IBM FileNet Review

We use FileNet to pull out all of the customer-related content for a particular customer.


What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of FileNet is the storageand records management capability. It allows us to records manage our content properly.

How has it helped my organization?

It's allowed us to consolidate content all in one spot, to make it easier to pull out all of the customer-related content for a single customer. We provide better service to the customers. It can be more efficient, if they're not looking in various places.

What needs improvement?

We've talked a bit about Content Navigator on top of it; some improvements there right now. We use a customized viewer, because ICN doesn't have a couple of features we need around security, restricting content; who can see what content within the repository. We want to roll that out.

We’re also looking at other solutions that work with FileNet. It's a pretty bulletproof back-end solution, but we want to look at what else can we use, the cognitive and so on.

It’s lacking from our standpoint. We haven't done it. There have been different priorities. With things like box and so on, they're rising to the top because we need those types of solutions to go with the mobile or with the customer interactions.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been great; very stable; very few issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No scalability problems at all.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have not used technical support, because we have an IBM service team that we use directly. They're not the actual tech support guys, but we do have an IBM team that does a great job.

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

I do not find it particularly expensive. We're having some discussions around licensing for external customers, and some of the licensing seems pretty expensive; the records management piece of it that's layered on top. You can get enterprise agreements on that sometimes. For smaller companies, it might be a pretty big ticket, though. If you're smaller, cost-wise, maybe it's not something you need.

What other advice do I have?

If a colleague asked me for advice, from my standpoint, I'd certainly recommend FileNet as an option. I'd want to understand what else they're running, because it depends on what else is integrating with it; do they have workflow, do they have capture, what is it, how well does it play in the sandbox with FileNet? From what I understand, almost every vendor I talk to has out-of-the-box connectors for FileNet, which tells you it's a pretty big solution.

Relationship is the most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with. How do they react to problems? You don't expect no problems; you know you're going to have problems. It's about the reaction to them; how fast are they, how quickly can they get it done, what do they do to address the root cause, and so on; being more of a partner than a vendor.

Also, with working on new solutions, helping me identify what's out there in the market, not just their solutions. I have a big Kofax deployment, and IBM supports us having that. They are not trying to sell us DataCap, because they know we have Kofax. It makes sense, so they support that decision. They integrate well. We have an internal layer that's in between; it's not a native integration. We built something in between, unfortunately; that just complicates integrations. It's another layer, something else that can break. It's customized for us. We're not quite sure why it does that. I think it's because, if we ever went away from FileNet, we wouldn't necessarily have to change the front-end applications, but we have no plans to do that.

We are considering employing IBM box solutions. Right now, IBM hosts our FileNet for us, but we're looking at box as a potential option, so that we can interact with external customers, without having them get into our firewalls, mainly.

Right now, there aren’t any new analytics or content management services that we're now able to provide for your organization. At a recent World of Watson conference, we were looking at some of the solutions. We have Cognos running, but we're now starting to look at the more advanced solutions.

It’s hard to say whether there are any existing services that we're able to provide better now than before because of the implementation of FileNet. I’m not sure.

As far as how the experiences of your internal or external customers changed since we implemented FileNet, we implemented it a long time ago, so that’s hard to answer. Nonetheless, as we've gone along, customers will see slower but steady progress in terms of knowing more about them and being able to retrieve the documents. We used to have a big problem with not finding a customer's document, often. FileNet makes it easier to find, so it gives the customer more confidence.

We've launched mobile applications. Most of the launches so far have not used FileNet, because the deployment of the app was the most important thing. They didn't do a proper back end solution, and now they're following up for the proper back end. They’re catching up, but we'd like to get to a point where we're deploying with them upfront.

I'm not that close to FileNet, but I haven't heard anything negative about its usability.
It's been a really solid product. I've only had this area for about a year, but it's been a really good product; very few problems. We’ve had some technical production issues, that might have to do less with the product, and more about how it's deployed, but nothing major; enough that I haven’t given it a perfect rating. I'm not sure I'd give anything a perfect rating.

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