Appian Heading in a SaaS Direction

Next week at Gartner BPM, Appian will take the wraps off Appian Anywhere, a hosted subscription-based version of Appian Enterprise. Appian Anywhere includes the full BPM suite, and leverages Appian's ability to host the entire environment - design tools, engine, object persistence, rule engine, portal, etc. - on the web. Initially the systems will reside on Amazon's hosting services.

Pricing varies on the scale of the hosting hardware. Entry-level is around $15 per user per month; "production"-level is around $25-30 per user per month. Customers can build their own apps using Appian's design tools or buy them from Appian (e.g. SOX) or its ISV partners. Appian Anywhere features a new front end that supposedly makes it easier to do certain things on the design and administration side. Price of the apps is expected to be comparable to the platform price. Announcement of a number of partners and their apps is expected at Gartner.

Human-centric processes that don't require high-performance integration with ERP or other backend apps behind the firewall are the low-hanging fruit for Appian Anywhere. The system can integrate with apps and databases hosted on the customer premises using web services and remote JDBC, although George Barlow, Appian's GM for the venture, admits that security and performance of web services today may limit adoption for integration-intensive applications. Still, for small companies, departmental apps in large companies and government agencies, process pilots and discovery, and similar forays into BPM, the hosted subscription model is ideal. Appian expects that next year the majority of its customers will be using some amount of Appian Anywhere. The service is currently in alpha, with beta in Q2 and launch in Q3.