About iServer Suite
SaaS Enterprise Transformation Platform that enables organizations to realize transformation outcomes and achieve digital goals.
I depend on their rapid and flexible support to ensure I'm making the most of our investment in the system.
A modular approach can be limiting for a software that is as all-encompassing as iServer, if resource constraints are an obstacle to adding additional modules.
Filter reviews (15)
Filter reviews (15)
Flexible Tool for Enabling IS Strategic Management
Comments: This product has given us a mechanism to start discussing concepts of single source of truth across the IS ecosystem. It also is supporting our BPA and SPM initiatives.
The underlying database, and the ability to customize attributes has become increasingly important. In fact, lately I've been leveraging this more than the diagramming. This feeds data into a collection of PowerBI dashboards that I can then use to communicate with senior management and other stakeholders.
The original install was on premises and requires Windows to run (both for the client and the diagramming tool which is Visio), and requires VPN connection for offsite users. We will be switching to the i365 product which will solve much of this inconvenience.
iServer: The Versatile Modeling Tool for Business Architecture, Business Analysis and Knowledge Mgmt
Comments: While a centralized Business Analysis repository where all business analysis work products would be kept organization wide remains an elusive goal, iServer is a very useful knowledge management and business analysis repository for a unit that fully embraces it. Detailed diagrams of existing systems serve as a reference for incoming business analysts and high level diagrams orient executives on system capabilities and unit structure.
The ability to trace objects to other objects and their source business rules or business drivers is a must for complex business analysis situations where multiple (hundreds) of requirements need to be traced and a spreadsheet approach becomes too cumbersome and time-consuming. The ease in showing these relationships and dependencies with the iServer 'spider' type diagrams helps explain these relationships to stakeholders who appreciate pictures to depict complex systems or problems. Seamless export to Microsoft Suite file formats when needed is a plus, as well as the read-only web based presentation of diagrams using the iServer Portal. Creating a diagram is simplified by the numerous templates that come with the product. Beyond the software itself, the iServer support team provides world-class service well worth the annual subscription. The iServer account manager assigned each client is a valuable asset and complement to the online training provided for both for the administrator and the user role, providing support to engage licensed users through biweekly user meetings.
While I applaud the Microsoft look and feel of the product, the learning curve for an intermediate Visio user to understand the differences between modeling one-off and modeling with shared objects stored in a repository can be discouraging to those expecting a quick fix pill. There is no doubt that a shared repository of objects can undoubtedly benefit an organization, but getting there is more of an organizational and governance challenge than a technological one. For the technology solution, iServer is the tool with the greatest ease of use I have tried. The licensing model could be improved to one that allows use of all current modules to a defined use or user threshold. A modular approach can be limiting for a software that is as all-encompassing as iServer, if resource constraints are an obstacle to adding additional modules.
Alternatives Considered: MEGA and Blueprint's Business Transformation Platform
Reasons for Switching to iServer Suite: More reasonably priced than other alternatives considered, while providing the core functionality of a central repository for all objects (in a SQL server database) as well as the integration with MS Office Visio.
iServer and tracking risk
Comments: We have had a very positive experience with iServer. The initial deployment went well, the raining was excellent and general use of the tool and support has been great,
iServer has enabled us to link our enterprise architecture to our overall Risks.
It takes a while to get used to the main user interface and navigation between the objects and report views.
Very easy to use and adopt, compared to other products. Portal and BI Dashboards are easy to consume by non-technical audiences. Cost is also much less than others we have used/evaluated.
We have identified none to date - very easy to use
Alternatives Considered: Enterprise Architect and Cameo Enterprise Architecture
Reasons for Choosing iServer Suite: Ease of use and ability to share output with non-technical audiences
Switched From: Cameo Enterprise Architecture
Reasons for Switching to iServer Suite: Ease of use, reporting, and cost
Enterprise architecture governance and modelling using inhouse tools and frameworks
Comments: The Orbus team are extremely knowledgeable and responsive. Publications, templates user guides, eLearning tutorials on the product have been extremely helpful. The consulting and support teams take the time to understand our challenges. Our IT teams do look to our internally branded enterprise archtecture knowledge repository (iServer Portal) for information of our supported systems and solutions.
By using Visio as the modelling interface and the ability to generate excel, powerpoint and word documents allows our team the ability to create views for business and technical stakeholders from a central database of enterprise objects. This eliminates the extra effort of translating and improves visibility to various stakeholders at different stages of initiatives and projects. The easy to configure interface and use of data exchange and included apis allows our team to source and publish data to other systems, allowing for consistent and standardized communication.
System performance when checking in and out diagrams using the iServer client. The performance issues have been addressed in the 2021 version which we have not implemented yet so we look forward to seeing the improved performance.
Comments: iServer has been instrumental in our quest to document our organisation's enterprise architecture. The tool allows us to capture all of our technology and application architecture, but also show the relationships with our business processes and capabilities. Initially used only within the Architecture team, iServer is now regularly accessed by the wider IT and Business Change community, to support decision making and impact analysis.
Our organisation has traditionally used Visio to maintain technical and architecture diagrams. iServer allows us to maintain a central repository of objects, meaning any changes can be quickly updated across multiple diagrams without the need to manually update each one. In addition, the impact analysis features allow us to focus in on areas of change within the organisation and then identify the impact of those changes. Previously we relied solely upon the knowledge of our architects and subject matter experts. But now, this information is easily accessible and stored in a single, central repository. Technically, iServer is a very stable product and we have never experienced any major issues, even during product upgrades. The support team are very responsive and any minor issues and service requests are usually resolved within a matter of hours.
The speed of the application when checking in / out documents can be slow sometimes. But the iServer 2021 upgrade, which we only recently implemented, does address this and brings about some performance enhancements in this area.
iServer Business Process Re-engineering
Comments: The overall experience of using iServer has been very positive. It was originally selected based on a need for a software platform to support the recording of our main software product's Product Architecture. iServer met those original expectations and delivered the capabilities we needed. Following that period, our business has evolved and iServer has been used for the integration of an acquisition and the extensive business process re-engineering that was subsequently performed. iServer is now a cornerstone of our business landscape with our business policies, process and work instructions documented within it.
One of the major positive aspects of iServer is the extensive configurability of the product. This meant that it was possible to configure it to meet our needs efficiently.
iServer was originally developed on top of Microsoft Visio, historically this mean that users had to have Visio in order to use the iServer client. I'm glad to say though that Orbus recognised this dependency and this is no longer the case.
Comments: Very happy overall with the benefits iServer has provided in bringing together all artefacts into a single repository and helped in promoting standards-based Enterprise Architecture modelling.
iServer is built around standard EA reference frameworks such as TOGAF and Archimate. It also comes packed with lots of very useful design templates based on these frameworks so experienced Enterprise Architects would find it easy to navigate and use the tool. Architecture Building Blocks can be defined as objects and therefore re-used, saving a lot of time creating models. Artefacts are also available to view instantaneously by anyone in the organisation using the portal view thereby improving visibility and communication. There are also training sandpits and reference libraries to provide reference implementations of various models and catalogs which is very handy. iServer also uses Visio as native diagramming interface and therefore easy to use for anyone familiar using visio.
Sometimes application crashes without proper error messages which can be quite frustrating to figure out and also hard to explain to support without doing a screen share and providing them access to the environment to investigate.
Incredibly Powerful Tool
Comments: It takes time to fully understand its capabilities and figure out what artifacts and the tailored metamodel you want to implement within the tool. The Orbus consultants have been very valuable in helping us with our implementation and achieving our goals!
It covers all needed architecture domains, artifacts, viewpoints, planning materials and workflows that make up Enterprise Architecture best practices. We are a TOGAF shop which iServer strongly supports. The support for Visio and the various Views are great capabilities that every architect will find helpful and a real productive enhancer.
It is very robust and flexible which makes important to plan your implementation. You tailor it to meet your goals and needs which takes time.
iServer is a cost effective EA tool which brings transparency across our organisation.
Cost management, Create internal/operational efficiencies,
Enhance decision making, Improve business process agility,
Improve business process outcomes,
Improve compliance & risk management
1. iServer provides for Visio Integration and familiar Microsoft UI for modelling and provides a web portal to view artefacts which is key for involving business stakeholders. 2. Querying, drilling down through the enterprise stack to enhance decision making. 3. Great customer support, always willing to help and a knowledgebase.
1. Advanced customisation (custom visual iconography) should be simpler - a wizard would help increase productivity. The current method requires several steps that takes time which adds up. 2. Would like some system connectors out of the box e.g. ITSM.
Robust and Accessible
Comments: Where IT teams have been very silo-ed in the past, we're bringing transparency and finding areas where we can reduce the number and variety of products we use and gain cost savings and efficiencies.
For an agency of our size, with federated administrations, it's imperative that we have the ability to manage a single data set from the Enterprise level, that is viewable, accessible, and editable within certain parameters at the administration or division level. Attributes can be viewable, but locked for editing based on profile, ensuring that data is managed appropriately. The fact that infrequent users can use a portal license rather than the full client allows for easier management of the product.
The amount of time it takes to upload large data sets is particularly irksome during annual reporting.
Happy with iServer
There are several aspects of iServer that I find beneficial, such as the ability to include modular frameworks, the complete customization of the metamodel (including industry-specific and role-specific customization), and the warm-fuzzy feeling of knowing I have all of my documentation "squared-away" and in a central repository that others can reference. I depend on their rapid and flexible support to ensure I'm making the most of our investment in the system.
As far as the software/system is concerned, I really don't have many problems to share. I do think that it can be a challenge to get my metamodel and related object/attribute capabilities functioning well, but that isn't really a problem with the software (it's more of a case where I had to try a couple of different approaches, but finally settled on one that works for me).
The Champ tool - iServer Suite
Comments: Great experience this far. We created our Architecture journey and so far we are maturing
Integration with PowerBI and Ms Visio, use a repository for storing processes and SOP. Enterprise Architecture built and governance defined to manage different architecture level
Mostly creating views needs a bit of training - which is not covered in detail on training
Architecture Enabling Product
Comments: Using as an IT Governance process to document architectural changes to the environment. Used as a source of truth for Asset Management.
User friendly with product administration. Uses industry architecture frameworks as a guide to get started.
Performance issues with some features. Unsure if product or environment related slowness.
Integration with Microsoft Products Association of the architecture repository to the underlying Diagrams
SaaS version is Pricey , On-Prem version requires periodic upgrades