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At the beginning of April, the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) launched its Social Landlord Portal, which allows landlords to report on the progress they are making towards the Scottish Social Housing Charter, built on a unique system created by CompanyNet a business focused IT consultancy and Microsoft specialist based in Edinburgh.
In Scotland 15% of people rely on Social Housing. Meaning, in a population of just over 5 million, 582,000 people live in Social Housing, with a further 184,487 hoping to access it. The SHR business intelligence programme arose from the introduction of the Scottish Social Housing Charter set by the Scottish Government. The SHR recognised that whilst there was a pressing need for higher standards of information to be collected from social landlords, SHR required 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 Microsoft full stack solution built on Dynamics CRM 2013, SQL 2012 and SharePoint 2013. CompanyNet won the based on previous work on a similar solution for NHS Health Scotland. CompanyNet and SHR set out to deliver a configured platform-based solution that facilitated the requirement by providing a number of integrated components to deliver a cohesive data capture system and self-service reporting environment.
SharePoint 2013 is the basis for the Social Landlord Portal, a fully branded website where landlords 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. Document libraries are also utilised to capture documentation collected during the process.
Dynamics CRM 2011 provides the vital xRM core of the solution. It stores information about social landlords and contacts, captures and maintains key submission metrics on structured returns being entered on the Portal. This metadata empowers SHR to monitor these entries during the submission window, adding critical opportunity for early intervention in the returns process. This is achieved with the help of dashboards and views highlighting exceptions to staff members. The platform provides a foundation for managing communication with landlords via the Portal– vastly reducing the reliance on phone calls and email, and increasing visibility of communication with landlords.
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 landlords in accordance with its statutory objective. CompanyNet solved this by implementing their PortalPlus, a self-service portal solution which enables 2 way interaction for users with external published web portals. This is at the heart of the self-sufficient advantage of this solution which enables multiple extended Business uses of Dynamics CRM and SharePoint together with SQL.
A further benefit of centralised management of these reporting assets was the ability to add a layer of quality assurance, vastly reducing the risk of incorrect reporting due to differing interpretations of data. Risk of formula error was also vastly mitigated by virtue of the fact that the database tabular model contains the more complex calculations
Working together with landlord groups, SHR’s Social Landlord Portal was tried and tested before roll out to ensure the best user experience. Robert Laley, Business Intelligence Manager at SHR 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 a foundation to revolutionise the way we work. We are confident that we have procured a facility that will allow us to interrogate data instantly, and easily, so we can focus on generating business intelligence in real time.”
Figures from the initial launch of the portal indicated a 61% user adoption of administration users, the landlords, and a 47% uptake on non- administration accounts, accounts typically created via the portal by landlord admins. These figured demonstrated that even prior to the full launch of the Social Landlord Portal, the numbers were very encouraging and would hugely mitigate risk around the go live of 1st April.
If you would like any further information on this piece, please contact Sheonagh Mackie, firstname.lastname@example.org
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