IBM FileNet Review

It cuts out paper, giving us the ability to distribute and move work through multiple steps in a business process


What is our primary use case?

It runs our document management and workflow systems.

How has it helped my organization?

We have been able to grow the product and its use through a large number of business areas.

Overall, it has worked well for our business partners and various user groups. We have done some customization from a customer interface standpoint. Usability-wise, it has worked out well for us.

It is utilized by business users in our organization. We have done a lot of customization. We use the product more probably as a back-end delivery mechanism, but that has worked out well for our business people.

We have made our service routes more efficient, as far as moving work through the system and being able to react to customer situations and needs better by improving things, such as, address and beneficiary changes. I know that we have definitely made improvements in the process.

There are regulations on the amount of time that you have to process certain transactions. We have been able to knock that SLA down significantly with some of the products that we have implemented.

We have stuck with the product and sort of expanded on it. It's firmly entrenched in what we do (with legacy and new work).

What is most valuable?

  • Reliability
  • Speed
  • Extensibility

What needs improvement?

Some of the user interface stuff might be a little more complicated than it needs to be: the native user interface. However, we traditionally develop our own UI.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have had the solution for over 20 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From a business resiliency standpoint, it has worked out well for us.

We have seen an improvement from some older products to the P8 version now, from a stability standpoint

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has scaled well based off the user community that we have.

How are customer service and technical support?

If I had a concern, it would be that we are sometimes not getting to the root cause of the issues from a technical standpoint as quickly as we should. For the most part, it's good. However, when things get a bit dicey with more involved issues, we have had some delays in getting feedback. If I had a concern, it's around the technical support and their responses in regards to things like root cause analysis.

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

Prior to implementing the first version of FileNet P8, our customer service organization was totally paper-based. They were dropping stacks of service requests on people's desks, and people working directly off of paper. Since implementing FileNet, we have been able to use it as a type of a distribution mechanism. This cuts out the paper process, and we now have the ability to distribute and move work through multiple steps in a business process.

The old process was going around distributing paper, then moving that stack from desk to desk. The advantage of running FileNet is that we've been able to capture the documents at the point of entry. We have been able to distribute work, then based on rules that we have set up in the workflow, route that work to the appropriate people at the appropriate time.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. As we have grown the environment and done certain things, it has gotten more complex. However, my experience has been okay. With the newer versions, because of our environments have grown, it has become a bit more complex.

What about the implementation team?

We have done some homegrown development. We have used a couple partners to help with some development. We have used IBM resources to help install the original base product. Therefore, we have soft of had a mixed bag in all the deployment experiences. For the most part, they have been pretty good.

What was our ROI?

We have probably cut out at least 40 percent of what the work process was by easing out that whole distribution of paper.

What other advice do I have?

It serves our needs, and it is performing as expected. It does what we expect out of it. Overall, it is a very good product for what we need in the company.

We do some basic integration with Salesforce and maybe some integration with some of our homegrown applications, but nothing that is overly involved. It has worked out, but it was hard work.

We are not right now using this solution for automation projects.

Lessons learned and advice for others:

  • Don't bite off more than you can chew. 
  • Do things in smaller pieces. 
  • Do your homework upfront with prep tests. 
  • Take it slow (implement slowly). 
  • Get your requirements upfront. 
  • Understand the process your users are looking for. 
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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