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IBM Connections is a collaboration tool with key features like social analytics, blogs, document management, and a social network.A complete package but expensive and complicated to maintainIBM Connections is used by the entire organization. We have many departments and user groups that are divided into Connections "communities". It helps connects users across the organization to each other and to help find and organize information. It is especially useful for connecting with people who you don't normally work with on a day to day basis.,User profiles - finding and connecting users, and showing where they fit in the organization Communities - providing places for user groups and departments to collect and share information Wikis - Makes it easy to edit and add information in various places,Surveys and forms - lacking many features including basic ones like e-mail notification Search - often doesn't find things users are looking for Installation and maintenance - complex software is hard to install and maintain,6,Tangible ROI is hard to measure. It helps to connect people in your organization. Better relationships and better information mean that your organization can be more efficient and more connected to each other. It may help improve morale which can have an impact on the bottom line.,Microsoft Yammer and Slack,Microsoft Yammer, Slack, OneDriveIBM Connections in the Cloud - One Stop for Communication and CollaborationIBM Connections is being used across the entire organization and is available to us on our internet browser via the cloud. IBM Connections is our tool to connect to each other and collaborate in a number of areas - project management, knowledge management, collaboration and sharing of ideas. Our company also is able to use email, calendars and virtual meeting rooms for communication.,The virtual meeting room tool is reliable and easy to use. Email capability via the browser and not a client installed application. Calendars and meeting scheduling in IBM Connections. This is a one stop shop! Communities for sharing documents and knowledge has been one of the better features our company is adopting. Let's get out of file shares and Windows folders. Our company does not have the chat feature which would be helpful.,The screens are not overly intuitive and require some tutorials or just plain discovery learning and trial and error. Browser-based so not sure all browsers are supported.,8,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.,Planview Projectplace,Docuware CloudIBM Connections - Not Connecting Ideas!IBM Connections is being used largely as a wiki replacement system because of its tight integration with other IBM products. For instance, we used (and have since replaced) IBM Jazz. At the time that we implemented Jazz, we needed a centralized repository for constantly changing information, something that Wikis are good at. Connections was selected to be that Wiki-like tool, with multiple levels of permissions, tagging, and spaces. We also used it as a blogging platform. Users would post blogs to Jazz either from their personal spaces or from other relevant business spaces.,Connections does tagging really well. It's very easy to add tags to any given page and to sort content based on those tags. This makes it easy to find related pages. Connections is capable - note that I said capable, and not "does a good job at" of embedding multiple kinds of content and making it viewable. Viewing Office documents is possible within Connections. Connections also does permissions really well, locking down spaces depending on certain groups of users. You can view this as a positive or a negative, depending on your use case.,Search in connections is incredibly poor. It's commonly joked that once data goes into Connections, you never find it again, unless you have a direct link. This alone kills usability for Connections. Embedded content in wiki pages in connections is poorly implemented. While the content displays, you can't interact with it, or edit it reasonably, and it's really slow to load. The "social" features in Connections are pretty lame, and no self-respecting user spends any time trying to build their profile. It's just disappointing.,2,Connections had a substanially negative ROI for our company because we eventually replaced it with far better tools. We're also unfortunately stuck with maintenance costs as we've not migrated all of the user generated content over to the new tools. Other parts of our company still use Connections, so I guess that's a good thing? They must find it usable enough to continue on with it.,Atlassian Confluence,Atlassian Confluence, JIRA Software, Bitbucket, SuccessFactors Perform and Reward, Planview Enterprise One (formerly Planview Enterprise and Troux), lynda.com, PluralsightConnect with IBM Connections!Currently it is being used across the organization from frontline production workers to board members. The business problems that it addresses are the following: Document editing/sharing/versions - instead of multiple emails and versions, there is now only one. All staff news is shared via a community blogUse of VPN has decreased - easy access to information and documents anywhere, increased safety for our intellectual property and confidential documentsIndividual departments house their manuals/resources in their own communityIndividual departments and committees house documents and meeting notes - one locationTransparency is increasing since you can view open/moderated communitiesOne sign-in - previously we had multiple sign-ins for different things, now you can access email, department manuals, company resources and in-house built systems,The Newsfeed allows you to personalize and filter the information that you most need. Puts an end to extra emails or being bombarded with irrelevant information. The Activities and To-Do lists allow you to organize and easily manage meeting notes, agendas, and tasks. The desktop plug-in for documents allows you to work within Microsoft Word/Excel/PPT but then saves it to the Cloud allowing others to view it regardless of if they have Word, etc... on their computer. Document versioning allows you to keep/have access to all versions instead of having multiple copies of different versions floating around.,The actual document editing is a little clunky - it's hard to format within it - that's where the desk-top plug-in comes in handy. It would be nice to be able to edit/customize your own Homepage and/or customize it based on the company's needs - i.e. relevant links/documents could be accessed there instead of a separate community. Easier navigation - seeing more of the breadcrumbs of where you are/have been. It'd be nice to be able to make/nest more subcommunities. Currently there can only be the parent community and a sub/child community. Same thing with the Wikis. While it is nice to see what information was last updated, it be nice to be able to see the community's wiki pages in the order/manner that they make most sense.,8,Recently implemented with the whole company so no information available at this time.,,Microsoft Office 2016, WebEx Meetings, Mitel MiCollabIBM Connections is usefulIBM Connections is used as a source of interdepartmental communication within our office. We also use it for blogging/sharing information about work events and community events. Our email is also connected to IBM Connections.,Organizes your calendar events. Has a familiar interface to social media that is used today, such as Facebook. Is a good way to connect our remote workers with in office workers. Puts a face to the names. I like that it has the option to comment on blogs or like them.,I can't really think of any.,9,The calendar is great and easy to use for scheduling. I plan many events at work, so it is a great resource for sharing this information.
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IBM Connections
43 Ratings
Score 7.3 out of 101
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IBM Connections Reviews

IBM Connections
43 Ratings
Score 7.3 out of 101
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Jeremiah Miller profile photo
June 20, 2018

IBM Connections Review: "A complete package but expensive and complicated to maintain"

Score 6 out of 10
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IBM Connections is used by the entire organization. We have many departments and user groups that are divided into Connections "communities". It helps connects users across the organization to each other and to help find and organize information. It is especially useful for connecting with people who you don't normally work with on a day to day basis.
  • User profiles - finding and connecting users, and showing where they fit in the organization
  • Communities - providing places for user groups and departments to collect and share information
  • Wikis - Makes it easy to edit and add information in various places
  • Surveys and forms - lacking many features including basic ones like e-mail notification
  • Search - often doesn't find things users are looking for
  • Installation and maintenance - complex software is hard to install and maintain
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 Jeremiah Miller's full review
Tony Morales, PMP, CSM profile photo
July 13, 2018

Review: "IBM Connections in the Cloud - One Stop for Communication and Collaboration"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
IBM Connections is being used across the entire organization and is available to us on our internet browser via the cloud. IBM Connections is our tool to connect to each other and collaborate in a number of areas - project management, knowledge management, collaboration and sharing of ideas. Our company also is able to use email, calendars and virtual meeting rooms for communication.
  • The virtual meeting room tool is reliable and easy to use.
  • Email capability via the browser and not a client installed application.
  • Calendars and meeting scheduling in IBM Connections. This is a one stop shop!
  • Communities for sharing documents and knowledge has been one of the better features our company is adopting. Let's get out of file shares and Windows folders.
  • Our company does not have the chat feature which would be helpful.
  • The screens are not overly intuitive and require some tutorials or just plain discovery learning and trial and error.
  • Browser-based so not sure all browsers are supported.
IBM Connections is a great one-stop shop for email, calendars, meeting rooms, and sharing documents and knowledge. I believe the academic setting would highly benefit from IBM Connections. The meeting room tool is great as it provides a pre-formatted meeting notes document that includes all participants who joined and detailed information like time and date of meeting. The template can then be tailored to suit the meeting room organizers' needs.
Read Tony Morales, PMP, CSM's full review
Eric Hodge profile photo
May 11, 2018

Review: "IBM Connections - Not Connecting Ideas!"

Score 2 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
IBM Connections is being used largely as a wiki replacement system because of its tight integration with other IBM products. For instance, we used (and have since replaced) IBM Jazz. At the time that we implemented Jazz, we needed a centralized repository for constantly changing information, something that Wikis are good at. Connections was selected to be that Wiki-like tool, with multiple levels of permissions, tagging, and spaces. We also used it as a blogging platform. Users would post blogs to Jazz either from their personal spaces or from other relevant business spaces.
  • Connections does tagging really well. It's very easy to add tags to any given page and to sort content based on those tags. This makes it easy to find related pages.
  • Connections is capable - note that I said capable, and not "does a good job at" of embedding multiple kinds of content and making it viewable. Viewing Office documents is possible within Connections.
  • Connections also does permissions really well, locking down spaces depending on certain groups of users. You can view this as a positive or a negative, depending on your use case.
  • Search in connections is incredibly poor. It's commonly joked that once data goes into Connections, you never find it again, unless you have a direct link. This alone kills usability for Connections.
  • Embedded content in wiki pages in connections is poorly implemented. While the content displays, you can't interact with it, or edit it reasonably, and it's really slow to load.
  • The "social" features in Connections are pretty lame, and no self-respecting user spends any time trying to build their profile. It's just disappointing.
If you are absoloutely locked into the IBM Software ecosystem (required to use Lotus Notes, Jazz, etc,) Connections is better than nothing. However, I'd still rather use a roll your own solution, or, even better, the Atlassian suite of tools, which does a much better job than Connections ever did for us.

Let me be clear: you should really only opt to use Connections if you have no other choice. It will get you by, but it won't make you efficient.
Read Eric Hodge's full review
Sarah Pressman profile photo
December 05, 2017

User Review: "Connect with IBM Connections!"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Currently it is being used across the organization from frontline production workers to board members.
The business problems that it addresses are the following:
  • Document editing/sharing/versions - instead of multiple emails and versions, there is now only one.
  • All staff news is shared via a community blog
  • Use of VPN has decreased - easy access to information and documents anywhere, increased safety for our intellectual property and confidential documents
  • Individual departments house their manuals/resources in their own community
  • Individual departments and committees house documents and meeting notes - one location
  • Transparency is increasing since you can view open/moderated communities
  • One sign-in - previously we had multiple sign-ins for different things, now you can access email, department manuals, company resources and in-house built systems
  • The Newsfeed allows you to personalize and filter the information that you most need. Puts an end to extra emails or being bombarded with irrelevant information.
  • The Activities and To-Do lists allow you to organize and easily manage meeting notes, agendas, and tasks.
  • The desktop plug-in for documents allows you to work within Microsoft Word/Excel/PPT but then saves it to the Cloud allowing others to view it regardless of if they have Word, etc... on their computer.
  • Document versioning allows you to keep/have access to all versions instead of having multiple copies of different versions floating around.
  • The actual document editing is a little clunky - it's hard to format within it - that's where the desk-top plug-in comes in handy.
  • It would be nice to be able to edit/customize your own Homepage and/or customize it based on the company's needs - i.e. relevant links/documents could be accessed there instead of a separate community.
  • Easier navigation - seeing more of the breadcrumbs of where you are/have been.
  • It'd be nice to be able to make/nest more subcommunities. Currently there can only be the parent community and a sub/child community. Same thing with the Wikis.
  • While it is nice to see what information was last updated, it be nice to be able to see the community's wiki pages in the order/manner that they make most sense.
It is well suited for committee work and also companies that have many departments but also need to create transparency. My company is small and I think it is well-suited for the 90+ employees we have.

At the moment I can't think of any scenarios where it is less appropriate.
Read Sarah Pressman's full review
Pansy Williams profile photo
December 15, 2017

User Review: "IBM Connections is useful"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
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IBM Connections is used as a source of interdepartmental communication within our office. We also use it for blogging/sharing information about work events and community events. Our email is also connected to IBM Connections.
  • Organizes your calendar events.
  • Has a familiar interface to social media that is used today, such as Facebook.
  • Is a good way to connect our remote workers with in office workers. Puts a face to the names.
  • I like that it has the option to comment on blogs or like them.
  • I can't really think of any.
It depends on company preference. As far as our company, it is not appropriate to share personal matters here.
Read Pansy Williams's full review
No photo available
December 07, 2017

IBM Connections Review: "Not flashy, but it gets the job done"

Score 7 out of 10
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Verified User
Review Source
My organization has primarily been utilizing IBM Connections as a means to communicate with staff. We have an All Staff community in which we post pertinent information for all employees and communities for each individual department. We also have communities for work-related projects. In this way, we use Connections to organize our information for easier consumption. We are in the process of migrating our policy wiki to our department communities. In addition to the above, my department (HR) uses the MS Office plugin for sharing and editing documents. All in all, IBM Connections has been very beneficial to the organization as a provides some much-needed structure in terms of where information goes, when it is updated and how it is presented.
  • 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
  • Navigating Connections is tedious and time-consuming. More times than not I find it easier to simply search for what I'm looking for rather than trying to find what I need through other means
  • While file uploading and sharing files is useful enough, the browser lacks the seamless nature of Google Docs and the plugin can't hold a candle to Sharepoint. It works, but I find it clunky
  • We sorely miss our one-stop homepage (The Hub) that has been replaced by IBM Connections. There is no "jump-off" page to provide ease of navigation. It would really nice to be able to provide bookmarks and/or some form of directory in the side tabs of the newsfeed.
Ex) We recently gathered a committee to discuss the redesign of a product. All members in the committee were added to a community focused on the redesign. We recorded meeting agendas and minutes in the activities app, uploaded test redesigns for comment in files, and brainstormed potential improvements in the forum

Ex) The status feature is essentially useless without following the person posting the status. We do not follow individual staff members because it leads to a cluttered newsfeed with information irrelevant to other departments. We still use our phone chat client to communicate statuses.
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Chris Whisonant profile photo
December 09, 2015

IBM Connections Review: "Connecting with your colleagues made easy!"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Reseller
Review Source
Our professional services team uses IBM Connections to keep track of projects and documentation. Since we are a small team who all reside in different regions of the USA, IBM Connections provides a way for us to stay organized. Our team is also able to share documentation. This reduces the need for team members to request information from each other when we can get to it when we need it.
  • IBM Connections provides anytime, anywhere access. Whether from a browser, mobile device, desktop plugins, or IBM Notes, you can access IBM Connections in the way that is convenient for you.
  • The search functionality is extremely powerful! You can search across everything in the system or just specific sections.
  • If you are unsure of WHO to ask about something in your organization, the Directory Tags and Search can put you in touch with just the right person.
  • As one who not only uses but also implements the software, IBM could still do further streamlining of the product's installation routines. I have been working with the product since Version 1, and it has gotten somewhat better in general. But new add-on packages pose more problems with installations and upgrades.
  • It would be nice to be able to more easily customize the interface. I would like it if IBM would provide less complicated CSS.
  • There is also a common request from systems administrators to have a consistent web interface for managing the various parts of the environment.
IBM Connections is possibly most suited for larger organizations where bigger teams are able to have more people to share with. Also, it may be less appropriate when there is so much security that it would hinder the anytime, anywhere access capabilities and prevent users from being able to enjoy sharing content with each other.
Read Chris Whisonant's full review
Victor Toal profile photo
December 21, 2015

IBM Connections Review: "Great all-around tool for the large but also small environments"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
ToalSystems is an IT consulting company that specializes in collaboration technology by IBM. We design and implement small to very large IBM Connecitons environments for clients and in many cases also support those systems for clients. We also offer training for both end users and technical staff on the every day use of IBM Connections for both on premise installations and the cloud.
  • Integrates very well with other existing technology to make the use of IBM Connections as seamless as possible for the cleint: Integration with MS Office products and the Windows desktop / File Explorer is key.
  • The ability to collaborate with all internal staff and also be able to invite outside vendors/clients/partners to access the system and collaborate around data is very important to our clients.
  • The usage of IBM Connections often has a direct impact on mail volume, many users now have less "chatter" email in their in-box than before. Being one of 20 people copied on a string of emails that they do not necessarily need to be involved in becomes less and less frequent with the use of IBM Connections in the enterprise.
  • A slightly more granular rights structure for files might be useful.
  • A better way to deal with the data of end-users after they leave - a more simple way to re-assign data ownership to others would be beneficial.
I find IBM Connections especially useful when bringing together several disparate and possibly geographically separated team members. Also, the ability to bring in outside people (vendors, clients, partners) is very key as it then keeps all the data and the exchange inside the company but visible to all. No more copying 30 people in emails to make sure everybody is somehow in the loop.
Read Victor Toal's full review
Daniel Lieber profile photo
December 08, 2015

Review: "IBM Connections Connects people in a different way to work"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Reseller
Review Source
IIUI uses IBM Connections and IBM Connections Cloud (IBM's hosted version) to share and store information with various other organizations. We use it extensively for the collaborative features and discussions that occur. The ability to memorialize thoughts and processes becomes invaluable later. The search and taxonomy related navigation provide strength to the way people, including myself, benefit from its use. The IBM Connections Cloud integration with other collaborative features, such as Instant Messaging, Web Conferencing, and E-mail, makes it a very useful tool.
  • User Interface is consistent enough for people to figure out most apps
  • Integration with other IBM services is excellent
  • Price points are competitive
  • User interface is IBM-centric and could be more intuitive for people used to an Apple or Microsoft UX
  • Security for Files folders
  • Better data import/export tools
IBM Connections is particularly well suited to organizations that have other IBM products or are looking to displace a competitor (e.g. Webex, Office365).
Read Daniel Lieber's full review
Heather Hegger profile photo
February 25, 2015

"Non-techy review of IBM Connections"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We currently use IBM Connections as a backend platform. We have built a custom platform (member-facing) on top of IBM Connections. Our member-facing platform currently serving over 100,000 members. Our main use of IBM Connections is for the collaboration tools that it offers.
  • Easy to set up communities
  • Easy to customize communities and add/delete different widgets
  • Easy to navigate
  • We have had some difficulty in bridging IBM Connections with several other applications (security mainly)
  • I would like to be able to customize and name the widgets to match up with our member-facing tool (ie. IBM Connections calls it a "blog," whereas our member-facing application calls this area "news."
If it is being used for collaboration efforts, I would recommend it. We do not use it as our content management system.
Read Heather Hegger's full review
Olga Toprover profile photo
July 23, 2014

Review: "IBM Connections is everything you need to unite professionals around the globe."

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I was working on a project implementing IBM Connections in the insurance industry. The system was used by tens of thousands users located around the globe. Various types of groups of users were using the tool to write wiki places and blogs using a few languages. Some of the blogs were global and open for everyone within the company, the others were devoted to specific problems and were available only to limited groups of resources.
  • IBM Connections really keep users connected and makes them united.
  • It is easy to use blogs in IBM Connections
  • The statuses available in IBM Connections are very handy. It is really convenient to know what is going on with your collegues at this very moment.
  • Basic security is provided within IBM Connections tools.
  • I wish IBM would improve how IBM Connections works with pictures and media. This is the area to improve the product. Simply speaking IBM Connections is a corporate Facebook, so some media functionality similar to Facebook would be helpful. One of the groups I was working with was a training department, where video materials were used, but there was no convenient way to keep and to use them with IBM Connections or Quickr.
  • I think IBM has to discover an exciting way of keeping the corporate Facebook mood. I would suggest something like internal recommendations, which might also be connected to external ( LInkedIn) connections, then people would be motivated to use it. It is going to be there if they leave the company.
IBM Connections is well suited for a big organization where collaboration between people is required or beneficial for business and the work is mostly related to text documents. I would also recommend IBM Connections in organizations where resources are grouped by areas of business or by events.
During the selection process I would ask what the primary type of information the users work with: text documents or images/media. I would also ask how many users are planned to participate in the system. The bigger the organization is the more sense it is to use IBM Connections.
Read Olga Toprover's full review
Kiera Stallings profile photo
July 18, 2014

"IBM Connections Review"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
At Mizuno, IBM Connections is being used across the whole organization as a tool to keep everyone informed and connected. People from across different departments can join different communities with groups of people with the same interests and create and keep up with upcoming events. It's a convenient way to share data and keep up with what's going on across the entire company.
  • File sharing is easy to upload.
  • Can glance at your home screen for quick looks at everyone's status updates to see where people are and what's going on.
  • Can be emailed notifications of new posts to click and immediately go there.
  • Learning the site can be overwhelming with all the options it provides. I still don't feel like I know 100% of everything offered and how to get to it.
  • A lot of information overload and can be hard trying to navigate where you want to go at first.
Connections is very helpful between those of us at corporate, and those of us out on the field since we have employees all across the US. It's harder to know what's going on with those kinds of distances between the two, so having a tool that keeps track of work events is great. It is also helpful between those of us at corporate who need to share the same documents. Now they are all in one place.
Read Kiera Stallings's full review
Adam Pugh profile photo
July 18, 2014

Review: "IBM Connections...making our company a better place since 2013."

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We are currently using IBM Connections for communication across all departments. It has been great being able to collaborate across the board. In our department, we have been able to quickly and efficiently share important information, saving valuable time. The files on IBM Connections work great as a cloud and will soon replace our shared drives. As a company of 300+, the communities have brought unique individuals together that wouldn't have found each other without it.
  • Files app - Excellent for a replacement of shared drives. Using a cloud based system is the way of the future.
  • Communities - We use this in our department for an easy to access centralized hub of information. For the company, we have used this to start a Couch to 5K which has increased efficiency and morale.
  • Search function - Fast way to find what you're looking for! A task that could sometimes take hours tracking down through traditional methods, finding what you're looking for has never been easier!
  • Files - It would be nice to have an option of folders within folders for easier organization.
  • Iphone App - Would love to see a chat function on the app (love the chat function through the website with Sametime)
IBM Connections is an excellent tool when a department or company needs to share a lot of information between other departments or individuals. Using IBM Connections for company wide updates are much more convenient than email blasting. The only downside to IBM Connections I could see is if someone doesn't have frequent access to a computer (ex. manufacturer, warehouse, etc.).
Read Adam Pugh's full review
Erich Schmidt profile photo
July 18, 2014

Review: "IBM Connections - Get those social juices flowing at work!"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
IBM Connections is used across the organization, for blogging, activities and creating wikis.The blogging (and subsequent commenting and "Likes") is the primary means of communicating business and non-business issues/events to employees. Wikis hold a great deal of business and institutional knowledge.
  • Blogging is easy and useful. For any company above a certain size, it is impractical to share things via email, particularly as an email chain with comments quickly gets out of control. Using a public social platform has obvious problems. Connections blogs makes it all easy.
  • Using and creating Wikis, and even structuring related Wikis, is easy and intuitive. Before Wikis, institutuional knowledge, product documentation, etc. was spread all over. Wikis solved that.
  • Searching is the key to it all. Connections search results were quick and more easily useful than competing platforms.
  • Though we don't use the latest version of Connections, my only real complaint has been the lack of "hot" links in Blog comments.
  • The management interface could be easier to use, or a bit better documented, particularly when dealing with error logs.
I would recommend it unreservedly, if it was a bit easier to manage. If on premise, you will need someone technically proficient generally, if you don't have a Websphere administrator. Of course, you could always go cloud with it.
Read Erich Schmidt's full review
Thinh Tran profile photo
July 11, 2014

"IBM Connections helps collaborate"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Communication among the teams and projects teams is a big issue. It happens too often that the information (document, email) is not readily available and sharable with the rest of the team. Information in mail inboxes, local hard drive, network shared drive lead to miscommunications and duplications of effort. Connections has help improve these challenges.
  • I use the Activities feature extensively to manage tasks and statues of my projects.
  • I also use Forum feature to gain participation and sharing of information from members of my communities.
  • The Wiki features is also very nice for reference information.
  • I would like to have the capability to create groups of members within my communities. This is so that I can send communication to a group instead of having to select individual members.
  • I would also like to be able to have subcommunities within subcommunities.
  • Having the Wiki feature support more html would also be helpful.
  • Better integration with Microsoft Office suite products would be a plus.
Create an adoption program to train your organization. It is very helpful to have as many people in your organization as possible to use the tool at the same time. This will accelerate the adoption rate and increase usage much quicker.
Read Thinh Tran's full review
No photo available
December 10, 2015

Review: "IBM Connections on-premises: Excellent, but SMBs may want to look at the cloud version instead."

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We piloted IBM Connections 5.0 (on-premises) for about 8 months but ended up deciding to evaluate cloud options instead. Our user base is about 650 users and we were looking to move up from Lotus Quickr. We knew we needed something that would work natively on iOS as well as on Windows PCs and in browsers, provide us with additional document control (ECM-type features), and of course integration of social tools to provide easier access to people and information. Usage statistics and reporting were also a concern; users wanted to know when their content was useful (or not).
  • The web UI is very easy for most users to get around. The mobile app UI is even better, especially for Blogs and Files. It’s clear IBM has done a lot of work around the usability of Connections. Most users immediately felt at home regardless of which social network(s) they’ve used. Technically savvy users quickly discovered how to customize a Community for their own purposes. After the initial introduction, most users could use the Connections web UI and mobile app easily without IT intervention.
  • Ideation Blogs are a great way to brainstorm and share ideas, then vote on those ideas. The concept is great, and hopefully as time goes on IBM refines it with additional administrative control.
  • Early test groups loved the mobile app immediately with its super easy file sync capabilities and associated document editing app (even though we did not have IBM Docs).
  • Profiles were a big hit right away, making it easy to find, tag (recommend), and follow other people that might not otherwise be connected with in the organization.
  • The ability to Tag, #hashtag and Follow virtually anything in Connections provides users easy ways to connect with people and content.
  • External collaboration, even though we never specifically tested this, appears to be very clear in Connections, providing customers etc. a secure way to share information with internal teams.
  • Search functionality is very good.
  • 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.

If you work in a large company with lots of IT resources experienced with IBM tech such as WebSphere, DB2, etc., then I’d change the recommendation to an 8 for IBM Connections on-premises. Users really loved working in IBM Connections despite various gaps they found, and it seems that IBM is very responsive to customer feedback. Many new features in the last few releases were first suggested by customers.

Similarly, if you work in an SMB and are looking at IBM Connections online (or SmartCloud or whatever IBM calls it these days), then I’d probably also say 8 assuming the cloud version is at least as good as the on-premises version. My guess is that the cloud version is probably better, given IBM’s cloud-first strategy, and don’t forget that the cloud version includes IBM Docs.

If, however, you are in an SMB with a budget-constrained IT staff who are mostly familiar with Microsoft and who find it difficult to work with anything non-Microsoft, then IBM Connections on-premises is probably not going to work well in your organization. I’d score it a 4 in that case. Even if it works well for end-users today, as time goes on it seems users discover more gaps with the software. IBM is not quick to put out new versions of their on-premises software, either. The primary reasons I think on-premises is a tough sell in this scenario are the high cost of consulting (which has a side effect of further delaying the introduction of new features), the lack of an office document editor built-in, and the lack of training for both IT and end-users alike.

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February 25, 2015

"IBM Connections review"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Reseller
Review Source
IBM Connections is being used throughout the whole organization (34,000+ end users) as a social addition to the statically delivered intranet. The main business problem and why this organizations has decided to choose for IBM Connections is in fact that it pushed out to the end users to work more closely together on projects and in day to day work situations. IBM Connections fulfills in that completely. With the mobility part of IBM Connections the circle was completely round as this was one of the biggest issue's we had with the current intranet which was too much statically build and not developed for mobile clients (not build with a responsive web design). We have just introduced the CCM part of IBM Connections which will replace overtime to all current file-shares which are being delivered via OLD fashioned way of serving files via a FileServer model. All this together is for us a major improvement on the next step of our journey in the intranet world.
  • The Mobile consummation of IBM Connections is very good and is rapidly improving over time. Every month a new version of the Mobile app for IBM Connections is being delivered which fixes bugs but also adds new functionality over time.
  • Stability is very high of the product as it runs on IBM WebSphere (which has proved itself already in the MidMarket segment completely) and is very important for us as a customer because this keeps the day to day management costs for the environment very low.
  • The open design of the product. It's fairly easy to extend the product but also the end user working and feeling is open. What I mean by that is that the product supports self serviceability so no costs at the IT department regarding of creating FileShares and so on.
  • Out of the box IBM Connections delivers a complete solution which can be used as a base to extend on. Connections to already existing LDAP/SAP/Domiono or other HR systems can easily be build via the delivered license of IBM Security Directory Integrator product with IBM Connections which is almost limitless in connecting different resources together.
  • The UI of the activities component really needs a redesign. Currently this component was there already from the beginning of IBM Connections and never got a UI overhaul. Currently the functionality is working exceptionally good but the UI is too much based on Text instead of a graphical UI.
  • Better integration with PIM (Personal Information Manager like (domino and/or exchange)) environments.
  • Currently for the admin side of IBM Connections a lot is done on the command line. It would be a improvement if we get a special designed ADMIN UI. Where 95% of the management of the product can be handled.
IBM Connections is well suited in environments where self serviceability is supported and end user wants the next iteration of storing content/knowledge inside mails and or documents.
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July 18, 2014

IBM Connections Review: "Diversity of Connections"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
It is currently being used by a number of departments throughout the company. It is addressing different problems within each department but primarily it is being used to disseminate information, used for notifications of important deadlines and for collaboration between a large geographical area.
  • Notifications - easily notifying users of changes in content whether it be blogs, forums or files.
  • Discussions - easily and quickly set up discussion topics so communities can exchange ideas on a variety of topics.
  • Quick set up - being able to rapidly set up a community in order to get a group collaborating.
  • Increased security schemes.
  • Community centric configurations
  • Displays of textual type content (web pages)
In assessing whether or not to use Connections, the primary issues are whether or not they need true web type pages and the level of security needed. The options are usually Connections or a portal site. If they don't have a need for multiple levels of access to the content or have to display web type pages then I direct them towards Connections where they can be up and running in literally 10 minutes.
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Feature Scorecard Summary

Task Management (10)
5.9
Scheduling (5)
7.9
Workflow Automation (5)
8.0
Mobile Access (9)
7.7
Search (10)
6.6
Visual planning tools (5)
8.9
Chat (6)
7.6
Notifications (10)
8.2
Discussions (10)
8.5
Surveys (8)
6.9
Internal knowledgebase (9)
8.0
Integrates with GoToMeeting (2)
9.5
Integrates with Gmail and Google Hangouts (1)
10
Integrates with Outlook (1)
4
Versioning (9)
8.6
Video files (5)
8.5
Audio files (5)
8.5
Document collaboration (10)
8.0
Access control (9)
8.8
Advanced security features (5)
5.8
Integrates with Google Drive (1)
10
Device sync (8)
8.2

About IBM Connections

IBM Connections is a collaboration tool with key features like social analytics, blogs, document management, and a social network.
Categories:  Collaboration