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IBM BPM Room for Improvement

Unemployed at a tech services company with 11-50 employees

It is a really powerful tool, but its entry price is so high, which makes it a very exclusive club for who gets to use it. 

The thing that seemed to be the most intolerable was that you could put lots and lots of users on it, and it worked fine, but if you put lots and lots of developers on it, it sure seemed to have challenges. The biggest challenge was the development because of the Eclipse tool. It just seemed like irrespective of the development team that you put together, whether it had 10 or 50 people, you would end up having to reboot the development server throughout the day when you concurrently had lots of people hammering on the system. The development server just got sluggish. This was true for every project I was on. Once you got more than about five people working on the system at the same time, it would just get slower and slower during development work, and the only way to fix it was to reboot the server. It became just like a routine. Sometimes, we would reboot at lunch or dinner time, which is silly. After the cloud instances started rolling out, I never saw that again. That was probably the one big advantage of the cloud version. Instead of using an independent Eclipse-based process development tool, we moved to web-based process and design. The web-based tool definitely had greater performance than the Eclipse-based tool. I never got onto another project after that with 50 people, so I don't know how the performance is when you get a large team on it, but it definitely seems that the cloud design tool was a massive improvement.

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If you have a company that doesn't like to have everything ready out of the box and likes the capability of customizing a solution, you'll probably have a problem with this solution. You will need to do customizations on process portal, on your BPM applications ...

If you want to use IBM BPM, you will have to invest a lot of money for licenses and you need to learn that there are limitations in developing applications. You cannot create anything you want. You need to follow all the rules that IBM BPM requires.

For example: you cannot implement modern programming techniques (OOP), microservise architecture. You have services, you have a graphical tool for creating solutions, however, you cannot use this part of the code in other apps freely if you don't use toolkits and it can be sometimes very tricky. 

There are some things that the solution needs to improve upon from a developer's perspective. Software developers that use the eclipse process designer in older versions of BPM have had issues. The eclipse process designer and web process designer are quite different. With a web process designer, they cannot use IntelliSense during the coding in JavaScript. They cannot use some functionalities that weere in previous versions.

From the client's perspective, there are problems with licensing. It is complex especially when you need to do upgrade from old to new version. You will  need to use VPC instead of PVU per core and it is confusing. 

In case we are talking about cloud pack for automation it is good idea and it shoud be the future of automation of business processes but it is not ready yet. There are some functionalities that are missing ( for exampe sql services).I epxect that it will be solved soon.

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Client Partner at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees

From the testing perspective and minor enhancements perspective, customization is something that is a little tedious as compared to new tools. In addition, various open-source tools that are available are not working with IBM BPM.

Some of the flows that are developed are end-to-end flows rather than modular flows. With a complex system, such as Customer Due Diligence, there are a lot of reviewers and profiles, and people need to log in and use the same flow again and again, which makes the maintenance of the tool difficult.

The security and testing side of things can be improved. If something can be done to make the latest tools and technologies available for doing the testing from the performance side and security side, it would add a lot of value. Currently, it is very difficult to put all of those tools on top of the closed infrastructure of IBM. Some of the new tools, such as Camunda, have solved this a little bit with the security scan that needs to be done in the DevSecOps pipeline that we are using nowadays.

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Senior Manager at Celfocus

This is technology, and there's always room for improvement. It would be better to have a single solution. Trying to have an overview in terms of this solution brings together the concepts of BPM processes, customer journeys, and an automation part for KPIs. All of this working together and coming up with a single solution with privacy is more commercial than anything else.

Because when you try and initiate things, we see that it's two different applications. But there's an effort to combine all of these applications and have an overview of internal processes. I believe they are making investments in this part, but they are probably delayed a bit.

Adding a control app or something easier in terms of maintaining the versioning will help. Make it easier to manage the patches so you can just do it and move on to the next one. Every time we tried to meet to do some upgrade of a version of the solution, it was a lot of work. Even minor upgrades always required a significant amount of work in intensities and trials.

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Manager - Systems and Services Delivery at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees

For us, we had the challenge whereby the training was not done properly through a sales partner. The BPM has a partner to deliver, and with our local partner, the training was not properly done, so we were not very comfortable. We never got to a comfort level with the product. We ended up not using it that much. There were missing modules within it. For example, the document management part was missing and we failed to integrate it into our SharePoint. In the end, there was no uptake for the processes that we had put in through it.

The solution as a whole should be simplified due to the fact that it has so many paths. It's difficult for a customer, when you are onboarding this system, to understand all the parts that you have to put together. 

What you buy depends on what you know about it. For example, if it's supposed to then have BlueX and a separate document management platform like FileNet, and a process server and a processing center, decision center, you kind of have to put these things together. And yet, you don't know them due to the fact that you are not an IBM expert. It's not like you can say, "Look, I want in a BPM solution." And then it just comes with everything together.

They should incorporate an API gateway functionality within it to simplify integrations. One of the key issues with IBM, BPM is the integration part. It is not very flexible with integration. For an automation platform, you really need easy integration. If I am going into SharePoint, if I'm going into ERP, those are some of the key things that you have to integrate into. We were doing point-to-point integrations. Within the system, the API gateway and the integration management should be part of the solution.

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BPM Architect at GBM

IBM BPM integrated with Spark UI and the UI is now much better, but they still need to improve the UI because competitors have predefined templates and other additional features. In these competitor's solutions, you are able to use the templates, map your data, and the form is ready to use. With this solution, you need to write a lot of code to have the same quality as the competitor's templates. It would be a benefit to make this platform more towards low-code or no-code. 

The REST web service integration needs to improve by providing other features, such as different security options.

In an upcoming release, they should add video calling capabilities to the solution. I work mainly in the Middle Eastern market and many of the bank companies use video Know-Your-Customer (KYC) to call the customer directly from the BPM tool. They do this for customer verification, such as document and identity authentications. Additionally, every organization at some point would like to send out letters to their customers, for example, welcome letters, but there is no easy way to do it with this IBM BPM. There needs to be a template available or an attachable generated PDF document that can be made easily within this solution.

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BPM Consultant at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

Some of the features are not enough for my business. We need to build custom user management for the many end users affected by BPM.

For IBM BPM, we have half a million users with their own processes in IBM BPM. Currently, we have a lot of processes, and we have a lot of custom groups for the onsite user to look at and run on their groups. When we add a lot of users at the same time to a group, the process admin is not enough for this, and we need to use the custom interface to do it. So, there are some issues with scalability.

The cost is higher in comparison to that of Camunda, for example.

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Digital Banking & Innovation Director at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees

IBM could improve the price. It is far too expensive. It would also be useful to be able to implement the product more quickly. The front end is not customised for a good user experience. It does not have an amicable interface.

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Head Enterprise Platforms at Mashreq

We place a lot of importance on security and one area they could make improvements in is to definitely increase the vulnerability and security patches to make it more robust and stable. As a financial institution we're always concerned about product and security vulnerabilities, it's an important parameter. The product could be more competitive in terms of cost. 

In a future release, I'd like to see more business related KPIs that can be measured from a digital transformation perspective. If they could build more on analytics reporting and help businesses to derive more benefits out of the solution that would be beneficial. I think they need to probably make it more business friendly and get more insights based on analytics.

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Team Lead at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees

We are a government organization, and we are the largest government power sector in India. We generate around 30% of power in India. Therefore, our processes are quite complex. Although IBM BPM is a low-code or no-code software, if you want to have extremely complex workflows, just the business process diagrams are not helpful in creating those workflows. While implementing complex workflows, only the process flow diagrams did not help us. We had to write a lot of Java scripts and Java queries to achieve what we wanted. 

Its integration capabilities with the SAP environment have to be improved. At present, we are only talking at the web services environment level. Its price also needs to be improved. It is currently expensive.

Previously, Active Directory required a heterogeneous environment, but now they want a homogeneous environment. We had onboarded employees through Microsoft Active Directory, and now I have to implement Microsoft AD only from the cloud for my vendors.

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Development Team Lead at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees

Finding errors and bugs in the system is not easy. We can't seem to use the events or logs to find them, so it makes it difficult to debug the system. They really need to work on their debugging features to make is much, much easier. It would improve the solution considerably and should be something they add in a future release.

The solution is pricey and time-consuming to manage.

Technical support needs to be much more helpful. 

It would be useful if IBM could hold calls to help companies with system learning so we could better wrap our arms around the product.

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Principal Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees

IBM BPM lacks openness, that is, the ability to become open for new options in terms of APIs, front-end development, and ecosystem. IBM BPM has been quite closed.

One of the main improvements would be to somehow embed the rules engine into IBM BPM. Merging IBM BRMS and the rules engine with IBM BPM would be helpful. If there was some simpler way to define rules without having to put IBM BRMS on top of it, it would be good. It's something that we can get out of Camunda but not out of IBM BPM.

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Co-Founder & CTO at Archista

We would like to see this product cloud-native, as the market now is moving to both hybrid cloud and multi-cloud deployments. Being cloud-native helps in moving towards this strategy.

We would like to have more flexibility in distributing the workload across different data centers and different locations.

IBM BPM needs to be containerized and managed by K8s. IBM has a great chance in this, especially after the acquisition of RedHat. Making the BPM cloud-native will give great capabilities.

This is the improvement that should be made to all the current tools as Kubernetes is the defacto standard now.

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Technology Analyst at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

The coaches and the user interface are the areas that can be improved a lot. It is good in terms of data processing, but the UI, scripting, and coaches are not very user-friendly and developer-friendly. Performance is always an issue. The scripting and the pattern that it uses are very tedious for new developers to understand, and it takes time to master it in depth.

When comparing IBM BPM with IBM APN, a lot of things are provided out of the box in IBM APN. We don't have to write code or a Java connector to make a functionality work. It would be very helpful and time-saving for developers if IBM BPM is improved in this area to provide many functionalities or drag-and-drop options so that the developers don't have to write the code.

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Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

The issue that we have is with archiving and housekeeping. They don't have a mechanism to achieve processes, data sources, and data. We are currently struggling in this way and would like to get a solution for it.

Having a document viewer would be helpful. As it is now, the system requirements are such that reviewing documents is on a single page. The problem is that with business nowadays is that there are too many requirements.

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BPM Solution Designer | Consultant at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees

There needs to be better documentation for IBM BPM in a central place. There is not any standard documentation for each component available and has been a barrier for developers.

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FileNet System Engineer at a tech vendor with 201-500 employees

You must have good experience to work with it. It is not that easy. 

Its installation is complex, especially in the new version for business automation, and it could be improved. It has a safety application embedded inside it, and you need to do a lot of configuration to install it. I have been working for two days to resolve an issue.

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Senior Account Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

I would like to see the solution be able to interact with other customer software solutions. I am referring to interaction with SSP or other applications from the IT customer management database, in respect of integration in the IBM BPM.

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Development Team Lead at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees

The debugging needs improvement. There is some confusion surrounding the debugging.

They should also improve the APIs.

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Enterprise Architect at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

Our developers are complaining that it's too complex to maintain. They are struggling to remodel or maintain existing interfaces and integration. 

I've been through the interfaces but the developers find it difficult to get into the code to maintain it, modify it, and customize it.

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Software Trainee at a tech services company with 201-500 employees

The integration could be improved.

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Head of IT System Integration at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

We didn't do a more thorough investigation to figure out which features were missing. We just decided to go with a more programmatical approach.

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Senior J2EE Developer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

The interface is limited and should improve in the future. We are having to develop an extended application to avoid the limitation in the interface design.

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BPM Application Developer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

BPM could be improved with more flexibility in integration and by decreasing the learning curve, which keeps increasing with each new version.

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TETRA & GSM Engineer at a government with 201-500 employees

An area for improvement would be the user interface of the portal itself.

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DevOps Engineer at Integrity

The price and the overall installation process could be improved. 

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Learn what your peers think about IBM BPM. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
565,304 professionals have used our research since 2012.