Understanding the value proposition of a software company can be challenging if you aren't familiar with a company's product in your day-to-day work. But that shouldn't keep you from investing in companies like Appian (NASDAQ:APPN). On a Fool Live episode recorded on March 31, Fool contributor Brian Withers discusses how you can learn more about a tech company's products and explains one of the ways that this low-code/no-code platform gives its customers a leg up.

Brian Withers: I was going to take Sarah's question, "Appian, with low-code/no-code software, I imagine programmers hate this kind of product, so I'm trying to imagine who in a company takes on learning to build with it." The second question, "I wonder if AI would be better building software than humans before low-code has a chance to have its day." Really great questions.

Sarah, let me talk to you a little bit about one of the solutions that I saw. This helps me understand where their product fits. Anytime you don't know about a technology company solution, I always like to go to the website and look at their customer solutions. They always have customer stories, and you can see how customers benefit, the value proposition for them.

One of the companies, the area that they used it in was their call center. These poor call center employees had to go to 10 different completely separate applications to do their job on an ongoing basis. If you think about these 10 different applications, the programmers are probably different for all of them. What happened is Appian came in, and who came in was their service. Professional services came in and helped them put together a dashboard that actually took all of these 10 different applications and gave them one screen to look at. They didn't change the back-end applications, those are all the same. It was an overlay which allowed the customers, or the call center people, on a call to be able to rapidly answer customer questions and fix issues better.

I can't imagine what it would take if they would've said, "Well let's all build this into one application," and the amount of inefficiency and long time that it would take to build some platform like that. That's where this thing fits. I don't know that there would've been a better way to program it, honestly. Only reducing the number of applications that you had.

AI building a better software, that's interesting. That's yet to be seen. I think Appian has a place here. As the professional services come in, they want to leave people in the company who are able to maintain and set these low-code/no-code things up. Through the process of implementing something, they'll get two or three people that have stepped up to the plate through the project that will help take that on after the professional services teams leave.

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