Skip to main content

Digital Leaders Go Big with Low-Code Automation to Respond to COVID Threat

Roland Alston, Appian
May 13, 2020

The battle-tested panelists ofCOVID-19: Stories from Frontlines gave us an inside look at how digital leaders are responding to the pandemic by going big with low-code automation to transform work, stay connected and protect workers and customers from coronavirus spread.

We're just over 4 months into a new decade and all eyes are on the devastating impact of COVID-19. Hard-hit states are facing the prospect of slashing funding for hospitals, schools and first responders. Supply chains are getting disrupted. And businesses across industries are being devastated by the coronavirus recession.All of which made the Frontlines panel that much more relevant.

Moderated by Appian's Marc Wilson, Founder & SVP of Global Partnerships, the COVID panel featured frontline veterans:

    • Darin Cline, EVP of Operations, Bank of the West, BNP Paribas

    • Darren Blake, Chief Operating Officer, Bexley Health Neighbourhood Care, UK National Health Service (NHS)

"At the end of January, said Bexley Health's Blake, "we started to see cases in China, then London. It was still fairly light at first. But, then some modeling started to appear and the situation in Italy started escalating fast. So once it became clear that this was going to be a global pandemic, we had modeling for London which effectively looked like there was a tsunami coming."

"At that point," says Blake, "the whole of the National Health Service was put into a planning mode where we reacted really fast to put in place the capacity to be able to deal with the (massive) number of people that would be coming through both our hospitals into our care homes in the community," says Blake.

Bexley Health Neighborhood Care (BHNC) quickly mobilized to figure out how to respond to the COVID surge. Blake says that he knew it wasn't going to be business as usual. So, as emergency measures were put into place, BHNC started talking to Appian about developing a back office staff tracker application, and improving the organization's ability to do health checks with staff and see who was available to work.

Adapting to COVID in Real Time

Blake's team wanted to leverage automation to help manage the phased redeployment of people and services to BHC's 22 primary care sites as the pandemic demand escalated. Blake says that Appian provided the technology and digital support to be able to do that in real time.

The health side of the pandemic is important. But there's also the financial side which is where Bank of the West comes in.

"We've had to be more agile than ever before," says Darin Cline. "No, I think you sometimes see the meme about what led your tech transformation? And I think this has moved us closer to an enterprise agile more powerfully than anything we've ever seen in the past," says Cline.

" (We do) daily standups with decision makers who are empowered to set a direction or make a trade off," says Cline. "You know, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) really moved quickly and it was announced before we even had the final rules for it."

Side note: PPP is a loan program that originated from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It's a more than $300 billion program intended to provide U.S. small businesses cash-flow relief through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans.

Cline says that Appian is now part of the bank's PPP picture and that the Appian Low-Code Platform is actually how Bank of the West did the backbone of their workflow for the PPP program.

"I think one of the most sought after items is getting a sense of what your customers want and need and their feedback. And I think that at a time like this that's more difficult than ever.

Be sure to put COVID-19: Stories from Frontlines on your watch list for Appian World 2020.