The Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) has recently launched its social landlord portal to enable housing providers to report the progress they are making towards the Scottish Social Housing Charter, built on a bespoke system created by CompanyNet, a specialist Microsoft consultancy in Edinburgh.
The SHR’s business intelligence programme arose from the introduction of the Scottish Social Housing Charter set by the Scottish Government. The SHR recognised that while there was a pressing need for higher standards of information to be collected from landlords, SHR needed to improve its IT capability in order to achieve improved business intelligence and other key business objectives.
CompanyNet won a competitive framework tender by offering a full-stack Microsoft solution built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, SQL Server 2012 and SharePoint 2013.
SharePoint 2013 is the basis for the social landlord portal, a fully branded website where housing providers can authenticate and launch forms to enter information required by SHR, such as a breakdown of stock held and customer satisfaction statistics across demographic groups. The portal has a delegated user access management module that administrators working for each social landlord use to allocate privileges to their colleagues against different sections of the information returns.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 provides the vital ‘xRM’ core of the solution. It stores information about housing providers and contacts, captures and maintains key submission metrics on structured returns being entered on the portal. This meta-data enables SHR to monitor these entries during the submission window, adding a critical opportunity for early interventions in the returns process. This is achieved with the help of dashboards highlighting exceptions to staff members.
SHR were keen to standardise how information was sent to them and to automate aspects of the data submission process to ensure that SHR could focus on risk assessment and engagement with housing providers in accordance with its statutory objective. CompanyNet solved this by implementing its PortalPlus, a self-service portal which enables two-way interaction for users with external web portals. This is at the heart of the self-sufficient advantage of the solution which enables multiple uses of Dynamics CRM and SharePoint together with SQL Server.
Robert Laley, business intelligence manager, Scottish Housing Regulator, said, “What we valued most about the solution was its self-sufficiency. CompanyNet leveraged CRM’s customisability to produce a straightforward to use, platform-based solution that gave us the foundation to revolutionise the way we work. We are confident that we have a facility that will allow us to interrogate data instantly, so we can focus on generating business intelligence in real time.”