Orchard and ITPS, long-term partners in the housing sector, are extending their relationship as part of a £2 million ‘software as a service’ project, and leading to the creation of at least 50 new jobs in the North East of England.
Orchard’s development project, codenamed Liberty, will transform its housing management software into a fully web-based product suite, available on a ‘software as a service’ basis and accessible on any device. ITPS’s expertise in complex infrastructure design and management is underpinning Orchard’s delivery of a cloud-based solution to its expanding list of customers.
The move also sees Orchard adopt its own cloud-based infrastructure, via virtualised servers in ITPS’s Tier 3, ISO27001-certified data centres. ITPS has spent £750,000 on a 10Gb ring to support Orchard and its customers with high-speed communications circuits and strengthened business continuity and disaster recovery.
Ian Shard, managing director, Orchard, said, “The housing sector was formerly fairly traditional but that’s changing and it’s no longer just about taking rent and doing repairs. Today, it’s more about people and building sustainable communities.
“Our customers are changing their business models to meet the challenges of universal credit and welfare reform, and a growing move towards 24/7 service delivery is driving innovation.”
Andy Hunter, director of technical services, ITPS, said, “The new secure and scalable infrastructure we have created for Orchard gives it a framework for swift and agile development as well as a robust backup, storage and recovery platform for its own business and those of its customers. Switching to a cloud model means Orchard can give its customers the flexibility and functionality of a bespoke system at a fraction of the cost.