What is our primary use case?
I help clients do digital transformations, so I've been consulting with CIOs, C-level executives, to implement solutions around Pega BPM. One example is for a commercial insurance company, it is a quoting system for their brokers. For a retail management company, it could be something like their human resources onboarding system.
How has it helped my organization?
It cuts down the time taken for coding. Earlier it used take for us four hours to do a particular code. Now this can be done in less than 30 minutes. That's the kind of productivity gains you can get.
What is most valuable?
I think it is the user interface and the ease of developing the workflow for an application. It has a lot of gadgets to just plug and play, and that cuts down your development time quite a bit.
What needs improvement?
The biggest thing I have seen is when going from one version to another and upgrading to the latest version, it takes a pretty long time for an organization to go through an upgrade process. I think that's an area where they can make it a little smoother.
Also they need to come up with licensing options. Right now they do have a cloud-based option, but the cloud prices I've seen are much more expensive compared to competing products.
For how long have I used the solution?
More than five years.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Yes, we did in the sense there have been some performance scalability issues. Suppose you want to add more users. You go from, say, 800 users to 1,500 users, and sometimes that creates issues for which there is no clear explanation. To fix it you have to escalate it with customer service and sometimes the response is not up to the mark in resolving those issues.
It is scalable, but it also interacts with a lot of other systems. I think they thought that the interface to other systems, legacy systems, was its strength, but when problems do occur, quickly diagnosing those problems has been a challenge.
How are customer service and technical support?
On a scale of one to 10 I would give them a seven. They're fairly knowledgeable and if they've seen a problem somewhere else, they have a knowledge base and they send out solutions. But if they haven't encountered a problem, if it's unique for a particular customer's situation, sometimes it's very hard for them to provide a solution. They say, "Hey, we will take care of this in our next version upgrade." For that you have to wait for a long time.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I was working with various other products like Savvion BPM and IBM VPN. Because some of the customer situations, we switched them from those applications to Pega, and I think customers have been happy with it.
How was the initial setup?
There are two options. If you are doing on-premise, it's a little complicated because you need an admin-type person who can help with the installation. But if it is cloud-based, then it is easy. It's all done in the Pega cloud and you just have to get the user ID and password and you are in business.
It depends on which option the customer goes for. It is definitely complicated if it's on-premise.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
They have both on-premise and cloud licensing. If you are a small to medium company, go for the cloud option because that eliminates a lot of the setting up of your DevTest and performance environments, multiple environments, because you can buy that from Pega with the cloud option. So your setup time really goes down.
If you're a large company, then you're better off putting it within your company. You have other skill resources within your company to create environments. Large companies have an option of either going for cloud or for on-premise.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We evaluated IBM BPM and Appian.
What other advice do I have?
You really need to know how you are going to use this product. Is it for customer service? Is it for marketing? Is it for robotic automation? Is it for other things? You also need to work with your business partners to clearly define the processes a user goes through to achieve the desired end result. So you have to do some "pre-work" before you buy this product or before you install this product. Licenses are expensive. You cannot start the process after you buy because then you are wasting the license dollars. If you are using this product for business process management be aware that organizations a long time to make changes to those processes. You have to initiate those changes early so that you can take full advantage of this product.
I rate it nine out of 10 overall. I feel that they should consider making the licensing more flexible and more economical. The second issue is upgrades. They have to work on them to make them smoother.