Configuring, not coding: Process automation at Emerson

Yesterday we hosted our Nintex World Tour Houston event, where we shared the value of the Nintex Platform with business and IT leaders based in Texas and beyond. One of the presenters was Blake Scott with Emerson Automation Solutions, who shared how he is driving digital transformation with powerful and easy-to-use process automation capabilities from Nintex.

In this post, we share a brief summary of his presentation.

Six years ago Blake joined Emerson, a global technology and engineering company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and residential markets, where he was responsible for a SharePoint farm. It wasn’t a simple farm either, as it possessed a very high-level of customization.

Blake also quickly learned that the change control process within the program was managed through email and that a majority of apps were developed by contractors who were no longer working with Emerson.

Blake’s question for the Nintex World Tour audience: On the 91st day of support (when the contractor’s warranty period expires), what happens when something goes wrong?

As a solution-oriented leader, Blake believes in the 80-20 rule, saying, “If you can solve 80 percent of the problem, help 80 percent of users – it’s time to take action (make a purchase, turn a process on, execute).” Blake shared that his SharePoint admins were in a difficult position with too many collaboration solutions built with difficult-to-support custom code and that change needed to happen to mitigate the risk this presented his team.

The solution vs. customization (code red) problem

Blake believes that pretty much anyone can be a SharePoint and Nintex content owner (the top layer of the funnel above) with the skill set to set up a basic SharePoint site. However, that was not his pain point in this project.

“Most of my pain is costly custom code (the red tip).” You need a C# developer to build complex code and that takes significant time and money. “If your code is bad, you can crash the farm, destroy the farm. Thus, we are driven to put in risk mitigation measures which lead to higher costs.”

Blake and his team identified that Emerson had 60 different code artifacts in the ‘High Support/High Cost’ red tip, that 80 percent of those had a workflow, and 60 percent had a form. Emerson needed a place to put these workflows and forms that had a future that was supportable.

All of this equated to risk that Blake and his team needed to address. So Emerson went hunting for a low to no code workflow and forms solution to solve the problem.

We found Nintex and went from code to configuration. Code is hard and expensive. Configuration is simple – drag and drop.Blake Scott, Emerson Autmation Solutions Tweet this

Blake’s team started with a Nintex demo environment and had two of his developers do an assignment – build an app in SharePoint Designer (took two days) and build an app in Nintex (took one day). Hands-down, he said, “Nintex is the easiest solution, we prefer to build our workflows, forms, and process apps on Nintex.”

The secret to his success? “We leaned into it,” said Blake. You need to have a plan and bring people, process, and technology together in an orchestrated way.

The journey from “complex code red” to “simple, configurable Nintex solutions”

“We went from code (red) up to more simple and configurable solutions,” said Blake.

Blake concluded his Nintex World Tour presentation with a few final takeaways for attendees:

  • Nearly every problem can be divided 80-20.
  • Configure not code: Move the middle (of the funnel).
  • Nintex Forms and Nintex Workflows are now a standard enterprise toolset. If you can fit your business demand into this toolset, support is covered.

My chain of command at Emerson trusts me a lot because of what we’ve been able to achieve. With Nintex I’ve effectively turned businesspeople into developers.Blake Scott, Emerson Autmation Solutions Tweet this


To experience the ease and power of Nintex Workflow and Nintex Forms for yourself, sign-up for a live demo today.


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