My 5 Takeaways from Appian World 2022
Last week I attended Appian World 2022, which marked the first time I was ever able to attend the conference in-person. I was amazed at how much it lived up to the hype! There were a lot of exciting announcements, keynotes, workshops and many more fun activities for partners, customers, and employees. I even stood 10 feet away from Mark McGrath, lead singer of Sugar Ray, as he performed “Fly.” As you can imagine, I’ve been soaring from the experience. Here are some of the main takeaways from this year’s Appian World.
1) Appian is expanding into new markets and use-cases
While Appian has traditionally positioned themselves as an enterprise platform that supports large organizations, they strongly emphasized the importance of expanding into small and medium sized opportunities this year. This decision is likely to continue to increase their market share among competitors. I expect partners like Vision Point Systems to be a big part of this expansion.
The addition of Appian Portals, a new 22.1 feature, also expands the opportunity for new customer use-cases within Appian. Previously, a user could only interact with Appian if they had a registered user account. Appian Portals has changed the game by allowing for publicly accessible Appian Interfaces that don’t require a user to sign in first. Almost all features of Appian are still available to designers, so creating a dynamic form or status page is easy and scalable.
2) #LowCode4All will bring in new Appian developers
Appian is putting a lot of resources into expanding the current pool of implementers and developers. The conference announced the launch of the #LowCode4All program. The program is designed to target college students, former military, and displaced workers to reinvigorate their careers through Appian. While I think this would’ve been even more effective at the start of the pandemic in 2020, it’s great to see Appian is taking an organized approach to bringing the platform to wider audiences. They touched on a successful instructor-led course running out of the University of Texas at Dallas. I expect to see many more programs like this around the country, and specifically in Virginia, where the university public school system is strong and close to Appian headquarters.
3) The Appian Community is as exciting and creative as ever
Many events at the conference proved the Appian Community is as lively as it’s ever been. The highlight of all of them was the Appian Live Build Challenge, where 6 developers competed to build an application with a $10,000 prize at stake. Last year I watched my co-worker, Jason Moorcroft, participate in this challenge virtually. While they were playing for the same prize pool, I would’ve liked to see him compete this year because of the added pressure of an energetic crowd cheering them on. It created much more of an interactive event for the audience and I think Jason would have really risen to the challenge in that environment. The winner was announced before the final keynote presentation to a packed main auditorium. I expect events like this to continue to appear to drive interest in the platform. Appian has also put major investments into Appian Community Edition, a free version of the platform for developers to experiment with or small customers to use.
4) Process Mining is Creating Robust Automation
Appian is beginning to show off the power and potential of what process mining has to offer. Process Mining allows you to perform historical trend analysis of the processes used in your system. This information can lead to deeper understanding of ways your application can improve. The best part is that it can be applied to business systems even outside of Appian, leading to a fully encompassing analysis. Last year, Appian acquired Lana Labs, a leader in Process Mining applications. The Process Mining addition to Appian version 22.1 shows a culmination of effort to fully integrate the potential from the Lana Labs acquisition
5) Technology platforms are incorporating sustainability into their messaging
There was a main focus surrounding environmental sustainability during sessions and keynotes. Even the contestants who competed in the Live Build Challenge were creating an application focused on sustainability. One interesting note is this seems to be a theme across the low-code industry. At Salesforce’s conference DC World Tour, they discussed how “Sustainability” was being added as a core value of their mission statement. Appian’s CEO, Matt Calkins, mentioned that sustainability is a key metric that investors are taking note of. I’m interested to see how this push will impact partner’s solutions or new customers that get involved in the space.
Overall, Appian World 2022 was a wonderful mix of information for customers, partners, and employees. The Appian community has a lot to look forward to over this coming year with features and programs that will help continue to establish the platform as a market leader. If you’re interested in discussing the conference or platform further, schedule a meeting with me.