HCL Connections Review

There are multiple applications available for the user. The user interface is poorly designed.


What is most valuable?

There are multiple applications available for the user.

How has it helped my organization?

  • The blogs became the main source of information for the organisation and establishing dialogue.
  • The forums are the best places to get and provide peer powered support.

What needs improvement?

Design and user experience.

Design: They present consistent shortcomings across their applications. For instance, when you are in a sub-community, it's difficult to figure out what other sub-communities are a part of the parent community. Whenever you land in a sub-community application, it's difficult to navigate to the parent one.

Another example is how the newsfeed tries to provide you with extra information with a blurb hovering to the right. However, it's actually the same information available on the newsfeed item.

User experience: The many ways in which you could use their different applications is, for most users, simply overwhelming.

IBM Connections can be a really good product for power users. However, for most of my users, the consistent feedback has been about how difficult it is to use and how the interface is poorly designed.

For how long have I used the solution?

I used the solution for about two years, from 2013 to 2015.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The forums struggled to keep up when multiple users posted information.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I am not aware of any issues regarding scalability.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support a rating of 9/10.

Which solutions did we use previously?

I am not aware of any previous solutions.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was rather simple. IT handled most of the implementation. The functional owner designed a series of standard communities for everyone to join.

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

Using IBM Connections as a standalone product to replace the intranet is not enough. Further investment is required for a landing page, either from IBM solutions, or from any of their partners.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Jive and Yammer.

What other advice do I have?

You need a strong governance model and an effective adoption strategy. If possible, do not use the IBM Connections Files app as the main CMS of the organisation.

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