IBM Blueworks Live Review

The stability is highly available, which is key. You don't lose your work and can autosave.

What is our primary use case?

We are using Blueworks Live mostly for process innovation and transformation. With most of our clients, we are using to it to capture the process as is, analyze it, and spatially, the analysis phase helps us. We then come up with a model. The other great feature from the tool is since it is integrated with IBM BPM it helps me import the process, making sure the business is always connected.

We have been using it mostly as an end-to-end enterprise transformation tool. We start with our discovery workshop and Blueworks Live plays a key role. We use this tool to discover processes, analyze those processes, and define them from a tool set perspective: Whether the process should got into BPM, ODM, cognitive, IAB, etc. 

This helps during the UAT phase because it becomes easier to clean the business process model in Blueworks Live, then fitting it on a process which is in IBM BPM or a rule which is in IBM ODM.

With the current account, or engagement, we have been doing a large process transformation where we have Blueworks Live with IBM BMP, BPN, ODM, and Watson (for its cognitive features). There is also Robotic Process Automation from Automation Anywhere, IAB, and third-party integrations with SAP.

The product is business-friendly. That's the key thing that resonates with most of our customers. By giving the demo of the tool in the first 15 to 20 minutes, businesses start to get a feel of how they can use the tool. 

It's intuitive, and it connects really well with business teams.

How has it helped my organization?

Collaboration is key. Therefore, you don't have a document sitting on a shelf for multiple years with nobody looking at it. It is a live document. Whatever you have, it is live and accessible to everyone. 

Multichannel: You can use if from your mobile device or you can be on the desktop. It doesn't matter. You are always connected. It is cloud-based, so you don't have to install anything. People don't have hassle of installing, then updating, etc. It's always on the fly available for you on demand.

This becomes key, and it is a big differentiator.

What is most valuable?

We utilize the collaboration features of this solution, such as editing pathways and uploading documentation, especially the documentation which is a key part inside the solution. There are a lot of accounts with whom we work and they have all standard operating procedures. We are converting them into Blueworks Live models, uploading their documentation and screenshots along with having people to chat with on the fly. When the process is published, there are multiple people using the same process. This has become a key goal from the tool's perspective.

What needs improvement?

There are a couple of things which are not there right now:

  1. The ability to create a very structured rule. With the capability that we have right now, Blueworks Live is more process focused. We should be able to enhance it to include a lot more of decisions as well. Right now, we can create a simple decision, not a complex decision, in tools like the business console, modeler, etc. 
  2. In the file management feature, we get 50MB of space. Maybe that needs to be given out as an option to customers who want to purchase the extra space.
  3. While using the tool, it is a lot like creating a structure in BPM and Compliant, though not like 100 percent the same. The rule part as well becomes much easier when you are not using IBM BPM as a run-time engine, but Blueworks Live only for process discovery. If you want JBoss as a run time engine, it becomes a more compliant tool set and will help to increase your footprint.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is pretty good. It is highly available, which is key. You don't lose your work and can autosave. People do not keeping focused and save their information. Therefore, the information automatically getting saved, so it helps from a stability perspective.

We have the ability to use the tool from our iPad or on the fly. Also, when we are at the airport, we can still login and use it, which helps a lot.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's a cloud-based solution.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have used technical support, especially for Blueworks Live. There is an option to create a process app, which can be either a check list or a workflow. 

We were facing some technical issues with the execution of our workflow. We wanted to assign the task to a group of users, not to a single user. This is where we reached out to IBM support to help us out and improve the next release of Blueworks Live.

How was the initial setup?

It's two minutes from a setup perspective. We get the I.D. created for our clients, give them the URL, and they are all set to go.

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

Based on the licenses purchased, from a footprint perspective, you can have as many people as you want. You have multiple different categories of licenses to keep the cost low. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

My hierarchy works only with IBM, but we do work with other products as well.

What other advice do I have?

My first process model had 142 activities. This is humongous from a single process perspective. To model, it took us three days to complete. It helped with our process version control issues.

When we are working with one of our financial clients every quarter to do their financial reporting, the process changes. They had a lot of material weaknesses, so there are process changes. We keep on creating snapshots, so it helps us to to move them from a BPM implementation tool and put a governance structure around it. Creating snapshots helps us form a governance perspective.

We use a document repository. There are multiple places for how we upload documents, either by going to dashboard interface or by taking pictures/screenshots that can be put in the documentation tab. It goes into the file management of Blueworks Live. You can review them later, clean them out later. You have one single source where you have lot of documents which are used across multiple processes. Everything's stored there. It helps in that way, making it lean and having your documentation updated.

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