At the very first glance Comindware looked very impressive giving enough flexibility for users to mould the product to their needs along with ability to integrate with MS-Outlook and MS Active Directory. This allows users to work from their familiar email client without much hassle. For small to medium businesses, Comindware if used right, can actually be a one stop solution for all their needs including collaboration, software development, CRM, Helpdesk, Marketing and beyond with its ability to let users define workspaces, workspace specific workflows, task groups, user groups, tasks and access permissions.
Workspaces helps segregate specific workflows and manage tasks within the workflow either by teams or departments within a business. Lets dive into a bit of detail review on some important aspects of the product.
The administration section of the product is very sleek consisting of features like
- Create Item Groups under which the items or tasks can be created
- Ability to create workspaces and associate Item groups to each workspace
- Ability to assign Owners, Members, Viewers and Requesters to each workspace
- Defined Templates as a start for software development which can be further customized
- A graphic workflow definition feature with which users can define their own workflows and templates based on their business process
- Create User groups, users along with active directory and outlook integration and customized branding for the product
- Product License management
The product is available for use either on-premise or on cloud as a SaaS solution. Comindware has launched the SaaS version towards back end of last year in October, 12.
Quite a bit of strong task management features welcomes you in the product which is more or less the heartbeat of the product with task allocation, tracking and monitoring, scheduling features going to a collective granularity that i have not seen in many products.
- Create/edit/delete tasks
- Ability to create subtasks, collaboratively discuss the task, history tracking of the tasks
- Track the tasks via time recording since you start to finish along with ability to defer the task
- Task activity email notification features although there is no real time tracking of tasks on screen unless user sees the history
- Shows just enough information as start and user can drill down to details of task with just a click
- More, you can create tasks using your outlook emails and even assign the tasks from outlook to team members. Further one can create personalized tasks visible to just him/her self.
- An intuitive dashboard providing graphical reports on tasks metrics per users, project and other parameters. It also provides flexibility to create your own dashboard for tracking.
- Intuitive filters to expand and compress the number of updates one would like to see in history and quickly find the history messages that are relevant
- Ability to filter tasks based on priority and customize the views to view tasks based on column specific filters
- Quick search the tasks within the task list
- Able to export tasks information in either an MS-Excel or MS-Word and customize the views via show/hide panes
Layout & Integrations:
A very familiar three column layout and navigation structure that resembles the navigation bar of MS-Office products giving the user a comfort feel of not using another new product. However if you are not the one who appreciates the standard MS products nav bars then this may be a bit of disappointment. Personally i liked the simple navigation provided. What is more effective about the navigation is, its consistency across all the features so user knows what and where to click to add/edit or delete various entities within the product. Its as simple as it can get. However speaking about the user experience, i would have liked drag and drop features and in-line edits to make it easier to work with for users. The features also include powerful filters and search which makes it further more easier to view the tasks as desired.
The layout also allows to customize the view of tasks and lists with just the desired fields to be shown. User can activate/deactivate the tabular fields within the task lists as required.
Comindware also comes with Web services based API which enables easy integration with any third party products and by default integrates with Microsoft Active Directory, Microsoft Outlook, Email to Task Integration and integration with MS-Office products. It exposes an easy to use back up and restore of database including file attachments at a click.
Graphical visualization is at the core of monitoring and controlling of work items and tasks within the product with an ability to monitor at a task, team and a team member level. One can "Add Widgets" to the dashboards based on the business workflow and also create custom dashboards. It does not stop there, it even allows to represent the format of visualization either in bar graphs, pie charts, column charts, History events chart and more.
More About The Product
While available on-premise or on cloud the product comes with support for iOS and Andriod devices. For those who would like to know the ROI implementing Comindware, there is a ROI calculator as well that gives a basic view into how much one could save based on operational tasks that you do within your business.
The product additionally has a built in graphical workflow designer which is quite impressive, where a user can define a business process, define various states within workflow and state transitions with a click of a mouse. The template can be associated to a designed workflow with an ability to set notification points within the workflow.
While the product is robust enough to be used across Small and Large enterprises the cost of of product may seem a bit high ranging from $16.25/month to $25/month for the cloud service based on number of subscriptions ordered. The on-premise costs $375/user which may well be a bit too high for small businesses. However the variety of features and flexibility that Comindware gives to use the product literally for any aspect of your business is money worth spent if structured and used in the right way.