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Qvidian RFP & Proposal Automation is a cloud-based RFP and proposal automation software that is designed to empower enterprises to win more business by streamlining processes, improving productivity, and creating more effective sales documents. The vendor’s value proposition is that Qvidian is an enterprise-grade proposal automation solution, providing security, compliance, and simplicity at scale to more than 1,000 companies and 200,000 users worldwide.
According to the vendor, key features and benefits include:
- Content library, with all assets stored in approved language and branding
- AutoFill, to automatically fill in the most relevant answers to RFP questions
- Multi-step reviewer workflows to automate content approvals
- Visual dashboards to highlight actionable analytics
- Backed by an expert, professional services and consulting team
The vendor says, after launching Qvidian, on average, clients report a 40% increase in productivity, 30% reduction in RFP response times, and 28% increase in win rates.
- Supported: Proposal branding
- Supported: Proposal templates
- Supported: Proposal content library updates
- Supported: Guided proposal creation
- Supported: Searchable proposal database
- Supported: RFP management & response
- Supported: Proposal collaboration & approval
- Supported: User permissions/proposal editing controls
- Supported: Sales proposal workflow
- Supported: Proposal automation user interface
|Small Businesses (1-50 employees)||0%|
|Mid-Size Companies (51-500 employees)||30%|
|Enterprises (more than 500 employees)||70%|
- Content management
- Proposal automation
- RFP management
- RFP automation
- Content governance
- Ease of use
- Increased productivity in creating RFPs
- Centralized system to find and utilize stored data
- Slow integration between Microsoft Word and Qvidian RFP & Proposal Automation
- System sometimes lags
- Overall layout could have better flow
- Organizes reusable content well.
- Allows for search, autosearch and autofill abilities when responding to RFPS.
- Document automation is very valuable to get a shell document together that will require some edits before being delivered.
- Keeps your documents consistent.
- The functionality with Excel needs some improvement when using some of the advanced search and fill tools.
- Ability to search within an RFP you are working on.
- Word count of your responses.
It addresses the business problem of not having a centralized RFP content repository that is easily searchable, scalable, and maintainable. It also enables a stronger market brand by allowing customizable templates to be utilized easily within the drafting process. Without it, the RFP Team bandwidth would not be able to keep up with the company's growth.
- Search Capabilities: Qvidian's search interface is one of its biggest sellers with our Proposal Writers. If you've ever done a web search, you know how to search for content in Qvidian's Library. You can Browse, Search, or be as specific as you need with an Advanced Search. Boolean logic is built right in so there is no need to understand coding. New functionality also allows you to save your favorite searches so you don't have to reapply the same filters in the future.
- Content Maintenance: Qvidian has incorporated content maintenance into every aspect of the interface. Edits can be made directly to a folder's content or while searching for an answer when you are working on a project. Content is editable wherever it may be encountered. Also, best new CM feature: Jobs. You are now able to create bundles of content from various folder locations within the Library and generate a Job; a link that is sent to Subject Matter Experts, regardless of whether or not they have a license. You can control what they are able to edit and you can monitor the Job status. Finally, you can review the SME edits and tailor them before accepting them back into the Library.
- 100% Hosted Customer Environment: This gives our team the ability to be results-oriented in our structure. No one is tied to an office in order to execute a project. The team can work wherever there is a secure internet connection. This not only facilitates better uptime, upkeep, and the most efficient upgrade release rollouts, it also facilitates a better work-life balance.
- Tablet-friendly interface: While most significant projects are executed on either a desktop or laptop computer due to the multiple applications that may be in use and the processing power needed, I can foresee an option for a tablet-friendly interface to be utilized in simpler browsing and/or retrieval of minor standard information. I have already seen this need met within Qvidian's Sales Playbooks offering.
- Real-time collaboration. While one can build and draft projects within Qvidian, the writer/project manager is still adding and tracking all contributions. Further, the strongest collaboration functionality is met by procuring licenses for every contributor.
Further, this is a very powerful tool with a lot of features and functionality including CRM plug-in and reporting. Thus, it may be less appropriate for a very small organization with only one product and that is also blessed with lengthy cradle-to-grave turnaround windows.
In addition, to better the odds for success an investment in upfront personnel training and either a dedicated periodic window of time and/or dedicated person(s) for content upkeep are prudent.
Finally, working with the vendor is a delight as they make every effort to maintain and deliver a product that both meets your needs and on which you can rely.
- Ability to communicate with different departments.
- Ability to hold tons of information and provide easy updates for outdated information.
- Searching capability is easy to use.
- More flexibility to move things around once its build out.
- When you attach word docs the functiont to build out without errors
- Easy and intuitive searching capability
- Great implementation training
- Easy updating content functionality
- Great document repository
- So far so happy
- Using Qvidian as an RFP tool has made a difference in our RFP process, turn-around time, and content development. It's helped us streamline our RFP process so that we are able to produce the majority of the document before the kick-off meeting, which means we have more time to customize and refine the document before it goes to print.
- Additionally, it took several hours before to gather all of the basic data we needed for an RFP, but now we can have the majority of the response ready in under 15 minutes in most cases. We are also able to start projects from our phones (iPhone thru Safari) or on an iPad. This has been extremely helpful while traveling.
- Finally, our content is centrally located on a searchable database. Previously we had used several free tools to aid in content storage that would allow us access easily via search. It never seemed to do what we wanted, and when we did find something, we weren't sure if it was the most current or usable. The library functions in Qvidian have been a huge help, and has changes the way we collect data, and retrieve it.
- The library works great, but the process of moving files from one folder to another is extremely tedious. From what I've heard, there used to be a drag and drop feature in the library. I would like to see thy come back.
- It would be nice to see the final word doc displayed in the project, without having to drill down into it to retrieve it.
- The reports are great to have, but I would like to see a customer driven reporting tool.
- Qvidian allows for a detailed annotation system for each Question and Answer Pair
- Qvidian allows you to upload Excel, Powerpoint and Adobe documents as user content
- Qvidian offers the capability to run customized reports
- Qvidian allows different levels of access for different users
- Qvidian doesn't always mesh seamlessly with MS Word
- Qvidian's interface isn't very attractive
- Problem shooting isn't always easy or intuitive
- Ease of use
- The database structure is logical (It looks like MS Explorer so it is familiar)
- Software updates are automatic
- Updating responses in Qvidian Proposal Automation is quick and easy
- Other software I have used allows the automation of a sole source quote more easily
1. How easy will this system be to implement?
2. What training is offered?
3. How does this tool compare with other proposal automation software?
4. What is the initial cost?
5. What is the yearly maintenance fee?
6. Is my company supportive on using cloud technology?
7. How long will this take to implement?
8. Will I need a full-time person to maintain the tool?
9. Is there a local company who uses this that I can visit?
10. Is there a user’s group?
11. How easy is the software to update and how often is it updated?
12. How do users communicate software update recommendations?
13. How does the support work/help desk work?
- Usability: Qvidian is a mature product. The visual layout is organized in an intuitive manner. The underlting structure is logical and efficient.
- Meta Data: With each file that you load into the Liberty, you can add Meta data such as owner, comments (which I use to record a brief history of the changes that have been made to the file), search terms, expiration date, and alerts. You can even define your own Meta data fields. You can also define specific security permissions to the file or at the folder level.
- Search Function: Qvidian makes it easy to find files by offering basic searches and numerous custom search options that are flexible and easy to use. I have never seen so many search options offered in a program before. In addition to searching for strings in the title or content, you can also search the metadata (for example: comments and specific user-defined search terms). A few examples of advanced search functions include searching by file type, date created or modified, and the person who modified or created it. You can search the entire Library or searches can be defined per specific Library folders.
- Architecting Documents: Defining the document architecture is logical and very flexible. The structure of your document is defined independently of the actual files. This means that you can define the outline of your document first, and then later populate your outline with actual content as it is written. This is a huge help in planning your document structure. Once you load a document into the Library, you then link your document into the architecture. The added benefit of this arrangement is that when you update the document, you do not have to re-link the document back into the architecture. This makes it possible for users who are not knowledgeable about architecting documents to still keep the content current. This is a huge time savings as well as avoids human error.
- Multiple File Formats: Word and Power Point: Qvidian allows you to build documents in Word or PowerPoint. In the Library, you can load almost any file format: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Visio, PDF, jgp, png, etc. You can also specify additional file formats as needed.
- Qvidian has an excellent support staff. I have called them many times and they are always professional, knowledgeable, and friendly. They are very responsive to any bug fixes and enhancement requests. Qvidian is always working diligently to improve their product.
- There are no major issues that I see at this time that need fixing.
- There is one enchancement that I would love to see... an "Undo" button when working in the Architecture.
- One example of time saved is a request I received from one of our sales people, who needed to reply to a RFP in three days. By using Qvidian, I was able to build a first draft in four hours. Without the program, this feat averages 8-10 hours to pull template, and then another 1-2 hours to do basic customization. With time saved, I was able to review for additional edits, and send of to the sales person by the next morning - leaving her more time to review and edit, and back-end time for me to finalize. Not only did we meet the client's deadline, but we responded a few hours early.
- I constantly receive requests from all areas of my department and the company for template language regarding all of our services. By doing an advance search of our template library, I am able to identify the best response and send it out quickly. For our sales team, this means they are able to respond quickly to a prospect's request, and supports our claims of strong customer service and responsiveness. Personally, it positions me to be a go-to person and reliable teammate.
- Our company has a lot of great data behind our claims, and the ability to create set responses for our merge codes is priceless. I add the information necessary for the merge code and it automatically populates in the project I'm building. As information changes (e.g., number of years in service), as the architect, I edit the data once without having to search through all of my templates.
- Per the merge codes, I recommend having the ability to pull a report that includes the merge codes with their assigned values so that as the architect, I can review a spreadsheet of what information I have, and what needs to be updated.
- Some of the appendices we typically use in RFP responses are in pdf format. The system is unable to combine word and pdf files into one, so adding those pieces are still manual.
- Easy to organize the content library and move things around.
- Ability to put expiration dates on content that needs to be reviewed.
- Automation tool is helpful and if used correctly, will save time and formatting issues.
- Developing an automation template is difficult because of issues of formatting with word and making sure your files are coded right so they pull in.
- When you have an update, we don't always realize it until some of the functions aren't working correctly.
- We have to make an effort to add content because of the preparation it takes (using the right formatting template). We do annual reviews of each section, but I know I have to make time to enter new or update information.
- Organization: Qvidian uses a folder tree layout with user-created top-level categories that can then be branched out into more in depth subcategories. For our own use, our top level categories refer to the various products our company offers (Medical, Pharmacy, Vision benefits, etc.), with the subcategories narrowing down to more specific subjects, such as condition management for Medical and formulary information for Pharmacy.
- Searching: Qvidian uses a Google-like approach to searching. When a user searches for a term or phrase, if the correct record is found and used, then the search term the user had typed in is added to the meta data of that record. Then, in the future, when that same term or phrase is searched again, the record(s) containing that search term appears closer to the top of the search results. Note that users have the ability to preview a record without actually using it, so search terms will only be added to records that are specifically used in a response document.
- Editing: Two choices are offered for editing records, both of which utilize integration with Microsoft Word. In the first choice, records are edited one at a time as separate documents. This allows editing of both the record and its corresponding meta data. For mass record changes, this choice is a bit slower and more inconvenient, since each record can only be seen one at a time, and records can't be compared side-by-side. The second editing choice allows a user to edit multiple records in one document. However, this does not allow a user to edit records' meta data. This trade off does allow for easier editing of multiple records at once, though, since a user can utilize Word's various comparison tools such as a split document screen to see two parts of the document at once.
- One area where Qvidian occasionally struggles is feature regression. For instance, the editing option that puts multiple records into one document had always been present in Qvidian; however, when the multi-edit feature that only allows editing one record at a time was released in version 9.1, the original editing functionality was removed. This caused me a lot of frustration, as it severely slowed down my work flow since I could now only see and edit one record at a time. It wasn't until a year later when version 10 was released that the old editing functionality was added back. However, one bright spot of version 9.1 was an added feature that allowed organizing records by simply dragging and dropping them into different categories. This was much easier than having to right click on a record, select Move, then right click on a folder and select paste. However, with version 10, this feature was removed and I'm now back to having to right click on records instead of dragging and dropping. It seems that with each release, I never know if something I like will be taken away or if something I don't like will be added -- sometimes it's both.
- A recent change that was added in version 10.1 that I personally view as a negative is that Qvidian now handles all requests server side instead of on the user's computer. This means that if a user wants to export or edit a large number of records, they have to wait for Qvidian's server to generate a report of those records. Depending on the number of records, this can be very quick (a few seconds) or very long (I've waited up to 20 minutes before) depending on how taxed Qvidian's servers currently are. I understand the reasoning behind the move, in that it takes the load off of a user's computer so that other applications they currently have open aren't affected by added memory usage, but in practice I find that it only slows down my workflow. Any somewhat modern PC shouldn't have any trouble handling a large report request from Qvidian.
- Although Qvidian is certified for use in several different browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome for Windows), it doesn't offer the same functionality in each one. For instance, in Explorer, when a record is selected for editing or export, it will automatically open in Word. In Firefox, a pop-up dialog appears and a user has to click Open in order for the record to appear in Word. And in Chrome, the file is added to the download bar and a user must click on the file there for it to open, unless they add an exception to .docx file types to automatically open in Word (which I had to do, since I prefer using Chrome). Other simple features such as right clicking on a folder or record to bring up Qvidian's context menu are hit or miss depending on the browser. In Explorer, everything is generally smooth, though the browser itself is slower than the other choice. In Firefox, right clicking generally works but sometimes has some hiccups, and in Chrome, more often than not right clicking brings up Chrome's context menu instead of Qvidian's, which often leads to having to first select a folder and then click the dedicated Actions button in Qvidian to perform the desired action. No matter which browser you use, there will be some sort of functionality that doesn't quite work as expected.
- Advanced searching allows users to quickly find exactly what they're looking for.
- Linking allows for similar content records to be updated at the same time.
- Metadata is a great way to provide underlying information about each content record.
- Due to the sophistication of the technology, the tool can be difficult to bring online in a secure network environment.
- Little opportunity for user interaction or discussion within the tool.
- Some functionality is only available for the automation function, while it would still be useful for warehousing functions (merge codes, SalesForce integration, etc.).
- The search function ranks information based upon usage and is adaptive, learning/improving rankings with every search. This makes finding the right piece of information quick and easy.
- The tool offers flexibility to build various types of sales documents (proposals, presentations, case studies). This drastically reduces the time it takes to put together a client-facing document.
- The content management functionality allows for various content formats and related content can be connected. This simplifies tracking content updates by knowing which other pieces of information may also need review and update when a change is made outside the normal update cycle.
- Qvidian could improve their reporting functionality. Currently, it requires special coding to pull data points into a spreadsheet format and there are no intrinsic analysis (dashboard) views for the user or management.
- The question highlight then search functionality has not worked for me or my team in MS Excel. We have to actively type key words into the search function to find content. It works but slows the process a bit. Would love to see them remedy this issue as this is a very common format for our commercial opportunities especially with the increased use of online procurement portals.
- Qvidian has great automation capabilities allowing for increased efficiency and increased output.
- The merge codes are also a great time saver and ensure variable information is always accurate.
- The level of customization offered with Qvidian allows us to make it cater to our specific needs, which also allows it to prove itself a valuable tool across a variety of industries.
- There are times when I search for something that I know is in my database and my search yields no results. After trying again, the same search yields the appropriate results.
- It would be great if Qvidian could integrate with known proposal submission sites such as ProposalTech.
- Perhaps this is just because I use Chrome, but sometimes when I'm trying to select things from a dropdown list (like Download>Ignoring merge codes...) I'll hover over my choice, but the box will disappear. It would be nice if even if you hovered outside of the selection box, but didn't click, the box would remain on the screen.
- It is able to recreate our documents exactly how we want them to look
- It is a great central database for all of our FAQs and approved RFP responses
- It has opened up dialogue surrounding document creation and management, what what other template solutions we might want to pursue
- More maneuverability (easier drag & drop, copy & paste)
- Frequently, the builds are very slow
- Library items that are NOT enabled, often still show up in searches
- Good way of maintaining responses
- Gave other departments a basis to form their replies
- General repository which helped with non-RFP content
- Their over the phone support was very good, but at times there was a bit of a lag getting someone on the phone. When a deadline is looming you really want help at the very moment that you call.
- Customize the output. Qvidian allows you to place static content into sections that you can define. You can also use customizable content pieces such as client name, etc. through codes.
- Library and record management. It's not perfect, but you can tag records with metadata, and search using advanced options.
- Accessible. Online access is a big plus, although, again it's not perfect. But the fact that it's a SaaS cloud-based platform gives you flexibility to use regardless of location and machine.
- User interface isn't pretty. Nor is it that intuitive. There's a lot of setup to be done, and constant maintenace of the records that is hampered by the user interface. For example, records aren't easily editable from the library. You can have download then edit, and upload back into the library to save changes.
- Plug-in for Word doesn't function smoothly all the time. There's a lot of deleting existing plug-ins, downloading and reinstalling that goes on when using Qvidian's Word plug-in.
- Content management philosophy is still Web 1.0. Does not incorporate wiki-based content management philosophy and strategies (Web 2.0), which means that gatekeepers are the bottlenecks for information accuracy and responsiveness. A more modern Content Management philosophy would incorporate specifically defined "Crowd sourcing" to help maintain accuracy of content records. Qvidian is not able to embrace this concept as it is still folder and file based.
- It does well at topic searches.
- It is easy to organize our information.
- It is easy to add and delete information.
- We have found blueprints hard to implement.
- I wish we could upload Excel spreadsheets.
- Easy to use
- Easy to manage content pieces/ blocks
- Easy collaboration
- Integration with Salesforce
- Dynamically reading different text type when uploading pieces of content and standardizing them in the UI
- Make it easier for version management on content pieces
- The simplicity of the app and all it has to offer, especially in the last year, makes them standout from other similar types of apps.
- Qvidian has a great support site, Qvidian Community, for accessing training live, recorded or documented, posting suggestions/enhancements, and logging issues.
- Qvidian has joined with the Salesforce app allowing more integration
- Some of our users have experienced performance issues
- It would be nice for Qvidian to include onsite visits once per year
- The app can be clunky but with each release this appears to be getting better
- You can add a lot of information about each individual record, giving it an owner, expiration date, etc.
- Expiration dates are clearly seen, and it is easy to tell which records are new (blue) vs. old (red).
- I like how you can search the entire database, or just specific folders for a word or group of words.
- It is extremely difficult to move a record from one folder to another.
- Updating records, as well as adding new records, require many steps and it is not always straightforward.
- The database uses a natural word search, like Google. If you do not know exactly how the question is worded, you may have to try multiple times to find it. We had a older database that searched using keywords, and we found that it was much easier to find the data you were looking for.
- It is a very useful content repository.
- It makes searching for content much easier than other methods I have used at other organizations.
- It is very laborious process to get the content into Qvidian. Once it's there, it's great - but getting it in is very time consuming.
- Moving content around is difficult. They got rid of the drag and drop feature so moving content from one folder to another takes much, much longer than it used to.
- I don't use Qvidian as a project management tool or to send things out to knowledge managers. I am the only one on my side with a license, so I don't use it to the full extent of it's capacity, but the process seams fairly difficult.
- The ability to use a style template that will have all of the data formatted consistently
- The ability to have document automation allows you to create cover letters in a matter of minutes
- Merge codes are an efficient way to update changing content
- The drop down menus can be difficult to navigate
- Sometimes the support staff "quizzes" too much about the problem instead of getting on a WebeEx to look at the issue
- The Community can be difficult to navigate and find your answer