Aareon UK is launching Aareon QL Next Generation, a cloud-ready, browser-based and user-focused iteration of the company’s housing-specific ERP system.
Instead of designing the new system itself, Aareon enlisted the close involvement of its customers to completely redesign the way the product works, directly based on its customers’ end-users’ requirements via a series of workshops covering different functional areas of the system.
During and after each workshop, once Aareon and its customers had jointly gathered the requirements for a certain process, they created a solution document with descriptions of the desired functionality which was then reviewed by the customer engagement group and signed off. Then, a development sprint was scheduled and the resulting software released for the engagement group to test and provide feedback on. By using this agile approach, Aareon was able to gain rapid feedback on product usability, functionality and any problems then address them fast, leading to a quicker, higher quality delivery process.
The involvement of a group of Aareon customers, who were diverse both geographically and also in terms of size and profile of organisation, helped Aareon come up with a more relevant and representative way of gaining the requirements for its new system.
Julia Kelly, project manager for digital futures at Eildon Housing, and part of the engagement programme, said, “When it comes to the overall user experience and the user interfaces, it’s very easy to get these things wrong. It’s important to know what our actual end-users want and how it needs to work for them, and Aareon’s engagement programme has really helped with that – I genuinely had the sense that Aareon’s developers were actually listening to the views that were expressed by the end-users during the engagement programme.
“Aareon QL Next Generation is clean and clear, with fewer clicks to get to where you want to – that’s really important for our end-users. It’s easy to use and to navigate, it’s intuitive, and it has a fresh look and feel which our users asked for.”