Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with IBM Business Automation Workflow.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
The upgrades that IBM does every three to six months become a bit of a pain. It is the major reason for us to move away from it. They are too regular in their updates, and these are not quick updates. Every update has to go through a whole business regression, which is a kind of a waste of time for business resources and technical resources. The MIS available for the analytics need to be improved. Their support should also be improved. The way in which support is given and the initial questions that are asked should be improved.
I feel that the features are not user-friendly. For small things, we contact the consultants. There should be some reporting feature for data access, as well as easy dashboards. There are third-party reporting features available, and IBM's own reporting features, but they are much more expensive. In the next release, they should have a good dashboard.
From the optimization perspective, this is better than what we have currently with BPM where we are also doing automation. We can move where the cash mechanism and the external cash mechanism are, where we put the cluster to a policy, where the service will be available. Even when service fails, it will be taken within a cluster of seconds, as things are on the optimization solution provided by the BAW. Other improvements include a couple of reusable artifacts. These were not there with BPM and now BAW provides that. We've got a list of features that feed from IBM. We get them on a weekly basis in the subscriptions. These are the benefits we are getting from IBM - small snapshots level, how you are going to deploy automation, integrated data set ups. That is a pipeline where you can do automation, the process for operational specifications, where it goes to the end-to-end automation process level. A lot depends upon the customer. Let's say a customer wants to get a good system where you can crop in and automate the process, that feature was not available in IBM. So we spoke to them and they released the setup for tax availability for BAW. We are working on features based on our requirement specifications.
We are having a problem because we want to migrate to the cloud, but it necessitates using the Red Hat OpenShift platform. Sometimes, we feel like we are not getting the full features of the content management capabilities. We find that some of the small players like NewGen and Documentum are doing a better job at this. It is difficult to integrate with FileNet. It is already bundled and they are now using automatic integration, but it is lacking in usability. We want something that is more platform-independent. For example, using the scanner application, we have to use a thick client. Even though we have a content analyzer, in some cases, we first scan with a thick client and then replace it with a thin client.
In terms of improvement, it could be less complex. It's quite a complicated software.
The setup and installation process could be made easier. Technical support is in need of improvement.
The UI of the solution is not good. They should work to update the solution and make it better and fresher. They should consider adding robotics. There should be a move to integrate the solution with RPA.
In the market, Appian is quoting, "Low quote or no quote." IBM is almost to the point of no quote, but it is not there yet. Every client is moving to the cloud. We are still a little behind with IBM, but we are catching up from my point of view. More education and training of users is required.
I am not that excited about the move to using BPM on the web. I like the thick client, because it seems a bit faster. However, I haven't put a timer to it. Previously, we wrote our own case management solutions, because they weren't there yet. Therefore, I am excited to see what we can do with the new case management tools inside of BAW. However, we haven't used them yet. We would like to use machine learning to drive rules in ODM. The complexity of the rules that we can write for it is not quite what we want yet. Technically, it does everything I want it to do. However, the development UI is sometimes a little slow. The speed of response could use improvement.
I would definitely like to see a unified interface between the BPM side of the house and the case side of the house. Something that just seems a bit more cohesive, because right now there is sort of a disconnect between the BPM and the case side of the house. That makes it a bit of a hard sell sometimes. That is definitely first and foremost on my wish list. There were some issues with it historically. For example, people didn't like the UI, but the UI is great now.
The usability could use improvement at the data-visualization level. Also, there is room for improvement around the effort it takes to stand up and develop the solutions that are more complex, although I think that is getting addressed. I would like to see more streamlined install and provisioning; preferably containerized IBM BPM would be helpful.
From what I understand, in the next release they're actually going to combine all of this together as one integrated solution. Obviously, once they started acquiring more and more products, the flavors were going to be there. Sometimes, you need an integrated solution. Customers don't want to have to say, "Oh, I'm acquiring this product, now I have to go build up that product. I have to go and build something else in another product and integrate." If we could have one unified way to build a solution, that would really help.
The main areas which need improvement are specifically around reporting and analytics. The analytics suite is limited in this regard. I know they're working on something, but it's still a ways away. I'm waiting to see what they come out with on that.