FAQs About Licensing and Implementation of
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.
How do you license DataPipe?
DataPipe has a one time 99 year license. Once you license the system
you don't pay again. There is a reoccurring maintenance and support plan
that includes all updates and fixes. DataPipe is licensed based on the
number of modules you select and the number of concurrent users you allow.
Interested in pricing out a system?
How much does DataPipe cost?
This is based on the number of modules you select and the number of
concurrent users you allow. Interested in
pricing out a system?
This depends on how you measure “large.” Our largest customer has approximately 400,000 employees located in every state in the US as well as in Europe and the Pacific Rim. Our system with the largest number of licensed concurrent users has approximately 50 facilities located throughout Europe and the Americas; their DataPipe system resides on a central server and is accessed by their WAN from all of the sites, and maintains all of the information from each site in the central database.
What documented process do you use to implement your software within customer environments? Describe this process.
With more than 30 years of experience, we have learned that a “fixed documented process” does not work. The general process we are currently following, because it seems to work well, is, after the details of what modules the customer is licensing and any legal matters are worked out, we begin building their system. We strongly recommend that we spend one or two days at the customer’s site going over details of what information is going to be exchanged between various systems so that the customer or their representatives can begin working on these processes; often the “owners” of the other systems will not permit direct access into their systems but want to send out “flat files” or data in some other format. They can begin this process without having DataPipe installed. We also strongly recommend that we work together to either develop the organizational structure information that will be used in configuring DataPipe or at least to have the customer begin the thinking process for this.
Once the system has been built and tested, we supply the Data Definition Language (DDL) so that the customer can run the script and build the necessary database tables and relationships in the desired database. Security information, etc. can be established and the necessary system software installed if it is not already on the customer’s servers.
We usually visit a customer’s site and work with them during the installation and initial start-up of the system. One or more customer-designated System Administrators work with us so that they have an understanding of how to configure the database, and, in particular, add new users and associated permissions into the system. This typically takes one to two days on-site.
Once the system is installed it is ready to be operated. This may involve the loading of initial data into various tables in the system. Usually we go from the installation and System Administrator training right into the user training, where at least a core group of people (there are many ways to do this) are trained.
Whether we do additional training, modify existing reports or develop new reports, etc. is the customer’s choice. Reports and triggers are an open part of the system that you have complete access to if you wish.
Provide an example of a project implementation. Include a schedule and list of major milestones. Estimate the total time for implementation.
Implementation time depends heavily upon you. From the time we begin the process to when the system is ready to be installed is typically about two months (this can vary greatly in both directions). How much of what you will be doing and what we do depends upon what you choose to do. It is not something we can determine at this time.
Because you have extensive capabilities within the system to modify forms, set up security, add triggers to automate notifications, etc.. What constitutes completely implementing the DataPipe system depends upon how far you want to take it.
How many implementations has your service organization been involved in?
Describe your formal problem escalation and resolution procedures.
Problems are typically either called in or sent by e-mail. Our Maintenance Agreement defines the levels/types of problems. In most instances the caller speaks with a programmer directly, often the person who is responsible for that piece of the program. If there is an actual problem (as compared to a question about how to do something) then a patch is developed, tested, and then sent out to the customers who have that particular module.
Describe how security across the firewall and with users on different sides of the firewall is handled.
This really depends upon how “locked down” the firewall is. If you plan on accessing an application like this via Internet, we would strongly recommend that you use VPN to secure the portals into your system.
Describe the general “openness” of your system.
The source code for DataPipe is not provided with the License. The report writing tools are “open;” you are free to modify any of the code in the supplied reports as you wish, use it as examples, etc. The Form Designer tool can be used to significantly alter the appearance (labels, position, validations, look-ups, etc.). If you choose to give access to other users or programs, the database itself may be directly accessed; it is your responsibility to maintain database integrity. You may add additional tables to the database. You may expand the field sizes of the existing tables. Although it is technically feasible for you to remove fields, you generally should not do this as DataPipe expects to see certain fields when it accesses the database.
Does your system support assigning one licensed connection to each user no matter how many functions the user accesses?
DataPipe is licensed on a concurrent user basis. A user is a person or process that is “in” DataPipe. It doesn’t matter whether they are sitting idle, running a query, have five different forms open at the same time or doing anything else; they are a user. When they log off the system (or if the system logs them off because of inactivity) then their “slot” or “seat” is freed up.
Does your system operate over the local area network and wide area network with reliability and quick response times?
We believe so. We have put considerable effort in to how information gets cached, when and how forms are sent to a particular PC, etc., all oriented around performance. There are also performance monitors build-in to DataPipe that can be turned on as needed to look at where various times are being spent; in the client, in data communications, in the database queries, etc.
What operating systems, include version, do your system support?
Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP as of this moment..
Describe the APIs in your product to facilitate integration with other systems such as HRMS, finance and training.
If you are referring to APIs that you may use, you have direct access into the database if you want to grant it. If you use the appropriate security tokens you can also access the DataPipe Web services.
Describe your system’s ability to track comprehensive information (who, what, when, where) for liability claims.
There are fields in General Incidents as well as Claims for this information
Describe your system’s ability to track general liability, personal injury, and vehicle liability claims.
The type of a claim is one property of the claim information.
Describe your system’s ability to document pertinent information for insurance policy coverage, and view claim history
All information, all claims associated with a particular policy number can be searched for using that policy number
Describe your system’s ability to track each phase of any litigation and associated costs.
Individual costs are “transaction” in the system; whether they are reserve amounts (estimates) or actual costs can be differentiated. The status of the case, whether it is newly opened, in litigation, closed, etc. is a settable property of the claim.
Describe your system’s ability to attach scanned documents to the incident file (police reports, photographs, claims, etc.).
As described above, documents, spreadsheets, images, etc. may be attached.
Describe your system’s ability to track vehicle information, including registration information, accident history, litigation involvement, and insurance coverage.
The Motor Vehicle Fleet Module tracks much of this information. Motor Vehicle Accidents are a type of incident that tracks information about an accident associated with the motor vehicle(s), whether a client vehicle or one driven by another party. Any of this information may be used in a search.
Are third-party report writers compatible with your application? If yes, which ones?
Crystal Reports and any other reporting tool that has an API.
Does a third-party report writer come with your application? If yes, please specify.
No. Only the DataPipe report tools are included
Describe the “ease of use” for customized report writing./dt>
This would certainly vary by individual and their background. The Ad-Hoc Report Writer is very easy to use. The report output is not fancy but it gets quick answers, which is all that people often want. On the other hand, developing an Advanced Report requires programming skills.
Are reports available in an HTML, an XML, or a tab-delimited format?
Output can be as an HTML document, XML table or many other file formats.
Can reports be automatically generated and “pushed” or “published” to the desktop of the user, manager, or administrator?
Reports can be established so that they are run automatically. This might be on a time event (e.g., once a month) when somebody enters a new record on a form (a trigger) or in many other ways. Likewise, reports can be set up so that users can run them on demand. Reports can be put onto users’ menus so that they can be run simply by choosing them from menu.
What is your licensing and pricing model?
License cost depends upon the number of concurrent users and the modules selected. There are discounts based on the total number of modules as well as the total number of concurrent users. As the system gets larger (in terms of modules and/or concurrent users) the total cost of the system goes up but the per-user cost decreases.
A DataPipe license is a one-time fee for a 99-year right to use the program. It includes the first year of technical support and updates. After that, maintenance may be continued annually for 15% of the current license fee.
Provide detailed, itemized pricing. Include software, implementation, and support/maintenance pricing.
We can provide an excel sheet that lists all our modules (over 100 to choose from). You can pick the ones you are interested in and send that back to us. We can then build a price matrix off of those selections (also based on the number of concurrent users you select).
Can you provide a copy of your standard contracts?
We can provide copies of the License and Maintenance Agreements as Word DOC File