erwin Evolve Valuable Features
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.View full review »
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.View full review »
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.
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.View full review »
Enterprise Architect at a aerospace/defense firm with 10,001+ employees
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.View full review »
Global Enterprise Architect and Catalogue of Business Solutions Manager at a recruiting/HR firm with 10,001+ employees
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.View full review »
IT Director at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
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.
Architecture Portfolio Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
The ability to share and collaborate on the solution is its most valuable feature.View full review »