An interview with Joe Kraus, President of Stratis
At Leading Home Care we are often asked for software recommendations. We have three Resource Partners that offer software for Private Duty home care companies. While we know there are many other software companies out there, the three we have partnered with are not only software programs that we trust to do what they promise to do, but we know the people well and trust that they will do what they promise to do.
We recommend that you talk to each company and demo each product to make sure it offers what you need. Each company has different needs, so testing it out and making an educated decision based on your experience is the best way to make the software decision for your company. Over the next month or so, we will be featuring interviews with different Resource Partners to give you an in-depth preview of what they have to offer.
This week’s featured Resource Partner is Soneto by Stratis. Joe Kraus is the President and we interviewed Joe a couple weeks ago and are happy to provide you with more information about Soneto’s capabilities.
Can you give us a summary of the functions of Soneto?
Soneto is a comprehensive solution for home care and home health care companies, simplifying every facet of the operation including CRM, HR, Scheduling, Point of Care, Telephony, Payroll, Billing and A/R.
What features of Soneto differentiates you from other home health/private duty software?
The first and perhaps most important differentiator would be the overall architecture of the system. Soneto was designed by a team of experienced home care professional who understood the nuances of the private pay, Medicaid and Medicare segments of the industry. Most software products on the market were designed for just one of these lines. Soneto does not encumber you with the business rules of a line if you are not serving that population, but gives you the option to add it if needed.
How long have you been in business?
Stratis began selling its first system, Visitrax, in 1999. Through 2008, we worked with 300+ companies in all lines of business. Some of them grew from very small to very large businesses in that time. In 2005, we started building Soneto with a new team of people. As a long-time software developer myself, I’m proud to say all were employees and all were US based.
What is the targeted demographic for Soneto?
Soneto is a scalable solution in terms of price and functionality. So, we have start-ups as well as publicly traded corporations in our client base. I’d have to say our sweet spot is growing companies, with multiple offices and companies that provide multiple types of services or need to bill various types of payers.
Can you tell us about the security of client and caregiver information that is entered into the software?
We have spared no expense when it comes to data security and hosting. Our databases reside on Rackspace (NYSE: RAX) in multiple data centers (outside of Florida and California for those thinking natural disaster). Also, within Soneto, data security is very granular and can be restricted based on office, user group, user, and transaction (i.e., read, write, modify).
What determines the software price?
Soneto is priced per named user as are most SaaS software licenses. This is advantageous to the client because our pricing does not scale up directly as you grow your company. We have seen other models that price by the visit, client and caregiver. These are great for start-up but costly at a certain census. I’m not saying we won’t ever offer this concept, but as of right now, none of our clients would be willing to make that switch.
Is the software scalable to different company sizes and also for growth?
Yes, we have clients with 2-3 users in one office and others with a hundred users in one office. We also have clients with hundreds of users in multiple corporate owned locations, as well as leading national franchises.
Is the software customizable to the features owners want to use?
Yes. For example, private pay clients won’t even see elements of the Medicare world that do not apply to them. Prior to implementation, our team configures the features of the system to be used by each client. These can be enabled later as the business grows and enters new lines of business.
Can the software integrate with other programs that handle other aspects of a private duty or home health company, such as Caregiver Quality Assurance or QuickBooks? Or is Soneto able to do those functions, as well?
Soneto does integrate with other products where it makes sense for Stratis and its clients. Examples include PATTI for telephony and deVero for Medicare assessments and notes. While we offer our own integrated features for these areas as well, good partnerships have evolved over the years. We do push Payroll and journal entries to QuickBooks for financial statements, however Soneto’s advanced Billing and A/R are key reasons why bigger companies chose us for their operation. We don’t transfer completed schedules into QuickBooks like some of the other vendors. This creates a major divide between two critical sets of data – Scheduling & Billing – and creates lots of points of failure for the operation.
Can a customer build their own reports with the software?
Because Soneto is a hosted solution, we don’t allow clients to create reports and views of the data that could impact performance. Instead, we give them a nice suite of 400+ reports with lots of real-time configuration. Our large clients that want custom data view and business intelligence can build their own reports and cubes based on daily extracts of the database.
How does the installation process work? And are there any typical hurdles that companies may see with installation?
Soneto is installed on a device just like an app is installed on a smart phone. Once installed, you have a very robust and nice workspace for the user. Unlike an app, you don’t ever have to update it. This happens behind the scenes when necessary as you login and is virtually transparent to the user.
How does the training process work? Are manuals available?
Because we have such diversity in size and line of business, there is no one training model that works for every company. Most small, new clients are trained remotely by one of our trainers. Larger clients tend to have our people go onsite, and some will send their super users or trainers to our office. Each month we have a “Simply Soneto” 2-day class in our Boca Raton, Florida office. We can accommodate 20 people in our training room, and during the winter this option is very popular for our northern clients. Online training manuals, How-To’s, and videos are available right within Soneto.
How often is the software updated and how are the updates distributed and installed?
New releases come out every 6-8 weeks as functionality is added. Our team contacts each client to schedule the upgrade so that no office or user is caught off guard. The process is automatic and painless with nothing required of the user. Companies typically don’t want an upgrade during payroll week. Because Soneto is a single-tenant database model, we can release updated to clients individually, rather than all at once. This results in a bit more work for our team, but is much more pleasant for the client.
How does support for the software work – online, phone, on-site, or a combination? And is it included in the price of the software?
Support is included in the pricing. We offer support online, by phone, on-site or any combination that is necessary to ensure our client’s success. Our preferred model has always been very personal and most clients will call our help desk before they open a user manual or watch a video. We love that! Of course we want to keep clients for as long as possible and what better way to do that than actually talk to them. We take a lot of pride in how we provide support and the relationships we build with our user base.
Can potential users contact current users to get their feedback on Soneto?
Absolutely. We invite prospects to visit our office, sit in on a training session, and talk to staff and current users. We provide a long list of references to each prospect that wants to talk to our clients. This is a critical step in the software selection process and I’m always amazed at how many buyers skip this opportunity.
What else do we need to know about the software to make an informed decision?
I’ve heard a statistic that says more than 33% (Tim Rowan?) of companies using home care software are looking to replace that software. In most cases, it’s probably not because the software does not work. It’s most likely because the needs of the company were not clearly identified, both short term and long. Look at your business needs today, project out 5 years, and then do an exhaustive search to find the best fit.
To request a demo of Soneto by Stratis, click here and fill out the information form.