Windward Studios Review

Integrates into our software solution and allows us to quickly create/update templates

What is our primary use case?

The primary use for the solution is that we create legal agreements for our clients by using data within our database.

They're usually legal agreements, they could be negotiation documents, all about what's called right-of-way, which is asking people for use of their property for electrical lines and gas lines, etc. That's what it's used for across all of our client base. In terms of the number of templates we have, it has to be in the thousands, because of the number of clients that we support with the solution.

How has it helped my organization?

It's hard for me to say because we've had this product ever since we started our solution. We really could not have started our business, quite honestly, without a document generation engine like Windward. We couldn't have done it without it.

What is most valuable?

The ability for it to be integrated into our software solution and the AutoTag tool that allows us to quite quickly create and update the templates themselves.

Also, the ability for users to have design and layout control is very important because, as we all know, things change and regulations change, so they need to be able to modify things as the business changes.

What needs improvement?

We've been working with Windward and the executives over there over a number of years and they've been quite flexible and helpful with all of our challenges.

If I were to think of one thing - and this is really an opportunity, not something that's a deficiency - a lot of clients that want to use this don't have the technical background for the SQL portion of gathering the data. If Windward were to make a more user-friendly SQL extract front-end, that would help a lot of clients to leverage the application a lot more.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes, we have encountered stability issues, but I think they were more when we were changing from one licensed product to another, and how we configured our system. We had some issues with the licensing, but that was resolved by Windward a long time ago.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not seen any scalability issues, I have not seen a performance issues. Usually when we do, it has to do with the SQL portion of it.

How are customer service and technical support?

They are good. They give us the information we need to help troubleshoot where we are at.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I don't believe we had another solution at the beginning. We started, and have stayed, with Windward.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is absolutely worth the value. 

They have flexibility, depending on what you're looking for from a buying standpoint. The current pricing models are quite flexible, with the ability to use it on an as-needed basis, or to get a perpetual license that covers a customer that might have extensive needs. I think it's pretty good.

What other advice do I have?

We solely connect to our own solution database, our geoAMPS right-of-way database. We create PDF, Word, and Excel for the most part.

We did not consider building a custom solution because we wanted to be able to concentrate on our core business, which is supporting our customers. And we wanted to concentrate on their businesses, not on the document generation itself, so we looked for a third-party solution that concentrates on document creation.

In terms of advice to others who are considering this type of solution, first, really confirm what your volume is going to be, and pick the solution that best meets your volume needs. If you're close to the higher volume level, that's what you should pick because that will reduce any kind of interruptions.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
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