What is our primary use case?
We use it for the registration of any IT solution. This solution is now linked to our CMDB (our technical asset management database). We also use it for its business capabilities support, e.g., business subjects or business data used by each application to understand what we are doing with solutions and trying to rationalize it as much as possible for our entire worldwide team.
erwin is for all users and the chief distributor of the web interface. From the admin side, we are using the back-end of erwin to try and do data modeling.
People use this solution for many IT functions. It can be an IT business partner looking for IT solutions in other countries, a project manager or architect looking to implement a solution, or IT leaders getting KPIs on a report.
We are using their SaaS version hosted by Azure. Therefore, we are using the latest version.
How has it helped my organization?
We use erwin Evolve to publish to the website. This allows us to enable publishing our website using parameterisation features. In a very fast, quick way, we can publish a table or chart onto a website.
This is the first time that we have a central repository in our company where we can see and look at all the legacy applications which are used to serve the world. We are able to consolidate all our new solutions/technologies and plan some standards in our company.
Its reports show our IT landscape and we can better understand how technology is communicating.
It's taking the place more and more of our daily usage, as a way to consume information since it's more concentrated. While I don't think it will become critical, it will become more useful on a daily basis in order to plan and follow IT transformation.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature for us is the visibility to open and enable notifications to the web interface for users that we want to prevent. Therefore, we are able to maintain their data as they are spread out across the world, and it's consolidated into one singular repository. This is necessary to enable people who are not in the same location to access IP data in a very simple way using the web interface. The second reason it is quite useful - anybody in the company can consult and access the data.
It is quite user-friendly.
We are also using erwin DT for integration to a wider ecosystem. It's a way to be able link erwin with the CMDB, which is technology with a layer to a server, etc. So, we automate and link with the assets or technical components of each server to solutions.
What needs improvement?
The web interface could be more user-friendly.
When you are publishing in the IT landscape, there is no real way right now to have a template that can alter the automated CS.
The way that we are using it for application management, we have several KPIs. We want to follow and monitor them regarding a number of solutions. We cannot calculate this today. We would like real-time calculations along with the KPIs in order to improve the user experience. We would like the tool to be able to display this, not only as signals, but as charts.
For how long have I used the solution?
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
This is not a critical solution. We have faced some challenges and issues with the tool, especially in the beginning. Many of these have been solved. It is now stable regarding the needs that we have.
One person is required for maintenance and deployment of this solution. We have a developer who does the development and enhancement of the product. As the enterprise architect, I do the design and deployment.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Anybody from the company has access to the information; it is free internally. There are 1,000 users from IT in our group. So, everyone is not accessing the tool on a daily basis. Approximately 60 percent of the staff is getting onto the tool on a weekly basis in order to dig into the information.
How are customer service and technical support?
There is the willingness to really support the customer. However, it can be improved to become more efficient. Overall, I am quite satisfied with it.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We previously used MEGA HOPEX. We switched for two main reasons:
- The cost.
- The complexity of media texts which was making it really difficult to maintain and share with other architects.
In the end, MEGA HOPEX was really powerful tool. However, if you're not spending your days on it, you can quickly lose how to do things on it.
How was the initial setup?
I did the initial setup. The deployment was very fast.
The initial setup is quite fast compared to other tools on the market. After a day or two day of training, it's quite easy to really get into the tool to manage and develop it.
Each time we want to get into more complex features. We need to dig in to understand them. Their user guides for this can be improved.
Our implementation strategy took a big longer. The way we did it, we ensured to involve all our key stakeholders who were contributing data during the design phase. So, they were able to influence the way we were designing the data modeling and so on.
To ensure that the stakeholders were aware and familiar with the tool's usage, we did a trial version. When looking at the trial version, we considered whether we could add some capabilities. For example, could we adapt the user interface to be more user-friendly? Also, adding integration of our solution to the CMDB.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
On a yearly basis, our licensing costs are 50,000 euro. There are no additional costs because we are on a SaaS model.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We evaluated about 10 product besides erwin, such as MEGA HOPEX, Signavio, BiZZdesign, and LeanIX.
What other advice do I have?
We didn't have the perfect design on the paper before starting to implement it. We just started to implement it, then tried to use it. It is better to try and hope than wait and miss out.
Adoption is not connected to any tool with enterprise architecture. The capacity of people to feel the benefit of enterprise activities will be from going through education and a commitment on behalf of key people.
I see a willingness in the company to add new features. Though, I don't feel they are pushing the solution hard enough.
I would rate the solution as an eight (out of 10).