Tuesday Perspectives

Change the productivity landscape with workflow automation software integrated with SharePoint

Published: July 11, 2017

Workflow automation is the single fastest Return on Investment (ROI) you can gain out of your SharePoint investment. When tackling workflow challenges in SharePoint, organizations typically have three options. The first is to utilize out-of-the-box capabilities, the second is to build a customized solution, and the third is to integrate a third-party software solution. Simple business process such as issue tracking, signature collection, which are linear, can be easily handled within SharePoint’s out-of-the-box workflow capabilities. But as business processes become more complex, out-of-the box capabilities will not support needs such as integrating enterprise systems with other systems or making changes to process flows.

Organizations can opt for creating a custom application; however, these development cycles can sometimes be tricky and exhaustive if requirements aren’t fully outlined or if scope creep is never ending. This can lead to constant testing and bug fixes, not to mention looking at possible upgrades.

Investing in a proven third party workflow software, that sits on top of your existing SharePoint investment, can the answer to a rapid ROI and provide many benefits including:

  • Flexibility in customizing or creating a new process using UI and empowering power users to be able to do it themselves
  • Accessibility from mobile, single click approvals from email
  • Options to connect with other lines of business applications
  • Fast automation of a business process via rapid development cycles (weeks not months). This significantly lowers the amount of upfront spend usually associated with developing basic utilities and framework.

(Source: Nintex)

As a partner of Nintex, Microexcel has built Nintex workflow systems on top of existing SharePoint workflows that closely interact with existing components and fill in the inefficiencies without affecting the platform. So, the investment of training or learning a new skill set is very minimal to none as anyone familiar with SharePoint can easily start using the Nintex platform. A complex business process can be implemented much faster using Nintex’s rich user interface and custom actions rather than going through a possible exhaustive development cycle. In addition, Nintex workflows come with on demand reports and analysis in real time, which are lacking in native SharePoint workflows.

According to the Forrester Research report, “The Total Economic Impact™ of the Nintex Workflow Platform -Cost Savings and Business Benefits,” October 2014, a single complex workflow developed in Nintex saves 160 hours in development time and one hour of staff productivity every time it is run. Whether you are automating workflow to empower your employees to effectively serve customers, accelerate lead generation and data capturing, reduce your paper waste footprint, or mitigate risk and cost associated with employee onboarding, automation software, on top of your existing SharePoint platform, is a productivity and collaboration game changer.

Automation of workflows are becoming increasing essential as organizations embrace the idea of a mobile workforce. The integration of Nintex can further leverage existing infrastructure to develop custom mobile application experience on all major devices, within minutes! How is that possible?

With the advent of Office 365 cloud based services, enterprises are seeing that the mobile workforce are increasingly productive and responsive to enterprise processes. Extending a traditional workflow process and forms to the mobile workforce so they can work from anywhere and anytime, is hugely beneficial.

Nintex mobile facilitates this extension, enabling employees to participate in critical processes while they are on the move or irrespective of whether they are using PC/desktop or mobile. Nintex Mobile provides features such as checking tasks as easily as checking text messages. Employees can capture data, submit requests, initiate processes, complete tasks and approve documents in a matter of minutes, all from a smartphone or tablet.

With accurate data being at the foundation of good decision making, mobile forms can easily facilitate data collection from users. The possibilities are endless from a quick survey, field health checks, property inspections, travel requests, or expense approvals, etc., many of this paper based processes can be digitally transformed. For example, if we look at daily routines of a health inspector as he checks each restaurant, he fills in a lot of paper forms or may be using an offline device to store all the information. Once he is back at his office, he feeds all that information to an in-house process. Using a Nintex workflow and mobile, this process can occur in real-time with synchronization of the information as he captures using a mobile device or a tablet with cellular connection. This mobile digital transformation eliminates manual effort.

If you have SharePoint or Office 365 in your organization, workflow automation with a third-party software like Nintex can take that investment further. The ease of automating processes, and having a mobility capability keeps the processes that run businesses more efficient and effective. The enhanced productivity with the elimination of manual based, simple or complex workflows, provides a leap towards a modernized, digital enterprise.

For questions or if you’d like to see a demo, please contact Microexcel at info@microexcel.com.

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