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IBM Blueworks Live OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM Blueworks Live is #12 ranked solution in Business Process Design tools. IT Central Station users give IBM Blueworks Live an average rating of 8 out of 10. IBM Blueworks Live is most commonly compared to Visio:IBM Blueworks Live vs Visio. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 26% of all views.
What is IBM Blueworks Live?
IBM Blueworks Live is a cloud-based business process modeling tool that helps discover, map and document processes and accessible anywhere through a browser and that generates industry-standard BPMN 2.0 layouts, documentation and output. Tutorial videos guide you through creating and editing a simple process model, allowing you to learn and perform business process modeling in minutes.

IBM Blueworks Live is also known as IBM Lombardi Blueprint.

IBM Blueworks Live Buyer's Guide

Download the IBM Blueworks Live Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

IBM Blueworks Live Customers
Cloudsoft Corp. Ltd., Bayer, S¾SS, Essex County Council
IBM Blueworks Live Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about IBM Blueworks Live pricing:
  • "They have a free subscription model that gives a lot of power to the users."
  • "Making it less expensive would be good."

IBM Blueworks Live Reviews

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AM
Global Business Process Management Leader at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5
A Simple and cost-effective tool with responsive technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "For me, what I find to be the most valuable is its simplicity and the association with Microsoft Office."
  • "It is BPMN-compliant but the tool needs to be more involved to get into a completely 2.0 oriented tool. It has a few things but it's not the complete BPMN model."

What is our primary use case?

We have procured several licenses to perform any process transformation engagements that aid in the normal business processes.

The most typical use cases are the automation of the uplink and process documentation is one of the activities. The focus is more on process architecture and internal architecture.

Those are the areas and engagements that are preferred.

We provide our licenses to our clients to document their processes and create certain analyses. It is done in their environment and then we transfer the workspace into their environment.

What is most valuable?

For me, what I find to be the most valuable is its simplicity and the association with Microsoft Office. Typically when we talk of process designing, visual comes to our mindset.

It's quick to learn. The learning curve is very condensed.

The cloud version is very handy, but a specific feature that I like the most is the visual import. 72% more can happen through visuals. 

The quick transition from visual and the ability to show that onto a tool. We need a great import mechanism and with all of the tools that I have worked with, Blueworks is one of the best for importing the visual.

One of the other elements would be a quick design. We can create quickly and convert from one model into another model, such as from a discovery model into a process model, with just one click. It helps people like me when we are doing a ground paper approach and we are training the client and they are trying to document it. Now we can document it and show them the process benefits.

Currently, there is no other tool that is more cost-effective on the market.

What needs improvement?

The movement is similar to Aris, and Praga, it's very difficult for the users. 

Because it is cloud there has to be a satellite, but when it comes to the process of implementing the world is leaning towards more complex documentation. With the building model, they want to see with the integrated workflow, and automation systems that can be managed and controlled. They have the automation machines but they need more attributes, controls, encryption, and more information because right now it's limited and needs to be improved.

Better integration with specific systems.

There is no BPMN documentation. Currently, they only have a tool offering of processing the BPMN Model. There are no choreographic models or they don't have models where multiple lanes or tools can be created.

You can't specify a notation that is not BPMN and I would like to be able to use multiple lanes.

It is BPMN-compliant but the tool needs to be more involved to get into a completely 2.0 oriented tool. It has a few things but it's not the complete BPMN model. Adding more BPMN modules to it is an important next step.

While it is scalable, I don't see it being equal with other enterprise solutions.

In the next release, what I would like to see added is more speed from an architecture perspective, adding more press information, such as controls, and adding KPIs for performance indicators. I would also like the ability to set that because the functionality is more important. A process is not seen in just the transformation of input, output, and scalability.

There is a model that changes the way the client use processes.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for approximately two to four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is more a question regarding your connectivity because it is on the cloud.

It's very stable. We have never experienced any issues. 

If the connection is running slow, it depends on what the latency is. If it is hooked up into a high-speed network then it's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable within a scope. 

It goes hand in hand with stability and keeping the tool light and you can keep adding elements. As you add more elements, it becomes a heavy toolset that takes up more on the cloud which will take longer to connect, experiencing latency.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have contacted technical support and they are pretty good.

There are three levels required:

  1. The response time.
  2. The ability to resolve the issue in a reasonable time.
  3. Guiding us to the right type of finish.

At all levels, they meet the requirements and are pretty good.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

It's on the cloud, so as soon as we pay, it's setup. It's as simple as putting in the user ID and you have access.

What about the implementation team?

We had help with the implementation. I was not satisfied; they had no certification and there was no formal training. There is no certification in the market, but we have an alliance with IBM that provides us with technical assistance.

What was our ROI?

The cost-effectiveness is very high.

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

They have a free subscription model that gives a lot of power to the users.

What other advice do I have?

It's on the cloud so it automatically gets upgraded to the latest version.

My advice to others always ask questions, which is what I always tell my clients. You should be very observant, especially of why you are looking for processing. If your requirements are completely different from what the tool has to offer, then it will not be a good match and you will be setting up a recipe for a disaster.

Look into IBM Blueworks. It is an active light tool and is it a proper architecture tool, which can do a lot of analysis. If you are looking for such a tool then this product is for you. It is cost-effective compared to any tool on the market.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
StantonAttree
Principal Business Process Architect at Met Office
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to use and improves process maturity, but the costs are too high for a small organisation

Pros and Cons

  • "It has a built-in capability to capture process owners and managers against processes along with other process governance roles."
  • "The user interface is quite easy at first but process analysts soon run into roadblocks of limited functionality, which is disappointing."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is process discovery and modeling prior to process deployment using the IBM Business Process Manager (BPMS) solution. It includes the capture and management of process governance roles against processes such as process owners. This was in a publicly funded emergency services organisation.

How has it helped my organization?

It raised the process maturity of the organisation from a low level to a reasonable degree of awareness and introduced some process language and conventions to the organisation. The SaaS solution was quick to set up and use.

The solution is quite easy and visual to use for stakeholder collaboration such as during workshops.

It did improve process maturity and floated the idea of the process governance roles but the organisation lost interest and found new tools (toys) to play with.

Along with the IBM BPM solution, the costs escalated too much and were unsustainable for a relatively small organisation.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the support for BPMN 2.0 because it is an industry standard.

Blueworks is easy to use.  If you want a very simple quick and easy solution for fairly simple workflows, this is a good choice.

I believe that the APQC cross-industry process hierarchy and some linear single role workflows can be imported.

It has a built-in capability to capture process owners and managers against processes along with other process governance roles. The 'milestone' models are quite good for discovering architecture and then moving into workflow modeling.

What needs improvement?

The models produced are not sufficient to be imported and used by IBM Business Process Manager - the developers will need to use the IBM BPM modelling functionality to design processes.

The user interface is quite easy at first but process analysts soon run into roadblocks of limited functionality, which is disappointing.  For example, anything but a fairly simple 'happy path' workflow soon becomes tangled with the process flow lines being routed automatically and looking messy and off-putting for stakeholders.  In the version I used (I'm not sure if this is different now), a modeller cannot move any of the model components and re-route the flows; this can be mitigate by using the 'milestone' functionality which enables you to 'stage' a workflow - but this has limited effectiveness and also has the side effect of introducing artificial stages into the 'milestone' view of the model.

The workflow management functionality is so basic it was almost pointless. I was looking for some functionality and realised there isn't any - it is just a list of tasks which get sent as emails to users.  Again, very simple 'happy path' workflow.  If that is all you need, then this produce is fine but there are other similarly-priced solutions that have more extensive user forms, document and email generation etc. that can be configured closer to a full SaaS application.

IBM had an alternative product that was more comprehensive in its functionality but this was discontinued.


For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Blueworks Live for 24 months, with 12 months in each of two different organisations.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We had a few performance issues occasionally that frustrated the team.

How are customer service and technical support?

Not too bad.

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

I've used this in two organisations between 2012 and 2017 - the functionality didn't seem to have changed much from my perception as an end user.

How was the initial setup?

Very easy browser-based, cloud-hosted SaaS solution - the way most solutions are heading.

What about the implementation team?

In the first instance, direct with IBM; in the second instance, via a reseller.

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

It's fairly cheap and scalable for simple process discovery applications.  It is easy to use.  There are more comprehensive solutions at a similar price.  Beware that there is a minimum contract period and some fixed annual costs.  With a larger number of users, it would like make sense to switch to a proper BPMS such as Appian (although I've not used Appian).

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Not really, it was recommended by IBM as part of the IBM BPM package.  Other solutions (Hitachi) were evaluated against this but I was not part of that process.

What other advice do I have?

Unless you really want a simple solution for process discovery only and value simplicity over the ability to exploit more functionality, I see Signavio as a much better option.  Of course, IBM may develop Blueworks.

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?

IBM
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about IBM Blueworks Live. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
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BM
Director of Professional Services at a aerospace/defense firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
Great standardization across our organization to do all our process mapping on one platform

Pros and Cons

  • "This solution is good at utilizing standards rules for connectivity."
  • "Spaces are not well organized; space controls are lacking."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of this solution is for business process mapping for clients that come on board with us. We use it for engineering work, mapping their processes, evaluating their concerns with a process mapping exercise, and then providing recommendations for the engineering. I'm the director of professional services and we are customers of IBM Blueworks. 

How has it helped my organization?

Blueworks has provided us with a steady set of templates to utilize for mapping. We were previously using different platforms for some of the geos, but Blueworks has given us a consistent standardization across the organization to do all our process mapping on one platform.

What is most valuable?

I like the way this solution utilizes standards rules for connectivity. We develop a map which can't be done arbitrarily, it requires following a series of rules for adding decision boxes or connecting activities with one another, that kind of thing. I love the control factor.

What needs improvement?

I think the spaces could be improved, it's not well organized so it's really convoluted. Instead of having spaces represented by any sub-sections of a process, the space controls are lacking. If there were better user controls for user grouping, it would be simpler to develop groups and reduce visibility across the entire organization. Currently, people have access to processes they may not need for editing, but they'd like to view them, and those controls could be expanded. It's really about improving user management and space controls. It's really hard to litigate and control who has access to what.

For additional features, I'd like to see better tools for creating documentation associated with the processes, so that if you're looking for specific information regarding a process of the space, you could do a search and find it without having to go through a process. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for six years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've been pleased with the stability. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good. It's gotten more complex recently, but adding users is very easy to do. It's not a problem once you get to the tech support people. We have seven users and they're business and technical analysts or project coordinators. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward, it took less than two hours. The solution was implemented in-house. 

What other advice do I have?

Mostly because of the usability, user management and space controls, I rate this solution a nine out of 10. 

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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ThongHuynh
Senior Technical Analyst at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Good for collaboration, supports the BPM language, and very stable

Pros and Cons

  • "Collaboration is most valuable. You can collaborate online with many people. People can comment, and you can comment back. It is just like a social network, and that, for me, is very good."
  • "There should be an option to import from and export to Microsoft Visio. Being able to move files back and forth between Blueworks Live and Visio would be good."

What is most valuable?

Collaboration is most valuable. You can collaborate online with many people. People can comment, and you can comment back. It is just like a social network, and that, for me, is very good.

It is easy to make diagrams in this solution. It is running pretty well for me.

What needs improvement?

Anything to support printing out a big diagram would be good. Most often, we like to print the models out on a large piece of paper. It might already be able to do that, and there is probably a button to make a PDF version for an A0 paper size.

There should be an option to import from and export to Microsoft Visio. Being able to move files back and forth between Blueworks Live and Visio would be good.

They can make it less expensive.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for two or three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We don't have a lot of people using it. It is just for the analyst team. So, we never had to think about scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

IBM's support is good in Australia. They provide a response to us fairly quickly and within a day or so.

How was the initial setup?

There is no installation. It is an online solution, so all we need to do is log in. 

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

Making it less expensive would be good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated ARIS and Visio (from Microsoft). We chose this product because it supports the BPM language, and that's what we want to adopt into our business.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution. It is pretty good. I am pretty happy with it.

I would rate IBM Blueworks Live a nine out of 10.

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