IBM Business Automation Workflow Review

Usability for application developers is strong but needs improvement at the data-visualization level


What is our primary use case?

We use it for automating workflows for medium to large-scale processes.

How has it helped my organization?

It streamlines who is doing what, at what time. It has increased productivity. Employees spend less time worrying about whether or not they need to work on something or checking the status of an ongoing process. Generally, it has saved time and improved business processes.

What is most valuable?

It has integrated UI and deployment models, and it has a deep set of consultant and service provider ecosystem features.

The usability of the solution, from an application developer's perspective, is strong. From an infrastructure and deployment management perspective it's okay. For business users, the usability is strong at the task- and work-completion levels.

What needs improvement?

The usability could use improvement at the data-visualization level. Also, there is room for improvement around the effort it takes to stand up and develop the solutions that are more complex, although I think that is getting addressed.

I would like to see more streamlined install and provisioning; preferably containerized IBM BPM would be helpful.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is average. Once it's up and running and stable, it remains stable. But there's a little bit of extra effort needed to deploy and manage and configure both the on-premises and cloud solutions.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is better than it used to be.

How are customer service and technical support?

The solution's technical support could use improvement. The IBM BPM platform, at least from a cloud perspective, still requires using IBM support, which is not very responsive. On premises, the product under the covers is a little bit more complex than some competitors.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

There was no preexisting solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex. The product isn't containerized, and the complexity of provisioning the proper footprint for what you need is difficult to judge ahead of time, until you get into the weeds of setting it up.

What was our ROI?

We are using the solution for automation projects and we have seen neutral to slightly positive ROI.

What other advice do I have?

The biggest lesson I've learned using this solution is to start small and show success with a smaller-scale process application.

Start on the cloud, start small, and focus on your customer experience before the technical requirements.

We have integrated the solution with other solutions. It was a positive process for compatible and built-in integrations, and limited for more broad, generally-available integrations.

I would rate this solution at six out of ten because it needs to evolve and transform more quickly than it actually is, as compared to its competitors. And there is still a relatively high total cost of ownership to actually implement, support, and stand up solutions.

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