A salesperson meeting with a client needs a statement of work. Ordinarily, she would send an email to the head of the relevant department explaining what she needed. The department head would in turn draw up the SOW, and then pass it around to make sure it receives all the necessary revisions and approvals. After what usually extends into a lengthy and frustrating back-and-forth, the final document is sent back to the salesperson who shares it with the client. This is an example of a workflow in dire need of automation.
Once an automated workflow is set up using a tool like Nintex, the salesperson won’t have to compose a request from scratch. She can instead fill out a form right on her mobile device. Completing the form kicks off a process that ensures her colleagues accomplish all the necessary tasks in the proper sequence. So the department head receives the request for the SOW, including all the relevant details. When the document is completed, it automatically goes to designated people for revisions and approvals in sequential order. Then it goes back to the salesperson—in less time, with fewer chances of running into bottlenecks, and with all around fewer headaches.
For this week’s Tech Club episode, James and I interview Senior Consultant Scott Walsh about workflow automation in general, and Nintex in particular. Scott has architected a number of Nintex workflows, and he’s been responsible for developing Aptera’s process for identifying automation opportunities for our clients, mapping out the workflows, and ensuring that the delivered platform performs optimally in the specific business context.
We talk with Scott about topics including:
- What Nintex is and how workflow automation works
- How to assess business situations to see if Nintex is a good fit
- What some typical business scenarios that call for Nintex look like
- What are the best types of workflows and processes to automate
- How different roles or personas are factored into workflow design
- How tools like Nintex give you enhanced visibility into your processes
- What role analytics can play in further workflow development and process improvement
- Why it's difficult to project the ROI for the types of analytics Nintex makes possible
- How to plan and map out a business workflow, for both process effectiveness and user experience
- How secure Nintex is (hint: it depends on what platform it's connecting to)
- How Nintex works with SharePoint, or other tools
- The announcement at the Inspirex conference that Nintex will soon be independent from SharePoint
- How Nintex is moving toward becoming an SaaS add-on
- What the difference is between on-prem and cloud workflows
- Whether you should anticipate everything moving to the cloud
- Whether you need a Nintex architect to build workflows after the platform is set up
- How best to get started with an automation project
- Why goal-setting is the most important step
Even among all the larger-than-life figures at Aptera, Scott has a pretty big personality. As recording began, James and I were a little worried he would be his customary politically incorrect self. By the end, though, we were teasing him about his all-business, family-friendly “presentation mode.” Having collaborated with him on several blog posts and e-books over the past few years, what’s clear to me when I listen to him is that he knows the technology through and through and is genuinely enthusiastic about seeing that it works as well as he knows it could. And that enthusiasm definitely comes through in this interview.
If you have requests or recommendations for further topics related to workflow automation—or for any other topics—shoot us an email at email@example.com.
And here’s a link to check out what’s new with Nintex.
Here are some links to more of our own Nintex and workflow stuff: