We’ve been trying out Medium for the past year for authoring and hosting our blog and have decided to move there long term. Check here for a list of recent posts while we make the move.

RPA Orchestration: Solving for Human Complexity

February 4, 2019 | Organizations implementing RPA initially target high-value processes that require little to no human intervention. These automations are the low hanging fruit that provide immediate high-value returns. But beyond this initial set, what can be done to simplify identifying potential automation targets? From both a social and technical standpoint, how can RPA be deployed and maintained more broadly in an organization?

This document details the guiding principles we use at Intwixt for approaching process automation challenges like this. If a process involves a reasonably linear set of keystrokes and mouse clicks, then it is a good candidate for RPA automation. But when the task shifts to decision making, requiring human insight to move forward, then it is no longer effective to automate entirely using RPA and instead requires different systems to model the complexity.

Extend Slack Workflows with Serverless Functions

October 17, 2018 | Serverless extends the usefulness of Slack workflows by taking action. And given the large repository of building blocks available via Node Package Manager, it’s possible to build even complex solutions with relative ease. Driving human workflow in Slack is powerful, and adding serverless to the mix makes it even more so by allowing the Slack app to take action when reacting to user input.

Turn Slack into a Workflow Engine

September 26, 2018 | The scale of change in Slack over time is large enough that it’s possible to now use Slack as the centerpiece of an enterprise workflow strategy. It now exposes a range of event hooks, extensions and input fields, allowing for a fully orchestrated experience. It’s reminiscent of HTML where early versions only described how to render a static Web page while HTML5 now describes a complex system for creating apps.

Voice-enable your APIs with Amazon Alexa

May 9, 2018 | Like most developers I think in terms of APIs. It’s a shorthand that helps describe what a service does in a way that is consistent and familiar. If done right, the API describes things in terms of nouns and verbs. When I look at the API for my local library, for example, I will see that can get a list of locations or fetch a single book.

Such conveniences form the backbone of the API economy. Web apps and mobile apps alike connect and use APIs. But how do you surface an API using voice? How do you surface it in ways the user can reasonably understand to make it “usable”? How do you voice-enable your API with Amazon Alexa?

Why Serverless Doesn’t Always Mean Stateless

March 13, 2018 | There are several ways to deliver a serverless solution. A Platform as a Service is one such approach. I’ll focus on the Function as a Service (FaaS), a common approach to serverless architectures across cloud vendors. FaaS works because it’s opinionated. Each cloud vendor has their own offering with constraints (AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, to name a few). What the customer gets in return is true utility pricing and the promise of a scalable architecture built of stateless building blocks.

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