INTRODUCTION: The Quest for a Blended Learning Environment

With millions of deployed users, and a growing workforce tasked with supporting its highly skilled client base with the technical savvy to build top- notch applications, Appian set out to find a learning management system that could help build a blended learning environment with a newly-developed subscription training model.

“In the hands of a very good developer, Appian is extremely powerful,” explains Medhat Galal, Appian’s VP of Enablement for the past eleven years. “In the hands of someone who hasn’t learned key knowledge about Appian functionality, it can be a challenge.”

With well-organized learning content for customers, employees and partners, Appian’s onboarding bootcamp is paired with instructor-led training and coaching mechanisms and supported by the Docebo LMS platform for a truly blended learning environment.

THE CHALLENGE: Empowering and Engaging Users

Appian could have settled for a simple, traditional online training platform, but Medhat and his team saw a unique business opportunity to develop a subscription-based product training program, enabling the company’s key customers to gain the knowledge and skills to dive deeper than ever into Appian’s potential.

“Eighteen months ago, Appian practitioners were coming to us to take one course at a time,” Medhat explains. “They learned the basics, but they weren’t utilizing Appian’s full platform potential to build advanced and complex enterprise applications.”

Appian’s training programs are comprehensive and powerful, and the company needed a learning management system that was up to the challenge. Medhat and his team operate five-day in-person training courses, but there was a bit of an engagement problem: Some attendees would be unable to return for the last day or two of courses, opening the door to problems with learner follow-through, he explained.


“We knew that if we offered this training in a virtual setting, we could position learning as a subscription model,” says Medhat. Now, Appian customers can still attend instructor-led courses, but they also have the option to augment these courses on their own time with online coaching via Docebo.

As part of the program, participants are given access to a sandbox Appian environment to test out what they’ve learned, complete exercises and receive grades based on their performance. Appian also pulls training content from Docebo into its online community via API.

“With this model, we can assemble certain gap training and learning programs and make the full curriculum available all year. We have also removed the transaction barrier of buying one course at a time,” Medhat says of the subscription-based structure versus the company’s “a la carte” training of old.

During the procurement process, Appian took its time comparing multiple learning management systems, but ultimately was drawn to Docebo for its reputation as a rising star in the space with a passion for customer success.

The Appian team test drove three LMS platforms from companies of similar size to Docebo, while also paying close attention to user reviews.

“The market is filled with a lot of big players, but I knew I didn’t want to go with a company that would force its structure on me,” Medhat says. “During our review, Docebo actually came in second from a feature set standpoint, but the relationship aspect, the attention from Docebo, remains top notch – and it’s still that way today.” At Appian, sales training occurs via a periodical training bootcamp, but Medhat and his team understand that as the company continues its impressive trajectory of growth, the need for more learning space will evolve into a critical requirement that can only be addressed online.

“At some point, the normal classroom channel won’t be able to handle the volume of people who are participating,” he explains, adding that the company trained several thousand people in 2015 alone. “So, if the classroom can hold just 16 people, how many classrooms do you need?

“From a business standpoint, building a subscription-based training program with Docebo has opened a channel that I didn’t have before,” says Medhat.

WHAT’S NEXT? A Learning Strategy That Enables Growth

“I like working with Docebo personally,” says Medhat. “They understand my challenges. They make sure that my input is valued. I figured if Docebo does everything inside the company with the same passion as they apply to their customers, it would be a good fit.”

Medhat continues to work with Docebo’s customer success and learning and support teams to ensure the full potential of the platform is reached. The company also plans to implement Docebo Coach and Share, two new modules that address social and informal learning in the workflow, upon the completion of a private beta program.

One of Appian’s key short-term goals is to evolve their current structure of course offerings into an ecosystem of self- directed learning, making it easier for busy learners to digest information as opposed to imposing upon them the confines of traditional courses.

Medhat sums up his company’s strategic direction like this: “We’re trying to move more toward organic learning, while addressing the attrition rate of people taking in learning content by delivering it in a more direct, short, and frequent means.”