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AI tools from VA software giant aim to streamline corporate practices: ‘It’s going to keep getting better’

Several new platforms were introduced at Appian’s annual conference, held at National Harbor in Maryland.

The introduction of new AI powered tools at Appian World 2024 at the National Harbor in Maryland (Kaela Roeder/Technical.ly)
A Virginia software company is rolling out a new suite of AI tools designed for some of the biggest companies in the world.

McLean-based Appian, a global provider that focuses on automation for high-profile customers like Merck and Deloitte, announced the new platforms at its annual conference this month.

Held at the National Harbor in Maryland, Appian World 2024 attracted about 2,000 people from across the globe.

One of the new products introduced there is Process HQ, which uses generative AI and machine learning to integrate insights from the company’s patented Data Fabric, a virtual architecture layer that lets businesses connect data across disparate sources to get a full-picture view.

ProcessHQ is intended to track and optimize a company’s performance. For example, it can trace the onboarding process for new employees and see where certain tasks are slow, according to Adam Glaser, Appian’s senior vice president of product management

Glaser, who previously ran engineering at the company, started with Appian right out of college and has been there nearly 22 years. So when he talks about the new tools as a major shift, his word holds weight.

If there’s a bottleneck in getting workers laptops as they are hired, Process HQ will show that, he said. Overall, companies can track costs, highlight key performance indicators (KPIs) and smooth out operations. With a graphical interface that includes diagrams annotated with metrics, it’s meant for businesses without a background in data science, to make tracking workflows easier.

“It’s a monumental change,” Glaser told Technical.ly. “We’re bringing online an entirely new suite of capabilities for understanding process performance.”

Screenshot of a ProcessHQ dashboard (Courtesy Appian)

 

‘The beneficial side of artificial intelligence’

Appian also announced a new product aimed at speeding up government agency procurement processes.

Called ProcureSight, it uses semantic search — meaning that instead of just looking for keywords, it interprets intent and context to find similar or related past procurements. It also uses AI to fill out documents, and there’s an AI help chatbot. Through the end of 2024, ProcureSight is free for anyone with a valid .gov or .mil email address.

“We look to invest in AI where AI can be made easy to configure,” said SVP Glaser, “and create practical value.”

Appian additionally released 11 new generative AI capabilities attached to its core product, including email and document summarizations.

To measure success of the new suite, Appian will evaluate how many people use the products and come back to using the tools, as well as how long they spend using them. Overall, Glaser is focused on “producing value,” for customers.

He and other leadership at Appian stressed that AI cannot stand on its own and that humans need to be in the loop. The tech is meant to boost workers’ performance and automate certain processes, not completely take humans out.

Glaser believes AI is going to continue to change and evolve quickly, but doesn’t see it taking people’s jobs. Instead, he said, it’s allowing people to be more productive.

“We’re starting to see not all the fear and doom and gloom that people are predicting, but the beneficial side of artificial intelligence,” Glaser said. “It’s going to keep getting better.”

Companies: Appian

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