If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @HousingITguy
or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy
This week I was working with a social housing landlord client at the tail end of a procurement, where we are down to a couple of possible suppliers and software products.
One of the most important parts of a procurement that I find is generally glossed over, is the reference site follow-up. That probably warrants a whole future blog of its own to be honest, as it can be so crucial in flagging up future issues that may need mitigating in your project delivery.
No doubt about it, who suppliers chose for your procurement says much about how their user base feels and functions in relationships with them. Large suppliers with only the same couple of reference sites definitely should flag up questions, as should why much nearer apparent sites have not been put forward.
In this case, both options had plenty of sites to choose from and spookily the product was sold in many countries and regions around the world. Now I have sat through demos where many familiar suppliers have put that initial slide up to say they have 20,000 people working for them and they have sites all over the place. The claim was generally true, but the reality sometimes is that out of that number, it might just be two men, a lady and a dog, based in some outpost like Cumbernauld employed by them, who actually will be your go-to support.
They might be a very good three person team, but might not be adequate to support a product, over sold to dozens of unwary punters. Inevitably they would be a bottleneck to getting anything done or anything done or fixed quickly. Much like a single point of failure inside a housing organisation, management need to recognise and mitigate it quickly for everyone’s benefit.
These two references were really positive, although one of the people I am working with on the project mentioned something that really surprised them and it made one really stand out for him. The reference site had mentioned that on a number of occasions that help desk tickets had been picked up and resolved for them well out of normal hours, even though contracted support was a working 09:00-17:00. We are all used to logging help desk calls via self-service these days and probably phoning in those emergency (everything down) P1 calls.
The difference was with one supplier, was that a single worldwide helpdesk was being utilised for the product. When the Europe team clocked off, the US team in CA kicked in, Australia next, then the India team. You get the picture. Clearly too, a worldwide helpdesk meant a massive knowledge base supported the help desk staff, it wasn’t just in one persons head. Even though that sort of service wasn’t contracted, it was often delivered.
With a some of our ‘usual suspects’ suppliers now being amalgamated into bigger groups and claiming to have customers across three or more continents using the same products we use here in UK & Ireland, how many will have the ambition to evolve to be more joined up? Is that something your organisation could benefit from, rather than your helpdesk calls often falling out of your contract SLA’s?
Do have it in your mind when that slide of reassurance comes up at the start of your demo, to ask, “Where is your helpdesk located for this solution being offered and are you open enough to share your unvarnished current SLA stats for it”?
|Catch the blog monthly archive at
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.
Ladytron – International Dateline.
(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, ...