If you have a question, please send it us.
Q: Why can't I install this program on my own computer?
A: Unfortunately, this application does not lend itself
to being installed on a desktop class computer.
There are three major software components
required that will overwhelm most desktop
computers. Additionally, the technical infrastructure
is comparable to that of an IT department
at a medium-large size bank. The software
components that are the backbone of the application
consist of Microsoft SQL Server 2000, Windows
Advanced Server & Server Enterprise 2003,
and Macromedia ColdFusion. Each of these products
are designed to be used by IT professionals,
require performance tuning and monitoring,
similar to what a corporation's IT department
does every day. These tools were selected
because of their stability, performance characteristics,
and security facilities.
Q: Is there a contract that I have to sign? How long am I committed
A: No there are no contracts that you have to sign,
nor do you have to commit to a period of time. You are
required to sign a non-disclosure document that defines
confidential information and how it should be handled.
Q: Is my data safe?
A: In nearly every case, your data is safer on our servers
than on your laptop or desktop. Our servers
run commercial grade operating systems that
are extremely reliable. They are only used
as an application server. Unlike the desktop
in your office, no one is using word processing
programs on the servers, no one is browsing
the web picking up various rogue spy programs
and trojan viruses. You data is backed up nightly and
the backup is copied to another server which
in turn transfers the backups to a offsite
Q: Who own's my data?
A: You own your data.
Q: How do I get my data back should I decide to quit?
A: Your data is stored in relational tables and can
be extracted at any time from the Admin screen.
There are three extracts: 1) client information,
2) pet information, and 3) service detail
data. The extract program actually opens Microsoft
Excel and extracts your data with column headings
allowing you to do a file save as. The service
detail data can be used for statistical analysis
any number of ways allowing you to better
understand your business, which in turn allows
you to make better business decisions.
Q: Can my sitters use this from their home?
A: Yes, one of the great benefits of the system is that
the sitters can review their schedules at any
time for any time window allowing them to
better plan their personal life. They can
also look at clients that have been assigned
to them in order to keep the client information
up-to-date. The number of phone calls you
make with your staff will be reduced significantly.
Q: Does it work with Handheld devices, portable devices?
A: Yes, it does work with handheld devices, however
those devices must be connected to the internet.
If you simply wanted a telephone list on your
device, you could extract the client database,
delete the columns you don't need and then
transfer that file to the device.
I access the system from my portable PC using
my local coffee house wireless network?
A: Yes, if you have a coffee house that has wireless
capability, you can use your laptop to just as if you
were connected to a telephone or cable modem at home
or the office.
Q: What do I do if your servers go down? What do I
do if my power is interrupted for several
A: In the event of a national or regional emergency
where power is interrupted, you can quickly rebuild
your schedule by using the staff notification messages.
These messages are sent via email to the scheduled staff whenever
a service is booked. They contain all the information
needed to quickly reconstruct the schedule if your PC
is inoperable. At the end of the month, the staff notifications
can be bundled with your other accounting documentation.
We attempt to schedule maintenance when its impact
affects the fewest number of users. A message broadcast
area is located in each screen where system status messages
will be displayed.
Q: How often do enhancements get put into the system?
A: We work all the time on this application. Every
new client we sign up has at least one very
good enhancement request. We work with each
client to make sure that the application is
addressing their particular needs. Over the
last year we have updated the software 20+
times. Some of the enhancements included e-commerce
capability, accounts receivable, enhanced
reporting, aging reports, and so forth. A
defined testing policy is adhered to, helping
to insure the continued stability of the production
Q: What if one of my sitters or clients does not have a PC or
they do not want to get email from the system?
A: If a sitter does not have a PC, then you will continue
to call the sitter to communicate schedule changes.
The method at which you send the schedule will continue
to be the way he/she gets it. The confirmation to the clients
is useful as it places the responsibility of accuracy
back on the client. If the client does not want to get
email or they do not have a PC, then you will need to continue working with the client as you have in the past.
Q: Will the application run on a Macintosh?
A: Yes, the application will run on a macintosh, and a variety of other devices (including web tv). The application has been developed with the assumption that it is a browser-based application. It will run on virtually all hardware platforms with their "industry standard" browser.
Q: I would like to have a custom feature included in the application. How does this process work?
A: We are always looking for ways to improve the application; in fact many of the enhancements made to the application have been suggestions from our clients. If the suggestion fits within our development priorities and direction we will endeavor to include it as soon as possible. If the suggestion falls outside our development priorities, we can discuss various customization options where the development expense is shared with the client.