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The Top Three Reasons to Join the Appian CS Team: Growth, Purpose, Culture

Appian App Icon Russ Bailey, Ruth Ogala, and Hayley Zauner

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The Customer Success (CS) team culture and employee experience here at Appian is different from what you may find on other consulting and CS teams. Based on  insight from our team members, here are the top three things that really stand out and make Appian the right choice for them:

  1. The growth opportunities available through promotion and participation in different Appian programs, particularly the CS Guilds
  2. A sense of shared purpose, derived from the impact our product and project work has on clients, and the talented colleagues we get to work with every day
  3. The team culture, which revolves around collaborating and supporting each other, working hard, recognizing success, and getting together (whether in person or virtually!) to have fun and connect

If you’re considering making a career move and trying to assess if Appian might be the right fit for you too, here’s some more information about each of these three areas directly from some of our CS team members’ points of view:

Reason #1 to join the Appian CS team: Growth and Guilds

Meet Director of Professional Services, Russ Bailey.

  • Located in Haymarket, Virginia
  • Joined the Appian team in 2015

My career journey with Appian.

I joined Appian in November of 2015, after 20 years in federal IT contracting.  I was having lunch with a former coworker, one of two highly respected colleagues who had made the move to Appian, when I  mentioned that I might be starting to consider making a change at some point. Within the hour I received a call from the other colleague, who was a CS Director here at the time, and I started the interview process.

My first role here was as a Technical Delivery Manager, with my first account being one of the nation’s largest healthcare payers, an Appian customer to this day. After a couple of years, I was promoted to CS Director, continuing to grow the healthcare space but overseeing projects with accounting and manufacturing firms as well. At one point, I found it hard to resist introducing myself as the CS Director of Healthcare and Elevators. But resist I did.

I was also able to grow in my role as a CS Director by taking ownership over a new set of department operations: talent management. In this type of service based environment, recruiting, hiring, and retention are pretty much the whole ball game, so it’s been great to be able to contribute more here.

How the Appian CS Guilds help our team members grow.

At Appian, we have a number of Guilds dedicated to advancing different areas of our service delivery. These Guilds are composed of small groups of passionate CS team members who work on different projects and develop processes, materials, and templates — among other resources — that all of us can benefit from. 

Here are a few details about what some of our Guilds focus on:

  • The Agile Guild ensures that processes, materials, and templates for conducting discovery, creating release plans, and documenting system architecture are curated and available to all engagement teams 
  • The UX Guild conducts design reviews, and maintains a library of design patterns updated for each release 
  • The Tech Guild and its specialized subguilds update the Appian Playbook, providing engagement teams with guidance for dealing with circumstances they haven't previously faced, and conducts knowledge sharing sessions to educate the consultant community on evolving best practices 
  • Smaller working groups within these Guilds create standards and mechanisms for continuous improvement regarding CS hiring, performance, advising, and continuing education 

Guild participants volunteer their attention and effort to make an actual difference because they understand that anyone willing to give a little extra increases the collective prospects for success and the daily quality of life for the whole community, including for themselves. As a result of their efforts, these team members also have the chance to learn new skills, expand their internal network, and set themselves up for growth.

Reason #2 to join the Appian CS team: Product and purpose

Meet Technical Delivery Manger, Ruth Ogala.

  • Located in Arlington, Virginia
  • Joined the Appian team in 2012

What motivated me to join Appian — and what continues to motivate me here every day.

I joined Appian because I wanted to put my newly acquired system engineering skills to work to solve real-life problems. I wanted to make a concrete impact for businesses and improve the way people work, using cutting-edge technology. Appian provided me with that opportunity.

Today, my clients continue to give me purpose. I gain a lot of fulfilment from knowing that the work I do will improve someone’s daily life, making their job easier to accomplish by providing more efficient ways of doing things. 

Secondly, my Appian team members also give me energy every day. I work with the smartest and most generous people. Literally every project team I’ve been on has been filled with the best people to work with. 

The impact my work makes: improving people’s work lives and transforming organizations.

As a Technical Delivery Manager in CS, I have a lot of responsibilities. One of my primary roles is to ensure our projects teams are successful, and in turn that our clients are successful. When we build an application that truly improves businesses and the way people work, there are  individual levels of impact created for the employees at that organization. 

For example, I was a part of a project for one of the largest car rental service providers in the country. Our team worked collaboratively with the client’s internal teams to build a powerful solution that directly impacted the daily commute of a large number of the client’s customers. We made the client's internal processes more efficient to manage growing demands, and enabled their customers to not only have an intuitive, robust set of features for the application, but also aided in the guarantee of thousands of dollars in yearly savings that the program provides.

There’s really nothing quite like the feeling of a customer going live with something you built that exceeds their expectations and impacts many individuals. This is what makes my work matter to me!

Reason #3 to join the Appian CS team: A culture of camaraderie, recognition, and fun

Meet Manager of Operations, Hayley Zauner.

  • Located in Glen Allen, Virginia
  • Joined the Appian team in 2016

A company where people come first and where team members support one another.

I joined Appian in February 2016. I was initially hired into a career development role within the CS team. The role was brand new and would be supporting 150 global consultants driving enhancements on career pathing, career goals, training, etc. 

I was attracted to this role with Appian Customer Success because I really liked how the company truly focused on their people. Although business outcomes and ROI were important, the team adopts a human-centric approach at the core, which is reflected in our culture.

What really makes the culture stand out from other consulting organizations I have been a part of is the true teamwork approach. We’re always working together, depending on each other to achieve success as a group. We’re very hard working, supportive, empowering, and accepting. I have yet to meet any person in CS (or Appian as a whole) who is not willing to listen and help.

The CS Center of Funcellence puts on great events to bring people together.

Part of this great culture of camaraderie and collaboration also emerges from all of the fun events and recognition activities that we put on to ensure our team can build great connections with one another.

The CS team has a Center of Funcellance, a group that sets up in person and virtual events for the entire team. Most recently, during the pandemic while we’re working remotely, this group has put on a virtual spa night, Bob Ross paint event, and a mocktail event, to name a few. 

Recognizing those who go above and beyond.

Lastly, our culture is also one of recognition. We pride ourselves on being a team of exceptionally talented people and we like to reward those who go above and beyond in their work.

We award badges each quarter to team members for their hard work. The nominations are crowd sourced by CS team members and awarded to individuals or teams who have made a significant contribution during the previous quarter. The winners receive a call out during our All Hands meetings, a monetary reward, and a really cool Lego award. 

All in all, the combination of supportive and talented coworkers, amazing social events, and motivating recognition activities, makes our CS culture unique, fun and energizing. I’m so glad to be part of this team!

We hope you enjoyed learning more about the top reasons to work on the Appian CS team from Russ, Ruth, and Hayley! If you’d like to find out more about our CS team, take a look at our Customer Success careers page for more info and to view open positions.