Lead Customer Program

What is the Lead Customer Program?

The Appian Lead Customer Program is a chance for a select group of Appian customers to shape new, innovative Appian features before the Appian community at large. Customer participants will use a selected, pre-release product feature and formally share their feedback with Appian Engineering over the course of the testing period.

What are the benefits of the program?

The program gives customers early access to select product features, allowing them to help to shape our roadmap and direction. You’ll reap the business benefits of using the new features before anyone else, while also tailoring the product to best fit your own needs. Additionally, the program helps customers establish a closer relationship with Appian product management and user experience teams.

Throughout the program, you will get to share your use cases, participate in usability sessions, use a test-drive site with pre-release software, and more.

How do I sign up?

Send us an email at leadcustomer@appian.com. Include with it your full name, email address, and company. If everything checks out, we’ll add you to our list! You will then automatically receive invites when new features are added to the program.

The invites contain a questionnaire. Your answers help our product management team determine the best fit for any given feature. We select two to three participants, per feature, based on your answers.

How long does the program last?

We release new functionality during every quarter, so the program can take as little as three months for smaller enhancements or as long as one year for more complex features. You will be involved throughout the development of new features and provide feedback to our engineering team from beginning to end.

How does the program work?

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Feature Identification: Every quarter, Engineering adds new features to the program. These features will be highly impactful and address complex or new functionality. They will be relevant to a large portion of customers, providing them with many potential opportunities to refine the overall feature vision and scope, often taking multiple quarters to develop.

Participant Registration: Engineering will send out an invite to customers who have signed up, which will include an overview of the feature, its purpose, and guiding use cases, to better illustrate how a feature might impact you, the customer. We will also provide more specific dates and timelines to help you better understand the time commitment required. Participants will have two to four weeks to register their interest.

Participant Selection: In a perfect world, we would love to have all customers sign up for the program and to collaborate with each and every one of you. However, in order to make this program efficient for all involved parties, we can only select three participants, per feature. To help with the selection process, we will provide each candidate with a questionnaire to fill out accordingly. Your answers will then be evaluated by our product management team in order to identify the best matches. We expect to continue this program for a long time, so there will be plenty of opportunities to participate!

Agreement Signature: A legal agreement will be sent to the customer, which will allow us to share our IP and provide you with a “test-drive” environment with pre-release Appian software.

Kickoff Meeting: An initial meeting will be organized by Appian product managers with each of their participants. During this meeting, an overview of your matched feature will be provided, and the appropriate use cases will be discussed. You’ll also cover anything else that might help you to better prepare for this journey together, like identifying points of contacts and agreeing on meeting cadences.

Recurring Sync-ups: These are monthly or bi-monthly meetings to discuss the feature’s progress. We may show you the latest demo and enhancements of potential, imminent enhancements on the horizons! This might include new mockups, videos, or any other visuals. Regardless of what it is, participants will be expected to provide feedback and to ask a lot of questions! Your input will help us improve the development of the feature.

Usability Testing: Product managers will conduct at least one usability test with each participant in order to understand its usage and to provide a better experience towards the final feature.

Test Drive: We’ll provide all participants access their own cloud environment (e.g. “test-drive” environment) with unreleased software, which will allow each of you to use new features and to provide feedback to Engineering. You’ll have the ability to use these features all on your own time, without having to worry about someone looking over your shoulders! So be prepared to build in a close-to-real-life scenario, and always be on the lookout for new ideas and ways to improve the feature.

Close-Out Meeting: During this close-out session, we’ll review all of the feedback you’ve given during the program’s life-cycle and how it has helped shape the feature. We’ll discuss any remaining open items and bring the project to a close, after addressing any last minute questions you might have.

Check-Up Meeting: We’d like to check-in with you, two to three months after the feature has been released! Mostly, we just want to know if your expectations are being met, and whether or not you have any additional feedback for more potential enhancements.

Will travel be required?

Not at all! Video conferencing will be available for all meetings, but we’d still love to see you face-to-face if possible!

What is the estimated time commitment to participate in one of these?

As a rule-of-thumb, you should plan to spend about an hour per week (spread across the program’s duration). You may find yourself spending more time at the beginning, while you’re collaborating with us and discussing your use cases or testing various versions of the feature on your test-drive environment.

Can I use these features in production prior to the release?

No. You will need to wait for GA before upgrading any environment. We will not support pre-release software with patches and hotfixes.

Can I install the Test Drive version(s) in-house?

No. Test-drive environments will always be in Appian Cloud. This is important for speed, ease of management, and collaboration.

What if I’m not selected?

As mentioned above, we have up to three spots for any given feature. Because of this, we want to choose those customers that will best help us shape new features, based on the use cases individual product managers have in mind. Customers who are not selected as participants will have plenty of opportunities to collaborate with us in the future. We expect to continue this program for a long time!

What if I have additional questions?

Please contact us at leadcustomer@appian.com.