HCL Connections Review

We are able to supplement our social portal, by surfacing content back to our departmental portal pages.


What is most valuable?

From a Connections standpoint, the most valuable features are:

  • Social collaboration file sharing.
  • Being able to network within the company.
  • Being able to find subject matter experts within the company.
  • Being able to supplement our social portal, by surfacing Connections content back to our departmental portal pages.
  • Being able to have a one-stop social portal, but also having Connections alerts on that page.

How has it helped my organization?

It has really changed the way people work:

  • File sharing.
  • Getting away from shared drives.
  • Being able to set up communities for information.
  • Being able to empower business units to basically leverage support for their business units, e.g., the HR communities, benefits communities, and those kind of departmental communities; training communities within our organization.

What needs improvement?

I would love for the communities to be more row-based, where you could have more of a community, so that you could set up the email alerts to be mandatory for some of the communities and to be standard for the others; those kinds of functionalities.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had a few issues, but overall the stability has been pretty good. Probably, my confidence level in the stability is around 75-80% at this point.

We've had some PMRs around some of the docs loading slowly, editing and formatting. We have open PMRs. We're trying to get those closed now.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has massive scalability.

How is customer service and technical support?

The technical support level is very good and they've always been very responsive.

Which solutions did we use previously?

When we got our portal, we figured out that we really needed to supplement it with more of a community type of layout and empower the business units a little bit more. Every department didn't need a department page, but we had so many other smaller departments that needed a way to communicate and collaborate with each other.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the setup process. It was probably moderately complex because of the number of servers that needed to be set up in the test and production environments. It eventually ended up being about 16 servers between the test and production environments; it was complex to keep all of them in sync.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We briefly looked at Microsoft SharePoint but we are heavy IBM customers, so we went down that path.

In general, stability, support and functionality are the most important criteria when selecting a vendor.

What other advice do I have?

Start slow - “Don't try to boil the ocean” is one of IBM's phrases - but basically plan and scope it out. Take your time and make sure you have all of your training in place, ahead of time.

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