Comindware Business Application Platform Review

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Date Established
2009
Location
Stoneham, MA

I never expected that I would have to write a review without actually testing the software in question first. However, that is exactly what I am doing here and now. Let me explain. Usually when I review a project management program, I peruse the website, getting as good an idea about the company and the software as I can before I actually test it for myself. Once I have done so, I usually sign up for the free trial (most are 14 days, but some are as long as a month), and work through as many of the features as I possibly can. If I still have questions, I get in touch with the company itself, getting answers right from the horse’s mouth. Then I write my review.

For Comindware’s Business Application Platform, I have only been able to accomplish step one of my process. That is because Comindware does not provide a free trial for their software. Instead, they require prospective customers to contact them to request a “guided demo.” That right there sets off alarm bells in my head; I believe it is important to let people have a chance to test software for themselves, without feeling pressured into making decisions. Despite this misgiving, I went ahead and sent in a request. I did this three times, at each juncture revealing that I intended to write a review of the program. I have waited over a week now for some kind of response. I have received no reply. My editor also reached out to her contact at the company, and has yet to hear back.

Now, I don’t take being snubbed by an impersonal company like Comindware too personally, but I will admit, it does make my job – writing a review of their product – a bit more difficult. But just because Comindware doesn’t seem to want a review from Merchant Maverick doesn’t meant we won’t give them one. What follows is our usual review structure, with as much information as I can provide about the Comindware Business Application Platform.

Overview:

According to their website, Comindware is a “fast-growing, global enterprise software company delivering innovative Business Operations Management solutions enabling performance and efficiency optimization.” This sounds very good, but then it would; like so many companies trying to make themselves stand out in the crowded Project Management field, Comindware has heavily invested in buzzwords. That isn’t a criticism as such, but it does make it difficult to really know what they are trying to do.

Having said that, there does seem to be something behind the ambiguous-but-evocative claims on Comindware’s website. Their software is clearly no lightweight, winning awards from the likes of CIO review, Innovation It, Cloudsave, and TopTenReviews in 2015 alone. Obviously my negative experience puts me in the minority here, and though I hold to my opinions, I have to admit that Comindware’s success speaks for itself.

The Business Application Platform is a relatively new offering from Comindware. Everything seems very vague, and though I searched a few years back, I couldn’t find an exact date when Comindware Project, Business Process and Case Management, Data and Task Management were folded into a single software, but I think it was about a year ago. I get that impression from this blog post, though they do not refer to the new software in it as the Business Application Platform. However, I was unable to find any other clues, so I have to think I am correct here.

Web-Based (SaaS) or On-Premise:

Comindware used to offer both web-based and on-premise versions of their project management software: the two were identical in function. However, I was not able to find any indications as to whether they still offer the on-premise option.

Pricing:

In order to find pricing on any of Comindware’s products, you have to request them directly from the company. However, when the company refuses to respond to your requests for information, you are forced to use your imagination. Maybe the program is free? That seems unlikely. Maybe they require a tenth of your profits each month? That seems farfetched. The writer in me wonders if they require something altogether more sinister; your firstborn child or something along those lines. But that is clearly ridiculous as well. More likely, if my experience is anything to go by, the highest cost you will pay for the pleasure of Comindware’s product is the time you will waste sitting and waiting for them to answer your requests for information.

Ease of Use:

Since I never even got to really see the software in action, I can’t really comment on how easy it is to use. There is a mobile app, but again, I never got to test it.

Customer Service and Support:

Here is another bewildering thing about Comindware’s web page. On the “Products” tab, there are two items: Comindware Tracker, and Comindware Business Application Platform. But on the “Support” tab, the Business Application Platform is nowhere to be found. Instead, there you will find the Tracker, and then two no-longer-in-existence products: Comindware Project and Comindware Process. There is no information at all about the Business Application Platform.

The only thing I found resembling support for the Business Application Platform was this page, where you can submit complaints and hope they will be answered. Note, however, that this is the same process I used to request my demo, and (have I mentioned this yet?) that didn’t turn out too well.

If you want to try and use the Comindware Project Support page to figure out some of the features of the Business Application Platform, follow the link above. I chose not to include it here, since I cannot guarantee anything has transferred over.

Negative Reviews and Complaints:

Here is a quote from our original review of Comindware Project:

“On a more personal note, I was frustrated by the lack of useful information on Comindware’s website. In order to get pricing information, I had to contact the company. In order to get a trial, I had to contact the company. I understand wanting to provide a good customer experience, but every other software I have reviewed has let me peruse more thoroughly before I make contact. I don’t understand why Comindware doesn’t make this information more available, and frankly it was a pretty poor first impression.”

That just about sums up my experience with Comindware as well, except that I didn’t get to even do a demo.

Positive Reviews and Testimonials:

By now I think it is clear that I was deeply irritated and unimpressed by my experience (or, rather, total lack of experience) with Comindware’s Business Application Software. So you might be skeptical when I say that I couldn’t find a single user review of the software. I promise I am not making this up; I really wanted to be able to say that I was some kind of exception and that there are plenty of things to like about this program and you should totally go try it out for yourself. But I can’t say that, because I couldn’t find any user reviews. I couldn’t find any reviews at all. This makes me even more dumbfounded that they would simply ignore requests to review their product. Surely they want some awareness about it? Some way to clear up the confusion? Apparently not.

Features:

Without actually trying the program for myself, I can’t interpret what features are most useful, and can only report what Comindware says on their website. I suppose I could copy-paste what they wrote there, but I would rather let you read it on their website, and not associate it with my writing any more than I have to.

Integrations and Add-Ons:

Comindware does have an API you can use to craft your own integrations, and offers a few pre-made add-ons as well. Unfortunately, I could not find any information about what those add-ons actually were. I swear I am not making this up.

Final Verdict:

It seems bizarre that a program we reviewed before and liked quite a bit could morph itself into something so obtuse and opaque. Yet that seems to be the case here. As I was writing this review, I wondered more than once if Comindware had gone out of business and somehow I just missed it. But that can’t be right, since the company blog is still getting updated. Also, I began this whole process trying to review the now-defunct Comindware Project. When I inquired for a demo, I received a message saying that the program no longer existed, but had been folded into the Business Application Platform. Someone had to be there to send that message, though I can’t imagine why none of my other inquiries got an answer.

I really don’t like telling people to unequivocally avoid a program or company, but I find myself in a position where I am unsure what else to say. I just can’t find anything redeeming about my experience here, and none of my research into Comindware’s Business Application Platform reveals any other perspectives for me to leave you with. If you are determined, I suppose there is no harm in giving it a try and requesting a demo, but really, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t go for one of Comindware’s competitors instead. If you need ideas for alternatives, check out Merchant Maverick’s other project management reviews.

Wesley Kriz

Writing from the Pacific Northwest (read: the Best Coast), Wesley graduated from George Fox University in 2014 with a degree in History, then again from George Fox in 2016 with a Masters of Arts in Teaching. He has been writing about project management for 2 years, and keeps a running list of wacky software brand names; seriously, it's wild out there
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