Appian Review

BPM done right is a huge value proposition for almost any company, and with Appian's low code rapid development model, the ROI can be huge.


What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of Appian are:

  1. Rapid development with low-code makes it easier to quickly get apps implemented and the time to break-even and ROI is much faster.
  2. Easy to build case management, with Records and Related Actions facilitates case or document-based applications instead of, or along with, process-based applications, opening up whole new types of applications for Appian development.
  3. Built from the ground up with a cohesive architecture to be the leading social, collaborative, most usable BPM platform. This makes the product feel integrated and intuitive to use, rather than having to seemingly (or actually, in the case of some competitors) go to a separate product to do certain things. In the end, it shortens implementation time and opens up the product to less technical designers because it's easy to use.

How has it helped my organization?

Most notably, it allows us to quickly automate processes and case management work, often cutting the manual time required in half or more. End to end time is also noticeably improved, as is the user experience of the people using the new applications.

What needs improvement?

The biggest areas of improvement would be in facilitating team development, DevOps, and integration with typical tools used in enterprise development (Jenkins, Subversion, etc.)

For how long have I used the solution?

More than four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability problems are usually only experienced when architecture and development are done by people who don't know the tool and its best practices very well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability problems are usually only experienced when architecture and development are done by people who don't know the tool and its best practices very well.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is usually pretty good for the easier problems.

Really complex issues tend to take too long to resolve, but many times that's only because there isn't the experienced person to take it from providing information to actually closing out the fix. If a problem results in a development fix, that is typically pretty quick, too.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I personally used Lombardi and IBM BPM prior to Appian.

The main reasons for switching were:

  1. Too many off-shore consultants taking all the consulting work, developing shoddy apps while driving down the rates, and generally giving BPM and the product a bad name.
  2. IBM steadily providing release after release that introduced more bugs and making the tool itself less usable.
  3. Appian was clearly becoming the better product and their market share was on the hockey stick slope up, whereas IBM's was falling quickly.

How was the initial setup?

I don't typically get involved in the server setup, but my understanding is that it's relatively easy, especially compared to IBM's.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I'd advise to not just look at the cost, but the overall value of BPM and of Appian specifically.

BPM done right is a huge value proposition for almost any company, and with Appian's low code rapid development model, the ROI can be huge, while the break-even point should be accelerated tremendously.

This assumes that you use qualified and knowledgeable resources to do the work, and they don't come cheap either, but in the end, they are less expensive and provide more value than cheaper resources who are not qualified.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

See above regarding Lombardi/IBM BPM. They are the other market leader, but while Appian is trending upwards, IBM is on its way down.

What other advice do I have?

See above under the pricing/licensing advice, but I can't emphasize enough to make sure you get quality resources who really know the product well. They will understand how to best use Appian to drive the huge ROI that should come from a successful implementation. I also recommend that all technical resources, from the Architect/Team Lead down to the most junior, have a business focus along with their technical knowledge. Only by understanding how the business wants to use the technology can they make good on the promise of BPM and Appian

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

17.2
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
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Learn what your peers think about Appian. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2021.
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