IT Central Station is now PeerSpot: Here's why
Buyer's Guide
Business Process Management (BPM)
July 2022
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Andrew Wykurz - PeerSpot reviewer
Enterprise Architect at Enterprise Architecture Perspectives
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Provides decision support capabilities, has unlimited scalability, and is one of the best tools out there
Pros and Cons
  • "There are a lot of different features, but the business/decision-maker feature, visibility, and dashboards are most valuable."
  • "I use reference models, which are taxonomies, in my EA work. It is a reference model/taxonomy of things with capabilities, sub capabilities, and sub-sub capabilities, so you're working it down. I haven't yet found a simple way to implement that in Abacus. It could be that it is there, but I don't know how to do it."

What is our primary use case?

I'm a consultant, and it is used for making clients realize the capabilities of EA tools. There are not that many people using the tool right now. I use it as an example to get clients to be aware of what potential they have.

How has it helped my organization?

It is easier for the users of the tool to gain in-depth knowledge of how they're operating and the impact of their changes.

What is most valuable?

There are a lot of different features, but the business/decision-maker feature, visibility, and dashboards are most valuable.

What needs improvement?

I use reference models, which are taxonomies, in my EA work. It is a reference model/taxonomy of things with capabilities, sub capabilities, and sub-sub capabilities, so you're working it down. I haven't yet found a simple way to implement that in Abacus. It could be that it is there, but I don't know how to do it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for four or five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Its stability is very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. You can have different versions. You can add other features to it. You can have the base implementation, which is more for enterprise architects and people who are inputting the data about the architecture. There is also an enterprise version of it, which is the browser version to give you the business intelligence views, the visualizations, and the dashboards. It has unlimited scalability.

How are customer service and support?

Their support is good. They're based in Australia, and sometimes, I have to wait a couple of hours to get a response, but mostly, it's not a problem. It seems they also have offices in North America.

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

In the federal government where I do most of my work, they're stuck on a tool called QualiWare. I don't particularly have a high opinion of it due to its complex integration and complex configuration. It is not really easy to use out of the box, and it lacks the decision support capabilities. So, I use the Abacus tool as an example of what enterprise architecture tools should be doing, which is providing decision support capabilities. It is not being used that much, but it is definitely a tool that more people should be using. Abacus is a better tool.

I have used a different solution previously, and it was called Provision by Metastorm. I stopped using Provision pretty much when Metastorm took over it because they stopped developing the real true EA capabilities of the tool. That's when I started searching for a different solution, and I came across Abacus.

I have also played with MEGA HOPEX a few years ago.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward. It is installed on my laptop. I'm using it as a single consultant, and it was simple to install it.

What was our ROI?

Its implementation hasn't been that strong. I am working with a client right now who is looking at purchasing the tool as their initial version and getting started with it.

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

I'm paying on a yearly basis. I don't know whether it's a highly expensive tool or not. I'm getting a single version of it, and I don't have the enterprise part on it because I don't need the server component, and I don't need a web browser component. My estimate would be that it's a very reasonably priced tool given that you don't need to have licenses with everyone in order to get the information and the decision support capabilities out of the tool. You use the enterprise edition on top of the studio, which is the heart of the tool. I am not aware of any additional costs.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at Mega and a free tool called Archi. I looked at the tools that were in the upper right quadrant of the Gartner Magic Quadrant.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend it very strongly. It is one of the best tools out there. At this time, I would rate it a 10 out of 10. I don't rate tens very often, but I believe it is one of the best tools out there.

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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Project Manager at a government with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10
Useful for creating build-outs and architecture views, but requires a publisher add-on for some detailed reports
Pros and Cons
  • "It is useful for creating build-outs and architecture views and for publishing reports and stuff like that for different programs."
  • "I don't use the tool or know a lot. It is going to have some shortcomings. When it comes down to publishing, we just found out this week that they actually have a publisher add-on. So, what we were trying to publish was not giving a detailed report about the architecture, views, etc. I just wish they had sent these to UNICOM and contacted them about add-on features for the publishing part of the tool."

What is our primary use case?

I'm the manager of my contract division, and my team uses this tool. They talk with different customers, and once they get the information about their as-is architecture, they go in and collect the necessary views, such as service views, distant views, and things like that. We then publish a report for the customer. That's what the tool is used for.

What is most valuable?

It is useful for creating build-outs and architecture views and for publishing reports and stuff like that for different programs.

What needs improvement?

I don't use the tool or know a lot. It is going to have some shortcomings. When it comes down to publishing, we just found out this week that they actually have a publisher add-on. So, what we were trying to publish was not giving a detailed report about the architecture, views, etc. I just wish they had sent these to UNICOM and contacted them about add-on features for the publishing part of the tool.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution since 2018.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For now, it is stable. We had a problem with our environment with the database. So, we are using the tool in standalone mode. 

How are customer service and technical support?

They do tech support. You go to the website, put in your pin, and they come back with an answer. They are quite responsive. I am not sure how other systems or tools work. I know back in the day, you would just pick up a phone, call someone, and put in a ticket. They call you later on.

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

It was something that was hard leadership. They used to use something called ProVision. This was way before I got into the area. They were making everybody up to a certain level within the organization to swap over to System Architect.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was fine.

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

I don't remember the price. It is a different cost for just buying it, and then you have a maintenance cost, which you need to renew every year. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate System Architect a seven out of ten because I'm not using it much, and I haven't had time to play with the tool. The system manager is more involved with this tool and has more trust in the tool.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
Business Process Management (BPM)
July 2022
Get our free report covering Sparx Systems, Microsoft, Software AG, and other competitors of OpenText ProVision. Updated: July 2022.
621,593 professionals have used our research since 2012.