4 out of 5.0, Reviewed Dec 7, 2016
We were already using an older version of Emptoris and were prime candidates for the upgrade to their new architecture (at the time). The VSM (Virtual Supply Master) framework ties in their other modules (i.e. Spend Analysis, Sourcing, Program Mgmt.) so the base data can be leveraged across the system (rather than having its own master data for each module). The upgrade was fairly well managed and we received good support and guidance from Emptoris/IBM. Overall, we were on time and the go-live was successful.
Always know your exact requirements. Break them down to "must have", "would like to have", and "nice but not necessary". Then, you need to effectively communicate expectations and ensure that the project team (both internal/external) fully agree on deliverables. Also establish work hours (e.g. M-F, 8A to 5P Pacific).
Emptoris ECM's strength is its configurability. It can do just about anything you want related to contracts management. It is truly the Cadillac of ECMs in regards to its capabilities. The most appreciated service we receive from Emptoris is the designation of our Customer Success Manager. Prior to having one, we were very dissatisfied with the service and felt that IBM wasn't putting effort into their Emptoris offering. Shortly after they designated CSM to our account, we immiately saw an improvement in the turnaround of support requests. We also have weekly status calls to address questions, issues, and overall outlook of our ECM solution.
The strength also serves as a weakness. Emptoris ECM is very configurable, but this also makes the solution very difficult to configure/administer/use. The user interface is also very dated. Compared to other ECMs on the market today, Emptoris is about a decade behind. There are a few quirks that our users are now used to, but when we discuss these quirks with users of other systems, they're very surprised Emptoris hasn't addressed them. Emptoris' release of version 10.1 most likely addresses these "quirks". We were given the opportunity to test drive and noticed a 'night and day' difference. Unfortunately, we are not willing to be the guinea pigs, so another upgrade is highly unlikely... at least for another year or two.
There are quite a few functions we don't use today either because we're unaware or because we don't have the knowledge to configure correctly. Emptoris provides a "Health Check" service where consultants come on-site and assess the current system and processes. Their report out includes gaps and recommendations to eliminate/reduce them. They will also share their product roadmap which they incorporate into their final presentation. Knowing what we know today, I wish there was more guidance from Emptoris on how to leverage the new version. We're happy with ECM overall, but would like to know whether we're using it to its fullest capability.
Hindsight is always 20/20. We wish we developed more test scenarios, especially around administrative functions. Many of the questions came AFTER the implementation, but our Emptoris/IBM Success Manager was able to help us.
4 out of 5.0, Reviewed Nov 17, 2016
IBM was professional, thorough and responsive to our ever-changing requirements.
Keep your lawyers in their place and not allow them to have the legal considerations take priority over the business considerations.
Technical fluidity and comprehensiveness.
The lack of tailored training that would take into account the needs of different end users of the system.
Focused more on the cultural and maturity level of the organization and then adjusted accordingly.
Given much greater consideration and thought to the make of the team leadership, specifically, not giving the lawyers as prominent of a role.
4 out of 5.0, Reviewed Mar 18, 2016
Strong product & established vendor
Maturity of application
Required ongoing negotiation to resolve performance.
Include Performance benchmarking in testing approach.
Readily available to answer questions via phone
Not as responsive to performance issue as expected from this vendor.