ARIS Cloud Review

Easy to use with valuable features but the technical support needs improvement

What is most valuable?

All the features are good. They all compare feature for feature very, very well to other solutions. It can do anything. 

In terms of using the cloud version, if you're somebody who, like myself, has got a lot of experience and understands measures and notations and things, basically it's unrestricted. You can do so many things. There's lots of stuff you can do in there and if you're a good field person and you find yourself re-using things, then it's very nice, it's very easy to use. But unfortunately, when you work in a corporate where you have tons of people and you have people coming in and out, contractors and consultants coming on board, and then it can become messy.

There's a lot that I like about it. The modeling is fairly easy. Although, now that I'm used to the Symbio stuff, I love the fact that the model gets generated because now all your process models, all, regardless of who's working on the system, they look the same. There's no artist type qualification to work in the thing. Whereas in Aris or any of those products, you have to be a bit of an artist to make sure the stuff looks good.

What needs improvement?

What I don't like is that it's got release cycle management at the model level. It makes the assumption that all the objects that you've been using on the model are actually also good quality. It doesn't really ensure that it is good quality with the latest version. You can create tons of duplicates in Aris, that's the problem. If you're not careful and you don't have very good governance in place, the system is not going to stop you from creating multiple instances of the same thing but different spelling, different underscores etc. For example, Microsoft CRM. Another person will call it MS CRM, somebody else will spell it out, MI-CRO-SOFT CRM. So you have all these things in the system which ultimately you're using to ensure the data quality. If you can't trust the data, if you can't do what-if analysis, then it becomes a problem.

You have to actually get somebody who has to run scripts, or a whole team in a big organization, to look at these things the whole time and make sure it's sound. I don't like that because it's not self-managing. In comparison, on the Symbio side, it's just the opposite. All objects in the thing are under the ownership of somebody in the business. If you use that object once on a process, for instance, you don't have to go and ask again. The system will check. That's in the latest release, you can actually then release your process, with other words and it gets published. But let's say for instance you now create something new, and it hasn't got an owner, you won't be able to publish your process because the system will tell you, no, you're using stuff on this process which hasn't been verified yet. That's what I like. I like the fact that it's more self-driving management system than something which you have to have a little cottage industry around it.

It's no different to, let's say, a CRM system. You don't want to have your contact details duplicated in the CRM system 20 times and then you don't know which one is which one. You don't want that, you want one. And that's the problem. That's a complete architecture from a design perspective. That's something you'll have to re-architect the platform completely to do.

On an enterprise level, the ability to onboard somebody quickly is cumbersome because it just has too many things in it. It's got something like a hundred or more techniques and things in it. If you don't have that bedded down exactly and can't do a how-to for somebody, is a nightmare.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for 20 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You have to pay for it obviously, but it can go from small to a medium enterprise to a large scale enterprise fairly easily. You have to pay for the bandwidth, and the capacity to use it on the cloud side but it's scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The local support is not good. All the support goes back to Germany. The local support in South Africa for instance, I think this is basically a problem everywhere, it's not good. And the reason for that is when Aris was still part of IDS Scheer, IDS Scheer built small little businesses in each country so that there's an ownership model. Now, when they took over, they all have a big brother approach. They've got a ticketing system and basically run it like that. It doesn't have that personal touch. In the old days when IDS Scheer still owned it, you could phone a local representative and they knew the system, they knew the capabilities. It was like a first line. So the second line, the third line or tier, went then to Germany. But now everything goes to Germany. I don't like that. 

How was the initial setup?

I can't speak to the difficulty or ease of the initial setup. Mine was set up for me. So I don't know really how difficult that is.

What other advice do I have?

The majority of the time I've been using a hosted version and not the Cloud version, the Connect one. I've used the Connect one as well. Architecturally they're the same. They still have groups or folders. You still have a screen which is white when you start open and you have to put things on the screen. It's pretty much the same logic except that it's now cloud-based. It's slightly easier, and you can collaborate.

I would rate this solution a seven out of 10.

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