Build Mobile Apps Fast with Nintex App Studio

There’s an app for that. Except … sometimes there’s not.

That’s where you come in. You recognize an app opportunity and seize it. But to build mobile apps sounds all kinds of intimidating. After all, doesn’t app-building require a lot of coding?

It doesn’t have to, says Nintex Director of Engineering Vahid Taslimi. Nintex App Studio enables people to create native enterprise mobile applications for iOS, Android or Windows devices without writing any code. They can then deliver their apps to business users within minutes.

“The question was how can we help our customers have a mobile presence?” Vahid says. “Of course, being Nintex, it’s all about facilitating business users, putting them in charge. We didn’t want to go and tell them, ‘You have to code this or hire this technical team.’ … It’s time-consuming to create mobile apps.

“They have this problem. We have a really good solution to tackle this problem and make the world much more efficient, make employees much happier, make everyone’s lives much easier.”

Nintex App Studio includes expanded capabilities that make it valuable for people who want to build mobile apps:

  • Create your own enterprise mobile app with your own identity in a matter of minutes
  • Customize your app with logos, colors and images to match your company’s branding so the app is instantly recognizable as your company’s
  • Share apps to users over the air via a simple, secure deployment process called AppDeploy or use a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution
  • Create line-of-business apps using the tools you’re already familiar with (Nintex Workflow and Nintex Forms)
  • Run powerful native process apps that work across all major mobile platforms without the need to maintain different build environments
  • Deploy apps across Nintex Workflow Cloud™, SharePoint on-premises and SharePoint Online

What Is the History of Nintex App Studio?

In 2015, then-Chief Technology Officer Steve Heaney asked Vahid, “What do you think about helping customers create apps for themselves?” Vahid loved the idea – “Once it got in my head, I couldn’t let it out.” He says he realized how much value it would offer customers.

Mobile devices are mainstream now, but building enterprise apps can cost upwards of half a million dollars.

Steve and Vahid worked on developing an early version before bringing on team members and adding features to what was initially called Nintex Mobile Enterprise.

In September, Nintex launched the Nintex App Studio, which offers new capabilities including the ability to brand your app using out-of-the-box templates or adding your own colors; automatically previewing how your app will look; and managing the deployment of apps via distribution lists.

Why Is It so Important to Build Mobile Apps?

Apps are big business, and understandably so. After all, people live on their phones, with 11% of U.S. smartphone users checking their phone a few times an hour, 41% checking it a few times an hour and 20% checking it about once an hour, according to a 2015 Gallup poll.

And according to Nielsen research, a majority of people’s time on their smartphones – 89% – is spent on mobile apps. Below are a few other statistics that show the growing popularity and relevance of mobile apps:

  • Over two years, total digital media usage has grown 49%, with mobile app usage up 90 percent, according to comScore’s 2015 Mobile App Report.
  • The average U.S. consumer now spends more time per day inside mobile apps than watching TV – 198 minutes vs. 168 minutes, according to Flurry research featured in a TechCrunch article.
  • The number of app installs is predicted to increase from 156 billion in 2015 to 210 billion in 2020 – a year-on-year growth rate of around 6.3%, according to IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Applications Forecast 2016-2020.
  • In 2015, direct (non-advertising) revenue from mobile app installations was around $34.2 billion, according to the IDC forecast. In 2020, direct revenue is forecasted to be $57 billion, a figure that equates to a compound annual growth rate of 10.6%.

Businesses without mobile apps are losing opportunities to sell their products and services, and connect with consumers. In Why Your Small Business Needs a Mobile App in Entrepreneur magazine, Case Western Reserve University Professor Scott Shane makes the case that a web presence alone is no longer enough.

“Mobile apps increase engagement with customers,” Professor Shane writes. “They boost repeat visits, and permit a wide variety of online transactions, including the deployment of loyalty cards, push promotion and ecommerce transactions. Apps deliver coupons and send announcements that build your sales with customers.”

What Can Mobile Apps Do?

While Nintex App Studio helps companies increase engagement with customers, and also benefits their employees. Here are a few of our favorites success stories:

Expense claims:

Nintex partner Provoke Solutions created a finance app with App Studio. The new release offers even more control over how the app looks so the app can align with Provoke’s corporate brand, something that is “very important to us,” says Technical Product Specialist Chris Ben.

“Our finance app is awesome,” Chris says. “Travel authorizations and expense claims all at our fingertips.  Our staff never carry paper receipts – they just take a photo and it’s sent through for processing before they arrive back at the office.”

Field safety inspections:

Maintenance crews, kitchen staff and other remote employees can complete necessary inspection forms via their company’s mobile app, Dan says. Nintex App Studio lets them separate out the forms and tasks by roles, positions or departments.

“Everyone has a smartphone or mobile device of some kind,” Dan says. “In the case of in-field users like miners, service mechanics, security guards and field engineers, giving them an app to use, on a device they are familiar with, that allows them to interact with the process right there and then in the field is pivotal and game-changing in the sense of data quality, reliability and speed.”

Leave requests/meeting room issue reporting:

Nintex employees are big believers in using our own products. Check out Why Does It Pay to Eat Your Own Dog Food for details.

Nintex’s IT department created the Inside app using Nintex App Studio. The mobile app enables employees to request leave, report issues with meeting rooms (Ex. A missing mouse), request technology and provide feedback on IT issues from their mobile devices.

“I think it makes it a little more convenient for people,” says Nintex Business Analyst John Hernandez. “Typically, they’re never without their phone. People are pressed for time and they have their phone handy. They’re constantly on the go and multi-tasking. It’s another way for them to handle their task at any given point in their day.”

 

To learn more about Nintex App Studio and how it will make it easy to build mobile apps, check out a how-to blog post on the Nintex Community by Dan Stoll, Nintex Manager of Product Marketing & Evangelism.

 

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