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Appian - It's all about empowering the citizen developers in your organization
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Patrick Bortmann profile photo
August 29, 2017

Appian - It's all about empowering the citizen developers in your organization

Score 8 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Appian

Every time we have had to reach out to Appian for support we were assigned competent, helpful and friendly technicians. Cases were handled effectively, escalated to experts when required, and overall resolved satisfactorily. We had several feature requests that were considered and some were included in subsequent releases.

Based on my experience with many, many support organizations from a varied vendor landscape, Appian stands out as clearly above the fray.

The Appian platform is being used by multiple business groups within our organization, including actuary, finance, product design and marketing teams. We are relying on Appian to solve a variety of business needs, from the simple to the most complex processes that require lots of integration work.
  • Rapid prototyping - Very important for us as we are increasingly Agile and do not typically have a full set of requirements at hand.
  • Open architecture - for the times when there is a need to lift the hood, Appian is entirely standards-based and easy to integrate in our ecosystem.
  • User friendly - No need to have a computer science degree, business users can handle the very intuitive interface with minimal training.
  • There are still too many instance where code needs to be written in order to implement the desired functionality.
  • The licensing model could be simplified. The user-based model isn't practical.
  • The high-frequency release cycle is difficult for us to keep up with.
  • A significant amount of application developer resources have been freed up and re-allocated to high-value initiatives.
  • While we have not precisely quantified the financial ROI of deploying the Appian platform, the efficiency gains are obvious and have been recognized throughout our senior executive team. Functions that required days or weeks now take a fraction of what they used to.
  • One negative impact is that due to its popularity we have an increasing backlog that of projects that we're having to manage. A great problem to have, for sure.
The fact that Appian enables our "citizen developers" is a tremendous advantage. The fact that we can adopt an iterative approach to solving business problems, Appian beats what our traditional Java, .NET or COBOL teams can deliver, despite a heavy investment in modern methodologies and tools. Appian fits nicely within our push towards CI/CD, and I would rate the acceleration at least at an order of magnitude (10x) if not more.
While we have not deployed workflows at a mega-scale, so far the performance we have observed is great. Integrating in our ecosystem was not a problem, even with the most exotic, proprietary or home-grown systems we rely on, despite a somewhat limited library of adapters, which required that we involve our traditional development teams to create custom interfaces and components. Over time, however Appian has added a lot of what we needed out of the box - one of the disadvantages of being early adopters!
From a capabilities standpoint Appian and the other products we evaluated covered the core functionality we needed. But we liked how quickly Appian evolves and includes new standards and features as they emerge (things like responsive, for example). We also liked the Cloud option, which at the time wasn't very mature for the competing products.
Appian is ideal in the context of an effort to optimize traditional processes and "digitalizing" an organization. For long-running processes that require lots of manual steps and involve many users in vastly different roles, Appian can help tremendously in streamlining and making the new processes much more efficient. Scenarios that require integration with legacy systems are also a good fit. In cases where there are complex UI requirements Appian, however, has limitations and can lead to forced compromises. Overall an excellent business orchestration product!