All OpenWater Reviews

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Josh

E-Learning, 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

Al

Verified reviewer

Automotive, 5,001-10,000 employees

Used daily 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:

5

EASE OF USE

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed May 2024

OpenWater has no competition

Pain-free. They are highly responsive to questions and suggestions. Contest management is an added part of my workload. OpenWater's system keeps it from getting too out of hand. My supervisor deals with the financial aspects. I don't know the details, but she has been able to secure multi-year discounts.

PROS

OpenWater's system is powerful and elegant. I'm only a daily user fwhen our contest is live, approximately half the year. I'm always pleasantly surprised by the improvements they've made when I open the next year's contest. I suspect that we are not using OpenWater's system to its full potential, but what we do utilize more than works for us. Their self-help guides are useful and when they're not, customer service is available (see caveat below). I have had several different dedicated service advisors; all have been uniformly excellent. Our entrants and judges find the system easy to use.

CONS

Communication is mostly by email. If you want a phone call, you need to make an appointment. That said, they are highly responsive when rare problems arise.

Reason for choosing OpenWater

N/A. OpenWater and our previous vendor were the only contestants. As indicated, OpenWater proved its superiority.

Reasons for switching to OpenWater

OpenWater cold-called. I was skeptical at first, but they mentioned that they employed several staff from our then-current provider. They sold me by showing how their system could solve several problems I was having with the current system.

Brandi

Higher Education, 201-500 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:

5

EASE OF USE

2

VALUE FOR MONEY

3

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

Reviewed May 2024

Data Management

Overall I have been satisfied with the excellent technical support I received during the height of my event planning and management. I really appreciate having one dedicated support person[sensitive content hidden]). She's great!! The platform does a great job of being my central hub for collecting submissions.

PROS

I like having all my symposium submission data in one place and the ability to run reports.

CONS

There is a steep learning curve if you are brining new team members on to manage the platform. It is not an intuitive platform. I don't like the website platform. It lacks the ability to have more customizable features. I end up not using the website for my event because aesthetically it is not appealing. I wish the virtual display of submissions. Public view was better. It looks outdated.

Reasons for switching to OpenWater

Limited data management features and abstract submission collection and scoring.

Mariel

Non-Profit Organization Management, 201-500 employees

Used monthly 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:

3

EASE OF USE

1

VALUE FOR MONEY

2

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

4

FUNCTIONALITY

2

Reviewed May 2024

Needs to be User Friendly

PROS

Customer support was responsive when we had any issues

CONS

I did not like the way it is designed, it is not easy to navigate.

Carol

Events Services, 11-50 employees

Used daily 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

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

Reviewed May 2024

How Open Water Saved the SME Awards and Scholarship Programs!

It has been a wonderful relationship working with the Open Water Customer Service and OW IT department.

PROS

Top Notch Customer Service Representatives. I never had to wait for someone to help when I needed it. Ease of implementation. User satisfaction. Virtually effortless to maintain and copy to the next year award cycle.

CONS

I have not found anything to complain about or wish I could have. Our last awards and scholarship was such a horrible software--Open Water has been a dream come true. The obstacle we have had the most problem with is our emails from the Open Water system getting through to our customers/users and not going to their spam accounts.

Reason for choosing OpenWater

We we familiar with the product. We used it for abstracts. We saw the value of using it for awards and scholarships. We had a lot of programs that we could manage on one platform which made it more economical for the volume that we do.

Reasons for switching to OpenWater

Personify was horrible. I had non stop complaints for every cycle!

Michael

Non-Profit Organization Management, 51-200 employees

Used daily 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:

5

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

Reviewed April 2024

Good Platform for Capturing Information from Applicants

Overall I have had a good experience with OpenWater. We've always found their staff to be helpful and polite, and generally it's a good system and accomplishes what we need.

PROS

We like OpenWater because it is a good platform for capturing information from our applicants. Customizable forms allow us to streamline operations and reduce the amount of time spent on administrative tasks... items like acceptance forms, photos, bios, and the like can all be collected in a passive way that makes it easy to collect and store in one place and now I don't have to worry about losing this in my inbox.

CONS

Some items can be a bit difficult to set up. The e-mail system is a particular issue - other submission systems and CRMs have one central email module where emails are generated using substitution variables, and are able to be created from a template. OpenWater's system is program-dependent (as opposed to being uniform system-wide). Wish this would get fixed.

Reason for choosing OpenWater

Unsure - I was not a part of this discussion as it was before my employment.

Paige

Non-Profit Organization Management, 2-10 employees

Used daily 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:

5

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

Reviewed May 2024

Super Functional

I have been using open water for the past 4 years and it has been great! We have a number of programs in Open Water.

PROS

The options and customization for each program. The support team is also great.

CONS

Finding where to update items. When you copy a program it can be difficult to find where to update items. For example, when changes need to be made in public settings.

Melissa

Performing Arts, 2-10 employees

Used daily 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

3

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

4

FUNCTIONALITY

4

Reviewed May 2024

Grant and Scholarship Management

PROS

I like the customization, quality of support via Open Water support specialist, ease of use, and ability to pull data

CONS

More training sessions offered, more information on grant tracking, integrations with salesforce and MailChimp. Email Wizard can be tricky.

Lori

Non-Profit Organization Management, 11-50 employees

Used monthly 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:

5

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

4

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

Reviewed May 2024

Contest Management for Journalism Organizations

Someone asked me about Open Water because they were looking for a new awards management program and I gave it a major thumbs-up because the experience overall was great.

PROS

It's very easy to use and works intuitively in a lot of ways. When I took over administering the contest, I had to learn how to manage it on my own and it didn't take a lot of work to do that. The customer service overall has been excellent.

CONS

I'd like more options for customizing reports. For instance, entries are often submitted by contest coordinators who don't need to be part of the reports. We'd like to focus on the entrants themselves but the report configurations won't allow that.

Reason for choosing OpenWater

I took over management of the program so not certain how it was selected.

Christina

Media Production, 2-10 employees

Used monthly 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:

5

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed May 2024

Ease of use

It's wonderful! I have no complaints. Anytime I run into a question I cannot answer or something I can't figure out via the very informative website, our customer service agent, Genevieve, is OUTSTANDING!

PROS

OpenWater is so easy to set up specifically for our awards program. Then it is easy for the entrants to navigate as they enter our program and the judges to use as they remotely judge our entries. Finally, the winners' entry materials are used to create feature stories in our magazine, so we have everything we need for our stories, including high-res photos, at our fingertips thanks to OpenWater.

CONS

It's pricey but you get what you pay for.

Cyndie

Education Management, 11-50 employees

Used monthly 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:

5

EASE OF USE

4

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

Reviewed May 2024

American Advertising Awards Competition

Overall, it is a user-friendly platform. There could be changes to uncomplicate the process, but I honestly don't know how to do it.

PROS

The ability to access previous forms, categories, etc.

CONS

It can be a little clunky to navigate. It takes a while to figure out the system. I have been managing our competition for the past six or more years. Each year, it takes a bit to remember how to set up the competition.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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: