Housing association moves into the cloud

Novosco Notting Hill Housing (Image Source: jcomms.co.uk)

Novosco has won a £10M deal with housing association Notting Hill Housing. The Notting Hill Housing association manages nearly 32,000 properties across London. It is building thousands more. Novosco is a Belfast-headquartered cloud provider with clients in the public, private and voluntary sectors across the UK and Ireland. These clients include:

Andrew Muir, Group,Director of Corporate Services, Notting Hill Housing (https://www.nhhg.org.uk/about-us/who-we-are/executive-board/andrew-muir/)
Andrew Muir, Group,Director of Corporate Services, Notting Hill Housing
  • Premiership football teams
  • some of the UK’s largest health trusts
  • many of Northern Ireland’s top companies
  • as well as housing associations.

Andrew Muir, Group Director of Corporate Services at Notting Hill Housing says: “With so many residents relying on us every day it is absolutely vital that our IT systems are efficient, stable and secure. For that reason, we look forward to working with Novosco, who have a proven track record in providing a high quality service to the housing sector and beyond.

The deal

As part of the five-year deal Novosco will provide a range of IT services, including:

  • service support and delivery
  • application management
  • ICT commodity services
  • strategic planning.

The companies

Novosco has offices in Dublin, Cork and Manchester. It employs almost 150 people. In 2016 it acquired English specialist IT security solutions and managed services expert NetDef, further extending its presence in the GB market.

Over time Novosco has assembled expertise in the housing association sector, for example:

  • Swan Housing in the south of England
  • Northwards Housing (based in Manchester)
  • Radius, which has some 33,000 homes in Northern Ireland
  • Notting Hill Housing, from the summer of 2017.

Notting Hill Housing is one of London’s three so-called ‘G15 large housing associations’. The businesses which comprise the Notting Hill Housing Group are: ‘empowered to be self-sufficient and to run their own affairs with one common goal – to provide homes for people in need of good housing in London’. Development is funded by borrowing, and Notting Hill Housing must deliver surpluses in order to maintain its credit rating and thereby limit the amount of interest charged. Its financial strength is what maintains its independence to make choices about its future, like adopting Novosco’s cloud provided services.

The Novosco/Notting Hill Housing deal will commence after this summer and is for five years. It can be extended for a further two years if it goes well.

What it means

Cloud provided services most often arise in the context of larger, commercial organisations or governments. Novosco already provides services to a broad range of clients, as listed above. With several housing association-like clients, Novosco has tuned its offerings to the specialised but demanding housing customer base. As so often, such specialisation brings rewards.

This announcement gives little detail on what exactly will happen and the level of savings from moving to cloud. Will Novosco rewrite all of the housing associations systems? Will it deliver new services for tenants? It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months.

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