Salix Homes Builds new Digital Innovation Strategy

Salford housing association, Salix Homes, has partnered with cloud and managed service provider, ANS Group to push forward on its five-year plan to transform the social housing sector through digitalised services.

This partnership will see Salix Homes become the first housing association to fully embrace public cloud. This involves migrating its everyday operations onto Microsoft Azure, moving its on-premise CRM system to online and transferring all of its employees onto Office 365. Using these solutions, it will now be able to offer fully digitalised services to residents and increase internal capacity.

Salix Homes works to help communities live, grow and thrive together by providing social housing to people in need across Salford. Through its partnership with ANS, the association will be able to offer residents the benefits of automation and connected homes.

As part of this digital transformation strategy, Salix Homes is hoping to offer residents a connected and instant service by automatically reporting maintenance issues and deploying maintenance staff that can access the property with the homeowner’s digital permission.

The association will also be using this public cloud foundation to better utilise connected home devices in order to monitor potential issues with vulnerable service users. For example, it would be able to flag when an elderly resident hasn’t left the home, or taken their medication.

As part of the process, thorough research and assessments were conducted by ICT advisors, Alysium Consulting, to identify which tools the housing association needed to implement its strategy.

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 the forward-thinking housing association of the future – enabling us to implement our digital ambitions and improve our services. With ANS, we will have 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.”

Andy Barrow, CTO at ANS Group commented: “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.”

To find out more about the project, click here.