IBM Blueworks Live Review

Enables exploring options, modeling a variety of different processes


What is our primary use case?

It was for business process, modeling and analytics, and it performed really well.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved the way the organization functions. We were using it for design and modeling purposes. We didn't actually follow through with the tool into an operational process. So it was very much a discrete workshop-based activity.

We didn't use the document repository, at least, not extensively. We used it as a mapping tool.

What is most valuable?

  • Real-time modeling and design work
  • The ability to perform workshops with clients in real-time with the tool
  • Getting instant output

In terms of the collaboration features, from the point of discovery, it was useful to go to load up the policies and the rule sets that the client had. And in terms of exploring options and being able to model a variety of different processes, that was incredibly useful as well.

Building out my first process model took quite a while, because I hadn't done it before. But the teething problems were very limited and very short-lived. Within 24 - 48 hours, we were pretty much in full flight.

As for process version control issues, that wasn't something we were particularly suffering from.

What needs improvement?

We didn't really explore the opportunities for process execution. So moving from the modeling to the process orchestration, it wasn't very clear how we would do that from a BPM perspective, and then into the larger tool set perspective. But I can't talk with authority on it. We just never actually got there.

Some of the import functionality was a bit restrictive, in terms of loading data in from other data sources. Something as simple as Excel, loading data tables from Excel, wasn't great. And vice-versa. Some of the export and import functionality with something like Visio - which, I know it's a slightly different tool - but being able to work seamlessly with those other tool sets would've been quite useful. I know it was something that was in the pipeline to be looked at. So that would be useful.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Really stable. We didn't have any stability issues at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't know about this actually. We didn't experience any problems with it, but we didn't use it at scale. It was fairly localized. I wouldn't have any concerns with using it at scale though.

How are customer service and technical support?

We didn't use technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using a previous solution, it was called "paper and ink." So we needed to something slightly more, well, less 19th-century and slightly more 21st-century.

When selecting a vendor, what's important is a vendor that understands and is able to provide a clear solution for the problem that's in front of us. In this particular instance, it was an answer to a question we didn't even know we were asking. We had what we thought was our set of requirements, and then we found we actually had a different set. Meaning, we had that first set of requirements and then some others. We were able to not just take one step but take several steps at once. So, having a vendor that understands the problem and is able to deliver the answer is important.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward. It was just really intuitive. It's not a particularly complicated tool to set up. There are fairly limited configuration requirements. It was reasonably straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We really only evaluated IBM in this particular scenario.

What other advice do I have?

For what it did, for what we used it for, it was relatively complete.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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