Following the decision by Knowes Housing Association’s previous housing management system supplier to ‘end of life’ their software, the housing provider had less than a year to implement a new housing management system.
Knowes Housing began its procurement process in March 2015 and went live with Aareon QL Housing & Finance in March 2016, just before support for its previous system ceased. The housing provider said that the timescale was a huge challenge for its internal team because they had very little technical knowledge in-house and needed to outsource this to a third party.
Pierre De Fence, director, Knowes Housing Association, said, “Following the announcement from our previous supplier, giving us around 12 months’ notice of ceasing support for our system, we knew that selecting, procuring and implementing a new housing management system in the time available would be challenging.”
Unlike many implementations, Knowes Housing couldn’t devote any staff to the project full time so the project had to be carried out alongside staff carrying out their full-time jobs, with Knowes Housing staff drafted in at weekends to undertake testing. Aareon also advised Knowes Housing to use an external contractor to help them manipulate their data into a format which was suitable for transfer into QL.
De Fence said, “The implementation process was well managed on both sides, with our staff going the extra mile in undertaking training and checking data alongside carrying out their normal day jobs. However, we still have a lot to do in terms of developing reporting frameworks and implementing the phase two modules, such as Visual Studio, Task Centre, Case Management, Voids and Asset Management, later this year.”