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I just finished testing Nintex. So far so good. However, I'm not happy with their pricing structure. The standard edition is like $10k + $3.5k (for support per year). This is per WFE, so we have 3 WFEs and this will cost us about $40k.

Now, K2. Does K2 provide the same number of functions as Nintex? Is it as expensive? Someone in some SharePoint seminar told me that K2 price is fixed (regardless of # of WFEs).

Please give me suggestions. I understand this may not be the place for me to post something like this but I can't find anything out there.

http://www.5thmethod.com/files/pdf/K2_blackpoint_overview.pdf

Thanks

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You are right that, per the FAQ this isn't really the place for questions about commercial, third-party products. However, the level of interest suggests that the community wants to have this discussion, so I have made this question a community wiki. Thanks. –  SPDoctor Apr 28 '12 at 15:03

11 Answers 11

I have used both Nintex and K2 in my environment. I a 100 year old organization that is driving about 98% of my paper content including my mail room, fax servers, and email into SharePoint. My AR process is a work of art! I have hundreds of workflows and could right volumes both products. I don't work for either just fyi!

Three reasons right off the bat to go K2: Reason 1 - More than 1 web front End. Nintex on a second FE will cost you as much as K2 Reason 2 - Nintex runs on Sharepoint and is dependant on SharePoint workflow, K2 is not! This alone is worth the price of admission in my book. Reason 3 - K2 has the best support in the business. They are absolutly my favorite vendor and should be a model for the rest of the industry. Reason 4 - Nintex to K2 is like going from 8-track to IPod - It is enterprise stable! It also integrates heavily into your entire stack!

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You should also consider http://www.pmg.net. It provides a true enterprise class BPMS and has over 30 integration connectors to products like BMC Remedy, SAP, Service-now, and of course SharePoint. It also has auto-provisioning actions for doing things like creating users in various systems and provisioning cloud infrastructure via VMware and OpenStack, etc.

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I have used both... Nintex and K2 Black Point. I have yet to meet anyone, other than consultants who are K2 partners, who prefers K2 over Nintex. K2 BlackPoint (the SharePoint version, not BlackPearl) is horrible to work with. It has its own infrastructure (meaning its own server) and we lost dozens of workflows into la la land. Because it's NOT using the SP workflow engine, but rather its own, it's next to impossible to get anything that is lost. K2 support told us we were SOL and there was no way to retrieve the lost items. It caused escalations internally all the way up to our C level, because the workflows that were lost were new hire boardings for executives. The only reason the company bought it was because it was dirt cheap and the MS partner they used pushed it on them as the best. I honestly believe BlackPoint was a crappy afterthought by K2 to compete with Nintex as they are clearly the market leader in the SP workflow space.

Plus, the Designer is horrendous. The learning curve was ridiculous beyond simple serial approvals even for our senior developers. Nintex, however, is equally as powerful, uses the SharePoint workflow engine, and is so easy that non technical staff can learn it quickly. You get what you pay for... If I want to spend tons of time learning something, I'll just open Visual Studio and code the whole thing by hand using Workflow Foundations. The ONLY cool thing I remember from BlackPoint is the ability to create a Word document and populate it with data from within the workflow. Other than that, don't be swayed by the price tag...you will regret it.

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You don't have to get it directly from Nintex. We got it through Knowledgelake at a bit cheaper price. Nintex works differently from K2 that I seem to recall. K2 needs it's own server, so there's some hidden cost there.

The initial outlay for any of the third party tools for SharePoint are generally steep, but it's a one time cost.

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This is kind of a loaded question. You would generally pick the software by your particular needs. First define the business processes you need workflows and such for. Then based on the business need, decide which product fulfills that particular need better. If you post the various scenarios you are looking to use the solutions for, the experts here can better help you identify which is better for your situation.

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I tend to agree with John here on this one. No software solution out there is a silver bullet nor will it be the best fit for all situations. (Full disclosure i do work for K2) I wont get into pricing here specifically but wanted to address one point in your question and provide some links as well as offer up myself for any specific questions you may have.

you said "Now, K2. Do k2 provides same number of functions as Nintex? Is it as expensive? Someone in some SharePoint seminar told me that K2 price is fixed (regardless of # of WFEs)."

This is the case. K2 offers its own workflow server engine and only installs some webservices and features on each WFE so it does not matter how many WFE's you have. So the price is fixed in that respect. You just pay for the one K2 server.

Here are some Links that will provide you more K2 specific information. However if you need specific pricing you are going to have to talk to someone in our sales group.

http://www.k2.com/en/blackpearl.aspx

http://www.k2.com/en/sharepoint2010.aspx

If you would like to have an offline conversation let me know, i would be happy to help.

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It is a debate at the end you need to evaluate yourself (against your biz-needs, license pricing, support offered, community size - very important,because when you get on this road you depend on those guys more thant you would believe!, learning curve needed), but there is one aspect i'd like to point out (prior experience with both products, quite extensive): 1. Both are powerful - REALLY (aren't you using a hammer for killing flies? -SPD 2010 is really, really good too!) 2. IMPORTANT Nintex works ONLY in the context of SharePoint, whereas K2 can be used other ways too. 3. Both pretty easy to get started with - provided you have Prior Workflow experience - however I've found Nintex a lot easier due to it being SharePoint-targeted.

Hoping this gives more food for thought, C:\Marius

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(Full disclosure I do work for K2) I just want to clarify incorrect statement made earlier.

No additional hardware required for K2, K2 can happily co-exist within your existing SharePoint infrastructure/hardware

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Another option is PNMsoft. PNMsoft, K2 and Nintex all provide workflow/BPM capabilities that are integrated with SharePoint, but of the three PNMsoft has the tightest integration, most advanced functionality, and attractive pricing plans that don't escalate dramatically over time or per workflow. It's also the only one which has been recognised by Gartner as an Intelligent BPM Suite (iBPMS) in their iBPMS Magic Quadrant for 2012. Finally, it has an excellent track record with clients looking for a Microsoft-based workflow solution. Here's a page with more information: http://www.pnmsoft.com/technology/extending-sharepoint/

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You should also consider using WEBCON BPS. The software is enterprise ready, does not use WorkFlow engine of sharepoint, but one based on SQL Server. It also does not store data on sharepoint lists but in separate SQL database. You can get a demo version with hands-on-labs here: www.webcon.com/webconbps/workflow-solution-demo

The barcode and OCR support is there as well as the form editor (so no InfoPath services or similar are required). The biggest benefit is a great time to market it offers and a unbelievable variety of business processes you may handle with it.

(and yes I do work for WEBCON : )

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I would agree that this should not be a pricing decision, at least until you know that you want to achieve and then consider the ROI you expect from these solutions. You need to look at your business needs, understand hw those needs will evolve not just today but moving forward. K2 is designed to handle needs from very simple to the most complex and as others have said, is able to be leveraged for process automation needs both centered around SharePoint and those that many companies have that might have nothing or little to do with SharePoint. From a capabilities perspective, most companies find they need an offering that provides rich process design capabilities, can handle simple and complex runtime needs and just as importantly has a high degree of manageability and process analytics built in OOB. As mentioned earlier, in the case of SharePoint, as you lay down more SharePoint WFE's, the K2 pricing model remains consistent, rather than getting significantly more costly.

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Dave, don't forget that you need to disclose your affiliation with K2, particularly when making a comment like this. Please see May I promote products or websites I am affiliated with here? for guidelines. Thanks. –  SPDoctor Apr 29 '12 at 18:30

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