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Action Assist

The key features of Action Assist include:

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Web-based

Action Assist is an innovative South African online subscription offering which provides organisations with a secure, encrypted, web-based platform for the management of operational processes and data storage on the Internet.

 

The tool reduces the administration burden on stakeholders in the day-to-day operational running of the organisation and clearly assigns responsibility and accountability to all users. 

As Action Assist is a web-based offering, there are no hardware requirements to the subscriber in implementing the Action Assist system.

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Server Management

Action Assist is hosted on a server farm based within Dimension Data data centres. 

 

These data centres are physically secured to prevent unauthorised access. 

 

Processes are in place between Dimension Data and Action iT so that only authorised personnel from Action iT can instruct Dimension Data to make any changes to the physical structure of the Action Assist server farm.

 

  The Action Assist server farm is further protected by a firewall that is managed by Dimension Data. 

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User Access

User access to the Action Assist platform is governed by the Action Assist Database Administrator.

 

The Database Administrator has complete control of the users who access the Action Assist system and can easily add or remove users as required.

 

The Assist Database Administrator has complete control over the password security rules that govern the users on the system.

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Upload of POE

Action Assist includes standard functionality that allows for the upload of electronic POE.

 

Users with the right level of user access can View the uploaded documentation.

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Flexibility

The database administrator and module administrators are given standard functionality that allows them to customise their user experience based on their specific needs.

 

This includes functionality to manage the naming convention of the various modules -i.e. they can rename any of the data fields to ensure alignment with municipal jargon and / or operational requirements.

 

All changes are automatically written to the activity logs.

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Own Database

Each Action Assist Database can be made up of one or more modules. 

Access to the Action Assist system is managed through various user roles. 

The Action Assist Database Administrator, user identified by the subscriber, is responsible for creating, managing, and removing users on the system as needed. 

Once a user has been created on the system, they can be assigned user roles which defines which sections and functionality of Action Assist that they can access.

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Security

Any connection to Action Assist is encrypted through a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Web Server Certificate with Extended Validation provided by Thawte. 

 

This, in turn, ensures that any data transferred to/from Action Assist is encrypted and secured from authorised access.

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Backups

The Assist system is supported by a strict backup policy.

 

The system is backed up daily by an external service provider, RedStor.

 

The backups are progressive.

 

The backup process is entirely automated and requires no human intervention.

 

All data on the server is encrypted before being transmitted for secure storage offsite. 

 

The status of the backup is available to the Assist Administrator via the System Backup report.

 

A complete backup is performed on a weekly basis, managed by Action iT IT personnel, which is stored off-site in a secure data centre for 1 month before being archived.  

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Audit Trails

Action Assist automatically logs all transactions processed on the system (i.e. date and time stamp).

 

Users have functionality available to them whereby they can view activity logs and /or run Audit Log reports.

 

Logs cannot be altered by any User. 

 

The annual plan Assist module also includes functionality for the assurance provider to generate a wide range of reports and audit log / trail reports.

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Time Periods

The SDBIP Assist and Individual Performance Management Assist Modules allow the module administrators to set open and closure dates.

 

The module administrator will need to manually open and close the system to users as specified by their profiles and permissions and/or as per timing within the cycle.

 

The modules include functionality that give the module administrators an option to automate system closure for a performance period / evaluation event.

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Easy Accessibility

Action Assist, which can be accessed using a browser connected to the internet, is hosted on a virtual server solution offered by Dimension Data.

The behaviour of the system is the same irrespective of the device or web browser used to access the system.

On accessing the system, the landing page for each individual user is a Dashboard of the actions for which they accountable and responsible.

 

This Dashboard allows the user to access all their immediate tasks from a single location and allows them to update their tasks using minimal clicks.

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User Management

  Users can be defined as Super Users or Normal Users depending on their user roles within the system. 

 

More stringent password security rules can be defined for the Super Users. 

 

Password rules which can be defined include: password length, password complexity, password age (how often to force users to change passwords), password history (how many passwords to remember to prevent users repeating passwords). 

 

The database and module set-up functionality allow the administrator(s) to define the level of user access to the database and to each of the activated modules. 

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Recoverability from Failure

Backups are regularly tested, according to the Action Assist Backup policy (available to the Assist Administrator) and the results thereof are published on the System Backup Test Report.

 Dimension Data have given Action iT a written undertaking, that the servers and data is held in the boarders of the Republic of South Africa and that if required any of our subscribers can visit the infrastructure if accompanied by an authorised representative of Action iT.

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Reporting

Action Assist has a standard Reporting menu option in all their modules.

 

The Reporting functionality includes the following types of reporting:

  • User defined report generation (facilitated through the ticking of boxes);

  • Quick Reports: Generating reports build by the User;

  • Fixed Reports: Generating Standard Reports at the click of a button;

  • Event Driven Reports: Automated reports that are generated when certain criteria are met e.g. Reminders; and

  • Activity and Audit logs.

 

It is currently a standard feature that all documents can be exported to Excel as either a plain text Comma-separated Values document or a Formatted Excel document. 

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User Dashboard

One of the key features of the Action Assist offering is that when a user logs into the system, they will see their personalised Dashboard which is updated on a real time basis.

The dashboard will reflect the Actions Due Today, Overdue and Due in the next number of days as defined by the user. 

When the user clicks on the Update icon of a specific action, they are taken directly to the update page for the associated action.

Once the action has been completed, the action falls of the action list on the dashboard.

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Encryption

Any connection to Action Assist is encrypted through a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Web Server Certificate with Extended Validation provided by Thawte.

 

This, in turn, ensures that any data transferred to/from Action Assist is encrypted and secured from authorised access.

 

Rules can also be defined regarding how many incorrect password attempts can be made before the user is locked out as well as how long that password lockout continues before the user can login again.

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Availability and reliability

We have outsourced our IT infrastructure to Dimension Data.

 

Dimension Data manage secure data centres in several cities within the Republic of South Africa. 

 

The Action Assist servers are hosted within data centres in the Gauteng province. 

 

All data centres have the required security, backup solutions, back-up power generation etc. processes in place to maintain the availability and reliability of the Action Assist System.

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Scalability

Action Assist is specifically designed to allow for easy change and or expansion (scalability).

 

The system is able to support changes within the business of subscribers and should additional server capacity be required, our agreement with Dimension Data allows us to easily increase our server capacity.

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