November 30, 2020

Metropolitan Thames Valley selects NGDATA to optimise systems integration and improve operational efficiency

NGDATA has been working with Metropolitan Thames Valley to optimise systems integration and improve operational efficiency.

Metropolitan Thames Valley has been building homes and communities since 1966 and is responsible for managing approximately 57,000 homes across London, the South East, East Midlands and East of England. It is the company recently created through the partnership of Thames Valley Housing Association and Metropolitan Housing Trust in October 2018.

Prior to the partnership, the two organisations were seeking consultancy on how to manage the increase in data and bring together the data from business systems of the former organisations. The coming together of the two legacy organisations more than doubled the number of business systems used, to a total of over 300. In addition, the chosen approach would need to support the future growth of the company, as well as facilitate strategic systems changes, such as implementing new CRM software and changes to financial systems.

The company sought a partner who could ensure Metropolitan Thames Valley’s internal processes for data integration were consistent and controlled, delivering a quick time to value by reducing employee time spent manually moving data around on spreadsheets or implementing system integrations. The project would also need to help the company maximise its developer throughput.

Metropolitan Thames Valley chose NGDATA based on the strength of their initial project proposal and holistic view to the adoption of technology. This focus was not only which new software to implement, but how to leverage the capabilities of the existing Metropolitan Thames Valley team. NGDATA began the consultancy phase of the project in July 2018 and a pilot of the proposed solution ran in autumn of the same year.

A key challenge identified in the consulting process was that previously each developer would apply their own individual method and coding language choice to each integration. A shift towards a more consistent approach has enabled the development team to quickly and easily understand integrations when optimisation or updating is required. Implementing standard integration approaches also removes the need for developers to build integrations ‘from scratch’ each time and allows them to understand the underlying build of each integration across the business systems. NGDATA is currently providing ongoing integration support to Metropolitan Thames Valley.

Douglas Silverstone, Head of Data at Metropolitan Thames Valley, said

“One of our developers has reported being able to complete 70 integration jobs in half a day, whereas before this project our staff would require half a day for each integration. Other business teams have found that they are able to focus their time on key tasks rather than data-related admin, such as cross-referencing information and gathering reports from multiple systems. With this new strategic integration approach, we are well positioned to focus on our new business model following the partnership, and account for possible future systems expansion.”

Taj Nota, VP Professional Services UK at NGDATA added

“The housing market is beginning to wake up to the fact that data in the wrong place or not accessible, is essentially useless. Without the right data strategy in place, companies can find themselves drowning in multiple mismatched data sets or inability apply or measure accurate KPIs. The success of this project is further proof of NGDATA’s success in the housing sector, and we’re pleased to be helping Metropolitan Thames Valley improve its operational efficiency and plan for their next phase of growth.”

The next steps of the project will be for NGDATA to help Metropolitan Thames Valley to normalise the new integration process across the business and help reduce the duplicate systems brought on by the partnership. The eventual goal is for Metropolitan Thames Valley to bring integration in-house with their own development team, leveraging NGDATA team members to provide additional capacity where needed.