All application management software is not created equal. The core of any submission management system is its ability to do two things:
- Collect applications or other submissions from users
- Store them for you in a database
Beyond that, there’s a litany of options that range from free, open-source web tools to robust, enterprise-level submission management systems. Some systems are highly customizable, and others operate off of a what-you-see-is-what-you-get mentality. The best of them are as cost-effective as they are comprehensive. You want bang for your buck.
Our OpenWater application management software strives to strike this golden balance—to offer incredible value while giving you some extra aces up your sleeve. We knew it should be user-friendly but capable of nuanced work. Valuable on its own, but easy to integrate with other systems. Useful for collection, but also for organization and review.
When we designed the system, questions like these three were at the top of our minds:
Can staff configure it without your help?
It’s no use implementing an online application management software that no one but the IT director can manage—no matter how powerful it may be. Any technology implementation will involve some training and an adjustment period, especially if the previous system or process has been ingrained into the organization over many years.
But staff should be pleasantly surprised by how much their workflow is streamlined and automated when they switch over to the new software. It should be easy to pick up, come packaged with convenient resources for learning the ins-and-outs, and simple to adjust year-over-year as your needs evolve.
The ideal application management software can be customized and configured without an in-house developer or any IT intervention (after initial training). This is especially crucial for online application software, which will have to integrate with your website. Building out a website might seem like a web developer’s job, but the folks managing your submissions should be able to create and handle web submission forms without help.
Will it update data on every system in your stack?
IT software portfolios are more extensive than ever. You might have a CRM, AMS, marketing software, help desk system, accounting software, and more, but they can’t each become just another silo for data. Eventually, the info in those submissions will either need to move to other platforms or at least update related data within them. That should never take an arduous manual or custom process.
A large out-of-the-box collection of APIs and pre-packaged integrations should make it easy to join forces with every software in your stack. Bi-directional synchronization is the gold standard—it would ensure that all of your integrated software stays up to date automatically, without any human intervention.
Does it manage your entire program lifecycle?
The best software stack has system uniformity. Your application management workflow stays smooth when you’re using products that are designed to work together from the beginning to the end of your program. Look for an application management software that handles not only collection, but also the organization, judging/review, and possibly even scheduling (if you’re managing, say, abstracts and sessions for a conference or annual meeting).
A full growth stack of on-brand products for your application submission and review program is great. What’s even better is when the application management software has a comprehensive REST API, so you can easily manage the whole lifecycle of your program. With REST, none of your data is tied to resources or methods. You can output it into any format, at any stage, or even change its structure to meet your needs.
OpenWater can, will, and does help you with all of the above.
Our application management software works hand-in-hand with you and your other systems throughout the lifecycle of your program. It comes with all of the integrations you need, a full REST API, a ton of free training tools, and an accoladed 24/7 support team that’s ready to jump in when you need it most.