Thursday, 23 October 2014

The Last One Standing

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @hotpixUK
or LinkedIn here http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy

Well that's never happened to me before!

At the Orchard Housing conference (Theme, "Improving Lives Together"), near COV this week, there was one of those "Stay standing if....", type moments. After all Promaster, Orchard Housing customers and exhibitors had sat down, Ian Shard and Nick Lambert were looking at me standing up alone, in a room of about 350 people. For once, I was lost for words, but to his credit, later he did recognise me as this housing ICT blogger. I am sure next time he will be adding another category just for me, perhaps 'housing bloggers' or 'critical friends' 8-)

 I felt honoured that Orchard had extended their hospitality to me and it was great to meet up with a good half dozen or more of Tweeters, Linkedin'ers and followers of this blog, as well as a lot of great Orchard folk, I have known for many years.


As you know I bang on about housing users getting along to events such as this. Indeed, when I was at the old shop, I did it there. I remember failing to persuade someone who is now an Orchard customer (you know who you are..), to travel the 36 miles from Yeadon to Burnley.  Regardless of that being a trip across tha' Pennines, crossing to an old enemy, they would have got a lot out of engaging with their supplier and peers. That is the point at the end of the day.

I attended many sessions, but two really resonated with me. The first from SevernVale was a fabulous story of transformation. A journey which needed more sales and management skills to turn a situation around, than ICT ones. It made me smile as I am currently working with two customers like SevernVale, different suppliers than Orchard, but the same issues. I don't have to highlight them for you, but it's the same-old, same-old lack of upgrades, not switching on new features or keeping up training and not engaging with your account manager or wider contacts.

I haven't got fingers for the number of organisations have got me in to chuck out a housing management system, but I have got enough thumbs, for the ones that actually needed to. it often takes a re-launch and re-engagement project to put the perkiness back into your processes and systems, often a critical friend working with you and your supplier, is the way to do it.

Lunch was not my second session I was going to rave about, although those creamy ├ęclairs deserve a name-check. Other smaller HMS suppliers take note, quality of deserts IMHO can make or break an event sometimes!

No, the session I really enjoyed was the Cisco IoT (Internet of Things) one. A quite techie one, but something that fired the imagination. Funnily enough in my backyard in Warrington, CISCOs HaaS (Heathcare as a Service). Warrington CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) buys NHS care for the people of Warrington. They are made up of 26 Warrington GP practices and have a £239m budget to get the best health outcomes possible – Excellence for Warrington. The CCG governing body is mostly made up of local GPs, doctors and nurses. Warrington are partnering with Cisco on the first European proof of concept for HaaS.

The IoT is likely to see delivery of security, lighting, StONE (High Street Online Networked Environment) and Rail station and infrastructure, all being attempted to be delivered as a service. Some of these innovations provide 'clever data' rather than 'big data', as was described in the session. An innovation hub, in London's North Greenwich Peninsula has been set up by CISCO and so the presenter Gareth mentioned, we were all invited to drop in. That's off the Jubilee line, in case you were wondering.

Next events up in the conference season are the DRS conference user group event in Chester, next month, followed by the NHF IT at London Olympia & Manchester Central. If you are there, email or DM me, be great to say hello *waves*.

Related Post: Some great presentations at this Orchard conference, but how do you prepare to present one well?

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You can link with me on LinkedIn here - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy It would be great to connect !

Ladytron - The Last One StandingLadytron - The Last One Standing.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009

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