HCL Connections Review

Provides a way for us to consolidate files when we are going to many countries. When we doubled the number of users, we hit some problems.

What is most valuable?

It is the single quickest way for us to start consolidating all of our files together when we are going to many countries.

How has it helped my organization?

Communication is a benefit. The challenge with it is whether or not it's a monetary benefit.

What needs improvement?

There's nothing pressing for us about Connections itself at the moment that we are desperate for that we don't already see in version 6. The biggest benefit for us will be nested folders. Until we get nested folder support, folders within folders, we can't move away from the historical file stores on Windows.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have it on premise, so we control the stability. We have had issues with tuning and configuration. The best practice isn't always clear about how to configure it and make it work when it scales. We control the tin, but I'd say that probably there's a gap at the moment in best practice recommendations.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

When we went from 1,000 users to 2,000 users, we hit some problems and then it required a lot of retuning and reconfiguration.

How is customer service and technical support?

When you get to the right person in technical support, they are very good. The challenge is finding the people who understand it. There are probably about 50 people around the IBM world that can deal with the level of detail we sometimes go into but getting hold of them is quite challenging.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup.

What other advice do I have?

The product itself is good, probably best in its class still, but the solution brings it down. They don't approach it as delivering a solution to a customer. They look at it as a product that then you work with. And they're making a big mistake there.

Get a good partner that understands how to implement it and don't expect that IBM can respond quickly enough. Make sure that if you buy the product and you use the product, that you've got a partner that can fully manage it for you. Don't expect there to be rapid releases. If there are gaps in functionality, be very clear that you probably won't get them within 18 months.

When selecting a vendor, trust is the most important criteria.

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

author avatarAndre Horak
Top 20Consultant

As far as stability and scalability is concerned, I would strongly recommend that you look at the Connections Tuning Guide:

There is also a version for Connections 6.x. The default settings are not always ideal for production environments, and the Tuning Guide provides good Best Practice for optimizing the environment.

I fully agree with your comment regarding the adoption of the software. If a company simply installs the product and provide it to their users as-is, they won't see much benefit from it. In my experience you see the best results when you drive adoption of the product by linking it to specific use cases, where you address specific business requirements and enhance existing business processes through the use of IBM Connections.