By Anne Chen  |  Posted 2004-10-04 Print this article Print

Although Web-based solutions can easily handle most of an organizations survey needs, some enterprises need a flexible solution that can handle a variety of survey types.

Perseus Developments SurveySolutions/Enterprise Feedback Management 1.1 easily handles Web, print and e-mail surveys and does so with a user-friendly interface that allows nontechnical staff to compile information regardless of the survey format. The Web-enabled product provides centralized control of the design, implementation, distribution and analysis of surveys.

SurveySolutions/EFM 1.1 provides survey hosting from Unix, Linux and Windows and is compatible with major SQL databases, including those from Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and Sybase Inc. Pricing for SurveySolutions/EFM 1.1 starts at $25,000 for a corporate license. An application service provider version of the system will be available next month for organizations that prefer to have surveys hosted.

One of SurveySolutions/ EFM 1.1s strengths is the number of people who can work with the product simultaneously. During tests, for example, several eWEEK Labs analysts collaborated on drafting questionnaires and analyzing results by accessing the software via a Web browser. We could also enable permission-based access to reports and analysis based on role and department—a handy feature for organizations that want to give multiple workgroups access to the software.

As with all Perseus survey software products, SurveySolutions/EFM 1.1s biggest advantage is its intuitive GUI, which resembles, and is fully compatible with, Microsofts Office environment. The wide familiarity of the interface and the easy-to-use wizards will make survey creation easy for even the least tech-savvy user.

More advanced users, however, may find the wizards too simplistic and will want to use the advanced free-form Questionnaire Designer to build more sophisticated surveys with complex questioning patterns.

Using the word processor design environment, we could import questions from Word documents and e-mail. This made it quicker to build and design surveys with SurveySolutions/EFM 1.1 than with competing products. The software is also now compatible with PSE Bitmap graphics (IBM printer Page Segment) files, meeting the needs of organizations that want to account for scanned paper surveys.

For organizations that need to reach respondents through a variety of methods, SurveySolutions/EFM 1.1 is a good choice. We were pleased to see that the product can automatically publish surveys that are optimized for the Web, e-mail, telemarketers, paper distribution, and Pocket PC and Palm handheld devices. (It should be noted, however, that each handheld device requires its own license before it can be used to collect survey data.)

We also liked the fairly complete reporting engine included with the product, which made it possible to view results and trends in survey responses through easy-to-decipher reports, charts and tables. We were able to take some of our results and save the data locally to a Microsoft Access database or Excel file, and we could also export those results to a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation.

Senior Writer Anne Chen can be reached at anne_chen@ziffdavis.com.

Check out eWEEK.coms Enterprise Applications Center at http://enterpriseapps.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.

Be sure to add our eWEEK.com enterprise applications news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page

As a senior writer for eWEEK Labs, Anne writes articles pertaining to IT professionals and the best practices for technology implementation. Anne covers the deployment issues and the business drivers related to technologies including databases, wireless, security and network operating systems. Anne joined eWeek in 1999 as a writer for eWeek's eBiz Strategies section before moving over to Labs in 2001. Prior to eWeek, she covered business and technology at the San Jose Mercury News and at the Contra Costa Times.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel