Oriya Pollak- Web Manager Kabbalah Centre, Kabbalah project.
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Development of a Large Scale Federal Government Level Application using SugarCRM as a Platform
"It is so nice to have all of my files in one place and able to access them at the click of a button. This [SmartWorks] saves me so much time."
The Kay Center for E-Health Research has been established through the generous funding of the founder, Steeve Kay and is located in the School of Information Systems and Technology at Claremont Graduate University. The Kay Center takes pride in the partnerships it has engendered with regional and national experts in establishing a significant research program that blends policy, markets, systems and technology perspectives.
Researchers at The Kay Center for E-Health Research conducted research and came up with the idea of a web-based solution to assist so called Employment Networks (EN), private/ non government organizations that help beneficiaries secure jobs, enabling them to better serve beneficiaries seeking jobs and help them become financially viable and sustainable. The web based solution was named ‘SmartWorks’.
‘SmartWorks’ application is built around various stakeholders of the Ticket to Work (TTW) program within the US Social Security Administration (SSA). The ultimate goal of SSA’s Ticket to Work (TTW) program is to help persons with disabilities search for, obtain, and maintain employment, thereby becoming less dependent on federal assistance. The program involves Government Departments, Non Government Organizations and Private Organizations, including Employment Networks.
The Kay Center for E-Health Research partnered with OSSCube, and selected the SugarCRM platform and Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) to build the web-based ‘SmartWorks’ application.
- Converting manual complex processes, that include numerous exceptions, to an Application.
- A number of end users to this application are not tech-savvy, as a result the application UI needed to be highly intuitive for it to have any acceptance with those users.
- Different types of stakeholders including various Government, Private, and Non Government Organizations each having a different set of expectations.
- Rules and processes change frequently; so the application had to be designed in a manner so that the changes could be implemented quickly and readily.
- Security was a major concern because of the confidential nature of the personal data that each applicant puts into the application (social security number, health status, personal details, etc.). Security at the level of Infrastructure, Application, User access and Roles had to be built in.
- Application design needed to be able to take care of 10 million+ beneficiary records without compromising the performance of the application.
SugarCRM has been extended to streamline processes and sustain disability related rules, EN payment tracking, recording of job earnings, and tracking program milestones. The Kay Center & OSSCube team successfully built and customized different modules mapped with various components by combining the best practices in a record time. These modules are supported by workflow and business rules to automate determination of government program checkpoints and payment submission notifications. AJAX, PHP, MySQL were used extensively. The application is integrated with BIRT for BI and Reporting and eFAX for fax. We also implemented Password Management and FISMA Compliance to ensure strong security of the application.
- Pilot test launched with 19 ENs, 65 users, hosting >280 records.
- Project is slated to incrementally launch in all states over the next couple of years.
- Extremely encouraging feedback during the pilot phase.
- May potentially serve several hundred ENs and close to 10 Million beneficiaries across the U.S.