Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Reference

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

How often in life do we ‘ask a friend’ to get some impartial advice or opinions on something we are planning to do or buy?

It can be fantastically useful in confirming our feelings or stoking up our fears of making a mistake, one which maybe we would better want to avoid. We are used to following references when looking to employ new staff and occasionally provide one. In the case of employees and employers, its often more telling when people refuse to provide any reference, good or bad.

So how important are references, when choosing/procuring new application solutions?

Often its easier to find some useful references prior to a procurement, rather than during or afterwards. Procurement professionals will generally cite ‘references’ quite rightly as being part of ‘looking back’ in the tender process, rather than ‘looking forward’ as per the ITT, hence dissuade doing scoring on references. This often frustrates clients I have worked with, although as I will come on to later, maybe for scoring, references are less inciteful than you might expect. When spending six or seven figure sums on new systems, its natural to want to get reference insights.

Taking reference insights from people you trust, rather than ones that suppliers connect you to, are generally more useful to you. Often with systems applications and software, organisations rarely want to talk about bad decisions they made. This is not helped by suppliers writing up a case study, almost before the ink is dry on the finalised contract. A story you read in Housing Technology magazine three years ago, might not have actually gone live as yet. I see many types of projects, including a good few across a wide range of software suppliers, who have an interesting story behind them. As a critical friend to my clients, I do my best working to prevent repeat of those mistakes wherever possible.    

We are all used to suppliers regaling us with PowerPoint slides packed with their customer logos, at the start of their demonstration pitches. The unaware might reasonably assume that any of those sites with a logo, might make a good reference site. Many reading this will be familiar recognising a logo and knowing work or social contacts at that site. Often even at this stage the pitch isn’t reflecting known solutions in use. The precise question to probably ask, is which of these has been live for a while on precisely the product/version being pitched, plus another option currently implementing that is nearly at go-live.

Skip these precise questions and you might well get in contact with a reference, although not one that reflects what is being pitched. I have seen lots of examples where the only reference site that has been pitched, that was just starting to implement. One client I worked with had this experience and never got the solution working effectively. Strangely enough, I knew people at the site they visited and could reassure my client that they never really got it working either! Its no laughing matter, as public money was wasted at both sites. Tenant improvements, like new kitchens, bathrooms and rewires, that never took place, as that budget was squandered on poor ICT instead.

When reference sites make themselves available, they generally are rewarded with freebies, such as free development days etc. So it is in their interests to participate. It was the same at my old shop, even fans of the solutions, still picked up a free onsite or development day. Beware when the same reference sites are used time after time. These might be the only sites actually live or seeing significant rewards. Its not unusual for these sites to eventually start to refuse to be reference sites, particularly where they might start to struggle to see progress with their problems or development/roadmap issues.

When I was MD at a major HMS software supplier, back about nine years ago, often I would respond to tenders that asked for 3 reference sites. At that time, I and my team put so much effort into customer care, I was confident enough to respond with three matched ones, plus the full customer list, for prospects to contact anyone they like. How many application/solution providers these days might offer that to you? Do ask the question, see how confident your supplier really is!

With reference sites, firstly work to find a reference site similar to yourselves (not way smaller, or nowhere near experienced enough in the solution being considered). Beware the difference between cloud hosted and on-premise versions of the solution under consideration, particularly as is common these days, you are looking for full cloud hosting.

Expect the reference site to be positive about the supplier and solution. However, key questions to tease out how long the solution actually took to implement, problems/issues and importantly how they were resolved by the supplier, should be key. Many insights can be learned from references, particularly around how they tackled data migration, composition of the project or subject matter team etc.

Never skimp on contacting reference sites thoroughly. This element of the process is easier than ever, with the plethora of remote options available, so there is less excuse than ever. Also, if procuring, this reference site could become your ongoing peer and friend with the solution, so invaluable in terms of starting your organisations' networking, to get the best from the selected solution.  

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Related Post: What questions should you be asking suppliers in your procurements?


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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Sainté - ReferenceSainté - Reference.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


Access a quick list of our Social Housing ICT blog posts here

Could we help you or your organisation? Our contact details are here , get in touch we will be pleased to chat about your problems and help with your organisation issues.


File Under: #HomesForBritain,#HousingDAY,#InternetOfTenants,#Shout,#UKHousing, 07854655009, 1st Touch,1stTouch,360,365Agile,3squared,4Js, ACL,ALMO,AMS,AX,Aareon,Abritas,Academy,Accuserv,Accuserve,Active Housing,ActiveH,ActiveHousing,Acutence,Advanced,Agile,Agile365,AirWatch,Alfresco,Alignment,Allpay,Amazon Web Services,Anite,Apex,App,ArchHouse,Archouse,Arthur Online,Asprey e-state pro,Asset Management,Associates,Aurora,Average IT Costs,AWI SX Integration Toolkit,AWS, BI,BO,BPR,BancTec,BigChange,Blockwise,BluTek,Bluebox,Blueprint,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning,Business Process Review,Business social networking,Bynaric, CACI,Capita One Housing,CBL,CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,CEDRM,CHICS,CHR,CIH,CMS,COA,CORE,CPL,CRM,CRM2013,CRS,CTI,CTX,Cadcorp,Capita,CapitaOne,Capita One,Capital Management,Cashflow,Castle,Castleton,Castleton Technology,Cedar Open Accounts,Cerrus,Change,Charges,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, Citrix,Civica,Civica CTX,Civica Cx,Civica Genero,Civica Saffron,Clearview,Clik,Cloud Dialogs,CloudDialogs,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Commontime,Community Reward Services,Company,Competitive Dialogue process,Component Accounting,Consilium,Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Consultants,Contact Manager,Context,Contractor Systems,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,Crystal Reports,Customer Relationship Management,Cx, DRS,Deeplake,Designer Software,Development Systems,Director,Document,Documotive,Docuware,Dynamic AI,DynamicAI,Dynamics 365,D365,Dynamics365, ECMK,EDM,EDRMS,ERP,ESRI,Elmhurst,Enghouse Interactive,England,English,EnterpriseBI,Estatecraft,Etive,Exhibition,Exponential-e, Facebook,Factorwise,Field Service management,Finance,Financial Systems,Financials,Fixflow,Footprint,Forms,Freezes,Fusion,Firmstep, Gas Tag,G-Cloud,Goss Interactive,GCloud,GDPR,GGP,GIS,GasTag,Genero,GeoSolveIT,Getting best from,GoTonySmith,Grasp,Grip,Group Apex,Granicus,GOSS HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,HRA,Hardware,Hitachi Systems,Hitex,HomeMaster,Hometeam,HouSys,House,Housemark,Housemark survey,Housing,Housing Contact,Housing Group,Housing Insight,Housing Management,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Partners,Housing Portfolio Management System,Hub Asset Management,Homeswapper,Housing jigsaw, Housing Support Pro,HousingIT,HousingSupportPro,HyperOptic, IMS,IT,IT Budget,IT Training,ITIL,Impact Response,In,In4,IEG4,In4Systems,Illumar, Promaster,InfoBoss,InHouse,InMotion,InMotion2015,InMotion2016,InfoBoss,Infoflow,Information,Information Technology,Information@Work components,Informix,Innovation, Informetis,Inphase,Inside Housing,Insight,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Invu,Ireland,Irish,itLab, Keyfax,Keylogic,Keypera,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera, Landlord,Ledgers,Linkedin,Liquid,Locality,Localz,Liberty,LowCode, M3,MAVIS,MD,MDM,MI,MIS,MIS-AMS,MISCS,MRI,MS Dynamics,MRI,MS Dynamics CRM2011,Microsoft365,microsoft 365,MWL,Management,Management Server,Manifest,Measuring,Mebus,Microsoft Dynamics 365,Microsoft dynamics GP 2013,Miracle,MobileIron,Mobysoft,Monopoly board images and pictures,Montal,Mr Void,MriEngage,MrVoid,MRI Socialhousing,MRISocialhousing, NDL,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,NPS,NPS ASSIST,NPS Housing,NPS Job Manager Mobile,NROSH,Natural,Neighbourhoods and Communities,Nintexworkflow,Northgate,Northgate Codeman,Northgate Public Services,necsws,Notice,Netcall,Netcall Liberty,NEC Software Solutions OA,OGC Buying Solutions,OJEU Limits,ORS,Ohms,OmFax,Omniledger,One,OneAdvanced,OneServe,Open source,OpenContractor,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Options,Optitime,Oracle,Orchard,Outsource and outsourcing,OutSystems, PIMMS,PIMSS Data,PM,PRINCE2,Paloma,Pamwin,PanConnect,People Value,Peoplevalue,PfH,Pick,PlanForm,Planned maintenance,Plenfific,Plus,Portfolio Management System,PowerObjects,Pro,Pro-Points,Prodo,Progress,Promaster,Propoints,Proval,Providers,Pyramid, QL,QuantSpark,Qube,QLX,Qlikview,QueryView,Queryview reporting,Quiss, RM865,ROCC,RPs,RSL,Rave,ReAct,Reality,RedkiteCRM,Red Olive,Registered,Registered Social,Rent Increase,RentSense,RentSenseLite,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,RobotAutomation,Rocket, Salesforce,Salesforce.Org,SAP,SASSHA,SDM,SHBVN,SM,SOTI,SP,SQL,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting,SQL Server,Saffron,Safron,Saturn,Scenario,Scotland,Scots,Scottish,Scout,Sequoa,Serengeti,Serros,Server,Service,Services,Servitor,Sharepoint,Sim,SimPro, Simdel,Simdell,Slash and Burn,Social Housing ICT,Social Housing Software Applications,Social Media,Software,Software solutions,Spotlight Service,Spotlightservice,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic,SunAccounts,Sunguard,Surveys,Streetwise, Swordfish,Sx3,Symatrix Human,System alignment,Systems,Systemwise, T-Files,TEAMS,TED,TFiles,TP Tracker,TSG,Tagish Casework,Tagra,Task,TAIM,Technologies (India) PVT Limited,Telecetera,Template,Terminal Services,That,Three Star,Today,Tony Smith,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT,TonySmithHou,TonySmithHousing, ,TonySmithHousingITguy,Total,Total 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. . . . . . . . . . . .
 

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

(1st) Touch (has gone)

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

Many mobile working solutions within Social Housing, have often been linked by a quite extreme umbilical cord, to its founders. 

Examples include Microsurveys that was linked only to Codeman, Total Mobile forms that was very linked to the other TM product stack, there was that strange thing created to link with Orchard way back (South View?), OpenMobile, Footprint?, plus does anyone remember ‘Wrekin Hand-e-work’? Apologies if anyone has experienced any unpleasant flashbacks there!

Its been a long tortuous road no doubt. But isn’t that the case when tech is settling down? You know, from GPRS to 3G, to 4G, 5G to goodness knows where?

One solution that was (for a long time anyway) pretty independent, managed a good sized footprint in Social Housing. 1st Touch, emerging from the uni-campus blocks in Southampton, it was free to be sold into all kinds of situations. Examples include with ROCC, Accuserv and other products for contractor applications, as well as with Aareon social housing products, the organisation who finally bought them out.

I was involved with quite meaty projects involving 1st Touch myself over the last six years and even suffered a three day (of my life I will never get back), training course to design forms and workflow. Which I have to be fair, was extremely flexible. With sufficient imagination and experience of Javascript, HTML, advice avec Roy Ménage à trois, you could achieve most things. A great little product, praise where its due.

Once Aareon purchased 1st Touch, they looked to have improved integrations into QLX Housing (or ERP as I often hear it described these days), and I know a number of recent satisfied customers. Unfortunately, as with any product purchase/buyout it often polarises competitors, who may decide to change tack, from past alliances. Early QLX adopters clearly encountered some challenges from what I have seen. Although as I would suggest to any of my customers looking to be application/software early adopters, as in those wild west cowboy films, pioneers generally suffer/die with arrows in their backs. If any of my clients wish to die that way, I do regard it as my duty to warn them first of the risk element.

The recent surprise with 1st Touch, is the newly announced end of life after October 2022, apparently due to MS Silverlight being used extensively in the forms designer. I remember a procurement in 2015 where Silverlight was identified and a forms designer rewrite was due by 2017. A rewrite like so many others on roadmaps, that never occurred. So much for software supplier roadmaps.


Of course, if the forms designer (Management Studio) requires no internal tweaking of forms, it no longer runs and Silverlight, no longer a significant vulnerability. Bear that in mind if you have 1st Touch now.

I have more than one current client, to who this poses a problem and are predictably cracking on with considering alternatives. A future migration product has been proposed, ‘Versaa’ (also a brand of Fitbit, although no-one is suggesting a Fitbit sized device will be sufficient for housing management and contractor solutions. So that might be an unfortunate name chosen there..). Versaa on the upside is promised to provide an enhanced workflow designer to be BPMN2 compliant, hopefully providing flowchart drag and drop support. There is a suggested migration path from 1st Touch to Versaa. Where sophisticated integrations and parsing of data is necessary, clearly we are unlikely to be looking at ‘drag & drop’ or ‘low-code’ here.

Software re-writes rarely come cheap, so inevitably some additional costs coming down the line too, for existing customers. Many QLX customers may well also be quite heavily embedded into 1st Touch mobile and its tenant app. Lets hope the replacement is a brand new product as promoted. A bit of tweaking around the edges, should not be a costly repurcase. Lets hope thats not what to expect here.


I have also already been asked by more than one contact, “what alternatives, can we easily drop in here to replace this Tony”?

It’s not an easy question to answer. There are plenty of options with rich form functionality, but the Achilles Heal as ever is integration. That is where complication creeps in.      

Are you an existing 1st Touch customer? What are your plans? Will you be a pioneer or follow later with the ‘Women and Children’ like in the cowboy films later, in the ‘Covered Wagons’? Feel free to get in touch with your thoughts and lets see where we are in October 2022(!). As ever, feel free to get in touch with questions or if looking for help and advice.

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Related Post: What other mobile solutions recently changed hands?


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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Magazine – Touch and GoMagazine – Touch and Go.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


Access a quick list of our Social Housing ICT blog posts here

Could we help you or your organisation? Our contact details are here , get in touch we will be pleased to chat about your problems and help with your organisation issues.


File Under: #HomesForBritain,#HousingDAY,#InternetOfTenants,#Shout,#UKHousing, 07854655009, 1st Touch,1stTouch,360,365Agile,3squared,4Js, ACL,ALMO,AMS,AX,Aareon,Abritas,Academy,Accuserv,Accuserve,Active Housing,ActiveH,ActiveHousing,Acutence,Advanced,Agile,Agile365,AirWatch,Alfresco,Alignment,Allpay,Amazon Web Services,Anite,Apex,App,ArchHouse,Archouse,Arthur Online,Asprey e-state pro,Asset Management,Associates,Aurora,Average IT Costs,AWI SX Integration Toolkit,AWS, BI,BO,BPR,BancTec,BigChange,Blockwise,BluTek,Bluebox,Blueprint,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning,Business Process Review,Business social networking,Bynaric, CACI,Capita One Housing,CBL,CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,CEDRM,CHICS,CHR,CIH,CMS,COA,CORE,CPL,CRM,CRM2013,CRS,CTI,CTX,Cadcorp,Capita,CapitaOne,Capita One,Capital Management,Cashflow,Castle,Castleton,Castleton Technology,Cedar Open Accounts,Cerrus,Change,Charges,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, Citrix,Civica,Civica CTX,Civica Cx,Civica Genero,Civica Saffron,Clearview,Clik,Cloud Dialogs,CloudDialogs,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Commontime,Community Reward Services,Company,Competitive Dialogue process,Component Accounting,Consilium,Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Consultants,Contact Manager,Context,Contractor Systems,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,Crystal Reports,Customer Relationship Management,Cx, DRS,Deeplake,Designer Software,Development Systems,Director,Document,Documotive,Docuware,Dynamic AI,DynamicAI,Dynamics 365,D365,Dynamics365, ECMK,EDM,EDRMS,ERP,ESRI,Elmhurst,Enghouse Interactive,England,English,EnterpriseBI,Estatecraft,Etive,Exhibition,Exponential-e, Facebook,Factorwise,Field Service management,Finance,Financial Systems,Financials,Fixflow,Footprint,Forms,Freezes,Fusion,Firmstep, Gas Tag,G-Cloud,Goss Interactive,GCloud,GDPR,GGP,GIS,GasTag,Genero,GeoSolveIT,Getting best from,GoTonySmith,Grasp,Grip,Group Apex,Granicus,GOSS HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,HRA,Hardware,Hitachi Systems,Hitex,HomeMaster,Hometeam,HouSys,House,Housemark,Housemark survey,Housing,Housing Contact,Housing Group,Housing Insight,Housing Management,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Partners,Housing Portfolio Management System,Hub Asset Management,Homeswapper,Housing jigsaw, Housing Support Pro,HousingIT,HousingSupportPro,HyperOptic, IMS,IT,IT Budget,IT Training,ITIL,Impact Response,In,In4,IEG4,In4Systems,Illumar, Promaster,InfoBoss,InHouse,InMotion,InMotion2015,InMotion2016,InfoBoss,Infoflow,Information,Information Technology,Information@Work components,Informix,Innovation, Informetis,Inphase,Inside Housing,Insight,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Invu,Ireland,Irish,itLab, Keyfax,Keylogic,Keypera,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera, Landlord,Ledgers,Linkedin,Liquid,Locality,Localz,Liberty,LowCode, M3,MAVIS,MD,MDM,MI,MIS,MIS-AMS,MISCS,MRI,MS Dynamics,MRI,MS Dynamics CRM2011,Microsoft365,microsoft 365,MWL,Management,Management Server,Manifest,Measuring,Mebus,Microsoft Dynamics 365,Microsoft dynamics GP 2013,Miracle,MobileIron,Mobysoft,Monopoly board images and pictures,Montal,Mr Void,MriEngage,MrVoid,MRI Socialhousing,MRISocialhousing, NDL,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,NPS,NPS ASSIST,NPS Housing,NPS Job Manager Mobile,NROSH,Natural,Neighbourhoods and Communities,Nintexworkflow,Northgate,Northgate Codeman,Northgate Public Services,necsws,Notice,Netcall,Netcall Liberty,NEC Software Solutions OA,OGC Buying Solutions,OJEU Limits,ORS,Ohms,OmFax,Omniledger,One,OneAdvanced,OneServe,Open source,OpenContractor,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Options,Optitime,Oracle,Orchard,Outsource and outsourcing,OutSystems, PIMMS,PIMSS Data,PM,PRINCE2,Paloma,Pamwin,PanConnect,People Value,Peoplevalue,PfH,Pick,PlanForm,Planned maintenance,Plenfific,Plus,Portfolio Management System,PowerObjects,Pro,Pro-Points,Prodo,Progress,Promaster,Propoints,Proval,Providers,Pyramid, QL,QuantSpark,Qube,QLX,Qlikview,QueryView,Queryview reporting,Quiss, RM865,ROCC,RPs,RSL,Rave,ReAct,Reality,RedkiteCRM,Red Olive,Registered,Registered Social,Rent Increase,RentSense,RentSenseLite,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,RobotAutomation,Rocket, Salesforce,Salesforce.Org,SAP,SASSHA,SDM,SHBVN,SM,SOTI,SP,SQL,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting,SQL Server,Saffron,Safron,Saturn,Scenario,Scotland,Scots,Scottish,Scout,Sequoa,Serengeti,Serros,Server,Service,Services,Servitor,Sharepoint,Sim,SimPro, Simdel,Simdell,Slash and Burn,Social Housing ICT,Social Housing Software Applications,Social Media,Software,Software solutions,Spotlight Service,Spotlightservice,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic,SunAccounts,Sunguard,Surveys,Streetwise, Swordfish,Sx3,Symatrix Human,System alignment,Systems,Systemwise, T-Files,TEAMS,TED,TFiles,TP Tracker,TSG,Tagish Casework,Tagra,Task,TAIM,Technologies (India) PVT Limited,Telecetera,Template,Terminal Services,That,Three Star,Today,Tony Smith,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT,TonySmithHou,TonySmithHousing, ,TonySmithHousingITguy,Total,Total Mobile,Totalmobile,Trace,Tribal,Twitter,Tilt,TiltAffinity,Tilt Property Software, U2,UC,UK,UK Housing,Ukhousing,UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,United Kingdom,Universal,Universalcredit,Universe,Unrest, Valueworks,Van Stock,Vantage,Vantage Sentinel,Version,Virtualisation,Visualmetrics,Voice,Voice and data,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Wheatley,Windows Server,Workflow and,Work Hub,Works Connect, XML,Xen App,XenApp,Xmbrace, ...
. . . . . . . . . . . .

Friday, 27 August 2021

Reduced to Ashes

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

Its good to get exactly what you thought you were procuring. That is very attractive as you are then more likely to be paying what was originally budgeted. That’s not an unreasonable aspiration and one naturally I often find myself working to, in procurements.

I have worked both sides of the fence and I know of many instances of ‘de-scoping’, both positive and negative. In the former, the de-scope may be down to limitations on the client side. Good examples may be unforeseen events (floods, pregnancy, organisation changes like merger etc). These all happen from time to time and often a de-scope, maybe an extension of the project, may well be needed and the sensible option. Often it’s the only option.

Negative de-scoping is when the supplier is forcing a change, for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes valid, most times for some of the following reasons.

Product or module not actually available or fit for purpose. Where software is concerned, this is quite a common one. Have you been sold something that was no where being developed or started and never been finished? If it makes you feel better, this is not an exception, its almost custom and practice! If you cannot find a reference customer running what you are having proposed, its likely you may/will be the guinea pig for this new piece of blue sky development. Or development on a mythical roadmap.

This can be a big surprise if we think we have bought a low-risk solution. Risk is all about your project having the possibility to take way longer (not 12 months, but maybe 2,3,4 years), than anticipated. Also, longer projects are way more expensive and need staff seconded from their day jobs, way longer than originally planned. So they are not often desirable.

What if certain modules or elements are not ready as yet? Well question, how much is missing? If its 10-15%, maybe (if these are not priority items), is perhaps livable. More than that, you need to be evaluating what crumbs you are receiving. Here’s an example. I worked with a client promised a housing system, EDRMS, Mobile working and Self-service portal for residents. While costs were racking up, it was evident that only an aging housing system and EDRMS might be delivered. So, perhaps 40% or less. As could be guessed, the client and their board was less than pleased.

Inevitably, lack of delivery now, can only be more expensive in the future.

There is plenty that can be done early on in a procurement to mitigate this unplanned stuff. Ask the right questions, tie deliverables into payment milestones or significant contract penalties. Certainly, where you can, unsure you are using a Framework contract, or your own for maximum protection.

If in your project, the de-scoping feels like the thin end of the wedge, it’s probably time to call a halt and reassess your options. It should never get to that point, but unfortunately sales people can be over-optimistic, or be less than 100% with the truth. These projects are often recoverable, or sometimes as a Critical Friend I have helped client organisations choose a more effective pathway to a coherent project.

Don’t suffer or de-scope in silence – you and your organisation doesn’t have to!

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Related Post: What makes for a great reconciliation ?


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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Reduced To Ashes – RTAReduced To Ashes – RTA.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


Access a quick list of our Social Housing ICT blog posts here

Could we help you or your organisation? Our contact details are here , get in touch we will be pleased to chat about your problems and help with your organisation issues.


File Under: #HomesForBritain,#HousingDAY,#InternetOfTenants,#Shout,#UKHousing, 07854655009, 1st Touch,1stTouch,360,365Agile,3squared,4Js, ACL,ALMO,AMS,AX,Aareon,Abritas,Academy,Accuserv,Accuserve,Active Housing,ActiveH,ActiveHousing,Acutence,Advanced,Agile,Agile365,AirWatch,Alfresco,Alignment,Allpay,Amazon Web Services,Anite,Apex,App,ArchHouse,Archouse,Asprey e-state pro,Asset Management,Associates,Aurora,Average IT Costs,AWI SX Integration Toolkit,AWS, BI,BO,BPR,BancTec,BigChange,Blockwise,BluTek,Bluebox,Blueprint,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning,Business Process Review,Business social networking, CACI,Capita One Housing,CBL,CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,CEDRM,CHICS,CHR,CIH,CMS,COA,CORE,CPL,CRM,CRM2013,CRS,CTI,CTX,Cadcorp,Capita,CapitaOne,Capita One,Capital Management,Cashflow,Castle,Castleton,Castleton Technology,Cedar Open Accounts,Cerrus,Change,Charges,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, Citrix,Civica,Civica CTX,Civica Cx,Civica Genero,Civica Saffron,Clearview,Clik,Cloud Dialogs,CloudDialogs,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Commontime,Community Reward Services,Company,Competitive Dialogue process,Component Accounting,Consilium,Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Consultants,Contact Manager,Context,Contractor Systems,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,Crystal Reports,Customer Relationship Management,Cx, DRS,Deeplake,Designer Software,Development Systems,Director,Document,Documotive,Docuware,Dynamic AI,DynamicAI,Dynamics 365,D365,Dynamics365, ECMK,EDM,EDRMS,ERP,ESRI,Elmhurst,Enghouse Interactive,England,English,EnterpriseBI,Estatecraft,Etive,Exhibition,Exponential-e, Facebook,Factorwise,Field Service management,Finance,Financial Systems,Financials,Fixflow,Footprint,Forms,Freezes,Fusion,Firmstep, Gas Tag,G-Cloud,Goss Interactive,GCloud,GDPR,GGP,GIS,GasTag,Genero,GeoSolveIT,Getting best from,GoTonySmith,Grasp,Grip,Group Apex,Granicus,GOSS HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,HRA,Hardware,Hitachi Systems,Hitex,HomeMaster,Hometeam,HouSys,House,Housemark,Housemark survey,Housing,Housing Contact,Housing Group,Housing Insight,Housing Management,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Partners,Housing Portfolio Management System,Hub Asset Management,Homeswapper,Housing jigsaw, Housing Support Pro,HousingIT,HousingSupportPro,HyperOptic, IMS,IT,IT Budget,IT Training,ITIL,Impact Response,In,In4,IEG4,In4Systems Promaster,InfoBoss,InHouse,InMotion,InMotion2015,InMotion2016,InfoBoss,Infoflow,Information,Information Technology,Information@Work components,Informix,Innovation, Informetis,Inphase,Inside Housing,Insight,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Invu,Ireland,Irish,itLab, Keyfax,Keylogic,Keypera,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera, Landlord,Ledgers,Linkedin,Liquid,Locality,Localz,Liberty,LowCode, M3,MAVIS,MD,MDM,MI,MIS,MIS-AMS,MISCS,MRI,MS Dynamics,MRI,MS Dynamics CRM2011,Microsoft365,microsoft 365,MWL,Management,Management Server,Manifest,Measuring,Mebus,Microsoft Dynamics 365,Microsoft dynamics GP 2013,Miracle,MobileIron,Mobysoft,Monopoly board images and pictures,Montal,Mr Void,MriEngage,MrVoid,MRI Socialhousing,MRISocialhousing, NDL,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,NPS,NPS ASSIST,NPS Housing,NPS Job Manager Mobile,NROSH,Natural,Neighbourhoods and Communities,Nintexworkflow,Northgate,Northgate Codeman,Northgate Public Services,necsws,Notice,Netcall,Netcall Liberty,NEC Software Solutions OA,OGC Buying Solutions,OJEU Limits,ORS,Ohms,OmFax,Omniledger,One,OneAdvanced,OneServe,Open source,OpenContractor,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Options,Optitime,Oracle,Orchard,Outsource and outsourcing,OutSystems, PIMMS,PIMSS Data,PM,PRINCE2,Paloma,Pamwin,PanConnect,People Value,Peoplevalue,PfH,Pick,PlanForm,Planned maintenance,Plenfific,Plus,Portfolio Management System,PowerObjects,Pro,Pro-Points,Prodo,Progress,Promaster,Propoints,Proval,Providers,Pyramid, QL,QuantSpark,Qube,QLX,Qlikview,QueryView,Queryview reporting,Quiss, RM865,ROCC,RPs,RSL,Rave,ReAct,Reality,RedkiteCRM,Red Olive,Registered,Registered Social,Rent Increase,RentSense,RentSenseLite,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,RobotAutomation,Rocket, Salesforce,Salesforce.Org,SAP,SASSHA,SDM,SHBVN,SM,SOTI,SP,SQL,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting,SQL Server,Saffron,Safron,Saturn,Scenario,Scotland,Scots,Scottish,Scout,Sequoa,Serengeti,Serros,Server,Service,Services,Servitor,Sharepoint,Sim,SimPro, Simdel,Simdell,Slash and Burn,Social Housing ICT,Social Housing Software Applications,Social Media,Software,Software solutions,Spotlight Service,Spotlightservice,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic,SunAccounts,Sunguard,Surveys,Streetwise, Swordfish,Sx3,Symatrix Human,System alignment,Systems,Systemwise, T-Files,TEAMS,TED,TFiles,TP Tracker,TSG,Tagish Casework,Tagra,Task,TAIM,Technologies (India) PVT Limited,Telecetera,Template,Terminal Services,That,Three Star,Today,Tony Smith,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT,TonySmithHou,TonySmithHousing, ,TonySmithHousingITguy,Total,Total Mobile,Totalmobile,Trace,Tribal,Twitter, U2,UC,UK,UK Housing,Ukhousing,UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,United Kingdom,Universal,Universalcredit,Universe,Unrest, Valueworks,Van Stock,Vantage,Vantage Sentinel,Version,Virtualisation,Visualmetrics,Voice,Voice and data,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Wheatley,Windows Server,Workflow and,Work Hub,Works Connect, XML,Xen App,XenApp,Xmbrace, ...
. . . . . . . . . . . .

Monday, 16 August 2021

Together We Are Beautiful

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

As the many Social Housing providers, Councils, Contractors or Care & Support providers I work with are aware, I tend to get involved in a whole raft of projects. Sometimes I am the Critical Friend that helps procure the right new right system/application solution. Other times its where organisations have heard from peers of how I have helped recover failed projects/procurements. It’s sad to see in the latter, often a lot of time, public money and energy wasted. My view is that its all generally potentially recoverable. It would be better if it never happened in the first place, of course!

I was chatting this week with an ICT colleague at an organisation this week, who looks after aspects of another linked enterprise. We were talking about how much is often taken on trust in software procurements. They knew the strict methodology I generally use, which clearly identifies ‘what’s there and what’s not’ from tenderers. Organisations new to software procurement often don’t know the core questions to ask or can get blindsided by good sales and little much detail underneath.

Often people in the organisation looking to procure, even if within OJEU (or OJUK I guess after our Brexit), structure a procurement where much is based on ‘how the tenderer might supply x or y’, rather than what’s there right now or not. Where suppliers know they cannot actually supply a big chunk of what’s being asked for, or it might be future development, good sales folk will no doubt reach to play the ‘Partnership Card’. Nothing really as cheesy, as a supplier/tenderer telling you, “We see ourselves as a partner, not a vendor”.

“We will work with you as a ‘unique partnership’ and we will build this together, respecting each other and the buyer having a special position in creating something moulded around your needs. You will be strategic, showcase partner”. Wow that sounds good. Have you ever been offered that?

“Partnership”, is a bit overused during procurement, particularly where there are elements missing.

At one two-day demonstration, for a full new Contractor, Housing Management, Mobile, CRM & Self-service system, one system supplier (I wont be as rude as to name them or my 19k home client in Gods Own County - Yorkshire), banged on about partnership, for a full ten minutes at the intro. So far so good, we soon launched into the demo proper and there was a question about some innovation around supporting my clients Universal Credit customers. The response was swift, “That would be a change request”, from the same Sales Manager that had done the intro.

My response was very swift too, (as soon I could slip a word in edgewise), in asking “Would that be most likely free for us”?

The predictable answer back was, “If that was new functionality, it most likely would be chargeable”.

I replied, “But if we were to be working in that partnership you just outlined ten minutes ago, I would have expected something better. What you could you do for us? Could it be almost free of charge?”. He came back and said, “You must be joking”, or words to that effect. I replied, “Well you started it mate”!

Marriage is often a very common partnership and that one is made legally binding and occasionally, “Til death do us part”. If a supplier is expecting us to trust they will supply the 40%+ of the missing solution needed, “as a partnership”, then lets get it incorporated into a contract too then?

If they are wary of entering into some legal milestones, I would be very concerned and it would look very much like another supplier with a more complete solution, may well better get your project on time, with all the requisite fundamentals supplied on time. Most likely that other supplier option may well be more expensive, although carry much lower risk of non-delivery.

Also, what price expense?

For example, £80k (for example), may well sound a lot more to pay upfront, but what if it prevented 18 months of additional delay, that prevented 12 staff not being able to do their jobs efficiently for over a year? That cost may well easily exceed the £80k, plus extra admin possibly needed to fill in the gaps. You are maybe beginning to see the dangers of (non-contractual) software supplier partnerships.

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Related Post: 5G - Coming soon and very useful for Social Housing


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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Together we are beautiful- Fern KinneyTogether we are beautiful- Fern Kinney.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


Access a quick list of our Social Housing ICT blog posts here

Could we help you or your organisation? Our contact details are here , get in touch we will be pleased to chat about your problems and help with your organisation issues.


File Under: #HomesForBritain,#HousingDAY,#InternetOfTenants,#Shout,#UKHousing, 07854655009, 1st Touch,1stTouch,360,365Agile,3squared,4Js, ACL,ALMO,AMS,AX,Aareon,Abritas,Academy,Accuserv,Accuserve,Active Housing,ActiveH,ActiveHousing,Acutence,Advanced,Agile,Agile365,AirWatch,Alfresco,Alignment,Allpay,Amazon Web Services,Anite,Apex,App,ArchHouse,Archouse,Asprey e-state pro,Asset Management,Associates,Aurora,Average IT Costs,AWI SX Integration Toolkit,AWS, BI,BO,BPR,BancTec,BigChange,Blockwise,BluTek,Bluebox,Blueprint,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning,Business Process Review,Business social networking, CACI,Capita One Housing,CBL,CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,CEDRM,CHICS,CHR,CIH,CMS,COA,CORE,CPL,CRM,CRM2013,CRS,CTI,CTX,Cadcorp,Capita,CapitaOne,Capita One,Capital Management,Cashflow,Castle,Castleton,Castleton Technology,Cedar Open Accounts,Cerrus,Change,Charges,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, Citrix,Civica,Civica CTX,Civica Cx,Civica Genero,Civica Saffron,Clearview,Clik,Cloud Dialogs,CloudDialogs,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Commontime,Community Reward Services,Company,Competitive Dialogue process,Component Accounting,Consilium,Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Consultants,Contact Manager,Context,Contractor Systems,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,Crystal Reports,Customer Relationship Management,Cx, DRS,Deeplake,Designer Software,Development Systems,Director,Document,Documotive,Docuware,Dynamic AI,DynamicAI,Dynamics 365,D365,Dynamics365, ECMK,EDM,EDRMS,ERP,ESRI,Elmhurst,Enghouse Interactive,England,English,EnterpriseBI,Estatecraft,Etive,Exhibition,Exponential-e, Facebook,Factorwise,Field Service management,Finance,Financial Systems,Financials,Fixflow,Footprint,Forms,Freezes,Fusion,Firmstep, Gas Tag,G-Cloud,Goss Interactive,GCloud,GDPR,GGP,GIS,GasTag,Genero,GeoSolveIT,Getting best from,GoTonySmith,Grasp,Grip,Group Apex,Granicus,GOSS HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,HRA,Hardware,Hitachi Systems,Hitex,HomeMaster,Hometeam,HouSys,House,Housemark,Housemark survey,Housing,Housing Contact,Housing Group,Housing Insight,Housing Management,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Partners,Housing Portfolio Management System,Hub Asset Management,Homeswapper,Housing jigsaw, Housing Support Pro,HousingIT,HousingSupportPro,HyperOptic, IMS,IT,IT Budget,IT Training,ITIL,Impact Response,In,In4,IEG4,In4Systems Promaster,InfoBoss,InHouse,InMotion,InMotion2015,InMotion2016,InfoBoss,Infoflow,Information,Information Technology,Information@Work components,Informix,Innovation, Informetis,Inphase,Inside Housing,Insight,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Invu,Ireland,Irish,itLab, Keyfax,Keylogic,Keypera,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera, Landlord,Ledgers,Linkedin,Liquid,Locality,Localz,Liberty,LowCode, M3,MAVIS,MD,MDM,MI,MIS,MIS-AMS,MISCS,MRI,MS Dynamics,MRI,MS Dynamics CRM2011,Microsoft365,microsoft 365,MWL,Management,Management Server,Manifest,Measuring,Mebus,Microsoft Dynamics 365,Microsoft dynamics GP 2013,Miracle,MobileIron,Mobysoft,Monopoly board images and pictures,Montal,Mr Void,MriEngage,MrVoid,MRI Socialhousing,MRISocialhousing, NDL,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,NPS,NPS ASSIST,NPS Housing,NPS Job Manager Mobile,NROSH,Natural,Neighbourhoods and Communities,Nintexworkflow,Northgate,Northgate Codeman,Northgate Public Services,necsws,Notice,Netcall,Netcall Liberty,NEC Software Solutions OA,OGC Buying Solutions,OJEU Limits,ORS,Ohms,OmFax,Omniledger,One,OneAdvanced,OneServe,Open source,OpenContractor,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Options,Optitime,Oracle,Orchard,Outsource and outsourcing,OutSystems, PIMMS,PIMSS Data,PM,PRINCE2,Paloma,Pamwin,PanConnect,People Value,Peoplevalue,PfH,Pick,PlanForm,Planned maintenance,Plenfific,Plus,Portfolio Management System,PowerObjects,Pro,Pro-Points,Prodo,Progress,Promaster,Propoints,Proval,Providers,Pyramid, QL,QuantSpark,Qube,QLX,Qlikview,QueryView,Queryview reporting,Quiss, RM865,ROCC,RPs,RSL,Rave,ReAct,Reality,RedkiteCRM,Red Olive,Registered,Registered Social,Rent Increase,RentSense,RentSenseLite,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,RobotAutomation,Rocket, Salesforce,Salesforce.Org,SAP,SASSHA,SDM,SHBVN,SM,SOTI,SP,SQL,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting,SQL Server,Saffron,Safron,Saturn,Scenario,Scotland,Scots,Scottish,Scout,Sequoa,Serengeti,Serros,Server,Service,Services,Servitor,Sharepoint,Sim,SimPro, Simdel,Simdell,Slash and Burn,Social Housing ICT,Social Housing Software Applications,Social Media,Software,Software solutions,Spotlight Service,Spotlightservice,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic,SunAccounts,Sunguard,Surveys,Streetwise, Swordfish,Sx3,Symatrix Human,System alignment,Systems,Systemwise, T-Files,TEAMS,TED,TFiles,TP Tracker,TSG,Tagish Casework,Tagra,Task,TAIM,Technologies (India) PVT Limited,Telecetera,Template,Terminal Services,That,Three Star,Today,Tony Smith,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT,TonySmithHou,TonySmithHousing, ,TonySmithHousingITguy,Total,Total Mobile,Totalmobile,Trace,Tribal,Twitter, U2,UC,UK,UK Housing,Ukhousing,UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,United Kingdom,Universal,Universalcredit,Universe,Unrest, Valueworks,Van Stock,Vantage,Vantage Sentinel,Version,Virtualisation,Visualmetrics,Voice,Voice and data,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Wheatley,Windows Server,Workflow and,Work Hub,Works Connect, XML,Xen App,XenApp,Xmbrace, ...
. . . . . . . . . . . .

Monday, 9 August 2021

Open the Door to Self-Service

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

I get involved in a lot of Social Housing digital plans and strategies, particularly around self-service. Often I meet newbies to the process, who seem to think 90-95% take up of tenant self-service is possible, and others who basically are a little afraid to put a figure on it. ‘Just an improvement’.

Would that be enough and would it really motivate staff to ‘convert’ tenants to self-servers, if there was no target at all?

Now I think it’s very important to have great self-service tech with practical usability that means residents will choose it as a preferable channel to interact.

We choose Amazon and EasyJet because it works and it’s efficient. In other ways we have channel shifted because we were driven to by sticks, not carrots. We stopped using cheques because the banks stopped filling stations processing them, moving to cheaper credit/debit cards. We stopped walking into bank branches and using internet banking, because all the branches turned into coffee joints and wine bars.

I feel we can have better carrots in the sector, than harder sticks. My experience of suppliers in the sector, such as Hallnet with their Active Housing brand, show that done well, those carrots can be extremely tasty. I was telling someone just last week a story of a visit I made a few years back to Torus Housing Group and an experience in their foyer, in St Helens.

It was a busy morning and I joined a queue of seven residents, trying to get to reception. During the lengthy wait, the tenant in front of me started to chat with the guy in front and asked him, “what he was here for today?”. He replied he was “reporting a repair” and the other chap told him, “you don’t have to come here to do that, why not do it online?”. In the following 3 minutes, I watched him help his neighbour sign up, log his repair and then he was out the door!

So that was a story of carrots so good, residents were sharing them among themselves! How good would that be?

I recently had a chat with a contact at Active Housing, who provide the leading one-stop fully integrated self-service solution Active Portal, about how practically, Housing Providers can better introduce the self-service tech, to the benefit of their residents. They shared that comms is very important, as is involving your tenant panel and internal key stakeholders in the project, to ensure it’s easy to use and hits the spot of what residents want from self-service. At every touch point with the organisation, self-service as a time saver needs to be introduced. Where staff interact, rather than taking away a request to progress, they should be working as evangelists, to introduce residents to self-service, where they have smartphones or similar means to take advantage of it.


If you are like me, everyone or any company I ever work with, I go to their website first. Active Housing provide an easy means of picking up this traffic and are able to provide a short tailored video, for organisations to introduce the benefits of self-service to their customers. Check out this one here from one provider and their new responsive webportal MyPhoenix - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7i1n8U8eyQ8

Another really effective technique recommended by Active Housing, is to encourage clients to adopt an inbound call campaign. This is when a tenant calls (about anything at all) and the call handler signs them up for an account over the phone. ActiveHousing’s portal admin section has full support for this and the user still sets all their own login credentials to ensure security. It sounds old fashioned, but given they have to take the call anyway and organisations often have data issues which can prevent registration (eg incorrect Date of Birth’s), it's a proven but simple technique. 



Thinking back to my Torus experience, an important takeaway to share is that a degree of internal staff attitude and culture shift will be necessary. Reassure your Customer Services team that smaller might be better. Done well, this will cement behaviours for staff and reveal the benefits for a greater number of residents   



Checkout the best in self-service, with integration to multiple systems on the Hallnet Active Housing website here: https://www.activehousing.co.uk/

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Related Post: Effective Self-Service, a no brainer for all customers these days ?


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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Blues Cousins - Open the doorBlues Cousins - Open the door.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


Access a quick list of our Social Housing ICT blog posts here

Could we help you or your organisation? Our contact details are here , get in touch we will be pleased to chat about your problems and help with your organisation issues.


File Under: #HomesForBritain,#HousingDAY,#InternetOfTenants,#Shout,#UKHousing, 07854655009, 1st Touch,1stTouch,360,365Agile,3squared,4Js, ACL,ALMO,AMS,AX,Aareon,Abritas,Academy,Accuserv,Accuserve,Active Housing,ActiveH,ActiveHousing,Acutence,Advanced,Agile,Agile365,AirWatch,Alfresco,Alignment,Allpay,Amazon Web Services,Anite,Apex,App,ArchHouse,Archouse,Asprey e-state pro,Asset Management,Associates,Aurora,Average IT Costs,AWI SX Integration Toolkit,AWS, BI,BO,BPR,BancTec,BigChange,Blockwise,BluTek,Bluebox,Blueprint,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning,Business Process Review,Business social networking, CACI,Capita One Housing,CBL,CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,CEDRM,CHICS,CHR,CIH,CMS,COA,CORE,CPL,CRM,CRM2013,CRS,CTI,CTX,Cadcorp,Capita,CapitaOne,Capita One,Capital Management,Cashflow,Castle,Castleton,Castleton Technology,Cedar Open Accounts,Cerrus,Change,Charges,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, Citrix,Civica,Civica CTX,Civica Cx,Civica Genero,Civica Saffron,Clearview,Clik,Cloud Dialogs,CloudDialogs,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Commontime,Community Reward Services,Company,Competitive Dialogue process,Component Accounting,Consilium,Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Consultants,Contact Manager,Context,Contractor Systems,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,Crystal Reports,Customer Relationship Management,Cx, DRS,Deeplake,Designer Software,Development Systems,Director,Document,Documotive,Docuware,Dynamic AI,DynamicAI,Dynamics 365,D365,Dynamics365, ECMK,EDM,EDRMS,ERP,ESRI,Elmhurst,Enghouse Interactive,England,English,EnterpriseBI,Estatecraft,Etive,Exhibition,Exponential-e, Facebook,Factorwise,Field Service management,Finance,Financial Systems,Financials,Fixflow,Footprint,Forms,Freezes,Fusion,Firmstep, Gas Tag,G-Cloud,Goss Interactive,GCloud,GDPR,GGP,GIS,GasTag,Genero,GeoSolveIT,Getting best from,GoTonySmith,Grasp,Grip,Group Apex,Granicus,GOSS HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,HRA,Hardware,Hitachi Systems,Hitex,HomeMaster,Hometeam,HouSys,House,Housemark,Housemark survey,Housing,Housing Contact,Housing Group,Housing Insight,Housing Management,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Partners,Housing Portfolio Management System,Hub Asset Management,Homeswapper,Housing jigsaw, Housing Support Pro,HousingIT,HousingSupportPro,HyperOptic, IMS,IT,IT Budget,IT Training,ITIL,Impact Response,In,In4,IEG4,In4Systems Promaster,InfoBoss,InHouse,InMotion,InMotion2015,InMotion2016,InfoBoss,Infoflow,Information,Information Technology,Information@Work components,Informix,Innovation, Informetis,Inphase,Inside Housing,Insight,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Invu,Ireland,Irish,itLab,Illumar, Keyfax,Keylogic,Keypera,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera, Landlord,Ledgers,Linkedin,Liquid,Locality,Localz,Liberty,LowCode, M3,MAVIS,MD,MDM,MI,MIS,MIS-AMS,MISCS,MRI,MS Dynamics,MRI,MS Dynamics CRM2011,Microsoft365,microsoft 365,MWL,Management,Management Server,Manifest,Measuring,Mebus,Microsoft Dynamics 365,Microsoft dynamics GP 2013,Miracle,MobileIron,Mobysoft,Monopoly board images and pictures,Montal,Mr Void,MriEngage,MrVoid,MRI Socialhousing,MRISocialhousing, NDL,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,NPS,NPS ASSIST,NPS Housing,NPS Job Manager Mobile,NROSH,Natural,Neighbourhoods and Communities,Nintexworkflow,Northgate,Northgate Codeman,Northgate Public Services,Notice,Netcall,Netcall Liberty,NEC Software Solutions OA,OGC Buying Solutions,OJEU Limits,ORS,Ohms,OmFax,Omniledger,One,OneAdvanced,OneServe,Open source,OpenContractor,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Options,Optitime,Oracle,Orchard,Outsource and outsourcing,OutSystems, PIMMS,PIMSS Data,PM,PRINCE2,Paloma,Pamwin,PanConnect,People Value,Peoplevalue,PfH,Pick,PlanForm,Planned maintenance,Plenfific,Plus,Portfolio Management System,PowerObjects,Pro,Pro-Points,Prodo,Progress,Promaster,Propoints,Proval,Providers,Pyramid, QL,QuantSpark,Qube,QLX,Qlikview,QueryView,Queryview reporting,Quiss, RM865,ROCC,RPs,RSL,Rave,ReAct,Reality,RedkiteCRM,Red Olive,Registered,Registered Social,Rent Increase,RentSense,RentSenseLite,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,RobotAutomation,Rocket, Salesforce,Salesforce.Org,SAP,SASSHA,SDM,SHBVN,SM,SOTI,SP,SQL,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting,SQL Server,Saffron,Safron,Saturn,Scenario,Scotland,Scots,Scottish,Scout,Sequoa,Serengeti,Serros,Server,Service,Services,Servitor,Sharepoint,Sim,SimPro, Simdel,Simdell,Slash and Burn,Social Housing ICT,Social Housing Software Applications,Social Media,Software,Software solutions,Spotlight Service,Spotlightservice,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic,SunAccounts,Sunguard,Surveys,Streetwise, Swordfish,Sx3,Symatrix Human,System alignment,Systems,Systemwise, T-Files,TEAMS,TED,TFiles,TP Tracker,TSG,Tagish Casework,Tagra,Task,TAIM,Technologies (India) PVT Limited,Telecetera,Template,Terminal Services,That,Three Star,Today,Tony Smith,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT,TonySmithHou,TonySmithHousing, ,TonySmithHousingITguy,Total,Total Mobile,Totalmobile,Trace,Tribal,Twitter, U2,UC,UK,UK Housing,Ukhousing,UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,United Kingdom,Universal,Universalcredit,Universe,Unrest, Valueworks,Van Stock,Vantage,Vantage Sentinel,Version,Virtualisation,Visualmetrics,Voice,Voice and data,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Wheatley,Windows Server,Workflow and,Work Hub,Works Connect, XML,Xen App,XenApp,Xmbrace, ...
. . . . . . . . . . . .

Sunday, 4 July 2021

How Do Ya Fix a Broken Part

f you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @HousingITguy
or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy

There’s more than one way for customer services to take a repair request call, from a resident. I have guess I have seen most of them and recommended a few on occasion, to my CRM or DLO internal repairs system clients.

One aspect that often divides opinion, is do we need a generalist approach or a dedicated repairs reception. The latter works great where we have experienced repairs people, occasionally some of them have at some time, ‘been on the tools’. Think B&Q. Find a 55+ year old in aisle 16 and you will (potentially) walk away with the replacement security bolt (and fittings) of a lifetime. I think I did once!

The point is that we need to capture good quality data, ask the right questions and be consistent.

For the former, the logical historic go-to, was a graphical repairs diagnostic tool. You know the ones. Repairfinder, Keyfax, Locator, ActiveHousing, FixFlow etc. The last few of these are now pitched via browser & cloud these days, adding extra flexibility. The last in the list (FixFlow) was snapped up by European and UK Social Housing solution specialist ‘Aareon AG’ last month. "Fixflo customers will benefit from a significant increase in Fixflo’s research and development budget as its solutions form part of the roadmap for the wider Aareon group".

This is Aareon's second SaaS solution acquisition, just 6 months after private property manager Arthur Online. Is the new way to grow a successful housing software group, to buy in all the SaaS solutions, pre-built, rather than a software giant convert or build them themselves? [Discuss]. 


Its an interesting acquisition, however not an unexpected one, as Aareon QLF/QLX is migrating to Cloud and browser. A SaaS based graphical repairs diagnosis tool makes sense, however if you were a customer already with one of the other tools, does that mean a potential costly re-purchase or options for squeezing more life out of the existing kit could be available? Interesting times ahead maybe for those RSLs and Councils. ‘Everything in the Cloud’ is very seductive.

In a wider sense though, web-based and SaaS repairs diagnosis tools make sense. These could be priced based volume, i.e. on each diagnosis – pay as you go. Perhaps fairer for smaller RSLs and charities, as not big ticket initial capital outlay. Similar to the way some repair scheduling solutions can sometimes be charged for self-service.

Another big bonus of web/Cloud based repair diagnosis tools is they can be used in multiple settings. EG For customer services receiving repair requests, self-service in the resident portal, plus availability for use by repair operatives, creating follow-on/follow-up jobs. The mysterious ‘Doorstep Appointment’, that I have seen on supplier roadmaps for many years and occasionally in the wild.

A single tool that can be used, if desired, for up to three different settings, would be really useful. It would be great to see if that option emerges, from this Aareon acquisition, or from other players.

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Related Post: Asbestos management for Social Housing, how to apply tech to your data ?


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Iggy Pop - How Do Ya Fix a Broken PartIggy Pop - How Do Ya Fix a Broken Part.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


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