Thursday, 25 November 2021

Repair Failures

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

While I am known as the ‘Housing I.T. Guy’, it might be surprising to many who know me, but haven’t worked together with me, to learn a lot of my job involves tackling organisational problems and often service failures. To social housing tenants, often they only encounter ‘customer service’ too late after the initial event, after a failed element of service, that has been badly delivered.

Clearly when that happens, its harrowing and stressful for the resident, as well as being very expensive for the RSL. A £150 repair, done badly, requiring multiple visits to get right, creating a complaint that will take days of extra effort to close out, will cost maybe 20 times that. Its expensive to get things wrong and terrible from a reputational viewpoint, as Social Housing landlords, such as Clarion & Sanctuary, have found to their peril, when the ITV documentary team ruck up, to examine years long damp & mould issues. These sometimes show a lack of respect and consideration for tenants, which is not warranted. Tenant anger also occasionally spills over too about this.

I know the ICT solutions I help organisations access, provide modern systems and support processes to improve all of this. They cannot do it on their own, organisation culture plays a part too. A lot of my work is more about that latter area, because without that, the ICT does not work to its best. I like to procure the best for everyone I work with, it hacks me off, when the system has got six gears and the organisation insists on just using the first three, and in manual ‘stick-shift’ mode too!


If you follow me on Twitter at @HousingITguy, you may often see me interacting a lot with tenants and leaseholders, as well as CEOS, computer nerds and other housing gurus. In a typical month, I must help five or so folk with progressing their problems. We win some, we lose some, but they all feed into my professional life, helping councils, HA’s and smaller housing/care charities with better ICT for social housing. DM’s (Direct Messages) are mostly how a lot of this is done, although a retweet from me with 17k followers can often have a laxative style effect, on focusing the thinking of a comms team about jumping on a resident issue, that’s been festering for sometime đŸ˜‰.

So, based on a few problems I have helped with lately, what takeaways could I share with organisations looking to improve their repairs operation? Copy & paste or notebooks at the ready, here we go, social housing ICT Blogcats.

The number one issue that seems to still dog housing providers, is starting with a decent diagnosis of the resident issue. No excuse for this in terms of available repair diagnostic tools to assist, for self-serve and the telephone agent experience. Not asking the right 5 or 6 questions in the first instance, sets everyone up to fail. IE The repairs team, contractor being used and the end customer, our resident. That last person is the most important one too. 

They (your resident), are likely these days to be juggling one or more part-time jobs to make ends meet in the current challenging climate, a bit of extended family child-care or maybe medical issues (just like many of us not in social housing). Chasing them to ask more clarification questions later, wastes even more time for all. In this day & age, is it too challenging to accept an image of the issue too? Some self-service embarrassingly seems to even struggle with this.

Once a repair is logged, its amazing how few organisations confirm via a works order or issue number. Its so easy these days to communicate this via SMS txt, together with the priority (24 hours, 5 or 20 days, or whatever), why not ensure the resident knows what priority it fairly deserves? Many residents I help seem to repeat that they ‘reported the issue multiple times, in person, by post & on self-service’, but requests were ‘lost or not confirmed’. For goodness sake, place the resident at the centre of this transaction!

When logging a repair request, our systems/diagnosis tools are perfectly capable of alerting us to two repairs logged within a short time, or perhaps three or more of the same trade (eg Damp or Heating), across perhaps x months. These point to a need for a Pre-inspection automatically being needing to be raised, to diagnose a bigger underlying issue properly. Eg repeat dampness issues could point to a minor roof or guttering issue. Solve that quickly it’s a £500 patch up. Leave it a year and it’s all going to cost the RSL many times that, unexpectedly from the HRA/capital budget. A later more extensive repair then impacts tenants even more.

While we are at it, firm appointments need to be available. These might come from our internal contractor trade workforce, or maybe an external contractor that we have agreed capacity/slots available. If your organisation cannot provide this, ask why not. Are you missing the scheduling ICT solutions, or do your contractors effectively control the client (not the usual way around)?

Is the resident informed if ‘follow on’ or ‘follow up’ work might be expected? Most of the residents I encounter on Twitter, are not informed, in many cases they are even in doubt if they have an active repair logged, never mind the target date of when some contractor operative will appear to sort the issue. Build solutions to allow booking and (the resident themselves) picking the follow-on appointment, on the tenants doorstep.

All solutions I would advocate as suitable to manage repairs, deal with disabilities/vulnerabilities, although clearly many RSL’s are not correctly recording residents as such. So these residents do not benefit from any additional consideration etc. If you have these facilities, get your data up to date and working for everyone’s benefit.

Communication (or lack of it) in the preferred form for the resident, is crucial. Where a letter is preferred or a txt/email, automated right, it keeps everyone in the loop. Silence just creates anxiety, or extra waste calls into your service centre. Most tenants I encounter have poor communication with their landlords or rarely in the form agreed/requested. Staff face to face relationships with residents are not always easy to support these post-covid19 days, but can be that valuable glue to keep the customer relationship together. Smoother customer relationships, make for more efficient transactions, reduced costs, elimination of many unnecessary and expensive complaints. 

A lot of the better housing management solutions these days, allow any organisation staff member, to view a 360 degree view of all related tenant activity. There’s no excuse for say arrears staff to not check/progress or log a repair concern, while on a visit. Silos exist no longer in the system, maybe just in our teams heads, who ‘have always done it, that old way’.


Lastly, use the collation of satisfaction feedback of what residents thought of each piece of service being delivered, as a valuable means of improving and streamlining processes. Used correctly, these will pinpoint where things need tweaking or difficult management decisions are necessary, using data (not mere opinions). I have learned over the years, ultimately its hard to argue with facts. The fact is that listening to resident experiences sincerely and acting upon them (not just collating the KPI), will pay dividends, make better use of budgets and improve everyone’s repairs experience.

Also, it will prevent some ‘poster boy’ social housing landlords, be outed on (I)TV, painting the rest of the sector, particularly the ones sincerely putting in good technology, to give the very best of an effective repairs service, to customers.

Related Post: In our projects, don't we deserve the best - The A-team if you will....


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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.

Joy Division/Warsaw – FailuresJoy Division/Warsaw – Failures.
(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,Affinity,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 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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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Thursday, 11 November 2021

The Ugly Underneath

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

Who knows what’s buried under years & years of computer coding in applications that businesses rely on?

I remember back in my past working for Littlewoods in the (ICT) Group Management Services team in  mid 1980's Liverpool Old Hall Street, how much of the transactional processes relied on old COBOL code from the late 1960's. Its the same with many banks too. Not surprising why Microfocus COBOL skills are still quite valuable and saleable for high day rates in some places.

With COBOL there were few outside factors that needed to be taken into account of course. It's a different story now that applications written in the 90's and naughties, are built like an onion, on top of a whole complex technology stack, most likely an ever-changing Microsoft one.

Sometimes its ever-changing because companies are being taken over and technology/solutions re-purposed, other times because security threats are being tackled, or new technologies arrive such as the internet or Bluetooth.

I have encountered the former with a housing/care client of mine, having a reseller build a new Microsoft Dynamics365 solution for them. The reseller had utilised a licenced add-in, billed £40k for doing it and then on finding Microsoft had purchased the add-in then killed it, wanted to bill them another £35k to use an alternative add-in. Unfortunate you might say, but Microsoft had already given notice 3 months before, the reseller started work, that the add-in was to be killed off. So in that case, I helped put a successful case together for not being billed any more on this.

On the whole, suppliers such as Microsoft, will give ample notice where this sort of thing will be happening. For Silverlight, Microsoft gave tens years notice. That doesn't mean that plenty of solution providers have got rid of it out of all those solutions as yet, I could name several in SocialHousing still 'promising' or 'moving' to remove it.

Where individual businesses or organisations have built their own applications, at least they have a chance to look at their technology stacks and determine vulnerabilities you would reasonably expect. Of course good system/program documentation is needed there.

Bigger software providers should be at an advantage in hearing first about these types of up-coming changes, being plugged into Microsoft, Oracle or other suppliers more closely, via Gold & Silver partnerships etc, evidenced by blocks of plastic in their reception areas. Strangely this is often not the case, with some software suppliers getting 'caught out' when the brown stuff just hits the helpdesk, via customer support calls.

One such Social Housing management solution (which I wont name, but if you have encountered the problem you know who I am writing about), with 30 or more customers across the UK and Ireland, came a cropper of one of these this month. It was announced by Microsoft in December 2017, the Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.0 and 1.1 protocols were to be deprecated. This has been around since 1999, so many applications written using Visual Basic/C# etc and other languages will have potentially made much use of this security protocol. The plug was pulled on it at the end of October 2021 and that’s when some user problems started.

Many users have encountered inability to automatically send emails and other issues, that seriously blunt any ‘Digital First’ methodology being pursued. An email exchange I have seen, goes from the supplier help desk to a an infrastructure company asking to check if anyone had ‘manually disabled TLS1.0 support’. The answer quite pointedly was that ‘Microsoft no longer support connections to Exchange Online using TLS1.0 or 1.1, both version were depreciated over a year ago. Are you able to use TLS1.2 in your application? If not, please let us know a secure method of sending emails from your application’. Very embarrassing. Apparently a full rebuild and release of the application is planned. Until then, keep manually saving and emailing without any automation.

Now this is a housing system that has changed hands a couple of times, but that does not stand as a valid excuse.  However, software suppliers, who all charge a significant annual charge for maintenance & support, should be capable of knowing what their solutions rely upon and adequately anticipate these kind of things coming up, particularly with three years or more notice.

Legacy windows applications, particularly on old client-server solutions are clearly more susceptible to many of these types of issues. No wonder most organisations have a direction of travel to fully browser presentation and SaaS in the Cloud. I would be surprised if this particular housing system fault has not driven a few more in that direction this month!

Caveat Emptor - Let the buyer beware. What worked in your COTS solution for the last decade, may not be working at some point in the future…

Related Post: Just because different modules come from the same Supplier, does that mean they have good integration (or are integrated at all)?


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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.

XTC - The Ugly UnderneathXTC - The Ugly Underneath.
(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,Affinity,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,Tilt,TiltAffinity,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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Monday, 1 November 2021

As One

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

Few things stand still and its not unusual for councils and housing organisations to merge together ‘as one’ for so many reasons. Efficiency, savings, looking to deliver services in a shared way with higher levels of satisfaction, or better self-service.

Recently, I have been involved in Asset/housing system solutions including where two councils merged in the West Country, a couple of RSL’s in North East Scotland and Torus Housing Group, on my doorstep when GGHT and Helena came together. As can be expected, this is a crucial time to review existing system solutions in both organisations coming together and also have a weather eye on future fit for purpose.   

I am occasionally asked, “Is there a template for doing this, we can use”?

The honest answer to that is ‘No’, every case needs to be taken on its merits, particularly in the light of how we aim to work flexibly these days, post-Covid19. Existing housing or other systems that rely on olde-world Client-Server, clunky Citrix or Terminal Services, will be possibly top of the list for replacement. These may indeed be solutions that have been in use for many years and be on a rolling annual contract by now. Consider any contract penalties, that might mean the remaining contract costs may be payable if either organisation terminate.

In one recent project I was involved in up in Scotland, both organisations were on the same solution. There it was a no-brainer to merge into a third instance with the current HMS, which was relatively low cost. That enables the merged organisation to continue on that platform or review future possibilities, with only one system to work with. Beware changing your name or location however. Some existing contracts could trigger hefty novation fees, for suppliers effectively doing nothing at all. Keep an eye on these types of clauses, in new and existing supplier contract T's & C's.

In another project, during a long project at Torus Housing Group, which involved a deep dive into all existing applications in use and drawing up a detailed specification of the future functional requirements, 27 applications were originally in use. A rapid pre-market analysis determined the art of the possible, including future budget costs indicating combined savings of at least over £1.5m over five years. I was involved in a successful HMS/Finance procurement and implementation, slimming down to just seven applications. In that procurement, only one of the current HMS providers engaged in the procurement and the preferred option was a third supplier. I was involved as a Critical Friend throughout.

Its fair to say that sometimes I have seen two councils or RSLs merge and choose a new third solution when procuring  to merge into, as that is a clean slate for both. I have never seen a merger deliberately go out to do this, but it can happen a lot. This approach does enable a new start as regards transformation and also a chance to move to a new SaaS/browser delivered basis for the future. Be aware that a few housing system suppliers now have SaaS/browser options, that can be migrated to.

There are also some hybrid paths to consider too. For councils this might logically utilising a Digital Platform to provide an integrated and unified view on existing systems, effectively hiding them. This year I was involved in procuring a Digital platform for a couple of councils, with at least one most likely accessing their HMS for retained housing stock in this way.

So, I hope if you are part of an organisation looking to merge, there has been some food for thought here. Feel free to get in contact if you are starting out on this journey, pre-scoping whats available, ready to procure, or may need just a little help in managing your supplier to get your new solution happily live.

Don’t forget if you are going in the other direction de-merging, rather than merging, we can help with that too!

Related Post: 'How to ask the best questions to extract the truth in our 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.

Merge Of Equals – As OneMerge Of Equals – As One.
(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,Affinity,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,Tilt,TiltAffinity,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, ...
. . . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Tinder

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

We are often used in everyday life being sold a dream, or over-sold to. Whether its in a glossy brochure, a fancy webpage, or a slogan on the side of a big red bus, mostly these things come out in the wash. We are familiar with cars offering 68mpg and them delivering 56mpg instead.


Perhaps we make the problem worse when some of us use that 20 year old image as our thumbnail on Linkedin and Twitter, cropped from our wedding images. I was pulled up the other week and reminded that my Twitter image looked different to me in real life. In opening it up and expanding it, I asked what the difference was? They said, “We usually see you wearing glasses”. I get the point, although I only generally only wear them if reading at work or using a screen. (So I thought that a little harsh).

Sometimes in the procurements I get involved in, some sales staff seem to see every name in the CRM system is a potential prospect and every tender must be responded to. This is not good for the organisations selling, nor the contracting bodies looking for the right solutions. The qualification stage is an important one and crucial for saving time for sales and also in the inevitable evaluation, if a full ITT response is returned. Spending too much time on bad prospects means sales losing precious moments for engaging qualified leads instead.

Occasionally, I see ITT responses which occasionally are ‘borderline delusional’.

Weasel words, references to ‘see above’ or other information elsewhere, all ring alarm bells for me. While I often provide my clients, some first time evaluating ITT’s to defined ways we have declared they should be scored, with a custom crib-sheet to help make a fair judgment. Even then, some of the conversations often move when evaluating to “why are they saying subject to requirements” or “needs scoping”, following four weeks of clarification period, provided to allow them to clarify what the scope would be.

The best way I described it recently, is that the contracting body can evaluate the ITT answers submitted as best we can, on face value. This is a bit like reading a biog on Tinder, without being able to swipe left or right on our tenderer. However, the demonstration event is like going on the actual Tinder date. That’s when you find the system (like a date) is 20 years older than it seemed, slow/clunky or its just not living up to its biog!

There are plenty of tips on getting the most from demonstrations on this blog (as regular readers will know). One of the best I find is being able to issue an advance version of the required demo scenario. At least then it’s not a surprise when your ‘Tenderer date’ is asked to back up their many claims and be moderated based on the performance. I am no longer surprised when the odd supplier finishes an hour or more early, as there is a lack of overall finished product to show. A sure sign of something being oversold.

On the odd occasion I have had the surreal experience, of a supplier telling us that they are not going to follow the issued scenario and will be showing us something else. I love the look on their face(s) when they are told we will only be scoring them on what we have asked, as per the tender. As all tenderers then have a level playing field. 

At a recent demonstration I attended, the suppliers came with incompatible kit to demo, did not have an up to date version of the remote access software loaded and could not access the open wifi either, starting 25 minutes late. Not my, or my clients problem. During the 4 hour demo they often asked, "Do we want a 15 or 30 minute break?". On the second one, I reminded them that they were burning into their own time. "Are we?" they said. I had to say, "Yes afraid so. If you are not done by 2pm, we are all out of here and you will only be scored on what you managed to show". They wisely opted for a 5 minute comfort break.

Related Post: Don't insult anyone's intelligence by telling them your Excel Spreadsheet, is a 'database'


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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.

Hipsway – TinderHipsway – Tinder.
(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,Affinity,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,Tilt,TiltAffinity,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, ...
. . . . . . . . . . . .

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Buying Time

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

I work mainly with landlords, councils and charities across the UK, with many pieces of work involving procurement. Spookily enough, this is one area where the EU has had an influence for a couple of decades, one that must surely change in the post-Brexit world. Clearly when I do work (as I occasionally do and immensely enjoy), in Southern Ireland (Deisceart Éireann), OJEU still rules.

If a public body made a purchase, SocialHousing landlords being regarded as ‘Public Bodies’ for this legislation, OJEU (Open Journal of the EU) rules and legislation kicks in.

Putting my cards on the table, the rules are there to help contracting bodies make considered decisions and be fair to tenderers taking part. I believe that level playing fields are important, having been a supplier in the past and maybe feeling at times, I had been led down a garden path on occasion. Days, whole weeks, maybe months of time wasted on occasion, that I will never get back.

So, used correctly, OJEU rules are a safeguard, a fair way to choose appropriate supplier and a useful tool for a social housing landlord or council, if they are spending £1.2m on software or £13m on a planned maintenance programme, with one or more partnering contractors.


Since the 1st Jan 2021, the UK and its public bodies, can have more freedom over procurement. One of the ‘sunny uplands’, so to speak. Just to curb the excitement, we do seem to have a current government better doing the spin than the delivery. A bit better at talking about it, rather than getting it working, in the recent Green Paper, the forward proudly declares “The end of the Transition Period provides an historic opportunity to overhaul our outdated public procurement regime”.

I am sure that was in everyone’s minds as all that Covid19 PPE was procured, in contrast I think Housing Associations and Local Authorities will still in the future be strictly held to account. There is plenty of rhetoric on it being more “Innovative, flexible, transparent and green than the current European Union regime”. There is also talk of boiling down many hundred of rules to a simpler framework. While this sounds good, there is scant evidence that industry feedback have actually currently been taken into account as yet. Westminster can currently feel like a black hole for business its fair to say, so this is no surprise.

The Green Paper does make reference to “decisive shift away from awarding contracts based primarily on price”. In my experience of looking for software and applications solutions recently, creating a new foundation for future transformation, its rare that price accounts for more than 30% of scoring. For one client I remember a very heated discussion about, “Well Tony what if it costs us another £100k over 5 years?”. My answer was, “Look outside the office here, four people represent £100k costs in a single year. With 135 staff, saving 4 people or transforming their jobs, makes that saving in year one”. Now forgive me if that sounds brutal, but these are potential savings that good transformations can bring. Obviously good demonstrations flesh out any smoke & mirrors.

Buying software, application and platform solutions, is very different from buying repair services or kitchens in bulk. Currently blanket T’s and C’s on frameworks may work for bulk materials, but even those often work badly for software. Penalty clause caps are a common discussion area for me currently with multiple suppliers for example. Contracts need to fit the product being procured. So I would like to see innovation around areas like that, particularly for software, SaaS and integrated systems. Hopefully, suppliers have fed that back into the process, so far. We should see the outcome from the “Consultation Response”, by the end of December.

Legal folk in the know who I work with closely, seem to be hoping for a “New Competitive Flexible Procedure”, to be in the pipework. This should allow greater engagement with suppliers where appropriate. Less popular with a few contracting bodies I have had informal chats with, is the suggestion that publishing of advance “pipelines of future procurement” has been suggested. In some cases this could work well, in others less so. I still think that PIN’s (Prior Information Notices) and structured pre-market engagement, will be the best link with software suppliers and the whole ‘warm up’ process. I know how this generally works in my projects. Please feel free to get in touch to let me know how its worked for your organisation, or not.

The key to this, is that to be effective, the new rules need to cut red tape, not create more overheads, as other areas of Brexit clearly have. Burden on procurement and legal staff needs to be reduced, not increased.

I am going to look out for the fully formed, hot and steaming final recommendations, hopefully we will see in December 2021. I would recommend that your procurement specialists do too!

Related Post: Pre-Market Engagement, Scope properly before you procure


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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.

Lucky Daye – Buying TimeLucky Daye – Buying 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,Affinity,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,Tilt,TiltAffinity,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, 5 October 2021

Lets All Tilt

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

Around Housing management Solution providers, no one can deny there has been some serious consolidation over the last decade. NEC bought Northgate, MRI bought a smorgasbord of softwares, Civica have hoovered up Keystone and Abritas. If you are a supplier out there, you better be a good disrupter or prepare to manage half a decade of decline (so my contacts tell me).

While distracted by these consolidations, some including lots of legacy solutions, liberal sprinklings of Silverlight, old skool Client-Server and other non-Cloud first demons, some suppliers are quietly buying in Cloud ready solutions under the radar. Why would you not? Exactly what I would be doing if I had deep pockets available to spend. Why buy legacy solutions that will cost an arm and a leg to move to full Cloud & browser presentation?

EU wide housing software and mobile supplier Aareon, have been really canny recently in buying up FixFlow, Arthur Online and Tilt’s Affinity in Northern Ireland, who have capability to support Differential Rents in southern Ireland. The nice thing here is that these are all written for cloud already, their challenge is only to integrate. So with well targeted resources, we should only wait 9-18 months to see a nice offering here, if done right.

Of course, the danger with buy-ups is always that existing directors can be enabled to ‘cash-in’ and if not well managed, experienced staff run to the hills and take better jobs elsewhere. Lets hope Aareon manage this better than others have historically. Notable is that back in August 2020, Aareal Bank in Mainz (a lovely city in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany), sold 30% stake in IT subsidiary Aareon. This software arm in all the EU and UK sectors it operates, must pay its way.

Aareon have a significant footprint in the UK social housing marketplace with its Client-Server solutions. As we know, markets and organisation needs have changed drastically over the last 18 months of Covid19. Maybe its new acquisitions will keep it desired and relevant. More important, if I were managing Aareon, I would hope that these new acquisitions would be a means of accelerating getting the existing customer base onto a new Cloud and browser journey in a cost effective manner. Potentially there is more modern raw material here than from some other suppliers at the minute. 

Lets see what its management makes of it. Potentially some hard leg-work to do here, that might result in good outcomes for better social housing solutions.

Related Post: Go-Live, making it a success (or not)


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Christine and the Queens – TiltedChristine and the Queens – Tilted.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


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