What is most valuable?
I like the core functionality of what IBM provides, like provisioning the triggers. Also, how you can maintain not only SAP back end systems, but non-SAP. The functionality that IBM provides if you're able to implement a certain logic, and if you can code, you can do a really good connector or UI. Basically the two allow you to be able to do whatever you want, not only as a UI, but as a connector but as internal logic for each customer.
For example, we have developed a lot of custom logic built within the standard functionality, i.e., the standard workflow. So, IBM is really powerful in this way, and it is nice tool, if you know how to build the things you want.
How has it helped my organization?
In my company, we don't use IBM. I'm just implementing IBM in other companies.
What needs improvement?
The current functionality allows you only to change one user at a time. There is no option to maintain the business roles from the UI using like standard validation, imports, or whatever you have to build your business roles one by one. Logging into the UI searching for the access you want, and for a lot of our customers in one business role, they have around thousands of roles, so it's a really hard process to do by hand.
So, maintaining the business roles is another topic that the functionality is missing, the notifications, because in 7.2 of IBM 8, it tried to improve the implementation of the notification functionality. But again, it is not so user-friendly. You have to be really IBM knowledgeable to maintain the notification process.
With the SAP 10, there is a menu from the web interface, and there you can monitor the work for the system. But there is no option to monitor or to start or restart the discussions. There is nothing to check the tasks, the jobs, what is the status, and if there is a job in another state, then you should use the console itself.
But for most of our customers, they are not so familiar with the IBM console. So, they want a nicer way to check if there is a problem with some of the jobs and tasks, and patches with the queue. Because, at the moment, it's really difficult for a person that is not so familiar with the tool itself to monitor.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been implementing it for five and a half years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
7.2 SP 6 was a really nice version. Now, SP-8 was pretty unstable. SP 10 is in process, like we have some problems with this SP level. And IBM 8, SP 4 is better.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
How are customer service and technical support?
Basically, the developers that are building the tool are responsible for maintaining the tickets on second level. They are very knowledgeable. They are friendly and I am really satisfied from their behavior. A nine out of 10.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
No. I started with the SAP version. I'm only familiar with this tool. But I switched between the different SP levels, and this version. So now we have clients on IBM 8 SP 4. We had them on SP 1 and 2 as well. I started with 7.2 SP 4 and SP 6. We also get some clients with SP-8, and now SP 10.
How was the initial setup?
Basically, if you don't have any knowledge with SAP, and IBM is a different product, it is not like standard SAP, especially when we started. Because I know that this is not how is was originally, it was like bought from new region guys. So when I started, it was really strange for me as well. The IBM as a tool is a little bit complicated, the logic triggers everything and maintains the workflow. You have to think a little bit.
So, it was very challenging.
Maybe if you start using the solution with some courses or training, it would be easier. But the tool is not so easy to get to know.
When I started, there were no standard SAP trainings. When I started with this tool, there were no trainings going on around this tool, so I started learning on the fly. I read the documentation, the online help, and everything that was available. It was really helpful. Google it, you always get some discussion on it.
I thought the documentation is really nice, the online help is really nice. If you know where to look, and if you have colleagues like I had, that are pointing you in the right direction, it's not so hard.
Also, I know right now there are some really nice trainings.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Our customers use SAP IBM, and they chose this option because basically they have SAP already in their environment. They were using SAP, so it's the easiest option for them. I don't know what the other like processes in mind were about choosing this option for them.
Basically, all of them already had SAP. The SAP systems, HR, QA, etc. These also provided the option to connect, not only the SAP systems, they had in their environment, but to activate to pretty well-known non-SAP applications, like Magic, Google, and Exchange.
What other advice do I have?
Overall, IBM really gives you the functionality. The power to implement a lot of functionality outside the current implementation.
If you know how to do it, how to build the functionality you want, you have that option to do it yourself.