Asana vs. HCL Connections

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Asana
Score 8.4 out of 10
N/A
Asana is a web and mobile project management app. With tasks, projects, conversations, and dashboards, Asana lets an entire team know who's doing what by when, enabling workload balancing. Users can also add integrations for GANTT charts, time tracking and more.
$50
per month
HCL Connections
Score 9.0 out of 10
N/A
Connections from HCL Technologies (formerly from IBM, acquired by HCL in 2018) is a collaboration tool and employee digital workspace with key features like social analytics, blogs, document management, and a social network.N/A
Pricing
AsanaHCL Connections
Editions & Modules
Premium
$13.49
per month
Business
$30.49
per month
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
AsanaHCL Connections
Free Trial
YesNo
Free/Freemium Version
YesNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
YesNo
Entry-level Setup Fee$10 per user per monthNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
AsanaHCL Connections
Top Pros
Top Cons
Features
AsanaHCL Connections
Project Management
Comparison of Project Management features of Product A and Product B
Asana
8.4
164 Ratings
12% above category average
HCL Connections
-
Ratings
Task Management9.2164 Ratings00 Ratings
Resource Management8.2138 Ratings00 Ratings
Gantt Charts7.949 Ratings00 Ratings
Scheduling8.6149 Ratings00 Ratings
Workflow Automation8.9119 Ratings00 Ratings
Team Collaboration9.2163 Ratings00 Ratings
Support for Agile Methodology8.57 Ratings00 Ratings
Support for Waterfall Methodology8.57 Ratings00 Ratings
Document Management8.9139 Ratings00 Ratings
Email integration8.3131 Ratings00 Ratings
Mobile Access8.7136 Ratings00 Ratings
Timesheet Tracking6.16 Ratings00 Ratings
Change request and Case Management8.44 Ratings00 Ratings
Budget and Expense Management7.966 Ratings00 Ratings
Professional Services Automation
Comparison of Professional Services Automation features of Product A and Product B
Asana
7.0
40 Ratings
5% below category average
HCL Connections
-
Ratings
Project & financial reporting5.51 Ratings00 Ratings
Integration with accounting software8.639 Ratings00 Ratings
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AsanaHCL Connections
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User Ratings
AsanaHCL Connections
Likelihood to Recommend
8.6
(194 ratings)
9.0
(20 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
9.6
(34 ratings)
7.7
(7 ratings)
Usability
9.0
(22 ratings)
9.0
(4 ratings)
Availability
8.4
(2 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Performance
-
(0 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Support Rating
5.0
(42 ratings)
8.0
(4 ratings)
Implementation Rating
-
(0 ratings)
7.3
(1 ratings)
Product Scalability
8.2
(1 ratings)
7.0
(2 ratings)
User Testimonials
AsanaHCL Connections
Likelihood to Recommend
Asana
Asana fixed team issues like project transparency and communication, improved team performance, and enhanced office and mobile productivity. Upper management can solve project management issues quickly, and new hires can use the tool immediately. Asana's surveys simplify research and data collection. Its free trial, free plan, or paid SaaS subscription gives small and large teams the tools and centralized console to work through project tasks efficiently. Due to its complexity, Asana can be overwhelming at first.
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HCL Technologies
IBM Connections is well suited for larger organizations that need an internal social networking tool and are willing to deal with IBM and the complexity of the software. It is less appropriate for smaller organizations and those who don't want to deal with the complexity, or IBM's awful customer service and prices.
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Pros
Asana
  • Through it, we were able to communicate and cooperate with the rest of the team to complete the work in the required manner and at the appropriate time.
  • Available for free on Android and iPhone.
  • Asana has a simple and easy user interface
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HCL Technologies
  • The plugin for MS Office/Explorer has made saving and sharing working documents extremely convenient for me and my close colleagues
  • The newsfeed feature conveniently aggregates updates from the communities/people you follow. It's nice not to have to jump from community to community to see what's going on in the organization
  • The various apps can be used for several purposes. A little creativity goes a long way when establishing what type of information the apps can be useful for communicating
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Cons
Asana
  • Asana is not really a project management tool, it is good for simple projects only
  • UI has some glitches (doesn't save preferences, etc.)
  • Integration with other tools (Office 365, MS Project)
  • No reminders if the working period you entered is on holidays
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HCL Technologies
  • The lack of a note-taking tool became a bigger and bigger issue as time went on. Our pilot users felt Connections was a natural place to take and share meeting notes – including photos, drawings, recorded audio, etc. – and were always frustrated that there was no easy, organized way to do that. We tried using a Blog, Wiki, etc. but nothing really resonated as a good solution for this.
  • The Wiki tool is weak, providing rigid structure but with few options. A Community can only have a single Wiki, for instance. Wikis are weak in the mobile app as well; they’re not even easy to navigate. Users ended up ignoring Wikis completely despite our efforts to get them to convert documents like guidelines, policies, procedures, handbooks, etc. into Wiki form.
  • The Windows Explorer plug-in was useful but required a lot of manual intervention to setup. For instance, once a user joins a Community in Connections, the Community also has to be manually added to the Explorer plug-in so the user can find, open and edit files with it. We felt this process should be much more automated.
  • Tagging is only relevant in the web UI and, to a lesser extent, in the mobile app. However, in the Windows Explorer plug-in, Tags are not usable at all making it difficult to find things that were easy to find in the web UI.
  • IBM Docs was not included in the on-premises deployment; it was an additional license so we did not test it. Documents, mainly Microsoft Office files, are still the single most common way our user community creates, shares, edits and presents information. That proved to be a major gap for our users, and slowed user adoption considerably. We considered testing it, but IBM Docs would only work for about half of our users so we found ourselves wondering if we really wanted to support two document editing platforms. IBM Docs also offers no way to work offline as far as we could tell. This also meant we would need to keep licensing Microsoft Office which is not cheap.
  • Consulting costs are high because the back-end environment is complex. Installing, administrating and even patching Connections is a fairly complex process. We needed to hire consultants to install our test environment and any major upgrades would’ve required additional consulting fees. Any 3rd party add-ons we looked at were highly technical in nature meaning…you guessed it, more consulting costs.
  • Administrating IBM Connections requires editing XML files in a specific, secure way that is typically done in a console. I love consoles as much as the next admin, but when you only use a console once every 2 months it means looking up all the documentation and re-educating yourself. A single change could take me 2 hours to implement. 3rd party admin dashboards do exist, at an additional cost, but IBM really should provide a much easier way to manage the environment.
  • The lack of in-person or online training courses, materials, videos, etc. really discouraged a lot of users. The only decent training we could find (marketing videos aside) was a single video series on Lynda.com which, of course, was an additional cost. In the end that video didn’t really help our users much beyond introductory concepts.
  • IBM includes reporting, but it’s a massive Cognos system requiring some serious hardware and Cognos expertise. We had neither, and would have ultimately opted for a 3rd party add-on for reporting and statistics.
  • An often overlooked concern is eDiscovery. Our contracted eDiscovery service extensively works with various ECMs, but had no idea how they would handle Connections data. The cloud version of Connections offers an add-on for eDiscovery, but as far as we could tell IBM offered nothing for on-premises deployments.
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Likelihood to Renew
Asana
  • Mobile + Desktop capabilities - Able to use it anywhere, anytime.
  • Task management - Easy to view projects and their progress.
  • Time management - Easy to see what elements require time / how they interrelate and manage the project on an overall basis.
  • Company management - Be able to see from a master dashboard perspective where each project is in its stages of completion.
  • Clear communication - It's visually documented who is doing what at what time so that the whole project gets done.
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HCL Technologies
Connections has continued to more than meet our needs from a collaboration point of view and we are currently working on integration with our IBM Websphere portal platform to provide an integrated collaboration solution. This scenario will provide our users the best both products have to offer in a single interface.
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Usability
Asana
It is very user-friendly. Takes a new employee an hour to start figuring out how the system works. That's an important factor. You don't want to encounter the issue where employees need a week to understand how the system works. For example, JIRA, I tried using it for a week and I still don't understand the complicated layout. Asana has a simple interface. Once you see it, you get it type of program.
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HCL Technologies
Connections combines all the most useful abilities from various social networks. This makes it useful of course, but it also reduces user adoption time initially by allowing users to get comfortable with basic features. Once they are comfortable, it's easy for users to start exploring. They find new people in the organization to contact, new sources of information, etc. Before you know it, about half of the users are contributing back in some form -- and all with little or no training needed by IT.
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Reliability and Availability
Asana
Working with Asana on a daily basis
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HCL Technologies
Once Connections was installed, patched, etc. it was ALWAYS up. We only had to bring it down for OS updates to the servers. That seems to be typical of anything that runs on WebSphere; it's bulletproof and could probably run for months and years if the underlying OS didn't require constant patching.
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Performance
Asana
No answers on this topic
HCL Technologies
IBM Connections web UI, mobile app (data sync to / from the device), and file transfer speeds were almost always very fast. It was rare for a slow-down of any kind, even when doing searches.
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Support Rating
Asana
I haven't had to use their support so I can't rate it. The fact that I haven't needed them reflects the ease of use of the product. I would recommend that any new users schedule a complete demo of the product to ensure that they are using it to it's fullest (there's a lot of useful features).
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HCL Technologies
IBM Support has ALWAYS been quick to respond, regardless of the product. Even first level techs seldom provide "canned" responses and they really try to help. If they can't help, they don't wallow around but engage the right person immediately. It's very rare that the first level tech needs to escalate, and even more rare when they do escalate and the next person engaged cannot solve it. We have been more than satisfied with IBM support's quick and professional responses to our issues.
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Implementation Rating
Asana
No answers on this topic
HCL Technologies
Try to understand you will never find a product which suites all your end user for 100%. IBM Connections is the best of all breeds but if you go look on each functionality on its own there are better example out there. But as IBM COnnections delivers it all in just one platform makes it the best example about integration of different functionality into one platform.
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Alternatives Considered
Asana
I like how extensive the capabilities are for Asana. With other softwares it seems there are many things lacking. I feel like Asana is also a very user friendly platform and aesthetically pleasing which is important in a modern office. We have many young people entering our workspace and it is important to have software that is ahead of the times in functionality and efficiency.
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HCL Technologies
From the few times that I have used MS SharePoint, I can say that it doesn't seem to hold a candle to the robust features of IBM Connections. The out-of-the-box capabilities of IBM Connections are amazing and are more easy to access and use than what I've seen with MS SharePoint.
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Scalability
Asana
I used this tool on a daily basis at work and it runs as a solid rock
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HCL Technologies
Scaling UP is never an issue with IBM's core technologies like WebSphere, DB2, etc. as long as you have or can find the technical resources to implement it. Where IBM seems to fail is scaling DOWN for smaller organizations. Connections 5.0 on-premises would have required us to create 7 servers -- yes, they would be virtualized, but still that's 7 OS licenses, 40 virtual CPU cores, 80GB RAM, and a few TB of hard disk space. All to replace Quick which runs on 1 server with 1 OS license, 4 cores, 8GB RAM and 600GB of disk. Granted, there are major differences in capabilities between the two, but how do you get a CFO understand why features like a mobile app, file sync, and social sharing require 10x the back-end resources?
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Return on Investment
Asana
  • Productivity - Most of all, it allows me to be more productive and have a good sense of where I am with projects and deadlines.
  • Easy to use - I can make the most of my time to get up (and stay) up and running.
  • Project coordination - Allows me to assign tasks to my interns and communicate directly within the platform to keep the work train moving.
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HCL Technologies
  • Positive - Using IBM Connections has reduced the number of directories and file share repositories previously used for collaboration.
  • Positive - The direction is to stop relying on email for the only method of communicating and sharing knowledge. IBM Connections is in the right step.
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ScreenShots

Asana Screenshots

Screenshot of Product HomepageScreenshot of Team ConversationsScreenshot of Project CalendarsScreenshot of InboxScreenshot of List ProjectScreenshot of Portfolios