55 Ratings
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Score 9.4 out of 100
10 Ratings
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Score 9 out of 100

Feature Set Ratings

    Project Management

    HCL Connections

    Feature Set Not Supported
    N/A
    7.3

    Micro Focus Vibe

    73%
    Micro Focus Vibe ranks higher in 6/6 features

    Task Management

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    8.0
    80%
    2 Ratings

    Scheduling

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    6.0
    60%
    2 Ratings

    Workflow Automation

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    8.0
    80%
    3 Ratings

    Mobile Access

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    8.0
    80%
    3 Ratings

    Search

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    8.0
    80%
    3 Ratings

    Visual planning tools

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    5.7
    57%
    2 Ratings

    Communication

    HCL Connections

    Feature Set Not Supported
    N/A
    6.7

    Micro Focus Vibe

    67%
    Micro Focus Vibe ranks higher in 4/4 features

    Notifications

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    7.0
    70%
    3 Ratings

    Discussions

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    7.0
    70%
    3 Ratings

    Surveys

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    6.7
    67%
    2 Ratings

    Internal knowledgebase

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    6.0
    60%
    3 Ratings

    File Sharing & Management

    HCL Connections

    Feature Set Not Supported
    N/A
    7.3

    Micro Focus Vibe

    73%
    Micro Focus Vibe ranks higher in 7/7 features

    Versioning

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    7.0
    70%
    3 Ratings

    Video files

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    6.0
    60%
    3 Ratings

    Audio files

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    6.0
    60%
    3 Ratings

    Document collaboration

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    7.0
    70%
    3 Ratings

    Access control

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    8.0
    80%
    3 Ratings

    Advanced security features

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    8.0
    80%
    3 Ratings

    Device sync

    N/A
    0 Ratings
    9.0
    90%
    2 Ratings

    Attribute Ratings

    • HCL Connections is rated higher in 2 areas: Usability, Implementation Rating
    • Micro Focus Vibe is rated higher in 1 area: Likelihood to Renew
    • HCL Connections and Micro Focus Vibe are tied in 1 area: Likelihood to Recommend

    Likelihood to Recommend

    9.0

    HCL Connections

    90%
    20 Ratings
    9.0

    Micro Focus Vibe

    90%
    8 Ratings

    Likelihood to Renew

    7.7

    HCL Connections

    77%
    7 Ratings
    9.9

    Micro Focus Vibe

    99%
    5 Ratings

    Usability

    9.0

    HCL Connections

    90%
    4 Ratings
    5.0

    Micro Focus Vibe

    50%
    1 Rating

    Availability

    10.0

    HCL Connections

    100%
    2 Ratings

    Micro Focus Vibe

    N/A
    0 Ratings

    Performance

    9.0

    HCL Connections

    90%
    2 Ratings

    Micro Focus Vibe

    N/A
    0 Ratings

    Support Rating

    8.0

    HCL Connections

    80%
    8 Ratings

    Micro Focus Vibe

    N/A
    0 Ratings

    Implementation Rating

    7.3

    HCL Connections

    73%
    2 Ratings
    7.1

    Micro Focus Vibe

    71%
    4 Ratings

    Product Scalability

    7.0

    HCL Connections

    70%
    2 Ratings

    Micro Focus Vibe

    N/A
    0 Ratings

    Likelihood to Recommend

    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.
    Read full review

    Micro Focus

    Feature of granting the right to
    users/groups for specific entries (role-based), access of it through Single
    Sign On internally, and for remote users through multiple platforms like
    Mobile/PC/Tablet is really helpful in this pandemic or work from anywhere culture
    and it helped us in achieving our business outcome, some features are missing
    like the ease of document printing, of workflow instant update access.
    Read full review

    Pros

    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
    Read full review

    Micro Focus

    • RSS Feeds: As a project manager (at the time and still am in a sense) being updated as information is posted helped me to stay on top of progress as it happened. The feeds also allows me to foresee problems before they happened, coming in like Super Woman to save the day...kidding (or am I?).
    • Customizable workspaces: While we've got our video project workflows down to a science, our website projects are a different monster. Because we offer customized websites, each client's needs are different from the next. Vibe's Workspaces reflects this - not only for our projects, but for the users as well. Everyone has a different way of organizing their thoughts and with Vibe no one has to fall in line with cookie cutter layouts...or at least they can start out with one and develop it into their own.
    • My god MOBILE DEVICE Support: I know many many many project collaboration tools have migrated to the mobile device platform - but I found that a lot of times, features are limited. I'm always on a go and can't always access my Surface for a brief look at what's going on. But when you fall in love with a platform, it makes it all the better that it is usable outside the confines of my desktop box.
    Read full review

    Cons

    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.
    Read full review

    Micro Focus

    • Having build lot of websites over the years this is one of the most user unfriendly systems I [have] run across. The learning curve is very steep and a lot of stuff is not findable on the internet.
    • The Java used under water has some quirks that makes working with the interface almost undoable. If you make a tree and you change something in that tree it is completely reset to the top level every time so the workflow is broken constantly.
    • There is no copy option in the tool which is strange as 80% of the things you build is the same or similar with minor adjustments like a different color code. Like the previous remark this makes the workflow constantly interrupted.
    • The learning curve for a regular user is also a little too steep. They can do too much and it goes beyond the daily things they need to do with it. To configure Novell Vibe so that the user is protected from doing or seeing too much is a lot of work which means you will have to hire an FTE to manage Novell Vibe alone.
    • Because the end product depends on the use of jsp pages a lot it requires you to hire a specialist with a big salary-tag to build it for you. once it is up and running changes will be very dependant on the guy you hired to build it!
    Read full review

    Pricing Details

    HCL Connections

    Starting Price

    Editions & Modules

    HCL Connections editions and modules pricing
    EditionModules

    Footnotes

      Offerings

      Free Trial
      Free/Freemium Version
      Premium Consulting/Integration Services

      Entry-level set up fee?

      No setup fee

      Additional Details

      Micro Focus Vibe

      Starting Price

      Editions & Modules

      Micro Focus Vibe editions and modules pricing
      EditionModules

      Footnotes

        Offerings

        Free Trial
        Free/Freemium Version
        Premium Consulting/Integration Services

        Entry-level set up fee?

        No setup fee

        Additional Details

        Likelihood to Renew

        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.
        Read full review

        Micro Focus

        We would never go back to a spreadsheet to manage our inventory! Since Vibe is essentially free for us there's no reason not to continue using it. We plan on rolling out more processes in other departments for the coming year. The biggest obstacle is change. People don't want to change doing things they have been doing for years. If the workflow saves time people will embrace it.
        Read full review

        Usability

        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.
        Read full review

        Micro Focus

        At this moment it still looks you need to do a lot to be able to use it and to be honest that time should be used for work not for configuring a communication tool for the business. Yes I understand that it takes time to learn something to use in the organisation , but with this tool I see the help desk having to answer a lot of questions on how to use it or once someone has done something how to undo it.
        Read full review

        Reliability and Availability

        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.
        Read full review

        Micro Focus

        No answers on this topic

        Performance

        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.
        Read full review

        Micro Focus

        No answers on this topic

        Support Rating

        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.
        Read full review

        Micro Focus

        No answers on this topic

        Implementation Rating

        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.
        Read full review

        Micro Focus

        The implementation was good, it is the follow up that we need to do ourselves that takes time and effort.
        Read full review

        Alternatives Considered

        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.
        Read full review

        Micro Focus

        We are a mixed shop (Microsoft and Novell). We had the entire Novell suite and realized Novell Vibe was included. After meeting with Novell and learning what Vibe had to offer for collaboration and application integration, and since we wouldn't incur have any additional costs, we decided to try it before looking at other solutions. We are happy with our decision.
        Read full review

        Scalability

        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?
        Read full review

        Micro Focus

        No answers on this topic

        Return on Investment

        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.
        Read full review

        Micro Focus

        • It has improved communication. Before often people who needed to know certain things weren't getting the information, now it is delivered automatically.
        • Made forms more efficient.
        Read full review

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