One of the main topics shared at Appian World 2015 was the need for the Appian software to “radiate” through customer organizations. Now, I am pretty sure this term was not referring to the ability for the Appian software to emit energy in the form of rays or waves; rather, the focus was meant to be on the ability for the Appian software to spread from a central point in a customer’s organization, extending throughout each department, application, and functionality.
Some might think “of course a software company wants their product to radiate through the organization,” but the customer/decision-maker should want the software to expand throughout their company as well. If a decision-maker can influence, by success, for the software to be used by multiple business units within a company, then the ROI will substantially increase with each successful project.
The key factors for a software product to radiate through the customer organizations are for the solution to be: quick to deploy, flexible, scalable, user-friendly, and easily data-accessible. The Appian software is all of these, and the only way to increase how the software radiates through the organization is to focus on these three areas:
- Faster Deployment – The ability to initially setup the software, develop a solution, and deploy to the end users is surely a place for customers to focus their efforts. This will take a concentrated effort from the client, software provider, and implementation services vendor to navigate any unknown roadblocks with requirements, software licenses, relationships, politics, contracts, etc. If this can be accomplished, then check it off and focus on the next two variables to this “radiate” formula.
- Easy & Seamless User Experience – The end user is essential for a solution or a technology project to be successfully deployed and, more importantly, adopted. The UIX focus for software solutions should focus on making the user experience a similar or better experience than the system or application they are sun-setting. If the UIX can be seamless, or mimic the last system, then adoption will be much faster. However, if it is not going to be similar then make sure it is simple and easy to use for each different type of user. A happy end user will be a talkative user, which translates to a walking marketing machine for the decision-maker and the software company.
- Awareness & Marketing – A trustworthy user with a microphone is the best way to market a solution or software into other business units of the organization. Imagine a user, Tina, who works in a system everyday completing tasks, reviewing cases, and walking around the office trying to gather approvals. If Tina was then given an application that cut her effort in half, managed the case review process automatically, and notified her when approvals were received, she would be so excited that she would spend all the extra time at the water cooler sharing how easily the new systems allow her to complete her work, how much time it saves, and how her life is so much better. Bottom line, if the end user is happy, there is now a walking, cheering microphone.
At Appian World 2015, the partners and customers walked away understanding that Appian was truly focused on these three variables for the “Radiate” formula to work effectively and increase the ROI for their customers.
Another great bonus at Appian World 2015 was that Appian shared the new functionality of the Appian 7.9 release, which allows a solution to have three different views into the application. Depending on the type of user, the solution can be designed to provide the “Knowledge” worker view, the “Task” worker view, or the “Customer” view; the first leverages the Appian Tempo feed for social collaboration, the second focuses the view only on tasks that are assigned to a specific group or user, and the third provides an embedded view of Appian services into a custom user interface.
Simplicity? Great! Customized views? Super! Seamless experience? Awesome! Features like these should definitely make Tina not only hang out at the water cooler spreading the joys of using this application, but I bet she will also strut around the office wearing an Appian shirt, drinking coffee out of her Appian mug, and asking them to change her name tag to Tina #Appian.
For more information about Appian and how ArchiTECH Solutions can help you with upcoming projects needing a flexible BPM solution, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us directly at 703-972-9155.
Jason Hairston is Vice President of Strategy & Solutions at ArchiTECH Solutions.