Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Alone, Jealous and Stoned

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

I'm afraid to disappoint that this post is not a summary of my pandemic lockdown condition.

Many of us are feeling alone and jealous of those Kiwi’s and Aussies, enjoying their BBQ’s together in the sun, with minimal Coronavirus restrictions. You may too be enjoying a few more drugs of choice, whether that might be wine, the odd tipple or something tending more to the medicinal. Hopefully we are keeping our mental state stable and checking in on our friends & neighbours to ensure they are ok.

My subject in this post is more to do with the ‘alone’ than the ‘Jealous and Stoned’.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 (or just D365 as its increasingly referred to), is increasingly being sold as the modern antidote to your existing sluggish vertical supplier suppliers, you have suffered with and been overcharged from, for yonks.

Now its fair to say I have met quite a few social housing organisations, that feel that way. Possibly that they have been let down by existing supplier integrated solutions, or they have got so complex, even they at times, struggle to have consultants and implementers with broad enough skills/knowledge to get them working properly. 

Many organisations are quite middle of the road in reality and just crack on to use the horses for courses. Also, some of the ineffective solutions out there, can quite easily be the client, not the suppliers fault. Not many are happy if they are hiring me to point that out, but always honesty is the best policy, I find.

Microsoft resellers are targeting the sector pretty actively however and notching up some impressive wins. Whether all organisations totally understand what they are buying into at the outset is doubtful, although that’s perhaps a subject for another post later in the year.

Any D365 reseller worth his salt will always sell it on its CRM capabilities, a true thing of beauty. It should be, it’s a CRM platform after all! No one selling D365 will be banging on about its Rent Accounting capabilities. I have on occasion seen that questioned and occasionally MS Dynamics gets mentioned in passing. As anyone in socialhousing knows, a rent account is a few levels more sophisticated than a Sales Ledger Account. The other suggestion is often, “well just keep your rents  in your old HMS”. Takes me back to the 80’s, what did they say, “Shampoo and Conditioner”?

I thought the sales pitch was that “Your existing supplier is not giving you what you want, that’s why you need to swap to this”? Why then do we need to keep paying for a whole HMS, use just a little bit of it and have D365 over the top, doing its best to hide it from us?

For sites looking to minimise or remove the old HMS, then possibly it’s a hard learned lesson that you will still need a separate rent accounting and in some cases a repairs ordering module. This is becoming a new emerging requirement. Just getting those, relatively self-contained, with suitable API’s / integration, to connect seamlessly to D365, Salesforce, Netcall, Firmstep, IEG4 or whatever.

In work I have done recently, that’s not as easy a task as one might expect. Existing system options can come with all that ‘bloat’ of a big HMS platform, all those config days needed and perhaps getting it fully in the cloud (as most sites desire these days) can be pricy, as the off the shelf set up reflects taking a full HMS, not just one or two modules.

I am not criticising suppliers for this, its how they have been tooled up for the last decade. The future is being sold as SaaS, pay for what you use. It does need a re-think on the part of some suppliers, to compete at a sensible price point for CRM customers.

No-doubt we will be seeing more of this requirement and suppliers need to be aware of how they can offer very good product, that can be easily slotted into CRM quickly and at reasonable pricing. I for one would like to see more suppliers targeting this growing market, so providing more choice and range for RSL’s of from just 1,000 units to over 50,000.     

Clearly, those suppliers quick out of the blocks, have much to gain here.

Related Post: Have you and your team sussed it yet? Transformation is a marathon, not a sprint


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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.

The Secret Machines - Alone, Jealous, and StonedThe Secret Machines - Alone, Jealous, and Stoned.
(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,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 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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, 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 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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, ...
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Friday, 15 January 2021

Each Time I Tell People

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

This week I encountered in a conversation, a reference to a ‘database’, in an organisation with few specific application systems. On further investigation, (a simple, “Can you share your screen, so I can see your database”), all is revealed. What is being described is an Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet.

Now before we get fully into this post, I am not Excel-ist (or even spreadsheet-ist, if there are any Lotus SmartSuite users out there – Respect!). I am a big fan of Excel, but not for storing important data, like in a database.

I was considering just the other day, if I had £50 for every spreadsheet and each time I tell people, I had described as “not a database” or said, “stop using that spreadsheet as a database fella (he/she OBVs)”, I would have a substantial pension annuity built up by now. So many data manipulation functions have been added to Excel over a few decades, it provides a deceptive veneer. Add to that, the problem that 90% or more of spreadsheet users, have never had any formal training at all, just adds to the problem. Staff just in some cases do not understand that rows are best set up to be entities (eg each row a property, case, rent account etc, a column a particular value or field of a specific type).

Excel in the big maths scheme of things...

Many spreadsheets I see, could actually be easily transferred to Microsoft Word, with very little effort, with many people not even noticing, if a few tables were incorporated.

One big reason I hear from client staff, is that they maintain a spreadsheet because they can protect the data from the barbarians outside. In doing so, they become a silo, (although they are unlikely to twig that).

Reliance on Excel, often wastes a considerable amount of time and effort, often keeping certain staff members expert in their own silos.

My job is usually, (in the event that staff have not twigged it as yet!), is to extoll the virtues of a real database or application based on one and in most cases, transport them there as fast as possible.

So why migrate away from Excel? In contrast to Excel, databases allow users to only enter data once, as it offers the functionality to link other records together. Clearly, we might record a single asset and multiple complaints or anti-social behaviour events against it. Spreadsheets struggle with this kind of stuff.

When Excel contains more than a few hundred rows, users experience significant slowdowns. Databases utilise indexes and other means of speeding up access and reporting. Audit is generally easier too, where data can be (sometimes accidentally) lost in traditional spreadsheets. Many rows can trip up the biggest enterprises at times too!

Excel does provide sharing of a kind, although its not quite up to a proper database and often causes more problems than it actually solves. I have used Excel sharing occasionally successfully when with others scoring supplier demos, but you wouldn’t rely on running any organisation critical processes on it, believe me.

If you are reading this from a small organisation, running exclusively on Excel, you are probably overdue in giving me a call. Many small social housing providers do run on spreadsheets, many under 200 units in size and typically doubt that anyone like me would be interested in helping them organise better. In the last year, I have assisted housing providers managing 36, 160, 190 and 390 units, as well as the five to thirty thousand homes brigade. We can match suitable solutions to your needs.

If you are reading this from an organisation already with Integrated Housing Solutions and you have hundreds of spreadsheets still, perhaps you need help from a different direction. I have often helped teams with trust issues, or where additional useful and integrated functionality, can be squeezed out of existing solutions. Often the reasons for not using system modules (often already purchased and being paid for…), are sometimes tenuous. Convenience for a single team, can be over-valued beyond wider organisation integration and efficiency.  

In summary, I encounter spreadsheets usually as the rock in the road to transformation, rather than an enabler. Consider how you use spreadsheets in your organisation and consider if there should be a better way.

Related Post: Get your self-service right, or maybe come back when you can


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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.

Steve Gold – Each TimeSteve Gold – Each Time.
(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,Footprint,Forms,Freezes,Fusion, Gas Tag,G-Cloud,GCloud,GDPR,GGP,GIS,GasTag,Genero,GeoSolveIT,Getting best from,GoTonySmith,Grasp,Grip,Group Apex, 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,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, 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, 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, ...
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Friday, 8 January 2021

Smoke ‘Em

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

I am sure regular readers to my posts here, are familiar with my reflections on application software and how it differs markedly from real world product, such as the humble washing machine.

While we wouldn’t ask for a demo of a washing machine, in the real world we are used to having to check out details in bigger purchases. For house purchases, we generally engage a surveyor, because that is how our mortgage lender evaluates the value of the property we are about to purchase. When buying a car, particularly a used one, we drive it, we may even get the RAC or AA to do a proper check over it. For software (a £750k+ purchase), we might engage a Critical Friend, to ensure we are asking the right questions and will in practice get what’s being sold.

Software sales persons are often at the end of the ‘trust-worthiness scale’, together with politicians and estate agents. Using an analogy of the latter, some software has ‘potential’ (i.e. its not fully written yet), other options are like a ‘Do-er Upper’ (i.e. few reports come as standard and you will be working on those yourselves, like adding an extension or an indoor bathroom). ‘Professionals only’, well, maybe set up screens will be missing and you will need a good working knowledge of VI screen editor.

To caveat, I don’t regard all software sales folk as untrustworthy, in fact some I would trust some with my life. Honestly. It depends what’s being sold, is it really going to fit your needs and will it provide the benefits expected/promised? That’s a fluid thing too. Application software and suppliers vary over time. They can be world leading one year and laggards the next. Its up to you (Caveat emptor), to find the holes in the inevitable Swiss cheese, which is software.

So, what are some of the signs you are caught in some smoke and mirrors, in the demo where the supplier is showing you their wares?

Firstly, unless you see their wares, inevitably they are missing certain wares. They might be missing for lots of reasons. They may not have even evolved beyond a sales persons imagination, they may be on a roadmap, or very close to release. All three of these should flag up alarms for the customer to various degrees. Highest risk is the former and the lowest risk is the latter. If the latter is reality, even though a release is ‘just around the corner’, if the supplier cannot demo, they should at least be able to show you images of what’s coming. After all, if its in the ‘next’ release, someone has already been writing it from a spec and testing it by now, eh?

A great way to reassure the buyer is to let you know its being released soon.

Be as irritating as me and ask, who is taking that release and when? Will it be the full product or a MVP? The MVP is a ‘Minimum Viable Product’. The important word there is ‘minimum’. You may be able to do the minimum to get the job done, or not, depending how special your processes are. What your software supplier might regard as ‘the minimum’, might differ greatly, to what you might regard as the acceptable minimum.

Secondly, verify are you seeing product, or wire-frame prototype models? Are you just seeing Powerpoint slides or a PDF? Now you are probably asking who would be so stupid to buy just from those? Well, I am far too polite to name the guilty (as always), but I have come across many. A lot often saw no product forthcoming, or waited 3 or more years to receive a mongrel version of the utopia, originally promised. That includes social landlords of over 30,000 homes in size too, making schoolboy errors like that.

Thirdly, a dead ringer to spot is over-zealous waffling. If you have got a supplier in, over Teams/Zoom etc, for a limited period to see their wares, you don’t want to be lectured about where the sector is going, what might come out of the Grenfell enquiry, or the latest social care scandal etc. If your supplier had solutions to all the described ills, they would be showing you and knocking you dead with them, not death by PowerPoint. If you didn’t see the solutions, chances are they are not actually there. Possibly they are very dated or disjointed solutions, looking nothing like the really sexy bits they were desperate to show you. Do by all means, question it and give your supplier a chance to show you. Me & Paddy power however, might not give you great odds, you will see the goods.    

Fourthly, its being unable to complete a demonstration of something end-to-end. Software is developed from start to finish and in a demo its easy to show the initiation of any process. Anywhere the supplier seems to hit an issue, being only able to show you part of something, be suspicious. Remember these guys hopefully have had sometime to prepare this demo and are using demo kit that’s used for many demos. I know from being on the dark side 10 years ago, ‘Demoland’ is like Disneyland. Everything is cool there and everything (should) work. If its not working on demo database & kit, it’s a good chance its not working in reality.

Lastly, if a supplier is allocated, say a couple of hours and while others are generally up to the limit on time, one or more might be done & dusted really quickly or pad out the time with some diversion on to some unrelated/unwanted product. This should ring alarm bells. If you are seeing something you didn't expect to see, check its a freebie the supplier is just chucking in for you (unlikely). If its not relevant to you to see, politely tell them so. Otherwise, that's thirty minutes of you and your staff team lives, you will never get back!

In fact that same adage can also be applied to test systems too. If a supplier cannot get a test system working correctly, just the act of migrating to live, will never fix it. I remember back on the dark side, a big fat bullshi**er developer, trying to convince me that something that was even incapable of writing correctly to a test database, would magically be ok on a live situation. He knew his fat ar*e would not be on the line, at the live site when it all went wrong. Just like sales persons will not have their bottoms on the line, if you choose badly and its you and your team holding the baby.

I hope this has helped you hone your antenna for entering the smoke and mirrors zone. Clients often congratulate me for sniffing out the more subtle areas. Most are in truth, are hiding there in plain sight. Bear this in mind, during your next software procurement, feel free to get in touch. If you need help, maybe just minimal assistance in some situations, I am sure we can work together to obtain best outcomes for you, your team and your organisation.  

Related Post: For training materials, start with video


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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.

Fun Lovin’ Criminals – Smoke ‘EmFun Lovin’ Criminals – Smoke ‘Em.
(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,Footprint,Forms,Freezes,Fusion, Gas Tag,G-Cloud,GCloud,GDPR,GGP,GIS,GasTag,Genero,GeoSolveIT,Getting best from,GoTonySmith,Grasp,Grip,Group Apex, 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,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, 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, 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, 27 December 2020

The Transition

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

If you have been keeping up with this blog and like me have been still working hard, you have probably been doing so from home. My blogpost from April2020 explored our challenges with Teams, Zoom and the whole working in your PJ’s (bottom half only though)!

Its fair to say, if you are lucky enough to be able to do your job remotely, like me you have probably adapted by now to it. I feel sorry for the many people who’s jobs do not allow working from home. Many of those, have found work has often evaporated, or often as a matter of course puts them in potential danger. I say thank you now, to each and every one of them, for keeping the plates spinning during 2020. Without you all, 2020 might truly have unraveled.

I’m convinced having chatted to scores of friends, contacts, colleagues over this year, that there is never going to be going back to exactly as we was. Particularly at work.

I don't know who originated this, but big credit to Clare, who first shared with me 8-)


Interestingly back in Feb/early Mar 2020, I was starting a big piece of work with a medium sized social housing landlord, with over a hundred staff, who had only just moving into some new serviced offices. Little did they know that over the next nine months, those plush offices would only ever be about 15% full. Now no one I know there can imagine a total return to the old ways.

A friend of mine who lives locally, who I have known a couple of decades, has worked the last nine months from home, with his other half doing the same. Clearly that’s been a bit claustrophobic at times. It could help you connect with your partner better or maybe hasten a breakup of course!

His employer, a nationwide waterways charity, has decided its quite liking most of its staff working from home. Its planning to mandate it as universal going forward. In fact it appears to have plans to sell off offices, probably some nice canal-side locations, which might become quite valuable with housing planning permission. So you can see the rational.

How does my friend feel?

Well he’s not overwhelmed to be honest, as you might expect.

That’s not what he signed up for initially in his job and he wont receive any compensation, his extra heating expenses, are regarded as offsetting his fuel he might have used traveling to work. Now, I’m no HR expert (although I have procured a few HR/Payroll systems in my time). Maybe one of my hardcore HR expert contacts, might be able to clarify what employment law might mandate around this? Please comment!

So, mid-Covid19 we have moved forward faster in nine months, than in the last nine years, for work flexibility. However, would it work for many of us meshing home and work life going forward? Going back to pre-industrial times, home and work was often the same thing. During Medieval times, most working-class English people lived in work-homes. The single-story, one-room houses were “a combination of kitchen and spinning/weaving/dressmaking workshop, bedroom and dairy, dining room, butchery, tannery, and byre.”. It was ‘all hands on deck’.

I’d like to question, without coming across as a Luddite, if we would all totally embrace a return to all that?

I think I know the answer, but I would love to hear your take on it.

I have worked independently for nearly a decade and I miss being in an office with colleagues you can lean over to and bounce ideas, questions (and sarcasm) off. Collaboration is an essential part of a healthy work-life balance, for people. It also adds value to the organisation, its staff and its customers.

It will be interesting to see how companies manage the balance here, with a particular emphasis on SocialHousing. I would not like to see service to residents to be reduced. If practical, this situation and the experience of the last nine months, can improve service to tenants and other residents. That would be my hope anyway.

Related Post: Don't let your self-servers down, You might not get a second chance....


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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.

The Longcut – TransitionThe Longcut – Transition.
(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,Footprint,Forms,Freezes,Fusion, Gas Tag,G-Cloud,GCloud,GDPR,GGP,GIS,GasTag,Genero,GeoSolveIT,Getting best from,GoTonySmith,Grasp,Grip,Group Apex, 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,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, 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, 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, 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, ...
. . . . . . . . . . . .

 

Friday, 18 December 2020

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

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

Over the last few days I have watched the Brexit mood music go from hopeful, to not so much, as the UK divorce from the EU plays out in the open. At the time of writing, the interplay continues….

Lots of folks I have worked with on big transformation projects will recall my analogy on procurements and long term relationships with software suppliers. Most commercial relationships with software suppliers, last longer than many of our personal relationships. They also need to nurtured by both parties, encouraged to work, effort from all sides are needed. So there are lots of parallels there.

Initial warming up of clients is like those first flirts. An initial demo of the solution is like a first date. Everyone on their best behaviour. Don’t crash the demo system, hide those errors, everything must be pristine and magical in software demo land.

ITT time is a bit like some initial dates. Still everyone on good behaviour, but a few slips of the mask. A bit like breaking wind occasionally or leaving the toilet seat up. In the real world, we have all been there.

By the time we check out the reference sites, its close to being able to checkout some ex’s. Did ex or current long term partners have a good experience, although encountering a few rocks in the road? How did the supplier smooth out those rocks in the road? We will only get offered the better ex’s though. OBVs. Old ex's will be rewarded too, by suppliers, but that does not mean if the right questions are asked, they will be open and honest.

Once we have made our choice, implementation may be 6-18 months, we might be tied in for five, maybe ten years. Go-Live is not the destination, its just a first stop on the journey. A healthy relationship with your software suppliers is essential. Its up to everyone to work at that, to get best ongoing value for money.  

Breaking up, is hard to do, if it comes to that.

Much like Brexit, if two sides are far apart, language can be harsh and the co-existence can be uneasy. Generally in real life, a solicitor might be the neutral third party that highlights where both parties are being silly and where reasonable compromises should be considered.  

I start with many of my clients, asking me, “Tony Can you help us get rid of x and replace it with y”? I think that’s always the wrong place to start. My instinct is to re-engage with their software partner, which I would guess in about 70% of situations, leads to some ‘Marriage Guidance’. That’s not so easy to get your head around in real life, so I understand reactions to that suggestion.

One of the biggest objections I experience, is the cost. “My supplier will want to charge me £1,000 to book time to do that, and it will take 5 weeks to set it up”. My stock reaction is “Really”? I often encounter suppliers wanting to charge clients for scoping something they are actually going to sell them. Go figure on that one, its pre-sales matey, if you are going to charge us to find out our requirements, take that off the selling price (FFS).

I may have the magic touch, I don’t know, (I doubt it), but no supplier I have ever engaged with, has ever charged for a ‘Marriage Guidance’ session, with one of my clients as yet. That’s probably something to do with the thought that if issues are not solved, I will be providing lots of available practical alternatives. Most issues are solvable and divorce lawyers would agree, keeping a line of communication open, is always the way forward.

Chances are too, that successful resolution of issues with your software supplier, will be good for you and them. After all, switched on suppliers want to have happy customers, paying annual maintenance for a long time into the future. Why would they not?  

So, the thought I would leave you with, is that perhaps an exit, might not be best for all. Get a trusted third party to introduce a neutral view, that might unlock the situation.

Related Post: How good are our primary suppliers at managing their third parties?


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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.

Utopia - The Marriage of Heaven and HellUtopia - The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.
(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,Footprint,Forms,Freezes,Fusion, Gas Tag,G-Cloud,GCloud,GDPR,GGP,GIS,GasTag,Genero,GeoSolveIT,Getting best from,GoTonySmith,Grasp,Grip,Group Apex, 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,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, 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, 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, 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, ...
. . . . . . . . . . . .

Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Save Me

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


I was chatting to a client recently, who I have worked with on a number of occasions, over the last nine years. We have done a variety of projects together and many of my customers come back again and again, or come via recommendation.

Its great to be adding value to projects of all types, with various degrees of tech involved, although often its process and cultural change, that brings the true transformational magic.

While talking, I asked a question that I don’t normally ask. That was even though I knew they used other consultants sometimes, why they so often came back for me to work with them?

Their answer surprised me in that it was, “Well we have found when we work with you, we save far more money, than what we pay you in consultancy”. I was pleased in one respect, but I knew if I told my accountant that, they would tell me I should perhaps be charging much more! I certainly wont be notching up my day rate, however I totally understand where they were coming from.

Where I come into projects ‘late in the day’, often to help recover something or do some ‘marriage guidance’ with them and their suppliers, often its already gone too far already. Fix the small initial issues, ask the awkward questions and think them through early, always saves much more time and effort further down the line. Procuring is generally exciting stuff to the procurer, poring over the detail is not glamorous, but very essential. Lots of managers are visionaries, somewhat less are the ‘finishers’, who suffer from extra charges and hassle, further down the line.

Probably, the earlier in the process I get involved, the more potentially can be saved. Often getting into the detail up front, sharpens minds, better defines scope and provides a better yardstick to measure delivery, when the implementation boots hit the ground. Bringing experience of another hundred or so projects with associated intel’, also provides my clients with a potential toolbox of ideas, strategies and methodologies, which could be adapted to work well in their particular situation. In some cases, I have helped reduce overall ICT system costs from over £4m to well less than half that.

Arriving later in a project to help dig a site out of a failing (or potentially failing) project, often provides fewer levers for means of recovery, that’s my experience. Again its all about the detail. Project history detail, contract detail, concise meeting minutes all present and accessible. I have recovered plenty of projects via different results. Every challenge is a little different and each offers potential to turn individual situations around. There are plenty of examples where thinking back, hard cash has been clawed back or saved. Long running projects can be more like a poker game, than a commercial venture.

Certainly, in the future this will all make me think more deeply on potential engagement value add. Meanwhile, don’t suffer in silence, if you need help please give me a shout!

Related Post: Is the appropriate Critical Friend what your project is lacking to be successful ?


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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.

The Saints - Save MeThe Saints - Save Me.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


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