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An In-Depth Look at the DataMotion VxRM Platform 736 312 Heather Post

An In-Depth Look at the DataMotion VxRM Platform

Collecting COVID-19 information from employees, such as vaccine records or test results, is becoming a crucial step for a return to office. Whether your organization seeks to ensure mandate compliance or is simply working to guarantee a safe work environment, this data collection is necessary and can present a logistical challenge. However, as I covered in my last blog post, DataMotion’s VxRM platform makes gathering this information an easy task, allowing organizations to quickly, compliantly, and efficiently collect and report on employee vaccination records, test results, and exemption requests.

The VxRM platform consists of an easy-to-use and mobile-friendly employee application and administration dashboard. With an easy workflow, vaccine status collection is simple:

  1. Admins will first upload employee email addresses to an employee list. Once admins activate the VxRM application each employee on the list will receive an email containing a link to the employee app.
  2. Once these invites are received, employees will fill out a short form and submit their information. Responses are encrypted and sent over a secure channel, to a zero-trust, governed database where they will be stored.
  3. Then, in the administrator dashboard, admins can easily search and sort through these results to generate compliance reports, including statistics on who is vaccinated, who is testing and who is not currently compliant.

Now that you have a general idea of how the VxRM platform works, I’ll walk through each component in greater detail.

Note: You can find more information with our employee app and administration dashboard How to Guides as well.

The Employee-Facing App

Once the VxRM platform is enabled and employees have selected the link in their invitation email, they will be brought to the VxRM employee-facing application.

Within the employee application, users will see a cobranded form with three options to choose from:

  • Report a vaccine dose
  • Report a COVID test
  • Request an exemption

Once employees select the action they wish to perform, they will be prompted to provide additional information based on their selection such as vaccination or test date, vaccine or test type, etc. Users will also be able to include a photo of their vaccine cards and test results, either via their device’s cameras or by uploading an existing photo.

Once the form is completed and submitted, this information is sent securely with military-grade encryption, helping your organization stay compliant with data privacy regulations. Users can then return to the page on an as-needed basis, whether to provide new weekly test results or to record additional vaccine doses and booster shots. It’s as easy as that!

As questions may arise from employees, the VxRM platform includes the ability for your company to provide a disclaimer or outline your privacy policy, within the admin dashboard. Employees will see a disclaimer and privacy policy button on the vertical menu to the left of the form and will be able to access this information right from the employee app.

DataMotion made this process quick, easy, and convenient to help ensure you receive results from your staff in a timely manner.

The Administrator Dashboard

The second component to VxRM is the administrator dashboard. This is where admins can configure the app, upload an employee list, send invites, and generate compliance reports. The dashboard can be easily found on the DataMotion site by navigating to https://datamotion.com/portal/project/DataMotion/product/VxRM.

On the dashboard, you will find an overview of the VxRM application, as well as some FAQs. To sign up (and receive 5 free licenses to help you get started) simply select the orange “Begin” button in the top right corner and log in or create an account.

Screenshot of the DataMotion VxRM Platform's dashboard. Shows a brief overview of VxRM and where to begin using the tool.

Once logged in, the platform can be configured, meaning you can review your company settings, create and upload your employee lists, and finally, enable the app to make it live. Below, I’ll guide you through these steps.

Configuring the App and Setting Up Your Company

Company set up is an optional step but one I would recommend reviewing all the same. Here, the company name will be auto populated, but can be updated in the “Company Settings” tab. This is where admins can specify their disclaimer and privacy policy which we saw in the employee app description as well as change the logo, primary color and secondary color that will render on the employee app.

There is also the ability to establish a testing cycle period and grace period. The testing cycle will dictate how often you will require employees to be tested. The grace period is the number of days that may pass after a testing cycle before the employee is considered not compliant. Configuring these settings will ensure your policy is being implemented.

Screenshot of how to configure your VxRM app. Some of your configuration options include company cobranding, testing cycle length and grace period, and more.

Creating Employee Lists

In the “Employee Console” tab, admins can add their staff to the employee list, either one at a time or in bulk with a simple-to-use Excel template, which can be downloaded from the administrator dashboard. The listed employees will receive an email with a link that provides access to the VxRM employee application once the platform is enabled.

Note: There is an option to add employees and mark them as disabled. Doing so will prevent the employee from receiving a VxRM email until they are marked enabled.

Going Live

Once the set-up is complete and the employee list is configured, administrators can toggle the “Ready to go live” button at the top right of the page. Once this option is toggled on, enabled users will be sent an email invitation containing a link to the employee app. It’s as easy as turning on a switch!

To go live with VxRM, simply toggle on the "Ready to go live?" button in your admin dashboard.

Monitoring and Reporting

Once employees have submitted their vaccination status, administrators can quickly search and sort through the submitted results by a variety of criteria, including employees who:

  • Are fully or partially vaccinated
  • Are testing weekly within the testing cycle
  • Are testing weekly but failed to submit within the testing cycle
  • Have requested an exemption
  • Have not responded

If this information needs to be submitted elsewhere, a CSV can be downloaded from the admin dashboard as well.

Note: Once this information is downloaded, extra steps will need to be taken to ensure compliance regulations continue to be met, such as storing the file on a secure machine.

The VxRM admin dashboard includes reporting capabilities to determine who is fully vaccinated, who is testing, who is not compliant, and more.

With a few simple configuration steps, you can securely collect the vaccination status of your entire workforce.

Getting Started

Sounds easy enough, right? The DataMotion VxRM platform will be a breeze for employees to use and a critical time saver for employers. With security top of mind, data is safe from beginning to end.

To get started, navigate to our self-service portal at https://datamotion.com/portal/project/DataMotion/product/VxRM and either login or sign up. You will automatically get five free licenses for testing and can easily purchase additional licenses in the admin dashboard.

For further information, we invite you to review our Employee Guide for Using DataMotion VxRM and the Admin Guide to Configuring the VxRM Application which will provide a step-by-step guidance on successfully utilizing our platform. You can also check out our VxRM webpage and follow us on social media for platform updates!

If you have any additional questions, stop by our documentations page or contact our sales team today.

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VxRM: Easily Collect and Report Employee COVID-19 Data 736 312 Heather Post

VxRM: Easily Collect and Report Employee COVID-19 Data

Despite COVID-19 and its variants still looming large in our daily lives, vaccines and other preventative measures have allowed many workplaces to return to some semblance of normalcy. As part of their reopening efforts (whether a hybrid or full return) businesses are implementing their own COVID-19 vaccination and/or testing requirements, similar to city, state and federal mandates. The goal of doing so is twofold. First, employers want to support a healthy environment as they seek to conduct business in the physical workplace. Second, they must be prepared to meet outside mandates if/when they become required.

Understanding the necessary elements for a safe return is only the first step. Executing a self-enforced vaccine directive while staying compliant with related, long-existing federal mandates (think HIPAA, GDPR, CCPA, etc.) is the real challenge.

DataMotion recognized this and quickly pivoted to create a solution. Using our existing secure message delivery API, our engineers developed the VxRM platform to make the collection of employees’ COVID-19 vaccination status and test result data efficient and easy, while helping organizations report on regulatory compliance.

The VxRM Platform: The Basics

DataMotion’s VxRM platform is designed to help organizations securely, compliantly, and efficiently collect employee COVID-19 data including vaccination records, exemption requests, and test results. Once submitted, these responses are encrypted during transit over a secure channel and stored in a zero-trust, governed database. With this scalable and secure database hosting the personal health information, admins can quickly search and sort through employee responses, then filter and report on the information provided. These security measures help ensure your organization meets government compliance regulations while your data is in transit and in storage on the VxRM platform.

The VxRM platform consists of two corresponding parts: the employee app and the administrator dashboard. In the employee-facing application, employees will provide vaccination records or test result data. Once submitted, this information can then be reviewed, reported upon and monitored within the admin dashboard. We’ll speak a little more to each element below.

The Employee-Facing App

The employee side of VxRM consists of a mobile-friendly web application. Employees can access the app once they receive an email (which is sent through the administrator dashboard) containing a link to the employee application.

Within the application, employees can report a vaccine dose, report a COVID-19 test, or request an exemption. Depending on which action is selected, users will be prompted to provide additional information such as a vaccine date or test type. They can upload images of their vaccine record as well.

The Administrator Dashboard

The administrator dashboard can be found on the DataMotion portal. This is where admins can configure their company settings, add or upload the list of employees required to provide their vaccination status, and even cobrand the employee app. Once employees submit their responses, the administrator dashboard can be used to quickly search and sort through the submitted data as well as report and analyze their company’s general COVID-19 vaccination status. These reports and analyses can then be exported into a CSV and passed along to meet regulatory compliance.

Agility and Flexibility

The DataMotion team designed the VxRM platform to be agile and adaptable to your organization’s unique needs. For instance, you may want your employees to be tested on a weekly, rather than bi-weekly, basis. This is configurable with the admin dashboard, allowing flexibility for organizations to customize their unique requirements and ensure company policies are being enforced.

As we move forward, new requirements and options are expected. For example, booster shots may be required in the coming months for people to be considered fully vaccinated by the CDC. As new medicines are developed, companies may want to examine how those with positive COVID-19 test results are treating their illness in order to determine the length of time before an employee can return to work. With these possibilities in mind, the VxRM platform’s flexible and agile design will allow us to quickly update and add new features as mandates and requirements continue to change.

Key Takeaways

Normalcy, or something similar, comes with a price. To accommodate a return to the office in a safe and compliant manner, companies across industries are moving forward with vaccination requirements of their own. As they do so, the DataMotion VxRM platform will ensure that organizational and/or government mandates are compliantly fulfilled while avoiding logistical slow-downs.

To sum up, the VxRM Platform:

  • Contains an easy-to-use, mobile-friendly, cobranded web application where employees can quickly upload their vaccination status and test results.
  • Securely collects and stores sensitive PII and PHI data, helping your organization stay within regulatory compliance.
  • Allows administrators to easily search and sort through as well as report on submitted responses to ensure your employees can safely come to the office.

In our next post, we will review the ins and outs of the VxRM platform and give a functionality overview. For further information, we invite you to visit our VxRM site or review our Employee Guide for Using the DataMotion VxRM and Admin Guide to Configuring the VxRM Application for more information and step-by-step guidance on successfully utilizing our platform. If you have any additional questions, stop by our documentations page or contact our sales team today.

A Simple-to-Use Employee Tracking Application for COVID-19 Mandates 1024 512 admin

A Simple-to-Use Employee Tracking Application for COVID-19 Mandates

DataMotion Launches VxRM

A Simple-to-Use Employee Tracking Application for COVID-19 Mandates

New solution helps organizations return to the office safely by securely and efficiently collecting, storing and reporting on employee COVID-19 compliance

[Morristown, New Jersey]  DataMotion, the leader in secure digital exchange, today announced the launch of VxRM, a secure, cost-effective, digital solution for the safe and compliant reopening of the workplace. This new platform serves as a cornerstone for moving forward, providing for the easy and secure submission, collection and reporting of employee COVID-19 vaccine information.  VxRM was built using DataMotion’s cloud-based communication APIs, which enable developers to quickly add secure data exchange to their applications.

According to DataMotion CEO Bob Janacek, VxRM goes beyond the secure collection and storage of employee vaccination status, helping organizations create a safer workplace and comply with mandates. “The major factor here is that of compliance. Federal mandates aside, this type of data is considered health information, meaning that HIPAA regulations come into play when it comes to collection, storage, and reporting.”

The VxRM application’s process is simple, only requiring employees to complete a short form where they easily upload proof of vaccination, weekly test results, or any requests for exemptions. Once responses are securely submitted, a powerful dashboard allows administrators to easily aggregate, analyze and report on the results. With VxRM’s efficient reporting functions, an admin can quickly determine whether employees are within company guidelines. Admins can then report responses and follow up accordingly per company policy and applicable mandates.

“DataMotion created VxRM to meet the need for a secure, cost-effective and simple public health tool as people start returning to the office,” said Janacek. “By leveraging our secure message delivery APIs, this enterprise-grade solution was developed in six weeks.   The solution includes stringent security protocols such as military-grade encryption, a governed database, and a zero-trust security model.  Like everything we do, VxRM was designed with compliance, security, and efficiency in mind.”

While larger enterprises will benefit greatly from the ease of gathering and managing COVID-19 information for thousands of employees, VxRM is suitable for organizations of any size across industries. Signup is immediate and the first five users are free.  For more information on VxRM, please visit datamotion.com/vxrm or contact DataMotion’s team of experts.

About DataMotion

DataMotion provides a secure digital exchange platform that redefines how organizations communicate, collaborate, and share information with their customers and partners.  Leaders in financial services, insurance, government, healthcare, and call center markets leverage the DataMotion platform to accelerate their business processes.  In the healthcare sector, DataMotion allows for the easy exchange of medical records that facilitate modern clinical exchanges for telehealth, homecare and large-scale solutions, enabling nationwide exchange with over 2.5 million clinical end points. DataMotion provides a suite of self-service APIs and connectors enabling enterprises, developers, software vendors and system integrators the power to create easy-to-use applications and services, seamlessly enhancing their solutions with flexibility and compliance built in.  The DataMotion platform is HITRUST CSF certified.

DataMotion is headquartered in Morristown, N.J.

For more information visit us at DataMotion.com or follow DataMotion on LinkedIn and Twitter @datamotion.

Media Contact

David Span, SVP Marketing

davids@datamotion.com
973-437-5166

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The DataMotion 2021 Year-end Hot List, Part 2: Editor’s Picks 732 312 Andrea Meyer

The DataMotion 2021 Year-end Hot List, Part 2: Editor’s Picks

Welcome to part two of DataMotion’s 2021 Year-end Hot List! In part one, we reflected on various collections that were published to the DataMotion Blog, including the Danger for Data series and a look at the rise of Ransomware as a Service. In this installment, we’re sharing a list of notable entries from 2021 including things to consider before developing software in-house, a checklist for vetting API companies, and takeaways from industry events.

Let’s dive in.

What You May Have Missed in 2021

Choosing an API Company: 14 Points for Due Diligence When considering an API company, you’ll want to do your diligence. In this post, DataMotion Vice President of Products and Services Alex Mushkin shares a checklist to use as part of the vetting process, covering factors such as security, benefits offered, and technical depth.

DataMotion: A Zero Trust Model You Can Trust “Trust but verify relies on a strong defense, vetting then trusting people and systems. Zero trust is an internal strategy, focusing on hypervigilance around not only system security compliance, but access. Here at DataMotion, we abide by both.” DataMotion CEO Bob Janacek speaks to the zero-trust security model, how it keeps DataMotion’s customers safe, and its benefits to your organization.

5 Things to Consider Before Developing Software In-house Whether or not to develop in-house solutions is a question that almost every enterprise asks at some point. The do-it-yourself approach can offer tremendous benefits, but there is often tremendous costs and additional, unplanned work involved. DataMotion Developer Advocate Heather Post examines this question and offers a list of points to consider before starting an in-house project.

Flexibility, Ease, Security and Compliance: Meet DataMotion’s Secure Message Center “While the secure message center can include email communications, it is really a solution to keep all of your communication tools, including email, customer apps and portals, in one place for simple, secure and compliant communications.” If modernizing customer experience and internal workflows are part of your 2022 resolutions, you are in luck! Christian Grunkemeyer, DataMotion’s Director of Sales Success talks about our secure message center, some general use cases, its impact on the customer experience and internal workflows, and how this solution can benefit organizations across industries.

2021 In Events

Team DataMotion attended several industry events this year, both virtually and in person. Below are the post-event blog entries from healthcare and insurtech events, where Christian Grunkemeyer and DataMotion Business Development Director, Healthcare, Doug Rubino shared industry trends, hot topics, and general event takeaways.

Directly Speaking: The 2021 DirectTrust™ Summit “We want a patient, no matter where they are receiving care, to have that doctor immediately be able to pull their medical records from another care provider or organization with the same ease that the patient withdrew money from another bank’s ATM that morning for their coffee shop run.” We sat down with Doug Rubino to discuss takeaways from June’s DirectTrust™ Summit, including challenges faced with healthcare directories and what’s next for the industry.

HIMSS 2021 Takeaways: Healthcare, Cybersecurity and Interoperability “Many organizations have a marked lack of internal expertise and knowledge of internal network schematics and topology. This…boils down to a general failure to understand where system vulnerabilities exist, which ultimately leads to the inability to anticipate and identify cybersecurity threats, and to prevent an attack.” Once again, Doug Rubino shared his insights and takeaways from HIMSS 2021. Event discussions included challenges and innovations around cybersecurity in healthcare.

Ensuring Secure and Compliant Exchange for Insurance: ITC 2021 “To sum up, organizations in the space are looking for AI-driven technologies, multiple integration options, and technological methods to automate internal processes and better detect, and prevent, fraud.” In this interview, Christian Grunkemeyer shared hot topics and takeaways from ITC 2021, including improving the insurance policyholder digital experience and the current state of technology at insurance companies.

On behalf of everyone at Team DataMotion, we’d like to thank you for a wonderful 2021, and wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2022! We’re looking forward to another great year in the DataMotion Blog and we hope you can join us. If you have some downtime during the holiday break, please take a minute to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Finally, stay in the know in 2022 and subscribe to the DataMotion newsletter, which delivers industry insights and thought leadership to your inbox once a month.

Thanks again for a great year—we’ll see you in 2022!

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The DataMotion 2021 Year-end Hot List, Part 1: A Year of Collections 736 312 Andrea Meyer

The DataMotion 2021 Year-end Hot List, Part 1: A Year of Collections

Welcome to the first installment of the DataMotion 2021 Year-end Hot List! As we close out 2021 and gear up for 2022, we’re revisiting the year in the DataMotion Blog. In this blog post, we are showcasing the different series that we’ve published to the blog this year. This includes a look at where data security vulnerabilities may lie within your organization on both the IT and business sides, the rise of Ransomware as a Service, and some tips and tricks for using Postman.

Let’s set the rearview mirror and start our look back at 2021 in the DataMotion Blog.

Series You May Have Missed

The Danger for Data Series

“While not every breach will make front page headlines or the 24-hour cable news cycle, organizations should expect a breach at some point and plan a defensive strategy. As I mentioned in the previous installment of this series, it is not a question of if a breach will occur, but rather, where and when.” DataMotion CEO Bob Janacek offers insights into where vulnerabilities may lie on both the IT and business sides of an organization, and how you can protect your enterprise’s data.

Part One: 5 Back-end Breach Factors

Part Two: Seven Pain Points in Your Processes

Part Three: Remedies for Risk

The Rise of Ransomware as a Service

You’ve heard of Platform as a Service and Software as a Service. But Ransomware as a Service? You read this correctly. Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) is a dangerous cottage industry that has upped the ante when it comes to keeping your data secure. DataMotion Developer Advocate Heather Post explored this dark side to innovation in a three-part series, where she outlined the basics of this disastrous digital disruption, how your vendor could unintentionally put your organization’s data at risk, and how you can protect your enterprise. Read on:

The Rise of Ransomware as a Service

The Rise of RaaS: Consolidating the Vendor Risk Factor

The Rise of RaaS: The Real Cost of a Ransomware Attack

We’re Partial to Postman

This fall, we shared a social-media-based series of tips and tricks for using one of our favorite tools, Postman. Heather Post has curated these tips into two posts to the DataMotion Blog:

4 Tips for Becoming a Postman Guru

4 More Tips for Your Journey to Becoming a Postman API Guru

As part of this series, Heather also sat down with DataMotion Security Specialist Kevin Miller, who is an enthusiastic and expert user of Postman. In this interview, Kevin shared a little bit about his role, how he has utilized Postman as part of his job, and his tips for fellow developers on how to successfully leverage Postman for testing APIs.

Don’t Miss Out

In our next entry to the DataMotion Blog, we’ll continue our look back at 2021. We will be revisiting the zero-trust model, questions you should ask when vetting an API company, and takeaways from both virtual and live events.

In the meantime, stay up-to-date with industry insights and thought leadership, DataMotion updates and more by following us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. We also invite you to subscribe to the DataMotion newsletter to have all of the above delivered to your inbox once per month.

See you next week!

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The DataMotion November Hot List 736 312 Andrea Meyer

The DataMotion November Hot List

Greetings, readers, and happy December! We hope that you have had a great start to the holiday season. In this month’s DataMotion Hot List, we’re going to cover posts to the DataMotion Blog during the month of November, which included an interview with a DataMotion Postman expert, and tips for using GitHub. We also shared an up-close-and-personal look at DataMotion’s secure message center—how it works, and how you can benefit from this solution.

And now, without further ado, we present the DataMotion November Hot List.

What You Should Have Been Reading

Flexibility, Ease, Security and Compliance: Meet DataMotion’s Secure Message Center “Unlike regular email, the sensitive data you are exchanging with your client is kept fully secure during transit, and the messages are stored just as securely…Also unlike regular email, this process integrates with your methods of customer communication, such as web and mobile applications and customer portals, delivering messages and documents just as quickly and securely.” The ability to securely send and store messages as part of an existing customer-facing workflow not only helps provide an outstanding customer experience, but can also help keep your organization within regulatory compliance. In this entry to the DataMotion Blog, DataMotion Director of Sales Success Christian Grunkemeyer shares a look at our secure message center, and how it can benefit your enterprise.

Meet Kevin Miller, DataMotion’s Postman Guru “The first tip I would recommend is utilizing variables. If you have to utilize the same information in multiple API calls, you can replace this information with a variable and define the value of that variable for an entire collection of calls.” As part of our Postman tips and tricks series, DataMotion Developer Advocate Heather Post interviewed Kevin Miller, DataMotion Security Specialist and resident Postman guru. In this interview, Kevin shared how he uses Postman, why it is helpful, and his tips on making the most of this tool.

Get Resourceful with GitHub: Four Tips for the Skilled Developer “Have you ever been asked to share your GitHub profile at a job interview, or when meeting other developers at a conference? With GitHub’s growing popularity, it’s now just as common for employers to request a GitHub profile as they would a LinkedIn profile. However, as great as the code hosting tool is for showboating talents, it does so much more.” In this entry to the DataMotion Blog, Heather Post provides a roundup of the first half of our GitHub tips and tricks series.

The October Hot List In case you missed it in October, we published a cybersecurity toolkit, takeaways from InsureTech Connect 2021, and part two of our Postman tips and tricks series.

News and Opinions from ‘Round the Web

As part of the monthly Hot List, we’re including a few cybersecurity-related news articles and opinions from around the web, including a look at new rules for rail transit, a cybersecurity incident notification law in Wisconsin, and an opinion piece on why cybersecurity pros need a seat at the table.

From CBS News: U.S. Imposes First Cybersecurity Rules for Rail Transit, Despite Industry Pushback

From Public: Wisconsin Enacts Insurance Data Security Law Requiring Notification of Cybersecurity Incidents to Insurance Commissioner Within Three Business Days

From Infosecurity Magazine: Cybersecurity Pros Need a Seat at the Table

Get Social with Us

Have YOU followed us social media? You’ll find our tips and tricks series, job openings, links to valuable content such as blog posts and whitepapers, as well as company and industry news and updates, and much more. Follow us today on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Speaking of keeping up with updates and insights, we invite you to subscribe to our newsletter, which delivers industry trends, insights and thought leadership to your inbox once a month.

Finally, with the holidays upon us, the DataMotion Blog will have a hiatus the last week of December and the first week of January.  As we close out 2021 and gear up for 2022, we’ll revisit some of the hottest topics from the year, and we invite you to join us as we look back on this year’s thought leadership. We also invite you to learn more about DataMotion’s secure exchange solutions by visiting our website or contacting our team of experts.

We look forward to seeing you in December!

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Get Resourceful with GitHub: Four Tips for the Skilled Developer 736 312 Heather Post

Get Resourceful with GitHub: Four Tips for the Skilled Developer

Have you ever been asked to share your GitHub profile at a job interview, or when meeting other developers at a conference? Doing so is an easy way to share your work and experience with others. With GitHub’s growing popularity, it’s now just as common for employers to request a GitHub profile as they would a LinkedIn profile. However, as great as the code hosting tool is for showboating talents, it does so much more. 

GitHub’s primary functions provide version control using Git and Internet hosting for web applications. As the platform continues to grow, new features are developed to enhance the primary functions and the development process as a whole. Understanding the magnitude of GitHub’s benefits, and how to use it to its fullest ability, will help advance your team’s productivity (as well as your career path).

Four Tips to Improve Your GitHub Experience

Over the past few weeks, our dev team has provided GitHub tips and tricks on DataMotion’s Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to help users better utilize this version control tool. Below are the four tips we have provided to date, aggregated into a blog post for easy, convenient review.  

We created these tips to enhance an already-basic knowledge of the GitHub platform, but for those of you who are still pretty new to GitHub and would like more information on how to get started, visit their quick start guide.

GitHub Tip #1

Just as developers can showcase their software projects on GitHub, the GitHub Gist feature allows developers to easily display snippets of code as well. The gists are hosted on GitHub as any other repository would be and can be found on one’s GitHub profile. 

Gists can be used to share data and snippets of code through a URL or embed them into your webpages as I have below. By adding a quick source tag to our HTML, I was able to embed an example gist I created to this blog. 

This feature allowed me to easily provide the formatted code needed to get a DataMotion session key now without having to link to a full GitHub repo. Gists can be extremely useful when building documentation pages, how-to guides and, of course, technical blogs.

GitHub Tip #2

When collaborating on a project, you may want to fork a repository and push your changes to the main repo when you’re ready to contribute. This is a helpful strategy, but requires continuous pulling of the changes your partners push to the main project to ensure you are working with the latest code. Thankfully, GitHub makes it easy to know when you need to fetch these changes. 

Once your project is forked, make sure to enable the “Watch” feature on the main repository. By doing so, GitHub will notify you when a fetch is required. To do so, navigate to the main repository, select the watch button in the top right corner of the page, and choose your desired option!

To enable the "watch" feature on the main repository, click "watch" in the top right corner of the page and choose either "participating and @mentions," "all activity," "ignore," or "custom."

GitHub Tip #3

When collaborating on a development project, you can keep track of tasks by assigning bugs and feature requests with GitHub’s “Issues.” This feature allows users to create issues, which outline the different tasks that must be accomplished in order to complete a project. Developers can link to the issue in their push and pull requests in order to keep track of the issue’s progress. 

This adds issue tracking functionality on top of version control which helps further organize the development process. To get started, navigate to your project’s repository, select “Issues” at the top of the page followed by the “New Issue” button. From here, you can start filling out the details.

To create an "issue" select "issues" at the top of the page, then "new issue," then fill out the details when prompted

GitHub Tip #4

Now that we understand how the ‘Issues’ feature works, I’ll expand upon it. Developers may have a list of smaller tasks that need to be completed for one larger feature to be accomplished. To keep track of progress on a group of issues, utilize GitHub’s Milestones. 

The Milestones feature allows you to prioritize tasks and monitor which issues are completed and which are still open. You can also add a due date to each milestone to help better plan releases and keep to a specified development timeline. 

You can find more information on milestones within GitHub’s documentation. 

Key Takeaways

GitHub is an excellent tool for showcasing hosted code, but you can now see just how much more it has to offer. With the four tips reviewed today, you can enhance your development process and streamline collaboration by: 

  • Utilizing GitHub gists to share and display snippets of code
  • Ensuring you are notified when you must fetch upstream from a forked project 
  • Keeping track of bugs and feature requests with GitHub’s Issues
  • Using Milestones in order to group and prioritize various Issues

In the coming several weeks, every Tuesday, we will provide additional GitHub tips on DataMotion’s Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. In the meantime, be sure to check out DataMotion’s GitHub profile to find our projects and development resources. To learn more about DataMotion and our products, visit our documentation site or contact our team of experts. 

Flexibility, Ease, Security and Compliance: Meet DataMotion’s Secure Message Center 735 313 Christian Grunkemeyer

Flexibility, Ease, Security and Compliance: Meet DataMotion’s Secure Message Center

Picture this:

You are a wealth manager. One of your clients wants to send you the details of an investment opportunity their brother-in-law shared at last weekend’s get-together. Rather than mail these documents, send them by courier, or bring them physically to your office, the client opens a heavily-fortified safe (with your branding) right in front of their desk. They drop the documents in, closing the safe’s door securely with a satisfying click. These documents are then transported via a thick, impenetrable vacuum tube directly to you and your team. Once the documents arrive in your own fortified safe, you may access these and previous exchanges that also live in this safe to inform your comments. You then send your reply and information via the secure tube system back to your client’s safe, where they can pick up the discussion.

Your client has just had an incredibly easy experience securely sending sensitive information from a place that is convenient for them, and can access messages in a place that is equally convenient and secure. No one in your firm has had to adjust their workflow for this secure exchange. This process, while perhaps sounding suspiciously like regular email, is markedly different. Unlike regular email, the sensitive data you are exchanging with your client is kept fully secure during transit, and the messages are stored just as securely, helping to keep your firm within regulatory compliance. Also, unlike regular email, this process integrates with your methods of customer communication, such as web and mobile applications and customer portals, delivering messages and documents just as quickly and securely.

Welcome to the principle behind DataMotion’s secure message center.

In this installment of the “Meet the Secure Message Center” series, we’ll give you the basics of the secure message center. In later installments, we’ll help you get further acquainted by discussing use cases and covering some questions you may have.

What is the Secure Message Center and How Does it Work?

The DataMotion secure message center is a highly secure, versatile, and integrable communications solution that connects back-end systems, such as email, case management, and call and help centers, to your client-facing apps (mobile and web) and customer portals. The secure message center can be part of an omnichannel approach, or a standalone solution.

How does it work? Let’s re-visit our wealth management client. Rather than a branded safe in their wall right in front of them, the client can go to the firm’s website, and log into the customer-facing portal as usual. From there, they can create a message (which might include information such as account or Social Security numbers), attach their documents, and send. The message is encrypted while in transit, and arrives at a secure inbox. The intended recipients and other authorized viewers, such as help center staff,  may then review the documents and quickly respond. The client is alerted to the new message in the portal, and may access that and any other message they have exchanged with the advisor. Each exchange is also logged and tracked, which can help with proving compliance.

Why Should I Implement the Secure Message Center?

“We’re not software developers.”

This is something we hear from folks across industries who are seeking to implement secure communications. Securely sharing sensitive data while remaining within regulatory compliance is a common pain point, and your enterprise should not have to develop its own solution. In order to include security into customer exchanges, companies will often turn to additional software, both from in-house development and third-party vendors, which often include additional steps, to the workflow, interfering with internal efficiency and the customer experience.  For instance, what could be a simple inquiry via a company’s customer portal turns into a customer rep having to send the customer an email with a link to a third-party portal, using “Secure” in the subject line. The customer must then wait for the email, then click the link, create a username and password, then navigate an unfamiliar portal and send information.

This doesn’t sound very efficient or customer-friendly, does it? But it happens.

DataMotion’s secure message center eliminates the need to develop new solutions, or to remove or change your current systems. Along these lines, the secure message center also eliminates many of the steps we’ve listed above. This is because the secure message center is integrable with your existing workflow, allowing contact center reps to work in their regular environment, while delivering security and simplifying the customer experience.

Finally, let’s talk security. Founded in 1999, DataMotion has over 20 years of experience in providing secure digital platforms for organizations in regulated industries. With this amount of experience and knowledge of use cases, we have developed strong security coding and protocols to keep your customer and patient data safe. Here are a few elements of our security:

  • Military-grade encryption
  • A zero-trust, governed database
  • Verifiable Compliance: HIPAA, HITECH, FFIEC, NYDFS, FRB, GLBA

In short, the collective “why” is that the secure message center provides strong security, can be fully integrated with your existing systems, helps your organization stay compliant with regulations, and offers ease of use for both your customers and staff.

Who Should Implement the Secure Message Center?

Any enterprise can benefit from using the secure message center, particularly organizations in regulated industries. But security isn’t just about compliance. Your company might need to send proprietary product design information. You might also need a secure way for a news source, or a whistleblower, to contact you. Below is a quick, but not exhaustive, list of organizations that must ensure secure, encrypted communications:

  • Organizations within the healthcare ecosystem, including vendors, providers, and payers
  • Wealth management firms
  • Insurance companies
  • Banks, both investment and retail
  • Media organizations
  • Manufacturing companies
  • State, local and municipal organizations, including protective services, law enforcement, and others
  • Law firms

In the next installment in this series, we’ll discuss this further, diving into some use cases.

Key Takeaways

You’ve now met DataMotion’s secure message center–a flexible, secure digital platform that allows organizations in any industry to easily, securely and compliantly communicate with their patients, clients and customers. While the secure message center can include email communications, it is really a solution to keep all of your communication tools, including email, customer apps and portals, in one place for simple, secure and compliant communications. Here is a quick review of the basics:

  • Frictionless Customer Experience Enables secure communications as part of your existing customer-facing portal and/or web and mobile applications. No need for customers to go to a third-party portal for secure messaging.
  • Increased Efficiency Contact center reps can access previous customer messages and, without gathering physical documents or going through additional security steps, can quickly and securely respond to inquiries.
  • Versatile and Integrable The secure message center can seamlessly integrate with, and securely connect, back-end systems, including email, contact centers, case management, etc.

Features

  • Ironclad Security DataMotion uses a zero-trust, governed database and military-grade encryption, helping to keep data secure and your organization compliant.
  • Ease of Use The secure message center enables single sign on for customers, eliminating additional passwords. It also works with your current workflow–there is no need to retrain staff.
  • Co-branded Portal The secure message center is customizable for your logo, colors and branding.
  • Tracking Every message and document are logged and tracked, with reporting available.

As we mentioned above, in the next installment of this series, we’ll take a closer look at customer use cases, and how this solution can benefit your enterprise. If you have questions about the secure message center and how it can benefit your organization, or would like to learn more about DataMotion and our larger digital platform, please reach out to our team of experts.

We also invite you to try out our capabilities by downloading DataMotion’s free mobile app, available in the Apple App store.

Computer monitors with code on screen and red headphones and a keyboard in front
Meet Kevin Miller, DataMotion’s Postman Guru 736 312 Heather Post

Meet Kevin Miller, DataMotion’s Postman Guru

Kevin Miller, DataMotion Security Specialist, recently celebrated his seventh anniversary here at the company. During this time, Kevin has worn many hats and brought a wealth of knowledge to the table, including his proficiency of the Postman API testing application, of which he can be considered a subject matter expert. He has helped many of his colleagues and customers understand Postman, and how to succeed with the tool. Kevin was kind enough to sit down with us to share his experience, as well as some tips on how to leverage Postman to its fullest capability. 

Heather Post, DataMotion Developer Advocate: Kevin, thanks for your time. And congratulations on the work anniversary!

Kevin Miller: Heather, thanks—it’s a great achievement.

HP: Throughout your time at DataMotion, you have held a few different titles leading to your current position as the Security Specialist within our Engineering department. Can you tell us more about your role, and what that entails? 

KM: Today, my duties include handling security documents and statements, ranging from our information security plans and operating procedures, to our business continuity and disaster recovery. Security assessments from third parties, especially the bigger assessments like EHNAC and now HITRUST, fall under this umbrella as well.

In the past, I worked closely with support and sales to assist with questions relating to API integrations or specific product integrations, such as those involving Salesforce and the DataMotion secure email content filter. I’m still happy to help both departments when needed. 

HP: I understand that you have had the opportunity to use Postman extensively. Can you explain what Postman is?

KM: Sure! In a nutshell, Postman is a desktop application for performing web requests. As DataMotion provides an extensive number of APIs to go along with our system, Postman provides an easy way to quickly test those APIs or demonstrate their use if questions come up during conversations with customers.

HP: When did you first start using Postman?

KM: My first experience with Postman was back in late 2015 during the initial release phase for SecureMail 5.37 (now referred to as secure messaging center) when our REST APIs were first released. 

It was easy to get the hang of Postman, and it helped us quickly test DataMotion’s REST APIs without the need to build an application to do so for each. The ease of use of Postman at the time lay in the fact that it was a GUI application that was able to perform API requests without requiring vast knowledge of programming techniques. All that was required was the appropriate URLs for the API requests and entering their expected request bodies. Then, all you had to do was click a button to send your request and receive an easy-to-read response. All of this is still true in regard to Postman today. 

HP: Are there any specific projects where Postman plays a significant role?

KM: Most of DataMotion’s current projects involve API development, whether it be the original messaging products or the newer projects being integrated into the self-service portal for our customers to easily use. When creating a new API, we use Postman heavily to test functionality and to ensure the API will handle various parameters correctly. We also use Postman for internal and customer-facing demonstrations. 

Therefore, I would say any time you are developing or adding functionality to an API, that is a great time to use Postman. 

HP: What are some of your tips and tricks for using Postman successfully?

KM: I would advise several actions to make things easier when using Postman. 

The first tip I would recommend is utilizing variables. If you have to utilize the same information in multiple API calls, you can replace this information with a variable and define the value of that variable for an entire collection of calls. Therefore, if you need a session key to run all of your calls but login, you can update this value in one spot rather than having to do so for each of the calls you will be testing. 

My second tip is to create a set of environments that coincide with different sets of URLs. This is particularly helpful when working within our own systems, as many of the functions remain the same, but the base URLs change depending on the system. I simply create one of those useful variables for the base URL and update it based on which environment I will be using. This, again, saves time and the hassle of creating multiple collections of the same API calls.

The third action I’d recommend is very specific to our own messaging products, but is quite useful. This is to create a short console script in the ‘Tests’ category that carries the session key over to other requests in the collection. As an example of how this helps me, I have created a script that will update that session key variable that I mentioned earlier every time I call my Login API call. This streamlines the process of updating the variable and allows me to run any of my API calls directly after logging in. 

HP: Can you explain what the DataMotion Postman collections are, and how they can be used?

KM: All of DataMotion’s Postman collections are geared towards its messaging products, and are best suited for development teams to test sending their expected payloads via API, or for those customers who have on-premise systems to test the APIs within their own environments.

HP: One last question. Do you have any advice for developers who are just getting started with Postman?

KM: For those that have never used Postman, it is a good idea to use a pre-built set of collections to get used to what a request in the application will look like, how to trigger the requests, and what to expect in the response. This will make you much more familiar with the product when it comes time to build and test your own API.

HP: Kevin, thank you for your time today, and for all of the great information!

KM: You’re very welcome!

For additional Postman tips and tricks, check out our blog posts “4 Tips for Becoming a Postman Guru” and “4 More Tips for Your Journey to Becoming a Postman API Testing Guru” which rounded up our Postman series on social media. Finally, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to catch our next tips and tricks series, which focuses on GitHub.

Black and white October calendar sitting on desk next to glasses, a plant, and a pen
The DataMotion October Hot List 1024 435 Andrea Meyer

The DataMotion October Hot List

Greetings, readers, and Happy November! As always, we hope that this blog post meets you in the midst of a positive and productive week.

As you may know, October was Cybersecurity Awareness Month. But as a company with over 20 years of experience in secure exchange, we at DataMotion believe that every month should be cybersecurity awareness month. In this vein, we put together a toolkit to help your organization stay secure year-round. We also published takeaways from InsureTech Connect 2021, and a round-up of the second half of our Postman tips and tricks series we shared on social media. Our next series of tips focuses on GitHub, and we think you’ll find this series helpful! You can find the series by following us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Now, without further ado, let’s dive into October in the DataMotion Blog.

What You Missed in October

Ensuring Secure and Compliant Exchange for Insurance: ITC 2021 “Suffice it to say, there are ample opportunities for technological innovation in the insurance space for companies to help brokers and advisers better, and more securely, communicate with their policy holders.” In this post to the DataMotion Blog, DataMotion Director of Sales Success Christian Grunkemeyer shared his takeaways from ITC Vegas 2021 and the possibilities in store for the insurance vertical. (Note: Whether you attended this event and missed Christian, or would just like to discuss how DataMotion’s secure exchange solutions can benefit your organization, please reach out to our team of experts, who will be happy to set up an introductory call.)

4 More Tips for Your Journey to Becoming a Postman API Testing Guru “…just like sharks can never stop swimming, developers can never stop learning. When I come across some new tips on how to better use some of my favorite (and arguably, most important) tools, I jump at the chance to learn. And that’s why I want to share some amazing Postman tips for API testing.” A series so nice we rounded it up twice—in this blog entry, DataMotion Developer Advocate Heather Post shared the second half of our Postman tips and tricks series. (In case you missed it, check out part one.)

Aggregating Awareness: Your Cybersecurity Month Arsenal “…the digital landscape is changing rapidly.  New opportunities for digital business also present new opportunities for internal and external security threats…But armoring your systems for security and compliance should not hinder a smooth customer experience, nor should these factors interfere with your organization’s workflows.” DataMotion Content Manager Andrea Meyer and Content and Digital Marketing Specialist Sarah Parks have compiled a number of DataMotion Blog posts and other reference materials to help you keep your data secure year-round.

The DataMotion September Hot List In case you missed it in September, the DataMotion Blog played host to the first half of the Postman tips and tricks series, a list of five things to consider before developing software in-house, and more.

From ‘Round the Web

As we have over the past several months, we will once again present cybersecurity news and insights from around the web, including an article from Forbes as to why cybersecurity awareness must extend beyond the official month (we couldn’t agree more). We’re also sharing an article that explores why so many enterprises are not effectively managing cyber risks and resilience, and a list of what you need to know about keeping your data secure going into 2022.

From Forbes: Cybersecurity Awareness Must Extend Beyond The “Month”

From SiliconANGLE: Study Finds Over Half of Enterprises Are Not Effectively Stopping Cyberattacks

From Security Intelligence: What You Need to Know About Data Security Heading into 2022

This month and next, we’re looking forward to sharing news about new DataMotion products, more tips and tricks for using Postman, and some of this year’s editor’s picks. And as a quick note, like so many of our American readers, the DataMotion Blog will take a break the week of November 22nd to observe the Thanksgiving holiday.

But before breaking for the holiday, don’t forget to get a jump on 2022 and subscribe to the DataMotion Newsletter, which delivers industry insights, news, and trends to your inbox once a month.

That is about all for now. Thanks for a great October, and we look forward to seeing you in November!