Saturday, 29 April 2017

Standing Still

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



Not having had time to fit my South East Asian holiday in this year, I always enjoy dispatches from the super Paul Taylor from Bromford, as he always includes some cracking holiday snaps, with plenty of natives cooking interesting stuff. Back in January, PT’s blog (strapline - Innovation Labs. Service Design. Social Innovation), asked ‘Is Your Organisation Making The Impossible Possible?’. Strangely, in most of the projects I work with, that has not lost me a lot of sleep.

It’s a sad fact that in a big chunk of the socialhousing sector, we seem to be struggling to be making the possible, possible.

Has your organisation made the possible, well… possible?

Think carefully before you answer that one. It might well be a question more for your staff, than senior management. I spend my time with a wide range of staff, from front line surveyors, to court/scheme managers, trades colleagues, managers, directors, CEOs and occasionally residents and board members. Your staff often have come from other sectors, other RSL/RP’s or straight out of college, Uni or other education. Often they come with expectations of all kinds, around how they can do a good job, expecting the right tools for the job, with the appropriate training and communication, to keep them on track.

Incoming staff are used to the possible.

A bit like ourselves at home, we constantly improve to implement the possible. I don’t think we notice over time, it’s quite gradual. Our lightbulbs started as tungsten, then they went low energy, now they are turning LED, controlled by Hive. The TV is getting smaller & flatter, Plasma has become HD, which became 4K, then 4K Ultra HD HDR OLED. Before long you have parted with a few grand. A bit of effort and you have got yourself there.

How quickly we improve our home experience. But how fast do we move when in the work environment? How often have we not improved a work environment, because the cost was ‘a few grand’? Many I suspect and like at home, it does not take such a lot of pain, just a lot of determination (and maybe a partner to help get you there). Just like a buddy when helping you give up smoking, or cycle with you to crack 200 miles a month (for instance…).

Here’s a quick checklist of the top half-dozen areas where I have helped RSL/RPs get to the possible. Just the possible honest. No blue sky nonsense here, I promise. No drones, 3D printing, headless devices, blockchain etc

  1. CRM – An essential one. Bringing all your resident/customer interactions in one place, to help satisfy their needs faster. Available in many forms and at various cost and risk levels.
  2. Document management. Commonly known as EDM or EDRMS or similar. Your paper files, such as invoices, letters, tenancy files etc, could all be digitized and available at an instant, by staff.
  3. Customer (Resident) self-service. At its best, Amazon style service for housing, at its lowest common denominator,  ChannelShift which will in no sensible 21st century world, er… Channel shift.
  4. Mobile working. Get your staff out of the office working like the Martini Ad, anywhere, anytime they can.
  5. Virtualise and use the cloud to get the flexible infrastructure you need to support the organisation. If you desire it, maybe you can virtualise from the icon on your desktop, including telephony too.
  6. Integrate properly. Most organisations have this problem to some degree. I have lost count of the clients I have helped, who told me from the start that there is no way to properly plumb in solution x to y. Scheduling & mobile often feature in these scenarios. Spookily enough, I have always managed to find a great example of connecting solution x to y, which dis-proves the experience my client is experiencing. A lot of what will actually never connect, should in fairness, never have been purchased from day one. More than likely, with my help, we would have probably have discovered this, from an early stage, and considered the sensibility of purchasing these crazy solutions/applications/ideas/concepts, in the first place. 

If you are a board member, stakeholder, director or senior manager reading this, please think carefully about the six areas above. If you have all of them and they are effective, pat yourselves (and your colleagues) on the back. Well done you!

However, if your organisation has not managed to implement some or all of the above to a successful degree, here in 2017, to be brutally honest, you are not just doing ‘the standing still’, you are way behind. There may be a number of reasons for this, however it’s all fixable, believe me. Management do need a drive to do so. Often, I have been a part of unlocking projects, coming to it with none of the previous organisation or political baggage and a practical, proactive attitude, to just solving our problems.

I hope this helps you hold a mirror up to your organisation. If you think I can help, feel free to get in touch. Better systems mean more budget for delivery and opportunity to improve a right first time culture, for all of our neighbourhoods.

Related Post: Could your personal digital assistant, be the spy in your living room? 


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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 Table - Do The Standing StillThe Table - Do The Standing Still.
(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: 360,1stTouch,4Js. , 07854655009 ,365Agile," """" ",,#UKHousing,#HousingDAY, #HomesForBritain,#InternetOfTenants, #Shout,1st Touch,3squared,Accuserv,Acutence,Aareon,Academy,ActiveH,AirWatch,Alignment,ALMO,Anite,Apex,ArchHouse,Archouse,asbestos, Asprey e-state pro,ActiveHousing,Asset Management,Aurora,Average IT Costs,App,Associates,ACL,Abritas,AMS,AX,aspireview,Agile365, BO,BPR,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning, Business Process Review,Business social networking, Blockwise, Block wise,BI,BancTec,BluTek,Bluebox, Castle,CBL,Cedar Open Accounts,Cx,Change,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, CHR,Citrix,Civica,Clearview,CMS , CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,Civica Genero,Contractor Systems,CORE,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,CRM,Crystal Reports,CTI,CTX,Customer Relationship Management,Cashflow, COA,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Competitive Dialogue process,complex IT procurements,Component Accounting, Community Reward Services, Consilium, Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Contact Manager,Context,CIH,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cadcorp,Cerrus Saturn,convergeOne,CACI,CPL, CRS Director, Deeplake,Development Systems,Accuserve,Document Management,Documotive,datasystems , Microsoft dynamics GP 2013, DynamicAI, Dynamic AI, ECMK,EDRMS,England, English,EnterpriseBI,ERP Systems,ERP,Elmhurst,Estatecraft,EDM,ESRI,Exponential-e, Finance, Financial Systems, Financials, Factorwise,Facebook ,Footprint,Fusion, Getting best from,gotonysmith, Grasp,Grip,GeoSolveIT,GIS,GGP,Genero,GCloud,G-Cloud,HouSys,Housing software,HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,Housemark survey,Housing Blueprint,Housemark, HRA,housingtITguy,Housing Support Pro,HousingSupportPro,Housing Options,Hometeam, Housing Group,hotpixuk, HousingIT,hotpix,Hardware,Hitex,Housing Contact Company,Impact Response,iPayPro,implementations,iRobot,In House,InHouse,In4,InMotion, InMotion2016, InMotion2015, InMotion2016 , Exhibition, conference,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Management Consultants, Infoflow,Information Technology,Informix,inHouse,in-house workforce,Information@Work components, Innovation,Inside Housing,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Information Management Server,IMS, Invu,Ireland,Irish,Inphase , IT Budget,IT Training,iWorld, Innovation Group Apex,ITIL, In4Systems Promaster,IT,Insight, iSupport,iSupportPro, Keylogic,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera,Keypera Hometeam,Keyfax,Ledgers,Linkedin,Locality,Liquid Voice,MD ,Mr Void , MrVoid, Measuring Change,Mebus,Miracle,MISCS,mDesign,mobile functionality,mobile platform,Monopoly board images and pictures, Montal,MS Dynamics,MS Dynamics CRM2011,Miracle Software,MDM,Management,CRM2013,Reporting,MI,M3,MIS,MIS-AMS,Mobysoft, Northgate Codeman,Neighbourhoods and Communities,NPS,NPS Housing,NPS CRM,NPS Job Manager Mobile, Northgate,Notice,NROSH,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,Natural Forms,Nintexworkflow,NPS ASSIST, OA,OGC Buying Solutions,Ohms,OJEU Limits,OmFax,Omniledger,Open source software,open tender,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Oracle,Orchard,Optitime DRS,Outsource and outsourcing,OpenContractor,ORS,OneServe, PIMMS Data Systems, Paloma,performance management systems,PfH, Pick,PIMMS,pimms4communities, Planned maintenance,People Value,Plus, Peoplevalue, PM,Progress,Promaster,Proval,Pyramid,PRINCE2,prince,Pamwin,PlanForm, Propoints, Pro-Points QL,QLX,Quiss,Qlikview, QueryView,Queryview reporting,Registered Providers,Registered Social Landlord,Rent Increase Freezes,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,ROCC,RobotAutomation,Rave Technologies (India) PVT Limited, Rocket,RPs,RSL,Reality,ReAct,reidmark,RM865, Saffron,SAP,Scots, "Social Housing IT",Social Housing ICT, Scottish,Scenario, Scotland,SDM,sector,TonySmithHou,Safron,Server Virtualisation,servicing, Servitor,Sharepoint, Simdel,Simdell,SimPro,Sim Pro,Slash and Burn,Social Media,Software,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting Services,SQL reporting services,SQL Server,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic Asset Management,Sunguard ,Surveys,Sx3,System alignment,Symatrix Human Capital Management, TonySmithHousing, Systemwise,SM,Sequoa,Serros,SP,Scout,score,Swordfish,Serengeti,SOTI,southview,Sunguard,Service Charges,Spotlight Service, Spotlightservice, SunAccounts, Template,Task,Terminal Services, tonys , tonysm , tonysmi , tonysmith, tonysmitht, gotonysmith, tableau Business Dashboards, tonysmithth, tonysmiththa, tonysmiththat, tonysmiththath, tonysmiththatho, tonysmiththathou, tonysmiththathous, tonysmiththathousi, tonysmiththathousin, tonysmiththathousing,Tony Smith That,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT, guy,tonysmiththathousing, tonysmiththathousinguy,tony smith housing guy,sharepoint, share point, SHBVN, Three Star,Today,Total repairs,Tribal,Twitter,U2, tonysmith , tonysmiththat , thathousing , thathousingIT , thathousingITguy, TED,Tagish Casework,TP Tracker,Telecetera,Tagra,Trace, Totalmobile, Total Mobile, UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,Universal Housing,Universalcredit, universal credit, universal credits,UC,Universe,Unrest, UK, United Kingdom ,Ukhousing,UK Housing, Van Stock,Voice and data,Vantage Sentinel,verse one,verseone,vWork,Version One,Visualmetrics,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Windows Server,Workflow and tasking,Wheatley,Works Connect,worksConnect, Xmbrace,XML ,XenApp,Xen App ..

Monday, 24 April 2017

There’s Just No Other Way

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


Ever got into one of those, “well we have always done that”, conversations?

Well I got into one just a few weeks ago, when talking about what to do as part of changing systems over, in an office taking cash. Yes! I hear you cry, wouldn’t that have been known in the past as a ‘cash office’? Or maybe a ‘Neighbourhood office’. Two things you just don’t see too much of these days, rarer than spotting say a Triumph Dolomite or a Red Squirrel.

For housing historians, cash offices, often had a ‘cash receipting’ system and a very technical and cumbersome printer to help evidence the payment. The latter could generally print on special thermal paper, which bleached easily in bright light or on special rent payment cards. In truth they generally belonged in a pre-Windows world and like the cash office, have become an endangered species too.

A decade or more ago, I remember wrestling drivers for one to work, and a very concerned RSL customer hoping for us to get a ‘sans-serif’ font on it, so their disabled residents had fewer problems reading it. As can be imaging, this was a fruitless task and they probably ended up with ‘Courier New’. 

The point of this story was that now very few residents pay with cash and getting an antique such as this working, is a lot of effort for very little benefit. It actually leaves us in the past. I’m sure when someone first suggested that paper may take over from stone tablets, they were laughed out of the cash office too.

In the spirit of channel shift, I suggested all kinds of alternatives to the humble receipt. Workflow could easily provide lots of ways of tackling this. How about we take the payment and then ask the resident, how they would like their proof of payment?

We could offer to SMS text it to them. Failing that, offer to email it to them. Both of these of course could enable us to capture either of these essential pieces of information, for all other types of legitimate contact purposes. In 2017, the penetration of the Smartphone is pretty persuasive, even among the older generation. After all, their sons & daughters are now buying them, for their safety and to keep tabs on them.

Failing email, we could of course put an area of trees the size of Belgium at risk in the Amazon and print a plain A4 paper receipt from a laser printer, similar to that generated by hotels up and down the country.

So, I bet you can guess what they decided to do in the end, can’t you?

Oh yes, they kept the cash receipting printer, luckily managing to get that going, so residents would not experience any changes. At time’s I think we can talk a good channel-shift, but lose the thread of how we get there. If we are afraid of introducing change, it’s just all warm words that will do little to increase efficiency or push up customer service. 

Managers and staff so often miss the point that its incremental, rarely sudden. There was not a point in time when I discovered all the banks were becoming coffee shops & ‘All Bar Ones’. It kind of happened very gradually. It happened because the alternatives that were being offered worked well and were more convenient. If we can crack that in SocialHousing, you know, I think we may just have a chance of getting there.

Related Post: Are you on top of the ICO data retention policies? 


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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.

Blur – There’s Just no other wayBlur – There’s Just no other way.
(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: 360,1stTouch,4Js. , 07854655009 ,365Agile," """" ",,#UKHousing,#HousingDAY, #HomesForBritain,#InternetOfTenants, #Shout,1st Touch,3squared,Accuserv,Acutence,Aareon,Academy,ActiveH,AirWatch,Alignment,ALMO,Anite,Apex,ArchHouse,Archouse,asbestos, Asprey e-state pro,ActiveHousing,Asset Management,Aurora,Average IT Costs,App,Associates,ACL,Abritas,AMS,AX,aspireview,Agile365, BO,BPR,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning, Business Process Review,Business social networking, Blockwise, Block wise,BI,BancTec,BluTek,Bluebox, Castle,CBL,Cedar Open Accounts,Cx,Change,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, CHR,Citrix,Civica,Clearview,CMS , CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,Civica Genero,Contractor Systems,CORE,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,CRM,Crystal Reports,CTI,CTX,Customer Relationship Management,Cashflow, COA,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Competitive Dialogue process,complex IT procurements,Component Accounting, Community Reward Services, Consilium, Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Contact Manager,Context,CIH,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cadcorp,Cerrus Saturn,convergeOne,CACI,CPL, CRS Director, Deeplake,Development Systems,Accuserve,Document Management,Documotive,datasystems , Microsoft dynamics GP 2013, DynamicAI, Dynamic AI, ECMK,EDRMS,England, English,EnterpriseBI,ERP Systems,ERP,Elmhurst,Estatecraft,EDM,ESRI,Exponential-e, Finance, Financial Systems, Financials, Factorwise,Facebook ,Footprint,Fusion, Getting best from,gotonysmith, Grasp,Grip,GeoSolveIT,GIS,GGP,Genero,GCloud,G-Cloud,HouSys,Housing software,HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,Housemark survey,Housing Blueprint,Housemark, HRA,housingtITguy,Housing Support Pro,HousingSupportPro,Housing Options,Hometeam, Housing Group,hotpixuk, HousingIT,hotpix,Hardware,Hitex,Housing Contact Company,Impact Response,iPayPro,implementations,iRobot,In House,InHouse,In4,InMotion, InMotion2016, InMotion2015, InMotion2016 , Exhibition, conference,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Management Consultants, Infoflow,Information Technology,Informix,inHouse,in-house workforce,Information@Work components, Innovation,Inside Housing,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Information Management Server,IMS, Invu,Ireland,Irish,Inphase , IT Budget,IT Training,iWorld, Innovation Group Apex,ITIL, In4Systems Promaster,IT,Insight, iSupport,iSupportPro, Keylogic,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera,Keypera Hometeam,Keyfax,Ledgers,Linkedin,Locality,Liquid Voice,MD ,Mr Void , MrVoid, Measuring Change,Mebus,Miracle,MISCS,mDesign,mobile functionality,mobile platform,Monopoly board images and pictures, Montal,MS Dynamics,MS Dynamics CRM2011,Miracle Software,MDM,Management,CRM2013,Reporting,MI,M3,MIS,MIS-AMS,Mobysoft, Northgate Codeman,Neighbourhoods and Communities,NPS,NPS Housing,NPS CRM,NPS Job Manager Mobile, Northgate,Notice,NROSH,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,Natural Forms,Nintexworkflow,NPS ASSIST, OA,OGC Buying Solutions,Ohms,OJEU Limits,OmFax,Omniledger,Open source software,open tender,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Oracle,Orchard,Optitime DRS,Outsource and outsourcing,OpenContractor,ORS,OneServe, PIMMS Data Systems, Paloma,performance management systems,PfH, Pick,PIMMS,pimms4communities, Planned maintenance,People Value,Plus, Peoplevalue, PM,Progress,Promaster,Proval,Pyramid,PRINCE2,prince,Pamwin,PlanForm, Propoints, Pro-Points QL,QLX,Quiss,Qlikview, QueryView,Queryview reporting,Registered Providers,Registered Social Landlord,Rent Increase Freezes,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,ROCC,RobotAutomation,Rave Technologies (India) PVT Limited, Rocket,RPs,RSL,Reality,ReAct,reidmark,RM865, Saffron,SAP,Scots, "Social Housing IT",Social Housing ICT, Scottish,Scenario, Scotland,SDM,sector,TonySmithHou,Safron,Server Virtualisation,servicing, Servitor,Sharepoint, Simdel,Simdell,SimPro,Sim Pro,Slash and Burn,Social Media,Software,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting Services,SQL reporting services,SQL Server,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic Asset Management,Sunguard ,Surveys,Sx3,System alignment,Symatrix Human Capital Management, TonySmithHousing, Systemwise,SM,Sequoa,Serros,SP,Scout,score,Swordfish,Serengeti,SOTI,southview,Sunguard,Service Charges,Spotlight Service, Spotlightservice, SunAccounts, Template,Task,Terminal Services, tonys , tonysm , tonysmi , tonysmith, tonysmitht, gotonysmith, tableau Business Dashboards, tonysmithth, tonysmiththa, tonysmiththat, tonysmiththath, tonysmiththatho, tonysmiththathou, tonysmiththathous, tonysmiththathousi, tonysmiththathousin, tonysmiththathousing,Tony Smith That,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT, guy,tonysmiththathousing, tonysmiththathousinguy,tony smith housing guy,sharepoint, share point, SHBVN, Three Star,Today,Total repairs,Tribal,Twitter,U2, tonysmith , tonysmiththat , thathousing , thathousingIT , thathousingITguy, TED,Tagish Casework,TP Tracker,Telecetera,Tagra,Trace, Totalmobile, Total Mobile, UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,Universal Housing,Universalcredit, universal 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Monday, 17 April 2017

Paid In Full

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


Anyone who knows me, I am sure understands that I am a firm believer in a ‘hand up’, rather than a ‘hand out’. My involvement with my local voluntary community library, documenting my (relatively) small provincial town’s night shelter probably make that obvious. If someone can put on my gravestone, ‘This chap made the world a little better than when he came into it’, I would be quite pleased. Obviously some muppet could cremate me, sh*t happens.

Last month I got involved with a funding project to assist a credit union and local signposting organisations to create something to help the growing number of people out of financial security. It was in the central west area of our capital city, London. A place I hated in my 20’s & 30’s and somewhere I have come around to in a big way in my 40’s & 50’s for all sorts of reasons.

London is certainly a city of extremes, we have the very rich and the very poor rubbing shoulders.

The project was to explore funding to improve Credit Union systems, with a twitter chum of mine, the brilliant Lizzie Spring @ESpringW11, who single handledly brings me down to earth, on a regular basis, as to what we are really looking to achieve for residents in socialhousing. I need more Lizzie Springs in my twitter Stream, believe you me.

Anyway, a lot of what I looked into was around self-service and what we might technically call #channelshift. Blimey, it is 2017, don’t we all do our stuff on the web? I think we do actually. Credit Unions need an easy way for people to open saver as well as loan accounts.

The takeaway for me was that where banks lead, we in the other strands of society, need to catch up. If credit unions are not attracting customers who can sign up instantly, some Building Society will. If lenders cannot access affordable funding easily, they will end up at the Wonga’s, loan sharks and Brighthouses, which are ultra-easy to engage with, but not the best with expected outcomes, of thousands of percent interest. Where the homeless or needy have access to a Smartphone, the usual conduit to the web, there surely should be a better way.

In UK #socialhousing we cannot judge ourselves by what suppliers provide for us as ‘products’. These are pretty comprehensively poor, except for a few notable exceptions. I was surprised to find credit union software somewhat ahead in places of socialhousing offerings. How has our sector fallen that far behind? Its pitiful.

There’s no excuse for supposedly key software suppliers offering half built or bog standard closed offerings. Because at the end of the day, our residents and customers, won’t use them. So instead of channel shift for pence per transaction, we risk wasting money on expensive white elephants.  At the end of the day we could have just employed two more staff in the service centre.

Related Post: What can Social Housing learn from Donald Trump? 


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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.

Eric B Rakim – Paid In FullEric B Rakim – Paid In Full.
(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: 360,1stTouch,4Js. , 07854655009 ,365Agile," """" ",,#UKHousing,#HousingDAY, #HomesForBritain,#InternetOfTenants, #Shout,1st Touch,3squared,Accuserv,Acutence,Aareon,Academy,ActiveH,AirWatch,Alignment,ALMO,Anite,Apex,ArchHouse,Archouse,asbestos, Asprey e-state pro,ActiveHousing,Asset Management,Aurora,Average IT Costs,App,Associates,ACL,Abritas,AMS,AX,aspireview,Agile365, BO,BPR,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning, Business Process Review,Business social networking, Blockwise, Block wise,BI,BancTec,BluTek,Bluebox, Castle,CBL,Cedar Open Accounts,Cx,Change,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, CHR,Citrix,Civica,Clearview,CMS , CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,Civica Genero,Contractor Systems,CORE,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,CRM,Crystal Reports,CTI,CTX,Customer Relationship Management,Cashflow, COA,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Competitive Dialogue process,complex IT procurements,Component Accounting, Community Reward Services, Consilium, Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Contact Manager,Context,CIH,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cadcorp,Cerrus Saturn,convergeOne,CACI,CPL, CRS Director, Deeplake,Development Systems,Accuserve,Document Management,Documotive,datasystems , Microsoft dynamics GP 2013, DynamicAI, Dynamic AI, ECMK,EDRMS,England, English,EnterpriseBI,ERP Systems,ERP,Elmhurst,Estatecraft,EDM,ESRI,Exponential-e, Finance, Financial Systems, Financials, Factorwise,Facebook ,Footprint,Fusion, Getting best from,gotonysmith, Grasp,Grip,GeoSolveIT,GIS,GGP,Genero,GCloud,G-Cloud,HouSys,Housing software,HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,Housemark survey,Housing Blueprint,Housemark, HRA,housingtITguy,Housing Support Pro,HousingSupportPro,Housing Options,Hometeam, Housing Group,hotpixuk, HousingIT,hotpix,Hardware,Hitex,Housing Contact Company,Impact Response,iPayPro,implementations,iRobot,In House,InHouse,In4,InMotion, InMotion2016, InMotion2015, InMotion2016 , Exhibition, conference,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Management Consultants, Infoflow,Information Technology,Informix,inHouse,in-house workforce,Information@Work components, Innovation,Inside Housing,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Information Management Server,IMS, Invu,Ireland,Irish,Inphase , IT Budget,IT Training,iWorld, Innovation Group Apex,ITIL, In4Systems Promaster,IT,Insight, iSupport,iSupportPro, Keylogic,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera,Keypera Hometeam,Keyfax,Ledgers,Linkedin,Locality,Liquid Voice,MD ,Mr Void , MrVoid, Measuring Change,Mebus,Miracle,MISCS,mDesign,mobile functionality,mobile platform,Monopoly board images and pictures, Montal,MS Dynamics,MS Dynamics CRM2011,Miracle Software,MDM,Management,CRM2013,Reporting,MI,M3,MIS,MIS-AMS,Mobysoft, Northgate Codeman,Neighbourhoods and Communities,NPS,NPS Housing,NPS CRM,NPS Job Manager Mobile, Northgate,Notice,NROSH,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,Natural Forms,Nintexworkflow,NPS ASSIST, OA,OGC Buying Solutions,Ohms,OJEU Limits,OmFax,Omniledger,Open source software,open tender,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Oracle,Orchard,Optitime DRS,Outsource and outsourcing,OpenContractor,ORS,OneServe, PIMMS Data Systems, Paloma,performance management systems,PfH, Pick,PIMMS,pimms4communities, Planned maintenance,People Value,Plus, Peoplevalue, PM,Progress,Promaster,Proval,Pyramid,PRINCE2,prince,Pamwin,PlanForm, Propoints, Pro-Points QL,QLX,Quiss,Qlikview, QueryView,Queryview reporting,Registered Providers,Registered Social Landlord,Rent Increase Freezes,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,ROCC,RobotAutomation,Rave Technologies (India) PVT Limited, Rocket,RPs,RSL,Reality,ReAct,reidmark,RM865, Saffron,SAP,Scots, "Social Housing IT",Social Housing ICT, Scottish,Scenario, Scotland,SDM,sector,TonySmithHou,Safron,Server Virtualisation,servicing, Servitor,Sharepoint, Simdel,Simdell,SimPro,Sim Pro,Slash and Burn,Social Media,Software,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting Services,SQL reporting services,SQL Server,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic Asset Management,Sunguard ,Surveys,Sx3,System alignment,Symatrix Human Capital Management, TonySmithHousing, Systemwise,SM,Sequoa,Serros,SP,Scout,score,Swordfish,Serengeti,SOTI,southview,Sunguard,Service Charges,Spotlight Service, Spotlightservice, SunAccounts, Template,Task,Terminal Services, tonys , tonysm , tonysmi , tonysmith, tonysmitht, gotonysmith, tableau Business Dashboards, tonysmithth, tonysmiththa, tonysmiththat, tonysmiththath, tonysmiththatho, tonysmiththathou, tonysmiththathous, tonysmiththathousi, tonysmiththathousin, tonysmiththathousing,Tony Smith That,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT, guy,tonysmiththathousing, tonysmiththathousinguy,tony smith housing guy,sharepoint, share point, SHBVN, Three Star,Today,Total repairs,Tribal,Twitter,U2, tonysmith , tonysmiththat , thathousing , thathousingIT , thathousingITguy, TED,Tagish Casework,TP Tracker,Telecetera,Tagra,Trace, Totalmobile, Total Mobile, UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,Universal Housing,Universalcredit, universal credit, universal credits,UC,Universe,Unrest, UK, United Kingdom ,Ukhousing,UK Housing, Van Stock,Voice and data,Vantage Sentinel,verse one,verseone,vWork,Version One,Visualmetrics,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Windows Server,Workflow and tasking,Wheatley,Works Connect,worksConnect, Xmbrace,XML ,XenApp,Xen App ..

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Saved By Zero

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


I was having a chat last week with a client, during a working lunch and as you do, wandered off topic on to some previous software procurement projects they had suffered. As most experienced people in this sector know, everything is generally perfect in demo-land. A magical mix of Disneyland crossed with the inside of hut 8 at Bletchley Park. In fact, it can be somewhat quicker cracking the German Inigma code, than getting straight answers out of most software sales people.

I am too polite to name the specific solutions, or sales people, but it was all going swimmingly apparently. Lovely glossy brochures, sharp suits and everything was possible. Well that seemed to be the answer on just a too many occasions. Call me cynical, but if anything is possible, why couldn’t the demonstrators knock up something a bit nearer the clients’ needs, with all that ‘flexibility’? 

Maybe there was flexibility, but it all took an age to do and perhaps some of those things being requested had never been attempted before? Either way, some in the audience were less than impressed and smelled a rat.

When asked about future roadmap for the solution, there was none, some warm words, which again didn’t really cut the mustard. Software is something that should be always developing and getting better. So, it’s essential to see how much investment will be going into a solution, to keep it relevant and up to date.

The crunch was when the supplier was asked, “How many customers have you got?”, followed by “How many have been live with this solution, for more than six months?”. The eventual answer, after a trip around the Almshouses, and a few repeats of the question, was zero.

Note those two questions.

I know many organisations who have just asked the first question, felt confident and purchased solutions, they are still years after, trying to get working properly. It reveals the value of perseverance and accessing someone to help you through the process. I have certainly asked those questions quite a lot in my career. Sometimes it’s good to have a Mancunian willing to persevere in the room!

Do checkout my Mancunian tones on Soundcloud here.

Related Post: Make your development pipeline feed your asset management 



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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 Fixx – Saved By ZeroThe Fixx – Saved By Zero.
(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: 360,1stTouch,4Js. , 07854655009 ,365Agile," """" ",,#UKHousing,#HousingDAY, #HomesForBritain,#InternetOfTenants, #Shout,1st Touch,3squared,Accuserv,Acutence,Aareon,Academy,ActiveH,AirWatch,Alignment,ALMO,Anite,Apex,ArchHouse,Archouse,asbestos, Asprey e-state pro,ActiveHousing,Asset Management,Aurora,Average IT Costs,App,Associates,ACL,Abritas,AMS,AX,aspireview,Agile365, BO,BPR,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning, Business Process Review,Business social networking, Blockwise, Block wise,BI,BancTec,BluTek,Bluebox, Castle,CBL,Cedar Open Accounts,Cx,Change,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, CHR,Citrix,Civica,Clearview,CMS , CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,Civica Genero,Contractor Systems,CORE,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,CRM,Crystal Reports,CTI,CTX,Customer Relationship Management,Cashflow, COA,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Competitive Dialogue process,complex IT procurements,Component Accounting, Community Reward Services, Consilium, Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Contact Manager,Context,CIH,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cadcorp,Cerrus Saturn,convergeOne,CACI,CPL, CRS Director, Deeplake,Development Systems,Accuserve,Document Management,Documotive,datasystems , Microsoft dynamics GP 2013, DynamicAI, Dynamic AI, ECMK,EDRMS,England, English,EnterpriseBI,ERP Systems,ERP,Elmhurst,Estatecraft,EDM,ESRI,Exponential-e, Finance, Financial Systems, Financials, Factorwise,Facebook ,Footprint,Fusion, Getting best from,gotonysmith, Grasp,Grip,GeoSolveIT,GIS,GGP,Genero,GCloud,G-Cloud,HouSys,Housing software,HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,Housemark survey,Housing Blueprint,Housemark, HRA,housingtITguy,Housing Support Pro,HousingSupportPro,Housing Options,Hometeam, Housing Group,hotpixuk, HousingIT,hotpix,Hardware,Hitex,Housing Contact Company,Impact Response,iPayPro,implementations,iRobot,In House,InHouse,In4,InMotion, InMotion2016, InMotion2015, InMotion2016 , Exhibition, conference,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Management Consultants, Infoflow,Information Technology,Informix,inHouse,in-house workforce,Information@Work components, Innovation,Inside Housing,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Information Management Server,IMS, Invu,Ireland,Irish,Inphase , IT Budget,IT Training,iWorld, Innovation Group Apex,ITIL, In4Systems Promaster,IT,Insight, iSupport,iSupportPro, Keylogic,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera,Keypera Hometeam,Keyfax,Ledgers,Linkedin,Locality,Liquid Voice,MD ,Mr Void , MrVoid, Measuring Change,Mebus,Miracle,MISCS,mDesign,mobile functionality,mobile platform,Monopoly board images and pictures, Montal,MS Dynamics,MS Dynamics CRM2011,Miracle Software,MDM,Management,CRM2013,Reporting,MI,M3,MIS,MIS-AMS,Mobysoft, Northgate Codeman,Neighbourhoods and Communities,NPS,NPS Housing,NPS CRM,NPS Job Manager Mobile, Northgate,Notice,NROSH,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,Natural Forms,Nintexworkflow,NPS ASSIST, OA,OGC Buying Solutions,Ohms,OJEU Limits,OmFax,Omniledger,Open source software,open tender,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Oracle,Orchard,Optitime DRS,Outsource and outsourcing,OpenContractor,ORS,OneServe, PIMMS Data Systems, Paloma,performance management systems,PfH, Pick,PIMMS,pimms4communities, Planned maintenance,People Value,Plus, Peoplevalue, PM,Progress,Promaster,Proval,Pyramid,PRINCE2,prince,Pamwin,PlanForm, Propoints, Pro-Points QL,QLX,Quiss,Qlikview, QueryView,Queryview reporting,Registered Providers,Registered Social Landlord,Rent Increase Freezes,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,ROCC,RobotAutomation,Rave Technologies (India) PVT Limited, Rocket,RPs,RSL,Reality,ReAct,reidmark,RM865, Saffron,SAP,Scots, "Social Housing IT",Social Housing ICT, Scottish,Scenario, Scotland,SDM,sector,TonySmithHou,Safron,Server Virtualisation,servicing, Servitor,Sharepoint, Simdel,Simdell,SimPro,Sim Pro,Slash and Burn,Social Media,Software,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting Services,SQL reporting services,SQL Server,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic Asset Management,Sunguard ,Surveys,Sx3,System alignment,Symatrix Human Capital Management, TonySmithHousing, Systemwise,SM,Sequoa,Serros,SP,Scout,score,Swordfish,Serengeti,SOTI,southview,Sunguard,Service Charges,Spotlight Service, Spotlightservice, SunAccounts, Template,Task,Terminal Services, tonys , tonysm , tonysmi , tonysmith, tonysmitht, gotonysmith, tableau Business Dashboards, tonysmithth, tonysmiththa, tonysmiththat, tonysmiththath, tonysmiththatho, tonysmiththathou, tonysmiththathous, tonysmiththathousi, tonysmiththathousin, tonysmiththathousing,Tony Smith That,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT, guy,tonysmiththathousing, tonysmiththathousinguy,tony smith housing guy,sharepoint, share point, SHBVN, Three Star,Today,Total repairs,Tribal,Twitter,U2, tonysmith , tonysmiththat , thathousing , thathousingIT , thathousingITguy, TED,Tagish Casework,TP Tracker,Telecetera,Tagra,Trace, Totalmobile, Total Mobile, UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,Universal Housing,Universalcredit, universal credit, universal credits,UC,Universe,Unrest, UK, United Kingdom ,Ukhousing,UK Housing, Van Stock,Voice and data,Vantage Sentinel,verse one,verseone,vWork,Version One,Visualmetrics,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Windows Server,Workflow and tasking,Wheatley,Works Connect,worksConnect, Xmbrace,XML ,XenApp,Xen App ..

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Sales Forces of Victory

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


In social housing it might not be one of the first things you think about, but as CRM’s go, Salesforce is up there as authentic premier league. It’s been around since about 1999. I know of many software suppliers in the sector who use it for its traditional purposes, keeping track of clients, prospects and leads. In that capacity, for which it was originally developed, it shines. Several people have remarked over the years that it’s a wonder no-one has written a housing system within it.

In case you have not come across it before, it’s a SAAS cloud based solution with a (US) stock market value of over $50b. Spookily enough its NY Stock exchange symbol is ‘CRM’. How cute is that? 

SalesForce had one of the first application stores, the AppExchange, for third-party apps that work with and integrate to the platform. Over 2,500 apps are currently available, from free to subscription based models. It’s kind of at a place where many might wish Microsoft Dynamics CRM may one day be.
The SalesForce Economy

True charities are recognised too, for reduced licensing on the platform. Salesforce.org (formerly known as the Salesforce Foundation), is the philanthropic arm of Salesforce.com. Salesforce.org donates 1% of the company's resources (defined as profit, equity, and employee time) to support organizations that are working to "make the world a better place”. Now that’s an outfit I would be happy having as a supplier personally.

I came across one of the apps, a few weeks ago, called In-Form, which had been developed by the charity Homeless Link. It supports care & support processes, some housing, tenancy, repair and housing functions and is increasingly in use in quite a few organisations across the UK.

It’s simple to use, not hard to configure, has integration possibilities and a lot of third party SalesForce apps can supply a lot of the communication and self-serve functions, that a lot of the usual suspects in our sector, seem to struggle with.

We have very few true ‘developed for the web’ SAAS solutions out there currently. Too many to use, are a bit too much live our back office based systems too. Vast screens full of complex fields, difficult to understand and train people to use, on the whole. It’s rarely like the ‘friction-free’ environments we find on Amazon or when we buy travel tickets or hotel accommodation. 

SalesForce is not perfect, although can take us further to that place, without the constraints of getting connected via Citrix or remote access and provide an efficient environment to work in. It will be interesting to see if any more switched on software suppliers will consider SalesForce for more social housing related applications in the future.

It offers a different way to develop, in a proven environment with rich proven add-ins, and can be quite profitable too, as Homeless Link have discovered. Every sale, contributes to their work with Homelessness, in the communities in which they work.

Now that’s what I call, a virtuous circle.


Related Post: Are your ICT team always taking you forward? 

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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.

Linton Kwesi Johnson / LKJ – Forces of VictoryLinton Kwesi Johnson / LKJ – Forces of Victory.
(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: 360,1stTouch,4Js. , 07854655009 ,365Agile," """" ",,#UKHousing,#HousingDAY, #HomesForBritain,#InternetOfTenants, #Shout,1st Touch,3squared,Accuserv,Acutence,Aareon,Academy,ActiveH,AirWatch,Alignment,ALMO,Anite,Apex,ArchHouse,Archouse,asbestos, Asprey e-state pro,ActiveHousing,Asset Management,Aurora,Average IT Costs,App,Associates,ACL,Abritas,AMS,AX,aspireview,Agile365, BO,BPR,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning, Business Process Review,Business social networking, Blockwise, Block wise,BI,BancTec,BluTek,Bluebox, Castle,CBL,Cedar Open Accounts,Cx,Change,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, CHR,Citrix,Civica,Clearview,CMS , CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,Civica Genero,Contractor Systems,CORE,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,CRM,Crystal Reports,CTI,CTX,Customer Relationship Management,Cashflow, COA,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Competitive Dialogue process,complex IT procurements,Component Accounting, Community Reward Services, Consilium, Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Contact Manager,Context,CIH,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cadcorp,Cerrus Saturn,convergeOne,CACI,CPL, CRS Director, Deeplake,Development Systems,Accuserve,Document Management,Documotive,datasystems , Microsoft dynamics GP 2013, DynamicAI, Dynamic AI, ECMK,EDRMS,England, English,EnterpriseBI,ERP Systems,ERP,Elmhurst,Estatecraft,EDM,ESRI,Exponential-e, Finance, Financial Systems, Financials, Factorwise,Facebook ,Footprint,Fusion, Getting best from,gotonysmith, Grasp,Grip,GeoSolveIT,GIS,GGP,Genero,GCloud,G-Cloud,HouSys,Housing software,HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,Housemark survey,Housing Blueprint,Housemark, HRA,housingtITguy,Housing Support Pro,HousingSupportPro,Housing Options,Hometeam, Housing Group,hotpixuk, HousingIT,hotpix,Hardware,Hitex,Housing Contact Company,Impact Response,iPayPro,implementations,iRobot,In House,InHouse,In4,InMotion, InMotion2016, InMotion2015, InMotion2016 , Exhibition, conference,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Management Consultants, Infoflow,Information Technology,Informix,inHouse,in-house workforce,Information@Work components, Innovation,Inside Housing,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Information Management Server,IMS, Invu,Ireland,Irish,Inphase , IT Budget,IT Training,iWorld, Innovation Group Apex,ITIL, In4Systems Promaster,IT,Insight, iSupport,iSupportPro, Keylogic,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera,Keypera Hometeam,Keyfax,Ledgers,Linkedin,Locality,Liquid Voice,MD ,Mr Void , MrVoid, Measuring Change,Mebus,Miracle,MISCS,mDesign,mobile functionality,mobile platform,Monopoly board images and pictures, Montal,MS Dynamics,MS Dynamics CRM2011,Miracle Software,MDM,Management,CRM2013,Reporting,MI,M3,MIS,MIS-AMS,Mobysoft, Northgate Codeman,Neighbourhoods and Communities,NPS,NPS Housing,NPS CRM,NPS Job Manager Mobile, Northgate,Notice,NROSH,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,Natural Forms,Nintexworkflow,NPS ASSIST, OA,OGC Buying Solutions,Ohms,OJEU Limits,OmFax,Omniledger,Open source software,open tender,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Oracle,Orchard,Optitime DRS,Outsource and outsourcing,OpenContractor,ORS,OneServe, PIMMS Data Systems, Paloma,performance management systems,PfH, Pick,PIMMS,pimms4communities, Planned maintenance,People Value,Plus, Peoplevalue, PM,Progress,Promaster,Proval,Pyramid,PRINCE2,prince,Pamwin,PlanForm, Propoints, Pro-Points QL,QLX,Quiss,Qlikview, QueryView,Queryview reporting,Registered Providers,Registered Social Landlord,Rent Increase Freezes,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,ROCC,RobotAutomation,Rave Technologies (India) PVT Limited, Rocket,RPs,RSL,Reality,ReAct,reidmark,RM865, Saffron,SAP,Scots, "Social Housing IT",Social Housing ICT, Scottish,Scenario, Scotland,SDM,sector,TonySmithHou,Safron,Server Virtualisation,servicing, Servitor,Sharepoint, Simdel,Simdell,SimPro,Sim Pro,Slash and Burn,Social Media,Software,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting Services,SQL reporting services,SQL Server,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic Asset Management,Sunguard ,Surveys,Sx3,System alignment,Symatrix Human Capital Management, TonySmithHousing, Systemwise,SM,Sequoa,Serros,SP,Scout,score,Swordfish,Serengeti,SOTI,southview,Sunguard,Service Charges,Spotlight Service, Spotlightservice, SunAccounts, Template,Task,Terminal Services, tonys , tonysm , tonysmi , tonysmith, tonysmitht, gotonysmith, tableau Business Dashboards, tonysmithth, tonysmiththa, tonysmiththat, tonysmiththath, tonysmiththatho, tonysmiththathou, tonysmiththathous, tonysmiththathousi, tonysmiththathousin, tonysmiththathousing,Tony Smith That,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT, guy,tonysmiththathousing, tonysmiththathousinguy,tony smith housing guy,sharepoint, share point, SHBVN, Three Star,Today,Total repairs,Tribal,Twitter,U2, tonysmith , tonysmiththat , thathousing , thathousingIT , thathousingITguy, TED,Tagish Casework,TP Tracker,Telecetera,Tagra,Trace, Totalmobile, Total Mobile, UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,Universal Housing,Universalcredit, universal credit, universal credits,UC,Universe,Unrest, UK, United Kingdom ,Ukhousing,UK Housing, Van Stock,Voice and data,Vantage Sentinel,verse one,verseone,vWork,Version One,Visualmetrics,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Windows Server,Workflow and tasking,Wheatley,Works Connect,worksConnect, Xmbrace,XML ,XenApp,Xen App ..

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Backdoor man

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



While most people will agree the procurement rules are a bit of an ass, they are designed to add some conformity in procurement decisions.

If enforced correctly, they can be good for suppliers and customers. We are far from the wild west days of selling software in the 80’s and early 90’s, where you could sell something over a few pints, a flash meal, decent cognac and a handshake. Or so you might think so.

Back a few decades ago, I saw two sides of a coin with that philosophy first hand. One where a supplier did a customer over, on a solution and the reverse. Both rather unpleasant to be a third party to.

Even when OJEU rules don’t apply, or in a very lightweight fashion with lower value purchases, it pays for the buyer to be aware, “Caveat Emptor”, as the Romans might have said down the Colosseum. I have responded to, designed and scored enough sets of buyer questions and sat through so many structured demos to know the value to the organisations I work with, of all that ceremony.

Sometimes I encounter software & solution suppliers, who are honest and tell me, “it’s all a lot of faff” and “we are small so cannot be expected to find the time for rigorous questioning”. To me it all indicates a lack of interest, energy and hunger to be a partner and do a good job. After all, if they can’t be all over us at the sale, honestly I can’t imagine the implementation team being any livelier, can you? It’s just part of teasing the facts out, before handing over tens, hundreds of thousands of pounds, in the confidence systems will solve the issue. I respect that honesty, although rather than blaming the process, they just need to up their game, to succeed.

Having been a supplier once, over on the dark side, I appreciate a level playing field for all. I do all that I can to enforce it too.

So it does irritate me when some suppliers think they cannot bother with the ‘penalty shoot-out’ with everyone else and try to find a backdoor route to sneak in by some other method. Sometimes a contact they have on the periphery of a procurement or a purchase, maybe some other method.

Maybe that approach works with others assisting and managing procurements, they must be very naïve or stupid to try it with mine, or maybe assume that no-one talks to each other in the small pond, which is this sector.

If a supplier does not want to do the procurement penalty shootout, it’s probably because they or the solution is not up to it. Bear that in mind if sales people are looking for special treatment, fast-tracking etc, analyse and scrutinise them in even more detail. Better you find out what’s wrong with them or the product before the award, not after when you have signed up to five years or more of it.

Its rude at the least, and borderline illegal at worse. I suspect too that these would just be the typical suppliers, who would be the first to cry foul if it happened to them. Some might say that would be poetic justice. Remember supplier, what goes around comes around.


Related Post: Simple & effective project management platform 

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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 Doors – Backdoor ManThe Doors – Backdoor Man.
(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: 360,1stTouch,4Js. , 07854655009 ,365Agile," """" ",,#UKHousing,#HousingDAY, #HomesForBritain,#InternetOfTenants, #Shout,1st Touch,3squared,Accuserv,Acutence,Aareon,Academy,ActiveH,AirWatch,Alignment,ALMO,Anite,Apex,ArchHouse,Archouse,asbestos, Asprey e-state pro,ActiveHousing,Asset Management,Aurora,Average IT Costs,App,Associates,ACL,Abritas,AMS,AX,aspireview,Agile365, BO,BPR,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning, Business Process Review,Business social networking, Blockwise, Block wise,BI,BancTec,BluTek,Bluebox, Castle,CBL,Cedar Open Accounts,Cx,Change,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, CHR,Citrix,Civica,Clearview,CMS , CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,Civica Genero,Contractor Systems,CORE,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,CRM,Crystal Reports,CTI,CTX,Customer Relationship Management,Cashflow, COA,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Competitive Dialogue process,complex IT procurements,Component Accounting, Community Reward Services, Consilium, Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Contact Manager,Context,CIH,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cadcorp,Cerrus Saturn,convergeOne,CACI,CPL, CRS Director, Deeplake,Development Systems,Accuserve,Document Management,Documotive,datasystems , Microsoft dynamics GP 2013, DynamicAI, Dynamic AI, ECMK,EDRMS,England, English,EnterpriseBI,ERP Systems,ERP,Elmhurst,Estatecraft,EDM,ESRI,Exponential-e, Finance, Financial Systems, Financials, Factorwise,Facebook ,Footprint,Fusion, Getting best from,gotonysmith, Grasp,Grip,GeoSolveIT,GIS,GGP,Genero,GCloud,G-Cloud,HouSys,Housing software,HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,Housemark survey,Housing Blueprint,Housemark, HRA,housingtITguy,Housing Support Pro,HousingSupportPro,Housing Options,Hometeam, Housing Group,hotpixuk, HousingIT,hotpix,Hardware,Hitex,Housing Contact Company,Impact Response,iPayPro,implementations,iRobot,In House,InHouse,In4,InMotion, InMotion2016, InMotion2015, InMotion2016 , Exhibition, conference,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Management Consultants, Infoflow,Information Technology,Informix,inHouse,in-house workforce,Information@Work components, Innovation,Inside Housing,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Information Management Server,IMS, Invu,Ireland,Irish,Inphase , IT Budget,IT Training,iWorld, Innovation Group Apex,ITIL, In4Systems Promaster,IT,Insight, iSupport,iSupportPro, Keylogic,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera,Keypera Hometeam,Keyfax,Ledgers,Linkedin,Locality,Liquid Voice,MD ,Mr Void , MrVoid, Measuring Change,Mebus,Miracle,MISCS,mDesign,mobile functionality,mobile platform,Monopoly board images and pictures, Montal,MS Dynamics,MS Dynamics CRM2011,Miracle Software,MDM,Management,CRM2013,Reporting,MI,M3,MIS,MIS-AMS,Mobysoft, Northgate Codeman,Neighbourhoods and Communities,NPS,NPS Housing,NPS CRM,NPS Job Manager Mobile, Northgate,Notice,NROSH,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,Natural Forms,Nintexworkflow,NPS ASSIST, OA,OGC Buying Solutions,Ohms,OJEU Limits,OmFax,Omniledger,Open source software,open 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Saturday, 11 March 2017

Ten Year Story

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


I remember in my days at MIS-AMS, at a NHF IT Conference at Olympia (remember those?), a man in tweed, spookily named Tweedie too, visited my stand. He explained he was involved in starting a new Social Housing ICT magazine and was I interested, as a supplier in getting involved.

Well I was, and for many years, sponsored the bottom inch of page one, a very specific piece of magazine real estate. There had been different attempts at bringing out a socialhousing ICT magazine before, with success of various degrees.
Bennett Arron in action on identity theft

Who would have thought that ten years on, the magazine ‘Housing Technology’ would still appear every other month and grow to around 36 pages per edition. Also that what started from small conference beginnings, would end up as probably the ‘one’, for anyone interested in socialhousing ICT, or improving it. What an achievement for George, Alastair and his wider team.
Standing room only

This years’ event was the largest, with nearly 500 attendees and more than one attendee commented to me, almost on the verge of being bigger than the Oxford Belfry venue, it’s been anchored in for the last few years.

Who ate all the cakes? Decisions for Rob Fletcher of green Square Group

If you were elsewhere last week, you missed a cracker. Opening keynotes both days were as ever really good. Comedian & comedy writer Bennett Arron (or Arron Bennett, as some call him) , author of the C4 documentary ‘How Not To Lose Your Identity’ was an outstanding start. I will be waiting for my signed copy of ‘Heard the One About Identity Theft?’.

The sessions had a great mix of the new and what’s just a wee bit over the horizon. It highlights that at last ‘Big Data’ might be just about becoming truly useful for UKhousing. Suppliers who can exploit it properly and RSLs/RPs who can successfully make it work for residents and customers, will be truly ahead of the curve. Those bog standard out of the box resident portals ‘going digital’, look pretty last century, compared with Alexa or similar answering your queries, or verifying you are safe in your supported accommodation, via your ‘Headless’ device.
My annual portrait with Helen Rogers

It was great to hear how some are pushing ahead with voice analytics for CRM, as many still haven’t  properly leveraged just bog standard CRM yet. Full marks to the former and ‘Could Do Better’ to the latter. Transformation featured in many sessions, which is quite apt considering the pressures all housing organisations are experiencing with LHA caps, rent reductions, HB cuts and Universal Credit rollout. There are many ways to tackle it, depending on your budget and how long you want it to take, as was evident in a number of sessions.

First to the bubbly

My favourite session on transformation, had a touch of the ‘Alice's Adventures in Wonderland’, from 23k home Torus Housing Group. I was part of the transformation of getting nearly thirty ICT & service applications, boiled down to a core sourced from just three main suppliers. Transformation takes certain belief and a lot of imagination, as you dive down the ‘Rabbit Hole’ into the unknown. Make the wrong transformation choices and you may well encounter ‘The Pool Of Tears’. I was involved in that project and acted as a critical friend. It was hard work, but we carried everyone with us, who will be using all the systems once live. Do get in touch if you too need the Cheshire Cat to help with your transformation(!).

Amelia, the customer services assistant at Enfield Council

Well it was a roller-coaster event and I met and chatted to so many friends, people I have worked with, suppliers, business change managers and a number of directors. A great pinnacle of a decade, for Housing Technology and I for one will be looking forward to #HousingTech2018.     


Related Post: SocialHousing Systems training, is it ever as good as it could be? 

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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 Stone Roses - Ten Storey Love SongThe Stone Roses - Ten Storey Love Song.
(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.

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