BPM+RPA: Appian packages Blue Prism

The drive to create portfolios of work automation products continues, with Appian’s deal to market, sell, implement and support RPA technology from Blue Prism.

The announcement came just a day after IBM announced a tie-up with Automation Anywhere, which will see it sell, deliver and support the latter’s RPA technology.

The partnership between Appian and Blue Prism was first announced in February 2017 as a technology alliance (around the same time it announced a similar relationship with MuleSoft). Now it’s gone deeper, and announced Appian RPA with Blue Prism. Appian will promote and sell this integrated bundle of technologies, as well as taking responsibility for helping to implement it, engaging its partners, and supporting customers. In other words: as with the IBM-Automation Anywhere tie-up, it’s not a simple product resale deal but a deal where the broader platform player truly wraps and supports the RPA proposition in the market.

Appian asserts that it chose to build this relationship with Blue Prism because of the latter’s enterprise credentials and focus: it’s a vendor that has worked hard to build capabilities to support significant-scale RPA rollouts that can be properly monitored, audited and governed. However this is not an exclusive deal: both Appian and Blue Prism can continue to build relationships with other RPA and BPM/low-code platform vendors respectively.

As I said regarding IBM’s deal with Automation Anywhere, this too is an arrangement that makes a lot of sense for both parties. Appian customers exploring broader digital transformation opportunities are already exploring or even actively working with RPA technology, and this gives Appian an opportunity to build broader, more strategic relationships with those organisations. Blue Prism gets a significant new channel to market that can potentially help it break out way beyond its current heartland of financial services and insurance.

We’re currently at the start of a second wave of RPA adoption… seeing RPA break out of its BPO technology heritage and being enthusiastically explored by enterprises’ own internally-managed operations. Now three of the leading process application platform players – Appian, Pegasystems and IBM – have RPA technologies in their portfolios.

You can find out more background analysis on RPA technology and why it’s important in our free report, here.