of multiple transitions that go from one state to another, in such a way that they are executed simultaneously. In the event management example, you can create a transition called "Logistics prep" which will constitute four parallel transitions. Each parallel transition can be assigned to a team/person and they can simultaneously begin work on them. Only when all four parallel transitions are complete, can the primary transition be considered complete.

This way, you could avoid bloated Blueprints, clearly define a transition and break down the sub-steps in an organized and clear manner. 

Enhancements in During Transition:

a) Widget Support:

The During Transition section is the actual place where you mandate the different pieces of information that are required at that particular point in the process. At the moment this includes fields, notes, attachments, associated items, checklists, and so on. Besides these elements, you can now mandate widgets.

So by mandating a widget, you can define your own parameters that need to be entered as part of the process. Not just fields and notes but completely beyond the standard pieces of CRM data. You can mandate location on a map. Or a calendar appointment. This, in addition to your own fields and notes, as defined by the widget's functions.

Here's an example of widgets that are mandated as part of a Blueprint:
Mandate Deal closing date
Mandate location

b) Multi-user look up and Multi-select

The During Transition settings will now support multi-select and multi-user lookup fields. You can mandate these fields but not validate them.

c) Increase in number of fields supported in During Transition 

The number of fields that can be mandated in during transition is going to be increased from 10 to 20 in the Enterprise Edition and from 3 to 5 in the Professional Edition.

This announcement serves as a heads up on these updates and will take at least a month for you to see them in your CRM accounts. Considering the magnitude of change that these updates are likely to bring, we have deemed it prudent to give you a heads-up first and roll this out in a phase-wise manner. So here's a couple of points for you to note:

1. Within a few weeks we will update this post with an Early Access form. Once you submit your request, we will enable these features in your account.
Watch this space for the form link.

2. Parallel transitions and Widgets support are compatible with CRM API v2.1, which is set to be rolled out in a few weeks. If you are choosing to use these two features, make sure to handle them in API v2.1

Let us know if you have any questions. 

=====EDIT (As on 25/01/2021)===========
Dear customers,
I would like to make a quick update on this announcement regarding the expected time of arrival of these Blueprint enhancements. Our teams are working on rolling these out as we speak. We understand that there are many of you out there, waiting to try these out, however, there is going to be delay in shipping these features. It was expected to be made live earlier, however, we are testing multiple use cases and the features are going through multiple iterations just to ensure that it is all well done. We are extremely sorry for the delay, and promise to keep you all updated as soon as we are sure of a timeline—at best within the next 60 days. Thanks for your patience. 

    Zoho Marketing Automation
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