This article was originally published on Solution Design Group’s blog by Ben Stori, Nintex vTE and SDG Office 365 & SharePoint Architect.
We all want to get more work done in less time. Efficiency is key, and Nintex Workflow Cloud can help your organization become more productive.
Before becoming a complete, integrated Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) platform, Nintex was originally built as a third-party application for SharePoint on-premises. Now the platform has extended into the cloud, offering workflow that runs inside and outside of Office 365.
Nintex allows customers to quickly automate, orchestrate, and optimize their business processes with custom, no code workflows, forms, and mobile apps that be analyzed using Nintex Process Intelligence.
What Is Nintex Workflow Cloud?
Nintex Workflow Cloud is an evolution of what Nintex has learned in the Business Process Automation space over the past decade. The product is a state-of-the-art cloud workflow tool runs independently of SharePoint or Office 365 and features connections to legacy systems and modern SaaS (Software as a Service) applications; web-based forms; collaborative document routing, document approval processes; and next-generation IoT solutions.
Nintex Workflow Cloud empowers people closest to the work to automate the everyday processes that keep your business running. The powerful, yet easy-to-use workflow platform can simplify business operations, from day-to-day tasks to even the most sophisticated and business-critical processes.
The drag-and-drop design experience, combined with a wide array of pre-built, enterprise-level SaaS connectors make it easy to address workflow scenarios regardless of the underlying content source. We are no longer tied to a SharePoint list, library, or site to run our workflows.
You can still use products like OneDrive for Business, Office 365, and SharePoint in your cloud-based workflows, but now you can also use cloud services, like:
- Route documents via Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive
- Integrate and automate processes within your CRM systems, including Salesforce, SAP, and Dynamics CRM
- Alert your workforce by sending text messages using Twilio, or posting to a Slack channel
- Create dynamic documents with a digital signature via Adobe Sign or DocuSign
What Do You Get With Nintex Workflow Cloud?
Workflow & Forms
With Nintex Workflow Cloud, you can develop powerful workflows regardless of where the underlying data is captured, processed or stored. The connection manager that allows you to build a single point of entry into your different systems.
Workflows are built using a drag-and-drop designer that allows for quick configuration of the automated process. The process can be kicked off by capturing user data in a public Nintex Form on a web browser or mobile phone.
Here is an example of a Nintex Form requesting product information:
Another option is to trigger a workflow is to configure the process to start when a document is added to a document library within Box or Dropbox. The workflow will automatically route the document to the appropriate people or places.
For example, when a file is added to a draft folder in Dropbox, an approval process starts. We query the Dropbox user details and send the user an email to let them know that a process has successfully started. Then we assign an approval task to the manager, who approves or rejects the document. Next, the document will automatically route to the appropriate folder and alert the user of the outcome.
Nintex + IoT
As you see the power and connectiveness of the Nintex Platform, you may begin to think of automating processes that connect to your devices (like sensors and controllers) via the Internet of Things (IoT).
With Nintex Workflow Cloud, every workflow is exposed via REST with available APIs to make them easy to call from external sources. You can also integrate with common web services and Open Data Protocol stores.
Let’s look at what an IoT example could look like:
Imagine you are an owner of a big refrigerator or freezer. Inside, there is a temperature sensor connected to the internet, which monitors the temperature. Your web application has a safety range for the temperature at any given time. If the temperature falls out of that range, a workflow can kick off to begin the correct procedures.
Monitoring and Analytics
Using Nintex Process Intelligence, you can track the workflow instances running across your enterprise, which workflows have incurred errors and why, and which have been successfully completed. You can also track who is getting assigned work by viewing the tasks action screen within the cloud tenant.
Nintex Xtensions® is an extensibility framework that allows you to define your own custom connectors for the Nintex Platform. Simply define your connector in an OpenAPI specification (formerly known as Swagger specification), import, configure it, and give it a logo and you’re ready to start using it in your workflow designs.
What Does the Future Hold?
The future is now. This post just scratches the surface of what Intelligent Process Automation can do.
Intelligence is the new currency of business with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in its various forms, machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), and deep learning. These technologies allow organizations to move more rapidly and do so more intelligently.
Nintex pioneered the move to no code process automation, they are leading the fourth wave of process automation, and I am excited to see where they lead the industry next.
Interested in trying Nintex Workflow Cloud for yourself? Try it free for 30 days!