Friday, 23 May 2014

Turn To (Key)Stone

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One for the asset managers out there, using third party housing applications. Today (23rd May 2014) a marriage of two SQL Server and Silverlight centred packages was announced with UK's Civica snapping up Keystone Asset Management for an undisclosed sum. A housing software insider had mentioned as much to me a few months ago and swore me to secrecy.

It must be said that it's probably a better based marriage with more in common than Northgate/Codeman or Orchard/Promaster. So maybe not needing a pre-nup' this one. Two thoughts spring to mind for me. Firstly, will Capita or Aareon now snap up PIMMS, Asprey or Real Asset Management and secondly, will Keystone be now shaped into the new Cx HTML 'have it anywhere' format? Also, will Civica be as flexible with Keystone integration, now the product is joining its stable? Certainly it puts pressure on traditional HMS providers to up their game in their own 'built in' asset / planned maintenance modules.

On the Keystone website, Rob Hewes, Keystone’s Client Relationship Director said, “We are obviously delighted to have secured this new partnership with one of the leading providers in the housing management sector. Civica’s decision to partner with us endorses our commitment to excellence in product development and customer service, and reflects the reputation that we have worked hard to build in the marketplace. Equally, we are also delighted to be working with a software and services partner who matches our commitment to supplying closely integrated systems, delivering both innovation and cost savings to our mutual customers.”.

Keystone will certainly give Cx a quick 'leg-up' in the asset department, probably integrating quite easily.  Civica have of course recently worked with Keystone on pretty tight integration at St Leger (Doncaster) and Thames Valley. Both parties in the marriage were quoted when cutting the cake; Simon Dowling of Civica outlined the complementary skill sets, promising that customers will "do more, do better and spend less". Good news for finance directors then. Joshua Warren of Keystone outlined it was a "positive step for customers, partners and employees", while "continuing to respond to growing market needs".

I could guess that elements of Keystone will become 'Keystone-Lite' for Cx. If it were my baby, I would guess that Keystone tables could be populated for Cx, this giving users a leg up if they wish to go for a full blown version of Keystone, with all the bolt on possibilities, Component Accounting etc. I should see if Ladbrooks would give me odds on that one.....  

Its an acquisition I will watch quite closely. It will be interesting to see if Civica start to offer better value to customers (particularly UH (Universal Housing) ones and how both parties will share the marital home!

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

Read on to The end of the typewriter:

ELO - Turn To Stone .

(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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