What is our primary use case?
Mostly our customers are banks, so they are using BPM and creating processes across different offices within the bank. For example, the solution is used in loan origination. The process is created to help with standardizing the approvals process. The idea is to follow the process from the start of collecting data from the customer until the bank processes the loan that was applied for. This works across different offices in the bank and they need to be efficient when they process the approvals. So most of the banks prefer to use IBM BPM as it is the most capable product in the world currently in this area of automating the process.
What is most valuable?
What I like most about the software is that it is flexible in its ability to integrate processes and it can be extended and integrated with other software. So it can share data and receive it back into the process as the process moves through steps. It can also simulate a process so we can add data another way and run process and it will calculate the time, the cost, and the results. Testing is part of the process.
What needs improvement?
The user interface could be improved. Because you can say it is not the best on the market. There are other products with better interfaces. It is not like the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) interface that you can create yourself. The product needs to be more flexible in creating a user-friendly interface for the customer.
Making it flexible more in terms of integration with other products outside of IBM products would be a welcome addition. The product can already integrate and has flexibility, but there is opportunity for even more improvement in this way.
For how long have I used the solution?
Our company has been working with the IBM WebSphere BPMS (Business Process Management Solution) product since 2006. So that would be 13 years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It is a stable product and it has to be for our application in the banking system. Most of the banks in our region use it. You need to have the financial information and the business processes the bank uses available all the time. All the banks know this is a popular product within the industry and the banks count on it.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It is scalable. We have not yet had a problem with scalability.
How are customer service and technical support?
There are bugs in the software, of course, as with any product. I would evaluate the product support as typical of software products. I do not hate their support and I do not love them either. They could improve, of course, but anyone can improve.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We did not actually use some other software as we do the implementations. We have considered other options for our clients, but many products are not compatible with our sector which is mainly banking.
How was the initial setup?
The setup is not straightforward. We were able to set it up and deploy the product by ourselves without any integrator or specialist to help beyond what we provide.
When you do the setup you only need someone who specializes in the hardware and setting up the operating system. Without setting it up correctly you would not be able to depend on it working as it should and it may not work at all.
The process is continuous in some way. For a complex project, it could be three or four days before you have it set up, but that is just the setup. Only about one or two people are required for deployment and for maintenance of the software, but it is not simple.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We have evaluated other products. The problems are not always with the products but what they can be used for in an organization according to regulations. So far BotFarm works in specific areas like Oracle A/B. But there are really no relevant bank software solutions in BotFarm for transactions and business processes that I know of. Although the bots are working on machines, solutions for bankers have to work within the regulations. I do not know exactly if this is because of security or that they do not want sensitive information to be published online in the cloud space.
We have been exploring BotFarm since about January (2019) and as part of our offerings for about six months in situations where it can be used. BotFarm is included in our product package. We are a partner; we are not the customer. We are executing the implementations for the customers. I am not using it to implement it within my architecture.
I work with banks and the AutomationAnywhere BotFarm product does not have any software for banks included it, so we can not generally deploy it as a solution in banking. IBM BPMS is more suitable for the banking sector.
We also looked at IQ Bot, which is another AutomationAnywhere product. The problem with this is that currently, IQ Bot does not support Arabic. So in this region of the world, it would be impossible to use that product right now. When it is possible to use it with Arabic, it might get further consideration.
What other advice do I have?
My advice to potential users is that you should not approach working with this product as something you just deploy and forget about. The business process from a business perspective is a continuous process of enhancement. So if you are successful in implementing the software that does not mean that it is the end of the process. It should go on continuously throughout the use of the product and enhancement of business practice, rules, and changes in the business environment. There must be someone to watch the process and to improve it as there is always room for more improvement.
I definitely would recommend this product as a solution as I do with most of our clients. On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate IBM WebSphere BPMS as an eight.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?