Looking for an alternative to Lotus Notes (HCL Notes)

If you have a lot of Lotus Notes (HCL Notes) applications, you’ll find WEBCON BPS reflects many of Notes’ strengths, but much better performance, easier application development, and a modern approach to change management and structured deployment.

Lotus Notes WEBCON BPS
Modifying a live application

No ability to implement changes to the workflow while a document is being processed.

InstantChange™ – your in-flight workflows adapt immediately to changes to the application model.

Application lifecycle management

Forms, workflows, and any dependent components must be manually packaged; non-destructive/non-disruptive updates are at best an art, not a science. Everything beyond the “nifty fifty” simple example applications takes a lot of time – even 6 months for creating one application.

The entire application – workflow, forms, reports, dashboards, data schema, connections to external data – can be packaged and deployed (and updated) from development to test to production. You can create even two meaningful, workable, usable, valuable apps each week.

User adoption
The software’s glory days are behind it; it’s not as intuitive to use as innovative low-code platforms, and requires a lot of extra work.

UI framework promotes consistency across applications; a user who learned one application already knows how to use any new applications.

Process mapping

Workflow diagrams are meant for technical people; they’re not business-friendly.

Integrated workflow, form, report, and dashboard designers; diagrams are both business-friendly and technically robust.

Analytics
No built-in analytical functionality; any possibility of workflow auditing will involve a lot of manual effort.

Built into each workflow step.

Performance
The way data is stored causes significant use of server resources for running even a single application (up to 40%). The user experience is not speedy; 5-10 second response times are not uncommon.

Data access optimization and performance are built into the UI framework so the use of server resources is up to 10 times lower than Lotus.

Power users

The outdated system architecture does nothing to discourage a lot of bad habits. More advanced functionality involves workarounds not every power user knows well. You’re on your own if you want to document your solutions.

Designer Desk provides non-professionals with an easy way to create prototypes that professionals can extend and deploy to production. Documentation is generated automatically.

Integration

Integration with external systems such as ERP is only possible through creation of a dedicated agent that imports data. Validation requires another agent. Data exchange is complicated.

Can be and has been integrated with many global, local, standard and tailormade systems by building an appropriate API, such as Microsoft Dynamics, Comarch XL, SAP, Salesforce, and others.

Records, auditing, case management

No build-in audit tools.

Build-in audit tools. Each document offers a history view that shows who changed what, the resulting bursts of activity, and how long each one took.

Maintanence

Resource-consuming daily administration and maintenance can take even up to 10 hours weekly. There are no features to automate monitor document locking or agents’ work.

No need for constant control and monitoring. The system keeps you informed about everything. Administration can take around 1-2 hours weekly.

Lotus Notes vs. WEBCON BPS

Modifying a live application

Lotus Notes:
No ability to implement changes to the workflow while a document is being processed.

WEBCON BPS:
InstantChange™ – your in-flight workflows adapt immediately to changes to the application model.

Application lifecycle management

Lotus Notes:
Forms, workflows, and any dependent components must be manually packaged; non-destructive/non-disruptive updates are at best an art, not a science. Everything beyond the “nifty fifty” simple example applications takes a lot of time – even 6 months for creating one application.

WEBCON BPS:
The entire application – workflow, forms, reports, dashboards, data schema, connections to external data – can be packaged and deployed (and updated) from development to test to production. You can create even two meaningful, workable, usable, valuable apps each week.

User adoption
Lotus Notes:
The software’s glory days are behind it; its not as intuitive to use as innovative low-code platforms, and requires a lot of extra work.

WEBCON BPS:
UI framework promotes consistency across applications; a user who learned one application already knows how to use any new applications.

Process mapping

Lotus Notes:
Workflow diagrams are meant for technical people; they’re not business-friendly.

WEBCON BPS:
Integrated workflow, form, report, and dashboard designers; diagrams are both business-friendly and technically robust.

Analytics
Lotus Notes:
No built-in analytical functionality; any possibility of workflow auditing will involve a lot of manual effort.

WEBCON BPS:
Built into each workflow step.

Performance
Lotus Notes:
The way data is stored causes significant use of server resources for running even a single application (up to 40%). The user experience is not speedy; 5-10 second response times are not uncommon.

WEBCON BPS:
Data access optimization and performance are built into the UI framework so the use of server resources is up to 10 times lower than Lotus.

Power users

Lotus Notes:
The outdated system architecture does nothing to discourage a lot of bad habits. More advanced functionality involves workarounds not every power user knows well. You’re on your own if you want to document your solutions.

WEBCON BPS:
Designer Desk provides non-professionals with an easy way to create prototypes that professionals can extend and deploy to production. Documentation is generated automatically.

Integration

Lotus Notes:
Integration with external systems such as ERP is only possible through creation of a dedicated agent that imports data. Validation requires another agent. Data exchange is complicated.

WEBCON BPS:
Can be and has been integrated with many global, local, standard and tailormade systems by building an appropriate API, such as Microsoft Dynamics, Comarch XL, SAP, Salesforce, and others.

Records, auditing, case management

Lotus Notes:
No build-in audit tools.

WEBCON BPS:
Build-in audit tools. Each document offers a history view that shows who changed what, the resulting bursts of activity, and how long each one took.

Maintanence

Lotus Notes:
Resource-consuming daily administration and maintenance can take even up to 10 hours weekly. There are no features to automate monitor document locking or agents’ work.

WEBCON BPS:
No need for constant control and monitoring. The system keeps you informed about everything. Administration can take around 1-2 hours weekly.

„The Lotus Notes environment involved a smaller number of applications than we have at present, but it required us to spend about three person-days per week just to monitor the platform’s behavior and respond to emerging problems like document locks or agent failures. We basically don’t need to monitor the WEBCON environment. Ongoing maintenance takes one hour per week, which is about 20 times less time than what we needed to maintain Lotus Notes. Issues reported by users have turned out to be most often a matter of user error – for example, accidentally ending a workflow. Thanks to InstantChangeTM, we can resolve such cases immediately."

Say goodbye to outdated solution

If you're reading this, you've probably already learned that it's not worth spending time and resources on a system that is not supported by its manufacturer. Bet on a solution that will push your business forward.

Efficiency first

Don't waste time on manual updates and tedious daily checks of the environment. Let the system keeps you informed about everything.

Processes that run

Yes, your apps can happily run for months, if not years, without consuming resources or slowing anything down. You can migrate them, and even modify them while processing docs, and they’ll continue to run with no disruptions.

Analytics without extra effort

Wouldn’t it be nice if the workflow model assumed it would be reported on? That it provided metrics automatically? And that it had room for you to easily add extra metrics to measure without making the project more complicated? We thought so – and we made it so.

Change management revolution with InstantChange™

Learn how our unique technology future-proofs your critical applications, makes remarkable time-to-business the norm, and why you’re missing out if you don’t have it!

See if we are right fit for you

Learn how our unique technology future-proofs your critical applications, makes remarkable time-to-business the norm, and why you’re missing out if you don’t have it!
One consistent platform that works
everywhere

It’s in your data center. It’s a hosted solution. It’s a part of your cloud infrastructure. It’s everywhere.

And everywhere WEBCON BPS is, it’s the same technology. The same feature set. Not just the same look and feel. The same everything.

And everywhere WEBCON BPS is, it’s the same technology. The same feature set. Not just the same look and feel. The same everything.

The end of fragile applications

Applications wind up involving forms, workflows, reports, connections to data, and perhaps a unified web application that brings them all together. With most platforms, those different elements are build separately, integrated manually, and deployed carefully.

Here’s the fun part: in WEBCON BPS, they’re all different faces of a single thing. The forms are a window into the current state of the workflow. The data schema tells the forms what they need to do. Lookup fields can reference a catalog of already-configured data sources. There are business rules governing, well, everything. Reports know about current status and form content. Change audit trails keep track of everything, not just documents.

No process left behind when you need
to make a change

Virtually every process management and workflow automation platform treats a single running instance as a set of queued instructions. Once it starts, it can’t change, and you have to accept it. Maybe you can cancel and restart it, but that’s it. WEBCON BPS is better than that. At every step in a process, a running instance checks the model to see what should happen next. Change the model, the running instances change their path. The forms change their behavior. The data changes its schema. The reports change their appearance. The model implemented by WEBCON’s InstantChange™ technology is rare – and incredibly useful when you have processes that won’t stand still.

Processes that run as long as you need

WEBCON BPS apps can happily run for months, if not years, without consuming resources or slowing anything down. You can migrate them, and even modify them, and they’ll continue to run.

Professionals and stakeholders
working together

In a world of citizen-assisted development, professionals stay in regular contact with stakeholders. That means stakeholders/users need to be able to understand what’s going on and be able to give feedback that’ll be acted on.

With WEBCON’s Designer Desk, stakeholders create the initial specifications in the form of a functioning prototype. When professionals pick that up and carry it forward, the ongoing work is familiar. With InstantChange™, the effort and time needed to react to feedback is microscopic.

Deployment lifecycle support

Deployment isn’t an afterthought. It’s wired into WEBCON BPS’ DNA. Every application element is aware that it can be moved from place to place, and fundamental design decisions were made to ensure that things keep working when they do.

You can even define dependencies into your applications when you want them to behave differently between development, testing, and production, too.

Auditing and analytics without extra effort

Plenty of platforms offer analytics. Some charge extra for it. Almost all of them require you to do extra work to make use of it. So your hyper-detailed, flowchart-style workflow diagrams will need to become extra detailed to accommodate extra steps to emit metrics to be collected for analysis.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the workflow model assumed it would be reported on? That it provided metrics automatically? And that it had room for you to easily add extra metrics to measure without making the project more complicated? We thought so – and we made it so.

The end of analysis paralysis

The reason why so many projects never get started is because stakeholders aren’t quite sure what they want. Not in detail, at least. Designers conduct a seemingly endless series of requirements-gathering meetings, specification reviews, and so on. They do this because they can’t afford not to get it right the first time. WEBCON BPS changes that. By making the cost of change low and effort to evolve easy, you can start with an imperfect first try and immediately follow it up with a series of improvements based on feedback. Improvement cycles can be measured in hours, sometimes even minutes. And since most people have an easier time critiquing than imagining, you not only get faster results – you get better results, too.

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