HearForm vs. Sycle.net
Sycle.net and HearForm Comparison
Why should I choose HearForm over Sycle.net?
Date: February 24, 2012
This week, Sycle.net was completely down again during regular practice business hours. The entire United States was offline for Sycle.net for approximately one hour.
Practices could not view their schedules to see who might be coming in or make appointments. They could not print receipts or use Sycle in any way. This happened last week, as well for approximately 1/3rd of the U.S. The "Cloud" continues to fail these Sycle customers.
HearForm found out about this when two Sycle practices called to finally make the switch to HearForm. These practices told us they need a system they can rely upon.
One of these practices, a large multi-office professional group, called Sycle support to ask if they could at least get a FAX of their schedule, as promised in Sycle's literature. The practice was told that even Sycle.net support could not get access to the Sycle database.
The large practice's IT professional told us that, although Sycle had a back-up of all of their customer's data somewhere, they did not have immediate access to that data. The IT professional was very surprised that Sycle did not have sufficient redundancy built in to provide immediate mirroring of the data in the event of another Sycle crash. Sycle has told us in the past that they have threatened to sue their hosting company, due to repeated outages. We want potential customers to know that Sycle promises immediate back-ups and 99.9999% uptime, but has not delivered as promised. We think that is important to know.
Sycle advertises the following on their website FAQs...
"Q. How can I be sure my data is secure?
A. Sycle.net has partnered with IBM as our data storage and hosting partner. Your data will reside in an IBM data center in one of the most secure environments available today. IBM uses and often is the developer of some of the most advanced firewall technology in existence. The actual building is encased in two-foot thick concrete walls and requires hand print recognition for physical entry. The data center is directly attached to the internet backbone to ensure a 99.9999% uptime; we also have two diesel backup generators and days worth of fuel standing by in case of a major power outage."
The 99.9999% uptime claim is simply a marketing phrase used to create a sense of assurance to its potential customers. Sycle has been in business approximately for 11 years. (90,000 hours) Simply using a calculator demonstrates that a 99.9999% uptime means that Sycle has only been down for less than 6 minutes in 11 years! Instead, Sycle was down 10 times that in just this last week alone.
"Q. Who monitors the data?
A. IBM technicians monitor the servers. They are less than 100 feet away from our servers and monitor them 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
That does not stop Sycle customers from losing their service again and again.
Q. How do the technicians know if there is a problem?
A. They send a signal to our servers every five minutes. If for any reason they do not get a response, they are alerted and investigate immediately.
That does not allow Sycle customers access to their data.
Q. How many servers do you have?
A. We have two redundant servers. All data is duplicated on both servers at all times. If for any reason one of them has a problem, the other one takes over seamlessly and technicians are alerted.
Both "Redundant servers" must stop working at the same time quite often, as we hear of repeated lack of data access for Sycle.net customers.
Happy Ending: Our new (Previous Sycle) customers will now have complete control over their own data.
A quick comment from a previous Sycle user that has tried both HearForm and Sycle...
"After having been a HearForm user for about 10 years I succumbed to the hype of Sycle.net. I did sign up for it and have been using it for about 6 months. As a small office I have found that the auto mail features do not live up to the hype - and alas, or in my case - "hooray"! I have decided to return to HearForm.
One of the nice things about Sycle.net was that I never had to worry about back-up, but wait - I can use www.dropbox.com which does the same thing. And it is FREE!!! Better than the monthly cost of Sycle.net. So many options!
I feel that HearForm is more intuitive. Being able to customize and print the letters I want to mail and being able to mail them myself is very helpful. In addition, on several occasions I have gone back to my HearForm database to do a search that is just not possible on Sycle.net - or not easily done. Entering the manufacturer is much easier in HearForm - without having to go through a long list each time. Entering info onto an audiogram is very much easier - one click instead of having to enter a numerical value.
HearForm is more customizable for everyone’s individual needs - for instance I can highlight those people I wish to send a newsletter and that makes sending newsletters convenient and fast. And how nice is it to just enter a zip code and have the city, state and country automatically appear! Over all, HearForm is more professionally designed and much easier to use.
This time I will stick with HearForm and their great personal service!
Thank you Michael Huskey"
Advanced Hearing Solutions
Yucca Valley, CA
This current comparison page is in the process of being updated with a significant number of resources.
If you're ready to make an excellent investment in your business today, we're ready to help.
We can convert your current data and have your office up and running by the next day.
We think it's a good idea to let you see lots of big screenshots of our software.
Our competition shows only small images and ask for your personal information before letting you take a deeper look.