DGHP’s Digital transformation project to enhance customer care & communication
Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP) manages more than 10,000 homes in Scotland’s third-largest region. They have a unique governance structure, with tenant representatives active on the board, and they aim to provide the best affordable homes in Scotland, to be achieved via an ambitious business plan.
Since its inception in 2003, DGHP has invested over £200 million in improving and maintaining tenants’ homes and, in line with their philosophy of continually improving value to tenants, it has committed to a new programme of work designed to bring about long-term changes to tenant communication and customer care. To that end, DGHP has rolled-out a major digital transformation project with MRI Software.
DGHP’s vision was to transform its current mode of operation from being office-based, with ‘siloed’ services, a need for manual interventions in business processes, and high dependency on telephone calls and face-to-face interactions with customers.
Digital transformation was seen as the key element to create an agile working environment for employees, while electronic processes, documentation, and communications would drive efficiency and break down service silos through shared information. Above all, introducing self-service for customers across a multitude of different platforms together with the latest Omnimedia contact centre channels would deliver higher-value services, increase customer engagement, reduce operational costs and efficiencies and improve customer satisfaction levels. However, in 2017, several barriers to digital transformation for DGHP existed, including:
- An ageing ICT infrastructure, including core servers and storage, networks and end-user devices with poor reliability and insufficient capacity, was approaching ‘end of life’ and required significant capital investment to refresh
- Organisational structures to provide IT support during office hours, rather than the 24/7 support expected in today’s environment
- “Digital divide” across the wide geographic area served by DGHP, with some area offices having much stronger ICT facilities than others
- Limited Disaster Recovery (DR) capacity
- Outdated applications which were unsuited to the needs of modern mobile and collaborative workforce and which made electronic communications and information sharing with third-party partners difficult
Four areas were critical to DGHP’s journey to digital transformation:
- Updating the infrastructure and moving to a hybrid cloud solution
- Implementing a 24×7 managed service with new mobile desktop
- Introducing unified communications and an omnichannel Contact Centre
- Deployment of Office 365 services to enable mobile working, consistent and secure access to information from any location and collaboration tools to enhance the agile working experience
After thorough research and a rigorous assessment process conducted by DGHP and independent consultants Alysium Consulting, MRI was awarded a six-year contract by DGHP to provide an end-to-end managed service. This project included:
- Migrating DGHP’s everyday operations away from its current on-premise solutions onto a resilient private cloud solution provided from two geographically diverse data centre
- Resilient, high-capacity software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN)
- Desktop refresh
- LAN and Wireless LAN providing high-speed communications for staff and visitors to all DGHP’s office locations
- Unified communications (Microsoft Skype for Business) including external telephony
- Enghouse omnichannel connect centre solution
- Transferring all of DGHP’s colleagues onto Office 365 including the introduction of cloud-based email, OneDrive, SharePoint and other Office 365 functions
The MRI Managed Service contract included ongoing application hosting; business continuity; security and threat management, information governance, WAN and LAN management, as well as continual service improvements through service desk management and device management & support.
The service covers 200 users, across 12 different sites across the large and diverse Dumfries and Galloway geographical area.
“The move to digital transformation is part of DGHP’s commitment to respond to the demands of a modern, digital world and will ensure it can offer fully digitalised services to customers and increase internal capacity. With MRI’s support, we will have the flexibility to develop and innovate our services, giving us the agility, we need to meet the challenges facing the housing sector both now and in the future.”
Director of Finance, HR and IT at DGHP, Hugh Carr
“The solutions being delivered to DGHP by MRI put DGHP at the forefront of today’s technology to support a digital environment for staff and customers alike and provide the platforms of which DGHP can transform how it communicates with and delivers services to its customers.”
Phil Riley, Consultant, Alysium Consulting