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One Manchester Go Live on V4

Formed in 2015, when Eastlands Homes and City South Manchester Housing Trust joined in partnership, One Manchester now manages over 12,000 homes across central, south and east Manchester.

A key factor for the merger was the requirement to consolidate the core systems. A consolidated housing management system would enable a single view for staff, the opportunity to deploy new processes and a single customer and property data set.

With the help of Charles Brooks, Consulting Director, 3C Consulting, One Manchester issued a Further Competition tender to be conducted in compliance with the Public Contracts Procurement Regulations 2015 through Lot 5 of the CCS Framework RM1059.

After a, thorough tender process, during which One Manchester visited Aareon UK customer’s sites and carried out detailed product demonstrations and dialogue, One Manchester made the decision to choose Aareon QL from Aareon UK.

The One Manchester implementation project began in December 2015.

Aareon UK treat each implementation as a collaborative process and the One Manchester project was no different.  One of Aareon’s main project aims is to ensure that the customer never feels as though they are left to implement a multi-faceted IT system by themselves.  This is one of the reasons behind the Aareon Best Practice Implementation Methodology.

The key resources in any project are the people involved. Aareon UK Ltd. believe that a vital part of any project is a clear and usable framework that defines and guides the participants in any project work, provides clear and unambiguous reporting lines, communication channels and escalation paths.

Aareon UK appointed One Manchester a dedicated and experienced Project Manager who has worked in the RSL field themselves and who was the individual charged with managing resources, planning, and delivering the project on time, within budget and to quality standards. The Project Manager had a team of staff who also had clearly definedroles in the project and are also supported by experienced technical and product support staff to help throughout the project.

Aareon UK also assigned a High-Level Project Sponsor who had communication channels with their customer counterpart (Customer Project Executive). Although, during the One Manchester implementation the Project Sponsor and the Customer Project Executive are removed from the day-to-day issues in the project, they both receive reports and regular updates from the Project Manager(s) to show progress against key milestones and to enable them to oversee the smooth running of the project.

From the initial kick, off, Aareon worked in partnership with the One Manchester Project Team, guiding them in the planning, scoping and resourcing of the project and offering help and advice with the more complex matters, like set-up, testing, data loading and of course training.

A dedicated project website was accessible by both the One Manchester and Aareon Project Teams and this became the central facility for the project where meeting dates, key milestones were added to the project diary, to-do lists were created and allocated to members of the project teams, workshop notes/actions arising from meeting were stored.  The project website was also used as a day to day communication method with emails being sent, stored and tracked, giving both teams complete transparency through the project.

Adam Cowking, said “The project demonstrated the importance of a dedicated project team which worked with key stakeholders throughout the business to determine business processes and the different ways of working for the new organisation that would be applied for the new system”.

The Aareon Best Practice Implementation Methodology has been developed based on the experience of over 100 Aareon QL implementations.  The purpose of the methodology is to provide both the customer and Aareon UK staff with a clear set of actions and outcomes (deliverables) that are the key to a successful implementation.

John McGrail, Group Director of Finance, One Manchester had this to say about the success of the implementation “One Manchester and Aareon have worked closely in the successful implementation of QL4- made the more challenging as it brought two different organisations and ways of working together on a common platform- Aareon supported the project step by step and their professional advice and support has been invaluable in its successful go live”

One Manchester are one of the first organisations to Go Live on Aareon QL V4 – the latest iteration of the sectors leading integrated housing management system.  V4 has provided One Manchester with a refreshed user interface and powerful new features to further increase the ability of their users to customise their Aareon QL experience to the specific needs of their role within the business.

Charles Brooks, Consulting Director, 3C Consultants has this to say about the One Manchester Project;

“The implementation of Aareon QL as the new Housing Management System for One Manchester alongside the triad of an Electronic Document Management System, Aareon 1st Touch repairs system and new invoice payments system cannot be underestimated.

The project has had a professional approach since inception due to the excellent project team in place, strong governance and supportive leadership. The actual go-live was one of the calmest I have seen with post go-live issues managed successfully.”.

Stephen Makin said, “One Manchester are a forward thinking and innovative organisation and we look forward to a long and successful relationship with them”.

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