The Bottom Line: “Sophisticated” approach delivers quick wins that matter—but could be squeezed by rivals
If your process is end to end, your IT and (Ops) operations pros are ready to work together, and the processes involved are beyond simple team-based activities (but not of the complexity that requires a long-term project), then Nintex’ collection of capabilities is worth a look.
Nintex dubs these middle-level processes “sophisticated.” In targeting “sophisticated” processes ahead of those too simple, and those so complex that they will become major projects, outcomes can be reached with speed. And the processes are “sophisticated” enough to deliver outcomes that matter to the IT and Ops pros engaged.
But we see no secret sauce in the outcomes of this, that rivals cannot also deliver. This Nintex-shaped niche could rapidly become a squeezed middle unless Nintex establishes more clarity around what it is best at.
Bring together and enable IT and Ops pros if you want to deliver end-to-end process automation at pace and scale. These are the people who are closest to important business processes and most likely to own them.
Low-code automation platform Nintex says that’s what it has learned in engagements with 10,000 customers worldwide, including 50% of the Fortune 500. It is responding by moving beyond its mid-market foundations with a platform intended to both target and bring together IT and Ops pros in a shared approach to automation in the enterprise.
Nintex says its platform focuses on IT and Ops leaders working together rather than targeting the needs of professional developers. Giving IT and Ops pros the capabilities to build out the solutions together, they believe, is a significant driver in delivering cross-silo solutions.
Use cases where IT and Ops regularly come together include change management, project management, and product life cycle management.
Amazon and Zoom use Nintex to manage projects and handle COVID-19 challenges
Customers include Amazon, where Nintex has run more than 8 million workflows since 2020. Nintex provides the process automation element of a solution supporting Amazon’s project management system for 210,000 users. The solution has all but eliminated manual processes and data intake errors.
Zoom turned to Nintex when it needed to scale its processing of channel orders in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Nintex Workflow Cloud solution integrates with Zendesk and Salesforce to automate the steps from order intake to order confirmation and provisioning. Zoom was able to increase its channel business five-fold while reducing contract staff by a third.
Nintex Workflow Cloud is now FedRAMP (the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program) compliant, making it available to US government agencies on project hosts’ Federal Private Cloud.
Having started life as a productivity support tool for Microsoft SharePoint users, the focus on document handling and unstructured data in SharePoint has taken Nintex on a journey of acquisitions in recent years. K2 added low-code development and automation, AssureSign added digital signature capabilities, and Drawloop added the automated population of templates with Salesforce and other systems.
The platform covers process mapping to analytics; process mining is coming soon
Founded in Australia in 2006, Nintex has generated more than $250 million in sales in 2021. Today the platform includes process mapping, digital forms, mobile apps, workflow, robotic process automation (RPA), document generation and signing, process analytics, and connectors to extend and orchestrate workflows, tasks, documents, and forms across most systems and services.
As Nintex prepares for its next phase, it has outlined plans to add process mining to its suite. It currently offers a collaborative capture tool in Nintex Promapp and intends to combine this with process mining to enhance its capability as a system of record for processes.
It has built out over 100 connectors to help support the orchestration of work across a wide range of customer systems and now also offers more than 300 solution templates in an “accelerator gallery,” which clients can access and contribute to. Solutions include connectors to workflows for onboarding members and processes for loan origination in financial services.
Nintex recognizes that this collection of capabilities built through acquisition has meant it is often seen as a “Swiss Army knife” collection of piecemeal bits meeting needs rather than a unified platform approach.
With new investments in the platform, the intent is to become more solution-centric, making it easier for customers to attack problems, something it has left to its partners to resolve to date.
New funding means investment in integration, cloud, and predictive insights
Nintex is going about its mission with a new war chest of funds. It is on course to be majority-owned by private equity firm TPG Capital by the end of the year. Even so, Thoma Bravo, Nintex’s current majority investor, has said it will make a new equity investment in Nintex, maintaining a significant minority stake. Both provide headroom for further investments in the platform:
- K2 Cloud migration: Current K2 Cloud applications will move to the Nintex Workflow Cloud, enabling functional integration of K2 SmartObjects and workflows.
- Process system of record: Nintex will add process mining to its platform and extend Nintex RPA to enable bot recordings to feed into the modeling.
- Advanced low-code features: Features support customization of the user experience, app life cycle management, and data access.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML): Changes to AI and ML focused on enabling predictive process insights and recommendations
- Workflow-as-a-service: Providing workflow-as-a-service enables reusable workflows and forms.
The near-term Nintex roadmap covers critical elements: cloud, process mining, better integration of its K2 Software inc. acquisition, and a smart focus on re-usability and predictive process insights.
We like the ambition in bringing IT and Ops together and praise its alignment with the HFS OneOffice™ approach to breaking down front-, middle, and back-office silos and those between IT and business. But to provide long-term value to the enterprise, Nintex must now make good on its plans to deliver a more unified platform approach and go deeper into the industries and functions where it is making headway, such as public sector, health, and manufacturing.