New Report from Idealware: Comparing Lower-Cost Online Integrated Applications

Lori Halley 07 January 2008 2 comments

Laura Quinn, Founder and Director of Idealware and Eric Leland have published an overview report that will help smaller organizations looking for online service providers who can offer a full range of integrated services such as online donations, email management, membership database, and manage event registrations.

Idealware reviews eight service packages provided by 8 leading companies to compare their functionality in a variety of areas: Wild Apricot, eTapestry, GivenGain, MemberClicks, Z2 Systems Neon, Democracy in Action, Network for Good, and CitySoft, and considers some of the benefits that  integrated systems can provide.

“Because all of these functionalities are wrapped up together into one package, there’s no need to synch up the data between different components. For instance, all of an organization’s online donors are stored automatically in the donor-database side, and are easily available for emailing. These online integrated packages can provide a compelling alternative to locally installed applications and custom software — especially for organizations that haven’t already made a sizable investment in constituent software and have a fairly common set of needs.”

Which lower-cost online integrated packages might work well for you? What core features does each package offer? Are they easy to use out of the box, or is “some assembly required”? Read the full report to find out.

My colleague Dmitry Buterin added:

"I was very happy to see Wild Apricot getting the top marks for ease of setup and ease of use. From the outset we have decided that our system should be accessible to everyone - not just hard-core techies. And it is very hard to do when you try to provide powerful and flexible functionality at the same time. General feedback from our users have been indicative that we are maintaining the right balance between functionality and usability - and it was very nice to see this recognized by Idealware experts. With their product reviews and seminars they are among the most knowledgeable people in this area !

I attribute our progress and achievements in this area to our development philosophy - we are devoted to collecting feedback from clients and acting on it fast - we also use 'agile development' methodology which allowed us to release 17 Wild Apricot version updates in 2007 alone.

Of course, I could argue that we deserve higher marks in some areas - e.g. Flexibility for custom needs - but this is very hard to evaluate. Every organization has some unique perspectives so I hope this review will at the very least motivate them to include Wild Apricot into consideration. For a fixed fee of $25 to $200/month it is one the most affordable solutions for clubs, associations, online communities and any other groups.

We have lots of enhancements planned for 2008 so stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

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Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Monday, 07 January 2008 at 9:00 AM

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Comments

  • Confused said:

    Thursday, 31 January 2008 at 6:34 AM

    Your legend doesn't make sense "Sophisticated/Easy" are OPPOSITES.. please clarify.  Is it good or bad?

  • Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

    Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] said:

    Thursday, 31 January 2008 at 6:45 AM

    You can ask idealware directly - it is their chart.

    I understand it simply that it means 'Highest mark'. For the first two lines this means 'Easy', for other lines - 'Sophisticated'

    In other words, our app got top marks for Ease of setup and Ease of use

    but low mark for Flexibility for custom needs (which I do not really agree with - but I respect their perspective)

    Dmitry,

    Wild Apricot

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