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erwin Evolve OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

erwin Evolve is #5 ranked solution in top Architecture Management tools and #8 ranked solution in Business Process Design tools. IT Central Station users give erwin Evolve an average rating of 8 out of 10. erwin Evolve is most commonly compared to IDERA ER/Studio:erwin Evolve vs IDERA ER/Studio. erwin Evolve is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 95% of users researching this solution on IT Central Station. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 28% of all views.
What is erwin Evolve?

erwin is used by more than 50,000 professionals in 60+ countries to get big results from their enterprise data initiatives. erwin is the #1 choice in virtually every industry, from government and healthcare to retail and finance.

erwin Modeling provides a collaborative environment to manage enterprise data through an intuitive, graphical interface. With a centralized view of key data definitions, you can leverage information as a strategic asset and more efficiently manage your data resources to save time and money.

erwin Evolve is also known as erwin EA, erwin Business Process, erwin Enterprise Architecture.

erwin Evolve Buyer's Guide

Download the erwin Evolve Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

erwin Evolve Customers

AT&T, Bank of America, Chevron, Duke University, ESPN, Fidelity, GE, JP Morgan Chase, KPMG, McGraw Hill, NASA, Pfizer, Royal Bank of Scotland, Teradata, Union Pacific, Vodafone, Wells Fargo.

erwin Evolve Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about erwin Evolve pricing:
  • "I estimate that we pay between $40,000 and $50,000 a year for the solution, not including the upfront costs to buy things the first time."
  • "The cost is something like $15,000, per license. But I haven't looked at those numbers in three years. It was over $100,000 to initially set everything up and get it all configured."
  • "Yearly, our cost is €100,000."
  • "On a yearly basis, our licensing costs are 50,000 euro. There are no additional costs because we are on a SaaS model."
  • "The licensing enables you to differentiate between people who edit the content and the people who consume it. We are able to keep the licensing costs down by keeping the "contributor" licenses to a minimum, and we then just roll out the content in a read-only version for the rest of our users."

erwin Evolve Reviews

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ScottLawson
Director IT Architecture at QAD
Real User
Top 20
Enables us to present data and objects visually, in diagrams, and to make them available via the web

Pros and Cons

  • "One of the most valuable features is the website that sits on top of the database. There's a database of objects and how they are related, and you can make views and diagrams and visual elements out of that information on the website. The website is the part that is called Evolve and we use the Evolve Designer and publish the website out to our employees. They can click around and navigate and search, etc."
  • "What they need to do is to consolidate more of their products. For example, I was just looking and I couldn't figure out what erwin DT is. It's on the website but it would help if they could put information together and make it more clear as to what products they have and how they work with other things."

What is our primary use case?

We use EA Agile for enterprise architecture, which means that we want to catalog and keep track of all of the architectural pieces of our enterprise, including processes, applications, servers, and locations. We catalog 24 primitive/primary objects with the tool. The purpose is to provide the employees with a website, a navigable information source, of anything that makes up the enterprise. They can look up all of the servers in here. They can look up the applications, processes, security elements, and so forth. It's publishing information and sharing all the details — the architectural blueprints of our enterprise — with the entire corporation.

We have deployed it on Google Cloud Platform and onto VM. It's our own installation but it is not on-premises; it is in the cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

Two years ago, the solution was instrumental in the following way. We're in California so we're affected by the fires and mudslides that happen here. Our main data center was almost completely cut off for a couple of days. After we restored everything and we went through the disaster recovery scenario, a lot of stakeholders were surprised to find out that the systems or application that they care about were not under disaster recovery protection and they were wondering why. We were able to use the tool to show them how they could see what was under disaster recovery and why their things were not under disaster recovery, which was basically due to cost. Everybody then got excited about having more disaster recovery because when disaster happens you're more worried about it for the future.

We used the tool to work with the stakeholders of various departments to flesh out plans for disaster recovery, showing them what could be affected when something is broken or isn't working. It was a good visual aid, since we have all the data in there, to explain to the end-users and the stakeholders what we had to do to go forward. It wasn't really about saving money. It was about improving our business, but it was instrumental in helping regular businesspeople understand the IT world.

Overall, the solution provides output for users across our whole company. It brings visibility to every single employee. We're a software company and we have a lot of applications. There are people at the helpdesk and people in different departments, HR and so forth, who are responsible for a particular application. If one of those applications isn't working and someone calls the helpdesk, the helpdesk needs to know who they're supposed to route the ticket to. In the old days, we would keep all that information in a spreadsheet and we would circulate the spreadsheet, and we would update it once a year and it was always out of date.

With erwin, we keep track of that stuff in the database and they can very easily look it up. They can also see what they are responsible for themselves. An employee could then negotiate with their boss about being responsible for a server, for example, because it's more interesting to that employee. erwin keeps track of roles and responsibilities much better than anything else we've had before. That is one example of why it's valuable to everybody in the company.

The solution is critical to driving business change and transformation in our company in that it helps us make the argument for driving change. The application itself isn't going to drive any change; it's inert. Recently, one of the directives that our CIO has been interested in is moving applications that we have to the Google Cloud. One way I can help convince people to take their application and move it to the cloud is to show them how many other applications are moved to the cloud, and which ones have not been moved. This tool helps me visualize that for people, and I can very quickly pull up the diagram of all the applications that are in our data center in California. That can drive the conversation. erwin supports change and innovation but you have to use it properly.

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features is the website that sits on top of the database. There's a database of objects and how they are related, and you can make views and diagrams and visual elements out of that information on the website. The website is the part that is called Evolve and we use the Evolve Designer and publish the website out to our employees. They can click around and navigate and search, etc.

Evolve enables people to look at the processes in multiple ways. Unlike a documentation repository of processes, where nano-processes are written up in a textual form, this allows people to make use of the processes in ways that they hadn't been able to before. They can go to the tool and say, "For this process, what is the application that helps us run it?" Or they can ask the question in the opposite way, and say, "For this application, what processes are involved? Or what processes does this application help us do?" Then they can see all the various processes that are related to a particular application, or a particular department, or location, or project, etc.

We use the client/server version because it's more powerful. That's what we started with as the web-only version was not robust enough for us. They keep telling us that they're going to rid of the client and make it totally on the web, but I haven't seen that happen yet. I have a group of architects who do this kind of work and they're very accomplished and intelligent. We've learned how to use the more complicated client/server version. It suits us because there's more power to it and we know it. We don't need an easy-to-use, dumbed-down version because it's not that hard, and because we've used it for a long time. We have a stable group, people who have been here for the whole time that we've had it. The client/server version is perfectly fine, because it has the web module that sits on top and publishes the information. If it didn't have that, that would be terrible, but for years now it has had the Evolve piece on top of it. That lets the whole organization browse through the information quite easily.

Another tool that we use in the erwin suite is called Collector and it allows us to integrate our enterprise architecture repository with other repositories of information. For example, we have all of our employees' information in a cloud system called Workday, but we need to have employees' information in erwin so that we can relate employees to processes and employees to applications, for responsibility purposes. Every 24 hours, we use the Collector tool to synch all of the employee information into erwin, which is already then related to these other pieces. We don't have to maintain that information in erwin because it's maintained elsewhere. We do that not only with our employees, but with a bunch of process documents as well as with projects and equipment. So Collector really is an important tool in the suite, if you're going to manage a lot of objects. We have 15,000 objects in our database.

What needs improvement?

We tried their collaborative web modeling and we used it with a few people but we tend to not use that piece. We tend to collaborate with the people and then my team of architects draws up the diagram using the modeling tool. We then iterate through those. I would like to use it, but it was a little clunky when they first rolled it out.

Overall, it's more about the company having room for improvement. What they need to do is to consolidate more of their products. For example, I was just looking and I couldn't figure out what erwin DT is. It's on the website but it would help if they could put information together and make it more clear as to what products they have and how they work with other things.

I hear them talking in the support forums and, when I talk to the representative, they say they're going to do a bunch of stuff but it seems the progress is slow. The changes they need to make are to take their old, legacy product, which we use, and focus a lot on it so they can transform it into a modern cloud tool so that we have fewer little pieces to deal with.

They could also fix their security model. It's very confusing to get new people onto the tool and to make sure that your content isn't being exposed to the wrong people.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the product for eight years. When we got it, it was owned by a different company which was acquired by erwin about three or four years ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I would give it a B+ on stability. Every once in a while, something happens with the search engine and we reboot it and it works. It's better than most but worse than some.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't really tested it for high scalability. The max number of people who will be on it in our company at one time is four or five dozen. I would think it would scale but I don't have any practical experience with it. In our company, about 20 to 30 percent of users touch the content of the solution as part of their daily roles. 

How are customer service and technical support?

They have a good support department but they are a little lax in the communication area. They always say, "Tell us what you think on the forum," but you ask a question on the forum and nobody responds for a month. Their interfacing with customers could be much better.

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

We used a solution before erwin called ProForma, but that was a long time ago. It did not have a web front-end so it was really just a client-server piece. Because it didn't have the web front-end, the information we put in there was not very widely used at all.

We switched to erwin it had a web front-end and it was a little more robust. ProForma was easier to use out-of-the-box, but it was not as flexible as erwin. And, at the time that we bought it, the Evolve feature was new. That's what I was looking for. One of my business goals was to publish the enterprise architecture information to as large of an audience as possible, and to have it usable, because people are not going to read a 12-page document about that. But they are likely to do a quick search, look at a couple of web pages, and download that. erwin afforded us that capability and that's what we took advantage of.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex. The actual installation of the product is easy but the configuration of the product is complex. It's necessarily complex because it's a database and it has all these options that you can set. You need to create all of your database objects and you need to create your entire website on top of the database. It's not a turnkey solution where you take it out of the box and it works. It requires a lot of decisions and a lot of guidance.

It's a matter of once you get it up and running, what are you going to do with it? When you buy a new house and go to a home goods store, you can buy all of the stuff for your kitchen, the tools and the spatulas, etc. And then you can buy all the food. Now, how are you going to make a gourmet meal out of it? It takes you a long time to figure that out.

We also installed it a long time ago, so I want to emphasize that my experience is not current experience on the configuration.

Our deployment took about three months. We deployed it on Windows machine on-premise. At first, we deployed it on 10 people's laptops, and we deployed another server — the web front-end — for the rest of the employees. We had two servers with databases running on-premise on Windows. Only recently, in about the last two years, did we pick that whole thing up and move it to Google Cloud. We didn't really do any transformation. We just lifted and shifted it to the cloud.

For deployment and maintenance of the solution we need just one person, and the maintenance part is about a quarter of a person. Once you have it up and running, there's not too much maintenance, other than the data, just like any system. We have 10 people who are maintaining the data, but they only work on it probably 10 percent of the time. So one full-time employee is needed to update the data and a quarter to a half of an employee to maintain the technology.

What about the implementation team?

We had multiple consultants help us when we first put it in. When you buy it, for every $100 you're going to tack on another $20 to make it work. So about 20 percent of the cost of the solution, on top of buying the licenses, is the implementation itself, for consulting fees and training. It's not something that you can just click, install in five minutes, and you're going.

All the erwin consultants are great. They are very knowledgeable and have been with the company a long time. They are both technical and business-oriented. I've enjoyed working with erwin people, both the consultants and support people.

What was our ROI?

We've seen ROI with erwin. It's been successful. My boss is the CIO and he is quite pleased with it. In fact, a couple of years the CEO mentioned it in one of his newsletters. It's used widely and has acceptance within our company. It is a good way to see all the pieces within our company. ROI is a tricky thing. Did we make any money out of it? No. It's a cost. But it is part of the fabric of the company now and people know that they can see their systems in there and they can look at their data and can understand what's going on.

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

We pay yearly. We made our deal a long time ago, and it was for a perpetual user license, which essentially works out to three concurrent licenses. We can have as many people in the client as we want, as long as they're not using it at the same time. That works out fine for us because I have 10 people on my team and they don't go in there simultaneously. So all 11 of us can use the tool just fine but we only pay for three licenses. 

I believe we also pay a fixed maintenance cost for the Evolve part, after we bought it for a fixed price. But it's not a named license so anybody in the company can use it. If we grow to have more people, they can use it.

Collector, which is the integration API tool, is a third type of license. 

I estimate that we pay between $40,000 and $50,000 a year for the solution, not including the upfront costs to buy things the first time.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at several options. I don't remember the names but we compared the one we had, ProForma, and two others.

One of the products was really expensive and did everything and was amazing, but it was complex and expensive and you needed five people to operate it. The other one was a low-end, web-based diagramming tool.

What other advice do I have?

Start small. Start with the projects that you can get value out of it. Don't try to boil the ocean or to map the whole world. Say to yourself, "I'm creating a map," like Google does while they're driving around in their street-view cars. Figure out what your initial goal is and use the tool to gain that goal. If you have success there, go on to another one. It's an approach you could apply almost anywhere.

The biggest thing I've learned from using the solution is that it's really hard to document the data usage of your company. That's one area that we're pretty weak in. At least in our company, it's really hard to get a handle on all the data elements that people use — both customers and employees: How that data is used, where it is stored, what the liability is for it, and how long we have to keep it, etc. erwin has a data governance tool but, when I looked at that, it seemed we'd need a handful of people just to do that alone. Early on, I thought that I could get a handle on the data much more quickly than I have.

I would rate erwin at close to nine out of 10. It's not a 10 because it still has little janky things that are wrong with it. It's not intuitive and it takes a while to get value out of it. A 10 out of 10 is when you get value right away. Using erwin, if you work at it, you get a lot of value. For other people who are going into it, it might be that their bosses or their budgets aren't going to tolerate a month-long or even year-long ramp-up to value.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

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

Google
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Jeff Calvert
Sr. Enterprise Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
We can model and diagram-out system interfaces as a geographically distributed team, but integration with other solutions is not easy

Pros and Cons

  • "I can send images in the PDF form, along with the relationships and the associations that are a very important part of what we do. It can show what is affected and what is impacted by a certain change in one area of the system architecture or enterprise architecture. I can very quickly draw those issues and topics to the fore."
  • "The solution's integration capabilities with other tools in our system has not been all that well done. We have people who use ARIS, who use System Architect and, of course, Visio. erwin has very limited ways to import and export from those kinds of tools. It's not a very easy thing to do."

What is our primary use case?

We do a lot of system interface analysis. We have about 40 systems that we rolled up and manage at the CIO level, in the office where I work. We do system analysis: system coordination, systems that are being retired, systems that are merging together, systems that are consuming other capabilities resulting in an older system being shut down. We organize, manage, and administer the funding that flows to those 40 different systems. We use the tool to model and analyze the decisions we make about those 40 systems. Those kinds of decisions are helped with the analysis we do and the modeling that we do.

We also have an associated group that works on the workflow process side. I helped them convert a lot of their old Visio work to erwin EA. That took a lot of man-hours.

We use it as a hosted solution. erwin hosts the servers that provide the product.

How has it helped my organization?

With Visio, you simply get a picture, a diagram. It doesn't have any intelligence behind it and you can't really do any collaboration. The collaboration that we do use with erwin EA is like a check-in/check-out-type of functionality where, if I'm working on a diagram, my colleague can only see the diagram but he can't change it. He's locked out while I'm working on it.

Because work is in a single, hosted location, everyone is hitting the same image. That's helped us a lot in being able to share work and exchange ideas and thoughts. We can make changes and still have it all in one central repository. That's helped us a lot because we're a geographically distributed group of people.

Before erwin, we would have had to send giant files back and forth. We had to send PDFs and printed copies of things. To work in Visio you really have to exchange files: You update a file, send it to a person, have them look at it, mark it up, scan it, and PDF it back to you. It was not very good.

What is most valuable?

For me, the most valuable features are the system analytics and system capabilities, the modeling, and being able to diagram-out system interfaces.

And in equal measure, on the process side, the workflow side gives us the ability to configure a group of workflow models and drill down into supporting documentation. And on that side of the business, they also use erwin Evolve a lot, the web deployment publishing capability. They're very heavily dependent on that. I like that as well, but I'm not nearly as dependent on it. Our audience just doesn't consume the output in that way very much. But I think it's a fantastic way to publish what you do in the tool.

Its flexibility and scalability to support all stakeholders in making informed decisions are powerful capabilities. I can send images in the PDF form, along with the relationships and the associations that are a very important part of what we do. It can show what is affected and what is impacted by a certain change in one area of the system architecture or enterprise architecture. I can very quickly draw those issues and topics to the fore.

Our client likes to see things on PowerPoint slides, so we often have to publish things out to an image, and put that in a PowerPoint. erwin EA has that functionality.

I've tried to socialize and evangelize the Evolve web deployment, so that our client would understand how easily they could interface with it. But given the defense-related and government-related environment that we're in, that isn't always something that they take advantage of.

Also, the fact that admin tasks are performed by desktop applications has been done fairly well in the solution. I'm able to turn people on and off within it. We've had people come and go from our environment. I'm able to configure them, set them up, get them using it, and get them on their feet fairly easily.

What needs improvement?

The solution's integration capabilities with other tools in our system has not been all that well done. We have people who use ARIS, who use System Architect and, of course, Visio. erwin has very limited ways to import and export from those kinds of tools. It's not a very easy thing to do. It hasn't blocked anything that we've tried to accomplish, but I can tell you that we are about to begin discussions with the larger defense-functional areas about coming to a common tool. A lot of people use the System Architect already. Deployment of that seems to be more widely accepted. They pay a lot of attention to industry reviews. erwin is in the lower-left quadrant, as being a niche player, although I don't think of erwin as a niche player. But it isn't easy to use erwin EA to interact with other tools, in my experience.

In addition, a little feature that would be helpful to me, although it is incredibly down-in-the-weeds, tool-specific, would be the ability to more easily copy the style of one object to another object of the same type. Right now, there's a way of doing that, but to me it's more complicated than it should be. And it's more complicated than other tools I have used. If I have a system object, I would like to be able to configure it in bold print and specify the size and colors, etc. And I would like to copy that same style to any other system objects so that they look the same. There is just not an easy way to do that in erwin. I brought it up with erwin early on but I don't know where they went with it. They showed me how to do it and the way it currently works but it just seemed so much more difficult than a simple couple of clicks: a "Copy Style" type of thing.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for just about three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a very stable product in terms of its performance. There are little design elements that I should list for them as suggestions at some point. But once we got it stabilized and learned the tricks of the trade and how to use it properly, there were no problems with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has easily scaled to what we want. If you buy a license, you get full access. You can have as many users as you wish. I have no issues or concerns with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

In terms of support, I couldn't be happier with Grace, erwin's support rep who provides us with fantastic support. We had great support from their field consultant, Brian Bush, as well. He was a superstar getting us all trained and he's been very helpful to me over the three years when I've needed some help on certain ideas.

When the surveys come out, I give Grace five stars. She's been very good, and so is Brian.

That's their standard tech support. It was nothing that we had to pay anything for. I got my questions answered when stuck or lost or there something that I didn't know how to get around. 

I give the support five out of five stars. They've been really helpful.

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

We used ProVision. We switched to erwin because The Department of Defense wanted us to switch to it. They wanted something with better support of The Department of Defense architecture framework. ProVision did not have that. Erwin has very capable and validated support of the DoDAF.

How was the initial setup?

We had a consultant who did the setup for us. It was completely on their shoulders to get us up and configured. We simply have a desktop tool, a remote access link, that gets us to the server. We log on and we're off and running. It's been working very well. It wasn't complicated at all because I didn't have to get involved with the installation and the setup at the server-side. We pay a fee for that service so we don't have to have anyone on our side who knows all about the server setup.

Deployment, including training, took a week. We trained in about four days and then went back to our workstations and off we went.

The strategy was to have our groups, one in DC, one in West Virginia, and the one where I work in Columbus, Ohio be able to work collectively and collaboratively. That's what we are able to do. That was one of the big criteria.

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

The cost is something like $15,000, per license. But I haven't looked at those numbers in three years. It was over $100,000 to initially set everything up and get it all configured.

In addition to the standard fees there's the hosting cost. That's something like $1,000 a month.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We tried many options. We had a whole project of analysis of different tools and Erwin checked all the boxes. We looked at something called In2itive. That and System Architect were among top alternatives. We just found erwin to be the most suitable. It won out in several ways, but we thought that the web deployment — the Evolve capability — also looked really strong. We felt that worked well.

Every one of these solutions has an edge or a boundary to its capabilities. There are little things, quirks, that I would like to see erwin do differently. But every one of these tools has something that people either embrace or wish was easier to do. None of them is a dream to use. You have to know what you're doing and be able to get around the limitations.

What other advice do I have?

Start with the basics and get a fundamental understanding of how the suite is configured. There is a modeling suite, an object analysis suite — the object window — and the analytical tools.

I love the web deployment, the Evolve capability. That is really nicely done. The ability to collaborate across geographically distributed installations seems to be working well for us. I wish it had more API-type interface exchanges with other tools that made it much easier to transfer things to and from something like System Architect, and not to have to go through a lot of man-hours to recreate what we needed to recreate. But otherwise, it has done the job for us and continues to do so.

We have five users, with three of them being power users. And for the maintenance and administration of the tool, it's me and another gentleman in West Virginia who mostly deal with things like that. We don't have any plans to extend usage beyond those people. If anything goes wacky on the server, we just get erwin people involved.

I give it a seven out of 10 because there are that I'd love to see it do more easily.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Learn what your peers think about erwin Evolve. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
552,407 professionals have used our research since 2012.
MatthieuGarcia
Senior Business Process Management Architect at a pharma/biotech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Helped us to define the configuration of our SAP software

Pros and Cons

  • "The feature that stands out for me is the ease of configuring objects and the screens to show them. It's really easy to add a new type of object in this reference. Creating a new type of object, using it, and evolving it a little bit in terms of what we can document about it are the main features that made us decide to use this provider."
  • "They have improved the search engine a little bit but it can always be improved more. The more data you put inside it, the more you want to use it."

What is our primary use case?

We are using it for our enterprise architecture reference, describing everything with it. We are describing our business process and we are trying to describe our data catalog. We are describing our complete applications assets, and we are interfacing to the CMDB of our providers. We are also managing some roadmaps for main transformation programs.

We have also linked it to our documentation repository, so we have a description of our data documents.

How has it helped my organization?

We are using it to deploy all the processes and IT interfaces for our biggest update project. Without this tool, we couldn't have made and defined all the new processes. Using the tool we have managed to document some 200 business processes. It also helped us to design our qualification review, because we are a pharmaceutical.

The most helpful part is when you try to integrate things; when you have to define some business rules and make sure that there is some integrity in these business rules.

In addition, it has helped us to define the configuration of our SAP software. 

These are the areas it has really helped us during the two last years. And now we are using it to evaluate our software application changes. It is really helpful because we have documented a lot of things and enables us to do impact analyses.

What is most valuable?

The feature that stands out for me is the ease of configuring objects and the screens to show them. It's really easy to add a new type of object in this reference. Creating a new type of object, using it, and evolving it a little bit in terms of what we can document about it are the main features that made us decide to use this provider. We started with a few objects regarding our architecture and now we have a lot of them but, we have grown up with the solution.

The other feature that helps us, now that we have documented all of these objects, is that we are able to exploit the data we have put inside with operational reports. The reports are easy to create.

What needs improvement?

There is room for improvement in the modeling. They are working on it, but we need a web-modeling tool.

They have improved the search engine a little bit but it can always be improved more. The more data you put inside it, the more you want to use it. 

At some point, it would also be helpful to have a better audit trail.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using EA Agile for about three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Now, the stability is good. But we had some problems to deal with because we were creating a lot of different objects. Those problems have now been settled. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It seems scalable. They have fixed the main issue which was the indexing process for the search engine. It had some bugs and was causing a lot of trouble. That was the main scalability problem but they have fixed these points and isolated the indexing process. So now everything seems to be to be working and scalable.

We have created a lot of projects, so we have really used it a lot. We are going to migrate to a change-management phase where we are going to work on keeping our data fresh. It's really a day-to-day tool now for all the service managers and our project teams.

Looking to the future, I expect we will use it as we are using it today.

How are customer service and technical support?

erwin's tech support is really fast to answer questions and really dedicated to solving the problems we have documented. Most of the time they find the solution's errors, but sometimes, because we were among the first customers on the cloud, we bring up some issues which take longer. But they always find a solution. For me, the tech support is good.

How was the initial setup?

In the beginning, it was not that complex, but it depends on your maturity and on what you want to modernize. That's what defines the complexity of what you are doing. We were backed up by Professional Services. Without them, we wouldn't have managed to make it simple.

It took less than three months to deploy it, and we are continuously improving it.

As for our implementation strategy, before this we had ARIS BPM and all our business processes were in PowerPoint or Excel. The application was described in our ARIS system and we decided to define a new meta-model inside erwin and migrate after that. For the description of our IT systems we created a project with our provider regarding what they were documenting in their CMDB. We launched the system after migrating all the stuff, and after that we made a change-management plan. So we had to connect to the legacy, clean the data, and start with the project.

What was our ROI?

It's really hard to measure a return on investment for this kind of solution, but I think we have seen ROI because it's helped us to secure our SAP project.

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

Yearly, our cost is €100,000.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated ARIS as well as a French solution called Mega HOPEX and another French solution called Bonanza.

The difference is the fact that in the erwin product, when you model, even if you don't have all the information, the content is on the web platform and ready to be discussed by those who need to access it. On the other platforms, it was noticeably less open. Because we had already used ARIS, we knew that it was really complicated and really annoying just to add an object. With erwin, you document what you can and it becomes available for people to contribute to and use. That's the main point. And Communicator, while they don't promote it, is good for us because we needed some documentation for the authorities.

What other advice do I have?

Start small. Even if you are thinking big, start small. Use the first object and, after that, make it evolve.

The biggest lesson I have learned from using this product is that because the product is really easy to configure and it's easy to create new things with it, sometimes you are expecting more from your contributors than they can do. The tool allows you to publish what you have. It's cool for that.

We are using it to document what we are transforming. We have decided to document our process applications and interfaces, which is a longer project. We are documenting the project as nodes or objects and we are documenting what we are creating. This works very well but the result is that we have thousands of objects to manipulate. So if we want to do an analysis, a statement, it's easy. But if we want to do a big analysis, EA Agile helps but it doesn't do it entirely for you. It's something that can help someone who has the mindset for this type of work but it won't do all the work for you.

The solution's collaborative web modeling capability for live, remote collaboration on a model works, but people in our organization are not ready to use it a lot. In the beginning, we thought that a lot of people would use it. But after a few months of use of the application, we figured out that you have to be an architect to take advantage of it. Someone who is not making maps or architectural things every day will not contribute. It's not due to the tool, it's due to the mindset.

In terms of the solution's integration capabilities with other tools in our system, there are pro and cons. The positive is that it's really easy to integrate because there is an API, but it's quite new. So it works, but not that much. There are some tools inside the solution to manage import and export of data and that works. But sometimes, it can be really massive and generate a lot of errors. You can integrate it with almost everything, but you have to watch what you are doing because when too much is integrated it's really hard to manage your errors. So you can integrate, but at some level you will need another tool.

It depends on what you are doing, but for example, it's easy to import a list. You can integrate it with Active Directory. We were the first customers to who have that functionality and it works really well. But to integrate with one of our providers took some time because we needed to align our vocabulary. Now we are integrating with our documentation library but we always do the same thing. We first try to do it manually and then automate it. Trying to automate it first is really not easy.

We looked at integrating the solution with the erwin Data Modeler and Intelligence suite but, at this moment we have not moved forward with that project. Right now, we're making a data catalog first and that is something we can do with the solution we have already bought. We have some 500 attributes and eight or ten project objects. That has been a big job for our business. We're taking things step-by-step. We may integrate those other modules in the future.

The ability of the solution's web platform to tell you which insight has been accessed the most helps us focus on what matters to our colleagues in business change activities, but not natively. We use another web analytics solution on it, so we definitely know who is looking at what. That helps us a lot because, having created a lot of objects, we want to know if an object is being used or not. And with the help of the editor, we track changes made by users. We have been able to define what we want to track. But it's not a native feature. To get the functionality you have to so some configuration.

The solution has back-office and front-office rights management. In the beginning, you have to be strategic about it to keep it simple. Otherwise, you can end up configuring something that is really big but not usable. After that, you define what you want to be automated inside. Because the tool is really customizable, you have to define some strict rules and learn to use them. That's pretty difficult. What is difficult, really, is to define what you want because the tool is really open; maybe too open.

We have about 30 people using it, overall, but it's not always 30 people at the same time. In the beginning, it started like that but now, effectively, every day we have less than 10 users who use it every day. We about 800 users, unique IDs, in total. We have something like 50 users on the site every day. Among them are project managers, service managers, and a lot of technical people.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

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

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Pam Rivera
Independent Consultant at a tech consulting company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
The tool was difficult to use, but I liked that it mapped out processes

Pros and Cons

  • "I really liked that it mapped out processes and was able to attach the data model to the appropriate process. You could map out the process, then when you got down to a specific couple of data elements, you could attach the table in the database that supported that process. You could connect it with erwin Data Modeler for that."
  • "It could have had a more streamlined navigation. It seemed that when you went to the explorer panel, there were just so many different ways of doing the work that I could not remember, "How did I do this? How did I get to that point in that model to get back to it?" If I wanted to build a new one, where do I start? It just seemed like there was such a smorgasbord of ways of doing it that it was just overwhelming."

What is our primary use case?

We were trying to evaluate and compare it with other architecture tools. 

One of my colleagues, a servicing data architect, was trying to create a use case for one of his more recent projects, where he services an auto loan. I was trying to create a process around when some of the dealers sell an automobile, procure an automobile, and finance the automobile, then sell the automobile and get their money.

How has it helped my organization?

If we could have gotten it to work, I think it would have really been useful. The software architects felt that what they did already linked to it because it had the data modeling portion. When they did their technical specs, they used Evolve to drive out their technical specs. They would give us their overall technology/technical specifications to then model the data, but we were very frustrated because of the way the data was presented. 

At a detailed level, the software architects would say how the data element should look, what characters it should have along with the naming convention, and how long it should be. We would definitely challenge them on that because we felt that this was our job to do. In some cases, they would throw everything in one table, and we would say, "No, that's not the way we're going to do this because we were doing things in third normal form for our operational databases." 

We reserve the right to change the design, so a lot of the software architects would have to say, "These are just for illustration only. The final data design will be done by the data architect," since that document was the one that the QA testers would use. There was always this problem with them having to update their spec when we made changes. We thought with erwin Evolve we could get something that was more robust from a data point of view.

What is most valuable?

I really liked that it mapped out processes and was able to attach the data model to the appropriate process. You could map out the process, then when you got down to a specific couple of data elements, you could attach the table in the database that supported that process. You could connect it with erwin Data Modeler for that.

The integration capability with erwin Dat Modeler was easy and great.

What needs improvement?

As we were trying to evaluate erwin Evolve, it was so rich in functionality that we'd get lost in the details. We didn't know where to start. After, we did get started, then we would break away and take on our daily activities. However, when we went back to go look at the solution, we couldn't remember, "How did I get here? What did I do?" Unfortunately, because it took us so long and we were having so much trouble, we couldn't do a complete evaluation to make it into our budget cycle.

It could have had a more streamlined navigation. It seemed that when you went to the explorer panel, there were just so many different ways of doing the work that I could not remember, "How did I do this? How did I get to that point in that model to get back to it?" If I wanted to build a new one, where do I start? It just seemed like there was such a smorgasbord of ways of doing it that it was just overwhelming.

If there is a change to the data model, then it's not automatically reflected in erwin Evolve. You have to go back and reattach it. That could be an issue in a database which has frequent changes. If erwin could find a way to simplify the navigation of getting into the meat of what you want to do, that would help a lot.

We use erwin Data Modeler most of the time. You could have a combo right there, where you see your process and the data right there. I thought that was pretty cool, but navigating to get to that point is what I found too cumbersome.

The integration capability is limited in that if you subsequently make a change in erwin Data Modeler to a table or data element, then it's not automatically reflected in erwin Evolve. This means that you would have to put in a task for erwin Data Modeler that every time they updated the data model to see if it is attached to erwin Evolve. It looked like a manual check to see, "Do I have to reattach that data model to that process because I've made a change?"

They could make it simpler for people to get into the tool and learn the tool, because it just seemed like the learning curve would be very steep.

For how long have I used the solution?

My previous company, GM Financial, reviewed it last year for potential use. The evaluation was around late Summer, lasting over a month.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I found it to be stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I didn't see a problem with it being scalable.

We were a team of about three consistently using it at a time. If we could have gotten it deployed, we were a department of maybe 20 to 30 data architects. Of that, probably our operational architects would have used it first, and that would have been about eight or 10 people. Then, we would have roll it out to the others because we were organized into operational architects, data warehouse architects, and data vault architects. We saw that the operations folks probably would have been the first in line to work with it.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support was always very responsive. It was just the tool itself that we just found too difficult to work with for our use.

The young lady who was our pre-sales consultant was very good. She would help us and answer all our questions. We had the sales executive, then there was also a woman who had the more technical hands-on. We asked her, "Could you please... " and then she made some adjustments for us to sort of make it easier, but we still were awfully slow at being able to get it to work. 

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

Our software architects had a different tool that they were using. We were hoping to show that Evolve was more robust and see if we couldn't encourage them to use our tool rather than theirs.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not a big deal, I don't remember it being terribly painful. They sent us links which we accessed, then we were in the tool. It was pretty simple.

What about the implementation team?

One of the guys who was working with me, because I was sort of leading the effort with three of us trying to test it, already had a pretty significant library of Excel and Visio diagrams. He said, "I'm not seeing that this is buying me any advantage, because I already have this using Visio, etc." Of course, we kept saying, "Well, we still want to...," but he couldn't see the value of spending the money and extra time trying to test this solution, especially since it was so hard to work with it.

We didn't work on it constantly, because we have our typical job duties. We would go in and out, at least that's what I did. My colleague spent more time with it than I did. Then, one of the guys just got too busy with his project work and didn't do anything at all, which was a little frustrating to me. I went into it sporadically, a couple times a week, to try and spend an hour or two. My manager did the same thing. She tried, when I explained to her, "Here's what I'm coming up against. I just don't know how to get around this."

We set up several calls with the folks at erwin where she would demonstrate how we do it. They created a couple of templates for us to get started so we could just go in and try it. However, we felt like this solution would take a lot of setting up and help from erwin before we could really make use of it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had a template in which we looked at the different architecture tools. We had some criteria that we said we wanted from a data architecture point of view, and this was the first tool that we had a chance to get our hands on other than the one that our software solutions architects were already using.

What other advice do I have?

For what it says it can do, it does a good job, but using it is too difficult. When the young lady demonstrated it, we thought, "Oh, this is great." Then, when we went to go use it, and thought, "Oh, my God, it was just too difficult."

Biggest lesson learnt: The ability to really do a function framework and integrate the data associated with the function.

I would rate it as a four out of 10. If you're going to break it out by its functionality, I would give it a seven or eight, but then I would put the ease of use very low. We didn't move forward with it. We couldn't demonstrate it to our senior leadership to say, "Look what this tool can do." We never got good enough at it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
DR
Enterprise Architect at a aerospace/defense firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Automatic diagramming saves hours of work, automatically generating diagrams based on updated data

Pros and Cons

  • "I have not seen capabilities for web-sharing and interaction with the architecture from any other supplier. It's a great capability..."
  • "By placing the data and the metadata into a model, which is what the tool does, you gain the abilities for linkages between different objects in the model, linkages that you cannot get on paper or with Visio or PowerPoint. That is a huge discriminator."
  • "With the Excel importing, the "up to date" part is the challenge. If we had a real-time integration, we could keep things up to date for whatever kinds of change points we had. With Excel, it is more that you have to export from one system then import it to another, so it's better for data that doesn't change that often."

What is our primary use case?

I mostly use it for enterprise architectural work, doing business process modeling and high-level strategic modeling with its capabilities. 

Others in our company are using it for IT infrastructure, such as aligning requirements to system solutions; that kind of architectural work. 

We don't use it much for the data architecture capability it has. That's actually where Erwin started, it's their strength. They're one of the premier companies in that space. I'm not a database architect, but I'm aware that it's a great product in that space. We just haven't used it much for that.

We just upgraded to the 2018 version. We were using the 2015 version, the Casewise Suite and Evolve. So we're a bit behind.

How has it helped my organization?

It's helped us advance in our capabilities to perform model-based systems engineering, and also model-based enterprise architecture; in those two domains. By placing the data and the metadata into a model, which is what the tool does, you gain the abilities for linkages between different objects in the model, linkages that you cannot get on paper or with Visio or PowerPoint. That is a huge discriminator.

In addition, the solution’s web platform tells us which insights have been accessed the most. That provides us with clues as to what are the most important things to our stakeholders, so we can better adapt to their needs.

I use the automatic diagramming features a lot. When one of Erwin's company reps showed that to me a couple of years ago, I was stunned. That saves hours of work in diagramming. That capability is something I have not seen in other suppliers' tools. That really helps too with when your data is up to date. The tool will then automatically generate the updated diagram based on the data, so you know it's always the most current version. You can't do that in things like Visio and PowerPoint. They're static snapshots of a diagram at some point in time. This is live and dynamic.

What is most valuable?

There are two valuable features. One is the ease of use with configuration management control. From what I understand, there are other solutions out there and they can be really problematic. It's just seamless with the Casewise tool.

The other feature is the Evolve product. I have not seen capabilities for web-sharing and interaction with the architecture from any other supplier. It's a great capability and I've been promoting that for a number of years. Currently, my colleagues don't yet use Evolve to experiment and suggest changes that can be published back into our live model. That's a cultural thing that we're trying to get people used to. We want them to move away from PowerPoint and Visio and work in the model. That's a great feature that will provide a lot of benefits. But it's a cultural problem that we're trying to overcome.

The collaborative web modeling capability has helped somewhat with the speed and quality of designs, but because of that cultural barrier, again, it hasn't reached its full potential. I've used it a lot to show things to executives and to provide a link to them so they can review the models. People see the value, but what I'm not getting, at the developer/peer-reviewer level, is people to really collaborate. But for sharing information with project managers and executives, we've had some successes there.

Erwin EA provides superior, exemplar capabilities to scale across all stakeholders. The product is incredibly flexible. It comes with tons of capabilities, but you can also customize the tool if you need to. 

The fact that admin tasks are performed through a desktop application means it's very easy to use. That works quite well. It's very easy to administer.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using EA Agile for about five years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think it scales well. We've done some looking into the licensing and how many people can use it. It has good scalability features. It can support multiple users with different levels of access, from "full access," to "some access," to "read-only access," so it gets to a wide user community.

We have between 50 to 100 users. They include administrators, enterprise architects, systems architects, and we have project management, executives, and business stakeholders who are looking at the read-only portions of the data. We build the enterprise systems architectures and those stakeholders have the ability, with read-only, to look into the latest, up-to-date diagrams.

Our use is corporate-wide — and we're a big company with around 90,000 employees. We don't use it extensively throughout the corporation; it's used in a couple of domain areas. We are trying to expand the usage of it a bit.

For deployment of the solution and its maintenance, the people involved are not full-time on those tasks, but there are somewhere between two and four people who have a hand in the actual deployment of the system.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support personnel are fantastic. Just the other day I was on the phone again with one of the support personnel who was giving me some advice on how to do something I was trying to accomplish. They have great support.

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

We used the Erwin Data Modeler tool in the past, before we went to the EA tool. We went with EA to perform enterprise architecture and systems architecture work in a modeling solution. That's the driving reason to use these kinds of high-end tools.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

This was done about 10 years ago, and I didn't lead that study. A friend of mine did. I do remember that they looked at Magic Tour, Rhapsody, and Systems Enterprise Architect.

What other advice do I have?

Erwin EA Agile is very easy to use. It has great web-sharing of architecture to many different stakeholders, so that you can socialize your architecture.

One of the things I was most interested in, in the 2018 version we just deployed, is the pan and zoom capability. I haven't tried it yet because we just got it running yesterday.

We have not used a lot of the solution's integration capabilities with other tools in our system, yet. What we have done is a lot of Excel import and export, and that works fantastically. I've done some experimentation with the Visio import and export, and that is helpful. What we haven't done yet is direct connections with other modeling tools or our other systems of record, but it's something we are looking into. With the Excel importing, the "up to date" part is the challenge. If we had a real-time integration, we could keep things up to date for whatever kinds of change points we had. With Excel, it is more that you have to export from one system then import it to another, so it's better for data that doesn't change that often.

In terms of the comprehensiveness of the data when importing from Excel, it's fine. You can get a lot of data from Excel and bring it in. As an example, well over a year ago we were going through a major merger. People were collecting information in Excel about all the interfaces between all the systems, theirs and ours, and how we were going to reconcile them. I was able to take that spreadsheet, that had 250 integrations in it, and rapidly, in less than a half an hour, bring them into the model and start showing diagrams that visualize that data. That was huge.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
DF
Global Enterprise Architect and Catalogue of Business Solutions Manager at a recruiting/HR firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Enables people, not in the same location, to access IP data in a simple way using the web interface

Pros and Cons

  • "We use erwin Evolve to publish to the website. This allows us to enable publishing our website using parameterisation features. In a very fast, quick way, we can publish a table or chart onto a website."
  • "The way that we are using it for application management, we have several KPIs. We want to follow and monitor them regarding a number of solutions. We cannot calculate this today. We would like real-time calculations along with the KPIs in order to improve the user experience. We would like the tool to be able to display this, not only as signals, but as charts."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for the registration of any IT solution. This solution is now linked to our CMDB (our technical asset management database). We also use it for its business capabilities support, e.g., business subjects or business data used by each application to understand what we are doing with solutions and trying to rationalize it as much as possible for our entire worldwide team.

erwin is for all users and the chief distributor of the web interface. From the admin side, we are using the back-end of erwin to try and do data modeling.

People use this solution for many IT functions. It can be an IT business partner looking for IT solutions in other countries, a project manager or architect looking to implement a solution, or IT leaders getting KPIs on a report.

We are using their SaaS version hosted by Azure. Therefore, we are using the latest version.

How has it helped my organization?

We use erwin Evolve to publish to the website. This allows us to enable publishing our website using parameterisation features. In a very fast, quick way, we can publish a table or chart onto a website.

This is the first time that we have a central repository in our company where we can see and look at all the legacy applications which are used to serve the world. We are able to consolidate all our new solutions/technologies and plan some standards in our company.

Its reports show our IT landscape and we can better understand how technology is communicating.

It's taking the place more and more of our daily usage, as a way to consume information since it's more concentrated. While I don't think it will become critical, it will become more useful on a daily basis in order to plan and follow IT transformation.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature for us is the visibility to open and enable notifications to the web interface for users that we want to prevent. Therefore, we are able to maintain their data as they are spread out across the world, and it's consolidated into one singular repository. This is necessary to enable people who are not in the same location to access IP data in a very simple way using the web interface. The second reason it is quite useful - anybody in the company can consult and access the data.

It is quite user-friendly.

We are also using erwin DT for integration to a wider ecosystem. It's a way to be able link erwin with the CMDB, which is technology with a layer to a server, etc. So, we automate and link with the assets or technical components of each server to solutions.

What needs improvement?

The web interface could be more user-friendly. 

When you are publishing in the IT landscape, there is no real way right now to have a template that can alter the automated CS. 

The way that we are using it for application management, we have several KPIs. We want to follow and monitor them regarding a number of solutions. We cannot calculate this today. We would like real-time calculations along with the KPIs in order to improve the user experience. We would like the tool to be able to display this, not only as signals, but as charts. 

For how long have I used the solution?

One year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is not a critical solution. We have faced some challenges and issues with the tool, especially in the beginning. Many of these have been solved. It is now stable regarding the needs that we have.

One person is required for maintenance and deployment of this solution. We have a developer who does the development and enhancement of the product. As the enterprise architect, I do the design and deployment.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Anybody from the company has access to the information; it is free internally. There are 1,000 users from IT in our group. So, everyone is not accessing the tool on a daily basis. Approximately 60 percent of the staff is getting onto the tool on a weekly basis in order to dig into the information. 

How are customer service and technical support?

There is the willingness to really support the customer. However, it can be improved to become more efficient. Overall, I am quite satisfied with it.

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

We previously used MEGA HOPEX. We switched for two main reasons:

  1. The cost. 
  2. The complexity of media texts which was making it really difficult to maintain and share with other architects. 

In the end, MEGA HOPEX was really powerful tool. However, if you're not spending your days on it, you can quickly lose how to do things on it. 

How was the initial setup?

I did the initial setup. The deployment was very fast.

The initial setup is quite fast compared to other tools on the market. After a day or two day of training, it's quite easy to really get into the tool to manage and develop it.

Each time we want to get into more complex features. We need to dig in to understand them. Their user guides for this can be improved.

Our implementation strategy took a big longer. The way we did it, we ensured to involve all our key stakeholders who were contributing data during the design phase. So, they were able to influence the way we were designing the data modeling and so on.

To ensure that the stakeholders were aware and familiar with the tool's usage, we did a trial version. When looking at the trial version, we considered whether we could add some capabilities. For example, could we adapt the user interface to be more user-friendly? Also, adding integration of our solution to the CMDB.

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

On a yearly basis, our licensing costs are 50,000 euro. There are no additional costs because we are on a SaaS model.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated about 10 product besides erwin, such as MEGA HOPEX, Signavio, BiZZdesign, and LeanIX

What other advice do I have?

We didn't have the perfect design on the paper before starting to implement it. We just started to implement it, then tried to use it. It is better to try and hope than wait and miss out.

Adoption is not connected to any tool with enterprise architecture. The capacity of people to feel the benefit of enterprise activities will be from going through education and a commitment on behalf of key people. 

I see a willingness in the company to add new features. Though, I don't feel they are pushing the solution hard enough.

I would rate the solution as an eight (out of 10).

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
JM
IT Director at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Helped us come to a standardization of our processes and procedures across multiple divisions

Pros and Cons

  • "There is a model behind it. It's really nice that the Evolve front-end, as it builds a website, keeps those relationships in mind. You can even go to a procedure and see all the applications that are related to it. Then you can go into that application and see all the standard operating procedures that that application is a part of. It's just very connected."
  • "I would like it to be easier to make changes and then deploy them into production, especially when you have multiple web servers or front-ends. It would be nice to make a change and then have it propagate to the production servers in a more automated fashion."

What is our primary use case?

We have grown through acquisition so we have a number of different divisions throughout our company. There was an initiative to develop standard operating procedures to be used across all the divisions. We needed a way to be able to present the information to our employees in an easy to consume manner. We use Casewise to be able to capture that information and store it and we use Evolve to be able to present it in a user-friendly way, for consumption.

How has it helped my organization?

The product is a repository for our procedures and what it really helped improve are the processes that we want in place to gather the standard operating procedures. As part of the governance around that, we had a team that represented all the divisions and we had to get to consensus on a way to document a procedure that would work across all the divisions; to get some sort of standardization and agreement. The Evolve tool was a real impetus to have that happen. To put it into the tool, they had to go through that governance process, to really do some standardization on our processes and procedures. Then we were able to put them in the tool. Now, in projects across the US, they're able to find the standard operating procedures to help them on their jobs.

The process of capturing all the standard operating procedures forced us to come to an agreement across all the divisions, as far as standardization goes. That was really huge. It was something that was really needed. Going through that effort enabled us to become more a single company, as opposed to independent divisions where each had its own way of doing things.

The solution provides output for users across our whole organization. Now, there's a website that everybody has access to and they can look at the policies in our company and at our procedures, including the application catalog and the different parts of our enterprise organization.

What is most valuable?

I really like the way it's not just independent content. There is a model behind it. It's really nice that the Evolve front-end, as it builds a website, keeps those relationships in mind. You can even go to a procedure and see all the applications that are related to it. Then you can go into that application and see all the standard operating procedures that that application is a part of. It's just very connected. I really like that it provides an object-relationship view of your organization.

Our workforce uses tablets and mobile phones while in the field.  Evolve's responsive web design allows access to the information in an intuitive manner across all devices.

What needs improvement?

I would like it to be easier to make changes in development/testing and then deploy them into production more easily; especially when you have multiple web servers. It would be nice to make a change and then have it propagate to the production servers in a more automated fashion.

I wouldn't mind seeing some improvements in the way Communicator for Word formats the text when data from the model is merged with a word template.

For how long have I used the solution?

We started the project of implementing erwin a little over five years ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It seems pretty stable. We don't have very many issues with it. Since everything was set up and it was put in production, it has been pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have multiple web servers haven't had any issues with the scalability.

It has already been rolled out to everybody in the company, so I don't know if we will be increasing usage. About 2,500 users touch the content of the solution as part of their daily roles in our organization. We have one person responsible for maintenance of the solution, the solution's architect.

How are customer service and technical support?

Erwin's technical support for this product is very good. They're very responsive and they take ownership of the issues. I've been really pleased with their support.

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

We used Word documents in a SharePoint library so it wasn't a very easy-to-use system. We went with erwin because we liked the flexibility of being able to create the objects with the attributes and relationships that fit our organization. We also liked the usability that the Evolve product provides as a front-end interface that could be used on desktops and mobile devices.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. You can do a lot of customization, so you can get pretty deep into it. But it did not seem overly complex to me.

The project itself took about nine months, but a lot of that was gathering the content, not just the deployment of applications.

We did everything in a development environment and then, once we tested it, we made the changes to  the production environment. 

We had held in-person training and published micro-learning videos to help with rollout.

What about the implementation team?

We had help from Casewise professional services on the initial modeling of the organization with the tool.  We also used a third-party for some advanced customization but most of the deployment was done internally with help from their very supportive help desk.

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

The licensing enables you to differentiate between people who edit the content and the people who consume it. We are able to keep the licensing costs down by keeping the "contributor" licenses to a minimum, and we then just roll out the content in a read-only version for the rest of our users. They're able to view the content with just a Social license.

What other advice do I have?

Think about the overall processes and governance of your company. If you're trying to do it as a business management system, just getting to consensus on the content may be the most challenging aspect.  You have to plan for enough time to get build the content before you can actually put it into Casewise.

Also, think through the object model and the relationships. Try to get that done correctly upfront. It's better to put enough design and thought upfront and it will pay dividends down the line.

We would like to use the solution's collaborative web modeling capability, but we took a more document centric approach to start with.   We would like to build process maps to be able to visually describe our processes in a future phase.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.