Thursday, 18 October 2012

This Is A Low

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @hotpixUK

In an informal chat today with an insider close to the Northern Consortium, I heard a whisper today that possibly Cardiff and Birmingham (Aston Villa) HITEX housing IT solution events may need to be cancelled. This is due to poor supplier and housing IT department and management take up.

Looking at the list of suppliers signed up this year there were some prominent figures missing from the list. I did not spot the two most popular HMS system suppliers Orchard and Aareon as well as Northgate. Maybe holding out for a cheaper deal nearer the events. Everyone appears to be tightening belts, looking for bargains and delaying decisions where they can be.

I have had great experience of HITEX in the past, found new customers there, taken prospects to the right solutions and enjoyed some lovely buffets. The mini-shepherds pies and the Thai kebabs were my especial faves. Even though it’s free for up to 10 IT and systems staff from housing to attend, there appears to be limited takers this year. Even a few hours out of the office seemingly becoming difficult in these strapped times.

The NHF IT IT in Housing Conference and Exhibition at Olympia is also coming up soon in November 20th / 21st. possibly people are waiting for that one instead. It’s certainly one where there is more prospect of your supplier taking you for a free meal out, if that’s your thing. The conference exhibition is generally free to attend, register here -

The emphasis most places I go is on squeezing more from existing systems and that includes your existing suppliers. Start trimming out things you pay for and don’t use. A few weeks ago I identified savings of £3.5K per annum just by taking some printers off annual maintenance. A lot of these things are historic. A decent printer used to cost over a grand, now it’s plummeted to just a fraction of that. You might need help in identifying some of the bloat, but a lot can be worked out yourself with some digging. Also don’t forget those modules you paid for and never implemented. Also the ones you used to use and now don’t. I have found similar savings there, moving to cheaper read-only licences, ditching them altogether or moving it all to Access or SQL Server.

**** Quick update : 26th October 2012, Aston Villa Birmingham and Cardiff HiTex venues dropped.

Read on to: Some Exhibitions That Are Thriving

How low can it go?.

(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting

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