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Delivered in Lockdown

'Delivered in Lockdown'

Author
Simon Wilkes

Published
16th July 2020

We have been incredibly lucky at Active Housing that during a global pandemic, we have not only been able to continue operating, but have also expanded as a business and brought new employment opportunities to the North West, as well as delivering multiple projects for our clients.

With lockdown being slightly eased across the UK, it’s hard to believe that 3 months ago the country was in full lockdown with many businesses and services ground to a halt. 

 

The events of this year have highlighted the importance of technology. We have to commend the resilience of services like MS Teams, Zoom, Google Meet and others that have kept, not only businesses operating, but connecting us with our friends and loved ones. Now the pubs are opening let’s not forget those weekly daily online quizzes with friends and family nights in front of Disney+. 

 

As much as so many things will eventually return to the way they were, like it or not, there will be a new normal, certainly where technology is concerned. We are now sitting in a country, young and old, that have spent the last 3 months embracing technology and now have the devices and new skills to communicate and transact online. 

 

Throughout lockdown the vast majority of our clients have seen increased usage of their self-service solutions, and it’s probably relieved some degree of pressure whilst settling into working from home. This brings me nicely onto the MyRadian customer portal project. As many of you in the sector will know, the current Digital Landlords of the Year, Yarlington Housing Group, have been forming a partnership with Radian Group over the course of the last 9 months or so. 

 

After the success of the ‘MyYarlington’ customer portal project, we were approached to implement our new (ish) Active Portal solution for Radian customers that further down the line would accommodate all of the group's 79,000 customers. This was an exciting time for us, little did we know we would be in lockdown the day after the kick off meeting. 

 

As much as we are a digital savvy company where working from home was relatively straight forward, we still had the challenge of conducting a number of activities such as tenant engagement, training and in-person testing which we would normally do onsite face-to-face. We did what most of the country did, we utilised our current digital collaborative systems such as Favro and Invision and sourced new solutions like GoToMeeting and Mural. 

 

Without too much waffle, we are proud to say ‘MyRadian’, launched on 1st July 2020 only 67 working days after we commenced the project. If that’s not enough of a success, the fully integrated portal is incredibly feature rich and includes self-service functionality such as payments, self-appointing repairs reporting, tracking & amending appointments, account information, privacy management and much more. We have to say a big thank you and well done to the team at Radian and Yarlington who kept us on our toes and worked tirelessly, including weekends of UAT, to get the project over the line meeting the original ‘pre-lockdown’ timeline with the addition of added scope.

 

In the first two weeks of launch alone, the portal received nearly 4,000 registrations with almost 40% of repairs reported online. Let’s face it. That’s incredible. We know that Yarlington had a brilliant and proven channel shift strategy so it does not surprise me that this is now being replicated within the new partnership. However, it does raise the question ‘with this type of usage in the first two weeks are we seeing the ‘new-normal’?  

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