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The Ever-Expanding Use Cases for BPM Software

Ben Farrell
November 7, 2011

This morning we announced the under-budget and ahead-of-schedule deployment of our BPM software at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). The solution was designed and rolled out in six weeks, with full agency deployment in under four months. NOAA is using Appian across its National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS). NESDIS collects global environmental data from satellites and other sources and provides information services regarding Earth system monitoring and official assessments of the environment.

Appian is now instrumental in supporting NESDIS' mission to be "the world's most comprehensive source and recognized authority for satellite products, environmental information, and official assessments of the environment in support of societal and economic decisions.

This is a very cool use case for BPM, and it made me start thinking about the ever-widening types of applications for which our on-premise and Cloud BPM, Mobile BPM and Social BPM is being used.

So far in 2011, Appian has signed up roughly 70 new customers. Government is perennially a stronghold for us (we have more than 35 departments and agencies using our BPM software), and agencies with highly divergent and specialized missions are finding common ground in the value of process improvement through Appian. Consider NOAA's implementation in contrast to the Dept. of Treasury/OCC's Personnel Administration and Security System, for example, or the Appian-based procurement system in use at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).

Financial Services and Insurance have also been strong markets for us for some time, but the use cases in those markets have made a pronounced shift from areas of back-office automation to growth-driving applications focused on customer engagement, service and cross-sell/up-sell. Mobile BPM is playing a large part in this, because it is unchaining financial and insurance professional from their desktops, giving them more time and freedom to be face-to-face with customers. And while they are meeting with those customers, they are still connected to the processes and data they need to take real-time business action.

Outside of those beachhead markets, we've seen a diversification of the types of commercial organizations choosing BPM, and Appian specifically. Healthcare has jumped on board in a big way. The demand for reducing healthcare cost is clearly a driver (that's something BPM has always been good at), but again, Mobile BPM is making big waves. Mobility is transforming how patient care is delivered, and embedding process in those mobile applications delivers real-time doctor/nurse/patient collaboration whether at the hospital, in a traveling clinic or for in-home care.

Energy is another industry where Appian is coming on strong - particularly (but not exclusively) in green energy. Efficient operations are key for wind and other renewable energy outfits, because until green energy really goes mainstream, the margins will remain fairly slim. But a common theme for energy companies of any type is field service, and we're seeing an explosion of demand for those types of mobile process solutions. Maintenance issues mean lost kilowatts, and worse yet - furious customers. Identifying and fixing problems in the field before they impact energy production and customer satisfaction is a major business need.

I could go on, but suffice to say that appreciation for what BPM can mean for a variety of businesses is growing. At the same time, Appian continues to push the envelope on BPM software can do. That is why we're finding such fertile territory in new markets, and in new applications within traditionally strong markets.

-Ben Farrell, Director, Corporate Communications