10 Years of Success: AWS and Appian
“10 Years of Success” is a blog series celebrating a decade of the AWS Partner Network (APN) through stories of partner transformation, collaboration, and customer success.
By Amanda Mock, Program Manager – AWS Partner Network
By Marc Wilson, Founder and Chief Partner Officer – Appian
As we continue to celebrate 10 years of the AWS Partner Network (APN), we are highlighting some of our AWS Partners who have grown with us over the past decade.
Next in our “10 Years of Success” series is Appian, an AWS Competency Partner whose unified low-code platform combines process mining, workflows, and automation to help customers build cloud-native applications and workflows.
Since being founded in 1999, Appian has been uniting people, processes, and data to quickly and efficiently deliver advanced cloud applications that help customers advance their business on the cloud.
With several offerings in AWS Marketplace—including their core Appian Low-Code Automation Platform, Appian Developer Certification, and applications like Appian Workforce Safety and Appian CampusPass which is designed to maintain ongoing health and safety as academic communities return to campus post-pandemic—Appian is committed to helping customers drive better business decisions, actions, and results.
This dedication is reflected in Appian’s recognition by Gartner as a Customers’ Choice in their 2022 Gartner Peer Insights ‘Voice of the Customer’: Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms report.
Q&A with Appian
We spoke with Marc Wilson, Founder and Chief Partner Officer at Appian, about the company’s 10-year transformation, its role as a key player in the low-code platform market, and what APN resources Appian has found most valuable as an AWS Partner.
AWS: What made you decide to become an AWS Partner back in 2012?
Marc Wilson: Appian started building its software-as-a-service (SaaS) Cloud Platform offering on Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2007. AWS is in our DNA. We believed our customers would derive tremendous value by using Appian software in the cloud. We also wanted a cloud provider that would grow with us both from a feature-set perspective as well as a geographic perspective.
As we continue to grow and mature, we realize so much of what we do accelerates and enhances our customers’ journey to the cloud, and we want the best for our customers. We believe in the security, capabilities, and endless possibilities of building on AWS, so working together was an obvious decision. The future of cloud is now, and we are determined to help our customers maximize their investments and optimize their cloud environments.
AWS: Ten years is a long time in the tech world. What changes have you seen in your customers and/or in your industry during that time?
Marc: Ten years ago, the low-code industry didn’t exist. This year, Appian was recognized again as a 2022 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms (LCAP). As one of four vendors to receive the Customers’ Choice distinction, Appian is the only vendor to receive the distinction across the four categories for Large Enterprise ($1-10B), Midsize Enterprise ($50M-$1B), North America, and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Today, the industry has hit the mainstream, with Gartner predicting that by 2025 70% of new applications developed by enterprises will use low-code or no-code technologies—up from less than 25% in 2020. The pandemic increased awareness of low-code as every business suddenly needed a program for rapid change. In the post-pandemic world, thriving through change is the key to competitive advantage. Low-code is the modern platform for change.
AWS: What transformation and growth has your business gone through in the last 10 years?
Marc: Appian was very early to the cloud—bringing the first complete BPM platform-as-a-service (PaaS) to the market in 2007. At that time, there was quite a bit of cloud skepticism. Working with AWS, Appian was able to help convince the industry that application development and hosting in the cloud can be as secure—if not more—than the most locked-down on-premises environments.
Appian has experienced tremendous growth in the last decade, initially as a leader in business process management, and today as a global leader in low-code. We’ve combined the key capabilities needed to get work done faster—process mining, workflow, and automation—in a unified low-code platform. As a result, Appian helps customers more rapidly discover, design, and automate crucial enterprise workflows.
AWS: How has partnering with AWS grown or evolved for your business since 2012?
Marc: Appian started using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) to host our software platform. As AWS added more Availability Zones (AZs) and regions worldwide, Appian offered its PaaS to customers in those regions. Once AWS made certain public application programming interfaces (APIs) available, we automated our cloud instance provisioning process for every customer. Along with AWS, we continued to add monitoring, security, disaster recovery, encryption, virtual private network (VPN), and other capabilities.
Our high-availability offering then emerged as a big differentiator and immense value-add for mission-critical applications. We used AWS services to set up a “hot-hot” failover configuration that replicates data across three AZs in real time.
Appian Cloud also supports AWS PrivateLink, AWS Direct Connect, and deploying Appian in the customer’s dedicated virtual private cloud (VPC). Recently, we integrated our intelligent document processing capability with Amazon Textract. We’ve also been able to help our customers take advantage of key AWS offerings like AWS GovCloud (US).
AWS: What APN resources or programs have you leveraged most effectively to build and differentiate your business?
Marc: Our dedicated AWS Partner development team has been our greatest asset. This team has provided guidance to navigate AWS tools, resources, offers, and programs, and to integrate with AWS product teams, sales teams, and industry experts to develop total solutions for our enterprise customers.
Over the years, we’ve leveraged AWS Marketplace to provide our customers with choices. Our AWS Competencies include Government, Healthcare, and Life Sciences. In addition, Appian and AWS teams are working on a number of build, market, and sell initiatives across industry verticals.
One of the many features that illustrates the synchronicity between AWS and Appian is our investment into our mutual consulting and systems integrator (SI) partner practices on Appian and AWS. This alignment has set us up to accelerate and scale at light speed.
Appian low-code application platforms (LCAP) and solutions embedded in our consulting partners’ cutting-edge industry solutions on AWS provide innovative, secure, and flexible solutions for our mutual customers.
AWS: In your opinion, what’s the best part about working with AWS or your most favorite aspect of being an AWS Partner?
Marc: Amazon’s Leadership Principles are contagious, as is the “Day 1” mentality. Working with our peers at AWS is a constant reminder to push boundaries, dive deep, delight customers first, and think big. It also provides outlets to try new things, fail fast, and grow.
AWS: What do the next few years look like for your organization with AWS? What are you hoping to achieve for continued growth?
Marc: In the next two years, Appian is forecasting 100% growth YoY in partner joint successes for our customers with AWS. Appian is shifting the relationship into high gear, and investing more resources into global expansion and joint initiatives to support our customers’ environmental, social, and corporate governance goals.
Appian and AWS share a common goal of delighting our customers, and that means helping them achieve their goals to make the world better and safer.
AWS: What is your fondest AWS memory or experience?
Marc: Multiple people in our organization have different favorite memories, so it’s difficult to single out one. From attending AWS re:Invent to securing a Competency to listing our solutions in AWS Marketplace, we have had a wonderful experience with AWS.
About the AWS Partner Network
The AWS Partner Network (APN) is a global community of partners that leverage programs, expertise, and resources to build, market, and sell customer offerings. This diverse network features 100,000 partners from more than 150 countries.
Together, partners and AWS can provide innovative solutions, solve technical challenges, win deals, and deliver value to our mutual customers.
▶ Read Jeff Barr’s blog post about the APN’s anniversary: 10 Years and Going Strong!
▶ See other stories in the APN’s “10 Years of Success” blog series.