[NPL] ePoll Survey Software
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[NPL] ePoll Survey Software

PRESS RELEASE -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Senecio Software, Inc.
Jerry W. Wicks, Ph.D. at (419)352-4371
(jwicks@senecio.com)
www.senecio.com

Senecio Software Inc. announces the addition of new online survey research
services and Java applets to its line of computer-assisted interviewing
software.

Bowling Green, Ohio, June 22, 1998 - Senecio Software, Inc. today announced
it is shipping ePoll, the public opinion research industry's most advanced
web survey package, as part of its growing line of computer assisted
interviewing software. This powerful Java applet is the industry's most
complete and robust surveying solution, capable of serving complex,
adaptive questionnaires over the World Wide Web. In addition to the
software, Senecio is also offering online market research services
including questionnaire construction, web survey hosting and custom
programming services to corporate clients, market research firms and
Internet Service Providers seeking to enhance their data gathering
capabilities over the Internet and corporate Intranets.

Senecio's ePoll offers unparalleled capabilities to anyone administering
surveys over the World Wide Web. Compared to HTML forms and CGI scripted
surveys, the ePoll Java applet survey engine, in tandem with Senecio's
questionnaire editor, enables anyone to serve their ePoll-ready
questionnaire over the World Wide Web in a matter of minutes. Key features
include:

- Integration with other surveying modules - the same questionnaire file
used with Senecio's telephone, personal interviewing and disk-by-mail
surveying modules for Macintosh and Windows is served over the global
Internet through ePoll!

- Integration with database records - ePoll can receive, display and
manipulate any text material sent by CGI script for use in question wording
and as input to skip instructions.

- Professional questionnaires - unlike HTML questionnaires, ePoll surveys
are designed to handle complex skips, random presentation of responses and
questions, on-the-fly calculations, and dynamic adaptive question wording
incorporating calculations and automatic "fills" from previous answers.

- Multilingual questionnaires - write the questionnaire and collect your
data in Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish,
Italian, and many other languages. (A variety of surveys in several
languages can be found on Senecio's web site under the online demonstration
section.)

- Secure answers - respondents' answers are secure given ePoll's automatic
data encryption. And since ePoll is pure Java, Java's security is built
right in.

- Almost any question type - ePoll collects information from multiple
response items specifying N-items, multiple response items specifying
N-items with a mutually exclusive "none of the above" response, multiple
response items specifying N-items with conditionally masked items, forced
ranking scales, fixed-sum scales, open ended verbatims, numerics both real
and integer, analog rating scales with sliders, pictorial scales, and
database form designs. Plus, the response time to each question can be
recorded and saved to data.

- Multimedia - include pictures (i.e. GIF) and sound files (i.e. .AU) with
any ePoll questionnaire.

"Our new Java applet, ePoll, is a real advance in web surveying
technology," said Dr. Jerry Wicks, President of Senecio Software. "Just
about all the firms offering web surveying software and services rely on
HTML and a scripting language. While HTML is a great solution for simple
surveys, the limitations become quickly apparent once you want to include
skip instructions and adaptive features in the questionnaire. For example,
if the questionnaire is complex, i.e. containg a number of automatic skips,
and you're rushing to put that survey into the field and your client wants
to add questions at the eleventh hour, you're forced to make a number of
detailed changes to your HTML code. Since very little is automated in this
process, this approach to writing and then editing the questionnaire is
slow and prone to error."

"Senecio came at the problem from a completely different direction," points
out Jos Pereira de Almeida, Director of Engineering. Instead of relying on
HTML, we chose to write a Java applet that could read our existing survey
package's questionnaire file and replay it over the Web. It is important to
note that this is the same questionnaire file used in our telephone
interviewing and disk-by-mail surveying modules. So while ePoll uses the
latest Java technology to collect data over the Web, the questionnaire file
is created using a page layout editing system with a rich heritage. ePoll
uses the best of these two environments, resulting in what we believe is
the most sophisticated, yet easiest to use, survey package on the Web."

"We also realized that many companies that want to place surveys on the
global Internet or corporate Intranet have neither the resources nor
inclination to establish and maintain an online survey site," said Dr.
Wicks. "That's why we decided to add survey programming options, web
hosting, data compilation and simple tabbing services with our software
package. We offer everything from programming a basic questionnaire and
placing it on the customer's web site of choice, to designing and building
large corporate sites for conducting employee opinion polls and customer
satisfaction surveys."

Pricing and availability

Senecio's ePoll is shipping, with the cost of an annual lease ranging from
$1,000 to $5,000 for corporate sites, $1,000 to $2,000 for academic and
government sites, and $495 to $16,000 for survey research service bureaus.
Current MaCATI sites receive a fifty percent discount the first year
following upgrade. All MaCATI sites now receive a license to the full range
of data collection modules including CATI, CAPI, Disk-by-Mail and ePoll.

Sample service costs for programming a short questionnaire $300, and $1,000
for set-up and Web hosting. Custom Java and CGI programming jobs for
corporate and government sites are available on request.

System requirements

To serve ePoll to the WWW:
- a web site with access to a scripting language (e.g., Perl)

To take an ePoll survey:
- a Java-enabled web browser
- Netscape 3 or 4, Internet Explorer 3 or 4, or any other Java- capable
browser

To write the questionnaire file:
- An 030 or newer Macintosh CPU with 2mb of free RAM running MacOS 7 or
higher.

About Senecio Software

Headquartered in Bowling Green, Ohio, Senecio Software, Inc. has been a
leading developer of advanced software systems for computer assisted
interviewing and data analysis since 1992. Its survey software, MaCATI, is
one of the most widely used telephone interviewing and disk-by-mail
surveying packages in the world. Tel (419-352-4371), Fax (419-354-7512),
www.senecio.com.

 
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