As part of a five-year IT strategy, Home Group has implemented a service-oriented architecture (SoA) across its operations. Developed by Waterstons, the focus for Home’s SoA was content consolidation and management against a background of continuous business change and regulatory oversight.
One of the UK’s largest housing providers with 52,000 properties and 4000 employees, Home Group wanted an SoA-based platform to ensure that its existing technology investments were protected while providing flexibility to support business change. Waterstons were chosen as Home’s implementation partner for project management, systems analysis and development (.Net and Sharepoint).
Beginning in January 2008 and still on-going, Biztalk was deployed as an orchestration layer to expose data from key business systems as web services, with PNMsoft Sequence used as the workflow engine to allow business users to easily automate and modify business processes. SharePoint was then deployed by Waterstons to provide web portals for intranets and extranets, document management and as the container for the presentation layer. Finally, MeridoRecords Management was used to address compliance and regulatory requirements.
Keith Woolley, IT director, Home Group, said, “The SoA platform represents a communication and collaboration strategy that aims to improve customer service delivery, partner relationships and internal business efficiencies through the integration and visibility of information. It supports all business units, is geographically- and device-independent. It uses technology to deliver business process improvements.”
Home said that some of the benefits of the new SoA platform have included advanced content searching and information access across the organisation, consolidation of existing tenant and property documentation and a reduction in redundant content, and better collaboration and communication with external organisations such as maintenance sub-contractors and estate agents.