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September 28, 2015 Issue

The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information


Solution to Automate Workflow, Digitize Documents and Improve Efficiencies and Accuracies



John Burton





Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – September 28, 2015


CEOCFO: Mr. Burton, would you tell us the philosophy behind Nintex?

Mr. Burton: The objective of Nintex is to improve the jobs of professional workers by automating the processes that they do in their daily work lives.


CEOCFO: How would someone use your system to do better?

Mr. Burton: Nintex automates the workflows that people perform. The reason I say professional workers is that they regularly deal with a flow of paperwork as part of business approvals and provisioning and are concerned about things like compliance, auditability, accuracy, communication, and collaboration. We offer a simple to use system that automates that interactivity – making the process repeatable and automated with more accuracy.


CEOCFO: Devil’s advocate here; if you people are doing similar things over and over, would they not already know what to do?

Mr. Burton: They certainly do but that does not mean they do them efficiently. For example, almost every company of every size when they go to recruit a new employee go through a process where they create some sort of job specification which gets reviewed and approved by multiple people that, in turn, gets posted to several online sources like LinkedIn and so forth. Then applicants apply. The applications have to be reviewed, categorized, and followed up on in some way including sharing those applications with multiple other people in the process. Then if someone comes in for an interview, they would go through multiple interviews, go through one person to another. All that has to be taken care of. If you are a fast-growing company, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of these processes that take place per applicant. Eventually, when someone is close to being hired they have to have an offer submitted and that offer has to be approved by not just HR but also the accounting department and the hiring managers. Then that has to be approved and accepted. If someone starts, that person has to be put on the payroll, the employee sheets, has to have provisioning, requires computer equipment, and be authorized to access certain applications and not other applications. There needs to be security requirements. That has to go into the HRIS system for eventual performance reviews. Every one of those processes requires handling of documents, information, collaboration and approvals between lots of people as well as eventually the provisioning and tracking of that person as an employee. It may involve hundreds if not thousands of hours of people. If the flow of the content related to that applicant in the jobs search process can be automatically tracked between all of those people who have participated in the process, it can be more accurate. It can be done a lot faster than sending thousands of emails trying to figure out if someone responded and if someone approved; Nintex can automate all of that with a visual design capability that automatically generates an automated workflow that everyone understands. It can integrate with your email system. It can be utilized on a mobile device, as well as laptops and desktops. All of the approvals, notifications, coordination, compliance, and accuracy are fully automated. Nintex has been found to improve the process from an efficiency standpoint and a cost standpoint by as much as 70%.


CEOCFO: Are most companies realizing today that they do need to improve their workflow or are people still piecing it together on their own?

Mr. Burton: I think every organization knows that they need to improve their workflow and if possible, automate. Some of the reasons for that include that IT departments are overwhelmed doing big systems and handling security and compliance so they do not have much excess time to create and automate systems that are paper-based or document-based systems between individual departments. This has given rise to what has been called a shadow IT budget. That is where lines of business or departmental groups try to do their own IT automation in some way. They may subscribe to a SaaS-based application like Salesforce, have it come out of a business budget or they may directly hire systems integrators to do some tasks for them. They might hire programmers themselves. It is not that they are abandoning or trying to create a schism between IT and the working department but they need to get their work done. Part of that reason is the processes that IT undertakes are typically high transaction volume, very specific structured data. Whereas, a line of business department is typically unstructured process comprised of human interaction, forms, records, documents, video or some text, all kinds of content that resides in different types of application content repositories. It can reside in places like Dropbox or Box. That diversity is very complex to automate so people get exasperated because the tools that existed historically were difficult to use and required programming. Nintex delivers a system that sits on top of the standard content management repositories that the bulk of businesses now use across lines of business. We utilize what already exists as a foundation for document storage and management. Then we automate the interaction between that content and people by a visual design drag and drop format.


CEOCFO: Is it one standard offering and then people can choose how and what they want to utilize?

Mr. Burton: Without exception, what happens is companies reach a point where they must find a way to be more productive and compliant with an important process. The pressure to do more with less or perhaps be more competitive becomes intensive. They begin to look at potential solutions and discover Nintex technology or a Nintex partner. We have 1,100 plus partners worldwide that will help implement automated workflow. Customers typically find the process to be so easy and rapid; the number of workflows implemented with Nintex grows rapidly. More often than not, they will take over the design and development of these Nintex workflows themselves. To give you an idea, we have one customer that started with a single workflow in 2009, and today they have more than 12,000 individual workflows that they built themselves. They have 1,000 people that are certified to design and build automated workflows. It is easy to learn and there is no programming involved. If you are familiar with a flow chart of business process diagrams, which most people are, then you can learn how do use a Nintex workflow in literally a three-day training program. Today Nintex has more than 6,000 worldwide customers and those are in 90 different countries and 22 different languages. Beyond that, we have approximately 10 million users of our workflows on a daily basis worldwide. To some extent, we have been stealthily successful. We are trying to become much better known and more successful.


CEOCFO: Would you tell us about the enhancements for your global partner program?

Mr. Burton: Nintex was founded in Australia – a great place for technology but not such a great place from which to sell and market worldwide as it is a long way from most major markets. The founders built clever ways to sell and distribute Nintex products worldwide. With cooperation from Microsoft, a worldwide partner program was developed with systems integrators that utilize Nintex workflow to build customers solutions. Due to its ease of use and impressive results for the customers, growth of the partner channel became almost viral. Now we have more than 1,100 partners. Some are global in scale and some are small and regional. Some of them focus on vertical applications, but wherever they focus, there is a partner to help anywhere in the world. We have relocated headquarters to Seattle to be closer to global major markets and have introduced highly sophisticated partner support systems such as online training, 24x7 support, marketing assistance, and a partner portal. We have development teams in Malaysia, southern California, and Seattle as well as Melbourne, where we started. We also have large sales and support operations in London, Seattle, and Melbourne. We opened an office in Tokyo and Dubai in the last six months.


CEOCFO: Are different geographic regions looking at things differently or is your offering universal?

Mr. Burton: We think it is applicable anywhere where people have digitized documents and have the desire to automate their workflows across the enterprise. The rise of cloud and mobile-based work has intensified the need. There are different issues across the world in content security, data sovereignty, and cloud guidelines but the human-centric processes that we automate have common characteristics across all regions and countries.


CEOCFO: What is the competitive landscape?

Mr. Burton: The competitive landscape if defined as “workflow” is quite busy with varying interpretations of solutions which range from the very simple to the most complex. There are several firms that offer tools for IT professionals to automate technical tasks, up to larger firms that offer business process management platforms that are powerful that can only be used by programmers and IT professionals. We believe that Nintex is the only workflow platform that can be used by non-technical people to easily build enterprise-level workflow applications from the simple to the sophisticated. We’ve been able to do this based on two key design criteria. First, we must be easy to use and second, we leverage existing investments our customers have in the enterprise content systems with which they are already familiar. It is easy to build powerful software but it is very hard to make powerful software easy. That is what we have done and why we are so different.


CEOCFO: Why choose Nintex?

Mr. Burton: Most organizations across the world need to increase the speed at which they handle and provide information both to their customers and to their employees. They need to automate business processes to stay competitive – Nintex can help.


“Most organizations across the world need to increase the speed at which they handle and provide information both to their customers and to their employees. They need to automate business processes to stay competitive – Nintex can help.”

- John Burton









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