HCL Connections Review

You can create, edit, and share files from your desktop or mobile app.


What is most valuable?

The Homepage/Activity Stream keeps you to up-to-date as to what is happening throughout your organization.

I like the ability to create, edit, and share files from your desktop, or mobile app, anywhere, anyplace, with everyone.

How has it helped my organization?

Finding expertise becomes so much easier, especially for international companies who reside all over the world.

Certain solutions aren't solely applicable for one country, but often these solutions can be re-applied to other offices as well.

Sharing knowledge on IBM Connections will give you access to tap into all the knowledge that is accessible in your organization across the world. If they find a solution for an issue in the office in Italy, the office in Sweden can reuse that solution by finding that expertise on Connections.

What needs improvement?

Activities:

  • The Connections Mobile app doesn't work in the same manner as the web version. Sorting is different and not all options are available in the mobile version.
  • There are limitations on how big an activity can become, but there is no functional check to let the end user know. When your activity becomes really big, it can become unreliable and very slow.
  • There are no summary options for an activity. A print-to-PDF overview would be handy.
  • Again, when the activity become very big, it is not easy to keep track of what happens within the activity. (Kudos Boards from ISW is a good alternative for this.)

Files:

  • File sync for folders (coming in Connections 6.0)
  • File sync for community files and folders
  • Option to make individual files available to external users
  • Option to make individual files publicly available by using a password
  • Invite external users based on an email address

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this since the first beta came out in 2008.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In some scenarios, slow performance can be a tough point to tackle. Regarding stability, there were no issues there. Everything runs on WebSphere, which is a pretty reliable platform.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues, but the effort to add extra nodes in a running configuration can be cumbersome.

How is customer service and technical support?

Level 1 support sometimes can be a tough hurdle to tackle. Once you have reached Level 2 and Level 3 support, technical support is pretty good.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We were using Lotus Quickr. It was old, slow, and had a very small user base. There was not much potential.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is a tough journey. Once you get the hang of it, it is pretty doable. However, it takes some perseverance.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not look at alternatives. We are IBM Business partners. We help customers implement IBM Connections.

What other advice do I have?

Keep your eyes open for IBM Connections 6.0 and the future version of Connections, Connections Pink. This version will move away from the IBM technology stack and take the route of micro-services. Connections will enter the world of Docker, MonogDB, Node.js, CFC, Redis, Muse, etc.

The complete software will be rewritten for this new technology. Also, the on-premises implementation will depend on the cloud offering. Updates will be seamlessly pushed towards your on-premises deployment. This technology will make big, clunky upgrade projects become a thing of the past.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are an IBM business partner.
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