What users are saying about
92 Ratings
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Score 7.8 out of 100
50 Ratings
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Score 7.5 out of 100

Likelihood to Recommend

Chatter

[Chatter] is the tool that makes our relations
stronger. It provides advanced ways of communication. I have trained my many
team members because of the easy features and functions of this tool, It is very user-friendly. Give it a try if you want to improve your relations with your
customers. It will surely enhance the productivity of your organization.
Yolanda Pouwels | TrustRadius Reviewer

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)

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.
Jeremiah Miller | TrustRadius Reviewer

Feature Rating Comparison

Project Management

Chatter
7.1
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Task Management
Chatter
7.2
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Gantt Charts
Chatter
7.4
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Scheduling
Chatter
6.9
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Workflow Automation
Chatter
7.1
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Mobile Access
Chatter
7.3
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Search
Chatter
6.9
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Visual planning tools
Chatter
6.8
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)

Communication

Chatter
8.2
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Chat
Chatter
8.4
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Notifications
Chatter
8.2
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Discussions
Chatter
8.4
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Surveys
Chatter
7.5
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Internal knowledgebase
Chatter
7.9
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Integrates with GoToMeeting
Chatter
9.1
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Integrates with Gmail and Google Hangouts
Chatter
7.5
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Integrates with Outlook
Chatter
8.5
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)

File Sharing & Management

Chatter
7.5
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Versioning
Chatter
6.8
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Video files
Chatter
6.8
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Audio files
Chatter
6.8
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Document collaboration
Chatter
7.7
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Access control
Chatter
7.3
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Advanced security features
Chatter
8.0
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Integrates with Google Drive
Chatter
8.5
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
Device sync
Chatter
8.0
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)

Pros

Chatter

  • Chatter provides us with a live internal conversation for all to see without the noise that other mediums have i.e. e-mail.
  • One of the main features that really works well is the 'Groups' that you can join. We have multiple groups set up to not only distribute procedural changes and communicate news etc, but also have conversations around upcoming tasks in the months ahead.
  • Chatter works really well in instances where we need to look over historical conversations that have been had and the sentiment of those conversations with our shareholders, often using hashtags.
Glen Tylee | TrustRadius Reviewer

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)

  • 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
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Cons

Chatter

  • Groups does not have the private messaging functionality. Since most collaboration takes place in Groups, private messaging would allow for relevant conversations to be contained and not reside separately.
  • On a Group index page, there are two boxes for Information and Description. These content types seem redundant. You could replace both with a content type called About the Group. There could also be another box listing the Owners for quick reference.
  • On the main index page, the newsfeed has the same look and feel of most social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Jive, IBM Connections, SharePoint. There could be an alternate display of tiles that shows People you interact with most frequently, Files you access most often, most recent Topics, etc. The display could be something like Delve in Microsoft Office 365.
  • On the main index page in the right rail, it would be useful to have the ability to incorporate RSS feeds to gather outside content. Many departments heavily leverage RSS feeds to compile competitive intelligence and cultivate general awareness.
  • For user profiles, can we combine Feed and Overview into one consolidated view? It would save users a click to find relevant information about the person. Also, the Contact module should also have the person's phone number for convenience.
  • The Files feature does not allow for real-time, concurrent document editing. You have to download the document, make your edits, save, and then upload a new version, which only allows for one editor at a time.
Joseph C. Chang | TrustRadius Reviewer

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)

  • 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.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Likelihood to Renew

Chatter

Chatter 8.1
Based on 2 answers
Chatter can fulfill at least 85-90% of our business requirements in an easy-to-use platform. Usability is a key requirement and we have had our share of bad usability experiences. In our experience, even the most novice users were able to pick up Chatter in a relatively short amount of time with little/no assistance.
Joseph C. Chang | TrustRadius Reviewer

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM) 7.7
Based on 7 answers
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.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Usability

Chatter

Chatter 7.3
Based on 7 answers
It is easy to use but the impact of it feels like it is a bit antiquated. It does not feel collaborative and real time. Chatter is more akin to email versus Slack or Hangouts where it feels like problems are being solved as you are communicating.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM) 9.0
Based on 4 answers
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.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Reliability and Availability

Chatter

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM) 10.0
Based on 2 answers
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.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Performance

Chatter

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM) 9.0
Based on 2 answers
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.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Support Rating

Chatter

Chatter 7.5
Based on 35 answers
If I ever came to a situation where i needed help they do a very good job of getting back to us quickly to explain our error or why we are not seeing something. The support is quick to help provide groups or teams if you seek. Fortunately it is user friendly so I rarely need support
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM) 8.0
Based on 8 answers
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.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Implementation Rating

Chatter

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM) 7.3
Based on 2 answers
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.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Alternatives Considered

Chatter

Skype is used more for audio calls. Chatter is used to track updates on items of interest in Salesforce. Chatter is deeply integrated with other Salesforce products. No other competing products come close. Slack is a traditional project management tool. So it does not compete with Chatter. Because of its close integration with Salesforce, it is a unique tool for Salesforce users.
Naveen Gabrani | TrustRadius Reviewer

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)

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.
Chris Whisonant | TrustRadius Reviewer

Scalability

Chatter

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM) 7.0
Based on 2 answers
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?
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Return on Investment

Chatter

  • Chatter has closed deals faster, and brought us in revenue at a quicker rate in turn.
  • Chatter has left some things undone simply because people didn't see it and it has cost us a few deals.
  • Overall, Chatter has brought us a cleaner, more efficient Salesforce process and brought in revenue because of organization.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)

  • 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.
Tony Morales, PMP, CSM | TrustRadius Reviewer

Pricing Details

Chatter

General

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No

HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)

General

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No

Rating Summary

Likelihood to Recommend

Chatter
7.8
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
8.9

Likelihood to Renew

Chatter
8.1
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
7.7

Usability

Chatter
7.3
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
9.0

Reliability and Availability

Chatter
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
10.0

Performance

Chatter
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
9.0

Support Rating

Chatter
7.5
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
8.0

Implementation Rating

Chatter
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
7.3

Scalability

Chatter
HCL Connections (formerly from IBM)
7.0

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