Signavio Process Manager Review

Easy to use and a valuable portal, but it needs a process automation engine


What is our primary use case?

We primarily use Signavio for global process documentation, process discussions, and process management (process owners).

We are running Signavio on IaaS (our own cloud) and Signavio Names is on-premises.

We also use the Signavio Dictionary function as a glossary of our business terms, and to manage the process roles. As we have more than 25 offices around the world and selling in more than 55 countries, we can not map functional roles on the Swim lanes chart. This would not work.

The process roles feature is crucial for us, as this is the way the people know what they do.

How has it helped my organization?

If you talk about what BPM has done to your organisation, then I would more see this as the refined question to ask.

The most important thing is to understand is that it is not about Signavio. Rather, it is about managing your processes and having process managers (process owners), with the goal of improving your processes.

It is crucial to use a BPMN capable software like Signavio, but you need a process automation engine to improve your processes, and this is what Signavio is missing! The effective workflow can not even reuse the BPMN diagram.

But to answer the question, Signavio has helped our organisation in the following ways:

We started with having 250 processes documented when we used Signavio, whereas now we have about 1,600 processes (global standards in production) and more than 8,000 processes in the system (this is like a knowledge base).

The easy-to-use Signavio has significantly helped us to climb to maturity, but we are using other tools to automate our processes. We are importing the Signavio processes and automate them using the automation tools.

What is most valuable?

This is what we use and find most valuable:

  • Quick modeler; as the process interview can be done by everyone. The Gateway is missing, which is a shame because others have this feature.
  • Signavio modeler; this is our bread and butter functionality, although it is missing process variants, localisations, and no "To Be" process management.
  • Dictionary; this is an extremely powerful function that helps us to understand who does what, system and data usage, capability, and Business Term Management.
  • Collaboration Hub; we name it the Zespri process Portal. It is the one place to go, and a single source of information of truth.
  • Process management/Process governance is what we think Signavio is very good at.

What needs improvement?

It is missing workflow functions. The actor's email is stored in maps, which makes it unusable.

The reporting is too slow and there is a limit of 250 processes. There are not many reports available.

The governance report is only available on the dashboard.

There is no metadata and everything is on a map level. Process owners have to be entered into a single map!

There is no functionality for variants of processes.

There is no "To Be" process functionality. We have established a time-consuming workaround.

The copy function is only a one to one process if you like to keep your revisions/versions. Folders cannot be copied.

The number of bugs has increased a lot and it is still rising.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Signavio for more than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Daily stability is ok. Mass uploads of processes and dictionary items will break the system, and process uploads are not managed properly. Some imports will complete only halfway or not at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have 280 modelers and more than 8,000 Process Maps (As Is and To Be).

I guess we are a very heavy user because, for the past six months, we have reached our limit.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer service/support was great in the beginning but is now extremely poor.

You can feel that Signavio does not like on-premises any longer, as they try to push everyone onto the cloud-based SaaS.

How was the initial setup?

If you are experienced then it is really straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

Everything in-house for the application level and we used our service provider for implementing the IaaS component.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

SaaS has no setup cost, just licensing fees.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have looked at more than 100 other solutions, and Signavio was selected because of its ease of use and the portal. We had an enterprise workflow solution, but the workflow was not that important.

For data mining and process intelligence, there is a lot of software out there that is better and cheaper.

What other advice do I have?

We prefer to have an on-premises solution, as we can choose what version we are using. With more and more bugs showing up, that is a big benefit.

Overall, this is a good solution, but process automation is missing. This is what drives real improvement. Be careful about their sales promises and create a SLA if there are lots of people using it. We have some bugs that have been hanging for more than nine months.

Also, we believe that there are lots of process mining companies out there.

My advice is to check out what the product offers, see what fits your needs, and see what the prices are.

I compare Signavio with an amazing car that has very comfy seats but no motor under the hood. That seems harsh, but think about it: the power is the automation, as this delivers value by minimizing risk, saving costs, executing faster, and improving precision.

In summary, Signavio has helped us a lot in terms of becoming process-centric, but it is not enough and you need other tools. Most importantly, have a BPM methodology in place. We use BPTrends with help from Roger Tregear.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

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