IBM FileNet Review

Significantly reduced the time needed to open accounts in our system


What is our primary use case?

I work in the account-opening process, and we have IBM BPM, Workflow, and FileNet document repository. We use different products to generate documents. Our solution uses IBM BPM Workflow in which people fill out a questionnaire. That gives us a document that we store in FileNet. We deliver those documents either physically or via DocuSign. We get them signed to open the account.

How has it helped my organization?

It has increased productivity. And while I don't know for sure, because I am not from that group, I believe the solution has reduced operating costs. It has saved time as well. I have heard that it has reduced the time needed to open an account from 20 to 25 days down to a day.

What is most valuable?

Because the account-opening process varies on a case-by-case basis, we may have several documents generated for a particular case. We would like to put them in one client section. API-wise, it gives us the ability to create an end-to-end transaction.

What needs improvement?

Before we ask for any documents from customers, we would like to automatically see if any of them are already in our system. Are the documents signed already? We need to know before we have them sign a document that the document has already been signed. That is done manually, it's not automated.

Also, I have heard that there is already an integration with DocuSign. That was one of our needs. We brought DocuSign into our company's solution three years before. At that time there was no direct integration. We wanted to pull documents out from FileNet, push them to DocuSign and, when done, retrieve them and store them back in FileNet. We wrote our own custom solution for that. It would be nice if there was some tool we could have used to do that.

It would be helpful if I could submit a question and get a bunch of documents back. I would like to be able to query the documents that are already in the system and then we wouldn't have to worry about some of them because they're only year-old documents. If there is a document that is three years old we may have to re-ask for it from the customer. Such a rules-engine is not available.

Moreover, the questionnaire we use to generate documents is in XML and then it's coded in a scripting language. If there were rules it would be easy to configure them to pull out a specific document. The business cannot find what documents are in a given area right now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability-wise, the solution is good. There is not much downtime. I don't see any issues with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, we started with about 100 relationship partners and now we have around close to 1,000 partners, so it's quite good.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is going well. There are a few issues, but we have set up several monitors for our technical modules.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is a bit complex unless you know some scripting languages. It's pretty complex.

Within the solution we have several products like BPM, Oracle Service Bus, as well as a lot of custom applications. The bank has its own deployment procedure that we follow for the specific products. IBM BPM is separate and we have laid out our own process. There are a couple of automated ways of doing it, but we follow the bank procedures.

The products we are using from the IBM portfolio include FileNet, IBM Case Manager, Content Navigator is there, and Datacap. We have integrated FileNet with different bank solutions. The integration process was good.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is to set up rules in an outside programming tool. Put them in a separate configuration tool and make an API call to find a list of the documents which match. It would then show the list of the documents to the partner who is trying to open the account. Currently, sometimes they send a request and they get a bunch of documents and they say, "This isn't what I want, I want something else." Then they change the question and the region of the documents. To preview a list of the documents we have to generate the documents. The reason we cannot preview is because the rules are coded in our system instead of being externalized in a separate configuration.

We are not doing anything around automation at this time. We are just capturing the documents but we are not analyzing them. My team is looking into expanding into automation, as is the architecture team. There have been meetings with IBM recently on that.

The use of the solution within our organization is growing. A lot of business units are onboarding the solution now. We started with one and now we've got four or five business units we are supporting.

We have business users using the solution. For them, the usability is not 100 percent but it gives them some flexibility. They still have a problem: they may open an account for a customer but there are five different types of accounts. They have to ask for specific documents each time but they don't want to send the same document to the customer for five different accounts. There is some intelligence we cannot apply at the moment, such as finding which documents are already in the system and that we don't want to send to the client to fill out again. It is manual work as of now. The relationship manager will look into all the documents and say, "Okay, I already have this document from the client in the past couple of months so I won't send it again." Primarily, when we generate documents we don't apply intelligence to validate which documents we have. We don't analyze the data in the system; we keep generating documents.

I would rate FileNet at nine out of ten. All the capabilities I needed in setting up documents or applying security, using content and filters, met the requirements that we had for the solution.

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