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The new megalith newcomer in UK & Ireland Social Housing, MRI, grew bigger still today (5th Aug 2020), as it snapped up ‘Housing Partners’.
You may use a Housing Partners product, if you have Homelessness to deal with in England & Wales (Housing Jigsaw), Anti-social behaviour not dealt with in your Housing Management System (Streetwise), track and tracing of tenant debt (TAIM), or make use of Homeswapper.
The statement on the Housing Partners website went as follows:
“We are proud to welcome Housing Partners to the MRI family, adding an exciting and innovative range of digital solutions to our powerful and interoperable MRI Living residential portfolio,” said Patrick Ghilani, Chief Executive Officer of MRI Software. “This acquisition expands MRI’s ability to facilitate the delivery of front-line services, helping social housing providers bring increased flexibility, mobility, safety and security to communities – building on our commitment to improving the lives and experiences of social housing tenants through the power of technology.”
I am loving the across the pond use of English, “Interoperable MRI Living Residential Portfolio”. Some should think of turning that into an acronym, it being a bit of a mouthful.
Proof of the pudding in the use of the housing systems from the usual suspects is generally level and quality of integration. This is a deceptively tricky nut to crack, particularly when the number of original sourced ‘Jigsaw’ pieces multiply. Get that wrong and an upgrade or change to one piece can create a nightmare of testing required.
A few years back, I remember sitting in a presentation at a Housing Technology conference, where a supplier who had bought up about 5 housing products, from multiple sources, expected to have them all linked together, integrated in just 9 months. With my colleague in the next seat, we both agreed they would struggle to even get them looking similar with colour-scheme and branding, in 9 months.
So, maybe it will be some time I expect, before the ‘I’ in ‘IMLRP’, can be swapped to ‘Integrated’ (or even ‘TIMLRP’ for ‘truly integrated’.
It will be interesting if the MRI shopping spree will continue and who else might be worth adding to this smorgasbord of mixed solutions. There is a danger of the mix becoming a little like 'The Curates Egg', with too random a mix.
Of course too, with the background of the traditional HMS providers rushing to move to SaaS and true browser GUI delivery and the clear alternative of MS Dynamics CRM or Salesforce, providing whatever RSLs want, we are in interesting times. Lets see who are the winners and losers here, although its clear that supplier deep pockets may be needed in the next few years, just to pretty much stand still.
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(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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