K2 blackpearl - steep up-front commitment that can pay off big time
Mark Johnston | TrustRadius Reviewer
February 06, 2015

K2 blackpearl - steep up-front commitment that can pay off big time

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with K2 blackpearl

K2 was being deployed to support processes throughout the company. Initial efforts were focused on integration with SharePoint and SAP, but later integrations to Salesforce were planned.

We identified candidate processes for K2 blackpearl based on their maturity, stability, frequency, and impact on Company operations, giving priority to processes that were relatively mature and stable, that were used often, and that had the potential for greatest benefit if they were automated with K2 blackpearl.

We ended up working first on processes related to sales forecasting and factory capacity planning.
  • Incredible flexibility: K2 blackpearl has so-called "smart objects" that serve to encapsulate properties of data from a wide variety of sources and platforms, and to re-use those objects in various processes.
  • Good tools for representing processes visually and developing the K2 blackpearl assets needed to represent real-world process flows.
  • Support for delivery of data to process approvers and other stakeholders that includes the information they need to perform their role in the process in a friendly format. Ability to show them the data they need to make a decision on a variety of devices, and to record their decisions.
  • Good tools for monitoring and reporting process performance and identify delays.
  • Ability to handle role delegation, parallel and serial approvals, and other non-standard process scenarios.
  • K2 blackpearl has a pretty steep learning curve. It may be quite difficult for people who do not have a technical or programming background to understand.
  • K2 provides various training options, and their trainers are very knowledgable and competent, but their training courses use canned environments and examples that provide limited opportunities for students to understand how K2 blackpearl can be applied to processes within their company.
  • Sometimes [users] don't have sufficient experience with other platforms to which K2 is being integrated. Even though the software has hooks into other platforms such as SAP and Salesforce, K2 has very limited resources for assisting in end-to-end implementations. And third-party consultants that have good K2 expertise are a bit hard to find.
  • Positive impact on process discipline.
  • Excellent tools for measure process cycle time, identifying process delays, and making significant improvements to processes.
  • Increased efficiency through delivery of process information to stakeholders that minimizes delays, especially when processes are running across multiple time zones, and involve people who are traveling or away from their desktop.
We had a department dedicated to process improvement, but no platform to enforce process regularity or accurately monitor process execution. K2 blackpearl was chosen because it provided the tools to execute, monitor, measure, and improve processes.

We found SharePoint's built-in process tools clumsy, hard to re-use, and not very powerful or flexible.

K2 blackpearl's ability to integrate with SAP, Salesforce, SharePoint, and other platforms that were already in use around the company was another strong point.
There need to be IT resources that can bridge the gap between understanding how the K2 blackpearl platform works and how end users need to interact with it. There are significant up-front deployment and development steps required to apply K2 black pearl's significant power.

And there needs to be a reasonable level of maturity in the business processes that K2 blackpearl will be deployed to support. This maturity implies that processes are stable, well-documented, and that there are established roles in the process that are understood and supported by the process participants.

If the above criteria are met, K2 blackpearl has the power and flexibility to bring some real discipline to key business process, and the tools to monitor, measure, and improve those processes.