IBM FileNet Review

Reduced the time involved in our client's document processing from days to hours

What is our primary use case?

We have implemented it in a real estate environment. They receive many applications on the front-end and, before our implementation, they were processing them manually. When we implemented it, they moved to a completely paperless system.

For example, a customer walks in at the front desk, the reception, and they ask that the company process a transfer or a no-demand certificate, which is a form used in real estate to clear charges against your property. The person at the front desk creates a case in Case Manager. It's processed by the Case Manager in two different departments, and it's completely paperless.

The customer can view the status from their homes. We have created a very scalable application using FileNet and Case Manager.

Our clients use it for office automation systems to have a paperless environment. Most customers are using it for paperless because Case Manager has more capability than any other product within case management and process flows.

How has it helped my organization?

Before the implementation of the software, there were about 30 people who were processing things. One person would take anywhere from one to four days to process something. Now, it takes them two hours. They are processing things within multiple departments within two hours. 

The solution has increased their productivity, saving them time and cost. When it takes a person longer to get something done, there are more operational costs. If we shave the time from days to hours, there is definitely an opportunity for them to save on operational costs.

In government departments and the public sector, they have to follow regulations regarding land issues. The products are already certified by the regulatory parties, such as OSHA and ISO. During implementation we take care of these rules.

What is most valuable?

  • Scalability
  • Ease of use

These features are important because the customer where we have deployed it has millions of documents, millions of block files, and inside one block file there are hundreds of documents. And over the last five years, the volume of the documents has been increasing. It's handling all of them and without any errors.

Also, we see business users using IBM automation and they think that the interface is very easy to use. They can find the options and links they need. It's not difficult to find what they want or to do what they need to do. In the scope of projects where we use it, we have been able to provide them with the user interface they require. After that, they are very comfortable with it. It is already a very simple interface.

What needs improvement?

We have been working with it from version 4.0 and now it is at 5.3. They have improved a lot already.

However, there is room for improvement in the file management. It's very complex. 

In addition, they should have a built-in application for directly capturing documents from the scanners. Currently, they have that, but it is a separate product. They should have a built-in solution for that functionality.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used it and implemented it for the last five to six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

These solutions are very good in terms of stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Most of our customers want to expand their automation processes. They initially implement it in four to five departments and then they expand it to the rest of the departments.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support from IBM is very good. There is level-one, level-two, level-three, and lab services. We have dealt with all these support levels during our implementation. When we have asked for support with technical issues, they have resolved them.

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

In the private sector our customers involve us in the decision-making process, but in the public sector they don't.

Some of our customers were using the Microsoft document management system, the SharePoint portal. They were not happy with that and some of them moved from SharePoint to FileNet. They switched because FileNet has more features and it's easy for the users. They find it a complete enterprise content-management system. They have told us that a SharePoint portal is only a document management system. They cannot use it in the broader context of enterprise content management.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is very straightforward.

What was our ROI?

When it comes to automation processes, so far it has not added up to the mark versus what our customers were expecting, but there is definitely some return on investment due to having an automated system and through savings on the printing costs.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There are multiple vendors like OpenText, M-Files, and SharePoint. Our clients have found that FileNet is, overall, a better solution.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely advise going with FileNet. It is better when it comes to scalability.

We have integrated it with multiple systems. We have integrated it with customized customer applications built in-house and with Oracle ERP. It's also integrated with a customer's website. The solution provides a built-in API and by using the APIs we are integrating it easily with other systems.

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