Department of Veterans Affairs Veteran’s Enterprise Management System

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1.9.User Characteristics

The characteristics of the end-user community are office professionals familiar with logging into secured workstations and online web sites, operating the Microsoft office product suite, e-mail systems, Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telephone systems, document management systems such as Microsoft SharePoint, and searching for and collecting online information through internal and external websites using web browsers such as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Mozilla’s Firefox, or Google Chrome.
The characteristics of the technical community are system administrators familiar with remote administration of cloud and/or virtualized systems, implementing security measures in accordance with VA regulations, 24x7 system monitoring, system backups, familiarity with administering Windows servers, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SQL Server, SQL Server Reporting Services, IIS Web Server, SharePoint, Exchange, integration with Active Directory Federated Services and IP based phone systems, and supporting web services.

1.10.User Problem Statement

The end-user community struggles with the following challenges: collecting and accessing valuable data through a streamlined and secured process and platform

  • The lack of centrally managed, well-structured document storage and relevant information gathered during the verification process.

  • The inability to monitor the capabilities of the verification processes and to provide adequate status for senior leadership.

  • A lack of automated communications with reliance on manual communications without commonly available collaboration tools such as instant messaging, desktop sharing, and multimedia conferencing.

  • The lack of a robust customer relationship management system and the inability to provide adequate quality control of their verification process as a result.

  • A lack of built-in systems intelligence or processing rules to identify cases commensurate with the defined procedural and quality control of the verification process. The inability to identify cases where there are issues or risks that warrant extra research such as that typically provided during an on-site visit.

  • The inability to standardize correspondence and communication with applicants and their designated proxies or other stakeholders.

  • The inability to track sign and monitor issues related to the verification process in a timely manner.

  • The inability to provide ongoing post-verification monitoring capabilities that can proactively alert case managers or other designated individuals of high risk and/or potential violations of OSDBU policies.


2.1.Overview of the System

The challenges faced by the OSDBU/CVE operations team are addressed by the new VEMS solution using a combination of commercial, off-the-shelf software (COTS) integrated into the verification process through the use of virtualized desktops and cloud-based software. These COTS products leverage market-tested products that are currently listed as enterprise solutions in the VA environment and are in compliance with the VA’s technology standards for enterprise-class software.

The VEMS solution will address the challenges outlined in section 1.10 by providing an internet-facing portal for submitting data and tracking the progress of the verification team as well as an integrated customer relationship management (CRM) system with strong document management, collaboration, notification, and reporting functionality in alignment with the security requirements dictated by the collection, capture, and distribution of sensitive material. The new system design will provide these capabilities using:

  • A COTS-based customer relationship management system (CRM) to capture and collaborate using a customer-centric business model

  • A documentation library system including version control and automatic notification of document updates and other important events

  • Optical Character Recognition engines to integrate scanned data into the CRM framework

  • A robust computer telephony integration for call center representatives that provides queue management, call monitoring, and integrates into the CRM framework

  • COTS software components for automatically generating customizable correspondence for hard copy and email correspondence

  • COTS software for capturing and storing electronic signatures for significant correspondence

Personalized business intelligence dashboards for monitoring critical business processes

  • A configurable workflow engine that monitors case loads and time periods across the verification process

  • Virtualized desktops with integrated email and office productivity software to minimize data leakage

  • A service-oriented architecture for consistent data integration using VA-centric and external data suppliers

  • An internet-facing portal platform for collecting and distributing information to the veteran(s) and other future stakeholders

  • A cloud-hosted solution to provide a reliable infrastructure, on-demand system scalability, and consistent system patching mechanisms.

The following table lists the specific COTS software to be integrated into the VEMS solution at the time of this publication as well as the corresponding requirements listed in the Performance Work Statement (PWS) and the supplemental requirements listed in the RFP as Appendix B. Please refer to those documents for further elaboration. The remainder of this section defines how these components operate to provide business functionality and value in alignment with the critical dimensions of the CVE business cases.

Note: As further requirements are clarified and prioritized, some items on this list may change (and such changes will be reflected via updates to this and associated documentation).

Table 6: Mapping Requirements to Proposed COTS Products


Proposed COTS Product

Appendix B Requirements

      1. Customer Relationship Management

CRM 1, 7-11

CRM 2-6

      1. Workflow and Queue Management

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM

WFLOW 1 - 17

      1. Data - Document Management

  • SharePoint

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM


      1. Data – Data Management

  • Scribe Insight form Scribe Software Corporation

  • PowerSearch for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

  • AttachmentExtractor for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

DAT 1-13

      1. Data - Validation & Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Scanner and OCR plug-in

  • TS Director and TS Microsoft Dynamics CRM Connector from Trillium Software corporation

DAT-VAL 1-10.1

      1. Letter Generation

  • AutoMerge for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

  • DocumentsCorePack for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

  • AlphaTrust Pronto

LTR 1-5

      1. Monitoring & Decision Support – Query

  • SQL Server Reporting Service (SSRS)

MON-Query 1-4

      1. Monitoring & Decision Support – Reports

  • SQL Server Reporting Service (SSRS)


      1. Monitoring & Decision Support – Dashboard

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM

  • SQL Server Reporting Service (SSRS)

MON-Dash 1-3.4

      1. Monitoring & Decision Support – Alerts

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM

  • Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise (UCCE) – provided by VA

  • Bucher-Suttor Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

  • Cloud Monitoring – provided by the cloud hosting provider

MON-Alert 1-3

      1. Monitoring & Decision Support-Business Analysis

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM

  • SQL Server Reporting Service (SSRS)

  • PowerPivot

MON-Bus 1-4

      1. Information Technology Security & Access

  • Provided by the Cloud

IT-SEC 1-11

      1. Information Technology Communications

  • Microsoft Live Meeting

  • Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise (UCCE) – provided by VA

  • Bucher-Suttor Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

  • WhosOn Live Chat Software for Microsoft Dynamics CRM from PARKER software

IT-COMM 1-11

      1. Graphical User Interface (GUI)

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM

  • TK Process Builder

  • Telerik ASP.NET Controls

  • Microsoft Office

GUI 1-22

      1. Interoperability/Interfaces

  • Standardized and secured web service

INT 1-10

      1. System Criteria and Performance

  • Desktop virtualization solutions form Citrix

  • Microsoft Windows 8.0 Professional

  • Web browser (Internet Explorer and Firefox)

  • Microsoft Office Standard

  • Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat Professional

  • Foresee – provided by VA

  • Digital Analytics Program (DAP) – Provided by GSA

PERF 1-21

The VEMS production release will include the following features to satisfy/exceed all functionality identified in the PWS Section 5.6.1:

1. Integrated CRM – to unify staff communications throughout the verification process, including those communications between the Contact Center representatives and Veterans (or their designated proxies). This includes the domains of computer-telephony, email, and web-based applications. Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the VA Cisco VOIP system, and an Exchange Email Server into VEMS via web interfaces, the overall solution will improve customer communication, inter-team collaboration, and overall operational performance. This will allow OSDBU users to communicate easily and consistently with other staff and the applicants, better manage the verification process with rule-specific alerts and notifications, easily locate and view case information for follow-on inquires, and troubleshoot issues.

2. Automated workflow and configurable business rules – For processing and tracking applications through the verification process in alignment with those assigned to manage, review, and update work assignments, the VEMS solution leverages the Microsoft Dynamics CRM framework for workflow to provide automated workflow management that allows the configuration of business rules and modification of workflows. The VEMS CRM workflow engine supports both automated and manual steps to provide maximum flexibility for the verification process supporting tracking, searching and work assignments.

3. Strong Data Integration – Using the VA’s enterprise component Scribe Insight to integrate data across multiple databases, the solution will secured web services to access VEMS data and documents with appropriate permissions for business logic, public sharing, digital strategy and integration with third-party web services or software components. Using Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM and SharePoint products, the solution leverages the enterprise email solution (Microsoft Outlook) to provide simplified access to customer data and supporting documents. In addition, our solution will integrate PowerSearch and AttachmentExtractor for Microsoft Dynamics CRM into VEMS. PowerSearch provides search over all CRM entities and filters to the search results. AttachementExtractor can replicate or extract email attachments and notes to a SharePoint location or a file share to save CRM storage space. The extracted file is saved on a SharePoint location - it can be indexed and therefore searched via the MS Search Server functionality.

4. Automating critical correspondence such as verification letters with support for customization with e-signature options. Two COTS components, AutoMerge for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and AlphaTrust Pronto, provide letter generation and e-Signature capabilities for non-repudiation of critical correspondence. Throughout the verification process, the VEMS solution will populate content with business and/or applicant information from submitted form data.

5. Creating standardized reports and business process dashboards with ad hoc queries– To monitor and report on overall case processing, call handling, and major milestones in the verification process, VEMS uses standardized, customized and reconfigured reports and dashboards from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM framework to track site usage, the overall verification process, and customer center operations. Reports and ad hoc queries are supported via SQL Server Reporting Service (SSRS).

6. New/Revised Applicant Web Portal – To provide a streamlined and informative user interface to replace the functionality in the current VIP/VCMS user interface while integrating important data capture capabilities, VEMS leverages best practices in usability and data integration to make the application and Initiation processes more comprehensive and robust. This includes providing a new public web portal for applicants in accordance with VA Handbook 6102 to replace the current VIP web portal (

The VEMS solution anticipates the following primary categories of end users:

  • Veterans and/or their designated proxies: These users operate with the goals of profiling and submitting data about their histories and their businesses for consideration by the CVE verification team. These users include the roles of Veteran and Business Owner.

  • CVE Case Managers: These end users operate with the goals of reviewing the solicited information for consideration and then enhancing the business profiles with data provided during the review and determination process. These end users include the roles of the Initiation, Examination, Evaluation, Determination, and Call Center Team(s) and their supervisors

  • CVE Power Users: These end users operate with the goals of modifying COTS configurations to accommodate changes in current data processing rules. These users include the roles of System Administrators.

Further clarification of these end user profiles, including their descriptions, and goals, is provided in Table 1 of the VEMS To-Be Process Flows document (VEMS Actors, Descriptions, and Goals)

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