Frequently Asked Questions

We Have The Answers

My organization currently works paper applications. Why should we change now?

We built the system to save organizations time as well as money, by removing the need to administer everything on paper. It means that sending organizations can send each student file to receiving organizations as soon as it is complete. No need to spend time photocopying or waiting for enough applications to justify a courier. With application deadlines looming, it is a relief to know that the file would be instantaneously delivered rather than making the slow physical journey to another continent. The time-saving continues when the files reach the receiving organization. Files can be accepted and distributed to the field, or even returned at the click of the button and the placement process just keeps flowing.

There are direct savings too. We estimated the costs for organizations still working with paper applications, and we found that the costs of paper, printer toner, copies, express mailings, phone calls and faxes, needed to process a single student from application to departure was US$180. That’s not including the cost of the extra time taken to do all of these things. Zapp will cost a fraction of this amount to process a single application.

What benefits does Zapp offer compared to working with email, pdf files, spreadsheets, file sharing applications and databases?

Using that combination sounds great and it is probably really cheap for your organization. That is until you count the cost of all the inefficiencies generated. You will need at least five different tools and programs to do the job Zapp does and, even when you put them together, you will still never get the level of all encompassing, fully integrated program management that Zapp offers. Add to that, you will still be losing time on manually moving and tracking information, and on training staff in so many different systems. It is clear that this is no longer the ideal way to work.

My organization is looking to build its own system. Why should we choose Zapp instead?

For the same reason multi-million dollar companies with huge financial and technological resources do not develop their own internal software applications and systems (ERP, CRM, etc.), preferring to outsource to market leaders in IT development.

Developing a system from scratch is very expensive, time consuming and risky. Studies indicate that 70% of custom developed applications fail to meet extreme challenges. This leads to frustration over time and money invested in a new system that neither works properly nor meets company expectations. Besides core software development costs, there are other hidden costs related to acquisition of additional software and hardware infrastructure.

It is also very important to mention that, while a new self-implemented system is being developed, your company will still be losing time and incurring the expense of the less efficient process you are trying to replace.

Your company will benefit from a Zapp system that is already developed, fully operational, and being constantly updated. This allows us to charge surprisingly low implementation fees, much lower than those that would be generated by creating your own system or purchasing a system not already tailored to the world of high school exchange. In most cases, when the client does not require customization, Zapp can be up and running for the organization in a week! Subscribing to Zapp will immediately begin generating a return on investment through gains in operational efficiency and cost savings.

What are the benefits that Zapp offers compared to other business systems?

As we mention when explaining why Zapp is the perfect alternative to developing your own system, there are plenty of existing CRM and ERP systems on the market. We guarantee that no other system on the market does high school exchange programs like Zapp. Zapp runs high school exchange only. The basic system can be used by pretty much any organization without customization, and even when tailored to your organization’s needs, it will still be up and running in less time, for less money than anything else on the market. On top of that, our team are experienced high school exchange professionals. We don’t just know there is difference between a J1 and an F1 program, we know what the differences are and exactly how to meet the challenges they throw up, along with all the other quirks and curiosities of the high school exchange world. It’s a world we know and a world we love!

What fees do we need to pay to use Zapp?

Zapp has a very simple set of fees. You pay for two things. First, the initial implementation fee. This is dependent on your requirements and the level of customization, but offers immediate savings compared to developing your own system or purchasing one that is not tailor-made for the high school exchange industry. Secondly, there is a fee charged for every student that you receive or send. You only pay for the students you actually have on program so it is easy to build the Zapp fee into your budget.

How much will it cost if we need to make updates and changes?

The industry is constantly evolving and nobody understands that better than us. To make sure your system is always in tune with your needs, we offer free yearly updates of all your materials. Even better, we constantly make general updates to the system to make sure it is in line with regulatory changes or to meet general feedback regarding a specific function. You can also add modules and changes as your organization grows, and this can usually be done for a minimal fee.

How does Zapp safely store my organization’s data?

All our information is maintained on secure dedicated servers in the United States, in two different data centers (in separate locations).

Every page rendered through Zapp, and all sent information, is encrypted via HTTPS by an SSL, for privacy protection and security matters. Zapp uses a V3 certificate, by an RSA Public Key 2048 bits, provided by Starfield Secure Certificate Authority – G2.

The files/images, or any documentation uploaded and stored in the system, can only be accessed via authentication. Therefore, there are only two ways for a given user to access any image/file on the Zapp servers: (i) from inside the system itself (i.e. the system determines what images/files you have access to); or (ii) via external access (like XML files), with a special link where the user is asked for a username and password. You have direct access to student files up to three years after they have finished their program and, after that, these can still be retrieved from our archives.

Can we integrate Zapp with other systems?

Zapp offers a feature that will generate an XML file (or Microsoft® compatible, such as .txt, .doc, .xls, etc.) that can be easily imported into your organization's database. This can be run at any given time. We will be happy to develop a customized feature to transfer selected information to your database, if your IT department cannot do it for you. We can also build a “bridge” between Zapp and other systems such as the online application forms of your partner organizations. Just let us know what you need and our dedicated technical team will take a look.

Will we be on our own once we have implemented the system?

Zapp is a very user friendly system so if left to your own devices you could probably figure it out for yourself. What you can’t work out can be found in the user guide or the FAQ section. However, implementing a new system is a big decision and it is crucial that it goes smoothly. So we will always offer one initial training session for key users, either online or in person. We can also be booked for training sessions for new users, or groups of users such as Local Coordinators. We are dedicated to making sure you get the most out of the system.

Is the system reliable? and what happens if something goes wrong?

Zapp is proud to say it is up and running 99.5 % of the time. If we have any planned maintenance, we will warn you in advance and try to do it outside of your peak working times. If you do have a problem, it can often be solved with reference to our easy to use FAQ page. Otherwise, you can always turn to our dedicated Help Desk team who are always on hand to help with any questions that you may have. Our promised response time is 2 hours from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (USA-EST), from Monday to Friday, but we always aim for much less than that.

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