Appian Reviews | Glassdoor

Appian Reviews

Updated September 25, 2018
154 reviews

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3.5
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Appian President and CEO Matt Calkins
Matt Calkins
123 Ratings

154 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Work-life balance is sadly rare in the tech space" (in 11 reviews)

  • "Great product that keeps getting better" (in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • "It did seem like many of the full-time employees were under pressure to put in long hours, but this obviously wasn't an issue as an intern" (in 7 reviews)

  • "The company is in high growth mode and is experiencing some growing pains, but every company goes through that" (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Appian full-time

    Pros

    Great people, culture, and atmosphere

    Cons

    Work got boring and ran out of things to do


  2. "Great Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Appian full-time

    Pros

    Great culture, great work/life balance, freedom to work on things that interest you

    Cons

    A lot of time is taken up by meetings

  3. "CRAZY Growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Consultant in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Appian full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    appian is blowing up and growth looks promising

    Cons

    career growth is hard but salaries increase regularly

    Advice to Management

    grow internal talent


  4. "Great technology, poor sales leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great technology, good culture outside of sales.

    Cons

    Poor sales leadership, micromanagement, disparate vision/direction


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Fun environment, but heavy workload"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Appian (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great selection of brilliant minds, willing to change for the better

    Cons

    - Siloed departments (getting better)
    - Fast growing company with 15 years of legacy holding them back. Most decision makers and senior leadership have been at Appian since they were fresh out of school 10+ years ago, could use leadership with outside experiences.
    - Compensation is alright, could be better. My main gripes are expensive health care plans and really low PTO, 15 days (including sick days). Many competitors offer 20-25 days without including sick days, that is a significant quality of life difference.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Ok but not great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Reston, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Reston, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Appian full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great place to learn cool new technology. As a platform, they might not have the numbers of a Salesforce, but they make up for it by being more cohesive.

    Cons

    If you're favored, you have no reason to dislike the company. They have tons of really rough-around-the-edges, less than pleasant, even deadweight management sticking around, without really contributing much just because they've been there forever.
    If you're not favored, you have an uphill battle in front of you. A lot of it could be growing pains for a company growing from a small, smart but not very well known entity to a medium to large company in the northern va area, but, between the IPO, the mistrust of most new hires, the micro-managing styles of most managers, the company is on the downhill.


  7. Helpful (10)

    "Bullying Corporate Leadership fosters Abusive Sales Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Appian full-time

    Pros

    Pros - A good place for an initial resume entry out of school as an engineer. Learn and then get out. The perks are for rookies unless you are into branded swag and paid breakfast. Young social crowd but only slightly internally philanthropic.

    Cons

    Cons - too many to list - Founders, Execs, Services, Sales, Benefits, and HR are all at best well below par and at worst are dysfunctional and operate through fear, abuse, and in some cases illegal practice. Do not be fooled, despite the facade this company is a grand con game that has fooled industry and ripped off customers for decades.

    Founders – Despite coming off as transparent, available, and focused on the product, this rhetoric is driven by the need to raise share price. They literally do operate in the ivory tower. They never respond to internal emails from anyone but direct reports, even when they direct or invite staff to share ideas. They are narcissistic want-to-be billionaires. Their promises of nothing changing due to the 2017 IPO was all smoke and everything did change. They do rely and delegate to their senior execs, but these same execs are horrible bosses, tyrants, or useless fixtures that are hang-ons from the early days of the company.

    Execs – the landscape of the executives is defined by the existence of the staff. So, if you are an engineer, you are a cool kid and will get the most positive executive experience. If you are in marketing or HR then you live in la-la land with unicorns and fairies, nothing can go wrong. If you are in services then you are a slave in a dying revenue stream. If you are in sales then you are expendable. My experience is in both services, then sales. I have seen the best executives leave from Services because of unrealistic expectations placed on them from corporate. Sales, on the other hand, is a complete catastrophe. The sales execs are indeed the tyrants and nitwits others have referred to and for some reason everyone around them believe that everything they say is right, and it is not. When they are right, they are bullies and when they are wrong they are delusional, refusing to even hear alternative business cases. This impacts others up and down the chain who feel they have to practice a knee-jerk reaction management style. As a result, people either leave or are fired all the time, even executives.

    Sales – my closest experience to sales is with the Federal Sales team. The group is completely dysfunctional. This is mainly due to the fact that the leaders are yes men for the exec tyrants and they have no strategic sense whatsoever. They have limited software sales experience and try to manage beyond their capability. The execs rule through fear and in one 18 month period, 11 staff from account executives to industry executives/VPs were either fired by execs or left as a direct result of them. That is an abysmal record but corporate shields them from the company acknowledging and addressing the real problem. Additionally, the execs rarely fire folks themselves even if they are direct reports, and will have someone else do the dirty work. A lot of positioning happens at the senior ranks due to who the execs are friends with, even replacing folks in positions for friends. The Federal execs are disconnected from the sales team due to disruptive personal schedules, yet insist they are involved from a micromanagement perspective. Account Executives' progress is constantly disrupted in having to repeat reports that have already been presented and AEs dread taking the execs to customer meetings because they have very little tact in customer relationships. Basically they make Account Executives' lives and jobs miserable. Appian sales is an abusive work atmosphere and execs constantly uses profane language as they yell on the phone. They insist staff work in the office but they are rarely there themselves. They are constantly distracted and define the term “bad boss”. In some cases the execs operate illegally in their abusive behavior and the toxic atmosphere they create. They have ruined countless careers due to their own deficiencies and somehow escape the fate that they so fondly use on others to get their way.

    You know those folks that can’t look you in the eye when they speak to you? Not the type that divert eye contact to think or because they are shy, but the ones who uncomfortably just can’t look people in the eye when they talk? Well, don’t trust those people ever. There are a few of these in Federal sales and who like all the other narcissists at Appian, are really bad bosses. They are never available and perfect the facade of being experts in the Federal industry when they are really just former integration PMs (from integrators, not from Appian) with a few big implementations under their belts, and even fewer that were Appian. Their contacts don’t matter in winning new business and their demeaning tone and manner in which they speak is embarrassingly condescending and uncomfortable. For some reason potential customers listen to them and don’t realize how really insulting they are to their knowledge and capability. There is a reason they have no direct reports.

    Human Resources – in all of this the HR team is completely hypocritical. Terminations come out of nowhere with no reason or justification. If you look up what “at-will” employment means, the source will tell you to refer to Appian. They honestly do not care about employees as human beings, bottom line. If some tyrant or nitwit decides they don’t like someone, that person is gone the next day. There is never good news from HR and if you see an HR executive, you minutes are numbered. You are summarily treated like a criminal and literally escorted out the door. I saw one senior person terminated for no reason and forced to leave everything behind, even personal artifacts that were never recovered. At Appian there is no such thing as a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). You are simply cut loose and forced to sign non-disclosures. They even try to get you to "resign" so that they don't have to pay unemployment insurance.

    Advice to Management

    Be human and act like you care. Do what is right, not what is right now. Don't insult reviewers with meaningless marketing self-promotion.

  8. Helpful (9)

    "Patience, my friends."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Reston, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Reston, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Appian full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I've been with the company for a little over three years, and it's been exciting from day one.

    + Rapid growth
    + Invested leadership
    + Improvements on improvements
    + Ongoing training and support from management
    + Upward growth opportunities

    I suggest taking all of the negative reviews with a grain of salt. Similar to Yelp, people tend to go to review sites to 'vent.' After reading some of the unhappy reviews, I wanted to chime in as to why I've been so happy here and remain engaged.

    We are a rapidly growing organization, and with that comes growing pains. Find me a company who isn't going through them... I'll wait.

    If you enjoy a fast pace environment, you'll enjoy Appian. If you're never satisfied with the status quo, you'll enjoy Appian. If you want to have the ability to make a lasting footprint within an organization, you'll enjoy Appian. If you're willing and motivated to go the extra mile, you'll enjoy Appian.

    If you put in the work, you WILL get awarded. During every company quarterly meeting, I watch colleagues get awarded MVP and Nexus Awards. The MVP Award is given to someone on your team (nominated by their peers), and the Nexus Award is when you nominate someone from another team -- a person who has played a part in helping YOUR team to be successful. Teamwork makes the dream work! Don't let me forget the Pillar Award, an award where leadership votes to extend recognition to an employee who has made a substantial contribution to the culture and the company. To see a co-worker get sent on an all expenses paid trip to Europe (his dream)... the best! It's reassuring to see fellow friends get recognized, and it's ever more awesome have the chance to nominate others to get recognized for activities that other departments may not know about.

    Cons

    One con that I've read and would agree with is there could be an improvement with Benefits. It's becoming more and more competitive in the space.

    Appian Response

    Jun 25, 2018 – CTO and Co-Founder

    Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I think my long-time readers know that we don't dismiss negative reviews out-of-hand; we try to look past the anger and hyperbole to consider the... More


  9. Helpful (15)

    "Sales culture is toxic and micromanaged"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Executive in Reston, VA
    Current Employee - Account Executive in Reston, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Appian full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    It's an up and coming company, possibly on the cusp of really explosive growth.
    Direct teammates are helpful and fun.
    Direct management tries to run interference because they can see how the culture change is killing the staff.
    It's a cool product that does a really neat thing.

    Cons

    Since the update of sales management at the beginning of the year, the culture has changed significantly. There is a high degree of micro management that is clearly more concerned with AE's checking the box on process instead of AE's focusing on radiation. It appears counterintuitive to new management that forcing AE's to do power dialing hours, do multiple types of QBRs in various levels across the quarter, and sending lots of daily email updates actually doesn't help AE's focus on doing what they were hired to do. Instead, it slows AEs down and has everyone feeling burnt out at the best and in constant fear for their jobs at the worst.

    They also don't give pay raises, so negotiate well. It appears there is anywhere from a $10-$15K gap in pay between AEs.

    You will either knock your target out of the park, or you will be scraping by for 1.5-2 years to bring in a new logo. Sales operations will tell you the average sale s cycle is 6-9 months, but they don't separate that out into industries or new vs existing logos. 6-9 months seems to be right for established logos in established industries.

    Advice to Management

    Perhaps it is intentional, as it is starting to feel that way, but all the micromanagement and management by fear culture that's been increased this year feels a lot like Appian's powers that be feel they hired the wrong people, they don't trust their staff, or they are just looking for reasons to fire people to reduce staff.

    The problem is if you want good sales people who can handle an incredibly complex sales cycle, you need to be willing to hire people who have left this kind of micromanagement behind in their entry level days.


  10. Helpful (11)

    "Misery for Sales Talent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive
    Former Employee - Account Executive
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Appian full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good product. Engineering is talented. HQ in Reston is nice. Appian World conference has stepped up its game over the years.

    Cons

    Overwhelming majority of sales reps fail miserably. Zero sales for the year is very common. Only a few of the 100+ reps hit quota or even come close. Most of these have a territory of install accounts, which is the only path to real revenue. Appian Sales management has zero strategy for breaking into new logos. Sales Engineering has no appetite or capacity to appropriately resource the “land” deals that will ultimately “expand”. Believe the reviews re Nepotism and Loyalty - the SVP only surrounds himself with those who will kiss the ring and the sales management org is full of family friends. Everyone else will be verbally abused in front of their peers during QBRs. Between QBRs, an extraordinary amount of effort takes place to avoid SVP tantrums and knee jerk reactions that destroy deals and morale. Appian co-founders don’t understand sales, and even struggle with normal human interaction. Some are better / worse than others, but none know or appreciate real sales talent.

    Advice to Management

    None - management doesn’t listen to advice


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