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MEGA HOPEX Alternatives and Competitors

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Olga Lucia Salgado
Senior Enterprise Architect at a manufacturing company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 10
Helps us decide where we should invest in our IT portfolio, and will help us with mitigating risk in our landscape

Pros and Cons

  • "I like the flexibility of the modeling part for standards like ArchiMate and, at same time, BPMN. It allows us to connect elements from different areas and to have a single repository and a single source of truth. It gives us one place to do analysis throughout the organization."
  • "There is room for improvement in making it more seamless between the modeling and the analysis pieces. Sometimes you have to do some work in the backend to ensure that the HoriZZon portal really gets all of the information the way you want it. They are working on the seamlessness between what they call Enterprise Studio and HoriZZon."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for enterprise architecture information, with the main purpose today being to analyze our IT investment portfolio and the architecture related to it. That includes process, data, applications, and infrastructure. We collect all of that information by each of our initiatives or projects and we analyze it there. It gives us a single source of data.

We're using the latest cloud version.

How has it helped my organization?

It requires a lot of effort to really standardize and have a single source of truth. All of that effort can pay off when we scale and grow more and we can keep building on top of that. The functionality allows us to do that, even though I don't think we are using the full range of its capabilities yet. Because we are using the cloud version, they keep bringing new functionality. That sometimes allows us to do things in a better way.

We now have one way for communicating between IT and business, and that's true, as well, for our partners or implementers when we do IT projects. That way, everybody is talking about the same elements and we don't have different versions to refer to. The benefit is mainly in communication and collaboration.

In addition, the HoriZZon portal allows us to generate visualizations and charts that can be understood by people who aren't enterprise architects. We just started using that more extensively one month ago. It requires some understanding of how the data source works, but after you get to that point, it's pretty easy to start generating charts and information that non-technical people will get and understand. And at the end of the day, that is our purpose: to communicate to our broader audience. These visualizations and charts help business stakeholders assess and make investment decisions on technology to really optimize our IT investments, and they provide the right capabilities to achieve this strategy.

It will also help us to quickly identify where there are risks in our technology portfolio. We are implementing some metrics that allow us to measure and do a risk assessment of our applications. So far we have prepared all of the foundations to allow us to start creating that type of analysis. This is a very important aspect because it's a way that we can provide value to the organization, from the architectural perspective. So it's not only to help on the investment side, but also to prevent risk. In terms of putting plans in place to mitigate those risks, we are not there yet, but I think it will. We are still more at the stage of implementing the methodology, determining how we do assessments, and creating all of the metrics. When we finish those pieces, we will be able to use it to make decisions and plans.

BiZZdesign helps us look at everything in our enterprise architecture through a business capability lens, rather than in EA language. We are translating almost every single action from the infrastructure or technical level into what it means in terms of our capabilities or functionality.

The solution also brings high visibility into the costs of how we are set up in our infrastructure. It comes down to two main areas: helping us to decide where we should put our investment in the portfolio, and at the same time, how we mitigate risk in our current landscape. Of course, that includes costs. But because we are just building the foundation, we haven't done that yet, but that's what we are going to end up using it for: our IT investments and analyzing our operating models.

What is most valuable?

I like the flexibility of the modeling part for standards like ArchiMate and, at same time, BPMN. It allows us to connect elements from different areas and to have a single repository and a single source of truth. It gives us one place to do analysis throughout the organization. I also like the dashboards.

Its breadth of capabilities is very good from the modeling perspective, as it really covers all of the standards that we use in our company and even some that we haven't really used yet. I'm sure we will use those others as well because we keep growing our information.

What needs improvement?

They are already working on this, but there is room for improvement in making it more seamless between the modeling and the analysis pieces. Sometimes you have to do some work in the backend to ensure that the HoriZZon portal really gets all of the information the way you want it. They are working on the seamlessness between what they call Enterprise Studio and HoriZZon. It's something we have voiced to their team and I believe it's in their roadmap.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using BiZZdesign HoriZZon since May of 2019.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is pretty good. I have never lost any data, even if my connection has gone down. Because it's on the cloud, you really need to have an internet connection all the time if you're using it. But whenever my connection has gone off, I have never lost data.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

So far, the scalability is pretty good. We could keep growing and adding a lot more use cases that we don't have today.

We want to keep growing more use cases, more metrics, more analyses, and that means getting more data into it. One of the bigger challenges is how we ensure that the data is consistent and that it's the right data. And we need more people to maintain that data. Ideally, you should be connected to the source, even if it's done automatically with less people. That's where we need to keep growing, to make the ingestion of data more automatic.

How are customer service and technical support?

Our experience with their technical support has been very good. They have a system where you raise a ticket in their online support. By answering different questions you are able to raise how critical the issue is. For the ones that I have raised that were very critical—and that has only happened on a couple of occasions—they have responded very quickly; within one hour. For the other ones that are not that critical, there is still a good response time. Overall, it's pretty good.

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

We were using Excel and Visio and SharePoint. In addition, I and maybe one other person were using the free software called Archi, which has some modeling capabilities based on ArchiMate. We are still using Visio for business process modeling and that's mainly because it's quite expensive to give licenses to everybody. So some people are creating business process models in Visio, and then we upload them to BiZZdesign. We also still have a lot of data in SharePoint.

We brought in BiZZdesign to have consistency in our information and so that we don't have to update an Excel file 10 times, just to produce one analysis. With Excel we also didn't know which one was the latest version and that created a lot of challenges. Now we know the information is in one place and that we should just be looking there from now on.

In terms of making the business case for bringing on BiZZdesign, the vendor helped by providing insights and charts we could share with business leaders. We also got some guidance from third-party reviews. We agreed that we needed an enterprise architecture tool to help us to mature and organize our information and analysis. After that, it was more a matter of which one to choose, and that came down to a cost-benefit analysis. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward because we are using the cloud version. The part that took us slightly longer, but it was not that bad, was to ensure that our IT directory was connected to BiZZdesign. We used the same security setup that we have in the company. But that was okay.

We did the whole implementation within three months. It only took a couple of weeks to have the system running, and after that it was more up to us to decide and define how we were going to start using the tool. The tool is really open to whatever you are using in your company. So there's some work to do in defining your metamodels and what kind of data you want in it, and around how to implement or define the processes that you want around management of data.

What about the implementation team?

We used consultancy services from BiZZdesign. They were with us for four days. They not only helped us to learn how to use the tool, but from the enterprise architecture perspective, they showed us how to take advantage of it as well. That was pretty good.

From our side there were just three people involved. And that was more because of the data that we wanted to collect from different areas. We had to understand the current situation, what information we had available and whether we could upload it straight into BiZZdesign or we needed to do some compression of the data to allow us to use it.

Our whole team is involved in maintaining it. Everybody is responsible for their own information, so everybody has to add different pieces. Ours is a small team today with seven people, although I am the sole administrator. The team of seven is using the modeling piece and ensuring the data is being collected, but we have around 80 users who are reading and consuming the information from HoriZZon. They are mainly the IT community, in different IT areas. We have some business users, what we call "business sponsors," at least one per function. We also have an internal auditing team that is doing all of the analysis of risk in BiZZdesign.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI, but more from the non-financial benefits. The ROI is that our architectural practice has matured and BiZZdesign tools have supported that maturity process.

The speed to value is more dependent on the team than the tool. It's more a matter of the number of resources and the amount of time that we can dedicate to it, rather than the tool having any limitations. But the time to value is pretty fast, considering that we are a small team.

It took us almost a year to start showing value, and we are still in that process. It's only now that we have the foundation there and have established the processes where we can start seeing the different analyses and perspectives.

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

There are no costs in addition to their standard licensing fees.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated MEGA, Orbus and LeanIX.

LeanIX didn't have the whole modeling capability and we really wanted that. Orbus was connected to Microsoft and, in theory, that gave us some good options, but their pricing model was based on every single functionality having a price. The pricing was comparable but if we wanted to scale, it would have ended up being a lot more expensive. BiZZdesign gave us one price with all of the functionality, and we could scale as much as we needed.

What other advice do I have?

Start simple and be consistent and understand what is the longer-term vision, as well. That way, you know what the next step is and can keep growing in that direction. If you try to start with a complex model and to capture every single piece of data that is important from the beginning, it's going to be a bit bigger task. And because you really need to start showing value, you need to start with a small amount of information and keep growing from there.

HoriZZon, is an important part of the solution. For any use case that you create, you should really create it in parallel on the HoriZZon dashboard and analyses. That will allow you to start showing the value of the information that you are putting in to a bigger community. We took slightly longer to start doing that.

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.
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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.
AH
Software Architect at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Practical and user-friendly with good documentation

Pros and Cons

  • "It's a very practical solution. You don't need to do an advanced course to start using this tool."
  • "Sparx can be a bit slow. If you are trying to design software architecture, sometimes we run into issues and need to refresh."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for modeling. We've tried to map a set of fields and we have and combined it with the processes of the company.

We wanted something that included all of the shapes represented in the software architecture solutions of our company. We created near 2,000 products that we have in the company. We used this product, as well as HOPEX, which we also bought, to represent the software architecture of our solutions and the mapping within the processes of the company.

What is most valuable?

If you compare the price of MEGA HOPEX with Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect, Sparx is cheaper.

It's a very practical solution. You don't need to do an advanced course to start using this tool.

It offers great intricacy. You can really do many kinds of models. You don't have to design certain designs in another tool. It even allows enterprise architecture to be modeled within it. 

The solution is very user-friendly. When you draw a diagram to model the architecture, it's very flexible. If you have a double standard, you can use the tool. You can use UML Ultimate if you like. If you have a different set of standards for certain models, you can put those in. 

The documentation and the articles they have on offer are pretty decent.

What needs improvement?

Sparx can be a bit slow. If you are trying to design software architecture, sometimes we run into issues and need to refresh. HOPEX also occasionally needs to be refreshed as well, actually.

The product has a unified view or a unified database with some limited functionality in the models. In the same database, it can create some problems. I don't know if the problem is that maybe there is a communication issue or we just have too many models in the company. When we're starting the scaling it started to become less capable. We've had trouble with access on the corporate usage level.

For how long have I used the solution?

We started using this solution around 2018 or 2019. It's been a few years at this point.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I'm not sure how well this product can scale. We have a lot of models and it seems we have reached our limit. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The solution does seem to offer helpful documentation. 

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

We are using both Sparx Systems and MEGA HOPEX. Our organization bought both solutions. 

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

Sparx is less expensive than, for example, HOPEX. 

We have a server license for the product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We work with both Sparx and HOPEX, and therefore we can easily compare them. Sparx, for example, is less expensive. However, it can run slow sometimes and needs to be refreshed. HOPEX sometimes has the same issue in terms of needing an occasional refresh.

We find Sparx to be more useable as well. It's less technical.

What other advice do I have?

We are customers and end-users. We don't have a business relationship with the company.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten. We are very happy with the product overall. 

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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Peter Vlekkekn
Team leader and Data / Information Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 10
A pragmatic tool that's easy to use and offers good data modeling

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is a very pragmatic tool. It's quite easy to use."
  • "It would be helpful if there were glossary, catalog and governance tools. It would help make it a true end-to-end product."

What is our primary use case?

Often, a customer will want to migrate from another solution onto PowerDesigner. That's how I primarily use the solution: migrating things over to this solution.

We use it to set up the conceptual model. From there, we will take the physical model, where we can start the different DDLs. We will use it to generate the DDLs for the database teams to implement it.

What is most valuable?

The generational DDLs and the graphics are the solution's most valuable aspects.

The solution is a very pragmatic tool. It's quite easy to use.

The solution is very good for data modeling on a conceptual and physical level.

There are a lot of design tools that are very complicated to use, and customers will not use them in detail. I find the solution to be one of the best tools in the range.

What needs improvement?

I don't know of any features the solution is lacking.

It would be helpful if there were glossary, catalog and governance tools. It would help make it a true end-to-end product.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for a while. When I use the solution, the need to use it is driven more from the customer's own needs and not from my own. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven't had any feedback from clients that would make me believe that there are stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't have any direct experience with scaling the solution. It's not something that I handle.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've never contacted SAP's technical support. I don't have any direct experience with them.

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

We occasionally do migrations from MEGA HOPEX to PowerDesigner.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. It's not complex at all.

However, it depends on how big your environment is. It's difficult, but approximately in one week, you can start creating the capabilities and then it depends on what you want to achieve. 

The problem for the migration part is the setup of the conceptual models and the physical models. If you do the modeling between the conceptual and the physical from a migration point of view, then it becomes more complex because you have the generation of internal keys.

What other advice do I have?

We don't have a business relationship with SAP. We prefer to keep our relationship independent and have no direct relationships with them at the moment.

It's certainly a good strategy to migrate to this solution from another tool, but I wouldn't recommend anyone start using it by trying out a trial-and-error strategy. An organization must think first about the migration strategy if they already have a tool and want to migrate before they start. A trial and error approach will waste a lot of time. 

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. It's easy to use and you can get good pictures out of it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
OS
Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
A standard and easy-to-use solution, but it needs more flexibility

Pros and Cons

  • "It is a standard and easy-to-use solution from Microsoft, and you benefit from the general functions of Microsoft solutions. It integrates easily with SharePoint, which is a useful tool from Microsoft."
  • "It is not flexible in terms of functions and modeling deliverables. When you speak of processes, the program has to describe the activities and the deliverables. You have to tell your robots how to deal with and input something, and you should have something more flexible from this point of view."

What is our primary use case?

We use Visio for mapping all the processes. It is a BPMN solution for us.

We are most probably using its latest version. 

What is most valuable?

It is a standard and easy-to-use solution from Microsoft, and you benefit from the general functions of Microsoft solutions. It integrates easily with SharePoint, which is a useful tool from Microsoft.

What needs improvement?

It is not flexible in terms of functions and modeling deliverables. When you speak of processes, the program has to describe the activities and the deliverables. You have to tell your robots how to deal with and input something, and you should have something more flexible from this point of view.

For how long have I used the solution?

I got Visio just a few months ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I don't know. At this moment, it is just used to map and see where we are. We are just trying to use this. At this moment, we like it, but we'll see with time.

How are customer service and technical support?

I didn't have to call Microsoft so far, but I might do so in the future.

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

I have used MEGA, and I feel Visio is better than MEGA because it is a BPMN tool, and it is standardized.

I have also used the free version of Camunda. It is a service, and it is easy and very fast, but it is not so well known. 

How was the initial setup?

It is easy.

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

It is a free solution for us. It is integrated with our pack. We are trying to use the solutions that we already have. 

What other advice do I have?

I am not sure if I would recommend this solution. It is not perfect, of course, but it is also not so bad. It is just a modeling system. If you want to go further and simulate the processes, you will have to use other tools. 

I would rate Visio a seven out of 10.

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