IBM Connections - Not Connecting Ideas!
May 11, 2018

IBM Connections - Not Connecting Ideas!

Eric Hodge | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 2 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Overall Satisfaction with IBM Connections

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.
  • 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.
Confluence is a much truer Wiki system, with easier to understand permissions, better management of content, a better plugin ecosystem, far greater enterprise adoption, and above all else, functional search! If users generate wiki pages inside of Confluence, we actually can find the data gain! This is a huge win, as it doesn't requires to pass around URLs, but rather suggest search terms that others can use to find pages. Moreover, it integrates well with the other tools in the Atlassian suite, and we have fully switches over to using the other Atlassian tools because of it.
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.

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