Signavio Process Manager Review

Easy to use with good collaboration and state of the art modeling capabilities, but the licensing should be changed


What is our primary use case?

We are a transmission system operator that handles the high voltage electricity network in all of Switzerland. There are a lot of core processes and managing support processes, and they need to be very accurate because what we're doing is quite critical.

It's critical infrastructure, so doing things wrong at the core can cause a lot of damage and cost a lot of money, but it can also cause injury or death. It is dangerous, therefore our processes need to be very well understood and need to be run very strictly.

How has it helped my organization?

Our employees rely on the Collaboration Hub to understand the processes. They know exactly what to do and how to do it, what the procedure is, and if necessary, what forms to use. We have a few modelers around the company who are based in the business units. They keep up with what the processes are, keep them alive, and keep them updated.

One of the things that are quite easy to achieve with a tool like this is that you start getting together and talking about what you're doing. Being able to show that, graphically, raises the understanding of what all of the team members think we are doing. It is a good way to discuss our understanding, which could be different than it was in the beginning. Just condensing and focusing on this graphical representation unifies our views, which I think is already a big, big step in improving what we're doing.

I think that this solution would help us to carry out the entire process improvement lifecycle. However, I fear that our maturity of processes is not too high. I'm glad that most of the critical processes are there, documented, can be read, and are kept alive. We're not really doing an improvement lifecycle, not really doing metrics measuring, doing improvement, or things like that. We're still one or more stages away from that.

For the time being, I think that everyone in our organization has the functionality that they need.

In terms of improved employees’ workdays, I have seen stability brought to them. I noticed it first about three years ago. This solution has also improved from the modeling side over that time, whereas it has always been easy for the end-user.

What is most valuable?

I have done a lot of modeling over quite a number of years, and I think that the modeling capabilities in Signavio are state of the art.

The most valuable thing for me is the collaboration hub that can be used by everybody. They can really get their information quickly. It shows them the logic workflows, and also allows them to get the needed documentation, forms, templates, and whatever they need. It's easy to use, you know where you go to get your information, and it's very valuable for everybody.

What needs improvement?

For us, it would help a lot if this solution had floating licenses. I would consider this to be my number one improvement because we try to involve as many people as possible in modeling, rather than having them just consume work that other people have done. We feel that it is important for people to identify with the processes, and with what we model, so it requires that we have a lot of licenses. If we had a floating license or a concurrent license, then it would help a lot.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability has been fine for quite some time, although I had some trouble with the introduction of a new release a few weeks ago. This shook the stability slightly, and unfortunately, it was exactly at the time I was giving a course on using Signavio.

It took perhaps one or two days where it was very slow, and sometimes not responding at all, but it is now back to normal and working well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have four hundred and fifty to five hundred people in our company who have access to our processes through the Collaboration Hub. 

We started with perhaps three hundred users in the beginning, which is not a big difference from where we are now, but scaling it was fine. 

How are customer service and technical support?

In most of the cases, technical support has been quite quick. Not always, but what I liked is that when I had a problem and there was an answer, I used the tracking tool and it was easy to get back to the same person.

This is important to me because I've had experience in other areas where if you need to have three contacts for one topic, you always start at point zero with a new person. This is very boring and I didn't see that. In this way, I think that technical support is good and organized.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Before I joined the company, they were using ARIS BPM. It was perceived as being complex and not easy to use.

How was the initial setup?

The setup seemed straightforward. When I saw it, the solution was up and running.

What about the implementation team?

We used a company called EnerBit in Switzerland. They are a partner of Signavio and they performed the setup for us.

What was our ROI?

Measuring ROI is quite a complex thing, which is probably the main reason why we don't currently do it. My gut feeling is that we have realized ROI because the license is not too expensive.

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

I think that the price of the licenses is between $2,000 USD and $3,000 USD per license per year, plus the hub usage. I cannot remember the exact cost, but it is affordable.

The biggest investment is in training the people, and building up the processes and discussing how it should be. That's where a lot of time goes. That's where the money goes. For me, this equilibrium is very good. The money should not go into licenses, but rather the big value is in the content in the end.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did a GATT / WTO and there were a lot of companies applying. One of our central points was ease of use, especially for the end-users, but secondly for the modelers. I think that Signavio was selected because of this. It was very easy to use.

What other advice do I have?

I was in the software business for a long time, developing SaaS solutions, so I am quite critical when it comes to rating products. I think Signavio BPM does its job, it is easy to use, but it runs a little slow sometimes and it could be faster.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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