HCL Connections Review

The Community feature is the most valuable. It is a good place to gather a web home page, wiki, or blog.


What is most valuable?

The ‘Community’ feature is the most valuable. It is a good place to gather a web home page, wiki, blog, forum, file library, bookmark, tag, or @ notice.

How has it helped my organization?

It is a good product for making improvements across departments and in communications. People can share knowledge and files, and other people can search and learn.

What needs improvement?

  • It is not easy to create a company’s Intranet home page since the home page is the first page the user lands on. IBM Connections can create many communities which link to the home page, but not the homepage itself.
  • You still cannot search the contents of files inside, like words in MS Word, PowerPoint, or Adobe PDF.
  • There is no project tracking function. The ‘Activity’ function is not a good feature. We need a Trello-like project management function for agile management methodology, but not only the current ProjExec function.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution for about eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did not encounter any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not encounter any issues with scalability.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would give the technical support a rating of 8/10.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Previously we used IBM’s TeamRoom. We changed because IBM changed the strategy from TeamRoom to Connections.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is not complex. But if you add other products together, like Sametime, it will need more customization. If people use the SaaS version, called IBM Connections Cloud, then it is straightforward.

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

The price should be lower. The pricing model should count concurrent users, not named users. Otherwise, a large company will be reluctant to use it as there are too many named users.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Slack, MS Office 365, Facebook's Workplace, and Google G-Suite.

I was looking for an integrated product which is easy to use for a low price. Slack has the ‘Intranet home page’ functions, too. The per user price is higher than IBM Connections Social Cloud.

My company uses Office 365, and we can therefore use SharePoint, Yammer, and Teams for free because of our Exchange server subscription. But those functions are not integrated like IBM Connections.

SharePoint is very difficult for end-users to create Intranet home pages or departmental home pages.

Facebook's Workplace is easy to use as a consumer version, but no blog/wiki is available, like IBM Connections. But its price is the lowest.

I cannot successfully try Google G-Suite. For the initial setup step, G-Suite asked me to log in with my domain name server to prove that I own the domain name (my company’s domain name). However, I am an evaluator, and not an IT administrator, so I cannot try it.

What other advice do I have?

IBM Connections is a good product with many functions. People should refer to the best practices to guide the company in how to use it. For example, when to use Blog, Wiki, Forum, Activity, Files, or Bookmark.

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