IT-oLogy partner and local Columbia IT firm VC3 has recently unveiled Cognito Forms, the first of a cloud-based family of applications, called Cognito Apps. Users can now use Cognito Forms to build and tailor customizable online forms to collect data and gain relationships with their customers.
Cognito Apps was born out of a void for affordable, yet customizable, applications for organizations, according to VC3’s Director of Development, Jamie Thomas.
“We do consulting, and have for well over a decade, and we felt there was an untapped need for this type of product,” Thomas said. “Our customers would come to us with a need, but when we looked at the market and the products available, they would only get them fifty percent of the way there.”
After noting the “ridiculously high” customization costs for available products, Thomas’ team, comprised of five developers, a testing manager, user interface manager, and IT infrastructure manager, started its development of Cognito Apps.
“Our goal was to create products that solve real problems and were easily reachable and accessible. We’re not trying to be everything, but we’re trying to be a piece of the solution by creating applications that can integrate with an organization’s existing infrastructure.”
The VC3 Cognito team.
The concept for Cognito Apps began 3.5 years ago as a way to bring its users closer to their customers. Cognito Forms can not only be used in business, but also every day life, for instance, for a local soccer league wanting to register parents for snack duty. The app has even received the stamp of approval from Thomas’ 9-year-old son, Michael.
“I asked my son—he had never seen the product—to make a form. I didn’t tell him what to do, I had never shown it to him,” Thomas said. “Michael had recently filled out a registration form for Minecraft, and he said he wanted to do that. So he was able to sit down and build a form, and that was a good feeling for me.”
After three rounds of usability testing and countless modifications, Thomas thinks that Cognito Apps is exactly what the market needs: a product that is user-friendly, instinctual, and simple.
“If a 9-year-old can build the form, then something about it must be intuitive, and we must be doing something right.”
For the time being, the application is free to all customers, actively engaging and creating web forms.
In addition to Cognito Forms, the introduction to the Cognito payment platform was launched on February 24th. While testing the platform with only a handful of companies, Cognito Payments has already managed over $1 million in charges. In the next year, Thomas’ team plans to fully execute its payment offering and make it available for all organizations to try.
VC3’s plans for the immediate future are to make Cognito Forms more feature rich, adding Likert fields for surveys and a payment feature for organizations to collect payments from their customers. The team also has plans to integrate across a variety of platforms, such as WordPress, a widely used content management system. The WordPress plugin will make it even easier to create, embed and manage online forms all within your WordPress website.
To begin using Cognito Forms for free, visit https://www.cognitoforms.com, and check out the Cognito Apps blog for the newest updates http://blog.cognitoapps.com.
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