Microsoft Flow garners much attention as a workflow creation tool, yet due to the complexity of use, steep learning curve, and cost, the tool may not be the best choice for many companies. That said, Flow’s connectors to external solutions—such as Dropbox, Salesforce, Oracle, and social media sites—do offer value to many organizations, particularly those who use NITRO Studio as their solution-of-choice for business process automation in SharePoint and Office 365.
Part One: Using NITRO Custom Actions to Launch a Flow
In Part One of this series, we discussed how NITRO Studio’s Custom Actions can be used to put a button on a SharePoint form that will then launch a Microsoft Flow. This is a user-initiated action in that the user has to push the button to run the Custom Action.
In the example we presented, the Custom Action button invoked a Flow that sent an item’s attachment(s) to OneDrive. Of course, this is just one possibility — there is no limit to the number of button actions and external connector actions that can be implemented.
Part Two: Invoking a Flow from a NITRO Workflow
In addition to user-initiated Custom Actions, NITRO Studio enables enterprises to extend their automated business processes by invoking Microsoft Flows from NITRO Studio’s Workflow Manager. This allows unattended, automatic launch of Flows based on certain triggers and conditions.
Instead of creating a button on a form, a NITRO Workflow action is simply configured to launch a Microsoft Flow based on defined triggers, such as when a task is completed, when a list item is edited, a specific time/date, or even on a scheduled basis.
Some potential uses of this automated approach include:
Automate Contract Signing (NITRO + Flow → DocuSign)
Use Crow Canyon Software’s Contract Management System to manage the entire workflow of contract creation, keep stakeholders notified, and monitor renewals. When a contract creation task is completed, a Microsoft Flow can automatically send the document to all parties for signing using DocuSign. When done, NITRO Studio can automatically notify all parties of the signing or, if applicable, send signing reminders.
Automate the Onboarding Process (NITRO + Flow → Social media, Slack)
Crow Canyon’s Onboarding solution is a comprehensive platform that handles all aspects of employee status changes — this not only includes new hires (onboarding), but also promotions (midboarding) and resignations or terminations (offboarding). Workflows can be configured to automatically handle entire onboarding processes, such as procuring software & hardware, granting security access, assigning new employee tasks, and so on.
As part of that automated process (e.g., when a contract is signed or an employee completes a specific task), a NITRO Studio workflow can invoke a Microsoft Flow to post news of the new employee on the company’s LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages. In addition, a Flow can introduce the new hire to colleagues via a company chat platform such as Teams.
Automate Purchase Orders (NITRO + Flow → Salesforce)
Crow Canyon Software’s Purchase Request/Order system can handle the entire purchasing workflow from beginning to end. Products can be pulled from catalogs and requests automatically submitted to approver(s) based on a highly configurable process. When approved, the purchase order can be sent directly to a vendor or to a purchasing department for implementation.
Further extend the automated purchasing process by invoking a Flow within the NITRO workflow. For example, a Flow can automatically send purchase details to Salesforce to build a list of leads, send an SMS notification when an item (or type of item) is purchased, or even create a new Salesforce account.
Automate Equipment Maintenance (NITRO + Flow → Skype, Dropbox)
Our Equipment Management system provides a comprehensive view of exactly what’s going on with equipment at a site or facility. Highly-configurable workflows manage the entire maintenance request process, such as alerting employees when equipment is in need of maintenance, automating the entire approval process, and tracking specific equipment from procurement to deployment.
Organizations can invoke a Flow within NITRO workflows to further automate management of equipment. For example, if a medical device has exceeded its maintenance date, a Flow can send an instant message to the on-call Manager via Skype. Maintenance contracts can also be automatically backed up in Dropbox when a trigger is activated, such as a contract renewal, modification, or a new signing.
Many Examples of NITRO Studio and Microsoft Flow Working Together
These are just some of the many ways Microsoft Flow can be used with NITRO Workflows. NITRO Studio handles the process automation within SharePoint and Office 365, and Flow provides the connectivity to external systems.
With the capability to launch a Flow from a button on the SharePoint form via Custom Actions or based on pre-defined triggers and timed events via Workflow Manager, NITRO Studio allows business users to easily incorporate Flow’s connectors as needed into their workflows.
There is no need to struggle to get Flow to do what NITRO Studio is already highly capable of managing. Instead, by working together, NITRO Studio and Microsoft Flow can power your workplace automation to new levels of efficiency and productivity.
See our on-demand webinar, “NITRO Workflows and Microsoft Flow: Best Friends Forever.”
Crow Canyon Software delivers the power of a connected, digital workplace to your organization, helping you be more successful and competitive. We provide the tools that allow you to gain the maximum benefit from SharePoint and Office 365, Microsoft’s premier collaboration platforms.
Want to learn about how our business productivity applications for SharePoint and Office 365 can power up your organization? Give us a call at 1-925-478-3110 or contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!