IBM Blueworks Live Review

Gives us one centralized depository for our critical processes, and it's very intuitive


What is our primary use case?

We use Blueworks Live to put all our critical processes in one depository, within the bank.

We've been using Blueworks since IBM acquired it from Lombardi, so quite a while, and we're still using it, but there are quirks with it. That's why I'm here, at the Think 2018 conference, to actually talk with people, try to get some things fixed.

How has it helped my organization?

We use it as a process mapping tool.

What is most valuable?

We upload all our policies into Blueworks Live. It's used throughout the business for audit purposes, for backup purposes for employees.

In terms of it helping with process version control issues, I administrate our licenses. I don't actually build the processes themselves. So I don't know all the different processes within all the different departments, how they work and how they run everything.

For me the most valuable feature is that it's one depository for our bank. So it's not like everybody has their critical processes on SharePoint or on their desktops. Everything is centrally located. It's very intuitive, easy to use. The support that I get from IBM is always great. My sales guy, Steve, he always picks up the phone when I call him. It's good to have somebody like him onboard.

What needs improvement?

I wish Blueworks Live had simulations built in, but it doesn't. 

It also lacks a feature of reporting; ad hoc, drag and drop reporting. A lot of senior people are always asking for reports, and there's no reporting feature within IBM Blueworks.

The APIs are great, except the normal business user doesn't know how to create APIs. So it's hard because IBM comes to us as the business users and tell us to create reporting with APIs, except we don't know that, so we have to turn around and flip it to our IT people.

We'd like to be able to bring it on to our server. Because it's in the cloud I don't think that's going to happen.

We'd also like to see it be Six Sigma or Lean compatible, a lot of people have asked about that.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Right now, our challenge is - I work for Citibank. Citibank wants all its information on our side of the wall. This solution is on the cloud. So I'm hoping... I just heard something about the private cloud, but the issue is that we want to bring this on to our server. That's what we're working towards right now because I guess Citibank feels a little iffy that all our information is mixed with everybody else's, and it's vulnerable.

So far, though, the solution has been stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's pretty big. We want to make this our go-to process diagram application. There are other vendors that we looked at. So far, IBM is the one that we're mostly interested in, but like I said before, there are flaws. There are groups, especially in compliance - even in our engineering - they want to see where we can improve in a process, where we can cut things down. They want to see where we're doubling employees doing the same work. So we're trying to save dollars by using this.

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

We were looking at cost effectiveness, if it's intuitive or not to the employee. We went with IBM because it's intuitive and because of the cost.

Originally we were with Lombardi, and IBM honored the contract that we had with Lombardi. That was great for us.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward, but I had to get our IT people involved. Before, what happened was, you would log in to blueworkslive.com. That meant that any employee from our bank could go home, log in, and all our process flows were there. So what we did was we worked with IBM and we worked with our IT people, and now we've integrated so that we have to be actually logged in to our Citi mainframe in order to get into Blueworks Live. So that's one good thing about it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

TIBCO, they were at the bottom of the list. Sparx, they were at the bottom of the list too. The top two were IBM Blueworks and an application called AG ARIS.

What other advice do I have?

Use it. Test it, use it. It's great.

It also has a lot to do with my guy at IBM. If we had this, and I had to call in to a number all the time, and it was just support out in India... It's great, but it's a pain sometimes. The guy that I deal with, I call him - he's a sales guy, and I call him with my problems - and he puts me in touch with exactly who I'm supposed to speak with.

It's a good tool. I like it.

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