Illustration of the Network of Things

SARA FAQs

Click on an item to see a short answer to some of the most commonly raised questions.

Currently, SARA has been trained to support VA VR&E, Title I (WIOA Dislocated Workers), Title II (Adult Ed), Title III (Wagner/Peyser Unemployment Insurance), TANF, TAA, Vets, Title IV (Vocational Rehab), Ticket To Work and homeless shelter management. However, with a good flowchart and input from expert operational staff, SARA can be taught how to do any follow-up an assistant could do and in about the same amount of time it would take to train a human.

Yes, both for clients and users. All SARA interfaces are fully "responsive" meaning they are designed to adapt to whatever device the user is using, including any kind of phone, tablet, laptop, or computer and any kind of operating system (Windows, IOS, Andriod, etc). 

Yes. By default, SARA can communicate in English and, optionally Spanish. You can substitute Spanish for any other language. There is a nominal charge for implementing SARA in different languages. 

Yes. To extend the certification to your organization, a signed BAA (Business Associate Agreement) is required. 

No, not directly. For security reasons, SARA communicates with your CMS via a "sandbox" database on your side fo the firewall. As such, there is NO direct connection between your production databases and SARA. TCI provides all the software to make this happen, except for the queries required for the "last mile", i.e. from the sandbox to your CMS database and back. Those queries remain completely in your agency's control and are not accessible to TCI. 

This design means that there are no needs to modify fields or database structures and no user interface changes required. 

 If your CMS is cloud-based, we need to work with your vendor. There are some of the vendors we have already integrated with (more coming soon):

  • Pega Systems
  • Intellitrack (Micropact)
  • GeoSolutions
  • Alliance/Aware

 

SARA is a Software as a Service (Saas) requiring nothing on the agency side other than an internet connection and a modern web browser. All maintenance, upgrades, and security are managed by TCI.

SARA servers are located in the AWS GovCloud, the most secure cloud service available in the US. It is FedRamp and NITS approved.

SARA conforms to and is certified as compliant with moderate impact NIST 800-53 security controls, the same that are required for most Federal agencies. Lastly, SARA is HIPPA certified. 

In short, SARA complies with the most stringent U.S. Government security and compliance requirements. 

Yes. SARA has already been implemented with various SSO protocols including SAML and OAuth, including the VA, GeoSolutions, Micropact, and various local CMSs.  

Since SARA is an HTML based, Single Page Application (SPA), all of SARA's capabilities can be exposed directly in a target system with payload links as long as the target can expose such links in the user interface.   

A full implementation cycle can be done in as little as one to two months including full customization, data downloads, testing, and training. 

Yes. By default SARA includes five security levels:

  1. Administrators who can access all information for the entire organization.
  2. Managers who can access all information related to their office or offices (managers can be granted access to multiple offices). Managers can also proxy staff, i.e. act on their behalf.
  3. Case managers and assistants who have access to their assigned caseload.
  4. Receptionists who can access non-confidential client information and schedule appointments for clients in their assigned office(s). 
  5. Clients who have no access to information.

Staff is organized into organization hierarchies which can include "umbrella" hierarchies.  All reporting and data access are controlled using hierarchy associations controlled by agency administrators and managers. 

SARA is a "low code" platform, meaning that most change requests can be done using configuration settings for which there is never a charge. This includes any kind of "re-training" of SARA to undertake news tasks and take on new programs. 

However, sometimes system changes are required that are more involved, for example in response to a change in law.  For these instances, TCI has a simple rule: If the change is potentially applicable to other customers, it is free. If the change is clearly a "one-off", with no benefit to others, we provide an estimate in terms of the anticipated number of hours to complete at a rate of $150/hr. 

Since we launched SARA in 2015, we have never charged for a change order. 

 

  

SARA includes a sophisticated reporting engine with 45 graphical and tabular reports. They include:

  • Five general reports
  • Ten Client Reports
  • Eight Logs & Viewers Reports
  • Eight Client Engagement Reports
  • Seven Staff Engagement Reports
  • Seven Performance Reports

Tabular reports include dynamic filtering, re-sorting, detail tabs, and Excell, PDF, CSV, and more export options. 

The performance reports include graphical performance time series, time series trends, IQR, and Quadrant plots.   

No. In fact, anecdotally, up to 20% of clients do not have an internet connection. As long as the have a phone signal and a text-enabled phone  (96% of phones are), they can communicate with SARA. 

SARA includes NLP (Natural Language Processing) routines that allow her to understand plain language and respond accordingly. so all interviews can be completed using two-way text messaging. 

No! We passionately want you to know that SARA operates as an extension of your case management system. SARA records every interaction with clients and third parties and provides the information to your CMS for automatic inclusion in the case notes.