Previously we listed the top awards management software companies in the world. This post is meant to provide an update to how the software products have evolved over the years and how they current rank against each other. The focus of today’s post is on AwardForce and OpenWater. This article will compare the two, and hopefully give you a better idea on which to choose.
OpenWater, a Washington DC based company, focuses primarily on providing software to associations and publisher awards programs. Launched in 2011 as a simple form builder and review portal for judges, over the years they have added on features geared towards making the entry and review process easy while supporting some of the largest awards in the world. Recent features include a fully functional awards website CMS, multi-lingual support, lead judge (committee) views, an email blast tool and a ‘bulk download’ of entries feature. OpenWater still tends to be on the more expensive side compared to AwardForce but with their recent release of their “Unlimited Programs” package in their pricing, it’s made running multiple awards (even if a few only get a few entries) more affordable.
AwardForce, a company located in Australia, focuses primarily on providing software to international award programs. Launched in 2014 as a boutique awards software platform, AwardForce has stayed consistent with their promise to deliver a good looking product at an affordable price. While data loss issues plagued AwardForce for a number of years, it appears that those issues are behind them. The focus and future of the product is on their ability to have a product that is easy for the international community to understand. Recent features include high resolution video upload and the ability to apply various pricing rules for fees including accepting VAT tax.
Both products are safe bets for organizations looking into awards software. OpenWater has the leg up in the US/Canada since they are headquartered on the east coast. Their product appears to be more thorough and mature than AwardForce but could be overkill for some programs. AwardForce appears to be a great option for organizations requiring international applicants and for those on a very restrictive budget.