By Sofie Prem and Caroline Cavin

With Appian expertise to optimised business application

7. September 2023

What challenges does an Appian Developer solve in the financial industry? What is the added value for the client? What are the recommendations for working with Appian? Sofie Prem, Senior Consultant at bmpi, in an interview.

Sofie, you use Appian’s low-code platform in your work as a senior consultant. How did you become an Appian expert?
Firstly, I was working on a project that used Appian and was at a critical stage. At that point, it was not clear whether the project would continue, be cancelled or use a different workflow tool. Secondly, I had to learn Appian quickly. This was a big challenge as we were working in taskforce mode. However, I had support from Appian consultants who showed me the best practices and trained me. At the same time, I used the Appian community forum to ask questions.

And what role do you play in an Appian project?
Normally, I take the role of the developer. But I have also successfully initiated new projects at banks. Not only did I use my skills as a developer, but I also took on the role of salesperson and successfully sold the project. But my main role is and remains that of the developer.

What is Appian?
Appian is a low-code business process automation platform that enables companies to digitize, automate and optimize their workflows. The platform offers a drag-and-drop interface that allows users to quickly create and change workflows without programming knowledge.

Our customers are active in the financial sector. What challenges do you solve as a developer?
We optimise existing work processes, which are often carried out using Excel or verbal communication. Information is often lost in the process. We have developed tools with which users log in in the morning and view their tasks. As soon as the tasks are completed, the next user is automatically notified. This simplifies communication and the management has an overview at all times.

And what is the added value for our customers?
The added value of our optimisation is that fewer errors occur. Through the automated workflows, we ensure that all customer data is correct and the work steps are adhered to. In everyday life, this means that communication is improved and problems caused by manual errors are minimised.

Business procedures or processes in companies are not always clear. How do you solve this and what role does Appian play?
The processes are often already clear, but they are often in the heads of the employees. Therefore, it is important to define the requirements in advance. Because Appian enables rapid development of applications, it is worthwhile to communicate and work closely with the business. Often, requirements are implemented without clarifying them in detail beforehand, which leads to later changes and loss of time. Therefore, it is advantageous to have a requirements engineer in the team from the beginning.

“I recommend that business takes responsibility for requirements, while IT is responsible for implementation and execution.”

Sofie Prem, Ph.D Theoretical Physics University of Basel, CIIA, Senior Consultant at bmpi AG

Companies want to see quick results. When will they see the first results with Appian?
With Appian, small applications are easy to implement and the first results are quickly visible. As a result, there is a risk that implementation takes place in the business and not in IT. In the long run, however, problems can arise that have not been solved. This often gives the impression that IT spends too much time on deployments and processes. Therefore, I recommend that the business takes responsibility for product development, while IT is responsible for implementation and deployment.

What is the typical size for an Appian consulting team?
The typical size of a consultant team varies depending on the project and requirements. Although Appian is easy to learn, it is important that several team members work together. They can ensure that processes are followed and a clear structure is developed. I therefore recommend a team size of two to three people who develop, review and support each other together.

Sofie Prem is a passionate dancer who has been focusing on Boogie Woogie and Lindy Hop for ten years.

What Appian training do you plan to do next?
I have completed the Developer course and plan to take Appian Advanced UX Design and Appian Automation next. Appian is evolving quickly and the training courses are constantly adapting to the latest trends. That’s why it’s important to stay up to date.

And lastly, what do you do when you’re not working as an Appian expert?
I dance and look for geocaches. When dancing with always new partners, I get excited about communicating through body and language. I’ve been dancing for a long time, but for the last ten years I’ve been focusing on boogie woogie and Lindy Hop. I started geocaching during my studies. However, I have been actively searching for hidden objects for five years. Especially when I travel, I follow the geocaches, which always lead me to special places that only locals know about.

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  • Transparency is a top priority at bmpi. Would you like to know how we live it and how it influences our work? Read more about it in our blog article Transparency in the company, a model for success?

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