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, ...
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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, ...
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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


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, ...
. . . . . . . . . . . .

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Nowhere Fast

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

Where should infrastructure priorities be these days?


Most people I know are working from home these last eight months or so, due to Covid19 and the figure is over 25% I read, across the UK. Much accidental digital-shift has occurred, due to workplaces having to become quickly ‘fleet of foot’ and are unlikely to revert back exactly to the old ways, even if the various vaccines kick in soon. Home used for workplace, good or bad, will be here in some form now, I would bet, for the rest of many working lives.

Having a reasonable speed of access to the internet, supporting Teams, Zoom, Blue Jeans (WTAF? Other conference call platforms are available). is now as essential as water on tap and 240 volts in our 3 pin sockets. OpenReach have been generously funded and tasked over the years with providing the backbone to give the UK such a thing, for many years. So imagine my surprise to spot hidden in last weeks Budget statement, mention of further watering down the promise of GigaBit Broadband for all by 2025, and a drastic scaling down of central funding. Instead of £5b, there is just £1.5b (less than a third), for something as essential as this.

Read the full chapter and verse here.

Contrast this with HS2 spend of over £100b to get Joe Public, from London to Birmingham 20 minutes faster, in a likely future world where passenger numbers are more likely to fall, due to the digital shift. Would it not be worth spending the far lower £5b now to allow workers in rural Wales, Scotland, England & NI, to download large presentations 20 minutes faster, than the barely better than dial-up, many suffer right now?

I am lucky to be in a street where we have ‘Fibre To The Cab’. Generally I can see 22mbs download & 18mbs upload speeds available to me. Not blindingly fast, but pretty good for my and my families needs, unless the little fella on the xbox & ‘Er Indoors ragging the Netflix, like below😉.

Rainy Saturday Broadband Speed


I work with a variety of people in rural Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Many I know maybe live no more than 10 miles from a major conurbation, but are unable to use video on calls or suffer frequent disconnection issues. Without addressing this absence of infrastructure, how on earth will we support working digitally and the digital economy?

These two phrases, plus ‘Digital Strategy’ are actually starting to grate on me.

Everyone needs to accept that its (just) ‘work’, not ‘working digitally’
It’s not the ‘Digital Economy’, it’s (just) the ‘economy’
Organisations should not have a special ‘Digital Strategy’, its just digital elements in the bog standard ‘Strategy’.

Bricks and mortar, whether its offices, retail, hospitality etc, are not going anywhere anytime soon, but their role is changing, as we all realise the opportunities of better connectivity. Delaying or neglecting the priority of faster, more universal connectivity, however its delivered at a fair price, keeps the handbrake on our future growth and prosperity. If  any talk of ‘leveling’ up is serious, start with broadband speed and improved connectivity for all.

Related Post: How are we enjoying the working from home, New Normal?


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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 Smiths – Nowhere FastThe Smiths – Nowhere Fast.
(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, 20 November 2020

Live and Dangerous

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


I was on a Teams call, a project board meeting, a few days ago, with a big site (19k home ALMO), that had just gone live, after a Big Bang implementation. It went to planned timings, enables their old HMS to be switched out saving annual maintenance as planned and was pretty much to expected budget. I have found them a fabulous site to work with, over a couple of years.

I have been involved with this project right from initial look at the pre-market, procurement, contract finalisation and critical friend during the boots on the ground phase. We have had some challenges, which were all overcome, with the internal project and management team working hard with the system supplier, who also resourced everything well.

As with any site doing a Big Bang (and I have experience of 20 or more), there is always doubt, is this the right time, should we test a bit more etc, etc. At some point though, when the red line & high issues on the RAID log have been knocked on the head, someone has to bite the bullet and go for it. It’s always a difficult call for management, I know. That’s where I think I certainly add value, in bringing some realism to the table, or pressing supplier harder for actual, rather than promised bug/issue fixes.

So what could be learned from this particular go-live? A go-live in a Covid19 world of remote working, can be more challenging than most. Notwithstanding doing training remotely etc.

Well, a few people thought “We should have done more testing and more from end-users”. This is a perennial point in all go-lives I find. Test to death, as practically as you can. Each hour testing prior, will save twenty times that, after go-live. I have been involved in projects where go-live day almost went without serious incident and users remarking to me, “Wow that went so smoothly, we wasted time on all that testing!”. That does miss the point somewhat and most sites that test properly, thankfully never experience a lot of the actual horror stories out there. Devote as much time as you can to testing, before ever committing to go-live.

Another area was a few loose ends with reports. These are often in the gift of your internal team, occasionally for your supplier to develop. Check and double check you can monitor all your processes and are not losing anything you rely on currently.

Go-live, as I have said on many occasions, is only the first stop on a long journey with a new system. It should not be confused with the final destination. Issues and snagging coming out of go-live need to be collated methodically and users made aware of progress being made, even if their particular teams issue is taking a little longer to be addressed. There is a need here for comms to be wrapped around the messaging here. Keeping users and managers aware of progress being made and next steps in how the dust is going to settle over the next month or so, is crucial to keeping everyone motivated and on-board.

Later that week I was chatting with a system supplier about that go-live and they asked, “How much did they go live with?”. They were a tad surprised when I answered, “Everything we set out to, ie Rents, repairs, CRM, case management, workflow, self-service etc. I don’t mess about”. Inevitably, the conversation moved to how a lot of sites end up de-scoping, sometimes to the point they put something like just Assets or Choice based Lettings in, when they are replacing an HMS and declare themselves ‘Live’. I don’t know if the users or the supplier is fooling or being fooled on those, but its certainly a subject I need to revisit, in a future blogpost!

Related Post: More projects are a marathon, rather than a sprint. Plan that way from the start


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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.

Thin Lizzy - Are You Ready?Thin Lizzy - Are You Ready?.
(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,Illumar, 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, 10 November 2020

Above the Clouds

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


If there is anything that we have learned during the 2020 spring, summer and autumn of Covid19, is that we need more than ever to be embracing the cloud. Our applications are best delivered for the most part in a browser so we have access potentially everywhere we have the connectivity.

 Off-line mobile still I feel needs to be including in the mix. This is being proven by certain notable suppliers, who have for years tried to convince me that browsers will do it all, now belatedly doing some offline mobile too.

The key to all this, is that data is best hosted in the Cloud, not on-premise. OBV’s data in the cloud can potentially be better accessed wherever our staff are working. They don’t need to be at a physical location, or staff no longer being tied to a particular PC/workstation with a client-server installed. I have been seeing for over a year, clients of mine mandating ‘Cloud First’, particularly councils, which is a significant shift. I have always said that hardware and infrastructure teams, have been very much like turkeys. That is never keen to vote for Christmas.

Within Social Housing, the key integrated solutions are either browser delivered, or playing catchup to achieve that. Some playing better and faster than others. Suppliers left behind surely are vulnerable to aggressive takeover, with inevitable uncertainty for current customers.

Once solutions are in a browser, the obvious move then is to offer a full SaaS product with hosting bundled in. With my old dark side supplier head on, from ten years ago, why would you not?

Well, I attended an account management meeting a few months back, where migration paths were discussed. My client was keen to migrate to a new version, into the cloud, reducing the usual on-premise concerns. You know, backups, resilience, patching, upgrading the SAN when more storage needed etc. Something strange came over in the conversation, which was that the cost of the available cloud option, meant that some customers, were reconsidering installing browser based presentation, but keep it on-premise.

Now I recognise that utilising the Cloud brings with it lots of benefits, which would in a ROI justification, would be offset costs against staff time or a likely fraction of a FTA (Full Time Equivalent). Clearly in this case, cloud hosting costs could be excessive, hence it was creating a barrier to an easy decision to move from on-premise. Clearly, organisations particularly smaller ones under 5,000 homes, may have difficulty justifying cloud costs.

Looking back in time, hardware such as servers etc used to have good margins. 20%+ was not unusual, yet now ‘the tin’, as people in the sector might call it, is just commodity. A sixteen terabyte SAN is close to just a £grand. Most UK kit these days comes from just 4 or 5 key suppliers, Dell, HP, Lenovo etc, down from maybe 20 choices, including regional independents. Margins now are wafer thin.

A great deal of cloud storage these days is provided by a cluster of mostly reliable third party independents, plus AWS (Amazon web services), Microsoft, Google etc. The latter have advantages of benefits of scale. Margins around cloud can be in the same ballpark as where traditional hardware was 15 years ago. I would guess a shakeout is needed, in order to make cloud more economical and is almost certain to come. No doubt some of the less nimble hosting providers will fall by the wayside and commercially call it a day.

Software suppliers need to quickly find ways to reduce the costs of the cloud storage component of their offerings, otherwise Social Housing organisations will fall short on the potential transformation and hold back on full beneficial cloud adoption. Getting it embraced sooner, rather than later will free more end users from Citrix gateways, remote desktops etc, so we can be really in the 2020’s and prepare for the new normal.

Related Post: Remote working, is it really as simple as rucking up to Marios Cafe? I wish it was that simple


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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.

Paul Weller – Above The cloudsPaul Weller – Above The clouds.
(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 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Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

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

Honestly have you ever really had a great deal from anything, that was absolutely dirt cheap?

I was chatting about this very thing just last week and the colleague I was chatting with, agreed with me. That was that most things (too) cheap, either have a problem or we will end up paying much more in the long run. That’s generally because we have to patch it up with something better, or the original outfit goes pop, or the original outfit use change control or just sales charisma in some cases, to recover the true cost.

Cost savings often do result in vast amounts of frustration, lost staff time and lost opportunities to crack a lot of that inspirational transformation, we all crave these days. You might be reading this with ‘transformation’ in your job title, or your remit might well include ‘organisational transformation’. It’s a fair ask, everyone wants improvements. We are all stretched, budgets are shrinking and it’s a given, we need to do more with less.

Too few organisations are still not questioning why some things are so cheap. Part of the trick is having some benchmarks, to know your outliers, then to question them.

One recent example I had was a full HMS procurement, where one supplier was half the price of the others. My client operations director thought that wonderful, she was less happy when I said, “to me its ringing alarm bells”. To the experienced, its easy to determine why, although many organisations avoid external help, so can be blind to much of the obvious. I kind of get that, because on occasion I have been described as ‘expensive’, although in contrast, more clients have told me that I “saved them more than they spent with me as a critical friend”. I like that. That’s what I think I am here for.

Have you ever had a project where you have agonised over when procuring, around that cost/quality scoring ratio? If we need great transformation opportunities I generally advise clients to favour quality/functionality over cost. On more than one occasion, I have been asked,”what if we end up with a preferred supplier, £200k more expensive than the others?”. Bear in mind occasionally we are severly limited and in those situations, we need to clearly cut our coat to our cloth.

My answer has always been that if we want the transformation ambition, we probably will be displacing some job roles, as efficiencies are applied, but adding additional value to staff performance. IE freeing up staff to do more for residents, adding more value with tech or with better tech freeing staff up. In that context, £200k might free up ten staff in year one. That’s also a saving in years 2,3,4 – 10 etc. Considered in that context, how could cheapest that could struggle with delivering the transformation, ever be best?

Clearly in an OJEU procurement, to assist everyone, ratios are defined and communicated up front, for the benefit of all. Now many people know quite well I have worked for 14 years on the dark (supplier) side, which makes me very sensitive to supplier as well as my clients needs. In my procurements, I have always refused to move the goal posts part way in the process. Firstly its wrong and unfair, also it violates the rules. On a few occasions, I have said to clients, ‘No you cannot do it’.

The last instance of ‘Done Cheap’ I have encountered, from both sides of the fence, is the tactic of reducing margins down to the absolute minimum. Often if finance are driving outcomes, this looks like a great deal from the client viewpoint. The supplier being totally strapped down however, has nothing in their ‘bank of goodwill’ for flexibility. Every deviation from contract or specification, will inevitably result in formal change control and additional cost and hassle. I do tend to advise some rowing back from that, as we will need some goodwill on both sides in the project, both supplier and client needing a shared bank of goodwill, to travel forward effectively to success.

I am sure many reading this will recognise a number of these insights. The takeaway is that you should not get tied up too much by the bottom line. Its about getting the right value at an acceptable level of risk, that the price will provide. Risk is probably worth a blogpost all on its own. Maybe later in lockdown, I will revisit that old chestnut son.

Related Post: How do you do your process mapping? have you embraced the Swim Lane?


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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.

AC/DC - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt CheapAC/DC - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


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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, ...
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