Midland Heart is now using OutSystems’ low-code platform to deliver a fast-tracked, two-year IT transformation strategy and rapidly develop applications for revamped interactions with its 70,000 tenants.
Kathryn Downs, director of technology and transformation, Midland Heart, said, “We want to create an easy, frictionless digital experience supporting everything from paying rent to reporting repairs. We knew we couldn’t achieve this vision with traditional ERP systems so we turned to low-code to give us the speed and agility we need.
“The housing sector tends to operate in a traditional way, with customer communications happening by telephone or face-to-face. We saw an opportunity to provide a better service to customers who prefer to do their transactions online.
“A great example of this is that we used to receive a lot of calls from customers who wanted to find out how much rent they owed, and this took up a lot of our customer service team’s time. It was clear that providing an instant way for customers to check their balance would reduce calls to our customer hub and free up our operatives to spend time on more complex issues.”
After some successful initial sessions with OutSystems, Midland Heart ran a six-month trial where they developed three applications: a customer app to enable them to manage their own rent statements and make payments; an app for Midland Heart’s field workers to report any property issues; and a CRM platform to capture all customer contact information so that issues can be properly tracked and resolved.
Downs said, “It was really valuable to have access to OutSystems’ resources through its ‘customer success’ programme; in effect, this gave me an extra two virtual team members that we could access when needed.”
The build process for the customer app took just 12 weeks, with the full build, testing and launch being completed in five months. Midland Heart’s next OutSystems-based app is due out this month, covering its end-to-end lettings service.