Organizations can benefit by making manual processes digital, giving employees more time to work on other tasks. Learn about 5 common workflow automation tools
Organizations don’t want to expend valuable staff time and effort on repetitive tasks — they want fast and efficient processes that increase productivity. By using workflow automation, businesses can save money, free employees up for higher value tasks and generally improve their abilities to deliver enhanced customer service.
While there are many workflow automation tools on the market, one may suit a business better than others depending on the organization’s processes and prevailing technical environment.
Below are 5 common automation tools that can benefit businesses.
Microsoft Power Automate
Microsoft Power Automate, formerly known as Flow, is a cloud workflow service, part of their Office 365 platform, that empowers organizations of all sizes and types to create automated and scheduled business processes and workflows in a no-code/low-code tool. The workflows can be managed through the Power Automate app. Microsoft Power Automate has connectors to almost 300 different applications and services (many of which are cloud/SaaS offerings), some requiring a premium plan.
One of the major selling points is Power Automate’s native interoperability and deep integration with other Office 365 and Dynamics 365 offerings, especially the other tools in the Power Platform triumvirate — PowerApps and Power BI.
The Microsoft Power Automate app is available on iOS, Android and Windows.
Dell Boomi Flow
Based on Boomi’s acquisition of San Francisco-based software vendor ManyWho in 2017, Boomi Flow enables enterprises to build workflows that streamline routine business processes — such as order-to-cash, purchasing, employee on-boarding, case management and credit limit approvals.
Boomi Flow aligns with Boomi’s flagship cloud integration technology to deliver a unified cloud platform that orchestrates data, applications and business processes.
Boomi Flow also aligns with Boomi’s Master Data Management (MDM), API Management and EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) offerings to supply additional capabilities. For example, Boomi MDM can check for duplicate records across several applications in a workflow and flag them for resolution. Boomi API Management equips organizations to build connectivity across systems ranging from legacy mainframes to mobile apps, preparing them for data exchange and workflow automation.
Box’s workflow automation tool, Box Relay, gives users the ability to design content workflows with little to no involvement from the IT department. Box and IBM joined forces in 2016 to create this tool, but now Box Relay is part of, and builds on, Box capabilities.
Box Relay focuses on content-heavy processes and enables cross-department collaboration. Examples of these processes might include employee on-boarding and off-boarding in HR, patent or contract reviews in legal departments, and content review in marketing groups. It offers many features, including a new workflow engine, a simplified UI, a no-code/low-code workflow builder and a dashboard tracking workflow history. Box Relay also enables users to respond quickly and easily through mobile devices.
Nintex, in 2019, launched a platform called Workflow Generator through which users can create workflows using Nintex Promapp. The no-code/low-code workflow automation tool connects IT departments that have automation experience with employees that understand the department’s processes.
The tool streamlines processes for more efficient workflow by using NLP (Natural Language Processing). Employees can document a process and then click request automation, which creates a draft of the documented workflow and alerts the IT department.
Nintex currently offers Workflow Generator to customers that subscribe to Nintex Promapp and Workflow Cloud. The company also made Nintex Sign, powered by Adobe, available to SharePoint users and updated Nintex Forms to include more capabilities.
Robotic process automation
Robotic process automation (RPA) is a software technology that enables users to train “bots” to perform digital tasks. RPA automates repetitive processes, and is particularly focused on legacy system automation where those systems have little to no modern API capabilities.
RPA can add many improvements to content management and save companies time. For example, there are tools that can proofread content before it goes live, improve email marketing and promote content on social media.
Businesses can use RPA to curate content, which is a way for companies to gather existing content to attract customers, and to automate content monitoring, which tracks customer feedback and scores content performance.