From: Mark Birch, Strategic ICT manager, Gateshead Housing
Sir – My ALMO switched to a sub-regional choice based lettings scheme in October 2012. The mechanism prescribed to share information between our housing management system and the sub-regional systems was NDL AWIsx. NDL’s universal application integration toolset enables disparate applications to be joined together cost-effectively. It allows the programmed system to interface with any application at the screen level; if a person can sit and use the systems then so can AWIsx.
During the training and implementation of the system, I spotted the potential to solve an IT problem as old as the systems themselves… the chore of a service desk having to reset users’ passwords.
After some quick calculations, we found that we were manually resetting over 300 housing system passwords a year. Resetting a password might take a few seconds but when you consider the extra time wasted by the user logging the call and waiting for feedback, it can mount up considerably.
My team set to work developing a process using AWIsx to automate the request for a password. The users populate a simple web form with their housing system username and their email address. The NDL system then takes that information and starts Northgate, resets their password and emails the user a randomly generated password. When they login in, they have to add a new password and can carry on working.
This occurs in a few minutes and requires no involvement from ICT staff. It reduced downtime for the users significantly and put them in control. It has freed up time used by ICT staff for more proactive work, and we have even found that users are forgetting their passwords less as they have time to consider a new meaningful password via this system.
As a humble ALMO, we have few systems to use this approach on, but the approach can be used on any system because of the ‘robot’ nature of the NDL software, potentially saving even more time and increasing efficiency even further in larger organisations. A small change with a big impact…