Evolution is a series of online applications designed to provide integrated access to all facets of the property management office. Optimally designed for the larger management company, Evolution can be accessed anywhere that has Internet access.
EASE OF USE – 5 Stars
Evolution is from GEAC/AMSI. This is a robust program that can handle any number of property management activities for the largest companies, but is extremely easy to navigate, even for beginners. Being web-based, no installation is necessary. In the eSite application, Setup is completed in four areas: Global, Guest Card, Property and Activities. Clicking on one of the areas expands your setup options. Clicking Add allows you to add your information. Entry screens are simple and easily navigated. Upon login, a list of activities for the day appears. Clicking on the link will take you to move-ins, transfers, follow-ups, move-outs and pending applications.
FEATURES – 5 Stars
eSite is designed to work in tandem with other Evolution applications, which include ePO, eConcierge, eService, eFinancials, eCommercial and ePortfolio. Each of these modules is designed to perform a particular function. ePO handles company purchase orders. eConcierge is a residential web site where you can conveniently post news items, coupons and announcements. Tenants, in turn, can request maintenance and even pay rent using eConcierge. eService handles tenant service requests. eFinancials tracks and reports company financial information, and eCommercial and ePortfolio are designed to manage commercial properties and management portfolios, respectively.
eSite contains a comprehensive leasing system that allows you to enter Guest Card information, save applications, process tenant transfers, enter any lease changes, and pro-rate move-in or move-out rent. In the ledger function, you can process returned checks, apply any open credits, process refunds and security forfeits, and enter journal adjustments. The processing function is where you handle ‘beginning of day’ and ‘end of day’ functions, process tenant statements, calculate management fees, and track and process utility billings. The eService module tracks property maintenance by tracking work orders by priority. You can also record inventory information if service calls require use of existing inventory. When you close the work order, you have the option to generate an invoice and add any comments or notes to the record.
INTEGRATION – 5 Stars
Evolution is a web-based system that integrates with the other modules mentioned earlier in this review. Under the Special function on the main screen, you can access a variety of features, including importing ASCII files. With Evolution, you can e-mail AP invoices directly to vendors and e-mail GL files when necessary. Tenant letters and various accounting spreadsheets can be easily created using Microsoft Word or Excel. And the open architecture allows you to easily integrate Evolution with a variety of third-party software packages.
REPORTING – 5 Stars
Reporting options are excellent, including Management Reports, Leasing Reports, Accounting and Auditing Reports, and the Execute Series, which is a selection of six groups of reports that can be run simultaneously. These reports include the ‘beginning of day’ series, the ‘end of day’ series, a ‘preliminary accounting month end’ series, ‘weekly leasing’ reports, and final AME reports. The report application features a series of icons with the report name beneath each icon. You can choose the parameters of each report as well as the format: Acrobat Reader, Crystal Viewer or Excel. Setup reports can also be run periodically so you can view your defaults in the system and change them, if necessary.
HISTORY & SUPPORT – 5 Stars
GEAC Software and AMSI combine to bring Evolution to users worldwide. AMSI has been a frontrunner in the property management software field, providing management solutions for over 20 years. Over 13,000 properties have turned to AMSI for their property management solution.
A variety of training options is available with Evolution, including traditional classroom training or Internet training. All Evolution users also have access to online support, the AMSI knowledgebase, product update downloads, and AMSI product news and information.
RELATIVE VALUE – 4.5 Stars
Evolution is an excellent product for large, multi-site property management companies. Geac/AMSI refused to provide pricing information but did say that ‘pricing modules are designed with flexibility to accommodate specific user requirements and include both software licensing and ASP options.’
2005 OVERALL RATING: 5
This review will hopefully answer some of your questions or at least point you in the right direction. We chose six areas to focus on for this review: Ease of Use, Features, Integration, Reporting, History & Support, and Relative Value.
Ease of Use is important, particularly for new users. How quickly can the system be set up? Is it easy to install? System Features gives readers information about the modules included with the system, whether there is an integrated accounting function, and whether or not there is an applicant module or a work order/maintenance module. Integration is also an important issue, particularly for large management companies running multiple software products. Reporting covers report processing ease, a summary of available report types, and whether customization or third-party reporting is an option. History & Support is another area to consider when making a software purchase. How long has the company been in business? What kind of customer support options are available? Is support included in the price of the software? Relative Value assesses whether the features that are included in the product are worth the cost?