This is a list of common questions we
receive on a daily bases from prospective customers as
well as formal requests for proposal. If you don't
see your question answered in this section, please
call our office or
ask a question
to expand each question.
What are you doing as a company to increase knowledge and understanding of the Human Capital and Development Management industry?
We work closely with our customers and monitor multiple industries to not only respond to the changes but also to anticipate and investigate
What implementation resources are expected from the client?
Access to your systems, knowledgeable people for those systems with whom we can work, those people running scripts, setting up database access and security, and otherwise configuring your servers. Any software that is not supplied by us needs to be installed and/or configured by client or other representatives
What service implementation partners do you have?
No dedicated partner. We have worked with various consulting groups and even individuals, as chosen by the customer. You certainly are not required to use a particular “implementation partner.”.
Provide the names of customers to whom you provide services similar in kind and scope and to a similar number of employees. Include contact name and phone number.
These customers’ names and contact information will be provided upon request
Describe your Q/A (quality) process.
Testing of functionality of a given control, object, Web service, etc. is done against the list of behaviors defined in its internal specification. The testing is done by someone other than the person or persons involved in developing the component. All of our code is maintained in a source code control system so that components can only be worked on by one person at a time (a check-in check-out process).
Do you perform internal audits?
Describe the networking, hardware, software, and operating systems your product supports. Provide version numbers.
See the questions above regarding databases. The middle tier needs to be IIS. The client machines need to be running Windows 98 or higher. The .NET framework needs to be on the client and middle tier machines. There are numerous ways to have DataPipe installed or accessed, depending upon how it is configured.
List any system prerequisites for your product. Include networking, hardware, database, web server, and other requirements.
Which web servers are certified to work with your application?
Which browsers are supported? What browser version?
IE 5.0 and higher.
Does your product require the loading of additional software on any client workstation other than a standard browser? Explain.
The .NET framework. Depending upon the version of Windows you are running, this may already be there. It can also be “pushed” down onto the client machine rather than someone having to go to each client and install it.
Describe your system’s import and export capabilities.
Report output can be sent to many destination types besides a screen. For example, this could be in the format of an Excel spreadsheet or an XML data set. Regarding importing data into the system, there are two ways to do this. Either a process can be written for a specific data source to access it, read and validate the data, etc. and then write this into a DataPipe table, or the files can be directly imported into the target database, using the database’s import functions.
Most automated data exchanges are done by setting up programmed processes that take place at some set interval, although it can also be done on demand. This includes processing of e-mail attachments. For example, a laboratory might send its sample results in as an e-mail attachment, and DataPipe processes this when it checks its e-mail (yes, DataPipe can get mail) to validate and import the file.
Describe your experience and capabilities in integating your application with other corporate systems, particularly HRMS.
Virtually all or of our customers have their DataPipe system interfaced with at least their HR system. Once this is setup and operating, it is usually “transparent to the user” in that it just sits there and works.
Describe your philosophy regarding product customization. Describe your ability to incorporate unique fields, such as user-defined demographic fields. What support of upgrade repercussions exists with respect to product customizations?
Many things regarding “customization” can be done using the Form Designer, as described above. There are, for example, hidden fields on most forms that can be exposed using the Form Designer to allow for additional data entry. Further, many forms have the ability to define “Items” which act like additional database fields.
None of this requires any source code modification.
Having said that, as regulations change and user requirements expand, we make changes to forms. We also develop the forms based on user requirements. Whenever possible we try to keep these as “generic” forms so that they can be added to our list of over 100 available modules. If a form is so specific to a particular customer that it is not useable by other customers, then developing it costs more.
Any form we develop in DataPipe uses the same tool, has the same look-and-feel, same reporting tools, etc. so it is completely compatible with other parts of DataPipe
What limitations does your application place on the number of custom or unique fields? How do these limitations affect upgrades and revisions?
There is no limitation (other than the selected database) regarding how many Items can be added on a form.
Additional tables for user-defined look-up validations can be established with no impact on DataPipe; there is no limit on how many of these you may establish.
Forms with additional, hidden fields, that may be exposed using the Form Designer have varying numbers of these fields depending upon complexity of the form. A customer cannot add completely new fields to a form because this requires changes at a source code level. A form is much more than just a series of rectangular data fields on a screen. There is considerable “code behind” each form that accomplishes the validations and other functionalities in the form.
Does your system support self-service-style input directly by managers?
DataPipe is intended to have information entered by the people who create it; this is the most efficient, cost-effective, minimal error method for data entry.
Many DataPipe systems are used by “normal” people, not IT specialists. Because the customer can rearrange forms, label them as they need, set up “hover help” to provide user-specific terminology, and more, entering information into DataPipe is easy for someone who has basic familiarity with Windows programs.
Does your system support type-ahead functionality?
On some navigation tools and fields.
What functionality is provided in support of default information and pre-filled forms?
Defaults can be setup using the Form Designer.
Describe your job safety analysis.
You would typically use the Questionnaires Module to setup a series of questions to collect information on a job, based on the methodology that you use. A report can then analyze the questionnaire results in the desired manner.
Describe the level of detail maintained by your system for the tracking and monitoring of historical safety records of company employees.
We have not been supplied with information about what you consider “safety records.” This may be just injury & illness information, but it could also be motor vehicle accidents, spills and releases and other information. We have various modules available for these things. See our module list.
Describe the scope, level of detail, and accessibility of data on incident-related causes and conditions for use in safety analysis.
The Injury & Illness Module, for example, includes fields for “cause codes.”
Describe how your system categorizes and analyzes root causes of accidents.
Most people use the Questionnaire Module for an accident investigation analysis; for example, we have one “canned” questionnaire that is the National Safety Council accident analysis questions. Results of this data, either on a case-by-case basis or multiple cases overtime, can be analyzed in a report.
Describe how your system creates and generates near miss notifications and safety alerts.
One commonly done method for “near misses” is to set up a General Incident type for near misses. A “near miss” is not an actual OSHA-type injury and illness record, so it does not belong in there. Likewise, other types of “near misses” are not those actual incidents. Using the General Incidents Module, one may setup many different incident types, not just the pre-defined ones that we have established.
Notifications are typically handled by establishing triggers, procedures that run when certain types of data are entered onto a form. Most customers then use e-mail notification to alert appropriate parties.
Describe your system’s ability to track multiple occurrences of lost and restricted days in support of impact analysis.
The Absences Module allows for tracking employee absences and similar events. Whether an absence is related to an injury and illness case, however, is something that is established “linking” it to the injury and illness case; not all absences are due to an injury and illness case.
Describe the facilities available within your system to determine if incidents are OSHA record-able.
DataPipe does not make the determination as to whether a case is OSHA reportable. If you want to automate this process, set up a trigger event to use your rules.
Describe your system’s ability to attach files (e.g., Microsoft Word files, images of printed documents, spreadsheet analyses) to incidents to help reduce the number of paper records required.
On most DataPipe forms, including Injury & Illness, multiple external documents, images, spreadsheets, etc. may be attached. If the client machine supports viewing that information then it can be seen on that machine.
Describe how your system can be used to track safety-related costs.
Cost information is included on many DataPipe forms.
Describe how your system tracks “total costs” for each incident for use in management of Workers Compensation costs.
The Workers Compensation Module has the facilities for tracking both reserve amounts and actual cost. Each transaction paid for each purpose, check number, etc. can be stored.
One of our customers uses the DataPipe Workers Compensation Module to not only track the detailed cost information but also send the check request information to their SAP system. SAP responds back with the check number and other information. In this case, the two systems interact by-directionally.