Frequently Asked Questions
Need more info on how NowWeComply can help your organisation meet compliance requirements more cost-effectively. Here are a selection of the current most popular questions and answers.
All about pricing, and commercial terms and conditions
NWC automates those mundane, everyday processes which every business has in place to ensure that information and documentation is shared between those who need to see it. The automation of these compliance admin processes saves you time, money and effort.
No absolutely not.. we aren't looking to eat anyone else's lunch, just make it better!
We aren't in the business of job board posting candidate search, applicant tracking, timesheet processing, payrol or anything else that other systems do. Process automation is our thing!
NowWeComply is designed to fit neatly in between all of these to automate the process that happen as clients, suppliers, candidates, employees or other people (in fact anyone or anything that is part of your processes) need to be done.
Think of it as a replacement for the admin team having to 'remember' to send a document out, get a signature, record infomation or perform a check in between one step and another of your business process.
In fact, the great thing about NowWeComply is that you can leverage the power of the other sytems to do the bits they do well by using NowWeComply to automate the processes around them them in order drive workflow in a way that normally need people, time and resources to do.
For example - lots of people use NowWeComply to make sure that before their sales people engage with a new customer their process is to have a set of terms agreed and signed with credit check performed before making a sale.
Typically this involves a lot of manual work (creating contracts, getting signatures.. even getting the documents posted back!) with everyone having to remember what needs to be done by who and when. The sales person might have started this process, but all too often they are left in the dark wondering just what bit of 'our process' is holding up their sale!
NowWeComply solves that problem
It can talk to their CRM (like Salesforce, Sugar, Goldmine) or Front Office system, , monitoring new clients as they are added, automatically sending out a set of personalised contractual terms (which the sales, legal or accounts team can provide if thy need to be unique for each client) while setting set a simultaneous task for accounts to carry our the credit check
It knows who at any time is waiting on what and (importantly) who is tasked with doing something about it.. its is then able to monitor (and chase up) to get the task completed, while keeping the front office system informed of the current status as it changes.
No more waiting for documents in the post, no risk of making a sale until the terms have been accepted and credit worthiness been ascertained. Sales people and customers 'in the loop' all the time.
We've made it very easy for other applications and systems to talk to nowwecomply.com
We can import information directly from standard file formats including Excel, CSV, Tab separated and XML formatted documents.
You don't even have to create these to our format - nowwecomply.com can analyse what you supply and do the mapping for you!
For more advanced integration (pushing to and reading from nowwecoomply.com in real-time) our API (an API is a software interface that allows one program to talk to another) is super-easy to use, fully documented, uses an open standard (REST) and is included at no extra cost as part of any of the paid for versions of the software.
Just a couple of clicks is all that is required to setup NowWeComply to have it generate a document (or even a series or set of documents) as part of automatic process.
For example, you might use NowWeComply to make sure that every time you sign a new client or take on a new employee, they receive a personalised set of your standard terms and conditions.
Documents can be automatically mail-merged with information you supply and forwarded to the relevant person for viewing or acceptance (signed online or offline to complete).
What's more, every document you send out is tracked electronically and recorded in history, so you can immediately see (and prove) who's viewed or opened what at any time after its sent.
At the moment this option isn't available as we've been super busy working on other features.. however we've built Outlook syncronisation tools in the recent past, so we know what is involved and just as soon as we have a gap in our schedule we'll be on it. Best estimate right now is Q2 2012.
Once its ready, it will be included in the price of the Enterprise version and as an optional extra in the Professional version (we won't provide Outlook integration in the free version as its too expensive to support for free unfortunately).
A related question that we've been asking ourselves though is whether we should consider supporting any of the online calendaring systems - we like Google Calendars and GMail in particular.. we'd love to hear what you think about this too, please let us know
Good question. The answer for most people turns out to be equally simple as the differences between each product edition are (we hope) fairly obvious and tailored for the needs of their target market.
You can read all about the different editions on our Pricing Page
Generally speaking the Personal use edition is great for very small businesses who while maybe aren't overwhelemed by admin, would welcome the addition free time if many of the mundane and boring tasks were taken on for them. Its got a few restrictions around how many processes/ documents and connectivity are available, on the other hand we offer it at no cost and you can upgrade at any time.
The Professional use edtion is chosen by aroun 80% of our customers (both big) and small because it offers huge capacity that are enables most SME businesses (upto 500 staff say) to be able to automate many of the admin and compliance processes they have without exceeding thge system user account andf document storage limits that would need the Enterprise edition license.
That said, company size isn't neccessarily an absolute measure (many recruitment companies for example will benefit from the advanced automation features that Enterprise has without approaching the System User total for Professional) and lots of people will opt for the Enterprise edition simply because in the context of the huge savings they make, Enterprise is worth every penny!
So, if you are in doubt about which edition is right for you, we'd reccomend that you take a test drive of our the Professional edition of NowWeComply and take it from there.. you can eaily drop down to the Personal use or upgrade to Enterprise at any time thereafter.. Otherwise, do get in touch and we'll see if we can answer any other questions you have.
While our reccomendation to everyone is that they use the hosted version of NowWeComply that we provide as standard (and there are a ton of reasons why -including our industry leading 99.999% 'no quibble' uptime guarantee, the very best network, datacentres and infrastructure available and just being generally fun people to deal with ;-) ), we understand that some companies would prefer to host the system in their own private cloud.
That's fine and this is a possibility for Enterprise Edition customers - we'd ask that you contact us to discuss the options (and costs for this) as there are quite a few alternatives available.
It depends on whether you want to do a lot of customisation or use our sample processes. Either way, it’s not difficult to set up and don’t forget we’re here to help. Most customers can start to get benefit almost right away by picking a simple process to get started with.
NowWeComply is delivered in the cloud, so you can access it from where ever you are as long as you have an Internet connection.
Yes, you can have as many versions of NWC as you need. We have customers that either run discrete business units or have several separate businesses that they want to manage through one system and reports. Please contact our pre-sales team to explain your needs so that we can advise you appropriately.
We provide a start up wizard to guide you through the early stages and some built in sample processes to get you started but it is actually a highly intuitive product and has a very user-friendly interface with built in help messages so you shouldn’t have any problems.
Sure - For our UK customers we are pleased to be able to offer Direct Debit (DD) as a payment option. For customers outside of the UK, we can bill to most major credit cards.
Setting up DD as part of the signup process is really simple - just choose DD as an option and you will be re-directed to our electronic DD mandate to complete.
If you already use NowWeComplly and would like to switch to DD, that's easy too - you can download our paper mandate from the link below, complete it and send on to us (a scanned copy is fine) to
Billing Dept (DD Processing)
Unit 3, 52 Victoria Road,
Aldershot, Hampshire, GU111SS
We can take credit (Visa, Mastercard) and debit cards (Visa) no problem at all. UK customers can also take advantage of the Direct Debit system (we can process your application online). Enterprise customers do have the further option of Wire transfer/ BACS.
We use Bank of Scotland as our Merchant Services Provider and partner with SecPay for processing transactions. Transactions on your statement will appear as 'nowwecomply.com'
The main difference is that paid for versions of NWC free you from the limitations of the number of people you can communicate with (Person Targets) and the number of documents you can store. The free version is great for individuals and smaller organisations who don’t have loads of admin processes and who don’t need multiple system users.
However, the Professional version is recommended for most businesses as it allows you to set up automated workflows, in fact as many as you like, which commence as soon as your Person Targets are created. It also allows you to include your own branding and to communicate with third parties via social media as well as providing you with the full functionality of the reporting system.
The Enterprise version has all the bells and whistles; it’s a must if you need more than 6 user accounts and want to benefit from the very advanced features we offer. Check out our Pricing page for more information and to sign up!
5 Nines (or 99.999%) service availability refers to the amount of system uptime you can expect from a service. In practical terms, 5-nines equates to a few minutes in any year and is the standard that banks work to.
We've spent a great deal of money building the NowWeComply infrastructure to a level that is able to guarantee this sort of reliability... high-speed blade servers, clustered NetApp® fibrechannel SANS, Multi-tenant architecture, independent multiple fibre connections, dual datacentres.. the list goes on!
What it means in practice is that you can be sure we'll always be there when you need us.
In contrast to most other 'Cloud' application providers, we don't rely on any 3rd parties to provide connectivity to us since FCP (our sister company) is an independent Internet Service Provider in their own right (AS34830).
That means we can do a bunch of things that most service providers can't - like running an integrated network between multiple datacentres and dynamically changing our routes to work around problems on the wider internet when they come up.
As far as we know, we are the only provider in this market who has this capability.
NowWeComply has been built using the latest web technology to deliver a great user experience in the widest range of browsers and platforms we could accomodate.
Being browser based, it's a very lightweight application (not in terms of features, just what it demands from your computer) so whether you have a PC or a Mac, a workstation, notebook or tablet -even if its quite old.. there's a very good chance that NowWeComply will still work really well.
Likewise, we don't need much by way of bandwidth - NowWeComply works very well even over a mobile phone 3G type signal... and an office with regular broadband (nothing special) should be able to support lots of simulateous users (dozens at least) without any problem.
Yes. Although IE10 and Windows 8 aren't officially released yet we have tested using both legacy mode and the new Metro version of IE and NowWeComply works just fine.
Great question.. the short answer is yes because we take information security very seriously.
Our team has been providing secure online data storage of sensitive personal data since 2001 with millions of personal data records stored on behalf of hundreds of clients both in the UK and abroad.
When people ask about security they are often just thinking of the risk hackers .. but when you think of a product like NowWeComply you prety quickly realise that it's much more than that.
Data security in our context encompasses:
- Confidentiallity - Making sure it only available to people/ systems authorised to see it.
- Availability - Making sure its there when those people need it.
- Integrity - Making sure that the data is accurate and free from tampering or modification.
We keep your data separate! NowWeComply is designed as a multitenant platform with a unified code base but discrete customer data. What this means is that unlike some other approaches, our platform keeps you data physically separate from anyone elses.. separate database store, seperate file stores, separate backups and separate archives.. when it comes to your data absolutely nothing is shared.
That's makes life a bit more complicated for us when we are designing the product.. but it has a huge security benefit because it means thate there is no chance you data can 'accidentally' be seen by someone else.
We use Encryption - NowWeComply uses industry standard SSL for encrypting browser traffic. To be honest we still see some people making a big deal out of this.. not sure why really since SSL is universally standard and to be honest if you didn't use it you would be negligent to say the least! Anyway, we use SSL too, so traffic to and from you is safe from snoopers.
We run our own network - This is something different from most people.. we are in a very fortunate position to be an ISP in our own right which means that among other things we own and maintain our own network block which puts us in control our own own destiny when it comes to network routing. See our RIPE entry here
We use best-in-class technologies to deliver 99.999% uptime SLA with NetApp Sans, dual datacentres, multiple levels of failover, data replication between locations all running on our own multihomed netwok to achieve this. (we also own all of our own kit..including over 80 IBM Blade servers that run the system which means your business isn't relying our business to pay its leasing costs!)
Sure, we love all things Apple® :-)
NowWeComply will run on most modern Macs, PCs and Mobile devices (we test against Safari, Chrome, Firefox and IE) and aim to be W3C compatible with everything we do.
In practice, some devices (especially mobile with small screens) aren't ideal for some parts of the system (admin can look a bit cramped!), but from a users' perspective we try hard to make everything universal.
When you talk about 'compliance', the first thing many people think of is 'Regulation'. nowwecomply is all about more than just regulation though, we're about process.
For most businesses though its their internal processes that matter most (some might be in response to regulation of course) and so when we say 'compliance' we're really talking about process compliance in this wide sense.
Complying with process means you are following your plan, driving the business by the rules you have to operate efficiently. We are all about maximising the benefit, minimising the effort!
Why do we call things what we call them? What's the difference between Target and Criteria? Why do we call things 'Levels'? All these and many more are below. Where an item has an icon associated with it, we've also included it here.
The API is a software interface that allows one program to talk to another. It can push information to NowWeComply and read information from it, in real time.
NowWeComply uses the REST protocol which is simple, fast and secure. REST is supported by almost every modern programming language including PHP, perl, ASP/ .Net, c++, c# coldfusion.
|Audit and History Tracking||
Every action take by a System user or Target is recorded as they happen in NowWeComply including logins, page views, criteria responses, document submissions and many more.
Audit histories are fully reportable (data export available in some editions of NowWeComply) and absolutely indellible - if it happened, we guarantee to have a record of it!
|Auto Target Creation||
Also called 'Auto Import' - This function allows the user to create Target instances by importing data from a CSV, an Excel spreadsheet, or similar file, (which can then trigger a Sequence for example).
Data imported this way can be used to either create or update existing target fields and can be scheduled to collect from a mailbox regularly, or prompt a user to upload a file each time.
|Categories are used to keep criteria in manageable groups for easy navigation around the system.|
|Criteria||Criteria are the individual things to do which are applied to your person or thing that is the subject of your process. Criteria can be in the form of a question, an information request, document request, request for a signature on a document, or they can be the provision of information and/or documentation.|
Criteria Responses are the different types of reply or action that can be asked for as part of completing a criteria. There are many different response types, ranging from Text through to Single and Multi-select, date-pickers and many more.
Criteria Responses can also feature requests (or submission) of documents and files, often combining this with another response to 'evidence' an answer (asking a target to choose from a list of qualifications and then upload a document to prove their qualification each time for example).
In addition to fields that we include as standard for each Target Troup, NowWeComply also allows you to set your own custom fields to store data (and take actions) against.
Also, see Standard Fields
The Dashboard is the centre of information and activity for System Administrators using NowWeComply.
It allows you to see and monitor each part of every process in real time. It also allows you to monitor and report on your team's activity and reassign tasks if necessary.
The Dashboard will prioritise tasks and allow you to see what is required in the future. In some editions of NowWeComply, layouts can be customised and you can filter out what you don't want or need to see.
In summary the Dashboard provides a whole-world view.
NowWeComply is able to automatically generate documents, mail-merging in data from one or more associated targets and then publish them for signing online or offline. Documents can be automatically timestamped and are stored securely associated with the Target they have been assigned to.
All Criteria Responses, including any associated documents are accessible via the API
NowWeComply Professional and Enterprise editions can also use your Google Apps account (Sumer '12) to allow you to edit and share document templates directly.
The In-level sequencer is an advanced feature available in some editions of NowWeComply. It's designed to allow very fine-grained control over business logic contained between related criteria within a Level that allows one criteria to be applied subject to the outcome of another criteria within the same level.
It's especially useful when using the Level grouping feature (also available in some editions of NowWeComply) to allow a set of Criteria to be presented as a single stage task to complete.
A Level is a collection of things to do, essentially a container for criteria, against which compliance for a Target is ascertained.
Levels are a very powerful feature of NowWeComply because they allow you to create lots of alternative compliance profiles against a Target.
Level Grouping is an advanced feature available in some editions of NowWeComply that enables a set of criteria contained within a Level to be assigned for completion (and treated as if they were) as a single task.
This is particularly useful in situations where you want a set of quesitons/ answers or information to be presented together as part of the process logic (completing a set of forms for example).
In combination with the In-level sequencer, Level grouping is a very powerful way of fine-tuning variations in a process without creating very complex Sequences.
|NowWeComply is able to message Targets and System Users in lots of different ways including Email, SMS and Social Media accounts. Every communication is recorded in the Target's history.|
|Online Document Signing||
NowWeComply is able to support generation and signing of documents both online and offline (PDF>Print>Sign>Upload) with multi-stage validation available in some editions.
Documents signed online are timestamped and audited, guaranteeing that they have been delivered, viewed and completed as issued.
Person (Target Type)
|Target Groups in NowWeComply can be one of 3 types: Person, Things and Relational - Person types are different from Thing and Relational types because they are able to interact with processes. Consequently Target Instances of this type will ususally have User Accounts created automatically.|
|Relational Targets are used to bring together target groups of the person and things types. By doing this you are able to access and use all the information held about those target groups at the same time.|
|A Sequence is a workflow process made up of one or more levels which will automatically send the criteria (question, information request, document request, request for a signature on a document, information/document provision) to the selected target.|
The Sequencer is the workflow engine within NowWeComply.
Sequences are created using a drag and drop interface and can be triggered to commence when a target is created.
Sequence templates can be saved for amendment and use again and again. The Sequencer can handle thousands of processes, events, tasks and communication all at the same time.
See also: In-level Sequencer
|Shred on Reject||This function allows you to permanently remove the response to the criteria (question) if it is not what was required/expected or if it is inappropriate. This means that the response will not be stored in history.|
|Standard Field||These are the fields which NowWeComply considers are the basic minimum required to create a target group. For instance, all target groups should have a "Name" and those of the "Person" target type will require an email address so that NowWeComply can commence communication with the individual instances in the group. Standard fields are non-deletable and where relevant can be made mandatory.|
System Roles in NowWeComply allow you to specify who has access to what.
Individual pages and sections can be set to allow full access (read/ write), read only (for viewing) or not available at all to any System user who is a member of that role.
On the dashboard, roles are also used to allow you to easily manage and view groups of System user activity (Enterprise edition)
|System Users are your internal users of NowWeComply.|
|Target Creation from Criteria||
Also known as 'Recursive target creation' this is a special type of Criteria Response that allows the creation of a Target based on the response from another Target. If that sound confusing, perhaps an example will help :
Suppose a candidate or new employee is asked to provide details of a referee. Using target Create from Criteria, The referee can be setup automatically from the Candidate's response, a Sequence run and so automatically contacted for the reference against which he/she can upload to NowWeComply.
|Targets are the groups of People and Things against which you organise and measure your compliance processes.|
A Target is an individual Person, item or thing that is the subject of a Process or Level assignment.
For example, a Target could be a Candidate, Employee or supplier - NowWeComply runs a sequence each time a new one is created (or perhaps updated) and assigns Levels which contain the individual Criteria (the things that need to be done.
|Target Instance Level||A Target Instance Level is an individual person or item which has a level assigned to him/her/it. It therefore shows a relationship between the Target Instance and the Level.|
|Target Group Type||There are 3 Target Types depending on the members of the Target: Person - for all the people involved in the process; Things - for items, and Relational - which are used to tie together two or more of the other Targets.|
Thing (Target Type)
|Targets Groups in NowWeComply can be one of 3 types: Person, Things and Relational - Thing types are different from Person and Relational types because they are considered passive in the context of a process i.e. they can be the subject of an action 'We need to record XYZ information for our standard process in relation to a particular Thing' but you wouldn't interact with them (send emails for example) because they aren't People in that sense.|
|We are all pretty familiar with the idea of the trashcans! Once useful data is in NowWeComply though (for example if something has been recorded against a Target), its not generally permissible to delete it (kinda misses the point about auditability!) In most cases though you can hide it by sending it to trash.|
We’d be very pleased to see a link to us. Unfortunately due to the number of requests we get, we can’t promise to provide a reciprocal link to anyone other than our business partners.
Ordinarily we don't... as a very focused technology company, most of what we do is just too specialised to take people on in a general role.
On the other hand, we are always on the lookout for the brightest and best (and most fun) people to work with, so if you already have the right skills (and we'd still consider you even if you don't have lots of experience) then we'd love to hear from you.