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How Office 365 is helping housing associations with compliance and innovation

Since its inception, the Microsoft Office suite has been relied on by businesses around the world, many of whom would be unable to operate without Word, Excel or Outlook. But in a few short years, the Office suite has evolved from basic functional apps to a catalogue of applications that can be used for a never-ending list of transformational projects.

One of the strongest features of Office 365 is that, while the suite is all-encompassing and can be used to improve processes in almost any business type, its application can be customised to the point it feels tailored to specific industries.

One such sector that we’ve found the implementation of Office 365 applications to be particularly effective is social housing. This is a fast-paced sector that is continually changing, requiring housing associations to be agile not only to remain compliant with strict regulatory requirements, but also to respond to the demands of a diverse tenant base.

Sometimes, complying with these stringent regulations whilst trying to remain competitive can feel like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. How innovative can you truly be when your processes are so restrictive? That’s where a catch-all solution like Office 365 can come in.

We’re working with housing associations across the UK to achieve the holy grail of compliance and competitiveness using a suite of applications that, if you’re not using already, you’ll almost certainly use in the future as you upgrade from older versions of Office.

When you look beyond the core applications of Word, PowerPoint and the like, you can begin to understand the possibilities that Office 365 presents to you. A number of affordable Office 365 subscriptions now come with enterprise-level functionality that was once out of reach of the mid-market; this includes a workflow automation tool, app builder and intelligent business analytics. Despite all of this functionality, it’s estimated that only 20% of Office 365’s functionalities are effectively used.

We’ve built a number of social housing-specific solutions using Office 365’s innovative apps, through our expertise with these applications (which earned us a place as the only UK-only partner on the worldwide SharePoint Business Applications Partner Program) and our deep understanding of the challenges and requirements faced by housing associations.

The solutions we’ve implemented cover processes from the straightforward to the complex, the time-consuming to the error-prone, the compliance-required to the innovative. We can help your housing association discover the hidden treasures within Office 365 to revolutionise your field-based engineers’ job assignments, streamline your tenant onboarding and improve your voids management. Our SharePoint-based solutions are wrapped in ISO-standard security, meaning you can manage your governance and employee declarations of interest. We can also help you improve your back-office processes like logging and approving expenses and holidays, incident reporting and replace the old-school accident book!

We’ll be demonstrating a number of these social housing-specific solutions at this week’s Housing Technology conference; join us in the Pembroke Suite at 12pm on day 2 of the conference to see these solutions in action and find out how you can uncover the hidden treasures in Office 365. You can also pre-book a slot to talk with our experts attending the conference on our Housing Technology event page.

The good news is that, if you’re unable to attend Housing Technology, we’re hosting two smaller, more focused events in conjunction with our partner Microsoft. At these interactive roundtable events, you’ll have the chance to talk to TSG and Microsoft experts about how to implement the right solutions for your own housing association and share your organisation’s specific challenges. These events are smaller and more focused, meaning we’ll work directly with you to find the right solutions for your organisation through collaborative working.

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