Appian 6.5 – the new leader in Mobile and Social BPM

In December, when I vacationed in Costa Rica, I brought with me a secret. On my iPad and iPhone (I travel with both) I carried an app that integrated me back to my office better than anything I’d ever used. Its interface was a simple scrolling list, filtered to my preferences, of things happening at work. It included items for my approval, process alerts from various applications, messages from my employees, data reports and more. I could comment on any item and be sure those comments were heard by the right people. I could extract data from remote systems to draw my conclusions. I could fill forms and make approvals in every application in the enterprise. It was native – and beautiful – on all my mobile platforms.

It was the new Appian 6.5, code name Tempo.

It’s a revolution of new functionality, and because it is so novel it has undergone an unusually long testing and acceptance cycle. We’ve run our company on it for nearly six months now, and it’s been in development for more than a year. We took our time because in an uncertain market, we wanted to get the concept exactly right.

Our intention was to set the new standard for mobile and social BPM.

Our mobile BPM is native and full-featured. It works on all platforms. You can download it free from the iTunes store. It installs and loads in a breeze. It is a pleasure to use. It renders native forms and enables fingerswipe approvals. Despite its utter simplicity of interface, it offers full functionality. It allows the user to drill deeply into new issues, or resolve them in a gesture. It gives you the easiest user experience in BPM.

Work wants to be mobile. There is enormous demand for mobile productivity, satisfied at last by the provision of smart phones and tablets. What still lacks is process software to enable that productivity. The software we need will be simple but powerful. Simple because the platform and mobile bandwidth require it and the mobile user demands it. Powerful because a decision still requires full information and full collaboration – you just want to do it from the road.

Appian’s social BPM is not idle ‘chatter’. It is all business. It is based on business events (not just changes) or even the absence of an event (often that’s what most requires action). It is woven deeply into the process of work. You see issues, discuss issues, and resolve issues. To resolve them you fill forms, make approvals, pass variables – and form ad-hoc teams of interest around every topic that arises. Social BPM should make you a participant, not a spectator, in every process. Every comment matters, and goes right to the record and to the people who need to know it. Everyone is included because the interface reaches every mobile executive and traveller. Great social BPM is also a learning experience. Peruse the various events and you can hear the pulse of your business. When I use Appian 6.5, I learn things about my organization that I didn’t learn from the corner office, things that mere proximity never taught me. Whether you’re the CEO or the newest employee, the window this offers on the business is invaluable.

Appian 6.5 is for everybody, but it will appeal particularly to the mobile decision-maker: the executive who travels a lot, doesn’t want to learn a new interface, needs to review and approve things frequently, and wishes they were up to date on everything that happened at the office. For that executive, we’re about to become indispensable. Our interface is simple, we are native on their favorite mobile device, and we integrate them into the process and activities of the organization like no other app can do. This is the promise of social BPM.

Appian was already the runaway leader in cloud BPM. We’ve been live with full-featured cloud BPM since 2007. Four years later, no other major vendor can say the same. To our longstanding lead in the cloud we add leadership in mobile and social BPM. These are the three primary inflection points in enterprise software today.

One last note: whenever Appian incorporates an inflection point into its architecture, it does so at the most fundamental level. When we went cloud, we released a cloud product that was 100% identical to our on-premise version. Now that we are mobile, our native mobile interface works just like our new browser interface. Our social features are not in a separate application with a separate price, they overlay on our standard interface and apply to everything inside. In this way we are different from all of our competitors. Mobile, Cloud, and Social are not side applications at Appian; we’ve written them into our DNA.

Matthew Calkins

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer