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"Reports of our 'demise' are greatly exaggerated!" ... Read More

Status Report - Online PPS & PREPOST

4/15/2017 - Reports of our demise are greatly exaggerated!

With no apologies to Mark Twain or anyone else, YES, we are still quite here and moving forward with many new projects that you will see in the near future. Rumors of our demise are quite misinformed! Our longtime online services computer that ran our TSA and PrePost reports did breathe its last (see all the gory details below), but we are working hard on a replacement system that should be up and running soon. In the meanwhile, we are running OASYS reports for our online customers until the newest services are available. Good progress continues. We will announce its availability when it is ready. We are just as excited about it as you are!

We look forward to many more years of serving your needs for quality occupational and labor market information..

2/10/2017 - Screens Redesigned for new Transferable Skills Product

After receiving feedback from multiple customers (THANKS!!!!!) and reviewing 3 different versions in-house among our staff, we have finalized our choice of initial features and functions of a replacement for the classic services. We have begun programming for its debut in a few months. The approach is modeled after the popular OASYS layout with multiple tabs and will integrate nicely with an advanced version of the current OccuBrowse Web. The simplified approach follows the same processes used in our various PC and web-based products over the decades. The process will follow a familiar pattern:

  • Select / Add the Client with basic required information
  • Enter the Work History
  • Adjust the Worker Profile for Residual Abilities
  • Search for Alternate Occupations using any of Multiple Methods (Transferable Skills, Interests, Industries)
  • Explore the Results and Supplement with Needed Labor Market Information

If you are interested in taking a first look at what we are doing, let us know that you would like to be a beta tester. Call 800-827-2182!

1/18/2017 - Alternatives to Classic Online Services

We regret that hardware issues at our end has created diificulties at your end.  However, your prior reports ARE available at the Report Retriever. You can also continue to go further and get Labor Market Data and Employer Lists at that site:  https://online.skilltran.com and this is possible for both existing and new cases.

We recognize that this does disrupt your normal business flow a little bit. Ours, too. We are estimating that the TSA (PPS) should be available within about 2 months; the Prepost will take a bit longer.

TO HELP YOU OUT DURING THIS INTERIM PERIOD, we are offering 3 options:

OPTION 1 – SkillTRAN runs the report for you using our OASYS PC software

TO REQUEST A TSA (PPS) REPORT OR A PREPOST REPORT directly from SkillTRAN:

  1. Complete our Case Preparation Guide. CASE PREP GUIDE

    Use our FREE new API-based tool to Lookup DOT Occupations. FREE DOT LOOKUP

    Use the Pocket Guide to the DOT to help you understand/select the Post-Injury Worker Profile adjustments you need to apply.
  2. Submit the completed Case Preparation Guide to us by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  3. SkillTRAN will run the report(s) using our PC-based OASYS software and email to you within one business day. There is no charge for re-runs or multiple hypotheticals.
    We will invoice the report at the normal online rate ($35 for TSA/$60 for PREPOST).

    NOTE: OASYS reports use slightly different terms to describe transferable occupations. This OASYS vs. PPS/PREPOST Guide will help you understand terminology differences in the report formats. Just call us to ask for additional assistance - 800-827-2182

OPTION 2 – Unlimited Monthly Use of our PC-based OASYS Software

  • Sign up for unlimited monthly use of our OASYS software.  For $125 per month per user, we will install OASYS on your computer so that you have unlimited access 24/7.
  • We will also spend the time necessary to insure that you are comfortable and competent with the OASYS system.

OPTION 3 – Buy a license for OASYS PC software

  • Purchase OASYS for a 10% discount and make 12 equal monthly payments, with no interest, until paid in full
  • Regular single user price $3355 minus 10% = $3019 plus $10 shipping = $3029
  • $3029 divided by 12 = $252.42 per month - the 1st payment is due on purchase

We want to make this transition to a new and better way to do TSA and PREPOST as smooth as possible for you.

Thank you for your patience and your input from the survey!

 

1/13/2017 - Classic Online Services cannot be re-started

We have replaced all parts on this server that can be replaced, and we are still not able to boot up. We are accelerating our development plans to provide a modern, fully web-based TSA program soon. Visit here from time to time for further details.

 

1/9/2017 - Classic Online Services for PPS, PREPOST, and CCS remain unavailable. Frequently Asked Questions - Click here.

Diagnosis

We have struggled to revive this server for the last 2 weeks. The error messages at boot are undocumented in all of our service manuals.

Prognosis

This is a 22 year old computer server, first put into service in late 1994. In computer years, this server has exceeded its reasonable life expectancy. It is most likely now that this machine has served its last report. We are continuing to explore parts options, but it is not looking good for resuscitation of this server.

Treatment

To continue to serve our loyal online customers, we are running equivalent PPS and and PREPOST reports using our PC-based OASYS software. Reports have a slightly different format, but functionally are very similar to the online services to which you have become accustomed during the last 20-30 years!

To request a TSA (PPS) Report or a PREPOST Report:

  1. Complete our Case Preparation Guide.
        Use our new API-based tool to Lookup DOT Occupations.
        Use the Pocket Guide to the DOT to help you select the Post-Injury Worker Profile adjustments you need to apply.
  2. Submit the completed Case Preparation Guide to us by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or fax to 800-827-2182
  3. SkillTRAN will run the report(s) and email to you within one business day.
        We will invoice the report at the normal online rate ($35 for TSA/$60 for PREPOST).
        We will continue to honor no charge for re-runs on the same case.

OASYS reports use slightly different terms to describe transferable occupations. This OASYS vs. PPS/PREPOST Guide will help you understand terminology differences in the report formats. Just call us to ask for additional assistance - 800-827-2182

Long Term Solution

The character-based interface used on this old server was created before the world-wide web had been invented. It is certainly overdue for complete makeover! We started our re-engineering efforts in late 2014 by creating a web-based version of OccuBrowse. After its commercial release in mid-2016, we began work on an enhanced version of it, work which is nearing completion. We then planned to work on creating OASYS online for both PPS and PREPOST reports. So the timing was there, but the old server quit on us just a little bit early. We appreciate your patience as we work as quickly as we can to bring a more modern and much nicer user interface to you that you will find far more pleasant to use. Expected date of initial availability: Spring 2017.

The Back Story

Q. Why did you not re-engineer sooner?

A. Uncertainty about what/when SSA was going to do about the aging DOT has held up our re-engineering efforts. Now that SSA has engaged the National Compensation Survey (NCS) personnel to conduct a new Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) to replace the DOT, it became clear to SkillTRAN that the new "replacement" is really just another cross-reference to the DOT. Many decisions and studies remain to be done with the newly collected ORS data. It will not be until 2019 at the earliest that SSA can begin using the full new data set, assuming that it is all analyzed and coded to discrete enough levels of detail. SSA/NCS will still have much work to do to create a workable solution to two critical elements: a suitable mechanism to replace the Work Fields for transferability and adding more disaggregated occupational detail than O*NET currently provides for the many "other" SOC/O*NET categories that have the greatest variability in critical aspects such as SVP and Strength.

Q. Why is there no backup server? Why don't you just move this to another server?

A. The original 1994 server was a temporary solution to migrating from an old (circa 1982) Prime computer. Both were programmed in an era prior to creation of web browsers. Both functioned using a technology service called telnet, which worked well in the early years of slow dial-up modem for data transmission between server and remote computer. This also enabled the old server to communicate with computers using any operating system (such as Windows PC computers and Apple/Macintosh). The 1994 server was very expensive in its original day, used a custom set of library programs written in Fortran to emulate the older yet 1982 Prime computer. The database used was from the 1980's and is peculiar to just this old computing platform. Given the evolution of servers and surrounding web technology, the only reasonable solution was to do a complete re-write. We started on this lengthy path in 2014. We have recently expanded our programming staff, and we expect to be able to launch a suitable replacement solution reasonably soon.

Q. Why can't you just put OASYS online?

A. OASYS was written as a Windows PC-based program. Although it is by design a multi-user system for a private network, it was not designed with the features needed for direct use on the web. Further, it would not be able to be used by customers committed to the Apple/Mac environment. Re-engineering specifically for the web is how we will serve the needs of our diverse multi-platform customer base going forward.

Q. Can I just buy a license to use OASYS on my own equipment?

A. Absolutely! Please contact SkillTRAN at 800-827-2182 and talk to Ed Smith - Sales Manager. We have a variety of ways to make this possible for you!

Q. What else are you up to?

A. As we re-engineer, we are also taking advantage of newer API technologies to allow others to incorporate SkillTRAN technology into their applications (e.g. case management software). The Free DOT Lookup is an example of this API technology. Contact SkillTRAN for additional information if you are interested in licensing access to our technology for embedding into your own solutions.

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