IBM FileNet Review

The physical space that we have gained back pays for the service


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is document management for eliminating paper.

How has it helped my organization?

We shred all our paper and no longer need the cabinet space. We used to have about six to 12 inches of cabinet space per customer, which is now gone.

The tool is used by business users in our organization. Productivity has increased because retrieval is easier. Documents don't disappear when someone is retrieving them.

The solution helps us with compliance and governance issues because the documents are all available. 

Having all the documents available has improved our decision-making quality.

What is most valuable?

It gets rid of paper.

It is perfectly usable as a back-end solution without a user interface through the use of APIs.

When information is available (by having your documents available), your case management is better.

What needs improvement?

It is really not useful for us as a front-end tool. If somebody wants to access documents, I would not let them use the FileNet interfaces.

I would like more controlled APIs, tools, exception handling, and ways to globally monitor it. Something that would make it a true back-end system. 

I would like to have more governance features with more supervisory layers.

Access control integration would be nice. You can actually control access, but it's not that easy to integrate. It is all up to our software to make sure that we do the job, and we don't always do. We all screw up.

The API needs improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with FileNet since late 1990s.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable, and it works.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable, and scalable enough for us.

How are customer service and technical support?

We never used the technical support. We have enough in-house knowledge.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

I didn't like using paper. It's painful.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward for us. We have so many years of experience with it.

What about the implementation team?

We have in-house people.

What was our ROI?

The physical space that we have gained back pays for the service. Therefore, it has reduced our operating costs overall. We have definitely seen ROI. I would estimate $30,000 a year.

While it does not save on retrieval time, what we do save very significantly on was when person took a document, then misplaced it. Or, somebody else needed it when it is in somebody's hands. At least one document in a thousand was not placed back in the right spot, then you needed to look for it. That was tricky. You hoped it was somewhere in the vicinity, and not on a different floor. Thus, it saves me on decision quality, because if the document is not there, then I am making the decision without it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When we started with FileNet, they were pretty much it. The alternatives were not serious. We looked at using just file systems with PDFs, etc. FileNet was the best solution.

What other advice do I have?

We have integrated FileNet with other solutions, and the integration process works.

The biggest lesson that I learned from using this solution is to slow down. Think five years ahead and don't worry about today.

15 years ago, I would look at my problems of the day and try to solve them, or maybe at my problems of the next year and try to solve them. Today, I look at my problems five to ten years from now, then try to think of them and go towards a solution, as much as possible.

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