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FAQ 2016-12-16T16:32:35+00:00
Where is data hosted? 2016-10-25T12:04:56+00:00

Where is data hosted?

CommunityForce is a Software as a Service (S.A.A.S.)/Hosted/Cloud-Based Solution.  We host your data and the high costs of owning and maintaining that data.  The only thing you need is a PC or Mac, a web browser on your machine, and an internet connection and you’re off and running. The data is hosted at a SSAE 16 certified data center in Woodbridge New Jersey (IO Data Center).  The failover site is located in Century Link Data Center in Sterling VA.

Does the software require any browser plug-ins? 2016-10-25T12:04:15+00:00

Does the software require any browser plug-ins?

No plug-ins are required.

On which devices and browsers does CommunityForce’s system work? 2016-10-25T12:03:52+00:00

On which devices and browsers does CommunityForce’s system work?

You can use your CommunityForce system on your PC, Mac, Netbook, Tablet, or Mobile Phone.  We are able to go anywhere you have an internet connection. CommunityForce is compatible with all the browsers such as Internet Explorer (IE), FireFox, Chrome (by Google), and/or Safari.

What Business Intelligence tool does CommunityForce use? 2016-10-25T12:03:14+00:00

What Business Intelligence tool does CommunityForce use?

CommunityForce has built in reporting tool and it can also interfaces to Cognos, Crystal Reports and iZenda reporting.

Does the client get to choose whether the product is stored on the CommunityForce server or the client’s own server? 2016-10-25T12:02:51+00:00

Does the client get to choose whether the product is stored on the CommunityForce server or the client’s own server?

Yes, CommunityForce offers options for the clients to choose whether the product is stored on CommunityForce servers or on the client’s servers.

Which environment and database does CommunityForce use? 2016-10-25T12:02:31+00:00

Which environment and database does CommunityForce use?

CommunityForce is built on a ASP.NET, C Sharp, HTML, DHTML, JavaScript, AJAX. It uses a relational database platform which utilizes Microsoft SQL Server.  We’ve chosen this extremely stable platform because it easily communicates with familiar tools like Excel and offers a resilient platform for building, deploying, and managing our cloud-based solutions.

Describe the architecture of CommunityForce’s software. 2016-10-25T12:02:09+00:00

Describe the architecture of CommunityForce’s software.

CommunityForce follows a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), using ASP.NET 4.0 technology that facilitates flexible and inter-connected components, each of which provides a specific unit of business function and has the specific goal of improving your processes and increasing your ability to collaborate.

What types of reports can be generated? 2016-10-25T12:00:55+00:00

What types of reports can be generated?

CommunityForce software has canned reports and a query builder engine to build any report required by the client to look at activity associated with an application which can be accessed by unlimited number of staff members using a secure login. Field reports may be created easily using data from questions on the application form. The query builder tool will allow the administrators to create any type of SQL query and to use a logical operator to create and run the report.  The reports also include the option to send notifications, which allows administrators to send an email to all students or to individually selected students. The system generated reports allow users to perform an advanced search and export those results into an Excel file – anytime they desire.  Every report in the system has an Export to Excel option available.

 

Does the CommunityForce system come with canned reports? 2016-10-25T12:00:26+00:00

Does the CommunityForce system come with canned reports?

Yes, CommunityForce software has canned reports and also comes with a top-of-the-line query builder to build any report required by the client. The query builder tool will allow the administrators to create any type of SQL query and by using the logical operator to create and run the report. All the reports generated in the system will be real time and can be created by the administrator at any time.

Does the CommunityForce system allow for reporting? 2016-10-25T11:59:59+00:00

Does the CommunityForce system allow for reporting?

Yes.  Real time reporting of every data field in the system allows administrators to provide very broad, or the most intricate, details about the student, application, reviews, post-selection evaluations, and/or anything you’ve gathered during your process.

In addition, CommunityForce offers an optional Business Intelligence Software subscription to help you see and understand your data and create colorful charts, graphs, maps and more and to then share your data and reports with anyone.  The tool helps you quickly analyze, visualize and share information. You may connect to data in a few clicks, then visualize and create interactive dashboards with a few more.

Are students given a unique ID for each application form? 2016-10-25T11:59:34+00:00

Are students given a unique ID for each application form?

Each student will have their own Unique ID in the system and each application will be identified uniquely as well.  The student ID will never change so you have the ability to track each move they’ve made within the system.  Their ID will simply be added to each unique application for which they show interest.  You may choose to run your blind review process in a very specific fashion, hiding a specific section or specific question within a section from your reviewers.

Is there a message receipt function? 2016-10-25T11:59:06+00:00

Is there a message receipt function?

CommunityForce offers features that allow administrators to view the progress of email messages, during creation and after sending.  The system also has the ability to integrate with your Microsoft Exchange in order to keep records in that system as well.  As always, we also have the ability to offer high-end customizations for anything not specifically offered already – which is charged based on time and materials. The system also allows for sending mass emails to multiple applicants.

Does the system have the ability to notify students when they have been selected for award? If that student does not accept the award, will the next qualified student be notified of selection? 2016-10-25T11:58:40+00:00

Does the system have the ability to notify students when they have been selected for award?  If that student does not accept the award, will the next qualified student be notified of selection?

The CommunityForce Solution offers administrators the ability to create email templates and generate email messages to single and/or multiple students.  The Email Students option exists throughout all stages of the application process and is available at the click of a button. This feature provides the capability of custom fields when creating mail merge email templates and helps generate custom personalized email messages for parents, students, counselors, teachers, or whomever administrators would like to communicate with.  The email templates may also be created and mass emails may be set-up to send at a future date.

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Does the system have ability to merge fields into letters? 2016-10-25T11:57:06+00:00

Does the system have ability to merge fields into letters?

Absolutely!  The CommunityForce Solution has available merge fields which which administrators can merge with email templates for effective communication. CommunityForce also offers the option to add additional merge fields if desired.

How customizable are letter templates (i.e., letter of selection, thank you message, letter requesting missing information, essays)? 2016-10-25T11:56:44+00:00

How customizable are letter templates (i.e., letter of selection, thank you message, letter requesting missing information, essays)?

CommunityForce allows the admins to create selection letters, thank you letters, letters requesting missing information, and essays with your logo and letterhead branding using our Business Intelligence module.

Does the system have an option for customizable error messages? 2016-10-25T11:56:25+00:00

Does the system have an option for customizable error messages?

Custom error messages aren’t currently a CommunityForce option, but we’re prepared, equipped and positioned to add new pieces to our system as we meet, listen to, and work with new customers who have new ideas and requirements.  CommunityForce has an able development team ready to build features such as customizable error messages at our normal custom rates based on time & material.

How customizable is the CommunityForce product? 2016-10-25T11:56:03+00:00

How customizable is the CommunityForce product?

CommunityForce software has the ability to brand client specific systems according to every College’s/University’s/Foundation’s specific needs. The CommunityForce team works with our customers to get the desired branding and user interface appeal.  In addition, the CommunityForce Solution allows administrators to upload system logos anytime they wish in order to self-brand.  You are also able to choose which search options you provide your students in terms of Keyword, Criteria, View All Opportunities and Faculty/Department.

How many workflow steps/tasks are allowed in the system? 2016-10-25T11:55:41+00:00

How many workflow steps/tasks are allowed in the system?

You have the ability to set up as many workflow steps and tasks as you’d like and you may set up multiple workflows up for different organizational processes.  Once setup, you may delegate specific individuals within your organization to perform individual or multiple tasks within your workflow.  This allows you to organize and manage your project while keeping everyone involved up-to-date and accountable.

Does the CommunityForce system have a searchable database for students to search various application forms? 2016-10-25T11:55:15+00:00

Does the CommunityForce system have a searchable database for students to search various application forms?

There are several search options available for you to offer your students and you’ll have the freedom to choose which ones you would like to utilize in your new process.

  1. View All Applications
  2. Keyword Search
  3. Criteria Search
  4. Department Search
What features are included in the student profile? 2016-10-25T11:54:54+00:00

What features are included in the student profile?

The CommunityForce system provides an easy-to-use online system that allows your institution to enter all the various qualifications for your department and programs.  It allows students to choose which application they want to apply to and then complete all the required information present in the application.  The system also allows your students the ability to apply for one or multiple applications for which they qualify.  The CommunityForce system allows the students to copy similar information from one application to another just by clicking a button.  The students can also upload resumes, score sheets, transcripts, recommendation letters, audio and video files, essays, etc.

What is included in the implementation support service? 2016-10-25T11:51:47+00:00

What is included in the implementation support service?

Clients that have signed an Implementation Support Service as a part of their Agreement may contact the CommunityForce Support team with any inquiries related to product features, usage and implementation best practices. Clients with a Support Service Contract have access to the CommunityForce Implementation team for Implementation Guidance, Support and Training. These clients can schedule time with the CommunityForce Implementation staff members in order to review the applications and process. Clients that sign up with CommunityForce for these services may engage in the following:

Process Workflow Interview:

Defines and provides reasoning for the process workflow interview and helps CommunityForce analyze and understand the client’ goals, specific workflow processes, implementation requirements and training needs.

Implementation Walkthrough:

Provides a comprehensive example of a comparable client implementation where CommunityForce may have helped define an online application process for a previous client where we implemented each and every key feature of the CommunityForce product for that client. This activity is very useful in helping current and incoming clients to understand best practices and see gaps in their current process and to provide specific areas and rationale for improvement and automation.

Training:

Define training sessions work and what to expect during first year training and provide additional offerings for ongoing training of client’s new hires, transfers, and/or continuing education for existing users.

Application Forms

Setting user friendly and intuitive online application forms with conditional and skip logic. Techniques and best practices for setting Master and Common Applications for One Click Apply and Institutional Reporting purposes.

Eligibility Criteria Management Module

Explain how eligibility criteria are entered into, and managed by the system.

Admin Review Process

Demonstrating ways to setup pre-committee workflow and qualification process.

Committee/Approver Review/Selection Process

Show how the system is able to score and match students with department crtieria within the system and the students are selected.

Reporting

Show the report creation capability.  Provide examples of several comprehensive reports from another comparable setup.

Business Intelligence Reports

Create Cross Tab reports, Maps, Charts, Dashboard report creation training.

Business process assessment for implementations performed by clients:

  • Review of the current Business Process and Student Application Process Flows
  • Review of System Data Flows and System Integration points
  • Review of the Master Application for accuracy and efficiency
  • Review of Subject Area Master Applications for accuracy and efficiency
  • Review of criteria Setup and best practice advisement
  • Review of Adhoc and query reports and best practice implementation advisement
  • Review of management report requirements and demonstration of report creation using CommunityForce BI reporting module.

Support:

Define admin and student support processes, where CommunityForce may be used to provide issue related escalation for students and/or admins during open application cycle(s).

External User Nomination Process Review:

Define the possible usage of when non-client staff members, or other types of outside users, would use the CommunityForce Nominating Students/Students feature to enter the system and nominate individuals or entities for a potential Selection. Discuss and define best practices around this activity.

What is CommunityForce’s process for new updates or new versions of the system? 2016-10-25T11:51:20+00:00

What is CommunityForce’s process for new updates or new versions of the system?

CommunityForce notifies all clients, via email and/or phone outreach, one week before all the updates, upcoming releases, changes and/or roll outs are to be integrated with live applications. Your account manager will setup a call to show you all the updates before they’re rolled out to the live application. Updates are always rolled over to the development site first, where clients go to review and provide their final approval.  Final updates are then moved over to the client’s live site after (and only after) CommunityForce receives client approval.

What training options does CommunityForce offer? 2016-10-25T11:50:43+00:00

What training options does CommunityForce offer?

CommunityForce offers several different options for training.

  1. Dedicated account resource/help desk.

CommunityForce will assign a dedicated account manager for each of our clients. The account manager will manage all your issues. CommunityForce is also linked with a support and help system, where clients may directly enter their concerns, opportunities and feedback.  Our support team members are automatically assigned to the case and, as soon as they get a request, respond in less than 2 hours. The account managers will make sure all your tickets and issues are responded to as quickly as possible. CommunityForce also provides all customers one specific technical support person. We believe in working alongside our customers during every step of their project and this applies to our post-deployment support services.  Customers have called our service “fast” and “responsive” and noted that we “go above and beyond to help our clients achieve their goals.”

  1. FAQs for Students.

CommunityForce provides a Help link on the Student Module, where the students can click on it to access the FAQs of the system. The FAQs will provide you with a step by step guide and a video recording on different sections of the application cycle.

  1. Online or chat-based support to users of the system.

CommunityForce provides 24*7*365 online live chat, email, phone and online GoToMeeting support.  Our highly skilled support team has been providing support to national and international clients for many years and are well versed and knowledgeable enough to help you and your users with all the aspects of your new system.

  1. Live Training.

CommunityForce provides different types of training depending on your needs so that you can maximize the benefits of CommunityForce software to its full extent. This is accomplished through a series of training programs targeted at senior management, IT, staff, reviewers, committee members and the end users. We provide in-person online GoToMeeting training or on-site training as per needs of the foundation. Additional training resources such as training guides, a knowledge base, FAQs and annual email support are available to clients at no extra cost.

  1. Supporting training protocol.

CommunityForce provides access to online training guides, knowledge base, FAQs, online training videos, recorded training session, technical and functional assistance, and our online Support Portal. (http://support.communityforce.com)

Who are the implementation team members of CommunityForce? 2017-01-12T09:40:59+00:00

Who are the implementation team members of CommunityForce?

CommunityForce offers individuals with over 15 years of experience in their fields. The process management team at CommunityForce has over 15 years of experience working on several commercial, government, and non-profit clients. The development team at CommunityForce is comprised of seasoned technology consultants that have worked on several mission critical software systems. We have a highly skilled implementation support team that has been providing implementation support to several of our national and international clients. The implementation teams are well versed with business process and technology and are seen as advocates of best practices for our clients.

CommunityForce will assign a dedicated project manager to your project.  We assume your organization will also assign a project manager to oversee your responsibilities and to coordinate joint efforts. CommunityForce’s project manager will share a project plan for all deliverables and milestones in the project.  Project success criteria will be shared and both the project managers will align on the project plan and the project success criteria. In addition to the project manager, a number of team members play their role in implementation.

Your Organization CommunityForce
Project Sponsor/Manager Client Solutions Manager
Subject matter expert Implementation Specialist
Technical administrator Sr. Software Developer/Support
Solutions Architect & Business Process Specialist

Client Solutions Manager (CSM) will have a key role on the project from scheduling to defining expectations.  The CSM will coordinate all the requirement gathering activities, coordinate with the Solution Architect, and offer best-breed-of solutions to the meet client expectations. Additional responsibilities include: UI, branding & integration requirements gathering.

Implementation Specialist (IS) will work closely with your organization on business process workflows, data collection requirements, reporting requirements, business intelligence, and compliance requirements.  The IS will ensure that the project stays as lean as possible and will work to clear all possible redundancies from the project.

Sr. Software Developer will be responsible for all reporting requirements gathering and implementation on the project. He will be responsible for providing a quality assured and tested application to your team.

Solution Architect will be responsible for defining customization and integration requirements and ensuring optimum infrastructure resource allocation.

CommunityForce will commit the proposed resources for the entire duration of the engagement and will ensure availability per the mutually defined project plan.

What steps are involved in the implementation process? 2016-10-25T11:49:40+00:00

What steps are involved in the implementation process?

A CommunityForce designated process specialist will work with you to develop an implementation timeline. Included in the licensing is the process review and best practice recommendation. During the interview, the Process Specialist and the Implementation Team will spend time reviewing your current process and workflow in order to understand your system, plan for the implementation project, and make solid recommendations on how to proceed. The objective is to create a thorough analysis of your business processes to properly configure and implement industry best practices.

Step 1: Discovery and Planning Process Review

During the Discovery and Planning Process Review, CommunityForce will engage with the client in the following activities:

  • Kickoff Meeting

Kickoff Meeting is the first meeting with the CommunityForce team and the client team. This meeting would follow definition of the base elements for the project planning activities. This meeting introduces the members of the CommunityForce team and the client and provides the opportunity to discuss the role of each team member. Other base elements in the project that involve the client may also be discussed at this meeting (Upcoming Schedule, Agendas, Status Reporting, etc.).

  • Documentation and Process Workflow Review

Discuss all the documentation and process workflows the client current has which need to be implemented in the online system. Define and provide reasoning, for the Student, Reviewer and Administrator process workflows, which helps CommunityForce analyze and understand the client’s goals, specific workflow processes, implementation requirements and training needs.

  • Best Practices Recommendation

Provides a comprehensive example of a comparable client implementation where CommunityForce may have helped define an application process for a previous client where we implemented each and every key feature of the CommunityForce product for that client. This activity is very useful in helping current and incoming clients to understand best practices and see gaps in their current process, and to provide specific areas, and rationale, for improvement and automation.

  • Discuss Possible Role Types

Define the possible role types the client has and the usage of when non-client staff members, or other types of outside users, would use the CommunityForce software.

  • Discuss Master Application

Discuss and define all the different applications, sections and questions which will be created in the CommunityForce online system. Create a master template with all the common sections and questions to create the Master Application.

  • Discuss Departments/ Faculty Criteria

Define each department’s application forms you manage and all the eligibility criteria attached to each form. We will document and recommend best practices. This review determines what type of assistance will be needed by the Implementation Team to set up your department forms and criteria’s.

  • Discuss Committee/Evaluation Process

Define the complete evaluation process of the client. All the evaluation steps which can now be completed online directly in the CommunityForce software. Review all the current committee scoring rubrics, number of evaluation steps involved, type and number of questions asked in the review rounds, number of reviewers etc.

  • Discuss Reporting Requirements

Review all reports you are currently utilizing within your organization. We determine if they are field reports or custom query reports. If they are field reports, we will then determine which reports are no longer necessary due to the efficiency of CommunityForce online system, or which reports we may be able to combine for efficiency. If they are Query Reports, we will set up the build with our Development Team.

  • Discuss Selection and Deny Process

Review the entire process which happens after reviewer evaluation with the client. Discuss and define when a selection letter is given to a student and when it is declined.

  • Search Filters

Discuss and define all the search filters by which an application form can be searched by the students. This will include defining the number of search filters to be added, type of filters, internal name and external names of the search filters.

  • XML Schema Review and Setup for Data (Optional)

CommunityForce Implementation Team will instruct you on Integration and the importance of keeping the XML Schema correct within system multiple applications or applications that students apply to on an annually recurring basis. The Review XML – Data Integration process makes sure the entire schema is matched in existing applications and includes editing existing schema if it isn’t working properly.

  • Training Process Walkthrough

Define how training sessions work and what to expect during first year training and provide additional offerings for ongoing training of client’s new hires, transfers, and/or continuing education for existing users.

Step 2: Application Form Setup

CommunityForce has been designed to be used by non-technical professionals. Upon attending the Discovery and Planning – Process Review and Training clients might elect to perform the Implementation on their own. The administrators should be able to setup the application, enter departments/faculty, enter review steps, and also perform a test round by themselves. CommunityForce understands that you might decide to have the CommunityForce Implementation team assist in setting up the application, the selection process and eligibility criteria for you. If you would like CommunityForce to perform the implementation for you, then we would be glad to set up your applications and all related items.

We are available to perform reviews of client setups against industry best practices and sign off on the implementation before going live. Throughout the implementation process we will provide you with best practices and examples of how our other clients have seamlessly automated their entire application process. The Implementation Team will discuss, plan and prepare the project timeline with you and your team members every step of the way.

The CommunityForce Implementation Team will request that you provide us with your paper application form, a list of fund criteria, and detailed information regarding your workflow processes. The CommunityForce Implementation team will thoroughly review the application forms and show you how to map this to the criteria and how to automate scoring, rubric and reports. Below is a detailed outline of all the activities that are performed when CommunityForce’s Implementation Team is involved in the implementation process.

  • User Setup

Even though it is extremely easy for you to designate Administrators, Scoring Reviewers, Report Users, Department Admins and any other role type, we will work with you to set these up and assign them a designated system access. The Implementation Team works with Administrators to configure the system for them to properly and most efficiently perform their review process according to their workflow process. We perform tasks such as adding custom questions and setting up application stages.

  • Master Application Setup

In this part of your implementation process, the Implementation Team will work with you step-by-step to create your master application questions, sections, layout, nominations, and/or anything else related to your master application. They will configure and build your application according to the requirements that have been agreed upon in the process review step above. Once the master application is setup, it just takes the click of a button to create additional new applications.

  • Eligibility Criteria Setup

In the Criteria Setup, you will have your criteria documented and mapped in an XML format that will easily communicate with the CommunityForce software in order to upload and enter into your system. CommunityForce will take the documented and mapped worksheet and upload the criteria to your new online application.

  • Committee/Reviewers Setup

CommunityForce Implementation Team will help design and create your Committee groups, Evaluation Steps and Committee Scoring Rubric for each step in your new online system. We use best practices to ensure your scoring rubric is the most efficient system on the market.

  • Email Templates Setup

The Implementation Team will review, edit, and set up email templates in the CommunityForce software. These email templates are connected to the “Notify Buttons” throughout your system for easy access from anywhere you happen to be working. You may email one or all of your students using the email system.

  • Automated Scoring Setup (Optional)

The CommunityForce Implementation Team will help design and create your Automated Scoring template in your new online system. This feature will give you automatic scores depending on the responses given by the students.

Step 3: Reports

Creating reports within CommunityForce is extremely simple. The system allows you to create on-demand reports that display real-time data. Even though the screens have been made highly intuitive for our users, you have the option to export this information to Excel spreadsheets or to the database software of your choice. CommunityForce has made several operational reports available to you, in addition to the ability to create ad-hoc reports. There are two different ways in which you can generate reports in the CommunityForce software:

  • Ad Hoc Report Setup

After review, the Implementation Team will help you build all desired field reports that aren’t already in the system using the Field Report Builder. *Prices are only guaranteed if report requirements are correct, precise, and properly laid out by you. If our Implementation Team has to prepare a report for the Development Team for you there could be an additional charge.

  • Query Report Setup

After review, the Implementation Team will send the requirements to the Development team so they can build all your desired query reports using the Query Report Builder.

  • Setup Business Intelligence Reports

This is a completely new feature where you can report on any field in the system and not just a field on your application form. You can even merge multiple application forms to create graphical reports such as graphs, pie charts, bar charts, maps, trends etc.

Step 4: Testing, Editing, and Site Rollout

During the Testing and Editing process, the Implementation Team will test your entire application process for errors, issues and necessary revisions before going live. We will walk you through the system step-by-step to ensure you are happy and ready to launch.

Step 5: Training

CommunityForce Customers have access to training sessions that are scheduled at various days throughout the month. CommunityForce offers automated and live training sessions throughout the week. The following topics are covered during the training:

  • Application Forms

Setting user friendly and intuitive application forms with conditional and skip logic. Techniques and best practices for setting Master and Common Applications for One Click Apply and Institutional Reporting purposes.

  • Eligibility Criteria Module

Explain how eligibility criteria are entered into and managed by the system.

  • Admin Review Process 

Demonstrate ways to setup pre-committee workflow and qualification processes.

  • Committee/Approver Review/Selection Process

Show how the system is able to score and match students with criteria within the system and how students are selected.

  • Reporting

Show the Ad-hoc report creation capability.  Provide examples of several comprehensive reports from another comparable setup.

  • Business Intelligence Reports

Create Cross Tab reports, Maps, Charts, Dashboard report creation training.

The implementation effort does not include customization, interfaces and data migration. CommunityForce has extensive experience in implementing its products, workflow and review cycle. Through this experience we have developed an implementation methodology that helps the rapid and successful implementation of our solutions.

How secure is client data? 2016-10-25T11:49:07+00:00

How secure is client data?

CommunityForce guarantees that any non-public information/data managed by or hosted on CommunityForce’s systems will be protected during and after the performance of the contract in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations and the terms and conditions of the confidentiality agreement with the client. CommunityForce ensures the confidentiality of its information/data by complying with the applicable laws and regulations and utilizing industry best-practices for security and privacy of information. Availability of our client’s information/data, in an event of a disaster, is ensured by utilizing our robust database clustering technologies combined with our state of the art business continuity and disaster recovery program. In addition we ensure integrity of our client information/data in transit and in rest by leveraging industry best-practices and encryption technologies.

CommunityForce takes methodical steps to ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability of our and our client’s business critical information assets. We have implemented security controls necessary to achieve this goal and ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations applicable to our clients.

CommunityForce has skilled and experienced personnel with hands on knowledge of Federal regulations and guidelines (including National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST] publications – Guide for the Security Certification and Accreditation of Federal Information Systems standards, Government Information Security Reform Act [GISRA], Office of Management and Budget [OMB] A-130, Computer Security Act, Privacy Act, and Federal Information System Controls Audit Manual [FISCAM]). We perform Security Audits of our environment at regular intervals to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations and industry standards. In addition, CommunityForce is actively leveraging ISO/IEC 27002:2005 to enhance its current organizational Information Security Management System.

The Barracuda Backup Service utilizes an aggressive security combination of symmetrical and asymmetrical encryption to keep your data stored in a format that nobody but you can access. The United States government recently approved 192-bit AES encryption as the preferred method for protecting top secret information. The Barracuda Backup Service starts with the even more secure 256-bit AES encryption level. Your data is secured by this aggressive encryption methodology both while being transferred offsite and during its storage at Barracuda Central.

What system does CommunityForce use for data backup? 2016-10-25T11:47:44+00:00

What system does CommunityForce use for data backup?

Barracuda Backup is a complete cloud-integrated solution used for protecting physical and virtual environments that includes software, appliance, and offsite replication. CommunityForce uses Barracuda Backup 390 to back-up the File Server Data, Databases, Email Database and Windows Server System State locally.  The Data is then Replicated offsite to Barracuda’s Cloud Storage and the Cloud Storage is replicated at two Disaster Recovery Storage Locations. Data backups are stored in three places with the Barracuda Backup Service.

The Barracuda Backup Server maintains the first copy of your backup locally and at the location of the origin of your data, enabling rapid restores as needed. The Barracuda Backup Server also securely transfers data to two geographically separated data centers at Barracuda Central, where the data is stored on redundant disk hardware for disaster recovery. System administrators have full access to Barracuda backup servers who will be used for data backup and restore.

 

De-Duplication and Data Compression

Software backup solutions need installation and management on every server they protect and require the administration and support of additional hardware to provide recommended local storage of the backup data. Unlike many software solutions, the Barracuda Backup Server protects data using standard networking protocols from computers running a wide range of operating systems. Other benefits of using a hardware appliance for backups include the dedicated processing power to increase efficiency through de-duplication and compression, reduction of load on production servers by not having to run backup software and the creation of a dedicated restore device on your local network.

Local Backup Server and Secure Off-Site Cloud Storage

The Barracuda Backup Service creates a local copy of protected data and efficiently transfers the data offsite without additional burden to production servers. The offsite storage is monitored and managed by Barracuda Central as part of the monthly Barracuda Backup Subscription. With three secure copies of data and six methods to restore an organization’s assets, the Barracuda Backup Service is a comprehensive, flexible and efficient solution to achieve your disaster recovery needs.

Data backups are stored in three places with the Barracuda Backup Service. The Barracuda Backup Server maintains the first copy of your backup locally and at the location of the origin of your data, enabling rapid restores as needed. The Barracuda Backup Server also securely transfers your data to two geographically separated data centers at Barracuda Central, where the data is stored on redundant disk hardware for disaster recovery.

Does CommunityForce allow the upload of student from Excel into the system? 2016-10-25T11:47:05+00:00

Does CommunityForce allow the upload of student from Excel into the system?

  1. You create an application in your new CommunityForce system. This will house the fields you’re planning to import and provide a home for all different profiles you load.
  2. The CommunityForce system converts the files you’ve provided into a format it understands and automatically loads your student profiles with the information you have chosen to upload.
  3. If you’d like to update student data in the future, all you have to do is provide another file in the appropriate formatting and we’ll do the rest.
Does CommunityForce’s integration feature allow for Single Sign-On? 2016-10-25T11:46:41+00:00

Does CommunityForce’s integration feature allow for Single Sign-On?

Yes, CommunityForce allows for clients to choose a single sign on option. CAS, SHA256, and SAML can be used for authentication.

Does the CommunityForce system allow for integration with non-CommunityForce systems? 2016-10-25T11:46:00+00:00

Does the CommunityForce system allow for integration with non-CommunityForce systems?

CommunityForce is built with the mission of improving your processes, making your life easier, and adding convenience.  Integrating your new CommunityForce system with other non-CommunityForce systems you may own is part of that mission.  For instance, integration with a school’s enrollment system in order to communicate information and update all systems allows users to make the absolute best decisions based on the most recent student details, such as GPA or income.

CommunityForce integration with the client’s enrollment application allows the client to share student information between your enrollment system and CommunityForce database. The integration will allow your enrollment system users to automatically login to the CommunityForce system and access all the applications related information. A bi-directional relationship with your enrollment system allows you as the administrator to pull data from the enrollment system and keep synchronizing the two databases. When using the integration you may use not only use the standard fields that are visible to the students but all custom fields associated with staff sections. When importing from your enrollment system you can pull your full list of student’s login id and application data. Importing a student list will create a list within CommunityForce that contains all of the individuals that are eligible to seamlessly login from your enrollment system to CommunityForce.

CommunityForce’s extensive experience working with Higher Ed clients including some of the largest institutions like Harvard University, Yale University, University of Phoenix, University of Alberta, University of Auckland on the automation of their Scholarships, Research Grants and Fellowships, coupled with extensive real-time integration with Banner, Datatel, PeopleSoft and BlackBaud product suite offers your organization the security and risk associated with working with a new vendor that they have not worked with before.

How does CommunityForce compare to the competition? 2017-01-12T09:39:22+00:00

How does CommunityForce compare to the competition?

To answer your question we’ve highlighted the following aspects of our product that we feel really stand out when compared to the competition:

  1. Sheer flexibility and configuration provided to you and your team within the CommunityForce system.  After you’ve been taught the system, you have total control of what you decide to configure.
    • We feel that you shouldn’t have to constantly rely on us for every little change you desire to make because it will cost you more money and create more frustration within your organization.
    • We truly believe that if you want to change something within the system you’re paying to use then you should be able to do so – at any time you desire – without contacting us for help.
  2. CommunityForce offers a very user friendly interface for your students, reviewers, staff members and any other user you may choose to allow access.
    • We especially focus on your students and staff, as we know that these are the users that you will support the most.  By making their experience extremely friendly, easy and efficient, we also make sure that we greatly lessen the time you and your team will spend supporting them.
  3. CommunityForce offers easily accessible and detailed online help guides, a knowledge base and video tutorials for all user types.
    • If you’re an admin, the system recognizes your role and shows you support items related to your experience.
    • If you’re a student, the system recognizes your role and only shows you support items related to your experience.
    • The system performs this task for all users, guaranteeing that they only see support items related to their role and experience – making sure they find what they’re looking for easily and quickly.
  4. Easy to use Excel Import/Export Tool.  The CommunityForce system provides admins the awesome access to import and export data from almost every screen.  You may import historical data, or export your final review decisions and import them easily into your accounting system so that you may quickly send award letters to the people that you’ve selected.
    • It’s your data, so you should always have quick and easy access to it whenever you desire!
  5. Renewal or Multi-Year Management as part of your basic subscription package.  Many vendors charge up to $3,500 annually for this module alone.  The Renewal/Multi-Year Management allows you to easily manage your renewals and make sure all your students are compliant at every renewal installment.
  6. CommunityForce offers you the choice of using a Common Form Submission Application for all applications or individual submission applications for each and every department/faculty.
    • Many competitors allow one or the other, but none offer their clients both options.
    • The CommunityForce system is so flexible that you may even use both methods simultaneously if you desire.
  7. Reports access and creation.
    • Customize your reports (without our help) at any time, on any field of data you’ve ever gathered, for every year you’ve been gathering data, and for any organizations or departments you’ve ever worked with –  quickly and easily from the touch of a button.
    • Full scale Business Intelligence Tool add-on for deep diving, full analytical and completely visual reporting to share with your staff, donors and community.  This is the add-on that will take your organization to the next level in terms of showing exactly how you’re helping your community.  No other system offers this type of add-on.

Many of our current clients have left our competitors to come on board with CommunityForce and have verified that CommunityForce is head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to cost effectiveness, ease of access, functionality, feature set, flexibility and user friendliness.  They’ve found that although there are products on the market that may seem similar to the products offered by CommunityForce, the similarities are mostly found within the sales presentation – especially when it comes to service and support after the sale.

In terms of pricing, CommunityForce puts the choice in your hands.  We actually allow you to choose what you pay for when engaging our team for implementation, integration, training and support.  These items are never free no matter what the competition leads you to believe.  If it is included in a price, then you’re paying for it somewhere.  The competition may provide a certain amount within their pricing structure, but it is always at a cost to your organization.  At CommunityForce, we feel that you should have the freedom to choose what you’re paying for and that you should never pay for something you may not need.

We understand that it can be very difficult to tell the difference between all the products on the market. Our great hope is that the demonstrations, documentation and this explanation highlighting the vast differences between CommunityForce and the competition will suffice in proving that our system, our capabilities and our features are much more advanced than all the competition.

What types of solutions does CommunityForce provide? 2016-10-25T11:44:53+00:00

What types of solutions does CommunityForce provide?

We provide full featured end-to-end solutions for all of the following:

  • ScholarshipsUnited
  • GrantsUnited
  • AdmissionsUnited
  • eForms Management System
  • Fellowship Program Management
  • Intern Program Management
  • Research Grant Management System
Where is CommunityForce located? 2016-10-25T11:44:26+00:00

Where is CommunityForce located?

CommunityForce’s corporate office is located in Ashburn, Virginia. We also have an office in Sarasota, Florida.

Corporate:
44335 Premier Plaza, Ste. 110
Ashburn, Virginia 20147

Florida Office:
2189 Porter Lake Dr.
Sarasota, FL 34240

What is CommunityForce? 2016-10-25T11:43:56+00:00

What is CommunityForce?

CommunityForce is a client experience driven company with a focused mission of building outstanding cloud-based solutions for end-to-end collaborative data lifecycle management (CDLM).

Our ultimate goal is to improve your life by improving your processes with products that provide far greater capabilities than you’ve ever had before.

Whether you have a team of one user or 10,000, CommunityForce has a subscription that will fit your needs, at a price that will fit your budget.