Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does your system support multiple web browsers?
OmniStar is a completely cloud-based SSO system, which means you can access it on any device, and at any time and on any browser.
Does your system have in-built compliance?
OmniStar has been configured to fit the standards and guidelines laid out in the 2 CFR 200.
Does your platform cover the full grants lifecycle?
Yes, we cover the entire grants lifecycle, from pre-award all the way through to post-award.
Do you have any features that support program budgeting? (i.e. accrual method of budgeting, program vs. subprogram, or split programs)
OmniStar has a variety of features that support program budgeting. This includes two different methods of accruing and acquitting budgets, a multitiered program hierarchy and the ability to allocate budgets to programs.
How does your system support collaboration?
Collaboration is a key aspect of grants, ethics and research and is supported via a variety of functions in the platform. These include:
- The ability to share applications and forms with other users with different permission levels
- The ability to add comments within the forms
- The ability to add comments to records with public and private visibility
- The ability to share documents with other users on various records
Does the system store and log communications such as internal and external email (CRM capabilities)?
Yes. All communication sent through OmniStar is stored and logged within the platform. Functionality exists to be able to record emails sent externally to OmniStar against corresponding records automictically within OmniStar so a single source of truth is maintained.
Does your system include the ability to upload documents such as financials, in various file formats?
Yes, OmniStar supports over 80 different file formats being stored within the platform. These include Microsoft Office formats (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project, etc), image formats (PNG, JPG, etc.), video and audio formats (MP3/4, FLV, AVI, MPEG, etc), zip files, geographic information system formats, and other formats such as XML.
Does the system allow for the categorisation of grants, and if so, how can you define them?
Yes, a range of methods exists to categorise records in the platform which include lookup lists (Classifications), tags, structured data, additional fields and categories to name a few. All these can be defined and managed by the end-user.
Does the system support batch updates across several grant records?
OmniStar provides various batch or bulk update capabilities. This is present in various parts of the system on commonly access record types, e.g. Contacts, Applications and Projects. This capability is extended through a bulk create and update capability through a data migration spreadsheet import function.
Can I check the status of my grant application?
Absolutely. OmniStar is designed to be self-service. Users are able to check the status of their application. The statuses and associated notes and feedback are able to be defined by the end-user.
Does the system allow for collaboration with applications in progress?
Yes, please refer to the FAQ “How does your system support collaboration?”
Data Access and Security
How does your platform work to ensure the security and integrity of data?
Yes. OmniStar is compliant with a range of security and data integrity standards and guidelines. These include:
- SOC 1/ISAE 3402, SOC 2, SOC 3
- FISMA, DIACAP, and FedRAMP
- PCI DSS Level 1
- ISO 9001, ISO 27001, ISO 27017, ISO 27018
Where is the data hosted?
Our data storage partner is AWS, and we host all our data onshore in Australia or in the United States depending on where the client is located and what laws need to be complied with.
Does your system provide API or ODBC connections? Is this data read-only?
A comprehensive API is available OOTB with OmniStar. The API provides a variety of functions including the ability to query, create, update and delete records in the system.
HMAC-based authentication is provided across the OmniStar APIs. This authentication method involves signing each HTTP request with a pre-shared secret key (and including a corresponding access key along with the request).
In addition to being able to change data within OmniStar, additional APIs exist to allow for registration and sign in so that these functions can be embedded natively on websites or alternative landing pages.
With the purchasing of the OmniStar Enterprise Reporting bundle, direct access to the OmniStar data warehouse is available through a variety of mechanisms including SQL Server Management Studio and PowerBI. Support for Amazon DMS replication to locations such as Azure Data Factory/Lake is also available.
How can we transfer our data if we move to a new platform?
All data is owned by you. We make various functions available so that the data can be easily exported in spreadsheet format with unique identifiers maintained so that referential links between records are maintained. We also provide an export service to extract the entire database in spreadsheet format should you require us to do the heavy lifting.
Where and how often will our data be backed up?
All data in OmniStar is backed-up every 15 mins and stored in replicated locations for a period of up to 7 years to provide long term recovery and compliance with various regulations.
Which security and privacy standards does your data meet?
Please refer to the FAQ “How does your platform work to ensure security and integrity of data”.
How is our data protected from illegal access?
Yes, we have worked hard to ensure that OmniStar adheres to the highest security standards to protect illegal access. Please refer to the FAQ “How does your platform work to ensure security and integrity of data”. Regularly penetration testing is performed by independent security specialists. Vulnerability testing and static code analysis are performed on a weekly basis with any issues resolved within 2 days of being identified.
Who will have access to our data?
We will only access your data once permission has been obtained from you to do so. This is to assist with resolving support tickets that have been raised. We do not access your data any other time.
How often do you test data security and is there a plan for a security incident?
Various security guidelines and standards are tested annually. Disaster recovery and business continuity are tested every quarter and annually respectively. Regularly penetration testing is performed by independent security specialists. Vulnerability testing and static code analysis are performed on a weekly basis with any issues resolved within 2 days of being identified.
How easy is it to migrate data?
We provide a set of standard data migration templates to facilitate quick and easy migration of data into OmniStar. Full support for this process is provided as a part of our implementation services. For more complex data sets, a bespoke OmniStar data migration tool is used to ingest and transform data into the platform.
Does the tool offer visual dashboards and user-defined graphical representations of data?
OmniStar has an advanced dashboard, visualisation and reporting capabilities that can be as complex or as simple as you need it to be. We have reporting bundles to suit a wide variety of needs, all come with dashboards for quick real-time access to your data.
Are advanced analytics available?
Yes. OmniStar is backed by a sophisticated data warehouse as standard. This platform provides the ability for advanced analytics to be produced to suit a wide range of use cases.
Is it easy to do ad hoc reporting?
Absolutely. Dashboard, visualisation, and reporting tools all come as standard as a part of the OmniStar platform. This includes several predefined dashboards and reports to get you started. Comprehensive documentation and training exist to help you get the most out of the ad-hoc dashboard and reporting designers.
With the purchasing of the OmniStar Enterprise Reporting bundle, you are able to use your favourite reporting and visualisation tools, such as PowerBI to directly access the OmniStar data warehouse.
Can the solution integrate all my agency’s financial information?
Using API’s, OmniStar can integrate into any financial software your organisation or agency may use. OmniStar has been successfully integrated with financial systems such as FinanceOne, MYOB, QuickBooks and SAP to name a few.