With support from 3C Consultants and Blacklight Software, Stonewater has transformed its data management processes as part of an enterprise-wide solution to improve how it deals with all forms of data, including an upgrade of its analogue data-handling solutions.
With more than 75,000 tenants, Stonewater generates a huge volume of data and documentation relating to payments, maintenance, tenancies management and other areas of housing. The aim of the project was to improve accessibility to Stonewater’s systems while also meeting strict compliance and security requirements.
Amit Patel, director of IT, Stonewater, said, “To support our digital transformation goals, we needed to move from our existing Documotive EDRMS, e-post and invoice processing systems towards complete digital integration of our housing and asset management systems.
“Although we couldn’t find any other examples of that having been done by any other housing providers, we were determined to implement systems with electronic post and purchase to pay (P2P) capability that would integrate with our SharePoint platform.”
3C has worked with Stonewater for a number of years, including the integration of two of its cornerstone business applications to improve how the housing provider’s development data is managed and processed.
Charles Brooks, consulting director and partner, 3C Consultants, said, “It was important that a project of this size had the appropriate governance in place. We worked alongside Stonewater’s internal team to map out and deliver the transition over a two-year period, most of which was achieved remotely owing to the pandemic.”
Ian Heuston, technical director, Blacklight Software, said, “The combination of a cloud-based strategy and the introduction of AI tightly aligned to existing software and processes were key.
“We started this project before the pandemic and our cloud strategy proved invaluable when it hit; embedding AI into Stonewater’s processes has been invaluable not only in view of the current situation but also positions Stonewater well for the future.”
Patel said, “When our suppliers upload their invoices onto our DigiPay payment portal, Microsoft’s AI can extract the data from the suppliers’ invoices to match to orders, gain approvals and then integrate the information into our Microsoft Dynamics GP finance system. We’ve found that the only time human intervention is needed is if there’s a reported mismatch or data error, but even then, the queries can generally be resolved online.
“The changes have also dramatically improved how our colleagues access any systems and information they might need while working either on-site or remotely, which has become increasingly important following our transition to hybrid working.”