Virtual Industrial Park - Enhanced Resources (VIP-ER)

VIP-ER System Overview

In late 2004, WestCAMP Inc. and MEP-Utah (Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Utah) received $100,000 in Economic Development Administration (EDA) assistance to develop and implement the first phase of a set of integrated web-based tools (VIP-ER) that would allow manufacturing contacts/clients throughout Utah to: register; establish password security; complete a customized online manufacturing business needs assessment; generate a situation-specific, updateable Manufacturing Action Plan (MAP); and then receive online counseling, mentoring, training and task-specific development assistance to implement their action plan by interacting:

  1. with selected portions of a MEP-managed, developing knowledge-base, and
  2. via any desired combination of email/website/personal coaching with MEP counselors, engineers and specialists on individual items placed within the knowledge-base, thereby creating an internet-based, updateable MAP supported by online counseling system components for personalized, auto-documented manufacturing business development, and
  3. ith seamless administrative connectivity to MEP's existing system that collects performance data on a regular basis for monthly reporting purposes.

The VIP-ER application system enables MEP to populate a web-based knowledge-base, and then utilize interactive counseling tools to provide users a "virtual counseling/mentoring experience" in assessing their operational needs, determining a counseling curriculum, and communicating with both an automated database of relevant content, as well as a live one-on-one counselor/mentor. MEP Utah is a needs-driven professional service delivery program that identifies opportunities for improvement, finds the resources to solve client problems, and provides significant development opportunities. MEP Utah was selected as the ideal organization to host the VIP-ER system and administer its development and implementation.

Phase I Features

Phase I of the VIP-ER system includes all of the basic capabilities outlined in the EDA contract. A 12-slide PowerPoint presentation has been developed that provides an overview of Phase I of the VIP-ER system, and it includes information about the additional features and capabilities that need to be added to it in Phases II and III to increase its functional value, and enable it to be used on a regional and then eventually on a national basis. This presentation, along with a demo of the system, has already been given to NIST and EDA officials in Washington, D.C.

A 5-page project final report is also available on this website that summarizes accomplishments in developing the first phase of the VIP-ER system.

System Architecture

The VIP-ER System sits over Net-Endeavor's CertiSphere application platform and its family of DIRECT modules, supported underneath by Microsoft's SQL server architecture and the .NET Framework. This architecture provides the robust, scalable and extensible environment that will be needed as the VIP-ER application and growingly sophisticated database with participating sponsors is enhanced in Phases II and III to support regional and then national deployment.


Online Demo

An online demo of the VIP-ER system is currently available from Net-Endeavor on their website at:

More Information

If you have specific questions about the proposed VIP-ER system, or would like to participate directly in one or more of the VIP-ER system development activities, please contact WestCAMP.

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Copyright (c) 2005 WestCAMP Inc. All rights reserved.