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SFMTA’s journey to digital transformation

We have been living in the digital age since the introduction of computers in the 1970s. There is no question that the 21st century revved up this transformation with the introduction of Software as a Service, network and cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and automation.

With more than 88% of Americans using the internet, it is essential that government agencies use the kinds of tools and technologies that the public has come to expect. Yet limited IT resources and budget restraints hold them back.

Driving digital at SFMTA

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) oversees the city’s public transportation system. SFMTA was challenged to find a better solution for workflow automation to help drive its digitalization efforts.

In 2013, SFMTA started using SharePoint as its main document management system. Virdis Gamble, Productivity Services Manager, realized that the out-of-the-box SharePoint workflows were too limited in capability. The SFMTA needed a better solution for workflow automation and began evaluating options. It tried K2 but realized that it wouldn’t be ideal.

Getting K2 up and running would have required provisioning servers, writing a lot of code and would have taken a long time. Then Gamble and SFMTA evaluated Nintex and recognized it would provide both superior ease of use and the ability to create complex workflows without code. These are major advantages for any organization, but particularly for those with significant automation needs and small IT teams. SFMTA standardized on Nintex for all its workflow automation and digital forms needs.

“The infrastructure required for K2 workflows was a problem. When you need to change something, you have to change the code, recompile it, and bring the process into a live production system. It’s a very convoluted process.

A quick change is possible with Nintex, it just means going directly into the workflow, making the change, and trialing it on test servers before implementation. There’s no rigmarole, you don’t need developers. It’s a much cleaner solution.”

Virdis Gamble, Productivity Services Manager, SFMTA

Nintex in action at SFMTA

SFMTA worked with Nintex partner KnowledgeLake to migrate the agency’s paper forms and documents into digital forms and workflows with Nintex. Today, SFMTA has been using Nintex for more than eight years.

Some of the processes SFMTA automated with Nintex are:

  • Employee alternative work schedule requests
  • Return-to-work requests
  • Video surveillance requests

These small transformations have produced big results for SFMTA, from time savings to streamlined processes.

Across the agency, more than 100,000 workflows are executed each year. With each process they automate and digitize, the SFMTA sees more and more value from its investment in Nintex. SFMTA plans to build more workflows and forms, and is also considering how it can leverage Nintex capabilities such as process mapping to improve operations.


Interested in learning more? Read the case study here.

Maddie Sjolund

Maddie is working as a Nintex Marketing Intern on the Corporate Communications team in the summer of 2019. She is a student at Washington State University studying Strategic Communication with a focus in Public Relations and minoring in Digital Technology & Culture. Outside of school, she is an avid dog lover, radio show host, and enjoys going to concerts.