42 reviews

OpenWater

virtual conference platform, application and review platform

4,8 /5 (42 reviews) Write a Review!

Overall rating

4,8 /5
  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Features
100%
recommended this app
42 reviews
Leo B.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Publishing
  • Company size: 51-200 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Great service and even better support.

Reviewed on 2018/05/02

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.

Skye B.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Publishing
  • Company size: 2-10 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

3 Years of Loyalty and Counting

Reviewed on 2019/04/23

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.

Melissa G.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Education Management
  • Company size: 11-50 Employees
  • Used Daily for 1-5 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Best abstract collection and speaker management solution

Reviewed on 2019/03/15

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

Maria A.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Nonprofit Organization Management
  • Company size: 201-500 Employees
  • Used Daily for 1+ year
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Great product

Reviewed on 2019/02/27

OpenWater has saved my organization money and time. It is a great product and I highly recommend it. We will likely use OpenWater for other business needs.

Pros

he software does want we want to do. The implementation was very fast and customer service is amazing! I have never before worked with a vendor that is this responsive.

Cons

The software has a lot of functionality that we will likely not use making it at first overwhelming. Once you get use to the application, you know exactly where you need to go and overlook the features you do not use.

Pavan B.
Overall rating
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

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  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support

Happy customer!

Reviewed on 2017/09/14

Pros

Amazing service - lightning quick responses...wow!
Super helpful to have the judges watch videos right through the platform.
Loving the new premium theme feature :)

Mike K.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Nonprofit Organization Management
  • Company size: 11-50 Employees
  • Used Daily for 6-12 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Great experience. This is a great product and it has great people behind it.

Reviewed on 2018/05/08

Saved us time, personnel resources, money and effort.

Pros

So easy to use, and it had every functionality I needed. I'm not very tech-savvy, but this was easy to learn, easy to use, easy to master, and it does everything I need - even when my needs changed over the course of the project.

Cons

I didn't like changing my point person mid-stream, but it worked out in the end because the new person was just as responsive and knowledgeable as the first one.

Verified Reviewer
Overall rating
  • Company size: 501-1 000 Employees
  • Used Weekly for 1+ year
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 9.0 /10

Amazing support

Reviewed on 2018/07/23

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

Michael O.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Nonprofit Organization Management
  • Company size: 2-10 Employees
  • Used Weekly for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 9.0 /10

A great company who truly cares about your organization

Reviewed on 2016/09/28

This is our third year using OpenWater awards for our annual Golden Reel Awards program. We could not have found a better company to work with. The OpenWater platform is extremely user-friendly and the production team goes above and beyond our expectations.

Successful programs take time to build. Please take the time to work with the support team and explore their tutorials. OpenWater will help you every step of the way!

Michael
Motion Picture Sound Editors

Pros

OpenWater will do their best to add custom solutions to their platform.

Cons

The back end doesn't allow for easy manipulation of large amounts of data. Would be great to have a table view to edit data.

Response from OpenWater

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your review. We added a bulk edit view to our software. It covers many, but not all cases. Take a look here: http://academy.getopenwater.com/v2/articles/bulk-edit-view

Your support rep will be reaching out to you with some more info about it.

Melissa H.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Marketing & Advertising
  • Company size: 51-200 Employees
  • Used Daily for 1+ year
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Daily User

Reviewed on 2019/07/17

Pros

I like how simple report setup is. In my role, I'm largely concentrated on the analytics behind who is entering, the time it takes them to enter, etc. and the dynamic reporting has helped my effort. We've also recently migrated our public-facing awards pages over to the OpenWater platform and the process has been a dream.

Cons

The chat between different platforms could be improved. We use specific email software that, if enabled, would be able to talk to OpenWater to allow us to streamline correspondence with entrants

Clayton S.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Nonprofit Organization Management
  • Company size: Self Employed
  • Used Other for 1+ year
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Very pleased with the product

Reviewed on 2019/05/06

Overall - very pleased. The product offers all the flexibilty we need, and is backed by a caring, talented, responsive customer support team.

Pros

We manage two educational awards using OpenWater. It does everything we need it to do (and more that we don't use). Customer support is second to none. Navigation is pretty solid and the software provides lots of opportunity to craft the application to exactly what we need to adjudicate submissions. Also easy to archieve past years programs and clone for current year.

Cons

Not so much the software as it might be my memory. Using it two years now, on two award programs that run almost concurrently, I had to reach out for assistance as I couldn't find answers to questions. Online support material is very good, but like many, I find the chat feature, or a phone call is faster to resolve my needs. Not an OpenWater issue, but the foreign exchange stings a bit when paying in Canadian dollars.

Kelsey L.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Media Production
  • Company size: 51-200 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 8.0 /10

OW Review

Reviewed on 2019/07/17

Pros

The customer service that OpenWater offer its customers is next level. We have never received this type of support when dealing with any of our other software providers and it makes a huge difference.

Cons

We have nothing to add here, our experience with the OpenWater software & team have been nothing but positive.

Sarah M.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Design
  • Company size: 2-10 Employees
  • Used Weekly for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 8.0 /10

Running Multiple Competitions

Reviewed on 2019/07/10

Pros

OpenWater had pretty much all we needed to run our competitions, but through the years they have continued to update. It is an even better product than before. Customer service is very good.

Cons

There is a learning curve. You can do so much and as a result it takes some time to understand. So don't expect that you'll be up and running in an afternoon. Sometimes the UI/UX is a little weird (Settings vs Manage? I still don't understand the difference). Eventually, with enough use, you can intuit how the system works.

Hannah L.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Nonprofit Organization Management
  • Company size: 11-50 Employees
  • Used Monthly for 1+ year
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 9.0 /10

Best application software

Reviewed on 2019/09/25

Pros

OpenWater is so intuitive and user-friendly. I also love the customer support that is provided.

Cons

Although the software is intuitive, it takes a little bit of training to get used to the functions.

Sara M.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Public Relations & Communications
  • Company size: Self Employed
  • Used Other for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 7.0 /10

Software Review

Reviewed on 2019/04/23

Pros

Easy for users and admin. We use it only once a year. The knowledge base is good

Cons

The reporting needs work. Most reports come in Excel. Need better tools

Joshua M.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Higher Education
  • Company size: 1 001-5 000 Employees
  • Used Daily for 1-5 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

The cost-benefit of OpenWater is outstanding, far exceeding expectations.

Reviewed on 2017/11/30

Pros

Easy to use for admins and users. It has increased nomination and application submissions by 100%. The support is responsive and friendly.

Cons

It can be limited in how awards with different nomination or application processes are built into the same awards program. The OpenWater staff has been very helpful in providing solutions for those nuances.

Michelle R.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Commercial Real Estate
  • Company size: 11-50 Employees
  • Used Monthly for 1-5 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

OpenWater Awards Review

Reviewed on 2019/02/27

This has helped our Awards process tremendously. We no longer have human error when scoring our candidates. The system has saved countless hours for our staff members.

Pros

Great functionality for our Awards Program. Ease of use.

Cons

It was very foreign to me at first. Took awhile to get used to using a software instead of the "old fashion" way we did our scoring.

Taunie K.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Computer Software
  • Company size: 201-500 Employees
  • Used Other for 1+ year
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 9.0 /10

A very adaptable solution.

Reviewed on 2019/10/04

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.

Shanita S.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Nonprofit Organization Management
  • Company size: 2-10 Employees
  • Used Weekly for 1-5 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Makes our members happy!

Reviewed on 2019/09/27

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.

Al B.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Publishing
  • Company size: 5 001-10 000 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

OpenWater contests

Reviewed on 2019/06/27

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.

Amanda B.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Consumer Goods
  • Company size: 11-50 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 9.0 /10

Always helpful!

Reviewed on 2019/02/27

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.

Mel L.
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  • Review Source

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  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
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Increasing efficiency and streamlining processes for multiple programs

Reviewed on 2016/09/30

We have used Open Water over the last 3 years, and in that time, they have evolved faster than we can keep up! We began with our most complex programming and customized reporting: Abstract Submissions/Reviews/Notifications, plus a SSO integration with our AMS. Then, we've expanded to other solicitation programs that the Open Water platform can serve: Awards (as they originally intended to be), Volunteer recruitments, and Submissions (a generic catch-all for other types of solicitations --> reviews -- > notifications processes). The technical support team is fantastic in listening and programming what is needed. As the primary user with admin rights for a small staff, I have very limited time with handling the platform, but it is very intuitive and has a checklist and videos for each configuration step (though I haven't watched them to help me since it's quite easy to follow). Bottom-line: Great system for simple (well-thought out) processes that work for the Open Water platform.

Brock R.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Design
  • Company size: 501-1 000 Employees
  • Used Weekly for 1-5 months
  • Review Source

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  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 7.0 /10

Good functionality. Better service.

Reviewed on 2019/08/12

Our professional organization runs a biannual awards competition. OpenWater is the platform we use to manage entry submissions, payments, and applicant notifications. Overall it is a good platform, though there's definitely a learning curve. If I were to use it consistently over time, I suspect I would get quite a lot of value out of it.

Pros

The customer support was absolutely the best part of using OpenWater. Whenever I had a question, the rep was immediately on top of it. She was incredibly helpful.

Cons

The navigation is not particularly user friendly. There are a lot of features, but they can be difficult to find, because they are hidden down different rabbit holes. It's not always intuitive to use.

Verified Reviewer
Overall rating
  • Industry: Leisure, Travel & Tourism
  • Company size: 10 000+ Employees
  • Used Monthly for 6-12 months
  • Review Source

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  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 8.0 /10

Very expensive for what you get

Reviewed on 2021/05/01

Overall, my experience has been positive. However, the expense outweighs the benefit of the overall software.

Pros

Openwater is very customizable compared to other Call for Papers tools currently on the market. It allows customizable questions and fields for submitters and same for reviewers. I love that it has the blind and double blind option for reviewers and some automatic email capabilities.

Cons

This software is extremely expensive compared to others on the market that can do the same exact thing and have the same features.

Betsy S.
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  • Ease of Use
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Highly recommended!

Reviewed on 2016/09/26

The OpenWater system has been great for our awards program. The applicants, judges, and our staff all find it easy to use and the support from OpenWater staff has been above and beyond. Any time we've had questions or been in need of systematic changes, OpenWater staff has been quick to respond and always helpful. Zack and Theresa are AWESOME!

Elle C.
Overall rating
  • Industry: Nonprofit Organization Management
  • Company size: 51-200 Employees
  • Used Daily for 1-5 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 7.0 /10

Working Well with Multiple Departments

Reviewed on 2019/05/16

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.