Low Code

Appian World 2022: How to be a low-code partner

Low-code software application development company Appian used its annual user convention to showcase a now widely-standardised industry partner awards celebration – so is this just a case of inevitable corporate backslapping & bonhomie, or is there substance behind the bent glass trophies?


Partner awards are inevitable. Technology companies engage in this exercise in order to show the core cadre of firms it works most closely with that they a) think they’re great to work with b) really value the joint customer approach that they are able to engender and create through working together c) actually really need them as a go-to-market facilitator that underpins their own core technology proposition, or d) that they just kinda like them and think they’re cool.

Whatever reason it is that leads to partner awards, the end result is generally a moment on stage at the annual user convention, a chance to be photographed shaking hands with the CEO... and the presentation of an inevitable bent piece of glass or Perspex with the company name engraved, embossed or encapsulated in it or on it for posterity.

Partner award status can sometime be used by the receiving parties as a marketing tool in and of itself, but at worst it just means a nice bendy see-through award for the company trophy cabinet in reception.

Puff, fluff & stuff

Sarcastic naysaying notwithstanding then, are partner awards all puff, fluff and stuff designed to showcase the marketing-person’s favourite pledge to ‘exceed customer expectations’, or is there substance here that we should be looking more deeply into?

Low-code software platform company Appian used its annual In Real Life (IRL) Appian World conference this April 2022 to doff a dose of deference to its partner community and offer up a set of awards based upon what it thinks are the most crucial partner behavioural and operational characteristics.

The company says its partners recognition plaudits this year have been drawn from an analysis of firms using the Appian Low-Code Platform across four categories: impact & excellence, channel sales, solution success and technology partnerships.

It’s a people & skills thing

KPMG LLP was given the highest Appian Partner Award in recognition of outstanding results in what the company has called ‘global strategic programme’ delivery on the Appian Low-Code Platform. How did KPMG do this? The answer actually appears to come down to people and skills; it has more Appian-certified lead developers than any other organisation and, in line that that weight of competency, it has a huge number of solutions clients around the world.

Infosys also made headlines in news outside of shareholding controversies related to British chancellor Rishi Sunak’s wife – the company was lauded for its achievements in applying Appian best practices and methodologies in customer service, project delivery and ongoing support.

Less well known perhaps is Vuram. Recognised for its quality and rapid delivery in complex customer use cases, the Vuram team is said to lead customers down a thoughtful, strategic roadmap to help them reach their digital transformation goals. Customers have deemed Vuram an instrumental part of their success with Appian, with ‘thoughtful’ in this case perhaps suggesting that Vurum tells customers what not to do, in order to keep software projects successfully afloat for longer.

At Appian World 2022, PwC was recognised for outstanding achievement in the development and delivery of innovative Appian-based solutions with Interactions Hub, a PwC Product. It also built two new solutions for internal audit and mortgage loan service orchestration. Also here, Accenture was awarded in recognition of outstanding achievement in the alignment and development of its Appian practice, which saw 75% growth.

Solution success  

Wipro was recognised for its Appian-based solution, a product designed to help large financial institutions address financial risks & compliance gaps arising from operational risks, such as manual errors, data loss & financial frauds, caused by the usage of end user computing applications. So again, some real-world guts on show here it seems.

Appcino was recognised for its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) & Sustainability solution that helps companies across all industries automate end-to-end ESG governance, data collection, materiality assessments, and reporting with strategic guidance on ESG standards compliance.

The technology partner of the year award went to AWS in celebration of its commitment to the Appian partnership. Well, you have to make sure AWS gets something, so it may as well get an understated big prize.

Box was recognised for its new capabilities released this year as part of the Box Content Cloud: Box Sign allows Box customers to natively integrate e-signatures right where their content lives; Box for Teams integration makes it possible to use Box as the default content layer in Microsoft Teams while collaborating; Smart Access Policy Monitoring Mode enables admins to monitor business impacts of newly deployed Box Shield security controls prior to enforcement.

Genesys was recognised for its customer experience orchestration technology. Appian customers are able to improve their contact centre and case management capabilities with Genesys and Appian.

SAP was recognised for demonstrating global success in accelerating business operations and yielding possibilities for Appian customers. Also, Esri was recognised for outstanding collaboration and dedication to Appian in delivering impact to public sector clients.

Intra-industry love-ins?

Ultimately, partner awards will often fall foul of their general perception. All the backslapping and glad-handing bonhomie involved generally leads to a kind of intra-industry love-in that not everybody takes that much notice of.

“Our global network of partnerships across consulting, implementation, resellers, and technologies is a strategic asset for Appian customers,” said Marc Wilson, chief partner officer at Appian. “We applaud this year’s partner award winners for their dedication and ingenuity in delivering value with our low-code platform.”

But, beneath the gloss and beyond the bent Perspex awards, there is (arguably, perhaps undeniably) a lot of thought in how these events are presented and executed. You can be sure that Appian or any other vendor holds rounds of discussions based on lengthy analysis documents before these accolades are handed out.

At an individual level between the partners in any scenario, the product leads, line managers and divisional heads all take this stuff really seriously, so perhaps we should stand back from the gloss and the glitz to look at who is being recognised for what in order to extract some longer terms trends and threads from any given part of the IT industry.