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K2 Competitors and Alternatives

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Abdurrahman Gori
Technical Manager at a comms service provider with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Component reusability saves us development time, but the learning curve is too steep

Pros and Cons

  • "The best feature is the automation."
  • "The only drawback is the time that it takes to have a complete set of workflows implemented on the Camunda platform."

What is our primary use case?

We use Camunda for the automation of the workflow and business process designer. We use the module cockpit and the workflow engine to orchestrate the process. We are a consulting company and we're not doing this for internal purposes. We mostly do this for projects, and these projects are for our clients.

The environment where we work is very dynamic and is changing a lot. So based on the circumstances, we mostly work on the delivery parts, as in project deliveries. At the beginning of the year, we have a clear scope, clear targets, but down the road, we face a lot of challenges where we face many dependencies. We need to constantly go around the dependencies and change things back and forth.

We have a lot of experience in the development, on the ERP, and so forth. We have seen that investing in a tool like Camunda is valuable, especially because it's an open-source product. When you do the customization, you'll be enriching and increasing the automation possibility of the product. So, the value is always increasing.

What is most valuable?

The best feature is the automation.

Camunda supports microservices and you can do multiple things. The most important thing is that you can reuse components that you have within the product. For example, let's say that I developed a workflow for a quality review; that is a workflow that can be reused in any new process. I can just ship it, plug-and-play, copy it, and reuse all of the features and components that are there. It means that I won't be spending too much time in terms of development to put it in place. To me, that is the most valuable thing about the product.

What needs improvement?

The only drawback is the time that it takes to have a complete set of workflows implemented on the Camunda platform. This is from drawing the modeling and the workflow up to the production release.

The support definitely has to be improved.

Second, it needs to be more intuitive. As it is now, to develop an automated process in Camunda, you would need to involve a front end developer, backend developer, and sometimes, someone who has experience with modeling. Where in Appian and Pega, you would be able to simply reduce these overheads by creating the process, the flow, and converting it within certain boundaries into the automated process.

The visualization part can definitely be improved. You can see the process moving live, but if you have a complex design where you would like to show the process in a different shape, that takes a lot of customization and a lot of coding effort to put this in place. The visualization needs not a little or a medium amount of work, but rather, it requires a lot of improvement. At the end of the day, we have the process, we have the workflow, we have the event, we have everything. However, what the people see at the end of the day is what they believe. So sometimes we know that we do have a lot of data and a lot of information, but we fail to represent this information in a way that meets or addresses the business requirements. Better visualization capabilities would help in this regard.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Camunda BPM for almost two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I would say that it is stable, at least up to a certain extent. Whenever there is an update to the product available, we go ahead and update it to the latest.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a scalable platform. We have about 600 users and about 20 superusers. The superusers are developers, admins, and process engineers. They are a mix of process, business support, mobile app developers, and so forth.

How are customer service and technical support?

Support is an area that is in need of improvement.

First, they don't have a strong knowledge center. If there is a challenge or there is an issue and you would like to look around, it's not straightforward. Their knowledge center does not address most of the challenges that a person who goes through the cycle from scratch. In building the process and building the products and building the workflow, a person will go through a painful process if they don't have enough experience.

When I say enough experience, I mean a minimum of 16 to 18 months. If someone doesn't have this experience on Camunda, it will be difficult and they will suffer to get things up to speed. The learning curve is too high, so they can do more if they enrich their knowledge center.

The second problem is that the support services from Camunda are not straightforward. When we communicate with them, they have to evaluate you. Sometimes they charge you per workflow, but there is no standard model. It is difficult for us because we have an agreement with the client that at the beginning of that project, we put in our estimation as to the required resources in terms of the infrastructure resources, and in terms of logistic resources, and support. With Camunda, because of the undefined or non-standard costing, that becomes a challenge.

So sometimes we go to a client and we see that the support costs will be much higher than the benefit of the digitalization. That's an example where we decide to do only the modeling for that client using Camunda and the classic workflow development will take place. This is the case, especially for small and medium businesses. For enterprise clients, definitely, we always go with full-fledged support.

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

I have limited experience with Appian and Pega BPM, but my most in-depth experience is with Camunda BPM. We did a pilot project with Appian for one or two months and we did one with Pega for about one month.

During our evaluation, we have seen that there are pros and cons to all of them.

We also used K2 as one of the platforms, as well as Microsoft BPM. The Microsoft product was a combination between Dynamics and SharePoint and so forth, it was really rigid. Similarly, K2 has a lot of limitations.

This is important because once we get the business requirements, we adapt to the system. We don't force the business to change, especially in this region. We are in the Middle East, Gulf area, and working with the government sector means that they have their own standards that we need to comply with. They have their own procedures where the tools, the IT, and the process have to be adjusted to meet their requirements. For example, consider a supply chain and the procurement process. This is different from one organization to another.

This is the main thing that holds us back from investing in a system like Pega. Pega, to a certain extent, is good. It has most of the capabilities. It also gives you the room to customize to the extent that you feel fit. However, the cost is too high. When we talk about the licensing costs and the customization costs, it's extremely expensive and out of reach.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not straightforward. The complex part was to load or update the backlogged events. So if I have a process, which is already past the flow to a certain stage, after the implementation, if I did not start from scratch, you would need to make the data or the workflow that you have current with the process. Making it current with the live process monitoring is a nightmare. It takes a lot of development effort, a lot of data validation, and a lot of workarounds to bring this up to speed.

I have not seen that there is too much support in being able to bring in existing services. For example, if someone has an existing process, an existing instance with existing data, which is not linked, there is no explanation of what the best approach is and how to load and how to bring this into the new process and make it current, covering the backlog.

This is especially true if the backlog is something that would be crucial for some of the processes that are down-line. For example, in the case where you have a successor process where it depends on the predecessor too much in terms of the decision, and also in terms of that project. Normally, we deal with delivery on projects, so we look at the delivery and the forecast and the delays. So to see the project delays, sometimes we need to go back in time to see whether the delay was in the first stage or on the second stage or on the third stage. Based on this analysis, we always create our baseline by the end of the year and reiterate on our scopes at the beginning of the year.

What about the implementation team?

We have an in-house team of two resources that maintain the product.

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

The cost of this solution is better than some competing products.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is considering Camunda BPM is that they implementing a PoC first.

I would rate this solution a six out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
Samy Abushanab
Senior Software Development Team Leader at sejel
Real User
Top 10
An easy-to-use solution with great integration

Pros and Cons

  • "It's very simple to use and the integration features between Java and other services within the workflow are very easy."
  • "Our customers and developers have complained that the UI is a little bit confusing."

What is most valuable?

It's very simple to use and the integration features between Java and other services within the workflow are very easy. We're looking for something else because the licensing model they have is too expensive. We want something that's not specific to Java customization. I'm not that familiar with TIBCO, so right now I'm just telling you what I've heard from my colleagues. These are the key points that they raised. 

Currently, we have a mixed environment between Java web services and other network services. Mainly, the guys that are actually running the code are saying that the services that have been developed on the internet are experiencing some integration issues. That's the reason why we initiated an evaluation for other products.

What needs improvement?

It involves a lot of investment. The learning curve is not similar to other products, like K2. Regarding the user interface, I have to access workflows and define and manage the processes on the variant of a Windows application, which is not accessible if you don't have access from the client to install it on the workstation. And most of the solutions we're currently evaluating are web-based. Our customers and developers have complained that the UI is a little bit confusing. It has lots of elements. It's not user-intuitive compared to other products. Other than that, the licensing model is our main concern. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

TIBCO iProcess Suite is both scalable and stable. In fact, scalability is one of its core elements.

How are customer service and technical support?

From what I have heard from my colleagues, they are very satisfied with the technical support they have. They actually offer a number of online courses that we actually attended — they were great.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't involved in the initial setup. Everything was already in place by the time I started working for this company.

We have a pretty complex environment. My belief is that we have a couple of servers running TIBCO — roughly four or so. Right now we're using it as a central workflow engine for most of the services that we have, but most of these services were actually developed in the past five to ten years.

From the development perspective, we have around 15 developers working on TIBCO. Mainly we're using it as a workflow for automating processes and API communication. So it's not used as a workflow for forms or any UI applications; however, we have 50 API services that are actually currently utilizing the workflow engine.

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

The price could definitely be lower.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of nine. It's a very good product. Most of the services that we are running using TIBCO are in the back end. It's very stable and it's scalable. Our only concerns surround the pricing and the UI; if they corrected these issues, I would give them a rating of ten.

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.
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L'GHOUL Youcef
Digital Solution Engineer at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 5
Feature rich, affordable, and responsive technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "The SharePoint feature is a really good connection, there are many features that are good."
  • "The interface could be better and more language support is needed in the development environment or in the solutions platform in general."

What is our primary use case?

One use of the solution is for the leave request process end to end. Someone submits a request, there is verification, and then depending on the answer of the monitor of the human resources, a document is generated for a digital signature where the item is stored in SharePoint. 

What is most valuable?

The SharePoint feature is a really good connection, there are many features that are good. 

What needs improvement?

The interface could be better and more language support is needed in the development environment or in the solutions platform in general. Here in Algeria, we have clients wanting the solution to be in French instead of English.

In the future, I think it would be a benefit for the company to have a larger social media presence. This way more people would know about the solution and its benefits.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for approximately one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. For what I use it for, I have not had any problems or encountered any errors.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have two people using the solution in my company. We are building demos to show potential clients.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good.

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

I used previously K2, then after Nintex bought K2, we are now using them both. 

The main difference is K2 is used for complex and deep processes. While this solution is used for simple to moderately complicated processes.

How was the initial setup?

In the initial setup, I found there to be too much compromise in the cloud version. The cloud version is deployed in any environment with no problem. We did not install an optimized version for now, but I think it is not going to be complicated because it is on serval different SharePoints.

What about the implementation team?

We did the implementation ourselves and it took one week to do. The maintenance of the solution is done by Nintex on their end.

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

The price of this solution is affordable but the problem in Algeria is our community is a bit slower. The new clients might feel the solution is a bit expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have evaluated Kudzu and SAP CRMs previously. They both have CRM connections which are good.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to others.

I rate Nintex Workflow a nine out of ten.

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?

Other
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Get our free report covering Nintex, Camunda, IBM, and other competitors of K2. Updated: October 2021.
542,823 professionals have used our research since 2012.