When building a technology system to support your business, one size never fits all. Whether you’re considering a single-provider platform or working with multiple providers to integrate software systems, there are a number of considerations to take into account. At Entrata, we’ve grown our platform in such a way that gives us a unique perspective from both sides of the issue. Here are a few things that we’ve learned.
Providers = Partners: Whether you’re putting all of your technology eggs into one platform’s basket, or working with a collection of software providers to customize the solutions that work best for your communities, it’s all about the relationships of trust. Knowing that your software providers are willing (and able) to work alongside your teams to identify and resolve bugs (and there will be bugs) is probably the most important factor in any successful system.
U Can Has Ur Data: Unrestricted access to your data is a no-brainer. If a provider wants to limit your ability to access your data (renter or applicant data, payment data, etc.) or worse—if they want to make you pay for that access—consider that a huge red flag. You should never have to ask a vendor’s permission to get to the information you’ve put into their system.
Managing Change: It’s easy to sit through a flashy software demonstration and allow ourselves to be wooed by “potential savings” and the prospect of bottom-line benefits, but if the team on the ground–your front-line users–find that system so hard to use that they refuse to adopt it, your splashy new investment could end up costing you more than you save. Adjustments are always challenging, but can be greatly facilitated if your software provides systems and tools for change management at the user-level. Implementation know-how, robust training, and the willingness to creatively troubleshoot and (in the case of integrated systems) play nice with other providers can go a long way toward making sure you get the most benefit out of your technology investment.