IBM ECM Review

We like the Navigator platform. We plugged a number of things in that have been custom or unique to our line of business.


What is most valuable?

Basically, we can govern our documents and all types of content securely with proper retention and disposition schedules, as well as provide access to all those who need it and to manage those.

It is usable. We like the Navigator platform. We plugged a number of things in that have been custom or unique to our line of business. It has worked very, very well.

How has it helped my organization?

We spend less time at filing cabinets. We spend less time searching for documents, wondering what the status of something is because it is on someone's desk or they are out of the office. Who knows where it is? We are looking for it in an in-basket, in their mailbox.

Everything is digitized, everything is online, it is accessible and you can get it immediately. It's just a time saver, which saves money.

We have considered IBM on cloud, hybrid, or box solutions, and we've implemented that because of some governance requirements that we have to keep certain documents on the premises of the country in which we are doing business. It has to be physically stored there. So, we do cloud, where those servers are hosted in that country. We are doing that.

There are absolutely new analytics services that we provide for your organization. Now that you have that data, especially for business processes, when does the document get submitted? How many times it was touched? Who touched it, where were the delays? Where were the bottlenecks? We can really find efficiencies in our processes, and make a difference in being more efficient.

We are able to provide all of the above existing services better than we had been able to before. One thing that really works well is self service. It seems like we are constantly generating new content, constantly developing new processes, where someone can launch a workflow or ingest a different or new type of document and bring that up to speed very, very quickly with the proper security, with the proper retention and those legal requirements. It's done very efficiently, and we can get the analytics on top of that, to say, what is going on with these documents? Where are they going? Who is touching them, the audit log, and so on.

We have included mobile with the Case Manager Mobile App. People are very, very busy. They are on the go. They are always in meetings. They are not at their desktops anymore. To have that data at their fingertips on their device of choice, where they are going lean, more lightweight, with a tablet or with a phone, not carrying a laptop around. You have to have an app that will search, find and deliver that content wherever they are.

What needs improvement?

I think we need to see less dependence on Java, and get away from those applets. Those things need to be fixes. They have the HTML5 viewer, but there are other aspects in Content Navigator that need to be elevated and moved off that to newer technology.

The print function, email links and so on are based on little Java applets. Process Administrator is all Java, so that's no longer going to be supported on Firefox; it’s no longer supported in Chrome. It's those types of things that need to be updated. I think that is on the road map, so I'm preaching to the choir.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability has been wonderful, absolutely wonderful. We have had no problems, whatsoever.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It’s absolutely scalable. We are a worldwide organization, operating in hundreds of countries. It's a big deal to be scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have used technical support just with PMRs and so on. Then we have our sales engineers that have been assigned to us that really have been wonderful and integrate with us well. Things are going very, very well. We have been pleased and it's been a wonderful partnership.

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

We were previously using an end-of-life product, Vignette Records & Documents. It was purchased by OpenText, and it was no longer being continued. We evaluated a number of different software options, partners and things, and finally it landed on being IBM FileNet.

How was the initial setup?

Obviously, we were on another content management system, so we needed to migrate all of the old content to the new system, build those solutions, as well as capture solutions for those and all those kinds of things. It's been a good long journey, but very, very successful.

Initial setup was complex because of our requirements. The solution can be as simple or complex as you require it, depending on the business requirements. Ours were extensive and very, very complex. IBM was a great fit because of that, because we could handle a variety of processes that were very complex, and make those work.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered other solutions, but it has been so long, a few years, that I can't recall which ones, and things change. We have been pleased with IBM.

It was a just a matter of having a good decision process that consisted of knowing our requirements, plugging those in and seeing who came out on top. It was a process of about 4 or 5 months. It was quite extensive, a lot of research and due diligence there.

We thought about building a solution ourselves – we do have a robust IT shop – but we wanted an industry standard, we wanted to align ourselves with professionals that had been in the industry, that have worked with large corporations that knew more than we did, and we wanted to leverage that.

What other advice do I have?

Know your processes, know your business requirements. It's one thing to technically be able to do something, but why do you need to do it. What is the business justification? Know those requirements and that will guide you to the right software, and the right implementation and the right partner.

When selecting a vendor to work with, the relationship is very, very important; that they respect what we do and understand our business. Also important is the industry reputation; that they have that experience, that they have that connection and are developing features that we don't have to request or customize it. They are built into the product.

The experiences of our internal and external customers have absolutely changed since implementing the solution. I think it is a pleasure to use the system, to manage the data. We are more organized, we are more agile, we have more information and we can react to that information better.

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