What is most valuable?
With our own processes, we have found the extensible connector system to be very useful (our processes can connect with legacy and 3rd party systems in a simple, well defined way).
When we interact with clients, the BPM workflows from Bonita BPM make defining processes and clarifying system flow much easier. We used to draw system diagrams on whiteboards; now, we create simple models as functional demos.
How has it helped my organization?
Our lead generation system involves both automated and human tasks. By centralizing the workflow to our internal Bonita BPM system, we have improved the conversion rate (leads to customers) and lowered the number of leads dropped. Things do not slip through the cracks any longer.
What needs improvement?
A number of the problem areas that we have run into in the past have been addressed in the newest version (7.0 beta). Things like custom app integration and human task forms have been greatly simplified.
That said, creating custom connectors for 3rd party applications and APIs is still a challenging task. Debugging, in particular, is difficult. I feel that when the development process for custom connectors becomes simpler, there will be many more available connectors.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been using this software internally and for our clients since 2011
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
We have always deployed servers using Apache Tomcat. Our team is most familiar with this Java Application Server. Since our applications have always run as stand alone systems, this makes sense - if they required a full JEE stack, we would look at JBoss (with it's increased functionality and complexity).
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The deployed systems have been fairly stable. Most of the challenges we have run into have been as a result of the hardware and network infrastructures - not as a result of Bonita.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
So far, we have not had to scale beyond a single server install. The software has scaled up to hundreds of concurrent processes and run well on the single server.
How are customer service and technical support?
Generally, the customer service has been great. I have interacted with a number of people at BonitaSoft (Jon Sanchez and Olivia Halaimi stand out in my memory as particularly nice to work with), all have been pleasant and helpful.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Previously, we developed custom business systems. We switched to Bonita because it cut down development time and is easier to demo to prospective clients.
How was the initial setup?
The initial install of Bonita Studio is very simple.
The jump from Bonita Studio to a full installation requires a solid understanding of IS and the resources to implement internal server deployments. It's quite a large jump from a demonstration with a desktop studio to even a simple deployment in a real world system.
What about the implementation team?
We implemented with our in-house team.
What was our ROI?
The return on investment is difficult to quantify because Bonita BPM has become tightly integrated in all our internal processes.
I can say that 2014 saw a 50% increase in staffing and an 80% increase in gross revenue over 2013 (when we first implemented Bonita BPM internally). 2015 is on track to show even more significant increases.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We took a look at a number of the open source BPM solutions (including Activiti, JBPM and Drools). We found that Bonita BPM provided the best balance of clarity for non-technical users and development flexibility.