IBM FileNet Review

A large vendor solution. It is robust and stable.


What is most valuable?

We use FileNet as an unstructured content repository today. About six, seven years ago, we also used it as a case management solution but we don't use it as a case management solution anymore. We use it primarily as a content repository. We like the fact that it is a large vendor solution. It is robust and stable; hardly comes down. One of the challenges we face is finding qualified personnel to take care of the upkeep of the solution but, other than that, it's serviced very well.

How has it helped my organization?

It has actually simplified some of our business processes that rely on unstructured data. We are in the health care business, so centralized storing and management of unstructured data allows the different business processes to go to the same single source of truth for that information. For example, we process claims. We also have to answer questions at the contact center on the claims that we've processed. If there is a document that is associated with a claim, for both those business processes to have access to it from a single source of truth is valuable. There are multiple business processes that rely on that. Having a centralized repository has become very useful and valuable. And, naturally, the audit and compliance requirements have also been fairly well satisfied, thanks to the fact that we have that centralized repository.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better integration with other tools. For example, we use IBM Security Suite. We also use IBM's Business Process Manager, Rules Engine, Cognos, and so on. I think IBM products can be better integrated across themselves. We find that, sometimes, we have to jump through hoops to get one product to work with another.

I would give it a perfect rating if all the upgrades had been smooth.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using it for almost 10 years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable and it does scale well. It does require a certain amount of discipline in setting the infrastructure up right and keeping up with the patches and releases. But it has been very stable for us and it has scaled well.

How is customer service and technical support?

I think technical support is pretty good. They've been very responsive and helpful, but we haven't really had to call them too many times in the last few months.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup but I was involved in an upgrade that was almost an overhaul, about four years ago. It was fairly complex because I think the model we used to lay down the unstructured data within FileNet originally was not really very extensible. We had to redo a little bit of that work, so there was some complexity in it. And, also, we were coming from a fairly older version of the software... Lack of upkeep, I guess. And that's why it was a fairly difficult exercise at that point.

What other advice do I have?

First, know the problem that you are trying to solve. Different products have different sweet spots, different scales, for operation. Understand the business problem that you are trying to solve. Understand the ability of your organization to adapt to change, because these things require the entire organization to think a little differently about how they do what they do. And then, make sure you have the right technical strength to implement a large infrastructure solution like this.

The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with are reliability, technical support, and, definitely, the cost.

We are able to provide a lot more content management solutions than before. We've been using it for almost 10 years now. There's really nothing dramatically different or new that we've done in the last 12 months.

It's very usable. I haven't seen it lately but I'm sure it has improved dramatically in the last 12 months, too. Compared to what I saw five, six, years ago, and what we actually upgraded to, it's come a long way.

We are not considering employing IBM on cloud, hybrid or Box solutions, nor for mobile, at the moment.

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