HCL Connections Review

We use the wikis extensively, along with activities for managing projects and sharing information globally.

What is most valuable?

We use the wikis extensively, along with activities for managing projects and sharing information globally.

How has it helped my organization?

Our productivity has increased by using IBM Connections. For example, an engineer in Asia used to feel disconnected and missed opportunities to contribute. By using IBM Connections, he was able to have visibility into challenges other engineers had in the US. Our US-based engineer was very pleased when he arrived to the office in the morning and saw some options presented by the engineer in Asia.

What needs improvement?

Our users would like to see more document management capabilities in the base IBM Connections package (without having to install extended components). Users also prefer using a traditional folder structure for organizing content and are not used to tags (might be a learning curve or resistance to change).

Our users are having difficulty grasping the concept of tags and tag clouds. They are used to placing items into folders for organization. I have attempted to explain how tags can provide the same functionality for locating content. I also showed how tags can be associated to one or more tags, which is not possible in a folder structure. I think it was resistance to change more than the inability in understanding tagging.

Without purchasing the additional add-on for document management, Connections offers the ability to make new versions, lock a file,etc. Users would also like to be able to do a check-in, check-out, and co-edit with revision control.0

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is excellent from both our vendor, The Rock Team, and from IBM support. The technical staff at IBM are very knowledgeable and addressed all support calls efficiently and expeditiously. There is always great communication and details provided for all support solutions.

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

Our prior tool was the SAP NetWeaver Portal. The interface for IBM Connections is much better and is better suited to support organic growth of content in an easier-to-navigate, user-friendly interface. IBM Connections provides better search capabilities for locating content.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was not complex. We did have a bit of a challenge that was overcome in setting up SSO using our Microsoft Windows Active Directory.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also considered Microsoft SharePoint. After further investigation, we realized that IBM Connections and SharePoint are very different. The social capabilities that promote organic growth among users was the strength that IBM Connections had over SharePoint. We wanted more than SharePoint’s strength with document management and deficiency in social capabilities.

What other advice do I have?

User acceptance is very important. I recommend looking at the processes within an organization and then identify the alignment of IBM Connections tools to support the processes. Then, migrate users into IBM Connections in a phased approach by showing each process area the benefit of using IBM Connections to support their process. User buy-in and acceptance is improved when users can see the immediate benefit, while at the same time discovering the power of IBM Connections for other tasks.

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