Registers of Scotland (RoS) is a non-ministerial government department, responsible for compiling and maintaining 18 public registers relating to land and property.
The registers ensure that every property in Scotland is protected for its owners, which in turn enables confident land and property transactions.
Uniquely in the public sector in Scotland, as a trading fund, RoS is entirely self-funded. Its income is dependent on the economic climate and the buoyancy of the property market, with most of its revenue coming from the sale and purchase of property. This allows RoS to take a commercial approach to what it does, and gives it flexibility to manage its own income and expenditure.
The challenge for RoS was triggered by the Land Registration Act Scotland (2012) which required them to implement a significant range of new requirements by the statutory deadline of 8th December 2014. One of these requirements was to digitise the delivery of a defined set of Land Reports for online transaction with RoS’s community of eServices (Business to Business) customers.
The statutory deadline became known within RoS as the ‘Designated Day’, and they mobilised their resources to ensure they would deliver the online services to this date.
CompanyNet delivered a portal front end for RoS’s eServices customers, built on SharePoint. The portal allows eServices users to:
- Log in
- Initiate new requests for reports
- Monitor the status of existing Reports orders, and
- Review their historical order history.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM was used to provide the authentication engine for the portal. This was integrated tightly with the SharePoint front end using CompanyNet’s PortalPlus accelerator.
RoS staff interact with the Dynamics CRM back end to manage the flow of incoming orders, and to process these through to completion.
The solution required a number of complex integration points with existing RoS systems, including authentication, finance and back office systems.
In addition to the technical functional requirements of the solution, it represented a significant change management challenge for RoS staff. The switch from processing requsts on paper to electronic records needed a complete overhaul of RoS’s back office. This was managed through on-site training for case handlers in managing their case load, and ensuring that requests were effectively invoiced by RoS.
After two years, RoS had processed a million orders through the Reports Portal we created, representing a significant – and growing – proportion of their revenue. Moreover, the Reports Portal has allowed RoS to process this growing workload far more efficiently than ever.
RoS’s vision at the time was:
‘To create a world-class digital register and become a leading digital organisation in Scotland by 2017; exceeding customer expectations and realising commercial opportunities for the benefit of Scottish citizens.’
For RoS, the Reports Portal was an early foray into digital transformation – replacing paper-based processes with electronic ones. You can gain an in-depth view of the transformative nature of the change in our special deep-dive blog post. RoS also wrote a blog post which reflects on the evolving nature of the transformation two years after launch of the new online service.
The RoS Reports Portal was a precursor to its three-year digital transformation strategy, which was formally launched in the spring of 2015.