IBM FileNet Review

Helped us take a 45-day application process and reduce it to two days

What is our primary use case?

We had several use cases. We used it for all of our loan processing and we took a 21-day manual process down to three. We also used it for all of our credit applications, and that took a 45-day process down to two. It housed about 4TB of data.

Performance was great. It was our system of record.

How has it helped my organization?

No one was wondering where a document was. They could all go and find out exactly what they needed, when they needed. It wasn't, "Who's got this and who's got that?"

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the interconnectivity and the collaboration. No longer do I have to wonder what system I need to go to for the data I need. I know it's in FileNet.

We wrote several custom applications for the users to dive in and be able to find the data they need. 

What needs improvement?

If there was more AI capability, into Watson, that would be a benefit.

Also, where are the users going to find the documents? Because that's a path we don't see. We know that they're looking at documents, but we don't know what documents they're actually going and finding the most, or where the bottlenecks might be. It would be nice if there was some interconnectivity back into Bluemix to say, "Ok, you've got a workflow problem here." That would be a neat feature moving forward because we've got a lot of users that would just say, "The system is not working." We had a few threads would get hung up because they were just constantly banging on these few documents. If that were the case, if we knew that ahead of time, then we could fix that, change the search sequences to make it more efficient. But we were blind to that until the users said it's not working.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's extremely stable. The only time it ever had a problem was if we lost power to the servers. It never really went down.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It was very scalable. If we needed to add more processing power we could just add another server, turn it on, and then we had more power. We didn't have any scalability problems.

How are customer service and technical support?

We did use technical support for a while. enChoice was one of the partners we used with IBM. They're a great partner. Eventually, I was able to hire enough of our own staff that we did much of our own support.

My experience with technical support was good. Any time we needed them they were right there for us.

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

We were all manual before and we knew we needed something.

The most important criteria when selecting a vendor are

  • commitment
  • partnership - we're in this together.

IBM doesn't succeed if I don't succeed, and I can't succeed if the product doesn't work well. If there isn't that mutual give and take, then no one succeeds. It's more about: Any solution can be thought of and fixed and made to work, but you have to be able to work together. If I just sign up and give you a check and then you walk away, that doesn't help me. I need to sign up and then you be there with me, through the process.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup. From what I understand, when they first set it up it was rather complex. They had some hurdles to jump through. It took about two years to really iron out all the kinks. We had a vendor prior to enChoice that we weren't successful with. When we found enChoice, things started to turn around. So it's important to pick the right partner.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

They evaluated Documentum, they evaluated FileNet, they evaluated a few other tools. The company actually bought FileNet before IBM bought FileNet, so we had a contract with FileNet and then IBM came in and bought it. That was a good thing because of the innovation that IBM did bring to the platform. We were also a heavy C|MAN user and the content management on-demand system integrates well with FileNet too. With the new Content Navigator, it allowed for one pane of glass. So what IBM is doing in that area is just going to keep getting better.

What other advice do I have?

I would give the solution a nine out of 10. If it were free I would give it a 10.

Go find an industry that is the same as yours, that is using the tools you want to buy, and find out if they're successful. If they're not, don't go with those tools. For example, I'm in energy now and I'm looking for people who are using Maximo, who are using the other tools from IBM, and I want to talk to them: Are you successful using these tools?

Don't do it in a vacuum, you've got to talk to people.

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