Thursday, 26 December 2013

It Must Have Been Years

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

So as 'Stand up for the weeks' Paul Chowdhry might say, "So what's happening this year housing IT people?". Well quite a lot actually.

Wokingham met Toon, when everyone in housings (well apparently about 20% anyway) favourite Marmite asset management application Promaster, was snapped up by Orchard back in the summer. Staff numbers grew to 185 making Orchard Systems the largest of the independent HMS (Housing Management System) providers.

Microsnore by popular demand, returned the 'Windows' button to Windows 8.1, but predictably did not link it to anything very useful (like an option to have Windows 7 back on our office desktops). No surprises there, still out of touch...

Civica bounced on the scene to launch their game changing HMS Cx. At last someone has had the nuts to completely design an integrated system, from the ground up, completely browser based, in a Windows8 flat UI style. Well done, its taken a while, but now there's something good to move all those 4Js, UH, Saffron & CTX to. I will be looking with interest at the newer modules when they ship early in 2014.

Blackberry crashes to a $4.4B loss and looks to be going the way of Palm and Nokia. Some local authorities and RSL groups still force their staff to use them as standard issue. You might even have a BB in your pocket and your personal iPhone in another? I wonder how long that will continue? BYOD has hardly started to take off in housing, in places I work with, its still a rarity.

At the start of the year, it looked like SAP where serious about their push into the vertical market-space of UK housing. Apart from the project at Sanctuary engineering an all 'encompassing SAP landscape', I have heard very little. We can assume Sanctuary are getting the SAP massively re-engineered 'Real Estate module' almost for free, as the growing pains will probably need one or more epidurals along the way. An industry insider suggested to me that Northgate were not expecting anyone to give notice on their iWorld system just yet. Watch this space.

Amazon were threatening drone delivery of parcels late in the year. Could this tech, be the key to tackling ASB on our schemes? Maybe filming and recording it, rather than 'taking it out' as can be the case when controlled by less caring organisations?

Google Glass, the Bluetooth headset of 2013, still not cool, wearing it will not make you cool. Talking of cool, the IT Crowd got a C4 special on Christmas Eve. How cool is that? You know Jen, Moss, Roy, Richmond (who lives in the server room) and the despotic Reynholm (I bet you have done some SQL queries for him...), surely from your own offices.

Next up was 3D printed metal objects, like the gun that fired real bullets. How long before the DLO operative can clock up 'Right 1st Visit', by printing that Worcester Boiler part, while the tenant waits? Then she can log her completion on her Winphone6.5 (less than) smartphone. Yes, we have noticed that at various places agnostic mobile apps haven't reached all corners of the UK, just yet!

Telecare moved forward with Motorola's patent for a Bluetooth skin tattoo (I kid you not), brought the Internet of things, one big step forward.

In contrast, the IDS Universal Credit IT rollout didn't move that far forward, (as predicted, by all but IDS). I bet we would all like a project like that to manage, write, promote, staff etc, with a bottomless pit of cash, moving targets and £payoffs even if you fail. Just 'believe' and it will be so, don't waste time with detail, test plans, use cases, UAT's etc, seems to work for Iain. Avoid these schoolboy errors and your projects will run smoother, with less surprises.

That last one proves that while many things change, somethings, like Government IT projects, just stay the same. No doubt 2014 will bring us new challenges and surprises. I have been fortunate to have worked with some really inspirational people, who are really changing lives, systems and our society, in so many positive ways. There have been some surprises along the way too. Some things that were bad and come good and vica-versa.

My best wishes go out to you, your family, colleagues, customers, service users and neighbourhoods, for a fairer, smarter 2014. I look forward to meeting and working with you this coming year of the horse. Lets be thoroughbreds!

You can link with me on LinkedIn here - It would be great to connect !

Read on to, UKHousings next new kid on the block, Cx,

Gary Numan - It Must Have Been Years .

(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting 07854-655009

PS As usual, if there are subjects you might like me to tackle on this blog, please get in touch and let me know!

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