IBM BPM Review

The simplicity of business orchestrations and developing process applications is key


What is our primary use case?

Mostly for business orchestrations, and developing the process applications within Wells Fargo Advisors, and we have other lines of business like retirement, wealth, etc. So we basically build the process models for all the internal back-office operations.

How has it helped my organization?

We started four years ago with one or two process apps, but now we've got close to 40. So that's a lot of incremental development in the last three years.

What is most valuable?

We have a legacy product, called MQ Workflow, and we developed so many process apps using that tool, but we migrated everything to BPM three years ago. The best part is the orchestration simplicity. However, we do have some issues, but, as we work on those challenges, I think overall, product-wise, it is pretty good.

What needs improvement?

I checked out a session, here at the Think 2018 conference. They basically merged the old BPM with the Case Manager, PFS, etc. That's pretty good, but we need to figure out how we can better use the Case Manager and PFS with that existing business flow.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is pretty much stable. We had some hiccups in the beginning, because of the product learning curve. But once we got the environment stabilized, we have hardly seen problems, from a BPM standpoint. We do have other components like, the LDAP and databases, and the ASM F5 Web tier, but from a BPM product standpoint, I think it's pretty good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable. We started with three nodes on day one. We expanded to five nodes, then we basically had two other engines, so we have about 15 now.

But there is a limit. There is a point where you stop, you can't scale anymore to improve the performance. But for now, I think we are okay.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have engagement, whenever there is an issue we open a ticket with IBM, depending on the severity, whether it's two, three, sometimes one, if production is down. The people who we work with are pretty responsible, most of the time. Again, not every time, but when it comes to the production and management, I think we get good response.

We do have a liaison between Wells Fargo and IBM who takes care of high-priority tasks with Wells Fargo. They escalate, sometimes it goes to labs, level 2. We don't see any problems where nobody is looking at it and we're struggling, nothing like that. People are helping.

How was the initial setup?

I think we had some assistance from IBM, for a few months. After that, in-house, we pretty much took care of handling it.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate BPM an eight out of 10. Again, this is all from my infrastructure platform support standpoint. We do have a lot of application development, testing teams, QA teams, they also interact with the BPM product. But my job is more platform topology, architecture.

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