How to Make the Most of Your Free Workflow Software Trial

Every business needs an effective workflow system, but the question you need to ask yourself is, “How do I know which workflow product works best for me and my team?

Evaluating a workflow platform with a free trial will let you try things out firsthand before making any decisions. Free trials offer time for you and your employees to get to know a product, and more importantly, how your team operates with it. By using a free trial, you can also learn more about your business’ day-to-day work and see which parts need improvement.

You have the power to explore the product however you like, but only in a limited amount of time. Before a free trial period runs out, there are a few things you can do to make the most out of the experience.

Here are some tips to help you to explore workflow in the most efficient and enjoyable way.

Decide Which Product You Need

Workflow vendors usually offer different workflow engines for different business environments (on-premises, cloud-based, etc.) Reading through each product’s specifications will help you choose the most suitable tool for your business.

Some users make the mistake of assuming an out-of-the-box workflow feature or free workflow product is all they need, resulting in confusion and inefficient use of time. Do your homework.

Check to See What Your Company is Already Using

If you are getting a workflow system for your department, check in and see if your company already has one – especially if it is from the same vendor. Vendors usually recognize your free trial request as a second request since your company has already been registered before.

Gather a Team and Schedule Learning Time

Thirty days may seem like a long time, but may not be, especially if you can only play around with the products during downtime.

For that reason, it is a good idea to gather a team of users to explore workflows together. Workflow systems are meant to involve many people anyway, so having more people from your team or organization get comfortable with the system could help you decide if this is the right product.

Set a Specific Goal that You Want to Achieve

Why are you getting this free trial?

What process are you trying to automate?

What is important to you and your team?

Whatever the answers are, having an end goal for the trial period will help you interact with the product more strategically and motivate you to spend time on it. That being said, don’t be afraid to explore beyond what you plan to achieve at first! (On that note, here are five long-term benefits of workflow automation for inspiration.)

Pay Attention to Username and Password

One of the most common mistakes that trial users come across is actually the very first step: logging in.

Watch out for the username and password that you’ve been assigned, since vendors might provide you with an email login that is different from the one you signed up with. Many users skim this information, and after a number of failed login attempts, your free trial could be terminated.

Watch for Product Arrival

Different workflow products come to you differently.

On-premises products, for example, will typically be downloaded from a vendor’s website through a link while cloud-based products can be accessed with a given username and password. Make sure you know when you have access to your product to start exploring right away.

Find Your Creative Juice

Creating a workflow could be extremely fun and easy, and there is no limit to the type of workflows that you create.

Here are some suggestions, for starters:

  • Create simple workflows that are applicable across all businesses, like time off request forms, signature requests, document reviews, etc.
  • Look at what other companies and users are using workflows for.
  • Reflect on a workflow need that your business has come across. Is the inventory documentation process more complicated than it should be? Are people taking way too long to respond to simple requests? Create problem-solving workflows that can get the flow going.
  • Or just learn as you go! Our advice is to just start something. Even if your first workflow isn’t looking incredible, it is still worth it to play around with the features, options and concepts.

Take Advantage of Resources and Communities

Workflow automation does require a learning curve – for some it takes weeks and for others only a few days. Either way, know that you have the resources to make the learning process both effective and enjoyable.

Check out these free and constantly-updated resources that you can go to before or during the workflow trial:

Keep Track of Your Workflow Inventory

Some workflow trials limit the number of workflows that you can create, depending on the package that you choose before the free trial. Because vendors will charge for extra workflows that go over the limit when the free trial is over, keep track of the number of workflows you create.

A good way to prevent workflow inventory build-up is to locate and rebuild unused or nonfunctional ones instead of starting from scratch every time.

Publish and Make Use Out of Your Workflows

It may seem obvious, but it is very important for your office to actually use the created workflows.

Businesses could struggle to do this at first, especially if the workflow involves many people who are not yet familiar with the new system. A quick demo can help get everyone on board and comfortable. Remember, a free trial is a good chance to learn and adapt.

Getting your coworkers and employees to be a part of this experience is extremely important because workflow processes operate based on human decisions and involvement.

Take the Next Step (On Time)!

Don’t wait for the 30-day period to run out before you connect with vendors! If you have already tried and loved the product, reach out to take the next step so there won’t be an interruption to your workflow service.

Workflow Trial

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Brad Orluk

Brad has been evangelizing technology and process automation for over 15 years. Prior to joining Nintex, he had roles in infrastructure, IT consulting, and most recently, as an Information Architect at a Fortune 500, where he worked on business and IT process improvement and automation on a variety of real world global projects and productivity initiatives. Brad’s unique, technical yet business focused, background gives him the ability to help users leverage technology to drive value to their businesses. Follow Brad on Twitter @BradOrluk