We sat down with Alex Burton, VP of Product for Nintex Workflow, Nintex Forms, Nintex Analytics, and Nintex Mobile to better understand his workflow journey, key product milestones, and the digital process automation innovations he is most proud of during his 11 years at Nintex.
1. Why did you join Nintex back in 2009?
I worked with SharePoint and Project Server as a consultant in Australia for many years and had come across Nintex Workflow a few times. I was always surprised by the powerful solutions customers built on top of SharePoint using Nintex and how easy it was for anyone to open Nintex, build a workflow, and automate! A few years later the opportunity arose to join Nintex to help with a new product being built for Project Server, so I jumped at it and haven’t looked back.
2. What Nintex workflow innovations are you most proud of?
The launch of Nintex for Office 365 in September 2013 helped us to sharpen our focus on helping IT, operations, and business leaders across various industries to manage and automate their business processes with Nintex’s no-code solutions. By September 2018, Nintex customers had executed more than 105 million workflows, a number which has grown to almost 300 million in September 2020.
3. A workflow often starts with a form, do you have tips on how to get started faster with Nintex Forms and Nintex Workflow?
While we strive to make Nintex Forms easy to get a beautiful, powerful form as quickly as possible, sometimes even I need a little help, so my two key tips would be to:
- Check out the Nintex Community page for tips and tricks from our customers all over the world. This often helps me out when I get stuck
- Invest some time in watching our forms product manager Euan Gamble’s YouTube videos. Euan lives all things forms and has been working hard on several bite-sized videos on how to use Nintex Forms better.
4. What are your secrets to success when it comes to managing a team of software developers and engineers?
I am not sure there are any secrets! The management team in R&D works hard to ensure we create a productive, collaborative environment for our teams to deliver great software and services globally. All our managers are constantly working with their teams to understand where they can help and ensuring they have the information, support, and resources needed to be successful.
5. What are your favorite features of Nintex Mobile and why?
When I travel, Nintex Mobile is my ‘go-to’ app so I can plug into processes and approvals across Nintex. Frequently these are offline at 30,000ft, so the powerful offline capabilities of Nintex Mobile can help here. What I find particularly useful is that it can aggregate tasks and forms across all our platforms, ranging from on-premises SharePoint, Office 365, and Nintex Workflow Cloud, and trust me, we use all three a lot!
6. What’s coming with Nintex Analytics?
Nintex Analytics is super exciting for us. Our teams have been busy building a new platform from the ground up that allows us to provide meaningful analytics to our customers across the whole Nintex platform. We’re still a little way off launching, so stay tuned!
7. What’s next with Nintex Workflow Cloud?
We’re always innovating on the Nintex platform, and Nintex Workflow Cloud is no exception. Recently we’ve been busy bringing a raft of new capabilities to the platform including brand new SharePoint Connectors, Object support, Data Sources, and a new data center in the APAC region. In the next few months, we have a number of investments rolling out for participants, workflow tasks and forms which will make Nintex Workflow Cloud even more exciting.
8. What advice do you have for an organization that needs to accelerate digital transformation?
With the onset of COVID-19, many organizations have had to accelerate their digital transformation efforts – often just to continue business as usual. As this becomes more the norm and digital transformation returns to a more controlled pace, my advice would be two-fold:
- Firstly, ensure you are using the right technology for the process you are trying to transform and identify who in your organization you are expecting to drive that transformation. On the surface, some technologies look very powerful and easy to use, but once you get into the weeds of trying to automate a process, it quickly becomes apparent that you’re going to need a lot more help to get the outcome you want.
- Secondly, as with all projects, it is essential to define and measure the success criteria, to ensure you understand if that transformation project was successful and so you can learn from the outcomes.
9. When you’re not building software, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I really enjoy traveling and look forward to being able to fly again. My son is a basketball tragic and has pulled me into watching the NBA games regularly (Go Lakers!). I recently bought a 3D printer and have been having a lot of fun working out how to get the most out of it.
10. What did you want to be when growing up?
I always wanted to be a biologist and completed a degree in Biology before working for a few years as a commercial process biologist. I quickly realized that I preferred the IT side of the business and transitioned over into IT, where I have been working for nearly 25 years.
11. What has been the most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime?
Without a shadow of a doubt, the Internet. It has enabled so many subsequent innovations and conveniences that we now take for granted. It also gave me the opportunity to do what I do today!
12. Any favorite line from a movie or a favorite quote?
‘Eat the Frog!’ – I believe Mark Twain famously said that if the first thing you do in the morning is eat the frog you can go through the rest of the day knowing the worst is behind you. I heard this from one of Nintex’s original founders, Brian Cook, and it’s always stuck with me.
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