Have you Received an End-of-Life Date from your Software Vendor?

Have you Received an End-of-Life Date from your Software Vendor?

Has your housing software vendor just announced an end-of-life date for the product your PHA relies on? If so, there are several things to consider now that your vendor is no longer supporting your software.

Moving to any new software product comes with its share of challenges, such as the necessary transfer of knowledge and the need for a clean data conversion. If your PHA is being forced to make a change anyway, why not consider all your options and select the best software partner for your organization?

Questions to ask your current vendor about product end-of-life:

  1. Do I have to move to the cloud?
  2. If I have to move to the cloud, are you SOC 2 compliant? This is important for data security.
  3. How much functionality am I going to lose? What crucial features are not going to be in the new product?
  4. If I had custom programming done (letters, reports, etc.) will I have to pay for it again?
  5. How much is this going to cost me? Am I getting the software for free or do I have to pay for it again?
  6. If I go beyond the end-of-life deadline, what will happen? Will I get support?
  7. How much data conversion will come over from the product?
  8. Does my maintenance cost change or will I be paying the same?
  9. Will you assist me with HUD updates during implementation if we have not gone live yet?
  10. How will you handle all the simultaneous upgrades generated by the software end-of-life? Can you handle the volume?
  11. With PIC-NG coming out later this year will I be impacted if I’m not on the new system?

If you feel your vendor can’t answer these questions, please fill out the contact form below.

Is your Software Vendor Holding your Data Hostage?

Is your Software Vendor Holding your Data Hostage?

Perhaps an auditor has come to your PHA and requested information that resides in your housing software system. It’s a simple enough request, but to your dismay, you find out you must ask your vendor to retrieve it. Then there’s data export. Many systems in the market today won’t let you export your data out of the software without having to go through some sort of report. Now it really feels like your data is being held hostage.

Here are some questions you should ask your vendor to make sure you can conveniently access your data.

  1. Do you offer a report wizard that allows my PHA to create reports? Do the reports have key data elements as it relates to 50058s, detailed income information, detailed assets, including detailed information on history (vacancies, certifications, unit history, AR information, etc.)?
  2. Can my PHA create a Microsoft Excel report and tie it directly to the database to create reports?
  3. Do your reports automatically export out to Microsoft Excel in the proper format or do you have to modify the report every time you export it?
  4. Will our PHA have to rely on your support department in order to access report-related items?
  5. Do you have a Data Model that you can share with our PHA?
  6. Do you provide our users with training on creating reports?
  7. Do you have training videos for our PHA staff to review?
  8. Do you have a support department that can guide our users through creating basic report queries?

More and more HUD is relying on vendors to deliver and own data, so it’s in your PHA’s best interest to make sure your vendor offers easy and convenient data access. After all, being able to control and trust your data is key to helping your PHA run smoothly.

If you feel your vendor can’t answer these questions and want to know more about how you can own your data, please fill out the contact form below.

 

Nine Questions to Ask your Software Provider Following an Acquisition

Nine Questions to Ask Your Software Provider Following an Acquisition

If your housing software provider has recently been acquired by another company, there’s probably a lot going through your mind. With any acquisition, there can be uncertainty and anxiety associated with the event, but our industry is especially susceptible due to HUD’s constant changes. Typically, after an acquisition, there are questions that need to be answered, and how they are addressed will determine the future direction and the stability of your Housing Authority moving forward.

When companies are acquired, the organization that’s doing the acquiring has to consider the amount of duplication that is occurring within each department. For instance, do they want to triple the cost of doing all of HUD’s changes for all three products? To make things more complicated, there could be three or four versions of the product within an individual software system. The big question that the acquiring company has to ask themselves is: “Should we move customers to the new system quickly to increase revenue because of the purchase?”

We know the acquisition process can be daunting, unpredictable and confusing for both parties involved, especially the Housing Authority. We put together a list of questions to ask your acquiring software vendor in order to demystify the process and prepare your agency for what’s ahead.

Here are the nine questions a PHA should ask their acquiring software company:

  1. Will I have to move to another system?
  2. Will you give me two to three years advance notice of End of Life for my product?
  3. How long will I have before I have to move?
  4. Are you going to continue to offer updates to our system?
  5. Will the product features be the same in the new product?
  6. Will I receive the new software for free and just have to pay for services?
  7. How will my historical data be converted?
  8. Can I convert a portion of my system to the new product or do I have to jump to the new product completely?
  9. If I have custom Interfaces, letters and reports do they get converted? Do I have to pay for them again?

If you feel you’re not getting a good response from your vendor after asking these questions, maybe it’s time to consider other options. If you decide to explore what other housing software is available, why not look at Emphasys Software? We’ve been serving the affordable housing market for over 40 years and offer a fully integrated Windows-based suite of modules built specifically for PHAs. We’d be happy to introduce you to the Emphasys Elite software.

To learn more, fill out the contact form below.