Alfabet IT Planning & Portfolio Management Review

Very sophisticated meta model, but XMI export / import would ease project work.

What is our primary use case?

Enterprise architecture management typically starting with application landscape. The landscape is then enhanced by information flows and mapping to business as well as technology artifacts. For business catalogues of business domains, business objects, and business functions are most often seen. For technology catalogues of 3rd party software artifacts and deployment stacks are typical. Last but not least, all involved managers love associated people in various roles and immediately start forming official roles like application manager, operations manager, and so on. 

How has it helped my organization?

  • Each project benefits from the already edited as-is architecture information (e.g. when scoping.
  • Each project benefits from a centrally available architecture vision (target architecture).
  • Each new employee or external consultant benefits from as-is architecture information including responsibles for applications and components.

What is most valuable?

  • ERP approach to IT (edit architecture elements as data using forms, easier for many people compared to drawing / modeling)
  • Hundreds of predefined reports (not only for analysis but also for displaying profiles for single elements like an application including dynamically generated diagrams based on edited data)
  • Very sophisticated meta model (dozens of man years of experience condensed in it)
  • Enterprise collaboration features
  • Web client for the enterprise, either on-site installation or running in a private cloud.

What needs improvement?

Only few predefined integrations with other tools exist, most integrations are implemented via an integration module based on XML typically needing vendor expertise.

It would drastically ease and improve EA and project work if there were an XMI export / import such that information could be exchanged between planningIT and UML tools with a few clicks.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?


What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.Only aspect to worry about is the decision if you not only store links to documents as attachments but all documents themselves (then a good guess of DB size is needed).

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Very good in the past when product belonged to alfabet AG, can't tell for Software AG by now.

Technical Support:

Very good in the past when product belonged to alfabet AG, can't tell for Software AG by now.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Switched due to an evaluation.

How was the initial setup?

Complex, lots of manual configuration, partly due to our choice of using Oracle Server instead of Microsoft SQL Server which is the default choice with planningIT.

What about the implementation team?

In-house team supported by vendor.

What was our ROI?

Calculated over five years, project savings / investment= 5

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

In addition to have a short list of providers that you may challenge you should discuss two provider models and their follow-up costs during the lifetime: inhouse and cloud.

Inhouse means running the software and storing your EAM data in your own data center, more analysis options (direct database access), more integration options (ETL out and in your database), more configuration options (when also buying the Expand tool) - this comes with an invest in building up know-how.

Cloud means more options in outsourcing of build, run, and process - this comes with a higher vendor lock-in.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, planningIT vs ARIS vs consulting solution vs do it yourself.

What other advice do I have?

It might pay off to build up know-how on planningIT with an internal team.

If possible buy the Expand module as well which allows you to configure the product by yourself (training needed).
Do not start to big in terms of functionality, focus on a core, always start with establishing a good process for creating and keeping as-is architecture up to date.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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