IBM FileNet Review

The Enterprise Records plugin helps with compliance, but they could put more effort into the user experience

What is our primary use case?

Digital business automation is the primary use case.

This solution is not used by business users in our organization.

How has it helped my organization?

One of our clients, a customer of IBM, rolled out and replaced their existing ECM system with FileNet. Their productivity has increased pretty dramatically. 

The Enterprise Records plugin helps with compliance and issues around that. Thus, we have clients who are using it specifically for that reason.

What is most valuable?

  • Extensibility
  • Customizability
  • The API
  • It has a very broad market share and a lot of people know about it.

What needs improvement?

The usability is fair. It could be a bit better. It could be better designed. They could put more effort into the user experience and do a better job of integrating other components, like Datacap, to be a bit more seamless.

I would like to see more integrated support for records management functions. I would like to see ICN be more integrated from a desktop standpoint with records management. Especially since, compliance and issues like privacy, which IER is uniquely capable and designed to handle, are becoming more important for users, things like advanced search and the ability to find data with privacy issues. Some work on that type of interface would serve everybody well.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. The maintenance process has been greatly improved over the past few years. It seems like there is maturity now to the product which didn't exist even four or five years ago.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. You can deploy multiple WebSphere nodes and use clusters to do all sorts of things. It is enhanced now with the support for containerization, like Kubernetes and Docker. It is highly scalable, which is great.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is pretty strong. However, I still have cases of APARs which have been left open from many years. Therefore, the technical support is not excellent, but it's good.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is complex. There are many different components to it. There are a lot of decisions which have to be made: architectural decisions, platform decisions, and team personnel decisions. These have to be made before you go ahead and implement something like this. It is a huge undertaking.

It takes a lot of time to roll out.

What about the implementation team?

I am the consultant for deployments.

What was our ROI?

My customers have seen ROI. There have been productivity gains, time savings gains, and things that they have been doing much more efficiently in a more modern way than they were before.

The solution has reduced operating costs for our clients.

What other advice do I have?

The product is worth considering. It has a lot of support with a lot of pedigree. Make sure your ducks are in a row, as far as understanding what your user requirements are and what your processes are around your content management needs. Then, once you have that done, definitely consider this as a very viable option.

Take your time and be careful with your planning phases.

We have integrated the solution with Enterprise Records. We have written our own custom interface that sits on top of Content Navigator. We have also written integrations to databases for lookups.

We are not using the solution for automation projects yet.

I would rate it a seven out of ten for its stability and maturity as a product. However, because it is so big, it is sort of slow to catch up to trends and things like privacy by design.

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