HCL Connections Review

Wikis and Files work well for process documentation and reference material.


What is most valuable?

  • Wikis and Files: Work well for process documentation and reference material.
  • Blogs: Used for department announcements.
  • Bookmarks: Used on communities and on the staff’s “my page” to access frequently used links.

How has it helped my organization?

Connections has assisted our business area with our Knowledge Management
initiative. It provides us with a tool that the staff can use to quickly find the information needed to process their day-to-day tasks and assist our customers. It has also been valuable as a collaboration tool within our area and encourages our reps to participate within the community to ask questions and share their expertise.

What needs improvement?

For our Knowledge Management initiative, it would benefit to have capabilities within the tool to have one single source of information that allows access to the information needed based on the user’s role within the organization. We have seen other KM products that offer this feature.

The editors that are supported by the product each offer features that would be useful, but there isn’t one editor that offers all of the desired features.

For how long have I used the solution?

We originally implemented 3.0 in 2011 but most recently upgraded to 5.5 on 10/3/16.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not encounter any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any scalability issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

IBM scheduled weekly - sometimes bi-weekly - meetings to review the status with open PMRs. They also provided on-site support during the final migration before our “go-live” date.

The support provided through PMRs was helpful, though there were some issues with incomplete, confusing, and incorrect information within the installation documentation.

Also, the support provided was based on the level of the PMR. The level 3 PMRs were handled at a more detailed level, while the level 2 PMRs often required us to provide basic background information and other details that had previously been provided through working other PMRs. These PMRs were more lengthy and repetitive, and required additional fiddler trace reports.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We were looking for a KM platform that was easier to use and included social collaboration.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was more complex, as it was not an initial setup but rather an upgrade, which required migration from MSSQL to DB2.

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

For pricing, look to see if it is site licensed, or by unit. A unit can be users, core, etc. Are there costs to run this as a cold site, in the event of a D/R situation? Are there volume discounts involved? Look at competing products that do similar functions and compare pricing. Look to see if you have corporate discounts.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we also evaluated Yammer and SharePoint.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend taking advantage of any offers for IBM staff to come onsite for adoption workshops for the staff using the platform. This was a helpful step in our rollout to the staff. I would also recommend that they be prepared to provide ongoing support after rollout, to be successful with adoption and to ensure that the staff has the information they need to be comfortable with navigating in the tool.

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