Salford housing association Salix Homes has joined forces with leading cloud service provider ANS Group to further enhance its digital services.
This unique partnership will see Salix Homes, which owns more than 8,300 homes in Salford, become the first housing association in the country to fully embrace public cloud.
The project involves migrating the social housing provider’s everyday operations onto Microsoft Azure, moving its on-premises CRM system to Microsoft Dynamics 365 and transferring all of its employees onto Office 365.
The move is part of Salix Homes’ commitment to ‘Rethink Housing’ in order to cope with the demands of a modern, digital world and will ensure it can offer fully digitalised services to residents and increase internal capacity.
Chris Henry, ICT Manager at Salix Homes, said: “We’re very proud to be working alongside ANS to make our digital transformation strategy a reality.
“This exciting development marks the next stage in our journey to become a forward-thinking housing association of the future – enabling us to implement our digital ambitions and improve our services. With ANS, we will have the flexibility needed to develop and innovate our services, giving us the agility we need to meet the challenges facing the social housing sector both now and in the future.
“We’re rethinking the way we deliver all of our services in order to meet the demands of a modern world and are confident that this ambitious upgrade of our ICT infrastructure will provide the foundations for a first-class digital experience for our colleagues and customers.”
Salix Homes is already leading the way for digital innovation in the housing sector, after recently unveiling its MiiHome research project, which has seen smart-home sensors installed in the homes of some of its elderly residents to monitor their welfare.
It’s hoped the partnership with the ANS Group will enable Salix Homes to further develop its smart home technology in the future, which could include the introduction of intelligent household appliances, such as self-reporting boilers.
Ahead of the partnership, a thorough research and assessment process was conducted by Salix Homes and Alysium Consulting, to identify which tools were needed to implement its digital ambitions.
Andy Barrow, CTO at ANS Group, said: “It’s really refreshing to be working with a forward-thinking, modern organisation which is willing to embrace new technologies – especially when it is working to better the lives of those in the local community. As a result, we expect to see the rest of the sector follow suit as they realise that IoT and automation is the future.”
Phil Riley, consultant at Alysium Consulting, added: “Salix Homes is truly leading the way for digital innovation in the housing sector. It’s setting out an innovative blueprint for the rest of the industry and we’re looking forward to seeing its journey unfold.”