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Why I Joined the Appian Government Acquisitions Team: Jamie O’Toole

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Jamie O’Toole joined the Government Acquisitions team after 15 years working in roles supporting public sector customers. He said with the entire government looking to modernize, he saw huge potential in the Appian product which sparked his decision to join the growing team. 

We asked Jamie to share his experience at Appian, and how he’s seen the innovative, agile environment of the Government Acquisitions team in Customer Success. 

What were the factors behind your decision to join Appian? 

The public sector is an area I’ve been working in for most of my career. What drew me to Appian was the potential of low-code applications and the opportunity to work in an agile environment supporting public sector customers. I had been working at a large systems integrator for the past 15 years in ERP legacy software and thought there was a large degree of inefficiency in that model of how the software was developed, tested, and delivered, and the speed in which you could move things forward.  

How have you seen innovation drive how the Government Acquisitions team works? 

When I first joined Appian two years ago, we had four government acquisition solutions and today we have six. I’ve seen how we’re pursuing innovation in terms of expanding our set of options for customers based on their needs.  

The platform itself is really a big influencer in how we’re able to be innovative because the basic framework of the product allows you to make changes quickly. It’s fun to be able to see quick results when you’re working with a customer and I’ve been amazed at how agile we’re able to work. 

What example comes to mind where you saw that agile approach in action? 

I’m working on an implementation for a customer where we have a large series of training assets and manuals. We have about 40 documents, all different lengths, and more than 1000 pages long. One of our challenges was that we had this big investment in the collateral, but where should we store it?

A developer on our team had an idea to store it in the application and spent about a week working on creating a way to do this that would be easy for the customer to use in one place. To create an end-to-end interface in such a short amount of time was amazing.   

In my whole career, I’d never worked in a place with this kind of quick timeline and an agile environment that encourages that type of experimenting and innovation. It was pretty cool to be able to go back to the customer and show them what we created in a short time and they could immediately see how it would be valuable to them.

What growth opportunities are there for people joining the Government Acquisitions team today? 

I think the growth potential on this team is pretty huge. Across Appian, there is a huge desire to make sure the government acquisition solutions are as successful as possible. It’s motivating to work on a product that our leaders are speaking about in keynote addresses and see it as core to the growth of Appian overall. Because the company is so behind it, we’re able to work directly with the Sales team who are very invested as well in continuing to become leaders in this industry. 

I’ve worked for 15 years supporting the public sector in tech, on the defense side, intel, and the civilian side. The entire government is looking to modernize. Legacy infrastructure is not up to snuff to maintain long term. This is going to continue to be an area that the government invests in and the efficiency and flexibility that the Appian product provides is a big part of the story for modernizing how they work. 

What advice would you give to candidates considering applying to join the team? 

Do your research about Appian, and learn everything online about our government solutions. The resources and demo videos online are pretty invaluable because they actually show you the product and you can see visually how great the user interface is. 

Read about the interview process at Appian and bring your questions to each interview. I was very impressed by the quality and speed of my interview process. I appreciated the level of scrutiny because it reassured me that they were only hiring highly qualified, strong people. It’s great knowing the company invests that highly in its people, especially for someone like myself who was considering a career change after a lengthy time at another firm. 

Read more about joining the growing Government Acquisitions team.

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Written by

Jamie O’Toole

Jamie O'Toole is a Technical Delivery Manager at Appian