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Worksocial in Action: Don't Just "Do Old Things Better" - Unleash New Possibilities

Ben Farrell
October 24, 2012

Last week's Forrester Forum in Orlando started off with a thought-provoking bang. Forrester VPs Kyle McNabb and James McQuivey delivered a one-two punch on the nature of digital disruption (the conference theme), and its implications for business. The key take-away: embracing digital disruption is an opportunity find fundamentally new ways of doing business. That's what Appian customers are doing with our worksocial technology.

Kyle gave the set-up: digital disruption is changing the IT landscape through new software-powered digital capabilities (i.e., Social and Mobile). It is destructive to legacy applications and processes. It is not a trend or a fad, because society as a whole has embraced it. It is changing IT from being "supportive of the business" to being "the fabric of business itself."

James delivered the knock-out: we always talk about technology adoption, the point being that "adopters of new technology do old things in new ways." Digital disruption, instead, requires technology "internalization" to spark entirely new ways of thinking about what modern business can be.

Appian is very fortunate that many of our customers' CIOs are among the most forward-thinking people in their industries. These technology "internalizers" are using our unique integration of structured process automation, unstructured process optimization, zero-training social interfaces and native mobile apps to radically change how their organizations do what they do. I've written recently about how Car Stereo Plus and the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs demonstrate the transformative power of worksocial in action. Here's another example from the world of insurance.

When you need to file an insurance claim, chances are good Crawford & Company is doing the work. Crawford, provides claims management services used by the largest insurance providers in the world. Crawford uses Appian's worksocial platform to galvanize action when major catastrophes strike.

It starts with Crawford Community, a revolutionary "BPM + Social" application that streamlines all of Crawford's catastrophe-related resource management, from the assignment of insurance adjusters to the management of claims and final claim resolution. Crawford Community includes the Catastrophe Unit Personnel Tracker (CAT PT) mobile application. CAT PT uses Appian's software and the Geo-Location capabilities of adjusters' mobile devices to allow Crawford to pinpoint the right adjuster to review a claim, based on location, capacity and a past performance scorecard. Adjusters then use the same mobile app to upload photos of a claim site, along with electronic claim forms directly from an iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry or Android phone. The result is greater speed, participation and accuracy in Crawford's core company mission.

"We were able to implement Crawford Community in time for the 2012 hurricane season, and it measurably improved our ability to manage those events," said Brian Flynn, Crawford's global CIO. "This type of social business application improves our own processes and helps us satisfy customers."

Using worksocial, Crawford has done more than just improve business-as-usual. Through the creation of a social community, rooted in process and enterprise data, and available for business action via mobile devices, the company has found an all-together new and better way to conduct business in the modern world. To learn more about worksocial, read the report from CITO Research on how to "Turn Enterprise Social into Real Business Value."

Ben Farrell

Director of Corporate Communications

Ben Farrell