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Workflow + RPA: Better together

If I ever build a house, perhaps one with an amazing lake view (hey, I can dream), I’ll have to learn all the processes involved from start to completion. Along the way, I’ll no doubt have to change my tools to suit each particular project.

Will I be pouring a foundation? If so, I’ll need to take out the wheelbarrow and a hammer to build the cement forms. Later, I’ll install some classy tile flooring. Time for a tile saw, a hammer, and various specialized tools. In other words, I’ll need different tools depending on what I need to accomplish.

I used a hammer for both projects because hammers are incredibly versatile. But would I want to build the entire house with one? No way.

One size does not fit all

The same principle applies to process automation. No one tool will be best for all automation needs, no matter how much the sales rep touts its robust features and endless supply of robotic workers. (I’m looking at you, RPA sellers!)

Don’t get me wrong, robotic process automation is amazing technology. Replicating what a person does, but doing so incredibly fast and eliminating those all-too-common human errors? That can have a spectacular benefit in companies that rely on legacy systems or have a lot of mundane, manual processes.

But what about processes that call for collaboration, judgment, decisions? Say, a managerial approval or perhaps a legal review of some piece of content? Such human-centric processes are often best suited for workflow automation, as are processes involving unstructured data such as text and images.

The best approach is to equip yourself with a variety of tools so you can choose the right one for a specific need. Better yet, combine their unique strengths and watch a powerhouse of process productivity (try saying that three times fast) in action.

Use the right tool in the right situation

Imagine a process where someone completes a form, and the form completion kicks off a workflow. The workflow carries the form data on to a series of other necessary steps, such as review and approval, and perhaps merges the result with some CRM data points. But wait, there’s a legacy core banking system where the data must be entered. This part is best for RPA. Once that’s done, the workflow completes, and the day is done.

Again, it’s about using the right tool in the right situation. Many automation companies have one product to sell you. It could be BPM or perhaps RPA. Do you think they will try to persuade you that their single solution best for all your automation woes? Sure they will.

Here at Nintex, we’ve steadily enhanced our platform to cover everything you’ll need to manage, automate and optimize your processes. This includes both RPA and workflow automation, so you can apply the right solution to each task (or process). In fact, we’re rolling out an action for a Nintex RPA botflow™ (an RPA automated process) to initiate a workflow, creating an even tighter connection between the two automation approaches.

So next time you’re thinking about the best way to automate your business processes, don’t just limit yourself to a hammer.



Interested in learning more about Nintex RPA? Contact us today! 


Jason Tillman

As a senior member of the Nintex product marketing team, Jason Tillman focuses on the financial services industry and helping companies within it automate, orchestrate, and optimize simple to sophisticated business processes through the use of intelligent process automation technology. He’s spent more than 15 years honing his craft at companies ranging from Microsoft and SAP Concur to small pre-IPO startups.

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