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JMC completes £2m IT contract to prepare Housing Groups for ‘Powerhouse’ merger
JMC IT has delivered a vast two-phase technology project for the merger between Manchester’s Harvest Housing Group and Liverpool’s Arena Housing Group as they join to form one of the UK’s largest housing providers – Your Housing Group.
JMC competed against five other companies for the initial £0.6 million tender, extended the system development to a circa £2 million project via a framework agreement. JMC worked closely with Harvest over an 18-month period to roll out a fully-scalable, open IT platform to allow the merger to complete successfully.
Phase one saw the implementation of a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) platform to enable the housing group to communicate across its multiple sites. Your Housing – which owns and manages 32,000-homes across the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands – required a bespoke and flexible IT structure to ensure it could not only manage the extensive network of tenants, but improve the group’s communication and service as a consumer-facing service provider.
The second phase of the project consolidated the network across the two existing groups, including a joint email solution that took effect from day one.
JMC designed a centralised, resilient IT solution that replicates the entire network between Your Housing’s data centres in real time. The network provides the technical foundation for the group to ensure advanced service delivery to tenants, flexible working for staff, a comprehensive disaster recovery solution and reduced administration and environmental costs.
“Rolling out IT infrastructure that impacts more than 1,400 members of staff and incorporates almost 30 different sites required a great deal of planning and a very trusted relationship between Harvest and JMC,” says Simon Morris, Executive Director Finance at Your Housing.
“JMC presented us with this tailored and future-proof platform, which has been critical to the success of the consolidation of two of the North West’s biggest social housing providers’ IT systems. They advised us on what was possible and took a hugely flexible approach to delivering this extensive project,” adds Simon Morris.
Mark Summers, head of technology sales at JMC, says: “JMC has established a strong reputation within the social housing sector over the past 15 years, which puts us in a great position to understand its ongoing needs. Our relationship with Harvest Housing has led to our biggest contract in the sector to date and is a significant win for us. We look forward to a successful and longstanding relationship with Your Housing as it continues to grow, helping it meet the challenges and opportunities it faces in the months and years ahead.”
By Andrew Burgess