All OpenWater Reviews

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Josh

2 - 10 employees

Used less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra
This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.

OVERALL RATING:

4

Reviewed September 2021

Powerful and flexible awards management system

User Profile

Leo

Verified reviewer

Publishing, 51-200 employees

Used daily for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

Reviewed May 2018

Great service and even better support.

It reduces the amount of time and effort it takes to run a program and extract the data collected.

PROS

It is extremely configurable and the company is very responsive to the needs of the customer. They have added features and functionalities that were not available so that they could suit our needs.

CONS

Some of the native reporting features could use improvement but were created for us at our request. It would be nice to be able to duplicate entries from a 2 step program into a 1 step program.

Taunie

Computer Software, 201-500 employees

Used less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

OVERALL RATING:

4

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

4

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

Reviewed October 2019

A very adaptable solution.

PROS

We weren't actively looking for a contest management solution but a Sales representative reached out to gauge our interest in OpenWater, after hearing about our Construction Intern Awards scholarship program. Up until that point we had been using Wordpress to manage this competition, which included a lot of manual maintenance, popular voting plugins, a bulky media gathering process, entry content display delays, and several other headaches. On top of that, we had to use other solutions to manage the judging portion of the contest, which involved either rigging survey products or creating a mess of spreadsheets but both caused confusion for the judges. What we liked most about OpenWater is that it addressed all of the above problems we were facing and allowed us the freedom to customize almost everything. Every other contest management software that we looked at wouldn't let us use our own CSS/HTML to style the site, relying on some sort of WYSIWIG instead. After the initial setup, OpenWater was a huge timesaver. We have also had outstanding support reps since the beginning of implementation. We've asked for a lot during our time using OpenWater and they definitely come through for us.

CONS

Our contest is set up in a pretty unconventional way (weekly popular vote-based contests combined with a separate traditional scholarship application), and OpenWater has done a good job of keeping up with our requests. There are several smaller, nit-picky things about the popular vote functionality that could be improved but it's still better than what we were doing before. Another factor that we've had to work around is the fact that the contest dashboard looks the same for everyone who visits the dashboard, regardless of user type (applicant/judge/voter), which can be confusing for some users.

Reason for choosing OpenWater

We decided to choose OpenWater over alternative solutions because of the customization options. We wanted more options than just being able to select our brand colors and upload a logo to a standard form (which is the case with most solutions we came across). OpenWater gave us the freedom to adapt the application portal to match are website CSS as well as other customization options, like SMTP for emailing.

Elle

Verified reviewer

Non-Profit Organization Management, 51-200 employees

Used daily for less than 6 months

Review Source: Capterra

OVERALL RATING:

4

EASE OF USE

3

VALUE FOR MONEY

4

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

3

Reviewed May 2019

Working Well with Multiple Departments

My company is using OpenWater to accept grant application submissions from individual faculty. Other departments also use the platform to accept student fellowship and volunteer applications. Overall we are able to do what we need, however there is no easy way to reveal blinded submissions for judging rounds. We're still in the building stages- and we like that we can build one round at a time instead of needing to have the judging settings set up before accepting applications.

PROS

In our organization the greatest asset for this software is the ability to host multiple sites. We're able to put application opportunities on separate secure platforms, each for different audiences.

CONS

The round options and judging settings are not automatically user-friendly. Another staff member had to spend some time explaining the features in detail before anyone from my team could use the product. For instance it isn't clear that the open round automatically has judging set up based on which program type is selected. And there is no testing feature- in order to test the application portal you must open the submission round. We also had to switch which staff would have super-user status since only two are allowed.

Carleen

Non-Profit Organization Management, 11-50 employees

Used weekly for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.

OVERALL RATING:

4

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

Reviewed July 2021

Best of the Best

We've been with OpenWater for about 7 years now. We haven't considered looking elsewhere for our Awards needs. The program has the functionality we need, the price is extremely reasonable, and the customer support is above reproach.

PROS

OpenWater is very easy to use. The training videos and knowledge base are extensive and easy to use. The support team is superb - always available and willing to help. I have a dedicated support member, so there is excellent consistency. She knows our organization, she knows our program, and she knows our needs.

CONS

I would like more user-friendly reports. It would be nice to create my own custom reports a bit more easily. But this is not a deal-breaker. It likely has more to do with the kinds of complex reports I'm looking for than OpenWater's ability to provide good reporting.

Reason for choosing OpenWater

The price was right. The sales team didn't harass us (as the others did for years). The implementation and roll-out processes were very easy.

Shanita

Non-Profit Organization Management, 2-10 employees

Used weekly for less than 6 months

Review Source: Capterra
This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

OVERALL RATING:

4

EASE OF USE

3

VALUE FOR MONEY

4

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

3

Reviewed September 2019

Makes our members happy!

OpenWater has been very pleasing for membership. It solved several of our issues: 1. We needed a software that would tie into our database. 2. We wanted to be able to perform membership renewals with pre-filled data so that our members would not have to redo much if anything. 3. Allow members to stop and start without losing data. 4. Allow new data that was entered to flow back into our database. We can now do all of this at a great rate and without a ton of hassle. I love that integration was not a long drawn out process either. The team at OpenWater worked well with our integration team and got us up and running in no time. It was helpful to have a couple of our programs created by OpenWater and then handed over to us after training as well.

PROS

I like that we CAN integrate this software into our database and have our users log in using their credentials used in our site and have some fields pre-populated.

CONS

The multiple ways to access the emails and the judging settings. It would be easier to have a main area on the dashboard of the admin panel and be able to tie the information to a program. Would like to eliminate the number of places to remember to go set up. It also does not tie into our database to update a status as paid.

Reason for choosing OpenWater

We received the recommendation from ATS. I trust them when it comes to knowing the best system to work in.

Reasons for switching to OpenWater

We had too many complaints from members and the emails from their system kept going to spam.

Al

Publishing, 5,001-10,000 employees

Used daily for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

4

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed June 2019

OpenWater contests

We use the software to operate two photo contests. Most (not all) of our members understand the entry interface. We are able to do back-end management that would be immeasurably more difficult if we had to do it by hand. Being able to offer these contests is a nice benefit for our members and gives us another way to interact with them.

PROS

We are probably not using it to its fullest extent, but it's very powerful and is constantly being improved. Our contest typically has around 3,000 entrants and we could not manage it manually. Database aspects make management a breeze with easy access to judging results and entrant information. We pride ourselves on customer service and being able to answer user queries quickly adds to that initiative ... participants often express surprise at how quickly I am able to resolve their issues. My supervisor once observed as I used the system to answer one of her questions and was also very impressed by the ease with which I could do so. The new search function works very well.

CONS

It's not intuitive to a new user. That said, learning how to use it and training others has not been difficult and superb customer service is always available when questions arise. I recommend paying extra to have OpenWater set up the system. I had neither the time or the knowledge to create the first iteration although it appears that plenty of help would have been available. Now that we are up and running, it's a simple matter to clone the contest from year to year.

Reason for choosing OpenWater

OpenWater indicated that several of its employees came from our original vendor and they were able to show that their system was far less clunky and more powerful. I have nothing to do with the actual purchase, but it certainly didn't hurt that the cost was also lower.

Reasons for switching to OpenWater

Better price, although proof of concept certainly helped

Skye

Verified reviewer

Publishing, 2-10 employees

Used daily for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed April 2019

3 Years of Loyalty and Counting

10/10 would recommend.

PROS

So easy to use, the software has self explanatory navigation, intuitive organization and all the functionalities we need for our awards programs. If issues do arise (though not that often!), the immediate customer support and service streamlines our work-flow and save us time and headaches. The OpenWater team truly does respond within 10 minutes of opening the chat box, which hovers conveniently but covertly on every page of the site when you are logged in as primary admin. (Shout out to the rep who always provides instant solutions!) The platform is ever improving. We are always finding new updates within the interface and its capabilities that are obviously informed by customer feedback. They truly are the most receptive and adaptive team we've worked with.

CONS

If the software team weren't so amazingly immediately responsive, we could have small grievances to list in this cons corner, but all gripes are attended to and abolished within the same day they are discovered. So the only issue this leaves us with is one that really does have a solution, but one that requires more funds: We have multiple awards programs running at once, and although the upgrade is available to have additional programs open simultaneously, it would be an economical advantage to be able to have at least one more program live within the payment plan we are currently using. This wish aside, OpenWater and their team have been nothing less than one of our best investments to date.

Mark

Used daily for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

4

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed September 2017

Excellent product, people, and support!

PROS

Although OpenWater is already very intuitive straight out of the box, I really like how support is just a chat button away. I receive instant, friendly, expert support whenever I have questions or concerns. No waiting on support tickets! They also have an excellent collection of pictorials, videos and docs on their academy site: http://academy.getopenwater.com/v2. Last but not least - OpenWater actually listens to their customers. If we have an idea or would like to see something changed, they submit it into a queue for review and if approved, it's implemented. They have used a couple of my suggestions in the past two years.

CONS

Some areas could use better means of access. For instance - I think that project-related themes and websites should be available from within their own navigation menu. This is really not even a "CON" for me. It's just a matter of opinion. I'm also not particularly fond of the checklist process that was recently added, but I can see how others could find this useful, especially new users.

Vendor Response

Thanks for your comments and suggestions. The checklists you reference can be turned off, I'll have a support rep reach out to you with more info regarding that. Also your feedback is noted regarding the menu structure, we understand it can be tricky, especially with the number of websites and programs you manage.

Replied September 2017

Melissa

Verified reviewer

Education Management, 11-50 employees

Used daily for less than 6 months

Review Source: Capterra

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

4

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

Reviewed March 2019

Best abstract collection and speaker management solution

We needed an abstract management program that integrated with a very challenging database to collect abstracts (from new and pre-existing users), process payments, assign abstracts to reviewers, develop a schedule/program and publish an app. Other programs we've used has issues where users would have issues signing in/signing up, data wouldn't flow correctly between steps and automatic steps (like building a program or assigning an abstract) became administrative burdens. OpenWater has hands down the best customer service we've experienced with any vendor to-date and helped us create a program that resolves these issues on the front end and manages the programs with ease throughout the event.

PROS

- It integrates well with our CRM but still flexible for users to find/create/consolidate when needed - Clear workflow for admins to manage programs, including dates, forms, reports, rules, communications - Awesome customer service. Seriously. - All "programs" can function together (other abstract management software programs have issues flowing data between functions or are managed by service reps who never cross over) - Staff works hard to understand our needs and keep us on track

CONS

- App still in development, but scheduled for beta release in 2019

Anonymous

501-1,000 employees

Used weekly for less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed July 2018

Amazing support

Awesome products.

PROS

This is the most reliable award software I have got till now. The things I like most are the function duplication, custom forms, the internal linking of the form ect. Email notifications and form management features are really helpfull. It gives all possible customizations. On top of all these things, if you are stuck with anything, you can simply contact the support team and my experience with them is just amazing till now. They provide you complete support technically and that too in poliet way. If you want anything that is out of the product customization, they will ask for the flow and will try to implement it. The most friendly customer support I have came across till now.

CONS

Nothing as such till now. Iiked this software as I have experienced other bad quality award softwares and just fade up with them. Also the website takes more time to llad

Greg

Higher Education, 11-50 employees

Used daily for less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed July 2019

Continues to be a great return on investment

The entire OpenWater team from implementation to ongoing support have been terrific to work for. They put a great deal of effort into understanding our business needs to help us build programs that best take advantage of all the robust tools available through the platform. They also go to pains to solicit client feedback for new functionality and features, which only builds on the value of what has already been a terrific investment for our association.

PROS

We purchased the software primarily for abstracts collection, which the OpenWater platform excels at, but what we have found most appealing about the software is that its flexibility and ease of configuration have allowed us to apply it to many other areas to replace aging legacy, custom built software solutions (awards, elections, nominations).

CONS

There's very little negative I have to say, but if I had to quibble with anything it would be sometimes the form and report building tools are a little clunky for nontechnical staff, but that's a pretty nitpicky complaint for such a powerful tool.

Reasons for switching to OpenWater

enSYNC's Abstract Studio was only compatible with iMIS, which we were migrating away from, and their replacement program and abstracts management software was still under development so they did not have a viable upgrade or replacement path available to us.

Amanda

Consumer Goods, 11-50 employees

Used daily for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

OVERALL RATING:

4

EASE OF USE

4

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

Reviewed February 2019

Always helpful!

The customer service is on point and that is AMAZING. [SENSITIVE CONTENT HIDDEN] is always available when we need her and works so well with us. She makes using the system easier and provides slight suggestions for improvement while maintaining professionalism. I would not be taking this survey if it weren't for how awesome she is - because it needs to be said. With that being said, the overall software is great - but wouldn't be as amazing if I didn't have the customer service aspect of someone being available to guide me in the right direction. Once I am there, the system is user friendly and easy to operate. The massive collection of FAQ's available is very valuable and appreciated.

PROS

It is fairly user friendly, which is always very nice and allows for us to continue to use and learn the program.

CONS

Sometimes updating the website portion is difficult and you do need to know how to code/html coding. If you don't know that, you aren't able to fix small issues because they are buried in the background of the coding.

George

Marketing and Advertising

Used daily for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed September 2016

OpenWater platform rocks the American Advertising Awards

Before OpenWater, I didn't think a five star awards competition entry software experience was possible. But as we enter our fourth year as their partner, my mind is forever changed. The American Advertising Awards competition conducts all entry submissions and judging on the OpenWater awards platform... this includes nearly 200 local club and district competitions which comprise the complex three-tiered national awards program structure. And OpenWater has been a true partner in every phase of our growth since we signed on, providing outstanding support services at every level. The back-end is so user-friendly, it is easily adopted by new local administrators each year. And the entrant interface is very intuitive, allowing more that 40,000 trouble-free entries from across the country during each competition cycle. And, perhaps best of all, the system just WORKS, handling literally tens of thousands of media file uploads without a hiccup. We have experienced other, less-reliable entry software products in the past, so we know first-hand how bad things can be. But OpenWater has been our rock since Day One.

PROS

It works all the time.

Gabby

Hospital & Health Care, 11-50 employees

Used weekly for less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

4

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed February 2021

We love OpenWater

Overall, we love our experience with OpenWater and everything has been very positive. We highly recommend the product.

PROS

My organization has been using OpenWater for a little over a year and it has been a life-saver for our company. We love it! It is easy to teach yourself things, and admin can reach out to customer service for calls and for help. There are many help articles. You are able to have applications, judging, and surveys. Open Water is very versatile.

CONS

While Open Water is easy to navigate and teach yourself, it is also very intricate. There are so many things that can be done in Open Water and so many different ways to do them that sometimes it is difficult to teach others how to use the program.

Matt

Used weekly for less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed December 2017

Amazing customer service, tons of features, steep learning curve

Incredibly customizable form creation and so much more.

PROS

The Open Water platform is one of the most robust and full-featured systems we've come across. It's extremely detailed and customizable, with the ability to adapt various templates to suit needs as simple or complex as you desire. Some of our favorite features include the external and internal linking within forms, program duplication, easy to create conditional child forms, and the autoscoring feature. However the best "feature" of Open Water is their customer service team. They are, hands down, the best CS team I have worked with out of hundreds of vendors in various industries. They are fast, polite, and know their product down to the smallest details.

CONS

After managing the Open Water platform as the primary admin over the course of nearly two years, I have no serious complaints. The platform has a steep learning curve and we have found it somewhat hard to retain configuration knowledge since the system makes it so easy to duplicate past programs, so we rarely start a new one from scratch. When we do we sometimes need to reach out to the OW team for a refresh, which they are always happy to help with.

Jennifer

Non-Profit Organization Management, 11-50 employees

Used weekly for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed October 2016

Best decision to use OpenWater!

More than seven years ago, my company made the decision to improve our awards process, which was still being managed by volunteers with paper form collection. Kunal and his staff at OpenWater took our ideas, worked us through improvements and provided top notch support through the entire conversion. Since then, the support has continued to be highly responsive, and capabilities have been added that have allowed us to make further improvements. The system continues to be easy to use for both our applicants, judges and staff. Because of this, we have managed to save valuable staff time and resources, maintain participation in a declining workforce, and obtain judges that will return year after year. Additionally, we are able to maintain an archive of all past applicants and winners - a function that was never possible without time-consuming staff management. I highly recommend this software, as well as the customer support and service provided by OpenWater.

PROS

Ease of programming, ability to change and update at any time. Functions such as cloning, email notifications, and form management.

CONS

There are many capabilities that we do not utilize. I would love to have more time to explore those.

Nicole

Publishing, 51-200 employees

Used daily for less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

OVERALL RATING:

4

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

Reviewed February 2019

OpenWater

OpenWater has helped to make our awards programs easy to pick up each year. I like that we can dummy previous sites and just tweak and manipulate with new data etc. and then push out for a new season. Customer Service in particular - is amazing at helping me out and working out any issues I may have. I think having a strong customer service base is key when working on award programs that often have tight deadlines and external judges who are not used to working in the system.

PROS

Once I get a tutorial on what i'm looking to accomplish, the software is easy enough to manipulate to do on my own without having to bother my customer rep.

CONS

Some items aren't intuitive. Making reports etc. And it looks like the new interface of the portal isn't as easy on the eyes as the past look. But that might just take some getting used to.

Madelyn

Education Management, 11-50 employees

Used daily for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE