Windward Studios Benefits

Hit Mistry
Vice President at PSC Group, LLC
It has streamlined a lot of our reporting processes. Windward gives you the ability to have a centralized reporting platform. There are many applications out there that have their own reports. Windward provides a centralized enterprise solution. For example, I had a program that I had written, which needed print capabilities. With the Windward interface, I was able create a different report platform inside of this new application leveraging Windward. Then, within a day or two, I had reports coming out of the new system, using the existing Windward platform. * From an efficiency perspective, it is obviously top-notch. * From an integration perspective, they provide the code for you to easily integrate with existing applications. * From a business perspective, it only makes sense to use Windward as your one centralized automated reporting platform. As a systems integrator, Windward has been key to our getting acceptance for proposed projects. In fact, I often find myself pitching Windward to clients who are looking for some sort of automation, regardless of whether that requirement means a non-technical user or a technical user is involved. At this point, Windward is our go-to solution for any sort of document automation or reporting that is required by a prospect or a client of ours. There are a couple of scenarios that we typically encounter. One is somebody that the client or prospect has already looked at Windward and has some familiarity with it, but they don't really understand how they can incorporate it into their environment or how they can leverage it for their business needs. The other one would be somebody who has never heard of Windward. They are looking for a solution and we can leverage Windward as an opportunity to earn their business. For example, a client I was working with was working on a platform, and that platform had a very rudimentary reporting mechanism. When you went to that platform and wanted to request a report, there were a lot of parameters that you were forced to put in. The report wasn't in any sort of format. Customizing a report to the client's needs was very cumbersome. We were able not only to meet the requirements that the client wanted, but we were able to circumvent the existing reporting platform, bypass it, and leverage Windward to output the reports. That's a clear example of how we were able to integrate Windward into an existing software application. We use it internally for outputting various types of reports. I have demonstrated that to existing clients and prospects. Anytime they're looking for this type of solution, I simply let them know that we're "eating our own dog food" here and show them how we're using it. That has really gone well for us because it demonstrates that we have knowledge of doing the integration of the product and that we have knowledge of the product — we've got resources on staff who understand the technology and how to put something together from a reporting perspective. It really showcases the fact that it is something that's relatively easy to use. Creating a report using some reusable components is what helps us drive our business from a reporting perspective. It has helped us tremendously when we are prospecting, and when we need to show some demos we've got something readily available that we can show. Working with Windward as a company has helped to increase our business. As part of the partnership that we have, what Windward does is sell its product and what we do is integrate that product with existing platforms. Nine out of 10 times, Windward will get a request from a prospect in which they ask for a certain type of scenario. Windward will refer that prospect to us and we will work with Windward team, in almost a presale or sales-enablement mode, to help address any type of business concerns that the prospect may have. Whether it has been an integration or it's a technical issue, we have worked together with Windward to help solve problems for prospects. In fact, we had one just recently where there were certain requirements that were not native to the Windward platform, but Windward was quick to say this is something that we could integrate with our product, should the need arise. From a support perspective, Windward is great because they're willing to adapt and change, based on customer requests that are coming in. As we work together as a team, it's a handshake. We'll help them out on certain requests that come in that are unique for them and, in turn, we'll do the same when we've got a reporting platform or a technical issue that we need to deal with where Windward can get involved. Before working with Windward, we were doing a lot of custom software development. That is a lot harder to sell than trying to leverage an off-the-shelf product. Working with Windward has probably increased our revenue by at least 200 to 300 percent. We're working very extensively with them. It's now at the point that I have a cadence call with one of their salespeople every two weeks, just to ensure that we talk about anything that's coming into my pipeline or their pipeline and to see where we can help each other out. View full review »
Juriaan Kloek
IT implementation consultant at BearingPoint Caribbean
Before using Windward, we were using another document creation tool and this old tool required some very specific, technical, XSLT knowledge, which was scarce. We didn't have a lot of people with this knowledge and it's also scarce in the market. By changing to Windward, the whole technical challenge of creating a document has been eliminated. Our business users who are like business consultants in our company are now able to design documents together with our customers. Before, the business consultants were only able to draw up specifications which had to be sent to the technical guys who would actually create them. We eliminated one step in the whole process of development. In addition, in the future, we are aiming for a situation where our customers will be able to maintain their reports or their documents by themselves. Because it is a Microsoft Office plugin, and our customers are familiar with Microsoft Office, we expect that in the future they will be able to maintain their reports by themselves. That would be more efficient for everybody and eliminate yet another step in development. As for the ability to design templates within the Microsoft Office Suite, it works fine. We primarily use Microsoft Word, but lately we have also been generating reports with Microsoft Excel. Excel requires a little bit more technical knowledge, especially about Excel, of course, to be able to create good documents. But the document creation process has been simplified a lot and we can now allow colleagues with more of a business background and knowledge of Microsoft Office to create documents that work. The technical XSLT guys are not required in this part of the process anymore, so they are now spending their time on other technical issues. These technical guys were really scarce in our company, so if we had had to the pull off the project that we did here in Curaçao, that went live with Windward, we would have had to hire more technical guys or train more technical guys to get all the reports, all the documents designed, doing it the old way. That wasn't necessary. View full review »
Valarie King-Bailey
CEO at OTG
When generating documents from information in a database, it's very important to be able to quickly generate them with established templates. That's where Windward sails, because Windward allows you to pick a document template. In a regulated industry, everything starts with a template and it is super-important that information be entered into templates exactly the way the template is laid out. Failure to do results in being noncompliant and there are fines associated with that. In a regulated industry, it's a hugely important point. If it's just you using Microsoft Word, it's probably not such a big deal. But in our industry, it's a pretty big deal to be able to do that. Windward's ability to allow users to tag documents quickly and easily, and to publish them into SharePoint or whatever your doc management system is, is huge. That's how we use it. It also helps free up developers for other tasks. Before using Windward, we had an army of people trying to make this happen. Windward has saved us both time and money because we don't have to deal with trying to get the right template to the right person, trying to get the right information into it, going from database to database. That was the major issue prior to Windward. It saves our customers tons of money. Because each customer we work with is different - there are no two life sciences companies that do things the same way - it's difficult to put the savings into a dollar figure. But let's say I'm generating a test script. In a manual paper world, if I were to open up a Word document and create a test script, it would take about 45 minutes on average. Using the Windward system it takes six to ten minutes. It has reduced document preparation time by over 60 percent. We use it to add personalization or conditional content to documents. Validation is, in fact, that personal content. Before using Windward, we did it on paper. We would go to Microsoft Word and start typing, and it would take 45 minutes per test script. If you think about how many tests scripts there are for an average project - about 400 test scripts - it's a significant reduction in time and money. If you wanted to add a dollar figure to that, multiply that time savings by $165 an hour. It's a significant savings. If we didn't have the Windward system it would be hugely impossible for us to do what we do. We try to save our clients time and money and, using the Windward system, we're able to do that. If we didn't have Windward it would be virtually impossible because we'd have to do it all by paper. Winward has allowed us to save our clients both time and money. During the validation process, we create lots of documentation. One of the biggest challenges is that validation is time-consuming. We create per project over 500+ documents. The format of the documents is key. Windward allows us to format documents to each customers specifications to ensure compliance. The key feature is that it allows us to create multiple documents in rapid fashion saving both time and money for greater accuracy. View full review »
Learn what your peers think about Windward Studios. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: April 2020.
431,468 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Solutionef0b
Solutions Architect at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
The product has improved our organization in allowing us to dynamically generate our customer documents - all of our contracts, application documents, and any other documents that are always dynamically dependent on the customer's details. We're able to now generate them dynamically, using a single template and a single API core, by just passing that data through. That has allowed us to streamline our document generation capability within the organization, removing work that was potentially required to do that previously. The ability to design templates within the Microsoft Office Suite has absolutely freed up developers' time for other tasks. Report-building is not having to be done by developers. A lot of it can be done by the simple business user, if it's just a font change or replacing some static text. That can be done by the simplest of office and business users. If you can use Word, you can do that. Some of the more complex functions, like dynamic merging in a nested loop might require a little more advanced knowledge, but anyone who uses Excel or who can write a small macro in Word or Excel would be able to do that. The learning curve is a lot simpler than any of the other report builders that are out there. View full review »
Mike Horrocks
Vice President of Product Management at Baker Hill
We decided to integrate Windward so closely with our next-gen product, in part, because we've had years of success with it in the field. It's been proven to deliver exactly what we want and exactly what we'd expect out of a solution. That was the biggest driver for us. It just flat out delivers. I wouldn't say it necessarily improves our organization; it does so for the clients that we work with. Some of the facts I've heard include that we've been able to save our clients between 20 and 40 percent of their time in developing these documents. They're able to build them once, make the modifications they need to, if they have to, and they're consistent. It's been a really positive experience for them. I had one client who said they're seeing upwards of 60 percent improvement in terms of the time and effort needed to generate the documents that they need to for their clients. When you think about that as a part of the process, it's pretty impressive. What ends up happening from our clients' perspective is that they're actually able to have their business users use it, versus having their IT teams involved. Anytime you can keep the IT team focusing on infrastructure and network connectivity and performance that's great. Then, the business users can build what they need and can focus on the business side of things. Also, things aren't "lost in the translation" from business to IT. A business user could express, "Well, I needed X, Y, and Z," to a particular IT person, but that person may not truly understand exactly what it is that they're trying to accomplish. If the business user can focus on doing that work, that's a huge win for them. It helps them be so much more successful in implementing their true business needs. View full review »
Technica6546
Technical Manager at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Our product is a very complex wealth management product. It manages the whole lifecycle of a typical investor. In our product, we maintain four or five different types of UK tax wrappers. That's our feature. We have to communicate with all these investors. That means we have to send letters with updates and statements. If there is any trading then we have to send contract notes. There are also cancellation notices, welcome letters - tons of letters typically generated through a wealth management product. The way the Windward product helps us is that it gives us flexibility, because we don't know, in advance, what kinds of letters and how many a client will need. Windward gives us extensible functionality where we train our clients: "Oh, you want to add a letter? Okay, here is the Windward template to start with, and you can extend it according to your requirements. Then you just drop the template and you're done. The product will pull out the data and create a letter for you through that existing in functionality." That's a great feature which is dynamic in nature, where we don't have to lock it in with an existing screen, an existing function. We can change the data source dynamically, depending on our requirements and, using a template, fix up the data, create a report, and it does the job. Most of our clients use Windward to generate all the letters for their clients. Having this dynamic feature is quite a good use case for our product, because we don't want to have something which is not dynamic in nature, something where we can't change features. Windward provides that functionality and that's why it's suitable for a product like our wealth management product. It's user-friendly. As an IT and software product company, some of our guys know it, but we have trained our clients as well and they can create reports templates themselves, comfortably. View full review »
WimCuyvers
Owner at CNC Consultants
My current project, for a company in the Netherlands, is a large one. I expect it will take six months. The project includes producing an 80-page book for each of their customers, a book with 24 tables and 35 charts and all kinds of different options. But there are also some very simple pages in it. To create this book we are creating a .txt file with almost 12,000 lines. The cost to the client is about €10,000 a month. They have said if they had to do this by themselves, it would cost them two or three months of training to get them to the level to be able to do what they need done. They have said that employing me, with my experience, to do the job for them, is a cheaper solution than if they were to do it by themselves. It may be that they don't have the right personnel available or they don't have the time, but they want to move on with their project. There is no maintenance for the solution, except if the client wants to make a change. All the tables and all the charts that we have created for this big book change dynamically, depending on the data based in Excel. That makes Windward is a great solution. And for such a short project, a project of six months, it doesn't make sense to move it to China or to India because you always have a language problem. These documents have to be generated in Dutch and other ones have to be generated in English or French. Another benefit for my customers is the savings. My customer could, for example, be a company that sells electricity to one million people or 10 million people and its customers have to receive an invoice every month. No such company will employ typists to type the invoices with the customer's name and the amount due and how much electricity the customer has used. That is all done automatically with Windward. These documents are nearly the same for each of the 10 million customers, but the name, address, and amount owing are different. All the rest — the "Thank you very much" and other standard text — is the same. The more invoices the company has to print out, the more it saves. There is a certain moment where such a company, because of its size, has to do everything automatically. View full review »
Jim Aiken
SVP, Product Development at High Line Software Corporation, a Neogov Company
This is a tough question, because we are a software vendor, and we use it as an add-on to our software to write the reports for it. It's improved our software, but it hasn't really improved our company. Of course, we use our own software to do our own HR and payroll, but we don't use Windward to do financial reports. We use whatever is in the financial software that we use. View full review »
reviewer1255479
Systems Support Specialist at a construction company with 5,001-10,000 employees
We used another process for doing this, previous to Windward that was absolutely terrible and support was practically non-existent. The documents used by our sales force are critical and examined very closely by our customers. They need to foster confidence in our product and company. Previously, our reps had to spend a lot of time tweaking/fixing an imperfect document and fussing with nested tables. Thanks to Windward, our documents need very few tweaks and are usually "customer-ready" right out of the box. Most of the tweaks are only to make the documents unique to an office. View full review »
CliServ3298
Head of Client Evolution And Services at AxeFinance
For our customers, it is important to have all the details related to a document, that they can find everything in one document. In addition to that, it is valuable for them to be able to export to it to Word. It is a solution that enables them to have everything in one place and accessible at one time. Our company is using Windward because it works well with Microsoft Office. You can easily export to Word and the document is usable in Word. Whenever you export, you don't lose many features and you can treat it or process it as a Word document. This is not possible with other tools. It is easy to design templates within the Office Suite. With this feature, it gives our clients the flexibility of using the document. We could, of course, design a very good document, but if it is only a PDF it can't used further. There isn't the flexibility to add some comments or tags, etc. With Windward, it is flexible in terms of design and, later on, the user can use it as a Word document. Everybody is familiar with Word. In addition, the customization is important. It has helped reduce costs. Maybe not in a direct way, helping us, but we are helping our customers to reduce their costs. View full review »
Neil Carroll
Product Management & Owner at a financial services firm with 11-50 employees
It completely offloaded a needed component of our platform, providing tools that we would have had to develop internally. We didn't need to reinvent the wheel for a part our business that is ancillary. View full review »
reviewer1025424
User
This solution allows our clients to create their own custom documents on the fly. It allows clients to tweak our standard document templates to meet their needs. We didn't have this feature in the past. View full review »
Hit Mistry
Vice President at PSC Group, LLC
Windward helped automate reports which otherwise would have needed IT to create and maintain. We went from an IT driven task to a user driven initiative. View full review »
Learn what your peers think about Windward Studios. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: April 2020.
431,468 professionals have used our research since 2012.