An Easy Low-Code Win for Digital Transformation


Industry Type

Energy - Oil & Gas

Number of Employees


Number of Apps Created


One of our finance leads said, ‘This is so easy, even my mom could do this.’ It was extremely intuitive and straightforward. The watermark was, ‘I don’t need to call IT to do this. I can do it myself.’

Renee Villarreal, Senior IT Manager

Digital transformation has been the name of the game for McDermott International, an oil and gas infrastructure company with revenues of nearly $3 billion. “Once you take steps towards digitisation, change management across the organisation becomes much easier,” said CIO Akash Khurana. “People feel part of the transformation. They see the benefits of the initiatives you are running and are much keener to get involved.”

A Complex Manual Problem

In 2015, McDermott had a 6,500-strong user base across four major sites around the world. However, their IT team only consisted of six support members. The previous CIO adopted a best-in-class approach to application management, which meant they had a lot of disparate applications with complex integrations. When Akash took over, there were a lot of manual processes going on.

The finance and supply chain departments came to the IT team to find ways to transform their simple processes by automating them. McDermott first looked to SharePoint, as they had already invested a lot into it. They tried using Nintex to create workflows, but this forced them to use a standard development methodology which frustrated users.

“We came up with close to 50 backlogged workflow requests from just two functions,” said Renee Villarreal, Senior Manager of Global Application Management and Support.

The first reaction was to have users create their own workflows in Nintex and bypass the IT backlog. However due to the difficulty and limitations of Nintex, only 10% of workflows would be possible for a tech-savvy business user to create.

Looking for a Solution

So the IT team went to the market to find a better option. They narrowed down the BPM field to three: Kissflow, AgilePoint and RunMyProcess. When they showed the tools to the finance and supply chain teams, Kissflow was the clear favorite. “One of our finance leads said, ‘This is so easy, even my mom could do this,’” laughed Renee. “It was extremely intuitive and straightforward. The watermark was, ‘I don’t need to call IT to do this. I can do it myself.’”

Kissflow’s no-code platform was the key for McDermott’s final decision. “As soon as our business leads saw any kind of coding, they just shut down–they were not interested. Kissflow has none of that; they loved it immediately,” said Renee.    

The first process automated was a capital expenditure workflow that was fairly complex. However, the team built it on their own and rolled it out live with no training of the other team members.

Kissflow Is a Quick Win for Everyone

McDermott started using Kissflow only for the finance and supply chain teams, but after six months, they decided to purchase licenses for the entire company. They organized a global launch and had the Kissflow team come out to their major locations to help explain and garner excitement about the program.

The most revolutionary aspect of this digital transformation was how support was handled. The first level of support is the business leads who create the workflows. The second level was contacting Kissflow directly. This was a huge asset for the IT team to provide a valuable digital service for the entire company without having to be involved in support, maintenance, and upgrades.

Akash Khurana sees Kissflow as a quick win. “As I look back and see the success we’ve seen so far, I think the structure we’ve set up has been crucial,” he says, as his team navigates tackling obsolescence and exploiting new platforms.

Currently, McDermott has 6,000 users on the Kissflow platform, and 130 business users across 15 departments creating their own apps.

In the first year, they successfully processed 23,000 items, saving immense time and effort. In that same year, they only raised about 30 support tickets to help them build their workflows.

As McDermott continues to march toward digital transformation, process automation and improvement play a big role. Akash said it best: “Technology underpins the transformation and is best viewed as a digital foundation.”

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