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"Appian Business Process Management Application Review"
https://www.trustradius.com/low-code-developmentAppianUnspecified8.3159101
Michael Campbell, PMP,CSM profile photo
Updated May 10, 2018

"Appian Business Process Management Application Review"

Score 8 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version
7.4
Modules Used
Tempo based forms and process models

Overall Satisfaction with Appian

I have found the Appian support team to be both very responsive and dilligent in working with us to resolve any issues no matter how small. This does not always mean they are successful mind you but their attention to detail, knowledge of the platform, and responsiveness makes working with Appian a solid experience. The only thing I would look for better documentation. I realize this is labor intensive in maintaining but could be improved.
Overall I would say Appian is pretty easy to use. The learning curve for building forms and simple processes is short. However, a significant benefit of Appian is its use of business logic. In this case the user will need a deep understanding of logic statements (If, Or, And, etc). Also, to better use the data then a designer should have a good understanding of setting relationships between data points, building DB views and SQL queries. To realize the full power of Appian it does take someone with some development experience a good 6-12 months to be a well-rounded developer/designer. Also, it will help if the person doing the designing has some information architecture, interaction design experience. Knowledge on how organize data, layout forms, establish design patterns, will make the use of the forms easier.
Appian was selected initially to solve a very specific business problem; how to integrate our work intake. Once we introduced Appian and its tools to the organization we have since discovered a myriad of other processes that should be enhanced by their movement onto the Appian platform.

Appian is currently being used across our Digital operations. There has been interest however from our Enterprise IT division to access Appian in how it may be able to resolve specific business issues on the Enterprise side.

Currently we are focusing the use of Appian in three primary areas: Work Intake, Time Tracking and Resource Management and Reporting. However, we have a broad strategic backlog of work that we have planned over the next 3 years. We look at Appian as being the backbone that connects disparate systems together to facilitate process improvement and overall visibility into the organization. Since this initial entry we have moved Appian to Enterprise and as such we have expanded our audience significantly.
  • Process Modeling - The Appian designer interface is extremely intuitive and easy to use. It allows a designer, once familiar with the basic setup to quickly create process models
  • Flexibility - We often tell our end users that Appian is a blank slate from which they can request and design practically whatever process and or business solution they can envision. Where as users are often relegated to and limited by what an off the shelf application provides Appian provides tremendous flexibility.
  • Mobile - Appian has successfully accomplished the build once deploy to all platforms for BPM. Their mobile versions of the application are excellent.
  • Cloud Services - Appian offers a cloud service that is simple to set up and insures that you are always up to date with the latest of versions.
  • Integration - Appian's API capabililties to push/pull data allows it to become what we call the "spine" of our organization. Connecting to and interacting with other enterprise platforms to provide its users with a one stop complete picture.
  • Process Modeling - Appian is currently moving away from their desktop portal model and into web-based access. This requires some significant reworking of their underlying structures. That being said, their new technology and modeling options are extremely exciting and should provide significant enhancements and flexibility over the plain portal environment option.
  • Form Design - I would like to see greater flexibility in form design and form preview.
  • Training - Appian offers a plethora of training but the ability to tailor training to meet specific needs of an audience would be a welcomed addition.
  • Reports - There needs to be greater flexibility in configuring and printing of reports.
  • Increased Visibility - Visibility into the amount and type of work across the organization has allowed senior management to make better and more informed decisions
  • Improved Efficiency - Reduced the number of different work intake processes by 85% which makes the intake, review and disposition of requests much faster
  • ROI - Better decisions, more efficient processing of work requests improves resource management and allocation ultimately reducing costs
  • Workload Reduction - Many of the organization's processes were still be managed via spreadsheets and email. This required talented personnel to spend more time shuffling papers than focusing on more meaningful and rewarding work.
When evaluating Appian we were asked to compare it to other enterprise tools we currently use such as Atlassian's JIRA and Rally. It is really impossible to compare the two for the simple fact that within Appian you can build the workflows and data capture mechanisms that each of these tools offer. The difference is that with Appian you can customize the workflows to an infinite degree whereas with an off the shelf application you are relatively limited to what the developer provides.
Appian is very well suited for workflow management. It truly is flexible enough to resolve just about any workflow and or process improvement project one might encounter. Their Solutions Delivery and Professional Services resources are excellent and are always willing to step in for assistance at a moments notice. Here we had Appian setup a test instance of their services and then created multiple proof of concept models that we used to socialize their capabilities. It is critical from a selection process to test the platform with a process that you are familiar with. Second, we would look to obtain hands-on experience with the tool before licensing. Several of our users here attended training prior to the POC work so we could actually get our hands into the application.

Using Appian

4000 - We are a Media company
20 - Our team consists of the following:
Contractors - 3rd party development vendor
Technical Product Manager - Reponsible for the overall architecture and design of the applications
Business Analysis - Requirements gathering, customer relations, UAT and Training
QA - Testing of all applications
Designers - Process development and design

We recently renewed our license with Appian. We are convinced that its flexibility, relative ease of use, the support they provide, there mobile advancements and their general willingness and desire to see us succeed all contributed to our reason to renew our agreement with Appian.

Evaluating Appian and Competitors

  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
We were specifically looking for an application that could resolve a broad range of application issues. Many of our departments were still working in spreadsheets and emails. Their needs were either too small for the acquisition of a stand alone platform or could not locate a platform to resolve their issues. Appian has proven to be tremendously flexible. We have created apps from Event Planning and Management, to Sweepstakes Management, to Time Tracking and Work Intake.
We would not change our process. Using Gartner research we identified and narrowed our list to a top 3 vendors. We had prototype processes developed in each system and then evaluated each vendor application based on a list of criteria. We scored each vendor and then determined our final selection.

Appian Implementation