K2 BlackPearl and its use in an AmLaw 200 Law Firm
September 23, 2015

K2 BlackPearl and its use in an AmLaw 200 Law Firm

Guy Wiggins | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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Overall Satisfaction with K2 blackpearl

We have used K2 BlackPearl as the core workflow engine for managing our new matter intake process. All new legal matters that come into the firm are entered into a complex form we built that is then routed using complex K2 workflows. We have a number of different workflows depending on the type of matter. For example, is it a new client and a new matter or a new matter for an existing client? All of the data for these new matters is stored in SharePoint and we use the SharePoint web parts to give people visibility into the status of the new matter workflow. It is being used across the entire firm and is a mission critical system.
  • Extremely reliable. We have never had an outage or a major technical issue with it since we have deployed it.
  • Very robust tool - can easily integrate with other systems using API's where necessary. (Called Smart Objects.)
  • Handles versions of workflows very well. You can have older versions of workflows running while you work on and deploy newer versions. This happens seamlessly.
  • Robust back office engine makes it very easy to see the status of workflows and to redirect or reroute or cancel as needed.
  • We are not on the most [current] version so I can't do this fairly. I know that if you wanted to build forms without coding, you needed to use their SmartForms product which is a significant extra cost. They do have a basic forms package but it was not flexible enough for our needs.
  • Reduced the time it took to open new matters from weeks to days or even hours.
  • Significantly improved employee efficiency.
  • Much improved reporting over our paper based system.
  • Much better visibility into the new matter process.
More robust but more complex than Nintex, which installs directly on the SharePoint servers. At the time we were looking, Nintex was not a viable player. Another advantage of K2 is that there are books and a good user community. We initially tried SharePoint workflow but it was very clear that it was too primitive and inflexible a tool to do what we needed.
K2 blackpearl is a very robust workflow tool. It should only be deployed in organizations that have the developers and engineers that can support it but I think that is true of many workflow tools in general. It does not reside directly on SharePoint servers as some competing products do so it is not as completely integrated into the SharePoint stack. This has pluses and minuses. Because the K2 server and database are separate this can give you some flexibility and it does not demand resources from SharePoint front ends. However, it also means that it is not as tightly integrated.

K2 Software Feature Ratings

Process designer
10
Process simulation
10
Business rules engine
10
SOA support
10
Process player
Not Rated
Support for modeling languages
Not Rated
Form builder
5
Model execution
5
Dashboards
8
Standard reports
6
Custom reports
5