Versatile, Great Reporting Functionality but Ugly and Costly
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
December 22, 2018

Versatile, Great Reporting Functionality but Ugly and Costly

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with ETO by Social Solutions

We use ETO by Social Solutions for all programs across the organization for information gathering and operations.

In terms of information gathering, we use it to count the number of people we serve, understand our population's demographics, understand our efforts and impacts. We use this information to make reports for our funders, apply for grants, evaluate our programs and improve our services.

In terms of operations, ETO is used by case managers to track relevant information about their participants, check on individual participants' progress/history, and communicate with other staff members about this work. ETO has built-in processes that enable staff members to do their work and have all the necessary documentation to do their work. Managers use ETO to see how the program is performing, and how individual staff members are performing. They also pull their own reports for funders.
  • Excellent report building platform. Very versatile.
  • Highly customizable user interface; a lot of flexibility in form building and dashboards.
  • Tracks all the right things - demographics, forms, enrollments, duplicates. Well made for case management.
  • ETO needs to be mobile friendly because a lot of our staff do outreach work, including all touchpoints, demographics, enrollments, and dashboards on their phone.
  • Too many ways to get to the same thing. E.g. Add New Participant Tab, Add New Participant in Navigation Bar, Add New Participant on Home Page, etc. This generates mistakes and a need for very thorough training and tight oversight.
  • Inability to remove touchpoints from custom universes once they have already been added. There is a limit of 20 touchpoints per custom universe. If the touchpoints in a universe have become obsolete or irrelevant, there is no way to make room for a new, more relevant touchpoint. Old touchpoints can be disabled but not removed.
  • Need to pay extra for email and calendar notifications. This should be a built-in function, as the software already costs a lot, and many organizations cannot afford to spend more to get this vital functionality.
  • It would be great if a "Case Conference" chat feature could be attached to participants. Case managers could enter the chat room and relay important information about the participant to each other. This could also work when people aren't there in real time, like emails. The important part is that all of this information would be accessible UNDER the participant's profile or dashboard that it's regarding.
  • ETO by Social Solutions has helped us be able to quantify our efforts and impacts.
Yes, our housing program has grown as a result of being able to show a greater need for the services with statistics from ETO. Our eviction prevention program is in the process of getting scaled. We did an evaluation of the program prior to this, which would not have been possible without the information and processes that ETO provided.
We use it to track how many people we serve and demographics. The Results feature allows us to customize reports to pinpoint the exact demographics granting organizations are interested in so we can tailor information relevant to them. We often use statistics from ETO in our media communications (tweets, blogs, etc.) as well as communication with stakeholders and individual funders.
There are other, tailored solutions by private developers that were not available on this list. The major one is HIFIS, developed by the Government of Canada to track shelter use. What we didn't like about it is the inability of individual organizations to customize their own forms and reports. The developers have to do this.

Microsoft Access goes out of date, and then Microsoft no longer supports it. Also, if the person who set it up didn't set it up properly, there's a lot of issues later.

Microsoft Dynamics is a viable alternative to ETO software. it is VERY cheap for non-profits, is highly customizable, looks great, and is mobile friendly. We have not checked too far into it, but the biggest concern is that it is set up by the organization, and there is no support for it like with ETO. If something goes wrong, you're holding the ball. Need to employ someone who can deal with glitches/IT problems.

MS SharePoint - too clunky for case management and reporting.
Most appropriate for shelter bed tracking and social work case management. It is good for tracking relevant participant information, setting a process for staff to follow, providing communication for all who work with the participant.
Less appropriate for tracking casual labour work placements. Although we are currently using ETO for this, it was not designed for it and is not the perfect solution. We have it rigged up so that Entities are employers and Participants are workers.
Some problems with this include:
  • Cannot put an alert that pops up for an employer (Entity)
  • When a participant is cross-referenced in an entity touchpoint (such as a work order), this touchpoint does not show up on the participant's dashboard or touchpoints.
  • Long waiting times for reports.
It is also less appropriate for scheduling appointments. As mentioned previously, there is no interface between outlook and ETO that is not beyond the expected software costs of the average Non-Profit organization. This is a vital function that needs to be included.