TrustRadius
On-Prem Nintex was everything we ever wanted in a workflow tool. We're not on-prem anymore, and we're lost.
https://www.trustradius.com/business-process-management-bpmNintex PlatformUnspecified8.3154101
Chris Carpenter profile photo
Updated March 25, 2019

On-Prem Nintex was everything we ever wanted in a workflow tool. We're not on-prem anymore, and we're lost.

Score 9 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version
Nintex Workflow for Sharepoint

Overall Satisfaction with Nintex Platform

We use[d] Nintex (on-prem) primarily as an automation tool for work in process tracking and notifications. We used it for approvals, notifications, list and library management, and some business process automation. It had been used across our organization, but the capability set for Office 365 did not match the on-prem version and our corporate IT infrastructure team said that it didn't pass a hygiene test in Office 365, so we switched to MS Flow.
  • On-prem Nintex did workflow design and authoring great - it was easy to automate workflows as a non-developer
  • It did a great job of approvals and reviews (a primary business need for us)
  • It helped us manage business processes that were global and kept information flowing rather than keeping it stuck on an Excel file on someone's desk. It just worked very well with SharePoint.
  • It was a great notification / communication tool for us; automating messaging for state-changes in Sharepoint and giving us artifacts of activity that we could use in an audit.
  • Nintex needs to hit voice of customer hard. Workflow means automation of some function. Those transactions have key components like communication, approval, review, etc. When Nintex moved to Office365, much of what was basic and easy to author in the on-prem version became very obscured or non-existent.
  • Nintex servers have a tendency to bog down and get SLOOOOOOOOOOW when stressed at volume. That's true of most any system, but load balancing just didn't happen and by EOL on some of our flows, it could take 20 minutes or more for single workflows to start, to switch states, or execute an action.
  • The licensing model for only allowing a fixed collection of simple workflows is not a customer requirement. If you survey voice of customer, I'm relatively certain there were no customers who said, "you know, if I could only be allowed 100 workflows of low complexity, that would really help me get my org empowered to exercise this tool to its fullest..."
  • I could only edit Nintex workflow in Internet Explorer. I use a Mac as my workstation. To edit a flow, I had to fire up a VM and open IE. Making it editable in most modern browsers would be might nice.
  • Mixed - we became very dependent on Nintex in our on-prem environment and when forced to upgrade to O365, we were forced to remove it from our toolkit because Nintex online was no longer compatible with our needs (capability or security).
  • Nintex was great for us to build automation from the grass roots. It enabled us to build what we actually needed to be implemented where it was needed by the folks who would use it.
  • We did have a great learning cycle for the business by decentralizing how we approached business applications in Nintex. It was all about enablement and low barriers for entry.
We are decommissioning our environment for on-prem SharePoint. It was a completely different product going into SharePoint online and O365. It no longer met our organizations needs and is being replaced by Microsoft Flow (which is not fully matured, but is already licensed as a corporation).
Yes. We all made our own solutions and it was glorious. Approvals, notifications, work in process tracking, list / library updates, etc...IT didn't have to do much of anything with an able collection of power-users.
Microsoft Flow is immature, but it plays well with Office 365. What we are seeing is that Office365 is a very different animal, but Nintex appeared to focus on major tool integrations as their primary release and the basic functions of WIP tracking, approvals, notifications, and basic automation was terribly obscured and less drag and drop authoring. Nintex's licensing model in Office 365 is a challenge as well. It's like dimming your phone and turning off wifi/bluetooth to keep your battery. We made some very robust and helpful flows in the on-prem version that were very beneficial. Not only could they not migrate to Office 365, but the design model was to scale back usage, or maybe server load, but not to really exercise the tool.
It (on-prem Nintex) was easy to author. Creating a quick automation or process flow was simple. Creating a review process or approval process was a sweet spot for this tool and it was nimble in how it connected with our org and our on-prem SharePoint environment. One key strength was the user-adoption story; creating new power-users was relatively easy.

Nintex Platform Feature Ratings

Process designer
9
Business rules engine
8
SOA support
8
Form builder
9
Model execution
9
Dashboards
9
Standard reports
9
Custom reports
9

Using Nintex Platform

Users and Roles

1000 - 
  • Sales
  • Environmental Health and Safety
  • Marketing
  • Quality
  • Regulatory
  • Operations
  • Research and Development
  • Customer Service
  • Facilities
  • Human Resources
All of the above groups use Nintex for the same core functions. The first function is WIP (work in process) tracking and approvals / reviews. The big idea is that this enables conversations and preserves the artifacts of those conversations. The big difference between Nintex and its competition is the ability of users to build and deploy their own tools rather than relying on dedicated development staff to build and deploy.

Support Headcount Required

3 - We have 3 dedicated resources who are go-to support at a server level, but because of the nature of Nintex and end-user development, much of our org that uses Nintex (on-prem), could service itself. Self-service is a huge selling point for Nintex.

That said, there is a significant asterics - the easy experience is specifically describing on-prem Nintex with SharePoint 2016. Nintex online and Office 365 / SharePoint online is a very different animal that is more technically complex and less approachable to a non-developer.

Business Processes Supported

  • Transaction processing - Reviews and approvals. We are a part 11 compliant Life Sciences company that is heavily regulated by QMS and the FDA. Having those artifacts is key to quality compliance.
  • WIP (work in process) tracking. We use it to track progress of information and material.
  • Communication - out of the box workflows for SharePoint do not provide a great customization capability for communication. Nintex helps provide a much more maleable message crafting machine.

Innovative Uses

  • We have used it to gateway our commercial content approval process (FDA regulated - we have to back our commercial claims and obsolescence reviews)
  • We have used it to build SharePoint into the tool that most of our users expect it to be. Some limitations of our license agreement and installation have required that we supplement with 3rd party functionality. That has helped us raise user adoption and favorability, which is huge!

Future Planned Uses

  • Unfortunately, we will not be using Nintex going forward because the experience in on-prem Nintex and SharePoint 2016 is not replicable in Office 365 / SharePoint online. Also, the licensing model is different and would not be cost-effective to scale in the new environment with a lower-functioning version of Nintex (Nintex online is not as robust and user-friendly as the on-prem version).

Likelihood to Renew

2
Unfortunately, we will not be using Nintex going forward because the experience in on-prem Nintex and SharePoint 2016 is not replicable in Office 365 / SharePoint online. Also, the licensing model is different and would not be cost-effective to scale in the new environment with a lower-functioning version of Nintex (Nintex online is not as robust and user-friendly as the on-prem version). Our parent company assesses capability, licensing models, cost, and security to weigh in on whether a tool can exist in our portfolio. While on-prem Nintex was a great solution for our business when connected to SharePoint 2016, the online version that connects to SharePoint online is feature-weak, in development, and does not march capability forward for us in a meaningful way. The parent operating company has opted to go with Microsoft Flow instead.

Evaluating Nintex Platform and Competitors

Products Replaced

Yes - K2. We had initially used K2 as the exploration of workflow option. It was used within our IT organization, but was never fully deployed to the business to use in the same way that Nintex was. Nintex was a democratized workflow solution that allowed for a relatively tectonic shift in how nimble sections of the business could be in terms of authoring workflows. K2, Nintex Online, and Microsoft Flow all suffered the same issues with complexity that Nintex on-prem did not.

Key Differentiators

  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
Nintex was better positioned to interact well with our environment. Again, this is on-prem Nintex interacting with SharePoint 2016.

Evaluation Lessons Learned

The right decision was made with the available data. Our organization has continued to find it challenging to position ourselves as well with regards to workflow in SharePoint online / Office 365 as we were positioned with on-prem Nintex and SharePoint 2016.

Nintex Platform Support

Support

9
The best support for Nintex (on-prem, specifically) was in the forum. There is a user forum that is very active and engaged and I found them to be quite helpful in the handful of scenarios for which I needed help. Nintex would leverage the hivemind of the forums to answer my questions at times.

Nintex Platform Customer Support Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Support cares about my success
None

Exceptional Examples of Nintex Platform Support

Nintex fielded my call on a particular issue and we worked through options live. I'm not their core contract point of contact, but they worked with me until my issue was resolved and documented in the forums for future users.

Using Nintex Platform

Usability

8
Based on the on-prem experience with this tool, I believe that they have a lot of potential to help the online version catch up to where the on-prem left off. Nintex developed their online version and it is not as fully formed or capable compared to the on-prem version, and the licensing model scales back what we would have liked to be an expansion or at least continuous improvement of existing flows. It is also not near as user friendly specifically to non-developers and has an uncanny similarity to Microsoft Flow in the online instance. Consistent with my reviews of the tool - I believe they have some good approaches to design thinking that, if translated well from on-prem to online, could make this a clear winner again.

Usability Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Like to use
Easy to use
Well integrated
Consistent
None

Easy Tasks

  • To be clear, the instance of Nintex I'm reviewing is the online version. The on-prem version that works with SharePoint 2016 is ridiculously user friendly.
  • Connecting to a SharePoint environment is not difficult
  • Connecting to other data sources is not difficult.

Difficult Tasks

  • The basic triggers in Nintex online are not the same as they were on-prem. Users can easily get stuck in the "trigger loop" of trying to figure out which menu sequence locks in on the current item.
  • Nintex online was built to connect to large backend business systems as it was initially built, so the core functionality of WIP tracking, approvals, and notifications is somewhat obscured / underdeveloped in the Nintex Online platform.
  • Nintex online hasn't done much work to meaningfully differentiate itself from Microsoft Flow. On-prem Nintex was a clear winner (the competency is there in the platform, but the switch to online / O365 appears to be more of a setback than a leap forward).