When it comes to Nintex workflow, many times the first thought is “Microsoft”. And while this is certainly still common, there has always been the ability to go a different direction when leveraging the power of the Nintex platform, especially Nintex Workflow Cloud. Within Nintex Workflow Cloud there are a multitude of connectors ranging from AccuWeather to Zendesk and an Xtensions framework that allows users to create their own workflow actions. This paves the way for processes to be built and optimized for with the current systems in mind without the need for complex workarounds or changing the process to fit the tool. For myself, a lot of times I simply frame this as the ability to change platforms or systems without having to rebuild the entire process. Let’s explore this idea more, but specifically around Google and Microsoft.
The Story Thus Far
I recently worked with an organization (Company A) that was going through some growth via acquisitions and had to consolidate systems, platforms, people, and processes. In the middle of all of this, Nintex Workflow Cloud was the way that the majority of their processes were being automated and how data was getting to the correct people and systems. Things like on-boarding new employees (which they would be using a lot of given the acquisition), contract and content management, and other various back-office processes connecting to legacy applications. These processes leveraged a variety of platforms but many times Microsoft was at the center of it. Whether it was SharePoint Online, Excel, Word, OneDrive, or even just posting content to Teams, Microsoft products were used to facilitate processes a lot. On the other hand, the acquired organization (we’ll call them Company G), used the G-Suite. This was how many things were advanced through their processes without the luxury of Nintex Workflow Cloud. The immediate response was to migrate all the new content and process from Google into Microsoft since there was already more being done with Microsoft within Company A; but was this the right approach? How much re-work was required taking this approach? These were the questions they needed to stop and evaluate before making decisions. This is where a simple approach changed all future decisions.
When Company A began to evaluate and catalog the processes that they were acquiring, they quickly realized that many of them were quite similar. Capturing data via forms and then pushing that data into the proper systems for retention. The key differences were where the data resided and the complexity of the tools that orchestrated the automation. Many times, they found that once the data moved to the new system in the process, that system would be leveraged to continue the flow of work. Things like notifications and tasks were commonplace, but each different depending on the system that it came from. This led to confusion for employees as they did not know where to go to complete their work. External participants faced similar issues; the notifications they were provided to complete essential steps in their processes were not standardized or streamlined.
With the power of Nintex Workflow Cloud, the Company quickly saw the potential to consolidate processes all under one workflow platform but still allow for the data to flow to the proper systems. This was as simple as adding a connection within Nintex Workflow Cloud and then adding the necessary actions in the right place. An example of this was when their templates had to be used for Document Generation, depending on where the template resided, it could be pulled in and used in the workflow.
In the above screenshot, we see how easy it is to add two actions to replicate what is already being done but pointing to where the content already is. In this case, the is a need to grab logo images and the document template to be used in the document generation action. Another example of this that came up was having the notification come from different systems. In this case, there was a need to have meetings set using Google Calendar or Microsoft Exchange depending on the business needs. Using a simple branch action within Nintex Workflow Cloud, we can easily achieve something like this:
When it comes to consolidating automation, there is a lot of consider and ultimately ensuring that the processes continue to run is paramount to all else. This means that while some parts need to be re-architected, merged into another processes, or down-right deprecated, the first concern should always be continuing execution of the processes. With Nintex Workflow Cloud, we can easily achieve this by dragging actions around to rearrange the flow of the process. We can also add in a multitude of different connectors so that the data gets to (or is pulled from) the proper system. We remove the system dependency and open a world of opportunity when it comes to process automation.