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In addition to some great testimonials for
WorkgroupShare and WorkgroupMail,
we are also compiling a list of case studies on each of our products, which you
can read below:
Date: 20 February 2006
Acoustics Company (IAC)
Industrial Acoustics Company (IAC)
Industrial Acoustics Company (IAC) is the
world's leading acoustic engineering
company and its achievements range
from designing and installing advanced
digital recording studies for the BBC to
developing, manufacturing, and installing
a light rail acoustical barrier system for
the Santa Fe railroad in the USA.
IAC is headquartered in New York
and has subsidiaries in the UK, France,
Germany, Italy, Spain and Denmark. As
IAC had grown it made a significant
investment in traditional mainframe
computer solutions using an IBM AS/400
for payroll, finance and stock control.
"looked at several
This reliance on mainframe
technology made it difficult for IAC to
adapt to the rapid changes in technology
and in particular the need for email
throughout the company.
When IAC first introduced email it
was restricted to sales staff and senior
management who were given individual
ISP accounts using dial-up analogue
phone lines. This was expensive and
didn't provide a company wide solution.
Hal Schlesinger, IAC's MIS director,
said: "We looked at using the AS/400
email solution but it proved to be difficult
to use and manage. So I started
searching the internet to review what
other software products were available."
IAC eventually decided to use
Softalk's WorkgroupMail and
WorkgroupShare. This provided IAC not
only with a company wide email solution
but also enabled it to start using Microsoft
Outlook to share calendars and contacts
between different members of the team.
both products was straight forward, we just downloaded them from Softalk's
website and followed the wizards to install. Basic installation was a breeze
although I'll admit we did have some trouble with the anti-virus plug-in for
WorkgroupMail, but Softalk's support was superb and they quickly sorted it out
for us," explained Hal.
"It was then quick and easy to roll out
the clients for our users and they were
able to easily embrace their new
communications ability. The great support
provided from Softalk meant that our IT
department felt they understood the
product so were able to support our end
users. We didn't need to pay for or take
time out for courses either."
"Softalk's support was
Hal finished by saying: "The
performance of WorkgroupMail and
WorkgroupShare is very good for our
purpose and I like the way it's constantly
being improved. I feel Softalk has listened
to our ideas and I believe that some of
them have even been incorporated into
the latest release. I recommend Softalk's
software without hesitation."
Date: 27 March 2006
Veterinary Clinic has a large base in South-western Minnesota
and performs many traditional
veterinary services and also manages several livestock producing companies. It
has been in operation since 1943 and has 450 employees who are "helping the farmers
of today, creating the farms of tomorrow." It also supplies a wide range of
innovative products to livestock farmers including tools for docking and
castrating as well as a "LambCam" to remotely monitor sheep during lambing
season by using a web cam.
With 450 employees
and three different sites it became increasingly difficult for the staff to
work as closely together as they had when Pipestone was still a small local
business. One of the things they wanted to do to improve communication and save
time was to share contacts and calendars. Pipestone initially looked at
Microsoft Exchange Server.
"We outsource our
email so it wasn't a worthwhile for us to invest time and money in Microsoft
Exchange Server. It was too expensive for our needs, both to initially buy it
and the resources in time and hardware to configure it and keep
it running," explained Terry Huber, Pipestone's Network Administrator.
"We initially found
Softalk by using search engines. Installation was easy. I was up and running in
less than an hour. We now have three servers that support fifty users that
needed to be able to share contacts and calendars."
Softalk has built
a solid reputation of excellent customer support and Terry has first-hand
experience of this: "I had to call support one time and they were good to deal
with. Helpful and friendly, they got to the bottom of the problem in no time at
"It's hard to
express how truly easy this was to setup. My users immediately started using it
so there was no 'learning curve' for them. I would recommend this product to
any company looking to share contacts or calendars between users but that
doesn't want to spend big money on Microsoft Exchange. By using WorkgroupShare
we saved thousands of dollars."
Date: 31 March 2006
East School District #131
Aurora East School District #131
Aurora is one of the largest and fastest growing cities in the state of Illinois with a population of more than 142,000. It is located in Kane County 40 miles west of Chicago on the Fox River and I-88 Tollway. Aurora East School District 131 is made up of 17 school communities with 11,000 students and 1,300 staff.
Keeping track of staff changes and communicating between the different schools in the district is essential. Before implementing the new solution, the district had previously given hard copies of its staff directory to every one of its 1,300 employees. It became increasingly difficult to update this directory and by the time the hard copy was produced, it was usually out-of-date before they were even delivered.
Gary Tollakson, director of instructional technology for the district looked at a wide range of solutions that were available. "We researched a variety of options before finally selecting WorkgroupShare. Other contact management programs we tried always failed."
WorkgroupShare enables staff to search and find contact details and also access co-employee calendars which has improved the organisation and efficiency of the schools. WorkgroupMail also provides a district-wide email solution. "Technical faults have been almost non-existent in the district and on the odd occasion when it has been required to get in touch with Softalk, assuring help was on hand conveniently and quickly," added Tollakson.
"For Aurora East School District 131 the security of the system is paramount so I'm reassured to say that we have had no security issues at all with this product."
Tollakson summed up the district's experience of WorkgroupShare by saying, "We are very pleased with this product. The staff that use WorkgroupShare are especially pleased. The ability to update our contacts real time is the major plus for us. We love the product and the new version should only be better."
Date: 08 May
Lighting & Sound Solutions
Advanced Lighting &
Advanced Lighting & Sound Solutions specializes in
providing audio, lighting and video technology for theatrical productions,
festivals, corporate meetings or special events. It provides both a rental and
a sales service and has specialist production and installation teams to support
all of its audio, video and lighting support services and products.
The company runs Microsoft Office 2000 along with some
specialist industry software. ALSS had problems sharing information across the
company and had to hold time consuming weekly meetings so that all of the staff
would know what the individual schedules were. This had to be done in order to
make sure that the office was staffed during business hours. Staff had no way
to integrate their Outlook calendars. The company was reluctant to invest in
Microsoft Exchange server and the additional expense of someone to install and
Glen R Aliczi of Advanced Lighting & Sound Solutions
learned about WorkgroupShare from a referral from an existing satisfied Softalk
customer who told him about its ease of use and ability to share calendars. "We
had tried other products but they didn't really work for us. We particularly
wanted something that was very user friendly so that staff would actually use
Glen found that WorkgroupShare was simple to download, "It was
fairly straightforward and I didn't need any help. Simple to install, easy to
use and administrate. I like being able to limit access to certain functions
decreasing chances of wrong data being entered. We haven't required any support
as of yet after using the product for some months now.
"WorkgroupShare is a lot more cost effective than Microsoft
products. I would go as far as to say that this is one of the best pieces of
software that I have invested in."
"Since implementing this software, we have been able to reduce
the length of our weekly meetings considerably. We have also been able to book
our days more efficiently by knowing where each one of us will be. Some of our
trips out of the office have been able to be consolidated saving valuable staff
time and the cost of travelling.
has proved to be a tremendous investment for us and I would
recommend it to any other groups who work closely and need to share
diaries. A solution that works well at a very reasonable cost,"
Date: 08 May
Barry & Associates
Product: WorkgroupMail &WorkgroupShare
Jon Barry &
Jon Barry and
Associates helps hospitals and doctors to collect debts owed by
customers and patients. Serving clients throughout the
, JBA has been
providing its debt collections service since 1986 and is a
recognized leader in the healthcare industry. The company customizes
solutions to meet clients' specific
The company has a centralized call centre and employs 110
staff most of whom are PC users. Jon Barry and Associates utilizes many
software programs and applications. Its business problem was that communication
between the sales staff and upper management was difficult due to the fact that
its sales team operated outside the head office local area network.
A solution was needed to enable
the field and office staff to share each others tasks and calendars to improve
communication and efficiency.
Jon Barry and Associates' Greg
Williams found WorkgroupMail and WorkgroupShare by searching on the
web. Greg said: "It was very easy to set up. I think very highly of
Softalk's support team. When we have encountered any problems they
have been corrected in a very timely manner."
Greg found that Softalk could not
be beaten on price by any other provider he looked at. "I discovered
when researching possible solutions that the cost of WorkgroupMail
and WorkgroupShare is exceptionally lower than any competitor
products. Thanks to Softalk we've also saved hundreds of dollars in
phone calls," added Greg.
"With Softalk and WorkgroupShare we
are able to sync Outlook with our sales team and management which
allows us to view each others schedules and tasks. This has greatly
improved communication and reduced the need to call. This has not
only meant hefty savings on our phone bills but provided untold
benefits in terms of improved working and efficiency.
"WorkgroupShare and WorkgroupMail
are very easy to use, performance is great and security is included
in the package, which has helped us tremendously in fighting the
nasties," enthused Williams, "We've used Softalk products for two
years now and have been very happy. We will continue to use
WorkgroupShare and WorkgroupMail and would definitely refer others
who need to communicate away from base to Softalk, in my opinion
they have the perfect cost effective solution."
Date: 08 May
Welfare Rights Service
Lancashire Welfare Rights
Lancashire Welfare Rights Service
is a service within Lancashire County Council that helps people who
are unemployed, sick, disabled, pensioners, carers, on low wages, or
finding it difficult to manage with claims for the whole range of
social security and local council benefits and tax credits. It also
represents people when they lose or fail to get benefits. Its aim is
to ensure that people get their full entitlement to benefit.
The service has around 50 staff based in six offices around the county who all use OfficeTalk,
which runs on the council's computer network.
The service had traditionally used paper diaries which had meant that opportunities for
appointments were sometimes missed and there would be gaps in the diary and the
necessary information wasn't always entered. Alex Walker, Lancashire Welfare
Service's ICT Development Officer
said, "We originally used Lotus Organiser but they changed the application in
such a way that it no longer did what we wanted it to do in terms of
Then OfficeTalk came along and did
even better what Lotus Organiser had previously done."
Alex found OfficeTalk back in 1998 when it was a free trial on a CD on the front of a computer
magazine and has used it ever since. Alex said, "I played with it on my 30 day
free trial and I showed it to one or two people and on the back of that we used
it, against the advice of the corporate IT department who didn't want us to use
it as they said it was from a smaller unknown software company. They try to
encourage us to use the corporate system, which is Outlook. So every time a new
version of Outlook comes out I look to see if the collaborative element has
been incorporated but so far it's not there. It doesn't do what we need to
drive our business. We're not simply going to use an application because it's a
corporate tool if it doesn't help us in our business delivery."
"When the general public ring up and ask for an appointment the secretary searches all the
diaries to see when any of the Welfare Rights Officers have an available
appointment slot and then enters it into any of the team members' diaries. We
couldn't do that in Outlook, we'd have to have a team diary as well as
individual calendars and the actual logistics of team members remembering to
put the appointment in their own calendar, well, I know it would never happen!"
"The Council would make me use a corporate system over my dead body!" Alex joked, "I've hung
onto OfficeTalk by the skin of my teeth just on the basis that it's a business
tool that we rely on to such an extent that if we didn't have OfficeTalk we
couldn't do our job as efficiently. If we were to use Outlook for example,
which is the corporate tool, we would have major difficulties in delivering our
service to the public in the way that we currently do. That's the crux of the
difference between Outlook and OfficeTalk."
"People like using OfficeTalk," added Alex, "It's very user friendly. People asked me
originally why they were going to have to use another application and why they
couldn't just use Outlook.
If you asked those people now if
you could take OfficeTalk off them there would be mutiny!"
"With OfficeTalk we offer a better, quicker, more efficient service to our public,
particularly when offering them appointments and the like. It's the only
product that delivers in the way that we need to deliver our business,
particularly through searching multiple calendars, which you can't do easily in
Outlook and it's certainly not as sweet as it is in OfficeTalk," said Alex.
"I've called the Softalk support team only in so far as reporting glitches with the Beta
version. I've found them so far so good."
"It meets our needs well and we've actually adapted it to meet our specific business needs but
it's the collaborative working, the easy access to each others calendars that
really does help our business, especially the group selection so you can
quickly see who's doing what. The planners and project modes are also very
useful," Alex enthused.
"OfficeTalk saves us valuable time as we're able to offer maximum appointments to the public
that provides them with better value for money.
"I do like the look of the new 4.5 version, it's a lot cleaner, more modern, Outlook style
look and feel. There are also some fixes in there that we've been asking for
with no success until Softalk took the product back and very quickly delivered
"I often recommend OfficeTalk to people in other departments within the council and to those I
have dealings with in other organsiations because the collaborative group
dynamic works so well and if they're looking for a user friendly way of sharing
vital information with other users then OfficeTalk is the only product that can
actually do that."
"To sum up Office Talk has enabled our business to be more efficient and effective in
providing better service to the public especially with regard to the provision
of appointments and home visits and the like."