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10 Topics for Assessing EH&S Software: 18 of 23

Warnings:

Get the answers to the following questions before choosing an EH&S software solution.
When looking at other software packages you should consider the following. Learn how each software vendor deals with these issues. It has been our experience that other vendors can not handle these items well. However, DataPipe has been designed from the ground up to deal with all of these issues.

Can we configure or customize the software to work the way we want it to work?
We have found that most software packages will force you back to the vendor for costly changes. We have had some clients tell us horror stories of companies where entire modules had to be designed from the ground up and that their cost was hundreds of thousands more than it would have cost for our entire DataPipe system out of the box.  When it comes to DataPipe configuration, you can make point-and-click changes on all forms and fields. You donít have to come back to us, since these changes can be made with no programming knowledge.

How often are updates put out and what if we need something immediately?
Look for a company that invests a large portion of their revenue into R&D. Also, look for a company that listens to their clients needs. A company who can issue major updates based on those requests as well as quick updates based on changes to industry regulations. DataPipe focuses on the industry and the client and is always making improvements to the software. We typically issue 1-2 updates a year and release new versions as technology changes Ė remember we have been doing this for over 3 decades, so we have seen a number of technology changes in the industry.

How much will I be paying for maintenance and support? What do I get?
Ask yourself why a company charges a lot for maintenance and support. Itís probably because they have a lot to support and need to cover the costs. DataPipe USA has been engineering EH&S software for over 30 years and even after all that time, DataPipe proudly just sits there and works. That being said, we donít need a huge support staff and we donít get tech calls often enough to raise the price. Our software works. And our clients like it. Another aspect our clients like is that we are well below the average 18-22% support fee that our competitors charge. We are currently at 15% and have been there for over 10 years with no plans to change.

I want to track a large variety of EH&S data with this application. Can I expand into other areas down the road? Does the application already have module built for other areas of EH&S or do I have to have them custom built?
This is a big problem with just about every application out there besides DataPipe. Some do one or two things well. But if you are looking for an integrated EH&S solution that will replace dozens and sometimes upwards of one hundred separate data collection systems then you will want something that can grow with you down the road. You will want something that covers all areas of data that you want to integrate and that means all areas of environment, health and safety. DataPipe is the ONLY application with the flexibility and the power to cover all areas of EH&S. We have over 100 modules that you can pick and choose from to build your system over time as you want to grow. Just pay for what you want now and add on when you are ready.  We wonít have to write new software to accommodate your needs. DataPipe modularly covers all aspects of EH&S so that you can see now that expansion is simple.

My employees are at multiple facilities. Can I run the application as a Web or Windows app? By user?
Yes. And Yes. Pay close attention to what restrictions the vendor puts on your access to their software. Are you running this over the web on their servers or do you have the flexibility to install anywhere and run it anyway youíd like? DataPipe lets you install anywhere and your users can run it as a Windows application from their client PC or as a Web application from anywhere there is an internet connection. And within one system, you can choose user-by-user how they wish to access it. Their choice will be transparent Ė they wonít know the difference either way. As it should be!

Where does my application and my data reside?
Again, look at restrictions here. With DataPipe there are none. You can install DataPipe on your own internal network or you can install at a web-based third-party application service provider (ASP). Either way you have full access to your entire database and you own all your data Ė always. No matter how you decide to access the system, your end users will never know the difference. Most clients prefer to have it installed in their own network infrastructure. But itís your choice.

Who owns my data and where is the data stored?
This is a big question to ask software vendors! Can you easily get to your data and manipulate it, or do you have to go through them? Can you even get to it at all? Is it yours or theirs? And where is it? If you want it now, can you get it? Bottom line Ė with DataPipe you own your data and have full (100%) access to it. You can access it and manipulate it anytime directly through the database if you choose. You do not have to go through the DataPipe interface to manage your own data. Itís yours.

Do I have freedom to write my own reports or customize reports in the system?
Many restrictions are hidden from you from other vendors. We encourage you to ask us and them the right questions. We give you full access to the code behind every report, trigger and process in the system. We will provide you source code to reports that we have written for other clients as well (assuming proprietary data is cleaned up first). We donít restrict you in any way from editing any existing reports or writing your own. You DONíT HAVE TO COME BACK TO US FOR COSTLY CHANGES OR UPGRADES for reports. You can write your own or farm it out.  If you want us to write any custom reports for you, we will do that as well (for a fee, of course). But you always have full access to all code for all reports and triggers in the system.

How long has the vendor been engineering SPECIFICALLY EH&S software?
Well, now this is just one area where no one can even come close. Companies will tell you that they have been in business for 15, 20, 25 years etc., but they wont tell you that they started out in other areas. None have been engineering, specifically, EH&S software for nearly that long. A few have been doing specialty markets such as MSDS or OSHA reporting only; however, DataPipe USA has been doing EH&S Software programming for over 30 years, and we started off doing full EH&S data interfacing in 1979. There is just no one who compares or comes close, in anyway, to the length and breadth of our time, experience and coverage. Hands down! You will notice this experience most dramatically in the exceptional support and coverage we offer our clients.

Final points to consider:

Does the vendor qualify as any of the followingÖ

o    (SDB) Small Disadvantaged Business

o    (WOSM) Women-Owned Small Business

o    HUB-Zone SB) Hub zone small Business

o    (VOSB) Veteran-Owned Small Business

o    Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business J

DataPipe USA is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business and proud of it. Our CEO served in the US AIR FORCE and has been with the company for over 30 years since its onset.

Our license is based on the number of modules and the number of concurrent user seats (so you can have as many people as you want with access to the system. All DataPipe looks at is the number logged in at that moment). These two factors save you money and let you expand the system over time.

DataPipe forms can be displayed in any language.

DataPipe USA is a Microsoft gold certified partner.

DataPipe is a fully supported Microsoft .Net based solution.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

p1: Overview

p2: What is DataPipe?

p3: About DataPipe USA Inc.

p4: DataPipe - The Big Picture

p5: DataPipe is Unique in its field

p6: Why do you need EH&S software?

p7: Cost benefit analysis

p8:  Ten Topics for Assessing EH&S Software

p9: Longevity

p10: Coverage

p11: Change

p12: Analysis

p13: Configuration

p14: Customization

p15: Architecture

p16: Security

p17: Notifications

p18: Warnings

p19: Technical Overview

p19: Architecture

p19: Modular Solution

p19: Flexibility and Customization

p19: Security

p20: Steps Towards a Purchase

p20: Review the Complete Module List

p20: Estimate the Number of Concurrent Users

p20: The License and Maintenance

p20: Cost

p20: Pain Points

p21: Implementation

p21: Contract Signing

p21: Consultation

p21: Installation

p21: Training

p21: Launch

p22: Ongoing Support, Upgrades, Add-Ons and Additional Services

p22: Support

p22: Updates

p22: Add-ons and Additional Services vs. Windows

p22: In-House vs. ASP

p23: Conclusion

p23: Why DataPipe? Requirements

p23: What Does this Mean?

p23: What You Should Do Right Now

 

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DataPipe USA is a service-disabled veteran-owned small business