vadim.tabakman@nintex.com

Nintex Workflow Cloud - Embracing the Power of the Text Message

Blog Post created by vadim.tabakman@nintex.com Employee on Nov 22, 2016

It’s interesting to see the evolution of Nintex. With Nintex Workflow Cloud, we have connectivity to systems we haven’t connected to in the past with Nintex Workflow. What this does, is expand the variety of processes that can be automated. Not only that, but it also increases the scenarios around what can start a process and how users interact with it.

Nintex Workflow Cloud has built in support for Twilio functionality. Now some of may not have heard of Twilio, but it’s cloud communications platform, with API’s they expose to do a variety of things from text messaging, to voice etc.

In Nintex Workflow Cloud, we have created a connector to Twilio, so that you can have a workflow start on the receipt of a text message. That definitely expands the range of scenarios. Also, we have a Twilio Sent Message action that will let you reach back out to users via text messages. Now you’re probably wondering, why would you want to send a text message from a workflow? What is the compelling story behind something like this?

Research has shown that around 90% of all text messages are read within 3 minutes. Of all the emails you get during the day, do you open and consume them that quickly? Probably not. Actually, people tend to open about 20% of their emails within 3 minutes. That’s a significant difference. Text is a great medium to get people to react to something quickly. Just not while you’re driving… or walking down a sidewalk, or at Disneyland where you walk into people, or Mickey.

To see the latest help on the Twilio functionality in Nintex Workflow Cloud, take a look at the online help - http://help.nintex.com/en-US/nwc/#NWC/ConnectionTwilio1.htm

Connection

When you click on Connections (bottom left), you can then click on the Add New button (right) and this is where you select the connection you want to create. Selecting Twilio from the Connector, a few more options will appear. You will need to provide a Phone Number. This is the number Twilio will monitor for text messages. You will also need to put in an Account SID and Auth Token. These can be obtained from the Twilio site, where you have your account. Remember, although Nintex Workflow Cloud can talk to Twilio, in order to use their services, you will need to have a valid Twilio account.

If you’re wondering what an Account SID and Auth Token is, this is what is required from Twilio to be able to speak to their API’s. Take a look here : https://support.twilio.com/hc/en-us/articles/223136607-What-is-an-Application-SID-

Using the Connection

The next step, is to build a workflow. Click on the Create Workflow button and then simply click (single click) on the Start Event action which is the first thing in your workflow.

A Start Event Configuration window will popup and you’ll be able to select the Connector for this workflow.

When you select the Connector you are interested in (Twilio), you can then select which event you want to handle. In this case, with Twilio, we support the New Message event.

Now, you can choose the Connection you made earlier.

When you select the Connection you made, scroll down and you’ll see a bunch of Start event variables that appear. These will contain data based on the text message that the phone number will receive.

The great thing about this, is that you don’t have to worry about querying anything to get this data, or worry about the API’s. It’s all done for you.

Now you can focus on designing the workflow, based on the data you received from the message.

Using the Twilio Send a Message action

We can now start a workflow from a Twilio message. But what about sending a message to someone? I want to you to know, that starting a workflow on a Twilio event and sending a message through Twilio are mutually exclusive.

Let’s say you are building out a really simple leave request process, but want to give your users another option to kick off a workflow. All they need to do, is fill in some form you have on a site, maybe through the Nintex Mobile app, or mentioned earlier here, they simply send a text message with a Date in it. That’s quite straight forward to do, and there’ll be a post about that here soon. But, maybe you want to then notify the user that their leave was rejected and the fastest way to notify them, is through a text message.   In comes the Twilio Send a message action.

So this is a workflow I created, based off of a text message we received.   I have an Express Approval action that will send a task to a user (not currently configured). If the task is approved, we will send an email to someone letting them know the task is approved.

But… if it’s rejected, we will use the Send a message action and that will actually go to the “From” address. That being the phone number of the person who send the original text that initiated this workflow.

Conclusion

The possibilities here are endless. If you are working with internal people, and they are aware that they can send something to a system via a text message, and it might be in a structure everyone is aware of, you could even build your workflow to be smart enough to look for that structure, or look for keywords.

It’s an exciting evolution for Nintex and for Nintex users.

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